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Islamic Ideology (03 Aug 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Progressive Islam as Islamic Liberation Theology



By Dr. Adis Duderija, New Age Islam

03 August 2017

Abstract: My presentation discusses progressive Islam as a form of Islamic liberation theology. I start by presenting 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, I move on to discuss the reasons why some prominent progressive Muslim scholars consider Islamic liberation theology to be an imperative for Muslim living in the 21st century. Finally, I discuss aspects of the scholarship of Hassan Hanafi (b.1935) as an example par excellence of a progressive Muslim scholar as a liberation theologian

1. A Brief Overview of the major themes, values and ideals of Progressive Muslims’ Worldview

Progressive Muslim thought is an umbrella term covering a number of approaches to the Islamic tradition and (late) capitalist modernity which, in some cases, employ the words “progressive” and/or “critical” when self-labeling themselves. It the sense employed in this article it forcefully emerged in the shadows of the tragic events of 9/11. The main theoreticians and proponents of progressive Muslim thought can be found both in the Muslim majority (e. g. Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Bosnia, and Iran) and Muslim minority contexts (e.g. South Africa, Western Europe, and North America). They include scholars such as Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor of Muslim Law at University of California Los Angeles; Farid Esack, a South African theologian, professor of Islam, and a social activist at the University of Johannesburg; professor Omid Safi from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Hasan Hanafi, professor of Philosophy at Cairo University in Egypt; the late Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (d. 2010), professor of Islam and Humanism at the University of Humanistics in Utrecht, The Netherlands; A. K. Soroush, a prominent Iranian scholar and intellectual; F. A. Noor, a political scientist and human rights activist in Malaysia; the late Nurckolish Majid (d. 2005), a prominent Muslim thinker and intellectual in Indonesia; Ali Ashgar Engineer, a rights activist and Muslim scholar in India; Dr.Shabbir Akhtar, fellow at the Centre for MuslimChristian understanding at Oxford, Enes Karic, professor of Muslim Studies at the Faculty of Muslim Sciences in Sarajevo, Bosnia; professor Abdul Qadir Tayoub and Sa’diyya Shaikh, lecturers of Muslim Studies at the University of Cape Town in South Africa; Hashim Kamali, a long-time professor of Muslim Law at the International Muslim University in Malaysia who was born in Afghanistan; Kecia Ali, an associate professor of Religion at Boston University; Asma Barlas, professor of Politics and Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity in Ithaca; Amina Wadud, Professor of Muslim Studies at the Virginia Commonwealth University; Dr Ziba Mir-Hosseini, a legal anthropologist; Mohsen Kadivar, a former Iranian philosopher and cleric, and currently a visiting professor of Islamic Studies based at Duke University; Saba Mahmood, an associate professor of Social Cultural Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley; and many others. It is important to note that, as is hopefully evident from the above given list, progressive Muslim scholars and activist include a significant number of those of the female gender. It is also significant to highlight that while some progressive Muslim scholars obtained their graduate and postgraduate qualifications from Western institutions in many cases, however, they have also received traditional training in the Muslim sciences and or have graduated from traditional Muslim seminaries or universities

Progressive Muslim scholars are rethinking both the theological and ethico-legal dimensions of the pre-modern Muslim religious sciences. Importantly, they do so within and not outside the faith based framework, utilizing and adopting the language, concepts, theories, and sources of the pre-modern Muslim religious tradition. Given the topic of today’s presentation and the time available I will not elaborate on these aspects of progressive Muslim thought further and have in any case done so in some detail in my previous publications, especially my book that was published in 2011.

