Ever since they became conscious of their relative decline, the societies of Islamic world have turned to religion as an antidote to humiliation and decadence. This book examines the political environments, lives and works of those diverse nineteenth and twentieth century Muslim thinkers who believed that Islam was capable of providing practical solutions to the problems of the modern world.
The volume provides a balanced account of their contribution to contemporary revolutionary Islam and to political developments in countries from Morocco to Indonesia. The writings and political activity of al-Afghani, Muhammad Abduh, Ayatollah Khomeini, Sayyid Abu'l-A'la Mawdudi, Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Musa al-Sadr, Ali Shariati and Muhammad Baqr al-Sadr are considered, explaining the roots of movements as diverse as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jama'at-i Islami, the radical Iranian clergy and the militant Shi'i of Lebanon. The book provides an ideal introduction to the complexity and variety of Islamic revival, revealing the motivations of the thinkers who have reshaped the political vocabulary of Islam.
Ali Rahnema's major new introductory chapter puts these still hugely influential Muslim thinkers and the movements they inspired in the context of the extraordinarily changed circumstances confronting Islamic countries since 9/11. It becomes all the more important for Muslims and non-Muslims to understand the real thinking that has long gone in influential Islamic circles. This book intends to make a contribution in this regard.