Economy, Family, and Society from Rome to Islam

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Humayun's Tomb in Delhi

Download all figures. Sign in. You could not be signed in. Sign In Forgot password? As time passes, the old ties loosen. In most of the West, unlike in Muslim countries, no licence is currently needed to become an imam. Instead of a faith shaped from outside, millennial Muslims are creating something unprecedented: a do-it-yourself Islam. That makes the religion frustratingly messy, but also diverse, dynamic and fluid. It is fragmenting into myriad interpretations, permutations and sects. Western Islam covers the full spectrum of Islamic traditions, from the most conservative to the sort that considers Islam a culture but no longer a faith, and everything in between.

To outsiders, the Salafist strand of the faith looks deeply traditional and unwelcoming.

Its members wear Islamic dress and send their children to segregated Muslim schools. Boys in white tunics shiver in the cold. Teachers focus on scripture.

Empires of Faith: The Fall of Rome to the Rise of Islam, 500-700

But the Salafists insist that much of what they believe chimes with a Western approach to the faith. Though German officials, among others, have cut off dialogue, a new generation of Salafists is experimenting with greater openness. The rapid influx of converts, too, has forced them to find ways to deal with their non-Muslim relatives. For role models, preachers look to the first Muslims in Mecca 1, years ago.

They were also converts but kept their ties with their pagan families. And when they were persecuted, they embarked on the first hijra , or migration, and found refuge with the Christian rulers of Abyssinia. From his home in Memphis, Tennessee, Mr Qadhi plans to launch a new Islamic seminary later this year, staffed exclusively by Western lecturers. The second strand of the faith, political Islam, has long advocated engagement with non-Muslim society, not least to defend the interests of the umma , or Muslim community. Its main organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood, began as an armed anti-colonial movement in the Middle East.

But chased into exile, its leaders have established a host of offshoots which profess loyalty to the West and praise its democratic systems to the horror of the Muslim rulers they fled.

Islamic Civilization | Middle East Institute

It can be highly pragmatic. Its jurists have approved mortgages, despite the Islamic prohibition on interest. They have ruled that female converts to Islam can keep their non-Muslim husbands. And some increasingly turn a blind eye to ways of life hitherto deemed deviant. If the Brotherhood gives Islam a Western hue, liberals, the third strand, give their Western lifestyles an Islamic one. The faith, he says, has to adapt to its new environment, just as it did when it spread elsewhere in the world. A few congregations of women-led mosques have surfaced in the West beyond the ivory towers of academia.

Some are women-only, others mixed. Weekly prayers are often conducted on Sundays for members unable to leave work on Fridays. In Rabya Mueller, a former Catholic nun who converted to Islam, formed the Islamic Liberal Bund, modelled closely on liberal Judaism, and has begun leading prayers. Much of their work, she says, involves marrying Muslims and non-Muslims of either gender. On Twitter, queermuslims advertises prayer meetings for homosexual adherents of the faith. A training centre for gay imams has opened in France. At the far end of the spectrum, a fourth strand wants to dispense with the religion altogether.

The organisation is still at the fledgling stage, but it may express the views of a surprising number of Muslims born in the West.

Economy, Family, and Society from Rome to Islam

Many of the rest lead secular lives. Neglect and rediscovery 3. Greco-Arabic Translation Movement 4. Editing the text and identifying the author 5. Politics and economics 6. Bryson and Classics 2. Text and transmission 1. Greek version 2. Pythagorean revival and late antiquity 3.


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Fihrist, Apollonius of Tyana, and the On Paideia 5. Property 1. Romans on the economy: attitudes and opportunities 2. From Polanyi and Finley to Aristotle 4. Before and after Aristotle: Plato, Xenophon, Ps. Stoic economic thought 6.