Progressive Islamic Scholarship

//Progressive Islamic Scholarship
Progressive Islamic Scholarship2018-01-17T12:23:13+00:00

1. The Imperatives of progressive Islam

Author: Dr. Adis Duderija
Summary / Excerpt: “The book highlights the arguments of several progressive Muslim thinkers, including Mohammad Shahrur, Khaled Abou El Fadl and Abdolkarim Soroush, Farid Esack, Shabbir Akhtar, Ali Ashgar Engineer and Hasan Hanafi in critiquing the static if not retrogressive nature of classical Islamic epistemology and promoting Islamic liberation theology in the 21st century. Besides, the main arguments employed by the proponents of progressive Muslim thought for legitimizing the idea of divinely willed religious pluralism in the context of the late modern episteme. This, by definition, involves tackling the topic of the salvation of the religious other.  The concepts of religious pluralism and ethic of pluralism as employed in this study and how they played themselves out in Islamic history. ‘Gender-justice’ in the context of progressive Muslim thought as employed in this study describe the arguments behind classical gender ideologies in Islam and outline the progressive Muslims’ alternative conceptualizations of the same.  Among progressive Muslims scholars surrounding the viability of (re)-emergence of a religiously indigenous Islamic feminism as a way of bringing about gender – justice in Islam. The works of a number of progressive Muslim scholars, both female and male, who have developed important hermeneutical principles which both critique the patriarchal interpretations of the Qurʾān and hadith both in the past and in the present and who have at the same time developed sophisticated non-patriarchal Qurʾān-Sunna hermeneutical models.”

2. Maqasid Al Shari’ah and Contemporary Reformist Muslim Thought, Contemporary Muslim Reformist Thought and Maqāṣid cum Maṣlaḥa Approaches to Islamic Law: An Introduction

Author: Dr. Adis Duderija
Summary / Excerpt: “The basic rationale behind bringing out this volume is that although many noteworthy works have been written on issues pertaining to Muslim reformist thought and the concept of maqāṣid al-sharīa,there still remains a need for a study that examines the role and the usefulness of maqāṣid al-sharīa as a philosophic-legal cum hermeneutical tool for the purposes of, what I broadly term here, “the contemporary Muslim reformist project” (as is briefly defined later). This book aims to accomplish this by, at times, critically examining how this concept is used in contemporary Muslim reformist thought in relation to a number of specific philosophical, legal, ethical, social, and political issues.Contemporary Muslim reformist thought is a complex and diverse phenomenon consisting of a number of discourses and actors with different reform agendas and priorities. Perhaps its lowest common denominator is the idea that various aspects of the inherited pre-modern Islamic tradition,especially aspects of Islamic law, with respect to its underlying worldview assumptions, episteme, and various methodologies underpinning this body of knowledge, are not adequately equipped or need serious reform/rethinking in meeting the many challenges Muslims are facing today, in the context of forming a majority versus Muslim minority society. These reformists differ in the manner in which they conceptualize and employ the concept of maqāṣid al-sharīʿa, and they assign to it different hermeneutical positions. in their overall approach to Islamic legal theory. This book specifically contributes to expanding our understanding of the role and usefulness ofthe maqāṣidi-based approach in contemporary Muslim reformist thinking,both Sunni and Shiʿi, by examining the arguments espoused by some of the main contemporary theoreticians behind this approach.”

3. Progressive Muslims—Defining and Delineating Identities and Ways of Being a Muslim

Author: Dr. Adis Duderija
Summary / Excerpt: “This article purports to outline some major themes, ideas and values underpinning Progressive Muslim thought and Weltanschauung. The argument is based upon the premise that in defining religious identity one of the most crucial factors to be taken into consideration are the differences in methodological, ontological and epistemological assumptions as we attempt to understand the primary sources of religious knowledge. In the first part of the article, the overall heuristic and methodology of defining and delineating Muslim identities/groups or ways of being a Muslim is presented. The second section briefly outlines studies which have detected and generally described a Progressive Muslim identity among Western Muslims. The third part aims to present a discussion on some defining themes underpinning the worldview of progressive Muslims, including the principles of prophetic solidarity, speaking truth to power and their approach to conceptualizing and interpreting the Islamic tradition.”


Author: Dr. Adis Duderija
Summary / Excerpt: “This chapter consists of four sections. In the first part the aim is to present a discussion on some defining themes underpinning progressive Muslim worldview. The second and the third section historically contextualize and place progressive Muslim thought in relation to their intellectual predecessors coming from both the non-Muslim majority and Muslim majority worlds. The last part outlines progressive Muslim approach to conceptualising and engaging with the Islamic tradition and the concept of modernity/modern episteme”

5. What’s Behind the Progressive Reading of the Qur’an and Sunna?

Author: Dr. Adis Duderija
Summary / Excerpt: Duderija announces that for the second half of the book he will be “drawing on the works of leading progressive Muslim thinkers such as Khaled Abou El Fadl, Omid Safi, Farid Esack, Ebrahim Moosa, Kecia Ali, Amina Wadud, and others” (p. 3). All but one (Farid Esack, and maybe Amina Wadud nowadays) are academics teaching in American universities. What they do have in common, at least in terms of this label, is that they and others contributed to a sort of manifesto in 2003 – a book Omid Safi edited, entitled, Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism. But lest you think it’s all about American Islam, Safi wrote this in an article that same year: “Progressive Muslims are found everywhere in the global umma. When it comes to actually implementing a progressive understanding of Islam in Muslim countries, particular communities in Iran, Malaysia, and S. Africa are leading, not following the United States” (quoted in Duderija, pp. 121-2).”

6. Progressive Islam as Islamic Liberation Theology

Author: Dr. Adis Duderija
Summary / Excerpt: “The article discusses progressive Islam as a form of Islamic liberation theology. It’s started by an overview of the major themes, values and ideals of Progressive Muslims’ Weltanschauung. This is followed by a brief description of the delineating features of progressive Muslim theology. Next, discussion on the reasons why some prominent progressive Muslim scholars consider Islamic liberation theology to be an imperative for Muslim living in the 21st century. Finally, discussion on aspects of the scholarship of Hassan Hanafi (b.1935) as an example parexcellence of a progressive Muslim scholar as a liberation theologian.”