A Controversial Religion
The usefulness ofa hostile image
Is dialogue impossible?
Eastern knowledge,Western ignorance
From polemical caricature to balanced reassessment
Enlightenment through literature
Oriental studies and orientalism
An invitation to conversion
The fascination ofIslam
May we be critical?
Neither prohibitions ofquestions nor lame comparisons
The ‘essence’ofIslam in changing forms
The ‘essence’ofIslam and its perversion
The status quo as a criterion?
Understanding Islam from the inside
Problems ofthe Beginning
1.Five thousand years ofNear Eastern high religions
Arabia on the periphery ofthe great empires
The breakthrough ofprophetic monotheism—Israel and Iran
2.Jews,Christians and Jewish Christians in Arabia
The Jews in the competition over Arabia
Six centuries ofArab Christianity
Arabic—also a language ofChristians
No roots in Hellenistic Christianity
Traces ofJewish Christianity
Viliﬁcation ofJewish Christians
Jewish Christianity on the Arabian peninsula?
3.Abraham—the common ancestor ofthe ‘people ofthe book’
Who was Abraham?
Abraham,Isaac and Ishmael: biblical perspectives
Dispute over the Abrahamic heritage: Qur’anic perspectives
What binds Jews,Christians and Muslims together
Is Islam a way ofsalvation?
God’s Word has Become a Book
1.The Qur’an—the speciﬁc feature ofIslam
A deﬁnition ofessence that goes beyond essence
The Qur’an—an Arabic,living,holy book
The Qur’an—God’s word
2.The Qur’an—a book fallen from heaven?
There is a process ofcanonization in all ‘books ofreligion’
A wearisome process ofcollecting and editing
The Qur’an as the Islamic constant
Is the Qur’an also the word ofGod for Christians?
1.There is no God but God
The practical theocentricity ofIslam
Monotheism as a core concern and ﬁghting programme
The creation ofthe world and human beings
God’s supremacy—and human responsibility?
The last judgement and the ﬁnal destiny ofhuman beings
A concrete paradise and hell
The most beautiful names ofGod
The common beliefin God in the three Abrahamic religions
2.Muhammad is his Prophet
The common basic ethic ofthe three prophetic religions
A prophetic religionpar excellence
How the Prophet was called: the messenger ofGod
The battle for justice: the threat to the status quo
The battle for the oneness ofGod: ‘Satanic verses’
Emigration: the turn ofthe ages
3.The Prophet as leading ﬁgure
The break with the Jews
The Islamic theology ofhistory
How the Prophet became the general: purges and wars
Achievements and virtues ofthe Prophet
Immoral? The traditional charges
Like the prophets ofIsrael
The great pilgrimage to Mecca
A change in the substance offaith
The Original Paradigm ofthe
1.Abiding substance offaith—changing paradigms
Is there also a paradigm change in Islam?
New epoch-making constellations
2.A religious vision realized
The new Islamic community
A religion oflaw?
The new responsibility ofthe individual
Arab and Muslim virtues
3.The religious and social transformation
The stabilization ofmarriage and family
Women—highly valued or discriminated against?
The Islamic constitution—a divine state
Islamic and what is Arab–Bedouin?
What is Islamic and what is Arab–Bedouin?
4.From the Prophet to the Prophet’s representative
Who is to lead?
The choice ofa successor: Abu Bakr,the ﬁrst caliph
From the desert to the confrontation with the high cultures
5.The original community expands
Islamic politics: ‘Umar,the second caliph
How was Arab–Islamic expansion possible?
6.The beginnings ofIslamic theology and law
A Meccan,not an Islamic policy: ‘Uthman,the third caliph
From word ofmouth to writing: the Qur’an as a book
An Islamic theology?
The germs oflocal theologies
Still no speciﬁcally Islamic system oflaw
7.The great crisis in the original community:
the split into parties
‘Ali,the fourth caliph—disputed
The ﬁrst civil war
The split between Sunnis,Kharijites and Shiites
The memory ofthe golden age
The Paradigm ofthe Arab Empire
1.From Medina to Damascus:the new centre ofpower
The Umayyads come to power: Mu‘awiyyah
A centralist monarchy develops
The establishment ofthe dynastic principle
2.The Shiite opposition
Husayn—the model for all martyrs
A separate ‘confession’: the Shiah
3.Imperial religious politics under the aegis ofIslam
A pious autocrat: ‘Abd al-Malik
Introduction ofa Muslim currency
Arabic becomes the ofﬁcial language
Art is Islamized
4.The origin ofIslamic law
State judges: the qadis
Islamization ofthe law: pious specialists
The theoretical foundation ofthe law
5.A new community ofmany peoples
From patriarchal regime to imperial government
The dividing walls collapse
Arabs and non-Arabs mix
6.A world empire comes into being
Paradigm change in foreign and military policy
The second wave ofconquest: an empire from India to Spain
The second great confrontation with Christianity
7.A theological controversy with political consequences
Predestination by God—theologically disputed
Still no theological orthodoxy
Recourse to the Qur’an: the Kharijites
Postponement ofjudgement: the Murjites
8.The crisis ofthe empire
A coup and an inaugural sermon
Towards the third civil war
The end ofthe Arab empire
The Classical Paradigm ofIslam
as a World Religion
1.A new era begins
Baghdad,the new cultural metropolis ofIslam
Islam as a world religion instead ofthe Arab nation
The cosmopolitan splendour ofthe caliphate
How the caliphs ruled
A tale fromThe 1001 Nights?
