The Pioneers of Reform and Renewal of Religious Thought in the Arab and Islamic worlds (Insights from The Mirage)

The Pioneers of Reform and Renewal of Religious Thought in the Arab and Islamic worlds (Insights from The Mirage)

  • 10 February 2016

Bringing religion into politics and vice versa is dangerous for both politics and religion. Islam and Muslims are inherently good. We are, however, faced with difficulties in regards to how we can utilize the tools of creativity and innovation to manage public affairs in a way that achieves the necessary goals of development, production and innovation.

Lessons are woven throughout the landmarks of history, where the circuitous paths of certain nations can be explained–and indeed rectified if applied as future guidelines for humanity and the social sciences. Alternatives and solutions can be extrapolated from such lessons, enabling societies who subject themselves to self-criticism to emerge from the darkness into light of understanding and progress.

Throughout history, the banner of reform and enlightenment has been carried by those who worked to merge modern thought with inherent, traditional beliefs.  Working towards a more integrated system of affiliation, such reformists – many of whom who had been raised with the heritage of Islamic political thought – reflected their thoughts in writing. These enlightened thinkers include Refa’ah Rafie’ Al-Tahtawi,  Hayreddin Pasha (Khayr Al-Din Pasha Al-Tunisi), Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani, Al Sayed Amir Ali, Mohamed Tahar bin Achour and Allal Al-Fassi among others.

Based on these pioneers, The Mirage tackles and elaborates the description of religious groups and the factors of both progress and backwardness; providing a critical look at the ideas and trends of such pioneers and others in societies that did not know how to lay down the foundations of independent reasoning (ijtihad) and were not prepared to for the challenges of the present. This led to the emergence of groups with ideas such as ignorance of contemporary society (jahiliyya) and divine sovereignty (hakimiyya).

The lecture deals with using the mind to exercise reasoning—namely in terms of the most significant features relevant to progress, enlightenment, reform and renewal.  The lecture additionally will focus on utilizing the basis upon which past reformists sought to take up the cause of enlightenment in the West, and in the Arab and Muslim worlds; and using such a foundation to further consider the ways in which religious reformation can be both assimilated and renewed in contemporary society.

The solution for Arab and Muslim societies is actually quite simple; where ideological and spiritual worship is commonplace, the principles should be both adopted and preserved in order to optimize the future trajectory of development. Consequently, it is high time that all political actors act with wisdom in order to create developed and sophisticated states and civilizations.

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LECTURER

Wednesday 10 February 2016

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Wednesday 10 February 2016

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