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Revival and Reform in Islam

Revival and Reform in Islam
The Legacy of Muhammad al-Shawkani


Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: June 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521528900

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • Revival and Reform in Islam is at once an intellectual biography of Muhammad al-Shawkani, and a history of a transitional period in Yemeni history. This was a time when a society dominated by traditional Zaydi Shiism shifted to one characterised instead by Sunni reformism. The author traces the origins and outcomes of this transition, presenting the first systematic account of the ways in which the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century reorientation of the Zaydi madhhab, and consequent 'sunnification' of Yemeni society, were intricately linked to tensions within the political realm. In advocating juridical systematization of religious belief and practice, Shawkani espoused a socio-religious order which in its dominant features echoed key aspects of Western modernity. Yet he did so in a context bereft of Western ideational influence. This study then presents a textured account of eighteenth-century Islamic reformist thought and challenges the meaning of modernity in an Islamic context.

    • The first systematic account of intellectual and religious reform in pre-modern Yemen under the founding father of modern reformism, al-Shawkani
    • Proves the case of indigenous Islamic reform before the advent of European influence and ideas
    • Elegantly composed by a young scholar, already well known and respected in the field
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Haykel's thorough analysis of Sunni Traditionism in Yemen is a model study in its comprehensive utilization of local sources and the in-depth understanding of the debates of the era of al-Shawkani and the continuing importance of the issues raised in those debates. Haykel makes a very important contribution to understanding movements of revival and reform in Islam both as they developed in the eighteenth century and as they continue to develop at the beginning of the twenty-first century.' Islamic Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521528900
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 162 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Charismatic authority: the Qasimi Imamate in the seventeenth century
    2. Becoming a dynasty: the Qasimimi Imamate in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
    3. The absolute interpreter and 'Renewer' of the thirteenth century H
    4. The triumph of Sunni traditionism and the re-ordering of Yemeni society
    5. Clashing with the Zaydis: the question of cursing the Prophet's Companions (sabb al-sahaba)
    6. Riots in Sanaa: the response of the strict Hadawis
    7. Shawkani's legacy.

  • Author

    Bernard Haykel, New York University
    Bernard Haykel is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and History in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at New York University.

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