Progressive Muslim thought is best characterized by its commitments and fidelity to certain ideals, values, practices and objectives that are expressed and take form in a number of different themes. Some of the themes primarily concern issues pertaining to their “critical” positioning in relation to: i.) the hegemonic economic, political, social and cultural forces from the global North; ii.) hegemonic patriarchal, exclusivist and ossified interpretations of their own inherited Islamic tradition ; and iii.) both the values underpinning the Age of Enlightenment modernity as well as radical forms of late (post)modern thought. This means that the proponents of progressive Muslim thought are simultaneously engaged in a ‘multiple critique’ of discourses and practices. i

Commitment to social and gender justice (including indigenous Islamic feminism) and a belief in the inherent dignity of every human being as a carrier of God’s spirit is fundamental to the progressive Muslims’ weltanschauung. The centrality of spirituality and the nurturing of interpersonal relationships based on contemporary feminist friendly and Sufi-like ethico-moral philosophy especially in its intellectual rather than purely aesthetic form. A principled prophetic ethics of solidarity with all marginalized and oppressed communities exemplified in what could be termed Islamic liberation theology is another important characteristic underlying progressive Muslim cosmology. Bringing about and strengthening the multifaceted, ethical and dynamic aspects of the inherited Islamic tradition and resisting its reductionism and exclusivist interpretation founded on patriarchy, misogyny and religious bigotry also characterizes progressive Muslim worldview. Another significant attribute of the thought is its epistemological and methodological openness and fluidity.

 Progressive Muslims do not subscribe to commonly employed dichotomies such as, tradition vs. modernity, secularism vs. religion, and or simplistic generalization such as modernity =Western or Judeo-Christian intellectual /civilisational tradition. As such progressive Muslim are engaged in permanent dialogue with the critical and progressive agendas of other cultures drawing inspiration from not only faith-based liberatory movements such as Christian liberation theology but also those that are premised outside of a faith based framework such as secular humanism. Hence, progressive Muslims place a lot of emphasis on preservation of a pluralist (including in terms of religious traditions) and multifocal world in which relationships, including political and economic, between different people, cultures and civilizations are predicated on ethical, symmetrical and mutually enriching power dynamics. Finally, progressive Islamic hermeneutics is characterized by its emphasis on the role of context and history ( i.e. nature of previous communities of interpretation) in interpreting the foundational Islamic texts without questioning their ontologically Divine nature.

2. The Delineating Features of Progressive Muslim Theology:

Progressive Muslim theology gives priority to orthopraxis over orthodoxy. This means that it considers questions pertaining to ethics more important than acquisition of knowledge leading to ‘correct ‘faith/belief or that of engaging in ritual. For this type of theology the human and the human condition are central to it. The discussions pertaining to how to arrive at ‘correct belief’, those centring on nature of God and its relationship with the cosmos and the living creation are of secondary importance. Instead, the alleviation of extreme poverty, being on the side of the wretched, marginalised, stigmatised, and the downtrodden is not only considered the purpose and the primary function of religion, it is also viewed as an essential prerequisite leading to orthodoxy (i.e. correct belief). This theology, in my understanding of it, holds that humans are considered to experience the Divine most readily and immediately through their interactions with other human beings rather than by contemplating abstractly on the Divine , observing the nature or engaging in various spiritual exercises ( i.e. ritual).

 Furthermore, this theological orientation by implication favours inductive over deductive reasoning because its foundation and starting point is the world of the human condition with its incredible diversity (including the religious) and complexity which makes it very difficult to think in binary terms (e.g. having salvation –not having salvation). Furthermore, this theology, by giving primacy to ethics and to the human is staunchly egalitarian eschewing any form of hierarchies, most notably those based on gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity.

 In addition, it is open to and accommodating of the idea of religious pluralism, i.e. the premise that none of the reified religious traditions made in the crucible of history (as well as those in the present and the future) are capable of objectively and fully capturing the Divine, thus none can claim monopoly over God and/or Salvation. This, in turn, translates into the idea of God who is not fully graspable to the human either through his intellect, mind, reason or the ‘heart’. By definition the subscription to progressive Muslim thought also implies that the sacred scriptures cannot offer us humans an unequivocal, clearly accessible and once and for all valid understanding of God through the simple process of reading/interpretation. Instead, progressive Muslims’ consider the human interpreter and her subjectivities and contingencies as most significantly determinative of the process of interpretation envisaged as a never ending dynamic process that continually evolves with reason.

