Decadence in Muslim Intellectualism: Reasons, Ramifications, and Remedies


by Tauseef Ahmad Parray, Viva Books Pvt. Ltd., 2021

The major theme of this work is to provide a succinct overview of the concept of Knowledge in the Qur’anic perspective, to describe, precisely, the rise of “Muslim intellectualism”—from its formative phase to the golden age—reasons and ramifications of its fall (decadence), and to provide some (possible) remedies to overcome this “decadence” and “deficit” in the present scenario. In other words, this work is a modest endeavor to find answers to these nagging and niggling questions about the intellectual history of Muslims: what were the reasons that led to the fall of Muslim intellectual legacy, or “Muslim intellectualism”?; how Muslims can rise again from this “slumber” to make their presence on the “intellectual map” of the 21st century global world? It is, thus, hoped that this book will prove beneficial for knowing the reasons and ramifications of the “decadence of Muslim intellectualism” and the remedies and reforms that are needed to fill this deficit.



Chapter 1: Prologue: The Noble Qur’an as ‘Epitome of Knowledge’

Chapter 2: Islamic Concept of Knowledge (‘Ilm)

Chapter 3: Muslim Intellectual Contribution: From Formative Period to ‘Golden Age’

Chapter 4: What (and Where) Went Wrong?

Chapter 5: Post-Colonial Era Challenges and the Muslim World (1950s onwards)

Chapter 6: The Other Side of the Coin: Internal Challenges

Chapter 7: Some Important Muslim Research Institutes and Centers

Chapter 8: Epilogue: The (Possible) Way Out from Current ‘Muslim Intellectual Deficit’






Islam in Modern Turkey by

Kim Shively, Edinburgh University, 2021

Investigates the social and political forces that have shaped Islamic practices in Turkey, from 1923 to now

  • Covers a different topic in each chapter: the Kemalist revolution, Sunni Islam, the Alevi minority, Sufi communities, political parties, religious education, and the contemporary period
  • Explores issues that have shaped public debates about the role of religion in the Turkish secular state in case studies on, for example, veiling; the use of Atatürk imagery, and the liberalisation of the media
  • Looks at the important – if contested – role of women and gender in religious practice in modern Turkey
  • Draws on ethnographic detail based on the author’s research in Turkey over the last 28 years
  • Provides the historical context for the rise of the controversial Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party
  • Includes a note on Turkish usage and a glossary of key terms

This book provides a survey of Islam in Turkey since the founding of the modern republic in 1923. It examines the secularising policies of Turkey’s founders and how these policies have shaped the development of religious institutions and social expectations around religious practice up to the present day.

A special emphasis is on the relationship between religion and politics, with chapters focusing on state-based religious institutions, religious education, Sufi orders and religious communities, Alevism, Islamic-oriented political parties, and the effects of economic liberalization on the practice of Islam in Turkey.

Readers will also learn about the political and social developments that contributed to the rise of the current Islamist government of the Justice and Development Party. In this way, Islam in Turkey provides vital historical context for understanding both the rise of the controversial President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and current events in Turkey and the Middle East more broadly.



Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe

by Emily Greble, Oxford University Press, 2021 in the book titled Covering Islam

Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe shows that Muslims were citizens of modern Europe from its beginning and, in the process, rethinks Europe itself.

Muslims are neither newcomers nor outsiders in Europe. In the twentieth century, they have been central to the continent’s political development and the evolution of its traditions of equality and law.

From 1878 into the period following World War II, over a million Ottoman Muslims became citizens of new European states. In Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe, Emily Greble follows the fortunes and misfortunes of several generations of these indigenous

men, women and children; merchants, peasants, and landowners; muftis and preachers; teachers and students; believers and non-believers from seaside port towns on the shores of the Adriatic to mountainous villages in the Balkans. Drawing on a wide range of archives from government ministries in state capitals to madrasas in provincial

towns, Greble uncovers Muslims’ negotiations with state authorities–over the boundaries of Islamic law, the nature of religious freedom, and the meaning of minority rights. She shows how their story is Europe’s story: Muslims navigated the continent’s turbulent passage from imperial order through the interwar political experiments of liberal democracy and authoritarianism to the ideological programs of fascism, socialism, and communism. In doing so, they shaped the grand narratives upon which so much of Europe’s fractious present now rests.

Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe offers a striking new account of the history of citizenship and nation-building, the emergence of minority rights, and the character of secularism.



Covering Muslims: American Newspapers in Comparative Perspective

by Erik Bleich & A. Maurits Van Der Veen, Oxford University Press,2021

An examination of how American newspaper articles on Muslims are strikingly negative by any measure.

For decades, scholars and observers have criticized negative media portrayals of Muslims and Islam. Yet most of these critiques are limited by their focus on one specific location, a limited time period, or a single outlet. In Covering Muslims, Erik Bleich and A. Maurits van der Veen present the first systematic, large-scale analysis of American newspaper coverage of Muslims through comparisons across groups, time, countries, and topics. The authors demonstrate conclusively that coverage of Muslims is remarkably negative by any measure. They show that American newspapers have been consistently negative across the two-decade period between 1996 and 2016 and that articles on Muslims are more negative than those touching on groups as diverse as Catholics, Jews, Hindus, African Americans, Latinos, Mormons, or atheists. Strikingly, even articles about mundane topics tend to be negative. The authors suggest that media outlets both within and outside the United States may contribute to pervasive Islamophobia and they encourage readers and journalists to “tone check” the media rather than simply accepting negative associations with Muslims or other marginalized groups.



Shi’ism Revisited: Ijtihad and Reformation in Contemporary Times

by Liyakat Takim, Oxford University Press, 2022

Contemporary Muslims face a challenge: how should they define the relationship between normative Islamic jurisprudence–worked out by classical jurists over the course of centuries-and the reality that confronts them in their everyday lives. They have to reckon with how religion can regulate and serve the needs of a changing community. Is there a need for reformation in Islam? If so, where should it begin and how should it proceed? So far, these challenging questions have received little attention from Western scholars. Shi’ism Revisited will address this gap.

In order to address pressing religious and social questions–on topics ranging from women’s rights to bioethics and the challenges facing diasporic Muslims–legal scholars have sought to apply ijtihad, or independent reasoning. The lack of a central authority in Islam means the interpretations and edicts of scholars are frequently challenged, resulting in diversity and plurality in Islamic law. This makes Islamic law capacious, but also suggests the critical importance of examining not just the theory of law, but its application.

Shi’ism Revisited moves beyond theoretical questions of reformation to address specific ways that Islamic law is being revisited by jurists. Tracing the origins and development of Shi’i jurisprudence and legal theory, Liyakat Takim analyzes how underlying epistemologies can be revised in order to create a moral and coherent legal system.