Being a Muslim in the World by Hamid Dabashi

By Hamid Dabashi

What does it suggest to be a Muslim - during this global, during this deeply transformative time? Hamid Dabashi ask this seminal query anew, within the context of what he proposes is a post-Western global the place the "Islam and the West" binary is collapsing and the place "the West," as a build, now not holds a similar normative hegemony. opposed to the grain of greater than 200 years of colonialism and self-alienation, Islam continues to be not only an international faith yet a sophisticated faith - one who has constantly been aware of itself in successive imperial settings. With the increase of ecu after which American imperial adventures, Muslims were at the receiving finish of alternative worldly empires that experience pressured them right into a self-alienating discussion. Dabashi argues that the pressing activity dealing with modern Muslims is to deliver their worlds to self-consciousness past the self-alienating come upon with eu colonial modernity and within the context of the hot worldliness that Muslims (like all folks) face. This transition calls for crafting a brand new language of severe dialog with Islam and its cosmopolitan history - a language that's tuned to the rising, now not the disappearing, international.

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The Orientalist project (aided and abetted by Muslims responding to colonialism) robbed the assumption “Islamic” of that historic dialectic. I propose one makes no sense without the other—that the sacred has always had a worldly disposition, and the worldly a sacerdotal self-referentiality. The notion of “the secular” distorts that organicity and offers nothing instead. In one particular manifestation of the worldly imagination, the art, we have the classical statement of Max Weber that can very well function as the first step in the construction of my argument here.

By privileging the sacred imagination over the mundane and the worldly (both integral to each other), the Orientalist project in effect sided with the clerical institutions, subsumed the worldly humanism constitutional to these societies, and represented a monolithically “religious” society in its construction of “Islamic history”—without ever allowing the term “religious” to disconfigure itself. Among many factors that may explain this Orientalist proclivity toward the clerical, as opposed to patently non-clerical, institutions is the deep roots of the project in Christian missionary zeal and the fact that quite a number of leading Orientalists were devout Christians.

He loves music, and is not much fond of scholastic disputations. Much more can be added to the list of his mischievous behaviors, but—and here is the rub—he is a Muslim. His nom de plume means “he who knows the Qur’an by heart,” and in his poetry he boasts that he can recite it with fourteen different interpretations. ” That is Hafez—or the persona who sings and dances in his lyrics. He sins, thrives in sinning, and yet does so not despite being a Muslim but as a Muslim. There is a worldly disposition to and about Hafez (1326–1390), a material matter-of-factness, within which he dwells and from which he derives his faith.

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