In the following article, I aim to provide an insight into the Islamic understanding of death as perceived by a typical Indonesian Muslim family in South Sumatra. The discussion on what it means to die a good death is used as a central theme to introduce the Islamic rituals and practices surrounding death. I pay special attention to the signs observed by the members of the family while accompanying the dying person and examine how these are grounded in the particular religioscape of South Sumatra. The article is written at the crossroad of area studies and Islamic theology.
This paper offers preliminary notes on Buddhism in modern Muslim exegesis with an emphasis on Tafsir al-Qasimi by Muhammad Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi (1866–1914) and al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qurʾan by Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaʾi (1892–1981). The research adopts a qualitative design using content analysis to collect the data. In this paper two main questions regarding both exegetes will be explored. The first question concerns the sources of both scholars for their information about Buddhism by including the discussion in their exegesis. The second question concerns the methodology they used to discuss Buddhism in the Qurʾan since this has not been done by any classical exegetes nor among the most modern exegetes. Studies have found that the approach of the two exegetes is different from both the classical and modern exegetes because their work also contains resources from the fields of comparative religion and the history of religion to make their work relevant in the current context and reliable to be referred to by any parties. The author concludes that both al-Qasimi and Tabatabaʾi used analysis (taḥlil) in discussing verses related to the position of the Buddha.
The framework of Iranian national identity has been the cornerstone of the discourse of different social groups that aimed to establish their hegemony over the ‘imagined community’ of Iranians. The difficulty in determining the territorial delimitation of identity, as well as the process of creation-assimilation of a unitarian paradigm of identity characterised, and still characterises, Iranian politics. Therefore, the interdependence between domestic and foreign affairs and national identity can be explained under the lens of the struggle of hegemony of dominant powers and, specifically, through the theoretical framework of specific traditional or organic social groups that developed their political discourse around the different shades of Iranian ‘nationalism’.
Islamic feminism is characterised by a debate, a practice enunciated within the Islamic values and frame. Muslim women brought their experiences to the forefront and challenged the traditional and post-classical interpretation of the Qurʾan and Sunna. They claimed interpretations of the religious text as totally biased and based on men’s experience, questions that are male-centric, and the overall influence of the patriarchal society and culture. According to Islamic feminists, Islam has guaranteed women’s rights since its inception, confirming the notion of egalitarian ethics within Islam. However, the original message of Islam has been hindered by the hegemonic interpretation of Islamic jurisprudence; a product of existing patriarchy in the long passage of Islamic history for over several centuries. The rights of women as prescribed in Islam are not in practice anymore, even the demand for women’s rights is seen by many as going against the basic principle of Islam. Islamic feminists give their justifications from the Qurʾan and Hadith, and they called for re-opening the door of ijtihād (reasoning). This paper captures the significant works of feminist discourses and analyses different perspectives by the Islamic feminists who challenged the dominant discourses in Islam. It deals with the dominant discourse of Islamic feminists such as feminist hermeneutics of the Qurʾan, and includes a discussion on how feminist hermeneutics or new gender-sensitive interpretation of the Qurʾan tries to assert gender equality in the Qurʾan. There are two ways in which Muslims read patriarchy in the Qurʾan: first from the verses and the other from the different treatment of the Qurʾan on issues including marriages, divorce, inheritances, and witness. Islamic feminists reject anti-women elements, present in the Muslim umma and consider them as unethical and against Islam.
An attitude scale measuring tolerance has been used with a sample of 350 students in Pakistani religious schools (madrasas). Sectarian affiliation was identified as a key variable, which was moderated by student gender. Female students in general scored negatively, especially if they identified as Deobandi. Shiʿi and Barelvi students are more likely than not to show positive tolerance of others. Cluster analysis separates the students into ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals’. Shiʿa show a strong liberal tendency, while Deobandis show a strong conservative tendency. Results are consistent with the emergent theology of the groups and the aggressive elements in Pakistani society. Suggestions are made for the mechanism of curricular change in the liberal Shiʿi and Barelvi madrasas and for the direction of research into the Deobandi and Ahl-i Hadith schools.
This article examines the translation and domestication of an important piece of Persian didactic literature, the Gulistan of Saʿdi, into modern Chinese. We address all of the Chinese translations of this text, focusing on Yang Wanbao’s translation published in 2000. Yang transforms the text according to the imperatives of the Chinese state, altering the homoerotic scenes of the original and rendering Sufi Islamic concepts into a Confucian or Buddhist idiom. The result is a translation that serves as a significant text for the Jahriyya Sufi order in China, but also an articulation of Chinese Islam countenanced by the People’s Republic.