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  • Author or Editor: Muhammad Khalid Masud x

Muhammad Khalid Masud

Muhammad Khalid Masud

Abstract

Modern Muslim thought is usually studied in terms of a dichotomy between modernity and tradition; the former as Western impact, the latter as Muslim societies supposedly petrified in the past. These studies, however, have failed to appreciate the dynamics of Muslim intellectual movements. The west-centrism tends to overlook the local contexts. This paper is a study of a contemporary thought movement in Pakistan led by Javēd Ahmad Ghāmidī. In some ways this movement resembles the Wasatiyya of Egypt, especially in rethinking the application of sharīa in a modern state and the necessity of state in Islam. Ghāmidī's intellectual development took place in a traditional environment, and his movement grew with an analysis of the contemporary discourses on sharā'a in Pakistan. In his arguments on sharā'a, Ghāmidī is not apologetic; he rarely refers to Western criticism. He seldom differs with the Islamic modernists but he never leaves the traditional framework. Ghāmidī is not unaware of the modern context but since his discourse is primarily with the traditionalists on the one hand and Jamā' at Islāmī and its seceding groups on the other, he is more a critical traditionist than an Islamic modernist.

Muhammad Khalid Masud

Abstract

This article starts with a sketch of the encounters and experiences of modern secularism in four areas of the Islamic world (Turkey, Arab world, South Asia and Southeast Asia); these point to the diverse conditions and constructions that have become central issues of regional and trans-regional discourse: laizism through reform, nationalism through decolonization, Islamic nationalism through state formation, and tolerance through traditional multi-ethnic environments. In analysing the basic writings of five exemplary modern Muslim thinkers, it is shown that modern Islamic thought, tied to the idea of mutual exclusive ideological constructions of secularism and Islamism, remains ambiguous while at the same time facing the factual unfolding of secularism in Muslim countries: the works of Mawdudi contain absolute denial of secularism; al-Qaradawi argues for the strict opposition and separation of the secular and the religious; al-Attas denies that Western processes of religious secularization are applicable to the development of Islam. On the other hand, Iqbal and Rahman, although maintaining a clear distinction between the secular and the religious, point to coinciding dimensions of religious and secular dimensions in modern political and social life. The reflection of the secular and the religious is highly shaped by historical and political influences as well as by ideologization, thus creating obstacles for fruitful conceptual reconstructions of the given dimensions of the coincidence of both — Islam and the secular conditions of modern society.

Masud, Muhammad Khalid

Masud, Muhammad Khalid

Masud, Muhammad Khalid