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Clothing and Colours in Early Islam

Adornment (Aesthetics), Symbolism and Differentiation

Hadas Hirsch

, life needs, social codes, religious demands and socioeconomic manifestations. By the rise of Islam in the seventh century, the holy scripture of the Koran established and institutionalised its existence economically, politically and religiously

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Md Saidul Islam

Contesting the U.S.-centric bias of modern environmentalism, this essay uncovers an “old“ paradigm of environmentalism found in the medieval Islamic tradition, the Islamic Ecological Paradigm (IEP)—which, in many respects, is tantamount to many ideologies of modern environmentalism. According to IEP, human beings are a part of, and not above, nature, and have the responsibility to preserve nature. Many paradigms of modern environmentalism have largely embraced this ideology, though they do not necessarily trace their origin to IEP. This essay also analyzes Muslim environmental activism today by focusing on how its proponents are inspired by modern environmentalism while grounding their activism in IEP. Despite substantial variance and occasional tension, the author argues that both modern environmentalism and IEP can form an ontological alliance, an alliance that is of paramount importance to addressing environmental problems that transcend physical and cultural borders.

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Enis Sulstarova

-centric, and secular approaches that dominate the way history is taught in the pre-university public education system. By focusing on world and national history textbooks, this study analyses the role assigned to Islam in representations of the self and the

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Islam, Rights, and Ethical Life

The Problem of Political Modernity in the Islamic World

Michael J. Thompson

This paper considers the roots of the dissonance between political modernity and Islamic societies. It argues that primacy has to be given to the analysis of different paradigms of 'ethical life' which are ways in which ethical-political categories are organized within society. A distinction is made between 'nomocentric' and 'rights-based' paradigms of ethical life, the former associated with a system of moral duties and the latter with a system of political and ethical rights accorded to the individual. I argue that the emphasis on a nomocentric paradigm of ethical life has the effect of suppressing the development of a rights-based ethical and political discourse in large enough segments of the society to limit a progressive change toward political modernity. I further analyze the ways in which forces of social and economic modernisation play a role in antagonizing the relation between modernity and the more traditional forms of ethical life which predominate in Islamic society and political/ethical thought.

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Michaelle Browers

Anne Norton, On the Muslim Question (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013), 288 pp., ISBN: 9781400846351

Alfred Stepan and Charles Taylor, eds., Boundaries of Toleration (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014), 328 pp., ISBN: 9780231165679

Mehrzad Boroujerdi, ed., Mirror for the Muslim Prince: Islam and the Theory of Statecraft (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2013), 448 pp., ISBN: 9780815632894

Wael B. Hallaq, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics and Modernity’s Moral Predicament (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), 272 pp., ISBN: 9780231162579

Ali Mirsepassi and Tadd Graham Fernée, Islam, Democracy and Cosmopolitanism: At Home and in the World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 225 pp., ISBN: 9781107053977

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Béchir Oueslati, Marie McAndrew and Denise Helly

This article examines the evolution of the representation of Islam and Muslim cultures in textbooks in Quebec. Results indicate signicant improvements in the new secondary school history textbooks, both quantitatively (for they contain more information about pillars, key concepts, and relations with Christianity and Judaism) and qualitatively (on account of their depth of coverage, fewer negative views than in the 1980s, and fewer factual errors than in the 1990s). The positive role played by Muslim scientists in preserving old knowledge and enriching is also recognized. However, textbooks still view Islam as a religion of submission, proscriptions, and forced conversion, failing to recognize the diversity within Islam and Muslim cultures.

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Ingrid Pfluger-Schindlbeck

The contemporary preoccupation with the headscarf and the new veiling shows us the importance of symbolic messages of hair behaviour not only in Western but also in Muslim societies. This article gives a survey of different methodological approaches to hair, namely the anthropological hair debate of the 1950s, studies on new Islamic dress, regional and culture-specific anthropological research on hair symbolism and hair sacrifice. Hair is either treated in the context of religious texts (Qur’an, Hadiths), Islamic institutional concepts of the sexual body (purity rules) or in the context of sacrifice revealing religious concepts of an asexual human body. It is shown that the contradictory statements of these diverse theoretical approaches are the result of a cleavage that can be traced throughout the literature and also accounts for the polyvalent meanings of the symbol of hair. Hair can be viewed in the context of individual versus society but also in the context of individual versus God. Therefore, the analysis of hair behaviour in Islamic societies has to combine both relations to understand the seemingly exotic behaviour of ‘the other’.

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Rakhym Beknazarov

This article addresses one of many complex questions concerning the spread of Islam in the territory of Kazakhstan, in particular the northern Aral region. Based on fieldwork, the author analyses architectural monuments, such as Gappar's grave, Baspaq cemetery and Matygul's grave, which represent Islam in the allusive functions of a mosque and funeral chamber. On the basis of a comparative analysis of monuments from the Middle Ages, such as Abat-Baytak, with the monumental constructions over graves in Kazakhstan, it is concluded that the Sufism trend of Islam prevailed in this region.

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Note on the Question of Animal Suffering in Medieval Islam

Muslim Mu‘tazilite Theology Confronted by Manichean Iranian Thought

Didier Gazagnadou

suffering are not commonplace in medieval Islamic thought. However, the work of Cheikh Bouamrane on human freedom in Mu‘tazilite thinking devotes a section to this question ( Bouamrane 1978: 158–160 ). Indeed, rich and intense debates took place during the

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Islam and Pious Sociality

The Ethics of Hierarchy in the Tablighi Jamaat in Pakistan

Arsalan Khan

In recent decades, Pakistan has witnessed the dramatic rise of Islamic revivalist forces, including Islamic piety movements, political parties, new Islamic schools, televangelists, NGOs, corporations, and banks. These Islamic revivalists draw their