A religion, not a state: Ali 'Abd al-Raziq's Islamic justification of political secularism

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In this notable work, Souad T. Ali examines the seminal writings of Egyptian reformist scholar Ali'Abd al-Raziq, often regarded as the intellectual father of Islamic secularism, and his controversial argument that the caliphate should be considered a human innovation, rather than a religious imperative. 'Abd al Raziq contended that Islam is "a religion, not a state; a message, not a government," a major departure from the traditional view that religious and political spheres are intertwined and inseparable in Islam. Opponents denounced 'Abd al-Raziq's ideas as a foreign corruption imported from the West. Ali's careful, objective, and scholarly examination of 'Abd al-Raziq's work, however, reveals that his arguments are not based in Western thought. Rather, they sit firmly within the dictates of Islam's sacred texts, particularly the Quran and Hadith, and also enjoy considerable support from the historical record. This analysis critically challenges prevalent misinterpretations of Islam that have endured for centuries. Ali recognizes the varied models and discourses that have arisen throughout different epochs, especially so the role that Western intervention has played in placing the question of Islam's modernity at the forefront of intellectual debate. Throughout, the study emphasizes the atmosphere of openness and tolerance that is a requisite for free, intelligent debate.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    PublisherUniversity of Utah
    Number of pages163
    ISBN (Electronic)9781607819516
    ISBN (Print)9780874809510
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

    Fingerprint

    Secularism
    Islam
    Religion
    Justification
    Western Thought
    Government
    Tolerance
    Misinterpretation
    Modernity
    Quran
    Reformist
    Departure
    Innovation
    Hadith
    Discourse
    Egyptians
    Openness
    Historical Records
    Sacred Text
    Opponents

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    Cite this

    A religion, not a state : Ali 'Abd al-Raziq's Islamic justification of political secularism. / Ali, Souad.

    University of Utah, 2009. 163 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

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