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Relocating Dār al-Islām

Contemporary Islamic Perspectives on Territoriality

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Sarah Albrecht

Searching for the ‘Homeland’ of Islam

Concepts of Diaspora in Contemporary Islamic Discourse on Muslims in the West

Sarah Albrecht

Recent studies on Muslims in the West have frequently characterised them as living in a state of ‘diaspora’. As the question of whether Muslims regard themselves or their co-religionists residing in Western countries as forming a ‘diaspora’ has, however, remained widely understudied, this article provides insights into Muslim perspectives on the notion of ‘Muslim diaspora’ as a self-designation. It explores how far prominent scholars and intellectuals—among them al-Qaradawi, al-Alwani, Ramadan and Nayed—conceptualise Muslims in the West as belonging to a ‘diasporic community’ or whether and for what reasons they reject this classification. Arguing that current controversies surrounding this question are intrinsically linked with the discussion of the traditional Islamic view that the world is divided into a ‘territory of Islam’ and a ‘territory of war’, the article challenges the widespread assumption that the notion of ‘Muslim diaspora’ is, unlike other examples of diaspora, devoid of a distinct territorial component.

Dār al-Islām Revisited

Territoriality in Contemporary Islamic Legal Discourse on Muslims in the West

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Sarah Albrecht

Where is dār al-islām, and who defines its boundaries in the 21st century? In Dār al-Islām Revisited. Territoriality in Contemporary Islamic Legal Discourse on Muslims in the West, Sarah Albrecht explores the variety of ways in which contemporary Sunni Muslim scholars, intellectuals, and activists reinterpret the Islamic legal tradition of dividing the world into dār al-islām, the “territory of Islam,” dār al-ḥarb, the “territory of war,” and other geo-religious categories. Starting with an overview of the rich history of debate about this tradition, this book traces how and why territorial boundaries have remained a matter of controversy until today. It shows that they play a crucial role in current discussions of religious authority, identity, and the interpretation of the shariʿa in the West.

Series:

Sarah Albrecht