 There is, in other words, an organic and dialectical relationship between revelation and reality. Furthermore, this theology gives precedence to reason- based ethics over law. It insists that law must be in constant service of ethics and that law ought to evolve with evolving ideas about ethics as developed by humanity- and in the post-revelatory period this evolution is exclusively driven by reason/intellect but inspired and sustained by Revelation. Put succinctly, this theology embraces and even thrives on pluralism, diversity and what’s fundamental to all of it, uncertainty. Based on my own observations I consider this to be a minority theological position among contemporary Muslims, but, nonetheless, a growing one.

3. The Imperative for An Islamic Liberation Theology For Muslims Living In The 21st Century:

The proponents of progressive Muslim thought find a plethora of reasons as to why the development of an Islamic liberation theology is sorely needed for Muslims living in the 21st century. These include the traumatic legacy of colonialism, the growing gap between rich and poor in general and between rich and poor Muslims in particular, aggressive spread of forms of Islamic puritanism/fundamentalism and their alliance with imperialistic neo-liberal capitalism whose epicentre is in the West (and more specifically in the United States of America) and the political, economic and social impotence of various secular/liberal/modernist as well as conservative mainstream forms of political Islam. ii

As aptly noted by Abdenur Prado, a vocal supporter of Islamic liberation theology and the president of the Catalonian Islamic Board, the proponents of the contemporary mainstream non-progressive currents in Islam are neither willing nor capable of bringing about the change theologies of liberation seek. In fact with their views regarding Islam as religion they are an obstacle to the ideals, aims and objectives of Islamic liberation theology. In Prado’s words:

The obsession over religion understood as extreme morality, a suffocating puritanism obsessed with honour and sexuality, is a means to alienate Muslim populations, it acts as a veil that prevents the analyzing of the real causes of the social injustices they suffer, and presents those responsible for these injustices as guarantors of their identity and national honour. We are witnessing an extreme form of obscurantism, brought upon by reactionary Ulema, who occupy positions based on their significance in the history of Islam, such as the University of Al-Azhar or the Mosques of Mecca and Medina. An obscurantist vision of Islam that intercepts any critical thought among believers, condemning their communities to remain in ignorance.iii

Similarly, Samir Amin, a noted critic of neo-liberal capitalism, imperialism and mainstream (political) Islam, considers that when it comes to socio-political questions conventional forms of political Islam have taken a purely reactionary stance, have been co-opted by and are dependent upon capitalism and dominant imperialism. In this sense Amin forms the view that non-progressive political forms of Islam are incompatible with the ideals, objectives and values of what we term here Islamic liberation theology as they are not anti-imperialist but merely anti-western and/or anti-Christian in nature. iv In his words:

Political Islam is not only reactionary on certain questions (notably concerning the status of women) and perhaps even responsible for fanatic excesses directed against non-Muslim citizens (such as the Copts in Egypt)—it is fundamentally reactionary and therefore obviously cannot participate in the progress of peoples’ liberation. v

The deep economic ties between the neo-liberal capitalist market economy and the Muslim majority world are also noted by Tariq Ramadan who asserts:

The whole of the Islamic world is under the tutelage of market economy. Countries apparently Islamic from the viewpoint of laws and government, for example Saudi Arabia or other petro-kingdoms, are the most integrated economically with the neoliberal system founded on speculation and immersed in interest transactions (in reference to usury).vi

Apart from critiquing conservative and fundamentalist forms of (political) Islam, Islamic liberation theology also calls into question its liberal/moderate incarnations that are in many ways supported by imperialist interests. This is so because these forms of Islam, which call for a strict separation of politics and religion, neutralize Islam’s revolutionary (of primarily but not a priori non-violent kind) potential to change the unjust status quo. Liberal/moderate Islam is also problematic from an Islamic liberation theology point of view (and hence progressive Islam) because its critique of Islamic fundamentalism is not accompanied by a similar critique of institutions and systems at the heart of global neo-liberal capitalism.vii

Another prominent voice which has spoken about the need for an Islamic liberation theology in the 21st century is that of Hamid Dabashi, an Iranian-American academic at Columbia University in New York. The larger context in which Dabashi articulates this need is its function as a means of resistance to a globalized, predatory empire whose epicentre is in the US. In this regard Hamid maintains that the US spares no effort in employing military aggression in pursuit of global capital thereby engaging in various forms of illegitimate violence whose victims are often, but not only, Muslims. Hence, Muslims, alongside and in cooperation with other regional and cross-cultural actors, must resist this destructive force by means of Islamic liberation theology but without adopting “an absolutist, puritanical, and totalistic disposition.” viii Rather, for Dabashi, the task of the Islamic liberation theology in challenging this US Empire in pursuit of global capital is in:

