Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation

Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation

Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation

Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation

Synopsis

Tariq Ramadan has emerged as one of the foremost voices of reformist Islam in the West, notable for urging his fellow Muslims to participate fully in the civil life of the Western societies in which they live. In this new book, he tackles head-on the main roadblock to suchparticipation--namely, the rulings of Islamic jurists that make Islam seem incompatible with modern, scientifically and technologically advanced, democratic societies. Ramadan argues that it is crucial to find solutions that will enable Western Muslims to remain faithful to Islamic ethics while fully living within their societies and their time. He notes that Muslim scholars often refer to the notion of ijtihad (critical and renewed reading of thefoundational texts) as the only way for Muslims to take up these modern challenges. But Ramadan argues that, in practice, such readings have reached the limits of their ability to serve the faithful in the West as well as the East. In this book, he sets forward a radical new concept of ijtihad,which puts context--including the knowledge derived from the hard and human sciences, cultures and their geographic and historical contingencies--on an equal footing with the scriptures as a source of Islamic law. This global and comprehensive approach, he says, seems to be the only way to gobeyond the current limits and face up to the crisis in contemporary Islamic thought: Muslims need a contemporary global and applied ethics. Ramadan's radical proposal and the conclusions to which it leads him are bound to provoke discussion and controversy. Muslims and non-Muslims alike will have to contend with Ramadan's new idea of the very basis of Islam in the modern world.

Excerpt

The road has not always been smooth and the research and study have been long and sometimes very difficult. the reflections and proposals that readers will find here are the outcome of a long, deep immersion in the Universe of the “Islamic sciences.” For more than twenty years (nurtured by traditional teaching, accumulated readings, personal research, and the writing of books) I have repeatedly stated that the awakening of Islamic thought necessarily involves reconciliation with its spiritual dimension on the one hand, and on the other, renewed commitment and rational and critical reading (ijtihâd) of the scriptural sources in the fields of law and jurisprudence (fiqh). I have not changed my mind at this point: the luminous heart of Islam is indeed spiritual quest and initiation, and its universal dimension necessarily involves a continued process of reading and rereading, of faithful and innovative interpretation, leading to the formulation of adapted legal rulings (fatâwâ). Today’s Muslims, both in the East and West, urgently need contemporary fiqh, distinguishing what in the texts is immutable and what may be changed. I tackled this issue systematically in three books using different approaches: in To Be a European Muslim, I presented a new reflection based on the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.