Syllabus of “Modern Islamic Thought”

Modern Islamic Thought


Course Description

Modern Islamic Thought is designed as a course that acquaints students with important intellectual movements and orientations in the modern and contemporary Islamic world since the 19th century. It examines measures taken by Muslim intellectuals in their attempt to accommodate traditional Islamic notions in light of modernity and contemporary epistemic conditions and contexts. The new surge of Islamic thinking which they represent appears as multifarious strains rather than confined into monolithic articulation. Thus modern and contemporary intellectual movements and tendencies will be investigated through the works of their main proponents. The relationship between Muslim thought and the West will also be properly explored.

The course will begin with an historical survey on the early modern Islamic thought propounded by Jamal al-din al-Asadabadi and his student Muhammad Abduh. The first part ends with some of the most influential Muslim thinkers that attempted to reconstruct Islam. The second part introduces some sort of cartography of modern Islamic thought in which many intellectual movements from revivalism to Islamic feminism will be examined. The third part constituted geography of thought that tries to elaborate Islamic thinking and intellectual development within spatial considerations. The overall aim of this course is to provide and to engage students with the main of the whole gamut of ideas emerging from the engagement of Islamic thought with modernity and zeitgeist.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, a student is expected to have acquired the following:

  • Understanding of the development of modern Islamic thought from its historical, political, social, and cultural context
  • Understanding of several Islamic intellectual movements that emerged since the 19th century as a result of engagement with modernity and the West while attempted to contextualise Islamic notions
  • Acquiring knowledge and learning of various Islamic intellectual movements, their proponents and their transformation that later perhaps be used to develop as critical foundation for further rethinking of Islamic thought.
  • Developing an attitude of critical self-awareness about the possibilities of our intellectual tools and methods for understanding of modern and contemporary Islamic thought.

Course Requirement

The course is composed of considerable material both in the lectures and in the readings. It is assumed that students who register in the course will be obliged to fulfil minimum requirement of attendance and will be required to prepare all the readings before they arrive in class. To further motivate the preparation, there would be quizzes, class homework, group presentations, and group discussions to be conducted during the semester. The course can be expected to be highly appreciative of active participation and effective engagement demonstrated by sedulous students.

Assessment

The assessment for Modern Islamic Thought is determined to be based on the following:

Attendance 10%
Presentation and participation 20%
Mid term essay 35%
Final term essay 35%

Course Policies

The course holds to the belief that excellence in learning can be achieved in an intellectual environment where academic integrity is highly valued and carefully upheld. Consequently, all assignments, projects, reports, papers and examinations submitted to this course are expected to be the student’s own work. Students should always take great care to distinguish their own ideas and knowledge from information derived from sources. Students are responsible for educating themselves about plagiarism and will be held accountable for any consequences arising from deriliction and non-observance.

Methods of Instruction

In this course the methods of instruction will be composed of: lecture presentation, group presentation, group discussions, interactive dialogues, and audiovisual presentations.

Consultations

The course makes provision for consultations on academic issues pertaining to the lectures, the readings, and the course. Two hours in each week are allocated for this particular purpose. It will be made available on one hour before and one hour after the lecture. Students are welcome to contact the lecturer during working hours or through electronic means.

Required Readings

The required readings necessary for the course are composed of primary references, secondary references, audiovisual materials, and online resources. Students who enrol in this course are assumed to be internet literate and are expected to be able to take maximum advantage of online resources made available by the college. Secondary references are listed separately and be made available upon request.