Resisting the US-inspired globalized empire (which should never be equated with Americans at large, the overwhelming majority of which have a healthy dose of either active resistance to or else nagging suspicion about its efficacy) can no longer be in terms of a singular ideology embedded in a medieval theology, or an ideologically updated version of it to resist a centre-based ‘‘Western’’ empire, or else contingent on spectacular acts of senseless and iconic violence. Resisting that empire requires regional alliances based on crosscurrents of ideas, sentiments, ideologies, and cultures. The worst aspect of Islamic ideology was its persistent reliance on Islamic Law (Shari’ah), the consequences of which for a free and democratic society is simply catastrophic, for it mutates the free and autonomous citizens of a potential republic into the legal subjects of a medieval jurisprudence that no matter how liberally it is interpreted it remains deadly contrary to creation of free and autonomous citizens of a republic. The only way that an (Islamic) liberation theology can be part of a global resistance to the US (or any other) empire is to be party to an equally liberating and global conversation, safeguard its theological monotheism by embracing it within a multifaceted theodicy that instead of trying to account for the existence of evil in the world in fact embraces its own alternatives and oppositions. ix

For reasons outlined above the imperative for reviving an Islamic liberation theology becomes ever so pertinent for the proponents of progressive Muslim thought. The imperative is based on progressive Muslims’ ‘multiple critique’ approach that I mentioned earlier in my presentation which simultaneously resists the hegemonies of imperialism, corporate globalization and forms of Islam which are its bed-fellows. Progressive Muslims as proponents of Islamic liberation theology, instead, seek to construct alternative alliances with the Global Left and like-minded social movements in order to resist these hegemonic forces.

For the proponents of progressive Muslim thought reviving Islamic liberation theology necessitates a radical reform of the traditional understanding of Islamic law ( Shari’a) in the interest of protecting the marginalized, weak and the under privileged. This could involve issues as diverse as reformulation of the concepts, aims and objectives of Islamic theology, ethics and law (especially Muslim family laws), the transformation of Islamic finance and economics for the purposes of real economic justice and recasting of Islamic politics in order to align them with the values, ideals and objectives of Islamic liberation theology. One example of a prominent progressive Muslim scholar as a liberation theologian is the scholarship of Professor Hassan Hanafi from Cairo University to which we turn next.

4. Example of a progressive Muslim scholar as Liberation theologian: Hasan Hanafi’s AlYasar Al-Islami and Al-Turath wal Tajdid:

Hanafi (b.1935) is a pioneering voice of Islamic liberation theology. His scholarship spans many fields. As aptly surmised by Boullata it simultaneously:

reconstructs the Islamic heritage in a new historicist and critical interpretation; it reassesses Western culture within a de-centring and downsizing critical approach; and it builds a new hermeneutic of religious culture on a global scale in which Islam is the ideological foundation of a modern humanity liberated from alienation and provided with a comprehensive program of positive action leading to happiness, peace, prosperity, and justice for all.x

One important part of his herculean efforts to establish “a general Islamic method based on the rationality of good and bad, and the unification of truth, goodness, and beauty," xi by systematically reviving the tradition (Turath) in the light of modern imperatives ( his lifelong project known as al-Turath wal Tajdid) concerns the process of reconnecting or rediscovering the hidden Turath values which are consistent with the ideals and objectives of liberation theology.

