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    Bradley, Francis R. 2014. Islamic Reform, the Family, and Knowledge Networks Linking Mecca to Southeast Asia in the Nineteenth Century. The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 73, Issue. 01, p. 89.

  • Volume 6: Muslims and Modernity: Culture and Society since 1800
  • Edited by Robert W. Hefner, Boston University

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    The New Cambridge History of Islam
    • Volume 6: Muslims and Modernity: Culture and Society since 1800
    • Edited by Robert W. Hefner
    • Online ISBN: 9781139055925
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Book description

Unparalleled in its range of topics and geographical scope, the sixth and final volume of The New Cambridge History of Islam provides a comprehensive overview of Muslim culture and society since 1800. Robert Hefner's thought-provoking account of the political and intellectual transformation of the Muslim world introduces the volume, which proceeds with twenty-five essays by luminaries in their fields through a broad range of topics. These include developments in society and population, religious thought and Islamic law, Muslim views of modern politics and economics, education and the arts, cinema and new media. The essays, which highlight the diversity and richness of Islamic civilization, engage with regions outside the Middle East as well as within Islam's historic heartland. Narratives are clear and absorbing and will fascinate all those curious about the momentous changes that have taken place among the world's 1.4 billion Muslims in the last two centuries.

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  • 1 - Introduction: Muslims and modernity: culture and society in an age of contest and plurality
    pp 1-36
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    On the eve of the modern era, Islam, not Christianity, was the most globalised of the world's religions. Although a source of great social and intellectual dynamism in pre-modern times, the pluralism of Muslim culture and society was susceptible to normative attack in the name of God's law and Muslim unity. By the end of the nineteenth century, a non-monist, reform Sufism was the norm in most Muslim lands. Not all Muslim societies were subject to direct colonial rule, but all were affected by the emergence of a European-dominated world system. For example, in the Muslim world the secularising impact of capitalism and capitalist culture has long tended to be weaker than in Western Europe. There had always been Muslim thinkers and parties opposed to the nationalist project. Nowhere have the cultural and political ambiguities of the Islamic resurgence been more vividly expressed than with regard to women.
  • 3 - Population, urbanisation and the dialectics of globalisation
    pp 69-106
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    This chapter examines the impact of the phases of economic globalisation and Western dominance since the late nineteenth century on urbanisation, industrialisation and social inequality in the Muslim world. It also examines how mainstream Islam is responding to the challenges of globalisation. The most important colonial legacy was the social composition of the nationalist movement that arose in opposition to colonial rule. These movements varied across the Muslim world in the degree to which they mobilised their respective populations and in the composition of the new elites that orchestrated the mobilization. Countries such as Turkey and Egypt, illustrate the conventional wisdom that increasing inequality accompanies structural adjustment. Distinct from and sometimes in opposition to political Islam, an economic movement of Islamic finance emerged with aspirations to reshape economic globalisation in a new image of the daār al-Islaām. The demographic bulge could be viewed as a time bomb that threatened every Muslim political economy.
  • 4 - The origins and early development of Islamic reform
    pp 107-147
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    Early modern Islamic reform can be classified under two general rubrics: the first encompasses the eighteenth-century reform activities that preceded the cultural impact of Europe. The second includes a spectrum of nineteenth-century reforms that were articulated in response to this impact. This chapter provides overviews of the careers and ideas of some of the main thinkers of the eighteenth century. Given the predominance of the Wahhābī paradigm in scholarship on the eighteenth century, it underscores the fundamental differences between each of these figures and Muḥammad Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhāb, before proceeding to identify some distinctive features of eighteenth-century Islamic thought. One aspect of Islamic culture that has been commonly invoked in revisionist histories of the eighteenth century is the so-called neo-Sufism. The chapter finally discusses the historical rupture that characterises the rise of new trends of Islamic reform in the second half of the nineteenth century, and the evolution of these trends into the twentieth century.
  • 5 - Reform and modernism in the middle twentieth century
    pp 148-172
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    The middle decades of the twentieth century are years of major transformations in Muslim societies. These two broad trends, the transformation of political systems and the redefinition of the relationship between religion and modernity, shaped the history of Muslim movements of reform and modernism. The alternatives posed were assimilation into the imperial identity or definition of the Algerian nation in terms of the non-national identity of Islam. The real competition took place between the Islamic groupings and the emerging forces of more secular nationalism and materialist radicalism. The major form of modernism in the inter-war era is the Salafī movement which continued the work of people like Muḥammad 'Abduh. However, as African states gained independence by the 1960s, they operated within the boundaries set by imperialism and the new states were the direct heirs of the imperial administrations. Zaynab al-Ghazālī highlighted the competition between Muslim activism and nationalism as it developed by the 1960s.
