Jihad or Ijtihad  - Religious Orthodoxy and Modern Science in Contemporary Islam

Jihad or Ijtihad - Religious Orthodoxy and Modern Science in Contemporary Islam

Product ID: 32338

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Author: S Irfan Habib
Publisher: HarperCollins
Year: 2012
Language: English
Pages: 192
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789350293751


While Europe was still stuck in the Dark Ages, scientists in the Islamic world were tranlsating Aristotle, and making huge strides in astronomy, mathematics and philosophy. Two thousand years later, the idea of 'scientific progress' seems to be locked in a hopeless war with Islam. When and how did Islam lose its enthusiasm for the workings of the natural world?

S. Irfan Habib, one of the country's foremost historians, traces teh trajectomy of how 'mainstream' Islam came to question modern science - beginning with the reformers of the nineteenth century and ending with present-day idealogoues. Through the lives of famous men like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, he demonstrates that the modern-day promulagtion of Islam and its followers as 'anti-modern' and 'anti-science' is a myth that leads, quite literally, to explosives consequences. Habib also channels his scholarship to both history and Islam to question the controversial idea of 'Islamic science' as a category distinct from 'modern', 'Eurocentric' science.

In an engaging, easy style that belies the weightiness of the questions it seeks to answer, Jihad or Itijihad challenges both stereotypes and propaganda. This book places in perspective the relationship between Islam and science today.



1. Introduction – Heterogeneity and Early Science in Islam
2. Reconciling Science with Islam in the Nineteenth Century
3. What is ‘Islamic’ in Islamic Science ? – Some Insights from Nineteenth-Century India
4. Modern Science and Islamic Essentialism
5. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad – Striving for a Composite and Pluralist India
6. Conclusion – Articulating for Islamic Science : An essentialist Project