Mohamed Ajmal Abdul Razak (ed.), Islam Hadhari: Bridging Tradition and Modernity
As a manner of introduction, the editor of the book under review gives the background to Islam Hadhari or Civilisational Islam, essentially a comprehensive blueprint for progress postulated by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri (now Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the 2004 National Front Manifesto.
In “Civilizational Dialogue and the Islamic World”, Seyyed Hossein Nasr traces the Greek, Sanskrit, and Latin Christian origins of the word ‘civilisation’. He speaks of the “Presiding Idea”, or “heavenly-given dispensation” that underlies all traditional civilisations, and attributes the decline of Islamic civilisation from the eighteenth century onward partly to colonisation and partly to the (erroneous) efforts of the Muslims themselves to uncritically emulate the West. Islamic civilisation, he concludes, is still best suited for inter-civilisational dialogue, occupying as it does the globe’s “middle belt”.