  • 6 - Islamic resurgence and its aftermath
    pp 173-197
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    Socially, Islamic resurgence had deep roots in the processes of urbanisation, spread of literacy and higher education and expansion of the public sphere by the media of mass communication. Politically, it was decisively conditioned by state- and nation-building and modernisation, and especially by political mobilisation and the need it created for culturally rooted political ideologies. This chapter identifies three processes of modern social change which were in fact conducive to a broad revival of religious activity throughout the Muslim world. These processes are inter-related and overlap chronologically, but can be analytically separated into the following: urbanisation; the development of transport, communication and the mass media and the consequent enlargement of the public sphere, and spread of literacy and education. The technological revolution in mass media of communication, one of the most powerful engines of globalisation, was already having a transformative impact on contemporary Islam.
  • 7 - The new transnationalism: globalising Islamic movements
    pp 198-217
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    This chapter provides a brief history of Islamic transnationalism and also outlines a typology of contemporary transnational Islam. It identifies the major categories of Muslim actors whose work and activities transcend national boundaries, including intergovernmental and state-sponsored organisations, educational institutions, intellectual and scholarly networks, non-governmental organisations, political parties, radical groups, pietistic and mystical brotherhoods and key individual personalities. Sufi networks, perhaps the most historically durable form of Muslim transnationalism, have existed since the second century following the death of the Prophet. Since the 1950s, there have emerged a number of radical Islamist movements whose aspirations are not defined in national terms but rather in terms of a renewed global Muslim polity. The chapter finally explains the significance of contemporary Muslim transnationalism for wider Islamic history by identifying several key themes around Muslim identity, the reconfiguration of religious authority and Islamic alternatives to globalisation.
  • 8 - Muslims in the West: Europe
    pp 218-237
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    Major Muslim immigration to Europe began as part of the colonial ventures of the nineteenth century, but in multiple ways Islam has long been part of Europe. The rise of political Islam encouraged Muslims in Europe to form religion-based associations, but it also heightened fears of Islam by other Europeans. Tariq Modood argues that British immigrants have achieved a level of civic impact much greater than in France and Germany. In contrast to France and Britain, Germany developed an ethno-national idea of citizenship in the nineteenth century, which left it resistant to the idea of citizenship through naturalization. As in Germany and France, the display of Islamic identity in public schools has been a source of controversy in the Netherlands. Belgium, like Germany and unlike the Netherlands, funds those religions that it recognises and supports religious instruction in public schools. Although parts of Spain and Italy were once Muslim, the Muslim presence today is largely due to recent immigration.
  • 9 - Muslims in the West: North America
    pp 238-253
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    In North America, unlike Central and South America where Islam remains an insignificant force, Muslims are overtaking Jews as the principal non-Christian minority group. Canada and the United States have certain similarities: both are predominantly Christian nations with relatively high levels of religious belief and practice and neither country has an establishment church. Muslims in Canada are almost all immigrants rather than indigenous converts. African Americans turned to Islam in the early twentieth century, seeking to escape Christianity and white domination. South Asian and Arab Muslims dominate the national leadership of Muslim organisations like the Islamic Society of North America and Islamic Circle of North America. The tragedy of 11 September 2001, and evidence that Islamic extremists carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon changed the trajectory along which American Muslims were moving.
  • 10 - New frontiers and conversion
    pp 254-268
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    This chapter will focus on Islamic expansion in West Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At the same time that jihad leaders were attempting to construct a new kind of Islamic state, certain Sufi shaykhs began to institutionalise new forms of ṭarīqa affiliation, paving the way for a quieter but more durable transformation of Islamic practice. The attitudes of the French and British administrations towards Islam were admittedly distinct, partly due to the prior colonial experiences of each country, partly to the role of religion in metropolitan politics. The colonial transformations of the political, economic and social domains of West African society were far more important in explaining the expansion of Islam than the intentional religious policies of the colonial powers. Islamisation in Côte d'Ivoire provides a salient contrast with the Senegalese case. At the same time that Islam was expanding in West Africa, Christianity was winning converts in its own right.
