This book could easily be called 'A Guide for the Modern Muslim', for someone to whom the sentiments of his or her ancestors resonate but who cannot accept the canonised formulas of a stultified education. Charfi spells out what, for him, is the essential message of Islam, followed by a history of its unfolding through the person of the Prophet Muhammad, who was a visionary seeking to change the ideals, attitudes and behaviours of the society in which he lived. The message and its history are delineated as two separate things, conflated by tradition. Charfi's reflections cross those horizons where few Muslim scholars have dared until now to tread. He confronts with great lucidity those difficult questions with which Muslims are struggling, attempting to reconsider them from a moral and political perspective that is independent of the frameworks produced by tradition.
Abdelmadjid Charfi was Professor of Arabic Civilisation and Islamic Thought at the University of Manouba until his retirement in 2002. David Bond studied Arabic at Wadham College (Oxford) and has lived in North Africa since 1993. He is editorial co-ordinator of the review Ibla of the Institut des belles-lettres arabes in Tunis and has a degree in Arabic literature from the University of Tunis. Abdou Filali-Ansary is Director of the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations. He is author of several books including Is Islam Hostile to Secularism? and Reforming Islam? An Introduction to Contemporary Debates. Sikeena Karmali Ahmed is the Manager of Publications at The Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations. She is the author of a collection of poetry, Places to Remember, and an award-winning novel entitled A House by the Sea.
IIntroduction, Moncef Ben Abdeljelil; Part One: Characteristics of the Message of Muhammad; 1. History and Theory; 2. The Preaching of Muhammad; 3. Distinctive Characteristics of Muhammad's Message; 4. Legislation; 5. The Seal of Prophecy; Part Two: The Message in History; 1. The Prophet's Successors; 2. Institutional Islam; 3. The Elaboration of Institutional Theory; Index