Editor: Umar Ryad
The present volume focuses on the political perceptions of the Hajj, its global religious appeal to Muslims, and the European struggle for influence and supremacy in the Muslim world in the age of pre-colonial and colonial empires. In the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century, a pivotal change in seafaring occurred, through which western Europeans played important roles in politics, trade, and culture. Viewing this age of empires through the lens of the Hajj puts it into a different perspective, by focusing on how increasing European dominance of the globe in pre-colonial and colonial times was entangled with Muslim religious action, mobility, and agency. The study of Europe’s connections with the Hajj therefore tests the hypothesis that the concept of agency is not limited to isolated parts of the globe. By adopting the “tools of empires,” the Hajj, in itself a global activity, would become part of global and trans-cultural history.

With contributions by: Aldo D’Agostini; Josep Lluís Mateo Dieste; Ulrike Freitag; Mahmood Kooria; Michael Christopher Low; Adam Mestyan; Umar Ryad; John Slight and Bogusław R. Zagórski.


A Critical Reading of the Works of Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā and His Associates (1898-1935)
Author: Umar Ryad
No previous full-scale study has been undertaken so far to study the polemical writings of the Muslim reformist Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍā (1865-1935) and his associates in his well-known journal al-Manār (The Lighthouse). The book focuses on the dynamics of Muslim understanding of Christianity during the late 19th and the early 20th century in the light of al-Manār’s sources of knowledge, and its answers to the social, political and theological aspects of missionary movements in the Muslim World of Riḍā’s age. The basis of the analysis encompasses the voluminous publications by Riḍā and other Manārists in his journal. Besides, it makes use of newly-discovered materials, including Riḍā’s private papers, and some other remaining personal archives of some of his associates.
Author: Umar Ryad

On the basis of fresh documents, the paper deals with the Dutch convert to Islam Mohammed Ali van Beetem (d. 1938), who travelled to Egypt in 1934 and established ties with Muslim reformists, such as Muhhib al-Din al-Khatib (1886–1969). It sheds new light on Van Beetem’s leading role among Indonesian communities in the Netherlands, his conversion to Islam, his attempts to establish a mosque and a Muslim graveyard in The Hague, his relations with Muslim reformists, and participation in the first European Muslim Congress in Geneva under the auspices of the Druze Prince Shakib Arslan in 1935.

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
In: New Faith in Ancient Lands
In: Roads to Paradise: Eschatology and Concepts of the Hereafter in Islam (2 vols.)