By Nissim Rejwan

ISBN-10: 029271727X

ISBN-13: 9780292717275

ISBN-10: 0292717288

ISBN-13: 9780292717282

ISBN-10: 0292794487

ISBN-13: 9780292794481

What's an Arab? notwithstanding many within the West could solution that query with simplistic stereotypes, the truth is much extra advanced and fascinating. Arabs themselves were debating Arab identification on the grounds that pre-Islamic instances, coming to various conclusions concerning the nature and quantity in their "Arabness." Likewise, Westerners and others have tried to investigate Arab identification, attaining usually damaging conclusions approximately Arab tradition and means for self-government. To convey new views to the query of Arab identification, Iraqi-born student Nissim Rejwan has assembled this interesting selection of writings by way of Arab and Western intellectuals, who try and outline what it ability to be Arab. He starts with pre-Islamic instances and keeps to the final a long time of the 20th century, quoting thinkers starting from Ibn Khaldun to trendy writers reminiscent of al-Ansari, Haykal, Ahmad Amin, al-'Azm, and acknowledged. via their works, Rejwan exhibits how Arabs have grappled with such major concerns because the impact of Islam, the increase of nationalism, the search for democracy, women's prestige, the more youthful new release, Egypt's position within the Arab international, Israel's position in center japanese clash, and the West's "cultural invasion." by means of letting Arabs converse for themselves, Arabs within the replicate refutes a popular Western stereotype--that Arabs are incapable of self-reflection or self-government. to the contrary, it finds a wealthy culture of self-criticism and self-knowledge within the Arab international.

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Additional resources for Arabs in the Mirror: Images and Self-Images from Pre-Islamic to Modern Times

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He tries to show that in ijtihad (effort, study, exercise), the mujtahid (scholar) searches his reason and judgment when interpreting religious texts or assessing the authenticity of the traditions. Qiyas (analogical reasoning) is one form of ijtihad—a method by which the principles established by the Qurʾan and other sources of Islamic law are extended and applied to the solution of problems not expressly regulated therein. Here, however, the author does not make it clear that although all this was formally quite the case, the role of juristic reasoning in Islam remained completely subordinate to the dictates of divine revelation.

While the Christian justly blames himself for every untoward event which he thinks he has brought upon himself, or might have avoided, the Muslim enjoys a remarkable serenity of mind in all the vicissitudes of life. . The same belief in predestination renders the Muslim utterly devoid of presumption with regard to his future actions, or to any future events. indb 31 11/14/07 11:14:54 AM a r a bs i n t h e m i r ror In another passage, Lane speaks of “indolence,” which he says “pervades all classes of Egyptians, except those who are obliged to earn their livelihood by severe manual labor” (see especially Chapters 3 [“Religion and Laws”] and 13 [“Character”] of Lane’s work; his descriptions are summarized in Nissim Rejwan, “Egypt’s Search for a New Self-Image,” 58–62).

While the Christian justly blames himself for every untoward event which he thinks he has brought upon himself, or might have avoided, the Muslim enjoys a remarkable serenity of mind in all the vicissitudes of life. . The same belief in predestination renders the Muslim utterly devoid of presumption with regard to his future actions, or to any future events. indb 31 11/14/07 11:14:54 AM a r a bs i n t h e m i r ror In another passage, Lane speaks of “indolence,” which he says “pervades all classes of Egyptians, except those who are obliged to earn their livelihood by severe manual labor” (see especially Chapters 3 [“Religion and Laws”] and 13 [“Character”] of Lane’s work; his descriptions are summarized in Nissim Rejwan, “Egypt’s Search for a New Self-Image,” 58–62).

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Arabs in the Mirror: Images and Self-Images from Pre-Islamic to Modern Times by Nissim Rejwan


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