This peculiarly Islamic liberation theology in Hanafi’s thought takes form in what he terms the Islamic left (al-Yasar al-Islami). As noted by Wahyudi:

Hanafi’s vision is that of a comprehensive renaissance of [Islamic] civilization (Nahda Hadariyya Shamila) to be realized through his projects known as al-Turath wa al-Tajdid (Heritage and Modernity) and al- Yasar al-Islami (the Islamic Left).xii

The name al-Yasar al-Islami comes from the journal set up by Hanafi with the same name that only saw one issue being published. xiii It is important to state at the outset that by being a constituent and integral element of al-Turath wal Tajdid discourse as conceived by Hanafi, the Islamic Left is self-consciously grounded in the Turath and is not a rejection of it.xiv

The Islamic Left of Hanafi as a progressive discourse as employed in this study situates itself as part of an international movement of liberation. xv The broad themes of the Islamic Left as a theologico-political movement deal with the examination of issues pertaining to the relationship between religion and revolution, Islamic unity, social justice, and freedom of speech.xvi Its multiple critique is aimed at forces such as imperialism and its subtypes such as Zionism and capitalism as well as their by-products affecting the Muslim majority world including poverty, oppression, and underdevelopment. xvii The key element of the Islamic Left, Hanafi emphasizes, is its socioeconomic justice imperative. xviii In this context, Hanafi, by noting the vast disparities between exceedingly rich and poor Muslims, views the Islamic Left as a theologically-underpinned theory that demands wealth distribution to bridge the gap between those who have and those who have not. xixIn his words:

[In Islam] wealth is the wealth of God with which we are entrusted. We have the right to use, to invest, and to utilize; we do not have the right to exploit, misuse, or monopolize. . . . The mission of the Islamic Left is the redistribution of the wealth of Muslims among all Muslims as Islam prescribes, according to work, effort, and sweat. xx

As evident from the above Hanafi’s Islamic Left has great affinities with the Christian theology of liberation. Indeed, Hanafi while lecturing in Belgium became well acquainted with theoretical architects of Catholic liberation theology such as Camillo Torres. As a result he was keen to introduce this body of knowledge to Muslims too. In many ways his reading of Christian liberation theology was germane to his broader attempts to develop an Islamic equivalent of the same.xxi In Hanafi’s view the main function of theology is to act as a springboard for garnering support to end all kinds of oppression and exploitation. Importantly, opines Hanafi, for Muslims to achieve this goal an internal re-examination of inherited belief systems is necessary because these often mirror/ed existing general power structures within Muslim societies which were elitist in nature. Hence, for Hanafi,

Theology as hermeneutics is not a sacred science but a humanly constructed social science. It reflects socio-political conflicts. Every social group in a believing society has its own interests and defends them in its belief-system. This is what is known as Theology. xxii

Hanafi, therefore, subsumes theology under socio-political disciplines because “every social group in a believing society has its own interests and defends them in its belief-system.”

xxiii  With respect to this Hanafi proposes that the interests of the masses need to be defended by educating them in the belief systems of opposition. xxiv He remarks further that this pedagogical function of political theology is sorely needed in the context of the contemporary Muslim world because the ruling state powers are employing what he terms an “Absolutist Theology” to maintain the unjust status quo which can only be dislodged openly from within. Hence such an understanding of theology provides the basis for how Muslims can move from creed to non-violent revolution (min al Aqida ila ‘l Thawra).xxv

Hanafi finds inspiration in Mu’tazilite public opposition to power on the basis of their view of God as embodying the Universal and Rational Principle and their justice-based theory of Unity as a kind of pre-modern form of Islamic liberation theology that he wants to revive among contemporary Muslims. xxvi

In order to go from creed to a revolution Hanafi takes the view that it is imperative to reformulate and reinterpret the major concepts in Islamic theology such as Tawhid, Wahy, ‘Aqida and the so called five pillars of Islam.

By criticizing the mainstream understanding of the concept of Tawhid, Hanafi considers that the concept is constitutive of an action-oriented belief system which “negates oppression, tyranny, division and injustice, and on the other hand, affirms freedom, responsibility and liberation.” xxvii For Hanafi, Tawhid is a means of liberation for the entire humankind. More specifically the power and the function of Tawhid is conceptualized as liberation of the occupied lands, harbinger of justice, and a force of which will enhance the power of reason in Muslim affairs. Such a view of Tawhid is anti-Salafi in nature, as it prioritizes the present over the past and demands a state of awakefulness and activism in contrast to that of resignation and passivism. xxviii

