What it means to be a “progressive Islamist”

Muslims at Prayer

The Muslim intellectual tradition is full of instances of contestation over the meaning and implications of many of its major concepts — such as sunna (custom or habit), salafism, īmān (belief or faith), tawhīd (oneness or unity), and jihad (struggle), to name but the most prominent few.

It is little wonder, then, that these and other major concepts in the Muslim intellectual tradition have been appropriated throughout Muslim history by various religious and/or political actors, with various degrees of success. Hence certain groups or actors were able to monopolise some of these concepts and came to be regarded — or, indeed, simply to regard themselves — as their most faithful, if not the only legitimate, interpreters.

Read more