Thinking about religion is confronted with several problems. Is religion a term to be applied in every religious tradition? Are there other concepts used as an equivalent for religion? Is the meaning of the terminology used transhistorical or not? The contribution argues that in Arabic there is a term dīn indicating a complex and ambiguous meaning before modernity and adapting to the all-encompassing meaning of religion influenced by the colonial domination of meaning at a global level.
Functioning in Indonesia, NU is the biggest Islamic organization in the world. Although NU outstrips the Taliban and other radical groups in terms of membership, it has not been sufficiently recognized on the international stage. This chapter examines NU’s reform initiative, “Humanitarian Islam,” and asks whether it can be influential in other parts of the world, especially in the Middle East.
The development of Islamic law (fiqh) can be described as a process of indigenization of the law transmitted from the Middle East to the Malayo-Indonesian archipelago. This development will be reconstructed with special regard to the concept of maqasid al-shari’a. The last outcome of this development is the idea of Humanitarian Islam.