Audiovisual materials during the duration of this course will be presented in the class and are consisted of the following film documentaries:

  • Tradition in the Modern World (extraction)
  • Dispatches: Muslim Reformation (extraction)
  • Women of Islam (extraction)

The primary references are methodologically prepared to provide perspectives and to allow students to work towards becoming independent readers that acquire rudimentary knowledge and understandings of the course. They are the following:

  • Abu-Rabi, Ibrahim M, 2006, The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Islamic Thought, Blackwell: Oxford
  • Abu-Rabi, Ibrahim, M, 2004, Contemporary Arab Thought: Studies in Post-1967 Arab Intellectual History, Pluto Press: London
  • Boroujerdi, Mehrzad, 1998, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism, Ithaca: Syracuse University Press
  • Cooper, John; Mahmoud, Mohammad; and Nettler, Ronald (eds), 2000, Islam and Modernity: Muslim Intellectual Respond, I.B. Tauris: London
  • Esposito, John L and Voll, John Obert, 2001, Makers of Contemporary Islam, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Hourani, Albert, 1983 (2002), Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age: 1798-1939, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Jahanbakhsh, Forough, 2001, Islam, Democracy, and Religious Modernism in Iran (1953-2000), Leiden: Brill
  • Kamrava, Mehran (ed), 2007, The New Voices of Islam: Rethinking Politics and Modernity, University of California Press
  • Kurzman, Charles (ed), 2002, Modernist Islam 1840-1940: A Sourcebook, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Moaddel, Mansoor and Talattof, Kamran (eds), 2000, Modernist and Fundamentalist Debates in Islam: A Reader, New York: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Nabavi, Negin (ed), 2003, Intellectual Trends in Twentieth Century Iran: A Critical Survey, Gainesville: University of Florida Press
  • Rahnema, Ali, 2005, Pioneers of Islamic Revival, Zed Books: New York
  • Safi, Omid, 2003, Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism, Oneworld Publications: London
  • Taji-Farouki, Suha (ed), 2006, Modern Muslim Intellectuals and the Quran, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Taji-Farouki, Suha, and Nafi, Basheer M (eds), 2004, Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century, London: I.B Tauris
  • Vogt, Kari; Moe, Christian; and Larsen, Lena (eds), 2008, New Directions in Islamic Thought, London: I.B Tauris

Course Content

The content of the course represented various topics discussed which are arranged as follows:

Part I. Description of Origins

  • What is modern Islamic thought? The seed of modern Islamic thought: Jamal al-din al-Asadabadi, Muhammad Abduh
  • More than Political Movement: Ikhwan al-Muslimin. Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb
  • Reconstruction of Islam I: Muhammad Iqbal, Hussein Nasr, Muhammad al-Ghazali
  • Reconstruction of Islam II: Imam Khomeini, Murtada Mutahhari, Muhammad Baqir Sadr

Part II. Cartography of Thought

  • Islamic identity: Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Ali Shariati, Hachim Djait, Daryush Shayegan
  • Islamic economics: Mahmud Taliqani, Muhammad Baqir Sadr, Nawab Naqvi
  • Islamic science: Ismail al-Faruqi, Naquib al-Attas, Mahdi Hairi Yazdi
  • Islamic Left: Abdullah Laroui, Hassan Hanafi
  • Islam and feminism: Fatimah Mernissi, Laila Ahmad, Ziba Mir-Husseini, Aminah Wadud
  • Islam and liberation theology: Asghar Ali Engineer, Farid Esack
  • Rethinking Islam I: Fazlur Rahman, Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd
  • Rethinking Islam II: Muhammad Abid al-Jabiri, Muhammad Arkoun

Part III. Geography of Thought

  • Islam in the West: Khaled Abu al-Fadl, Tariq Ramadan, Abdullahi an-Naim
  • Dynamics in Iran: Abdulkarim Soroush, Muhammad Mujtahid Shabestari, Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi
  • Turkey and Indonesia: Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Fathullah Gulen and Nurcholish Madjid
  • Dynamics in India: Wahiduddin Khan, Ali Nadwi, Mawdudi

Course schedule

The schedule of the course is arranged as follows:

Week

Description

Readings

1 Introduction

Part I.

What is modern Islamic thought?

