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December 30, 2004


Yakoub Islam


I wonder how typical Al-Ghazali was of his age, in suggesting that only an elite could take in serious debates within Islam, whilst the majority were to be 'conditioned' into belief, with the majority of the ulama existing as polemical defenders of the faith?

Of course, the Shi'a took a different line, but along with a greater emphasis on individual responsibility, there developed a greater emphasis on obedience to the religious leadership.

Is the sense of 'self' one of the key facets of modernity and postmodernity, with its greater emphasis on personal responsibility? I think so, but I also think the problems of self are amongst the least debated yet most pervasive challenges of our age.

From Fromm's belief that bourgeoise fears were leading Europeans to abnegate responsibility (to the far-right), to Bauman's more recent concerns over the fluidity of the self, we seem to have a persistently problem with 'identity'.

Indeed, I would postulate that one the appeals of fundamentalism is that it provides a fixed and responsible identity through which individuals can claim to be acting consistently and ethically.

Your post provides much food for thought.




I believe there's a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) to the effect that God favors or loves the name 'Abd Allah. Indeed, everyone is a slave of God -- some of us just choose not to acknowledge it. So, yes, the idea that the individual is autonomous needs to be carefully stated. If it means autonomous from state and even society, then maybe that argument can and sometimes should be advanced.

But no one is sovereign. The idea seems to fly in the face of Islam...


Assalamu alaikum

Even though Jurists see rape as a intimidation from women's part by very explicit dressing. They are not letting rapists to go by with mere excuse.

Irrespective of whatever the reason behind the intimidation, rapists are bound for death sentence in Khilafah. Jurists point of view, concerning the intimidation is to bring women who are careless abt their appearance to the Book. It is only method of keeping balance,rather than Women-oppressing.

It is improper to pick out of context and criticize it. I understand thoroughly author of the blog doesnt agree with that view. But i assumed it would be worthwhile if make some comments on that.



"If it means autonomous from state and even society, then maybe that argument can and sometimes should be advanced.

But no one is sovereign. The idea seems to fly in the face of Islam..."

There is a really big contradiction here. And also raises a whole host of questions. How can you say that a person can be sovereign in a political or social sense, but not in a transcendent sense? After all, I don't see how it is possible to assert one's political sovereignty except by asserting one's transcendent sovereignty (the latter being the only 'power' greater than the political). For example, you can't say to the state, 'i am my own sovereign' unless 1) the state gives you permission, in which case you are not sovereign, or 2) you are inherently sovereign, which you could only suggest by relying on a sovereignty that is transcendent. You, in turn, may respond to me and say that well 'what I mean when I say that I am inherently sovereign is that I am a sovereign over all things except God, there God is my sovereign.' This might be a good rhetorical way out of the morass, but goes to hell in a handbasket when/if you live in a society/state which purports to BE the will of God and you end up going against it. In other words, your viewpoint would run into some serious problems when there is a confrontation between the man who says that he is inherently sovereign b/c sovereigty comes from God, and the Islamic state which replies, no fool, we are sovereign because we are the will of God. I'm kinda smiling writing this, because all this almost seems to suggest that the only place that you could AFFIRM that you are inherently sovereign while also simultaneously submitted to God, is a non-Islamic state.

anyone else feel free to comment.


My comment ended in an ellipsis, because I honestly have no idea. How can someone be autonomous, that is, responsible before God, and at the same time that person is not self-owning? There are numerous philosophical games that have been played with the question, but I don't know if there's a 'rational' answer. It's like asking, why are we, in the Islamic view, threatened with eternal punishment for lives that are quite (compared to "eternity") short?

But in my heart, the issue of autonomy does make sense. Perhaps it's an issue of how we phrase it -- are we autonomous, or sovereign? if we are autonomous, we are ultimately dependent on God, but no state can deny certain aspects of that autonomy. Perhaps that is the way out of the morass? What a funny word.


I can't believe i'm quoting Maulana Mawdudi but he's an example of a man who made himself sovereign, a master of his thoughts, true revolutionary

"I recognise no king or ruler above me, nor do i bow before any government; nor do i view any law as binding on me...nor do i accept any tradition or custom"....

The father of modern fundamentalism himself espousing his distate for anything but his own mind. I think truly great men and women have the ability to go beyond and above. Didn't Maududi himself reject orthodox ulema's?

"the conservative approach, represented by ulemas, is unrealistic. It fails to take note that life is ever situations relationships are being formed and new problems are arising..."

(moment to stifle laughter at Maulana Mauddid referring to another body as 'conservative'.)

But the point is you have to admire this man. Bit of a Superman.

But then whats the difference between him and us?

Do we have to kill someone like Raskolnikov to find out?

"trust yourself and you will know how to live" Goethe.

Note: I think the esteemed sholar died in A Boston hospital, attempting to to avail himslef of the western science and technology he raged against his whole life.

Note: Excuse grandiosity. studying at moment need to let of steam with quotes and pomposity...


Well, if you read Mawdudi's writings on apostasy, he seemed to have internalized certain strains of extremist secularism. For example, his rationale for killing apostates is the same one that the Soviet state used to kill their own. He even found proof for it in the Quran.

jeremy scott Shoes

The death toll may be as high as 16 if tests confirm the bacteria was responsible for three new deaths in New Mexico, Kansas and Wyoming.

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