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The Rise and Demise of Civilizational Thinking in Contemporary Muslim Political Thought

The Rise and Demise of Civilizational Thinking in Contemporary Muslim Political Thought

Chapter:
(p.195) 7 The Rise and Demise of Civilizational Thinking in Contemporary Muslim Political Thought
Source:
Debates on Civilization in the Muslim World
Author(s):
Halil Ibrahim Yenigun
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466887.003.0008

The perception of the religion of Islam as a civilization in itself is relatively recent and problematic. The chapter discusses Islam as a civilization through the prisms of specific Muslim thinkers such as Jamaladdin Afghani, Sayyid Qutb, and Hamid Dabashi. Afghani offered the concept of civilization as a political theory of Muslim resistance against the unitary conceptions of civilization in the West. Qutb deployed it as a framework for an all-harmonious vision of the universe under God. Dabashi argued for the obsolescence of the concept of civilization as a category for Muslim self-understanding. The author concludes by offering normative suggestions on the merit of this discourse for vibrant Islamist thought.

Keywords:   civilization debates, contemporary Islamist thought, Sayyid Qutb, Jamaladdin Afghani, Hamid Dabashi

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