The seed of modern Islamic thought: Jamal al-din al-Asadabadi, Muhammad Abduh

Michiel Leezenberg, 2006, Approaching Modern Islamic Thought

Cooper: introduction

Taji-Farouki et al: ch.2

Hourani: ch.5-7

Rahnema: ch.2-3

Kurzman: ch.3,11

Moaddel:ch.1,4-5

2 More than Political Movement: Ikhwan al-Muslimin, Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb Rahnema: ch.6-7

Moaddel: ch.19,21

3 Reconstruction of Islam I: Muhammad Iqbal, Sayyid Hussein Nasr, Muhammad al-Ghazali Abu-Rabi: ch.10

Kurzman: ch.43

Boroujerdi: ch.5

4 Reconstruction of Islam II: Imam Khomeini, Murtada Mutahhari, Muhammad Baqir Sadr Rahnema: ch.4,10

Moaddel:ch.30

Jahanbakhsh: ch.4

5 Part II. Cartography of Thought

Islamic identity: Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Ali Shariati, Hachim Djait, Daryush Shayegan

Moaddel: ch.28,32

Nabavi: ch.1,4

Boroujerdi: ch.3,5,6

6 Islamic economics: Mahmud Taliqani, Muhammad Baqir Sadr, Nawab Naqvi Taji Farouki et al: ch.7

Jahanbakhsh: ch.4

7 Islamic science: Ismail al-Faruqi, Naquib al-Attas, Mahdi Hairi Yazdi Esposito et al: ch.1
8 Islamic Left: Abdullah Laroui, Hassan Hanafi Abu-Rabi: ch.16

Abu-Rabi ed: ch.13

Kamrava: ch.12

Esposito et al: ch.4

9 Islam and feminism: Fatimah Mernissi, Laila Ahmad, Ziba Mir-Husseini, Aminah Wadud Safi: ch.6

Abu-Rabi ed: ch. 34-35

Kamrava: ch.8-10

Vogt et al: ch. 5

10 Islam and liberation theology: Asghar Ali Engineer, Farid Esack Safi: ch.2
11 Rethinking Islam I: Fazlur Rahman, Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd Taji-Farouki ed: ch.2,6

Kamrava: ch.7

12 Rethinking Islam II: Muhammad Abid al-Jabiri, Muhammad Arkoun Cooper: ch.7

Abu-Rabi: ch.12-13

Taji-Farouki ed: ch.5

Kamrava: ch.1

13 Part III. Geography of Thought

Islam in the West: Khaled Abu al-Fadl, Tariq Ramadan, Abdullahi an-Naim

Taji-Farouki et al: ch.3,9

Abu-Rabi ed: ch.16

Kamrava: ch.2

Vogt et al: ch.9-11

14 Dynamics in Iran: Abdulkarim Soroush, Muhammad Mujtahid Shabestari, Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi Cooper: ch.2

Taji-Farouki ed: ch.7

Kamrava: ch.13

Esposito et al: ch. 7

Vogt et al: ch.1

15 Turkey and Indonesia: Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Fathullah Gulen and Nurcholish Madjid Abu-Rabi ed: ch. 1-3

Taji-Farouki ed: ch.3

Kamrava: ch.3

16 Dynamics in India: Wahiduddin Khan, Ali Nadwi, Mawdudi

Rethinking on rethinking

Abu-Rabi ed: ch. 4-5,10

One response to “Syllabus of “Modern Islamic Thought”

  1. This message is being send for considering the below mentioned as part of the syllibus.Despite involvement in materialistic life a large section of the world society is in search of the truth; the truth about their life, purpose, God, creation of the universe and means of peaceful existence on this planet. Any philanthropist organization, even if religious, should aim to guide the humankind to truth without any bias. The truth may be from any religion, the true philanthropist organization should make efforts that truth reaches the people; especially those who are in search of the truth. There are several claimants who claim that they have the knowledge of truth but none of the claims can satisfy the test of scientific verification, rationality and sensibility of the human sense perceptions. The book “Natural World Order & The Islamic Thought” is basically a book of philosophy and contains the theory of phenomenon of life, theory of cosmology and the alternative political system which could be applicable & practicable and through which peaceful existence of humankind on this planet is possible. This book, in purpose, has been written in a style so that all readers could understand it; but only the philosophers could understand the deeper philosophical concepts which have been advanced through this work. The work is the final philosophy as on date concerning political philosophy, metaphysics, creation of life and cosmos.
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