Writing Islam

Saad Ahmad Editorial

To Write on Islam has been a challenging task. The one who is engaged in the process of writing it,  either writes on culture or geo-politics, either identity or cultural imperialism. The relationship between one who writes on Islam and one who lives it may connect people with different stories. Hence, it is needed to look at the phenomenon of writing Islam from a subjective distance and paying attention toward its evaluation in everyday life.

The subjects of Islam are enormously vast and qualitatively deeper. It plays with urban instinct as well as engages with rural and tribal norms, cultivates a society and moralises politics. It sustains the economy and refines humanity. It moves from one culture to other and from one civilisation to others, that too innumerable times. For the living, it prefers ruins of heritage instead of magnificent palaces. Islam’s physical form is dynamic as it never lived in a place forever while the inner form of Islam seems to be revolutionary as it rejects everything distracting from the path of God.

Writing Islam is a bulky project which will come up as the permanent vision on this website[freelancer.co.in] showing the importance of gender-sensitivity, justice and equality in intellectual domain of Islam, Islam’s belief system, the significance of Tawhid (Oneness of God) in Islam’s intellectual and everyday life, trans-cultural and trans-historical contexts to Islam’s expansion in South Asia and things how we relate and interpret Islam today from a sphere which is purely Indian; based on many identities. How many identities complexed in culture and politics seek refuge to one single thread of hidaya; textual guidance? How everyone’s pain is consoled, cured and removed from one’s self and who does it? Moreover, how textual-Quranic text communicates with other texts; non-Semitic, literary and biographical? Among major themes of this project are bits of knowledge produced in the West, which has helped in enrichment of Islam’s heritage, will also be discussed.

Accepting that such a project highly relies on methodological approaches to deal with dimensions and circumstances produced for two different kinds of studies; one is writing about Islam through the prism of modernity, and second writing Islam by joining or being a part of internal activities of Islam itself. The later refers writings of Ulama who tend to be at a very close position while writing the former maintains a so-called objective distance.

With society’s evolution as a complex phenomenon, today, we feel that Islam has been a complex enterprise too. Thus, writers of the subject are in perpetual conflict in defining the body of knowledge Islam champions or stands for. Among one of those conflicts, the most contested is the body of knowledge handed over by the Sālāf Sālīh (earliest generation of Islam) reaching to pathways of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alai hi wasallam) ‘s saying, doing and action along with the knowledge of the Noble Quran____ is claimed that it contains treasure of meanings and purposes for the humanity. I this enough? Ulama trying to write Islam insists on not being much creative while accessing textual knowledges;  Quran and Ahadith, on the other hand, modern writers take Islam as a radically imaginative phenomenon for the cultural extension of knowledge. Hence, the most challenging question is: Can we be both Islamic and creative by accessing Islamic knowledge, the Quran and Sunnah? Can writing Islam serve this purpose?

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