Cover

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Half Title, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Epigraph

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I worked on this book intermittently over two decades, while based at different institutions. A significant part of the research was facilitated by a Yale University Morse Fellowship in the Humanities (1996–97) and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2003–4). Sections of this work were presented at different forums at Yale University, Stanford University, ...

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Introduction: Reimagining the Eighteenth Century

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pp. 1-19

Sometime around the middle of the nineteenth century, the intellectual world of Muslims began to crumble and the great traditions of the past were forgotten. Contrary to common modern assertions, the recession of these traditions was sudden and unexpected. Throughout the eighteenth century and the early decades of the nineteenth, the Muslim world had witnessed one ..

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Chapter 1. The Boundaries of Faith

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pp. 20-55

The new generation of eighteenth-century scholars was purposeful about the need for change. Although their diagnoses of the ills of their times largely overlapped, their proposed solutions differed significantly. The crisis of choice for most eighteenth-century thinkers was tamadhhub: zealous partisanship to the schools of law (madhāhib, sing. madhhab). ...

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Chapter 2. Ijtihad and the Regional Origins of a Universal Vision

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pp. 56-93

Because the interests of the eighteenth century are not our own, it is easy to misjudge the principle intellectual achievements of this era, or to think that these achievements are related to what we value. Therefore, a main task in the reconstruction of eighteenth-century thought is to identify what its own thinkers perceived to be the problems of their time, how they went about ...

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Chapter 3. Sufism, Old and New: The Multiple Faces of the Spirit

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pp. 94-139

Like that of other eighteenth-century thinkers, al-Shawkānī’s advocacy of ijtihād and his methodical censure of the middle group of pseudo-professional scholars was coupled with a sharp criticism of Sufism. He leveled this dual criticism not just because many jurists became actively involved in Sufism to give themselves added religious legitimacy. Rather, the fundamental reason ...

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Chapter 4. Genealogies of Dissent and the Politics of Knowledge

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pp. 140-218

The great reformers of the eighteenth century were fully aware of the radical nature of their intellectual projects. Whether as facilitators of change, or mere interpreters of some perennial truth, these reformers projected an image of themselves as vehicles of change and fashioned their social personas in accordance with this self-perception. In the midst of a sea of change, ...

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Chapter 5. Humanizing the Sacred

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pp. 219-279

Under the common banner of tawḥīd, the eighteenth century generated a multitude of cultural identities bearing the imprints of particular regional traditions and echoing the intricate and relatively separate histories of diverse regions of the Muslim world. Some of the distinctive features of these identities I have already discussed in the previous chapters, ...

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Conclusion: The Limits of the Sacred

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pp. 280-322

As we have seen throughout this book, eighteenth-century discussions of the theory of ijtihād relied on the standard taxonomies elaborated in classical Islamic writings on this subject. The novelty in these discussions, however, was in the widening of the scope of ijtihād, and in the deliberate and systematic effort to make its tools accessible to wider segments or even a majority ...

Notes

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pp. 323-414

Index

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pp. 415-422

Further Series Titles

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