Islamic Reform

Islamic Reform : Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria

3.66 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book examines Syria's religious, intellectual, and political history during the period of transformation before World War I. Focusing on an attempt to reform Islamic belief and practice at the turn of the century, Commins shows how the reformers used debates over the religious law of Islam to advance their visions of a progressive Islamic state. Based on a wide variety of previously unpublished sources, the book will shed new light on a period that is of considerable importance for the modern history of the Middle East.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 161.5 x 235.2 x 18.5mm | 517.1g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195061039
  • 9780195061031
  • 2,106,542

Review quote

'a fascinating study ... This study represents an important contribution to the history of Muslim intellectual development in English, providing as it does formulation of key salafi positions' Sherifa Zuhur, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies - Vol 19.1 'it is rare to find any study of a group of salafis that carefully treats not only their ideas but also their social context ... It is all the more rare to find such shedding light on important aspects of social change and politics in a major Islamic city during a crucial period ... David Dean Commins's Islamic Reform: Politics and Social Change in Late Ottoman Syria does all of these things. In this well-written, thoroughly researched book based on a wealth of sources of a type rarely tapped heretofore ... David Commins has made a major contribution to scholarship, and expanded measurably our knowledge of more than one area of the history of Islamic reform in late Ottoman Syria. It is likely to remain an important resource for scholars and students for many years to come.' Rashid I. Khalidi, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 26:1 Commin's book provides some useful insights into how the Muslim intellectuals of Syria accepted change, maintaining the cultural continuity and unity of their society admidst political disunity ... It is indeed invigorating to see the transformation of the Muslim society in Syria studied within its own socio-economic paradigm rather than pictured as propelled out of inertia by the superior culture of the West, or by the natives' despair at losing their culture ... an exceptionally sound scholarly work ... a truly original, well-written scholarly work, ranking among the ten best books written on the topic in the last decade. It is indeed a pleasure to read it and to give it the highest possible recommendation. Journal of Islamic Studies
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 33% (2)
3 50% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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