Comparative Islamic Studies, Vol 10, No 2 (2014)

Theorizing Muhammad’s Nation: For a New Concept of Muslim in a Changing Global Environment

Wardah Alkatiri
Issued Date: 24 Mar 2017

Abstract


The global environmental crises requires a global social contract. Islam has the philosophical foundation needed for such a social contract, since Islam has a legacy of political universalism. However, the reality is conflict among Muslims on political and philosophical-ideological grounds, and resentment among some Muslims to cooperate with Westerners to solve global issues. Therefore, I will develop a model for Islamic social contract that addresses these challenges. Berger and Luckmann’s symbolic universe premise serves to explain the essentialization of Islam in which the Qurʾan and the Sunna lie at the center of the “sacred canopy.” In addition, symbolic interactionism premise allows for an explanation of the issues of meaning that prompted the diversity within Islam, as sub-universes constructed under Islamic symbolic universe—either in response to immediate political condition in local contexts, or different interpretations of the Qurʾan and the Sunna were made by the actors. For better sociological understanding of religion, my framework considers as well the sacred purview of “reality” to explain the voluntaristic nature of Muslims religious actions and thoughts. Overall, the model that I developed leads to an incisive discrimination between philosophical and sociological dimensions of religion in all four respects: knowledge, meaning, action, and reality—that will throw light substantially on what have been a very complicated subject of religion-inspired actions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1558/cis.29629

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