chapter  3
13 Pages

Basic Cultural Patterns for the Perception of Change in Islam: The Islamic Model for Reality 1

WithBassam Tibi

This chapter begins with the hypothesis that particular issues in contemporary Islam—in this case the relationship between Islam and development—need to be classified into two general spheres and dealt with accordingly. The fundamental issues of modern Islam can hardly be discussed without reference to the early form of the religious system, and contemporary Islam cannot be adequately interpreted without taking into account its confrontation with Europe, which by virtue of industrialization is superordinate to it and hence hegemonial. In Islamic history, therefore, non-Muslim territory was always identified with the dar al-harb, the House of War. This situation has changed in the modern age, which is characterized by the power of the European technological-scientific culture. The attempt to determine what the model of Islam is in light of the existing religious and cultural diversity leads us to concern ourselves with the essential religious content shared by all Muslims, defined as the core of Islam.