On Jamal Ad-Din Al-Afghani and the 19th century islamic political though
CitationÜnsar, S. (2011). On Jamal Ad-Din Al-Afghani and the 19th. century islamic political though. Gazi Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi. 13.3, 79-96.
The essay analyzes Afghani’s system of thought within the paradigm of the 19th century Islamic political thought by setting the Islamic institutional margins shaped by internal and external factors. The internal factors regard the Islamic theoretical formation while the external ones are determined by the dialectic of Western domination and patterns of reaction to it. Despite the controversy regarding his life, motives and ideas, Afghani is treated -in the context here- as a visionary in whose life the most common theme was ‘disappointment’, and a free-thinker who used, in debates with Western philosophers, such radical notions as the universality of science, faith in lieu of religion, and language as the main constituent of the nation. Afghani indeed took up and analyzed issues that are still at the heart of contemporary debates on religion and philosophy in the 19th century. One aspect of the essay is the emphasis on the idea that non-Western thinkers such as Afghani should be analyzed with a perspective different from that for the Western thinkers due to not merely the different institutional boundaries of the thought system that they have emerged within, but also the fact that the Western thinkers have not been burdened with the task of a tremendous struggle against the hegemony of the dominant economics, politics and intellectual paradigm (of the West).