  • 11 - Contemporary trends in Muslim legal thought and ideology
    pp 269-295
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    The Islamic revival of the later decades of the twentieth century featured the call for the application of the sharīʿa as its central plank. The main thrust of modernity and the modern state is the unification and étatisation of law. Conservative Salafism, partly through Saudi influence, constitutes the legal ideology and practice of many social groups in the Muslim world and among Muslims in the West. Movements of reform, as well as secularist projects, have attempted since the nineteenth century to relativise Qurānic and traditional provisions in order to adapt them to what they saw as modern contingencies and sensibilities. Maṣlaḥa, variously translated as 'public interest', 'utility' and 'expediency' is a central concept in the history of Muslim legal thought and practice. Ḥasan al-Turābī of Sudan is one of the most important Islamic thinkers and public figures of recent times. The appeal to science as support for religion has been a regular theme in Islamic reformism since the nineteenth century.
  • 12 - A case comparison: Islamic law and the Saudi and Iranian legal systems
    pp 296-313
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    This chapter focuses on sharī'a as law and constitution in modern times. Siyāsa shar'iyya theory covers the most basic constitutional question, the legitimacy of state rule. The constitutional system endured for centuries, affording a means by which the ideals of Islamic law were brought into practical relation to the day to day needs of state legal systems. The chapter identifies basic premises or characteristics of the late medieval system of laws and government. They all concern certain sharī'a-derived normative assumptions about law and government widely held in pre-modern times. The realms of law assigned to the scholars' law rapidly shrank, their place taken by state-issued compilations deriving from Western laws. Saudi Arabia, representing the traditionalist type, never experienced a modern drastic shift of its legal system towards Western legal forms and institutions. Iran offers a starkly contrasting case study, states formerly modernised using Western legal models which, after violent upheaval, claim to install a pure Islamic state.
  • 13 - Beyond dhimmihood: citizenship and human rights
    pp 314-334
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    European colonialism and its aftermath have drastically transformed the basis and nature of political and social organisation within and among 'territorial states' where all Muslims live today. This chapter seeks to clarify and redress a discrepancy through an examination of the question of citizenship which has far-reaching implications for political stability, constitutional governance and development at home and international relations abroad. It uses a human-rights-based view of citizenship to emphasise that the substantive norms and procedural/process aspects of this status should be derived from or at least consistent with present universal human rights standards. The chapter also examines the traditional Islamic notion of dhimmihood, which signified protection of some basic rights and limited communal autonomy for specific groups of non-Muslims, in exchange for their submission to Muslim sovereignty. It finally reviews the transition from dhimmihood to modern conceptions of citizenship in some post-colonial Islamic societies.
  • 14 - The ʿulamāʾ: scholarly tradition and new public commentary
    pp 335-354
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    The memoirs of Manazir Ahsan Gilani, who had come for advanced studies to the madrasa of Deoband in 1912, offers a vivid portrait of the culture and discourses of the ulama at the beginning of the twentieth century. Just as an emphasis on the overall framework of taqlid does not preclude limited forms of ijtihad, so too, for Kashmiri, is the authority of earlier modes of discourse not binding in all respects. An ability to appeal to people with a modern education has come to be more than a desideratum for the ulama; it has become a crucial part of their own claims to religious authority. Yusuf al-Qaradawi's orientation may broadly be characterised as 'Salafi' in that his legal discourse assumes an unmediated access to the Quran and the Hadith rather than being canalised through a particular school of law. In modern and contemporary Islam, neither the revisionist discourses nor the responses to them have come exclusively from the ulama.
  • 15 - Sufism and neo-Sufism
    pp 355-384
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    Institutional Sufism from the nineteenth century to today can be assessed under three discrete but related rubrics: Sufi Africa, Sufi Asia and Sufi America. The eponymous founder of the Wahhabi movement acknowledged three kinds of tawhid as integral to the intellectual defence of Islamic belief: tawhid al-rububiyya, tawhid al-uluhiyya and tawhid al-sifat. The nineteenth century was Muslim Africa's Sufi century. Especially in nineteenth-century Africa, colonial rivalries as well as competition between the tariqas were crucial to understanding the role of institutional Sufism. The Tijanis illustrate the force of colonialism as well as the emergent profile of neo-Sufism. The twentieth century produced a series of developments that moved beyond Africa and its many Sufi brotherhoods. Amplifying the claim that the twentieth century was marked by Asian Sufis was the residual impact of the Naqshbandiyya in Turkey and beyond Turkey, in Central Asia. In World Music albums, international festivals and fusion performances, Sufi music has been performed in contexts never before envisioned.
