WHERE EAST MEETS WEST.
1. S. Parvez Manzoor, “The Crisis of Muslim Thought and the Future of the Ummah” in Ziauddin Sardar, ed., An Early Crescent:? The Future of Knowledge and the Environment in Islam (London: Mansell, 1989), pp. 57-91. The excerpts which follow are taken from this article.
2. The Institute is interested in soliciting the active collaboration of knowledgeable and dynamic elements who by virtue of training, background, experience, and proved interests could be expected to bring a genuine contribution to the realization of this project. Sponsoring round table discussions, assuming the format of brainstorming sessions to explore strategies of implementation, has been considered with this end in view. The idea is to steadily evolve a body of knowledgeable o pinion on this field and to extend the debate to involve ever-widening circle of Muslim intellectual and cultural circles.
3. The Capitalist World Economy, London: Cambridge University Press, 1979.
4. Cf. The America Political Science Review 82, no. 2 (June 1988), and Journal of Politics 50, no. 1 (February 1988) to which I have briefly alluded in an overview of trends in contemporary political thought. Mona Abul-Fadl, “Paradigms in Politics Science Revisited: Muslim Perspectives” in American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, (AJISS) 6, no. 1 (September 1989). Supplement. Also see “Contrasting Epistemics: The Vocationist, Tawhid, and Contemporary Social Theory,” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 7, no. 1 (March 1990).
5. In fact, F.S.C. Northrop, whose background was more with South East Asia in the post-War period, can be considered the father of the idea of an East/West cultural encounter when he first published the Meeting of East and West: An Inquiry Concerning World Understanding (New York: Macmillan, 1946). The theme could not have been too far from an ecumenically minded American opinion coming face to face with its responsibilities as a newly emerging great power on the international scene. Cf. C.A. Robinson, Alexander the Great: The Meeting of East and West in World Government (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1984, c. 1947). More recently, the theme has been taken up in psychocultural and historical perspectives as the following titles suggest, The Meeting of Two Worlds: Cultural Exchange between East and West during the Period of the Crusades edited by Vladimir Goss and Christine Bornstien (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 1986), and A.C. Paranjpe, Theoretical Psychology: The Meeting of East and West (New York: Plenum Press, 1984). Northrop’s insights however, retain heir originality and perhaps find some echoes in authors like C.P. Snow.
6. Renan became famous in the Muslim world for a historic debate he held with the great Muslim reformer of the age, Jamal al Din al Afghani (1838-1897). In fact, the apologetic discourse on the pace of reason and rationality in modernist Muslim circles was provoked by the spirit of that encounter. Ironically, it took a Westernizing stance to place the “Renan phenomenon” in its proper context and to see the futility and the pathos of the Muslim reactions to it. See Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1979), pp. 130-48.
7. From the outset, the semantics of the term has been a problem both in English and in Arabic. Cf. From Muslim to Islamic: The Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Convention of the AMSS (Indianapolis: AMSS, 1975). Clearly the issue goes beyond semantics to substance, where the point is the principles underlying the purist of knowledge and the redefinition of a viable contemporary rationality shaped in the tawhidi perspective. Formulating this pursuit in terms of a new perspective on da`wah in the modern setting has been perceptively remarked by Ziauddin Sardar in a compact overview on “Knowledge, Science and Islamization: A State of the Art Report” presented at the conference of the Future on the Ummah at Kuala Lumpur, 19-21 July 1987.
8. The Venture of Islam, Conscience and History in World Civilization (Chicago & London: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1974). The Classical World, Vol. 1. On the other hand, it could be argued that ideas retain a distinctiveness which reflects on the dynamic of their growth and spread. Unlike the production of commodities and the exercise of power where the traffic tends to be more concerted and patterns more authoritarian, this is not necessarily the case with the diffusion of culture. This underlies the remarks about the prospects of culture made above in chapter I.
9. Cf. Qur’an, 61:10 and 35:39. As a familiar idiom from the marketplace acquires moral and spiritual dimensions in Qur’anic usage, so too its extension to the social and cross-cultural domain exalts the notion of mutual interests and benefits beyond the confines of egoistic material concerns.
