Monday, January 29, 2007

Muhammad Asad

Over the past year and a half my interest in Political Islam has been steadily on the increase. Much is said about it (mostly negative) in the news and elsewhere, yet I've always found another current which I found fascinating. A few years ago I chanced on a book by a Muhammad Asad called "The Principles of State and Government in Islam". I found it so useful and interesting that I even used it as a reference in an essay regarding Islam and secularism. I have to say at that stage I didn't really know much about this man but was impressed by his ideas and how he honestly attempted to address various criticisms and problems.

In a complete coincidence, I recently stumbled across this article and now I think I have discovered a new fountain of knowledge on the subject which I had previously overlooked. I find particularly appealing the writings from pre Second World War Arabs and Muslims in the modern era as I feel they haven't been polluted by events such as the creation of Israel, the rise of corrupt Arab regimes and Wahhabism. Writers such as Asad approach with a fresh and clear perspective untainted by the more damaging stereotypes and hostility that others knowingly or otherwise use when reading or writing on this great religion. In some ways they appear like a sapling that emerged briefly yet was prevented from growing fully and remains in a frozen state, awaiting the right conditions and environment. More news as I get it about this very very interesting man.

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