  • 16 - Islamic political thought
    pp 385-410
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    Islamic political thought might be studied around the theme of a new era in which all parts of the Muslim world responded to alien intrusion. In both the Ottoman Empire and Iran the essential factor stimulating political thought was how to strengthen the existing state. It was even more evident with the Islamic reformist movement of Egyptian Shaykh Muhammad Abduh that was, of course, directly treating theological issues. A constitutionalist ideology and the actual creation of constitutions and parliaments emerged in these years not only in the Ottoman Empire, but also in Egypt, Tunisia and Iran. Two political ideologies arising in the nineteenth century advanced quite different ideas of the nature and boundaries of the political community. One was nationalism in its several different varieties, the other pan-Islam. All Indians, Muslim and non-Muslim, belong to the Indian homeland which is their nation even while the Muslims constitute their own nation. Certain Islamists have advocated the restoration of the caliphate.
  • 17 - Women, family and the law: the Muslim personal status law debate in Arab states
    pp 411-437
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    In the late twentieth century, a combination of geopolitical developments focused particular attention on the Islamic sharia and specifically on its role as an identity and legitimacy signifier for opposition movements in and the governments of Muslim majority states. In an age characterised inter alia by globalisation, new media and identity politics, Muslim family law in Arab states is a site of intense debate and contestation beyond national and regional borders and across disciplinary boundaries. Women critical of uncodified family law in Bahrain became embroiled in court cases with members of the sharia judiciary. The official invocation of sharia as the sole regulatory framework for Muslim personal status law has practical impact beyond the political and ideological debate. The chapter also discusses recent legislative developments in Jordan on the age of marriage, in Morocco on polygyny and in Egypt on divorce.
  • 18 - Culture and politics in Iran since the 1979 revolution
    pp 438-472
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    Iranian culture and society were profoundly affected by the mass revolution of 1978-79. Circumstances prior to the revolution favoured the rapid rise of religious politics in the later 1970s. With the end of that war in 1990 Hizbullah began to enter local politics as a political party. Iranian aid helped it set up a network of social, educational and welfare institutions, which increased its support. The position of women was central to the revolution's early rulers, who attacked modernised women as 'Western dolls', while Khomeini abrogated the Family Protection Law before any other law. Intellectual trends regarding theology and politics were dynamic in the period since 1979, and especially since the mid-1990s. Mahmud Ahmadinejad has made provocative foreign policy statements. About half of Iran's people are native Persian-speakers, mostly Shii. Iran's minorities are all distinct, but they may be ranged in several categories. The electoral victory of President Ahmadinejad in 2005 and his subsequent rule reinforced the conservative trend.
  • 19 - Modern Islam and the economy
    pp 473-494
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    Since the nineteenth century, when it became abundantly clear that the Islamic world had become economically underdeveloped with respect to Western Europe and its cultural offshoots on other continents. The basic argument of Islamic economics is simple: many verses of the Quran encourage effort and enrichment, and the economic prescriptions developed during Islam's earliest period are ideally suited to economic development. In fact, the 1990s saw growing support for reforms considered heretical just a few decades earlier, when modernists objected to the zakat systems on the drawing board. Pre-modern Islam featured no banks in the modern sense, let alone 'Islamic' banks. Efforts to give economics a religious cast stemmed also, then, from a protectionist impulse. There was a growing demand for poverty alleviation, so identifiably Islamic redistribution instruments had to be found. The world's first commercial Islamic banks, too, were established at this time, making Mawlana Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi's blueprint at last a reality.
  • 20 - Islamic knowledge and education in the modern age
    pp 495-520
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    This chapter examines the impact of modern developments on the transmission of Islamic knowledge and the forms of Islamic education. To assess the scale of modern changes, it looks first at the varieties of Islamic education in earlier times. The medieval institution gradually assumed a form similar to that of traditionalist madrasas still today. The relationship between the new Ottoman schools and state-regulated madrasas, however, did not remain entirely dualistic. The chapter then examines the changes that took place in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and their implications for modern Muslim culture and politics. It shows that the modern period Islamic education has been neither institutionally monolithic nor pedagogically conservative, but characterised by a dizzying plurality of actors engaged in continuous educational experimentation. It finally discusses the central issue with which Muslim educational reformists have been preoccupied has been the question of just what is required for an authentic profession of Islam in the modern world.
