Rethiking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thougt Essay - 521 Words

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Rethiking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thougt

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Text Preview RETHIKING TRADITION IN MODERN ISLAMIC THOUGT

A Book Review

RETHIKING TRADITION IN MODERN ISLAMIC THOUGT

I. Introduction

Since the middle of the nineteenth century, Muslim thinkers have faced numerous and repeated challenges to classical Islamic ideas about religious authority. Upheavals in the Muslim world have stimulated widespread reexamination of the classical sources of Islamic law as Muslims have struggled to preserve, adapt, or redefine their social and legal norms in the face of changed conditions. A central issue in this ongoing struggle has been the question of the nature, status, and authority of the Sunna, the normative example of the Prophet Muhammad. Because of Muhammad’ status messenger of God, his words and actions are accepted by most Muslims as sources of religious and legal authority second only to the Qur’an. Indeed, the Qur’an itself repeatedly commands its reader to obey Allah and His messenger. II. Summary

This book is all about in the modern debates on religious authority are shaped by what Muslims see when they look back at the early history of Islam. Consequently, these modern debates must not be approached in a historical vacuum, as if they represent completely new and unprecedented challenges to traditional ideas about religious authority. The contest Muslim tradition was a matter of controversy long before the reemergence of these questions in the nineteenth century. In fact, hardly an element of the classical consensus about Prophetic became established without serious contest. Controversies over Sunna, both ancient and modern, should be viewed as an essential corollary of efforts by Muslims to adapt doctrine to change circumstances. Because of the stature of Sunna as a symbol of the authority of Muhammad and as a source of continuity with the past, no doctrinal dispute, no legal controversy, no exegetical discussion can be carried on without reference to it. III. Critical Analysis

The ‘ulama’ are certainly well aware... Show More

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