Call for Paper
In a social scientific study of Islam, academics have often examined Islam and its adherents conjointly. Whilst such an exercise is neither unscientific nor academically problematic, it can be discombobulating, particularly for those with limited or an absence of Islamic knowledge.
Islam is a complete comprehensive code of life with the Qur’an and Hadiths (the record of the words, actions, and the tacit approval or disapproval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad as transmitted through chains of narrators) as its principal sources and shari’ah (Islamic law) as its legal system. Muslims are individuals who subscribe to and adhere to this code of life. However, Muslims do not adhere to this code of life in unison because the understanding and interpretation of Islam’s principal sources and legal rules varies, and so does the practice. In addition, Muslims do not live in one single confined territorial boundary, but are spread across the globe. This is further deepened by the fracturing role played by environmental and local cultural dynamics.
Whilst the Qur’an and Hadiths have remained unchanged since their inceptions, Muslims as individuals and collectivities have always been open to transformation. Muslims as social beings have forged relationships with each other and formed communities for centuries now producing what may be called the separate realms of Islam and Islamicate. The former is the religion proper and the latter is a socio-cultural, economic, and political cosmos. While Islamicate is informed by Islam, it is not same as Islam; it is an overall society socio-culturally and historically associated with Islam, but is not Islam itself. In itself, Islamicate is from the world, not from God. In Islamicate, different aspects of society and culture manifest themselves, which are not directly connected to the Islamic religion, and both Muslims and non-Muslims reside in it.
This Special Issue seeks to interrogate the distinction between Islam and Islamicate as separate social realities, in addition to their interconnectedness. The aim is to employ transdisciplinary approaches and social scientific analyses to understand fundamental concepts of Islam, Muslim religious diversity, and the role Muslim religious ideas and institutions play in Muslim communities around the world. Furthermore, it is hoped that some light will be shed on the complex social aspects of Islamic traditions and institutions and how a distinct force that drives a range of social and political arrangements work. The way in which diverse notions of religious and political authorities have influenced Muslim societies socially, culturally, economically, and politically will be explored and the roles of ideologies such as jihad, colonialism, nationalism, secularism, and globalization play in shaping the ways in which Muslims understand, interpret, and practice Islam in the contemporary world will be considered too. The areas of consideration include, but not limited to:
- The origins of Islam and the social and historical context in which it emerged,
- The formation of Islamic religious traditions,
- Islamic institutions including law, philosophical foundations, and political order,
- Education, the transmission of knowledge, and Muslim societies in the Islamic Golden Age,
- Islamic civilisational development,
- Islamic contribution to modernity,
- The impact of colonialism on the Muslim world.
The aim is to employ transdisciplinary approaches and social scientific analyses to understand fundamental concepts of Islam, Muslim religious diversity, and the role Muslim religious ideas and institutions play in Muslim communities around the world.