2.Classical Islam:a world culture
Arabic as a language ofcommunication and a high language
Persian education and way oflife
Hellenistic philosophy and science
The new role ofthe religious scholars
Classical Islamic law: the Shariah
3.The formation ofthe ‘traditions ofthe Prophet’,the Sunnah
What the Prophet said and did: the hadith
The science ofthe hadith
The victory ofthe traditionists
Are the hadith authentic?
A second source ofrevelation?
4.The four great law schools
The Malikite and Hanaﬁte law schools
The classical juristic synthesis: ash-Shaﬁ‘i
The traditionalist principle becomes established
Is the door of‘legal ﬁndings’closed? Ibn Hanbal
Does innovation become fossilized tradition?
5.The second theological dispute:revelation and reason
The new importance ofreason
The beginnings ofrational theology: Wasil and ‘Amr
Confrontation with the caliphate?
The paradigm ofa rational theology
A God without properties? Jahm
God has properties: Abu l-Hudhayl’s rational system
What are the consequences for the image ofhuman beings?
6.The state and theology
The fourth civil war and its consequences for theology
An Islamic magisterium: al-Ma’mun and the Mu‘tazilites
The Mu‘tazilites gain and lose power
7.The disintegration ofthe empire
The crisis ofthe institutions
The end ofthe world empire
The Paradigm ofthe
Ulama and Suﬁs
1.After one empire,many states
Regionalization in east and west
The post-imperial period: anti-caliphs
The Turks as heirs ofthe Islamic empire: sultans instead ofcaliphs
The Mongol invasion and its devastating consequences
2.The Ulama:legal schools become popular movements
Functions: training cadres,forming communities,networking
The new form oforganization: the madrasah
Popular movements and party factions
Is there an alternative to an Islam ofthe law?
3.The Suﬁs:mystics form themselves into brotherhoods
Is mysticism un-Islamic? Personal experience ofGod
Does mysticism have limits? The conﬂict over al-Hallaj
4.Suﬁsm as a mass movement
The regulation ofthe Suﬁcommunities
Parallels to Christian religious orders
No progress for women
Shadow sides ofSuﬁsm
A religion ofthe heart instead ofa religion ofreason?
The long way oftheology
A synthesis ofShariah Islam and SuﬁIslam: al-Ghazali
Which way oflife: theology,philosophy,esotericism?
The crisis and the turn towards mysticism
Two masters oftheology: al-Ghazali and Thomas Aquinas
Parallels in life
Parallels in work
Differences ofstyle,method and interest
Different overall structures
The abiding fundamental difference
Fossilization or renewal oftheology?
7.The rise and fall ofArabic philosophy
Can there be an independent Islamic philosophy?
Beginnings ofArabic philosophy: al-Kindi,ar-Razi,al-Farabi
The high point ofhistoric Arabic philosophy: Ibn Sina
The end ofArabic Islamic philosophy: Ibn Rushd
Al-Andalus: an Arabized Christianity
Al-Andalus: a fertile symbiosis ofMuslims and Jews
Is Islam to blame for the stagnation?
Islamic expansion in India,South Africa and South-East Asia
Different social structures
Why was there no Islamic reformation?
2.Three great Islamic empires:Mughals,Safavids,Ottomans
The Indian Mughal empire: Akbar’s unitary religion
The Persian Safavid empire: the ﬁrst Shiite state
Shiite piety and politics
The Turkish Ottoman empire: the new Muslim world power
The difference in South-East Asian Islam
3.How Europe challenged the world ofIslam
A paradigm change in Islam?
Enlightenment in Islam?
Islam and the French Revolution
Reforms in Islam?
