Contemporary Islam is both original (retaining the traditions of its founders) and derivative (influenced by ideas and circumstances). Though Islam has always helped Muslims seek the ideal model of life given through Muhammad and the Caliphs, throughout history it has been interpreted by individuals, influential leaders and communities. This raises certain questions about the future of Islam to be considered for the final paper in this course.
Based upon your research and readings:
Do you believe that, as a whole, Islam will continue to focus on maintaining traditional understandings, practices and lifestyles? If so, why? Do you believe that Islam as a whole is moving toward a renewal / reconsideration of its identity as one stream within the diverse global community? If so, why? In your reaction to one of the above, consider the origins, world view, ideas, and/or events which tend to prove your conclusion.
Your discussion may include Islamic traditions and stories, structures, social trends, recruitment processes, modes of governance, decision-making, means of retaining members and mobilizing resources. Consider that Muslim people react in various ways and come from diverse cultures and Islamic sects. Some Muslims tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the world; others prefer to integrate and/or accommodate. Some adopt an activist stance marked by the insistence on remaining separate through an aggressive attitude toward outsiders. Others have some degree of willingness to assimilate into a diverse religious framework.