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Yusuf al-Qaradawi and the "Islamic awakening" of the late 20th century

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Qaraḍāwī
  • Yūsuf.
  • Islam -- History -- 20Th Century.
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Religious Science


This study is an attempt to present the thought of Yusuf `Abd Allah al-Qarad&dotbelow;awi and his views on the Islamic awakening of the last two decades. Considered one of the contemporary world's leading moderate Islamic thinkers and activists, he has undertaken the mission to promote the idea of what he sees as a "true Islam," which he envisions as a moderate force that is all-encompassing in human life. An Egyptian, now living in Qatar, he leads a major stream within the Islamic movement today, the tayyar al-wasa&dotbelow;tiyah al-Islamiyah , which believes in the "inevitability of the Islamic solution." Al-Qarad&dotbelow;awi recommends a "long-term plan," seeking in the first place to transform individuals as a prelude towards changing society. The chief step toward accomplishing this mission involves renewing the religion by rediscovering Islam's soundest foundation and going back to its purest sources, i.e., the Qur'an and Sunnah, in addition to applying the "moderate" methodology of the salaf (early Muslim generation). Al-Qarad&dotbelow;awi employs this traditionalist methodology and the wasa&dotbelow;tiyah's ideology in his approach to guiding the Islamic awakening and to directing the Islamic movement in its particular fields of work (which include education, politics, social work, economics, jihad, the media and propaganda, and finally, thought and learning) out of a conviction that these domains represent the crucial issues facing the Muslim world today. Yet despite al-Qarad&dotbelow;awi's fondness for logical discourse, he is a victim of the tendency to make axiomatic statements, which in turn endangers the entire structure of his arguments and leads him into inconsistencies. Despite these problems, his moderate voice is a welcome corrective to some of the more extremist discourse of today.

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