Questions for European modernity
4.Between reform and reaction
Ulama for reforms: Islamic reformism
Opposition to the reforms: Islamic traditionalism
The new élites: Islamic modernism
Secular nationalism: the downfall ofthe Ottoman empire
Competition between Paradigms
1.The secularist way
Turkish secularism: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Radical rejection ofthe Shariah
2.The Islamist way
Feudal Arabic Islamism: the Wahhabism ofSaudi Arabia
Political–social radical Islamism: Khomeini’s Islamic revolution
3.The socialist way
Arab socialism: Egypt
Aggressive nationalism: Iraq
What Kind ofIslam do
1.The contemporaneity ofcompeting paradigms
Option I: Pan-Islamism?
Option II: Pan-Arabism?
Option III: Islamism?
Option IV: Socialism?
Option V: Secularism?
2.Islam in a constant state ofchange
Questions to traditionalists,secularists and reformers
A chasm in knowledge that is growing dramatically
How is the gap in education to be closed?
The Middle East Conﬂict
and a New Paradigm
The state ofIsrael on Palestinian land
The Arab dilemma: Israel either un-Jewish or undemocratic
2.No end to the tragedy?
Persisting in the old paradigm
What could be
Opportunities for the new paradigm
New Approaches to Theological
The traditional controversy
The defensive strategies on both sides
2.Dialogue about Jesus
Jesus in the Qur’an: God’s messenger,not son
What does it mean for Jesus to be God’s son?
What could Muhammad have known?
Reﬂecting on the cross
Jesus fully integrated into the Islamic tradition
1.Monotheism and Trinity
The Muslim beliefin one God versus the Christian Trinity
Is criticism ofthe Qur’an legitimate?
Is there a distinction in God?
2.Reﬂection on the Bible
How do we speak ofFather,Son and Spirit in biblical terms?
Christ and the Trinity: from the Bible to dogma
The situation ofinterreligious dialogue
Stages oftime and systems oflanguage
From Biblical Criticism to
The Bible—is every word inspired?
The Qur’an—the question ofhistorical contingency
Pluralistic–political hermeneutics ofthe Qur’an
Factors in the revival
Renewal as a return to the origins
Islam—the ‘third force’for the future?
2.Approaches towards realization
Turkey—a laboratory for Islamic democracy?
Pioneer Islamic thinkers
Critical dialogue also with moderate Islamists
The Future ofthe Islamic
1.The challenge to traditional legal systems
The spread oflegalism—in all three prophetic religions
Catching up with the Reformation
Reintroduction ofthe Shariah? Nigeria,the test case
2.The challenge ofmodern legal systems
Human rights—a test case for Christianity and Judaism
Human rights—a test case for Islam
An Islamic basis for human rights?
3.Religions and women—a relationship oftension
Equal rights for women in Christianity and Judaism?
Equal rights for women in Islam?
Muslim women for women’s rights
4.Reforms are indispensable
Is the Shariah simply a code oflife?
Towards a modern Shariah
General ethical framework: rights and responsibilities
The Future ofIslamic
State Order and Politics
1.State and religion—united or separated?
A trilateral comparison
Religion and state in Judaism
Separation ofreligion and state with Jesus ofNazareth?
The different context ofthe Prophet Muhammad
State and religion in Christianity and Islam
2.Secularity without secularism
Future perspectives for Islam and Christianity
Religious freedom—even to change religion?
3.Religion,violence and ‘holy wars’
Does monotheism have a special propensity to violence?
Holy wars ofYahweh?
Violence in the sign ofthe cross
4.War or peace?
Realm ofIslam—realm ofwar
Radicalization ofthe idea ofjihad?
A hermeneutic ofpeacemaking
A pedagogy ofpeacemaking
A pragmatic ofpeacemaking
The Future ofthe Islamic
1.Is Islam the solution?
The Mediterranean between piracy and good neighbourliness
Why the economic backwardness?
The prohibition ofusury—required and evaded
2.Islamic traditions rediscovered
Islamic banking systems
3.Commerce and ethics
Ethical principles for commerce in keeping with Islam
The need for an ethical framework
Islamic commercial principles as a bridge
1.Do clothes make people?
Problems for Christian churches with the veil
What is at issue in the dispute over the headscarf?
2.Walking the tightrope between Islamism and secularism
An Islamist fundamentalism
A secularist fundamentalism
Neither Islamism nor secularism as a model
3.Dialogue rather than clash
Not prohibition but understanding
Pragmatic,not ideological solutions
A short excursus on the German legal situation
4.Controversies centred on the mosque
The call to prayer
Legal standpoint or dialogue?
Muslims,Christians and Jews—together in prayer?
An ecumenical prayer
Islam,an Image ofHope
1.From a hostile image to an image ofhope
The fateful question for Islam
2.An enlightened sense ofreligion
The modern differentiation ofreligion
Islam—only a part-system?
Ethics as the foundation ofdemocracy—in Islam too
Islam as a help in life
Islam and world problems: the population explosion as a test case