Journal for Islamic Studies - Volume 29, Issue 1, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 1, 2009
Author Goolam VahedSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 29, pp 2 –32 (2009)More Less
This paper establishes the historical context of Muslim-Christian relations at the Cape, the role played by Ahmed Deedat in this relationship, and the public reaction to his role. It focuses in particular on his reaction to the polemics of various churches against Islam and the divisions among Muslims regarding Christian-Muslim relations. Opposition to Deedat among Muslims underscored deeper discursive differences between traditional >ulamŒ< and those that we may term 'modernist', even if in time they proved to be more traditional. Deedat's influence was at its height between approximately 1960 and 1980. Thereafter, it began to decline, partly due to the emergence of new organisations and leaders in the Cape, who were involved in the wider anti-apartheid movement, due also to the fact that Deedat's own gaze was shifting outwards towards the international Muslim world. If Deedat's intention was to restore the confidence of rank-and-file Muslims, he succeeded for a period, but support for the very public 'Deedat-style' activities eventually declined.
Manifestations of African Islam : a case study of African Muslims in Kwa-Nobuhle Township in the Eastern CapeAuthor Simphiwe SesantiSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 29, pp 33 –58 (2009)More Less
Early in 2003, African Muslims in Uitenhage's township Kwa-Nobuhle learnt that Muslim women led by Sheikh Nceba Salamntu, then the Imam of the New Brighton Mosque, in Port Elizabeth, participated in a burial process, entering right into the graveyard itself; a hitherto proscribed exercise. The resultant discomfort felt by the community in Kwa-Nobuhle, on the one hand, and excitement on the other, form the basis of discussion in this article. The article reveals that not only were these African Muslim women uneasy about the restriction imposed upon them until then, but were experiencing tensions in reconciling African culture with Islam. The proscription of music, regarded as haram (forbidden) by some Muslims, on one hand, and being one of the central features in African culture, on the other, caused tensions. The dominance of Arabic - the scriptural language shared by Muslims worldwide - in religious instructions and prayers, in a non-Arabic speaking environment, caused alienation for the township's African Muslim women.
Source: Journal for Islamic Studies 29, pp 59 –81 (2009)More Less
In Malaysia, where Islam is greatly politicised, Islamic NGOs are faced with the challenge of how to expand in size and reach without forfeiting their goals of non-partisan politics. This paper discusses how one NGO, the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia or ABIM), meets this challenge. Formed in 1972, ABIM has been able to claim space in the public sphere to accomplish two major things. The first is the critical assessment of the Malaysian government's performance over issues of secularisation. The second is the socialisation of Malay youths into understanding Islam as a religion and a culture that values life-long learning, critical attitude, and unity of thought achieved through schools, seminars and study circles. In the mid-1980s, it dawned upon ABIM that it might slide into obscurity if it continued to adopt an oppositional stance at a time when the economy was booming and the state had committed itself to promoting Islam. So ABIM adjusted to political currents in Malaysia by embracing developmentalism, marshalling its organising efforts for resource enhancement and adopting a 'participative approach' when dealing with the state. By doing so, ABIM became financially strong, avoided being involved in patronage politics and was still able to function as a system of checks and balances to the powers of the authorities.
Author Omer Mahir AlperSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 29, pp 82 –103 (2009)More Less
This article examines the nature of knowledge in the Baghdadian physician-philosopher Sa>d b. Man§'r Ibn Kamm'na (d. 683/1284), who is one of the most important and influential philosophers of the post-Avicennan period. In order to accomplish this aim, the article begins with a brief look at his view on the conception of the quiddity of knowledge, and then analyses his concept of knowledge and its closely related terms such as perception, consciousness, conception, assent, and truth. Next, the article outlines and discusses his view of the hierarchical structure of knowledge, which includes sensual, rational and prophetic knowledge. The study is concluded with some brief comments on the place of Ibn Kamm'na's position in the history of Islamic philosophy, arguing that although he follows a trend established by Avicenna, his views on the issue are not complete reproductions of Avicenna's ideas, but rather a synthesis, in which new philosophical and theological findings of the post-Avicennan period are integrated into the tradition established by his master.
Scholars of the circles : training of Qè¥s and transmission of Islamic scholarship along the East African Coast from the mid-19th century to the 21st centuryAuthor Abdulkadir HashimSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 29, pp 104 –143 (2009)More Less
Since the mid-19th century, darsa has played a significant role in shaping Islamic scholarship along the East African coast. This article discusses, firstly, the methodology adopted in darsa teaching and the influence of chuo (Qur<n School) on the orientation of Qè¥s. Islamic learning was based on a comprehensive syllabus (manhaj) that incorporated various disciplines to train Qè¥s for their future career. Secondly, the syllabus and its role in training Qè¥s are examined. Towards the turn of the twentieth century, a formalised system of Islamic learning was established in form of a madrasa, and the older syllabus was modified. The final part of the article illustrates the role of Qè¥s in the transmission of Islamic learning over generations through an intellectual chain.
The dynamics of Christian-Muslim relations in South Africa (ca 1960-2000) : From exclusivism to pluralism, Muhammad HaronAuthor G.J.A. LubbeSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 29 (2009)More Less
The author needs to be commended for this well-written South African record of Christian-Muslim relations in particular and inter-religious relations in general. Haron meticulously traces the (in many ways absent) relations between Muslims and Christians during the stormy years of Apartheid.
Author Rashid BeggSource: Journal for Islamic Studies 29, pp 145 –147 (2009)More Less
Islamic Studies lays claim to a rich history of scholarship on ethical philosophy. This discipline owes much to the Buyyid philosopher ibn Miskawayh (d. 1030) and the scholarly genius of the Seljuk al-Ghazl¥ (d. 1111). The wealth of scholarship on al-Ghazl¥ often leaves one with the nagging question: how was al-Ghazl¥'s knowledge socialised? From a socio-historical perspective, al-Ghazl¥'s textual contributions are often viewed in isolation, with ibn Miskawayh being one of the closest links to al-Ghazl¥ in the sociology of knowledge for this period, which is arguably the most influential textual period in Islamic history. Yasien Mohamed's tome The Path to Virtue: the Ethical Philosophy of Al-Raghib Al-Isfahani sheds much light on this hitherto pressing question, especially in the English world. After historically situating Isfahani between ibn Miskawayh and al-Ghazl¥ - by no means an easy task considering the limited biographical material available on Isfahani - Mohamed sets forth in translating Isfahani's text Kitb al-Dhar¥>ah il Makrim al-Shar¥>ah (The Book of Means to the Noble Qualities of the Law).