Modern Intellectual Readings of the Kharijites (American University Studies)

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9780820497013: Modern Intellectual Readings of the Kharijites (American University Studies)
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In this book, Hussam S. Timani compiles and assesses the modern literature on the Kharijites, a seventh-century Islamic sect. He discusses the importance of the Kharijites in the Islamic heritage (turath) and provides profiles of the turath scholars who have either concerned themselves with the study of the Kharijites or have incorporated the Kharijites in their work on the turath. This groundbreaking book makes available to Western scholars a large body of Arabic-Islamic literature that is still unknown in the Western world and shows how modern scholars have offered different interpretations and analyses of the Kharijites’ origins, religio-political beliefs, and their place in Islamic history. Modern Intellectual Readings of the Kharijites is essential for scholars and students of Islamic civilization and culture and is highly recommended for graduate courses in classical Islam.

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From the Back Cover:

"Hussam S. Timani’s important contribution to our understanding of the role of Kharijite discourse in modern Muslim thought highlights the positive images of the Kharijites found in contemporary Arab literature and the compatibility of these images with western-style liberalism. Anyone interested in the complex interplay between Muslim past and present should read this work." Jeffrey T. Kenney, Professor of Religious Studies, DePauw University; Author, Muslim Rebels: Kharijites and the Politics of Extremism in Egypt

"Although very few in number today, the Khawarij have played an important role in the early history of Islamic theology and political thought. In modern times, Muslim scholars and governments have labeled certain terrorist groups as the neo-Khaw?rij because they emphasize the practice of takf?r against fellow Muslims and justify the killing of innocent people. The usage of the term, Khaw?rij, in contemporary context has equated the excesses and extremism of Islamic fundamentalists with the origins and emergence of the movement during the early centuries of Islam. It is against this backdrop that this book attempts to rectify the one-sided negative image of the Khaw?rij and offers a major reassessment by presenting the positive image of the Khaw?rij portrayed by Arab/Muslim intellectuals who promoted their own ideologies by reinterpreting early Islamic history. The Khaw?rij in the latter sources are therefore depicted as being liberal in their theory of the caliphate, egalitarian in their attitude towards Arab and non-Arab Muslims, tolerant in their treatment of women and pious Muslims. A study of this nature is a distinct contribution to the understanding of early Islamic historiography." Ismail Poonawala, Professor of Arabic, University of California, Los Angeles

About the Author:

The Author: Hussam S. Timani is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has taught Islamic and religious studies at various universities in the United States and Lebanon.

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