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Modern Islamic Authority and Social Change, Volume 1

Evolving Debates in Muslim Majority Countries

Edited by Masooda Bano

Paperback (Forthcoming)
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A comparative analysis of key Islamic authority platforms and their debates

At the turn of the twenty-first century, scholarship and policy debate on Islam and Muslim societies has come to focus primarily on Islam’s ability to make young Muslims gravitate towards anti-modernity movements. Many attribute Islamic militancy, as well as the general socio-economic and political stagnation experienced in some Muslim societies, to Islamic theological or legal dictates. Yet Islamic scholarly tradition is highly pluralistic, and today’s leading Islamic authority structures are developing competing conceptual and methodological approaches which vary greatly in their ability to engage with societal change.

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List of Tables and Maps


Note on Transliteration


Introduction, Masooda Bano

Section 1: al-Azhar University and Mosque Network

1. al-Azhar University: A Crisis of Authority, Masooda Bano

2. History and Continuity: al-Azhar and Egypt, Nathan Spannaus

3. al-Azhar, Wasaṭiyyah, and the Wāqi‘, Pooya Razavian

Section 2: Saudi-Salafism

4. Saudi Salafism Amid Rapid Social Change, Masooda Bano

5. Evolution of Saudi Salafism, Nathan Spannaus

6. Post-Salafism: Salman al-Odah and Hatim al-‘Awni, Pooya Razavian

Section 3: Deobandi Madrasash Network

7. The Deobandi Network: Steadfast in taqlīd, Masooda Bano

8. Darul Uloom Deoband and South Asian Islam, Nathan Spannaus

9. Deoband’s Conservatism: The Darul Ifta, Nadwatul Ulama and Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Pooya Razavian

Section 4: Diyanet

10. Diyanet: Taking Center Stage, Masooda Bano

11. Religion in the Service of the State: Diyanet and Republican Turkey, Nathan Spannaus

12. Turkish Islamic Debates: Diyanet, Hayrettin Karaman, and Recep Şentürk, Masooda Bano and Emre Caliskan


About the Author

Masooda Bano is Associate Professor in the Oxford Department of International Development, and Senior Golding Fellow, Brasenose College, University of Oxford. She is author of The Rational Believer: Choices and Decisions in the Madrasas of Pakistan (2012) and Female Islamic Education Movements: The Re-Democratisation of Islamic Knowledge (2017), and co-editor of Women, Leadership and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority (2012) and Shaping Global Islamic Discourses: The Role of al-Azhar, al-Medina, and al-Mustafa (Edinburgh University Press, 2015, 2017).

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