Get The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral PDF

By Wael Hallaq

ISBN-10: 0231162561

ISBN-13: 9780231162562

Wael B. Hallaq boldly argues that the "Islamic state," judged by way of any commonplace definition of what the trendy nation represents, is either most unlikely and inherently self-contradictory. evaluating the criminal, political, ethical, and constitutional histories of premodern Islam and Euro-America, he reveals the adoption and perform of the fashionable country to be hugely frustrating for contemporary Muslims. He additionally evaluations extra expansively modernity's ethical problem, which renders most unlikely any undertaking resting exclusively on moral foundations.

The smooth country not just suffers from severe felony, political, and constitutional concerns, Hallaq argues, but additionally, by means of its very nature, models a topic inconsistent with what it ability to be, or to dwell as, a Muslim. by way of Islamic criteria, the state's applied sciences of the self are seriously missing in ethical substance, and modern Islamic nation, as Hallaq indicates, has performed little to strengthen a suitable type of real Shari'a governance. The Islamists' constitutional battles in Egypt and Pakistan, the Islamic felony and political disasters of the Iranian Revolution, and related disappointments underscore this truth. however, the country is still the popular template of the Islamists and the ulama (Muslim clergymen).

Providing Muslims with a course towards knowing the nice lifestyles, Hallaq turns to the wealthy ethical assets of Islamic background. alongside the way in which, he proves political and different "crises of Islam" are usually not precise to the Islamic international nor to the Muslim faith. those crises are quintessential to the trendy situation of either East and West, and via acknowledging those parallels, Muslims can interact extra productively with their Western counterparts.

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Additional info for The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament

Example text

The second part of the latter question, with the predictions it involves, is not integral to our argument and constitutes a separate field of enquiry for another book and decidedly another author. But the question also makes reference to the present, representing the culmination of nearly two centuries’ worth of history shot through with colonial rule and postcolonial nationalist reaction and continuity. 1 They inherited from Europe a readymade nation-state (with its constitutive power structures) for which the existing social formations had not been adequately prepared.

Like any society (and without analogizing with the excessively violent, oppressive, and church-abused Europe of the Middle Ages), Muslim society from North Africa and Muslim Spain to Java and Samarkand had its share of misery. 43 The mess of social reality—the victimized child, the robbed trader, the overtaxed peasant—could always rely on a hegemonic moral system that did its best to address this reality. 44 The paradigm, like its particular and technical legal rules, always strove toward the realization of this moral end, sometimes failing but most often succeeding, which is precisely what made it a paradigm.

Yet this domain extends well beyond the private sphere, as this book will show in the course of its discussion, especially, and most directly, in chapter 5. Capitalizing on the technologies of the self thus in no way involves a retrieval of premodern Sharʿī institutions, practices, or even education. It is a moral project of the first order, an attempt to draw on the historical self for moral guidance. It is a project of moral critique, moral deliberation, and moral substitution, which is to say that it is a project that aims to find a moral space for the Muslim subject in the modern world, a subject who has grown no less disenchanted by modernity than his or her Western counterpart.

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The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament by Wael Hallaq

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