10. See example in chapter 6.
11. The emphasis and priorities then were somewhat different as it was predominantly conceived in terms of educational/curriculum reform. See chapter 4.
12. The following excepts are taken from the Prelude of the Progress and Policy Report on the Western Thought Project (PPR.WPT), Herndon, Va., December 1988.
13. Merryl Wyn Davies, Knowing One Another: Shaping an Islamic Anthropology (London: Mansell, 1988).
14. Ibid., p. 53.
15. See figure 3.
16The late Dr. Isma’il Raji al Faruqi (1339-1406/1921-1986) was born in Jerusalem and belonged to the first generation of a Palestinian diaspora that came to the United States in the early fifties. He graduated from the American University in Beirut in 1947 and returned briefly to an administrative post and later became the governor of the Upper Galilea in (1367/1948). He pursued his graduate studies in Indiana, Harvard and post-doctorate studies at Al Azhar and McGill and subsequently played an important role in promoting and developing Islamic study programs at American universities. He chaired the Department of Islamic Studies in Temple University which conducted one of the successful programs he had founded. In the sixties he played a key role in designing a curriculum in Islamics for the Islamic Research Institute in Islamabad, Pakistan, and by the latter seventies he was involved in several similar constructive ventures among Muslim communities throughout the globe. While a dedicated worker for a good cause, his energies were directed to the cultural and educational forum. Although he kept a low political profile, al Faruqi never forgot his homeland and the predicament of his people (see his work Islam and the Problem of Israel [London: the Islamic Council of Europe, 1980]). His dynamic and productive life came to an abrupt end with the brutal assassination of himself and his life-long mate and dearest companion, Lois Lamya' al Faruqi on 19th Ramadan 1405/27th May 1986. This is why he is referred to among those who have known him, worked with him and benefited from his dedication and his scholarship, as al Shahid – an honorific title of martyrdom given to Muslims who have spent their lives in a noble cause.
17. Dr. AbuSulayman is currently the Rector of the International Islamic University of Malaysia. Born in Makkah (1355/1936), educated in Cairo, Egypt, and the United States, he taught for some time at the University of King Saud in Riyadh where he played a key role in promoting grassroots youth and cultural Islamic institutions on a national and international scale. He presided over the founding of the World Assembly of Muslim youth in the seventies. Before going to Malaysia, he was the Director General at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and President of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. His doctoral dissertation, "The Islamic Theory of International Relations" (University of Pennsylvania (l394/1g]4), subsequently revised and published as a book, introduced new perspectives in Islamic methodology and political thought a field to which he continues to make significant contributions.
18. The academic status and learning, the mobility, dynamism, and sheer exuberance of the late professor were all factors which assured him a prominent role in articulating and venting the ideas of this group in the circles of the English-speaking world. His intimate association with the group had led to a deepening of his own Islamic intellectual commitment in later years. That was the period which also saw his own major and original contributions to a vocational scholarship in works like Trialogue of the Abrahamic Faiths, Toward Islamic English, Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life, The Cultural Atlas of Islam (a magnum opus which was coauthored with his wife, an original and creative scholar herself, and posthumously published by Macmillan).
19. A compact statement to this effect is found in a translated, edited, and notated version by Khurram Murad of a lecture delivered by Sayyid Abul A`la al Mawdudi more than four decades ago, Witnesses Unto Mankind (The Islamic Foundation, Leicester, 1986).
20. This was the title of a conceptual framework pioneered at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science in the academic years 19811984 in a graduate course on Arab politics. Since then, aspects of this approach have been developed in dissertations and other work outside the academy.
21. This is another expression which has gained currency in contemporary Islamic thought in the Arabic-speaking world, and was first popularized in Sayyid Qutb's intensive writings on the subject, including his original and popular tafsir (exegesis): Fi Zilal al Quri1n [In the shade of the Qur'an].
22. Bernard McGrane, Beyond Anthropology (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), one of the more recent studies inspired by Michel Foucault's work in this field which is relevant to our own interests in a cultural hermeneutic, excavates the origins and evolution of the perception of self and other in the field of sociocultural anthropology in a manner that places the evolution of a discipline in its true historical and political perspectives.
