The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam

The Qur'anic Principle of Wasatiyyah

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Mohammad Hashim Kamali
Religion and Global Politics
  • New York, NY: 
    Oxford University Press
    , June
     2015.
     336 pages.
     $34.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780190226831.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

In The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam, leading Islamic law expert Mohammad Hashim Kamali examines the concept of wasatiyyah, or moderation, arguing that scholars, religious communities, and policy circles alike must have access to this governing principle that drives the silent majority of Muslims, rather than focusing on the extremist fringe. Kamali explores wasatiyyah in both historical/conceptual terms and in contemporary/practical terms. Tracing the definition and scope of the concept from the foundational sources of Islam, the Qu'ran and Hadith, he demonstrates that wasatiyyahhas a long and well-developed history in Islamic law and applies the concept to contemporary issues of global policy, such as justice, women's rights, environmental and financial balance, and globalization. 

Framing his work as an open dialogue against a now-decades long formulation of the arguably destructive Huntingtonian "clash of civilizations" thesis as well as the public rhetoric of fear of Muslim extremism since the attacks of September 11, 2001, Kamali connects historical conceptions of wasatiyyah to the themes of state and international law, governance, and cultural maladies in the Muslim world and beyond. Both a descriptive and prescriptive meditation on a key but often neglected principle of Islam, The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam provides insight into an idea that is in the strategic interest of the West both to show and practice for themselves and to recognize in Muslim countries.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Mohammad Hashim Kamali was Dean and Professor at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) and the International Islamic University in Malaysia. He currently heads the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia.

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