“Canny Purchase of Modernity”: Incorporating Change into the Islamic Discourse Considering Modernity in Imam Yassine’s Theory
Confronting the change is inevitable for those who vow to embark the reformist process for the Islamic discourse in modern times. The Muslim Societies are too sensitive regarding the religious discourse to ignore the change posed by the modernism. On the other hand the artificial spirit of modernity is too appealing to be avoided by the purchasers of its products. Resultantly, for a reform program, as the modernity is inescapable the purchase should be canny one. It is the very phrase Imam Abdesselam Yassine coined for the comprehension of his reform program and is disseminated towards his adherents (Winning the Modern World for Islam: 2000, 9). In his book al-Islam wal Hadatha (2000, 9) he contends that the first appearance of the term Taslim-ul-Hadatha (Islamizing modernity) is made by him. However, it is important to note that this coping with modernity is means to ends and not ends itself. His main goal is to achieve eternal blessings in the hereafter (ibid). But this journey from here to hereafter is problematic as to which goes the authority who would determine this ‘canny purchase’? Maintaining a balance is bit difficult rather dangerous line of action in this regard.
This paper seeks to explore the limits drawn by Imam Yassine’s discourse to tackle the temporal modernity which has engulfed the aspirations of fellow humans, thereby made the adjustment of change in different discourses of the world inevitable. It is also to probe how far a practical blueprint for an Islamic practice of modern times could be provided for the adherents of Umma? This will lead to a better understanding of the Islamic discourse in Post-Islamic era which marks a faith-lost in the classical reformism/Islamism. Thus the study also locates the position of Yassine’s thought between the two approaches of Islamism and Post-Islamism (Beyat, 2007). It will give a new facet of Yassine’s theory with respect to change occurred in the Islamic discourse itself i.e. from Islamism to Post-Islamism (discussed and analyzed at length in the full paper), hitherto not addressed by the scholars.