and activism in contrast to that of resignation and passivism. xxviii Such a human and action-centred view of Tawhid requires also a rethinking of the traditional concept of revelation, Wahy. For Hanafi Wahy is not a theo- but anthropocentric concept which brings humanity rather than God into full historical limelight as subject of study. Hence for Hanafi “man and history should be at the centre of the Islamic religious consciousness”. xxix Similarly, while Hanafi views Islam’s five pillars as religious in their form, in terms of their content he considers them to be political in nature as they imply free will, freedom to act, responsibility for ones actions, the need to establish justice and fight injustice.xxx In his efforts to develop an Islamic liberation theology concept of praxis Hanafi also seeks to reconstruct the traditional Islamic understanding and function of the mystic experience (Tasawwuf), by rescuing it from its strong fatalistic and passive tendencies and bringing it into that of a social justice oriented one. xxxi

Summarizing the goals of the reinterpretation of Islam’s major theological concepts Hanafi writes:

The purpose of this new construction of the traditional belief-system is not to obtain eternal life by knowing the truth, but to acquire success in this World by fulfilling the hopes of the Muslim world for liberation, freedom, justice, social equality, reunification, identity, progress, and mass mobilization. Therefore, Theology as a science is of first importance because it is the theoretical analysis of action. xxxii

As noted by Wahyudi, in Hanafi’s efforts to develop an Islamic liberation theology Hanafi relies on what Hans Kung calls the “liberating role of Scripture.” xxxiii Mansoor, on the other hand, compares Hanafi’s life-project to that of the work of Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educator and philosopher, whose critical pedagogy work aims to develop a methodology that would enable the oppressed to overcome the internalization of the relation of domination, “a pedagogy through which the oppressed can learn how to interpret the world, since interpretation is an act of liberation.” xxxiv

5. Conclusion:

For a number of reasons discussed above progressive Muslims consider theology of liberation to be an absolute imperative for Muslims living in the current socio-political and wider geo-political context. Progressive Muslim scholars such as Hanafi but here we could also include F. Esack, A.A. Engineer and Sh. Akhtar, much like their Christian liberation theology counterparts in whose work they find sources of inspiration, consider faith to be an indispensable and vital stimulus for struggle against oppression and injustice at the grass roots level. Hence, in Islamic liberation theology orthopraxis precedes and is an inseparable part of orthodoxy.

Progressive Muslim scholars have found it inevitable to move away from many aspects of mainstream accommodationist interpretations of Islamic theology because these interpretations are viewed to be at odds with the ideals, values and objectives of (Islamic) liberation theology. In this respect the progressive Muslim scholars such as Hassan Hanafi whose work we have examined and whose scholarship exemplifies Islamic liberation theology par excellence have engaged in systematic and creative efforts to reinterpret, on the basis of often sophisticated methodologies and hermeneutics, many fundamental concepts of their creed including concepts such as Tawhid, jihad, Wahy and Mu’min in accordance with the principles of a distinctly Islamic liberation theology by conceptualizing them as anthropomorphic liberatory concepts rather than theological. Engaging in a quintessentially progressive Muslims’ ‘multiple critique’ progressive Muslim scholars as liberation theologians relentlessly scrutinize forces and structures responsible for perpetuation of oppression and injustice regardless if these emanate from outside of the Turath or from within and irrespective of the faith, race or gender-based identities of their victims.

References:

Amin,Samir, Political Islam in the Service of Imperialism, http://monthlyreview.org/2007/12/01/political-islam-in-th

Boullata,Issa J. "Hasan Hanafi," in The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Modem Islamic World, 4 vols., ed. John L. Esposito (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).

Dabashi, Hamid, Brown Skin, White Masks. New York and London: Pluto Press, 2011. _____________.Islamic liberation Theology, Resisting the Empire. London and New York: Routledge, 2008.

 Duderija,Adis. Constructing a Religiously Ideal ‘Believer’ and ‘Woman’ in Islam: neo-Traditional Salafi and progressive Muslim methods of Interpretation ( New York;Palgrave,2011).

Hanafi,Hassan al-din wa al-thawrah fi’l Masr, 1952-1981, vol. 6, al-usuliyyah al islamiyyah (Cairo: Maktabah Madbuli, 1989).

