Islam and the Modern Age: An Analysis and an Appraisal

Islam and the Modern Age: An Analysis and an Appraisal

Islam and the Modern Age: An Analysis and an Appraisal

Islam and the Modern Age: An Analysis and an Appraisal

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to analyse the problems of the contemporary Muslim world in relation to their ancient foundations and to examine the reasons for their pre-eminence in our day. Those factors in Islam that remain valid independent of external circumstances or specific epochs are to be brought into relief, for they provide the unchanging inner motivation for Muslim action and thought.

The Islamic world has emerged from its centuries-long isolation and has renewed its participation in world affairs. Many of its conflicts are caused by the re-established contact with the West; their effects on Muslim attitudes, as well as their solutions, gravely concern both East and West. The second task of this essay, therefore, is an analysis of the problems caused by the meeting of the western and eastern mentalities.

The first part of the book, which deals with Islamic principles, utilizes literary sources, mainly the original Muslim classics, while the second part is based extensively on the author's personal observations. The study aims at an integrated representation of the problems that have faced Islam throughout the nearly fourteen centuries of its existence, not at a descriptive enumeration of detail. This purpose also accounts for a certain selectivity in the topics discussed.

Three extensive stays in Egypt (in 1947, 1950/51, and 1955) and one in West Pakistan (in 1955), with short visits to other Arab and Middle East countries (including three weeks in Delhi, India, and its surroundings), profoundly impressed the writer. They provided, through personal observation and friendship with men and women in every walk of life, the opportunity to experience "the Muslim way of life" and evaluate the Muslim's point of view. Her hosts welcomed their Jewish guest and made her feel at home in their midst in spite . . .

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