  • 21 - History, heritage and modernity: cities in the Muslim world between destruction and reconstruction
    pp 521-548
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    In recent years, Islam's two holiest cities have been purged of the ancient architectural vestiges of a more tolerant past. In the name of Wahhabi conceptions of religious purity, the Saudi leadership stripped Mecca and Medina's historic sites of 'heretical effigies fearing that heritage preservation 'could lead to polytheism and idolatry'. The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were times of great physical, political and socio-economic change for Muslim cities. Muslim urban history and Western historiography of modernity have been inseparably interwoven since the inception of urban studies as a sub-discipline of Orientalism in the twentieth century. All urban plans for Algiers of the colonial period shared a pedagogy of difference in which the cultural otherness of the colonised was set in stone as absolute and irreducible. Modern Ottoman port-cities emerged at a time when the eastern Mediterranean was incorporated into the world economy. Imperial capitals and colonial cities generally tended to have a poorer record of municipal governance than provincial cities.
  • 22 - Islamic philosophy and science
    pp 549-571
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    This chapter presents an overview of Islamic philosophy and science in the modern period, especially since 1800. The ulama sometimes fought against certain modern medical procedures and their operating institutional structures introduced by European colonisers and Christian missionaries, especially in the field of public health. In terms of numerical and imperial magnitude, the Ottomans represented the largest segment of Muslim peoples, and here practically the entire body of newly emerging elites supported the cultivation of modern science. To reiterate, Iranian ulama's resentment to modern science education was not substantive but cultural and associationist. A post-Ghazali rapprochement between kalam and philosophy is an important element in the background of later philosophical developments in Muslim societies. The fundamental defining feature of Mulla Sadra's philosophy, particularly as it is presented in the Asfar. The pride of place here belongs to the Khayrabadi School whose most illustrious representative Fadl-i Haqq, exiled by the British following the 1857 rebellion, himself wrote logical treatises.
  • 23 - The press and publishing
    pp 572-596
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    This chapter focusses on the periodical press and its assimilation in Muslim countries, with emphasis on the Middle East. In Qajar Iran, a government functionary, Mirza Salih Shirazi, published the first paper in Tehran in 1837, loosely known as Akhbar-i Waqayi. The first Muslim community to produce local private journalism was apparently that of India, where Muslims were publishing newsletters and journals in Persian and Urdu already in the 1820s and 1830s. Egyptian-based papers by Turkish and Persian expatriates had a loyal readership in Turkey and Iran. European propagators were also responsible for first disseminating mass-produced religious texts in Islamic languages. In the cultural periodicals, especially, a dialogue was evolving between writers and readers, with the latter sending queries and essays and responding to those of others, which often ran across provincial boundaries. Printing became a routine feature of public life in the Middle East after the First World War.
  • 24 - The modern art of the Middle East
    pp 597-624
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    This chapter reviews some of the major modern art movements in the Islamic Middle East. It also discusses the births of some of these movements in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Egypt. The modern art of Turkey went through a number of phases each strongly influenced by different Western art movements. A highly significant exhibition held in America in 1962 opened up the debate about the nature of Iranian contemporary art and prompted Abby Grey to begin forming one of the earliest collections of Middle Eastern art to be assembled in the West. Mukhtar's work belongs to a phase of Egyptian art described as neo-Pharaonism which was nationalist in aspiration. The chapter explains the role of Arabic calligraphy, and changing attitudes towards figural representation. It shows how artists reflect issues of gender, religion and politics across the region, and finally returns questions of definition and the term 'Islamic' in this regard.
  • 25 - Cinema and television in the Arab world
    pp 625-647
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    Markets for cinema and television in the Muslim world are fragmented linguistically, historically and geographically, hence a meaningful treatment of the entire Muslim world is impossible. Arabic-language films are of three types: co-productions financed by European film and television companies, films financed and produced by states and commercial films. Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia have all engaged in public-sector filmmaking. Aside from a few private initiatives to establish film training schools, the creation of training facilities has been largely in the hands of states. There have been abortive initiatives to establish training facilities in the Maghreb, Syria and Iraq. Both the scale of production and the social embeddedness of television far exceed those of cinema. Douglas Boyd provides a serviceable historical survey of Arab television and radio. Satellite television broadcasts began in the early 1990s from a number of different satellites, including Arab-owned equipment, as well as European-owned satellites.

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