 ________. Al-Yasar al-Islami. Kitabat fi alNahdah al-Islamiyah (Cairo), no. 1 (1981).His subsequent work on these issues was published in the work

________.Min al-`aqidah ila al-thawrah: Muhawalah li-i’adat bina’ `ilm usul al-din (From Doctrine to Revolution: An Attempt to Rebuild, the Science of Religious Fundamentals, 5 vols., Cairo, 1988).

Mamdani,Mahmood Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror, Random House, 2004.

 Mansoor,I. The Unpredictability of the Past: Turath and Hermeneutics” (PhD thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 2000).

Prado, Abdennur, The Need for an Islamic liberation theology, http://www.dialogoglobal.com/granada/documents/Prado-The-need-for-an-Islamic-liberationtheology.pdf .

 Ramadan, Tariq Globalisation. Muslim Resistances (ed. Tawhid 2002).

Voll, John and Esposito, John. Makers of Contemporary Islam, Oxford university Press,2001.

Wahyudi,Yudian. The Slogan Back to the Qur’an and Sunna: a comparative study of the responses of Hasan Hanafi, Muhammad "Abid al-Jabiri and Nurcholish Madjid / Yudian Wahyudi, McGill University. Institute of Islamic Studies, 2002.

-----

 i Duderija,Adis. Constructing a Religiously Ideal ‘Believer’ and ‘Woman’ in Islam: neo-Traditional Salafi and progressive Muslim methods of Interpretation ( New York;Palgrave,2011).

 ii Abdennur Prado, The Need for an Islamic liberation theology, http://www.dialogoglobal.com/granada/documents/Prado-The-need-for-an-Islamic-liberation-theology.pdf .

 iii Ibid.

iv Samir Amin, Political Islam in the Service of Imperialism, http://monthlyreview.org/2007/12/01/political-islam-inthe-service-of-imperialism/

v Ibid.

vi Tariq Ramadan, Globalisation. Muslim Resistances (ed. Tawhid 2002) as cited in Prado, The Need for an Islamic liberation theology.

vii Hamid Dabashi, Brown Skin, White Masks. New York and London: Pluto Press, 2011; M. Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror, Random House, 2004.

 viii Hamid, Dabashi, Islamic liberation Theology, Resisting the Empire. London and New York: Routledge, 2008, 9.

 ix Ibid, 263-264.

 

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   2


  • The writer deserves congratulations for his fine piece of work.
    By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi غلام غوث الصديقي - 2/23/2018 5:37:56 AM



  • Excellent article!  As Adis sahib says progressive Islamic theology considers questions pertaining to ethics more important than acquisition of knowledge leading to ‘correct faith/belief ' or that of engaging in ritual. For this type of theology the human and the human condition are central to it.

    As Abdenur Prado says, "The obsession over religion understood as extreme morality, a suffocating puritanism obsessed with honour and sexuality, is a means to alienate Muslim populations, it acts as a veil that prevents the analyzing of the real causes of the social injustices they suffer, and presents those responsible for these injustices as guarantors of their identity and national honour."

    For the proponents of progressive Muslim thought reviving Islamic liberation theology necessitates a radical reform of the traditional understanding of Islamic law ( Shari’a) in the interest of protecting the marginalized, weak and the under privileged.

    By criticizing the mainstream understanding of the concept of Tawhid, Hassan Hanafi (born 1935) considers that the concept is constitutive of an action-oriented belief system which “negates oppression, tyranny, division and injustice, and on the other hand, affirms freedom, responsibility and liberation.”  For Hanafi, Tawhid is a means of liberation for the entire humankind. More specifically the power and the function of Tawhid is conceptualized as liberation of the occupied lands, harbinger of justice, and a force of which will enhance the power of reason in Muslim affairs.

    Summarizing the goals of the reinterpretation of Islam’s major theological concepts Hanafi writes: "The purpose of this new construction of the traditional belief-system is not to obtain eternal life by knowing the truth, but to acquire success in this World by fulfilling the hopes of the Muslim world for liberation, freedom, justice, social equality, reunification, identity, progress, and mass mobilization."



    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/3/2017 12:52:00 PM



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