23. Introducing this concept see articles on "Islamization as a Force of Global Cultural Renewal: or The Relevance of a Tawhidi Episteme to Modernity" in ATISS, 5, no.2 (December 1988) and "Contrasting Epistemics: Tawhid, the Vocationist and Social Science," AJISS, 7, no.1 (March 1990).
24. See "The Art, the Artefact and the Artist: Introducing a Cultural Discourse" (forthcoming), and "Beyond Cultural Parodies and Parodizing Cultures: Shaping a Discourse" in the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 8, No.1 (March 1991), 15-43.
25. See the General Context Paper above, chapter 2.
26. This is the text of the preliminary Working Paper which was prepared for a round table held at the Institute in the Summer of 1409/1989. Its targeted audience was primarily, though not exclusively, Muslim, and its aim was to clarify aspects of the Western Thought Project and to impress the need to reconsider attitudes to the West from an independent and objective perspective as a test and condition for their own intellectual essor as Muslims. This sets the tone of the paper. I would also like to acknowledge the exchanges I had with Dr. Tam Jabir al Alwani on the subject while I was working on the draft for their influence in shaping and systematizing the ideas it presents.
27. Jt is important to distinguish between two levels in planning this project: the pedagogic level focusing on mastering the modern disciplines and producing authoritative textbooks to meet the educational needs of Muslim institutions. This is the level at which the Project is addressed in the official Prospectus of the Institute first published in 1402/1982, Islamization of Knowledge: General Principles and Workplan. The other level focuses on the broader intellectual and cultural dimensions of the Western heritage and assumes the educational goal within this broader perspective. This was the focus of PPR/WTP. The round table was invited to discuss the project in its broader perspective.
28. A more succinct statement on the objectives of the Project is found in the Introduction to PPR/WTP. The Report was drafted in a perspective that put the strategies of implementation in the context of the stated objectives. See above, chapter 3.
29. Knowing One Another, op. cit., p. 132. Cf. 115. In this chapter, the conceptual framework for an Islamic anthropology is developed by the author dextrously to produce the matrix for a viable inquiry grounded in the premises of the tawhidi paradigm of knowledge. In this latter context however such an anthropology is only the beginning for reconstructing a more holistic and unitary discipline for a restructured academia. Cf. p. 174.
30. Ibid., p. 140.
31. Cf. Davies. ibid., pp. 144150. Our own proposal for joining in the dominant discourse in its own terms is only suggested as one possibility for communicating across paradigms; it is no substitute for the real task of constructing a self-sustaining matrix of discourse from within the tawhidi semantic field which is the only logical position consistent with the objectives of "Islamization." Accessing the dominant idiom is part of the challenge of its reshaping and for going beyond it. Subscribing to existing rules can be no more than a temporary expedient to facilitate the encounter.
32. This consciousness exacts its moral consequences in a code of transactions based on `adl, ihsan, sidq, ma`ruf, t`aruf, mawaddah, birr, ta`awun among others – some of which values are included in the abovementioned sample of verses in the qur'an. The conceptual/semantic field in the Qur'an is one of the rich virgin fields and has only recently been broached in Muslim and non-Muslim scholarship. See Z. Sardar, The Future of Muslim Civilization (London: Croom and Helm, 1981) and an earlier attempt by T. Izutsu, Ethico-Religious Concepts in the Qur’an (Montreal: McGill Univ. Press, 1966). A relevant and concise inquiry related to this field is F. Denny's, "Ethics and the Qur'an: Community and Worldview,” in Ethics in Islam, edited by R. G. Hovannisian (Malibu, Calif: Undena Publications, 1985), 10321. In a renovationist Arabo-Islamic academy this is a burgeoning field. The case and method for approaching the Qur'an to reconstruct the matrix of a disciplinary inquiry is made in my Nahwa Minhajiyah li al Ta`amul ma`a Masadir al Tanzir al Islami fi al `Ulum al Siyasiyah paper presented at the Fourth International Conference of the Islamization of Knowledge held in Khartoum, January 1987. More specifically, the subject of a conceptual concordance of the Qur'an and Sunnah constitutes one of the priority programs in the Islamization of knowledge prospectus.
