Secularism, Islam and Modernity - Selected Essays of Alam Khundmiri

Secularism, Islam and Modernity - Selected Essays of Alam Khundmiri

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Author: M T Ansari
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2001
Language: English
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0761995099


Overall, this absorbing collection of essays encapsulates Khundmiri' dual project of situating Islam in the modern context and scrutinizing the modern in the light of Islam.

Syed Alam Khundmiri was an important intellectual figure of his time, a true humanist with rare philosophical insights ranging over a wide field. His three major concerns were Marxism, existentialism and Islam which he wove together to evolve an organic and dynamic view of mankind's destiny. His writings are also suffused with an awareness of history, politics, and economics combined with questions of time, self, reason, morality and law.

This volume brings together Khundmiri's seminal essays which set out his dominant concerns: Marxism with its indifference to questions of minorities in nationalism; existentialism, which he saw as being closed off to the problems of community; and Islam, which he examined in relation to history and notions of time and change.

Following the introductory essays by M T Ansari and Asghar Ali Engineer, the book is divided into four section. The first contains essays on Islamic traditionalism in the context of modernization. The next section focuses on Islamic theology and philosophy where Khundmiri discusses the central arguments of noted philosophers of classical and later Islam, particularly the work of al-Ash'ari, al-Farabi, as-Ghazali and Rumi.

The third section highlights Khundmiri's intense appreciation of the work of Mohammad Iqbal, engaging exclusively with Iqbal's political philosophy, notions of time and self, understanding of human knowledge and his contribution to Indian Sufism. The final section completes the exercise of placing Islam in a contemporary socio-cultural context and examines the religion in relation to concept such as secularism, fascism and democracy.


M T ANSARI teaches in the Department of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, and is working towards his doctoral dissertation on Islam in India: History, Theory and Literature.


Introduction : In the Interstices of an Indian Islamic Identity
Perspectives on Islam and Philosophy

A Critical Examination of Islamic Traditionalism with Reference to the Demands of Modernization
God-The Contemporary Debate : The Islamic Perspective
Some Problems of Inter-religious Understanding
Religion and its Application to Modern Life : The Islamic Problem

Man's Nature and Destiny : The Philosophic View in Islam
Al-Ghazali's Repudiation of Causality : The Destruction of Philosophical Enquiry in Islam
The Meaning of Reason in the Systems of al-Farabi and Ibn Sina
Eastern Aristotelians and Time
The Tension between Morality and Law in Islam

Iqbal on Human Knowledge
Iqbal and Indian Sufism
Iqbal on Time and Self
Iqbal and the Existentialist Thinkers : Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Heidegger
The Political Philosophy of Iqbal

Secularism : Western and Indian
Some Distinctive Features of Indian Sufism
The Changing Concept of Man in Sufi Literature
Islam and Fascism
Islam and Democracy
Obscurantism and the Indian Situation (With Special Reference to the Indian Muslim Community)
Contemporary Religious Situation : An Existential Analysis

Published Works of Alam Khundmiri