33. Charting cultural attitudes in the Muslim Ummah today has been briefly addressed above. See chapter 2.
34. The Cultural Barrier: Problems in the Exchange of Ideas (Edinburgh University Press, 1975). As the title suggests, the author's approach to cultural exchange is to examine those factors which inhibit communication in a practical context. "Within our own culture there is no 'alternative culture,’ only some development or reshaping of what we inherit, and what is commonly meant by an alternative culture is more what we may call an 'anticulture', that is, the same culture expressed in reactive terms. When we come to communicate with people of different traditions it is essential that we should not deal with them exclusively . . . in our own cultural terms . . ." This observation by the author sets the note for an enlightened and enlightening reading coming from within the Western tradition.
35. The Great Ideas: A Syntopican of Great Books of the Western World (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., University of Chicago, Chicago  1990) 2 volumes. This was conceived as a basic reference work in the sphere of ideas and was intended to take its place in a triad which included dictionaries and encyclopaedias. The aim of the syntopical reading of the 517 works it covered was to locate the unity and continuity of Western thought in the discussion of common themes and problems from one end of the tradition to the other. It is not a digest of ideas as much as it is an index and a guide to the works themselves. My own approach to scanning and selecting such sources is described in part I of the Progress Report (PPR/WTP) referred to above.
36. This concept is developed in the context of European intellectual history by Hans Blumenberg in his epic writing on the subject. Cf. The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, trans. by Robert M. Wallace, (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1983), pp. 455 ff. It could be used here to advantage in a critical reevaluation/periodization in Muslim cultural history. However, some earlier works of a comparable scale retain their value. See Karl Lowith, The Meaning of History, (Chicago: University of Chicago, Phoenix, 1949).
37. Figures like the French philosopher and ethnologist, Ernest Renan, whose views are cited as an epigram in the opening of this collection. The quotation is taken from Vincent Monteil, La Pensée Arabe (Paris: Seghers, 199?) .Like other orientalists, Renan left his marks on a generation of alienated Muslim thinkers, particularly in North Africa, who have sought to overcome their experiences of uprootedness and resolve their own ambivalences through intellectual and literary expression of varying caliber and "authenticity". For the European mindset at that epoch see Rana Kabbani, Europe’s Myths of Orient (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986)
38. The World and I: A Chronicle of our Changing Era 5, no.3 (March 1990): 390-427 provides a representative sample of Havel's perceptive writing from his book The Power of the Powerless followed by an instructive commentary on his life and ideas.
39. This relates to an obscenity case brought before the Supreme Court in early 1990 by local authorities in Cincinnati, Ohio, led by the Citizens for Community Values. It was occasioned by the exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center of controversial photographs of a deceased artist showing nudes and sadomasochistic and homoerotic activities which offended public sensibilities in one of the more propriety conscious midwestern cities in the United States. Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) – who died of AIDS – used his art as a medium to promote the political agenda of homosexuals. For an informative overview of his artistic style and message see Eric Gibson in The World and I (November 1989): 211-15.
40. For a thorough and comprehensive overview and analysis placing the work in its relevant perspectives and highlighting its implications for a civilizational East/West encounter see Z. Sardar and M. W. Davies, Distorted Imagination: Lessons from the Rushdie Affair (London and Kuala Lumpur: Grey Seal and Berita, 1990).
41. See the "Fukuyama Debate" in The National Interest (Summer 1989 and Winter 1989-1990).
42. See above, chapter 3.
43. For relevant verses in this sense in the Qur'an see respectively, 6:164; 17:15; 53:38 and 2:286; 6:152; 23:62 and 2:134, 141.
44. Cf. The hadith of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, holds that 'every Muslim is outposted on a vigil to the Day of the Judgment.’ See above, chapter 3. For the ethic of community and its implications for the Muslim historical consciousness see M. M. Abul-Fadl, Alternative Perspectives: Islam from Within (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1990), chapter 4.
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