Thursday, May 18, 2017

Advice to some of my pseudo-scholarly interlocutors on FB

Dr. Adis Duderija, Lecturer in Study of Islam and Society, Griffith university 

I have been involved in a number of debates on FB surrounding  my own scholarship, especially in relation to theorizing of progressive Islam since I started  using face-book for ‘academic’ purposes  in 2012/2013 ( 3 years after completing my Ph.D in contemporary Islamic hermeneutics with focus on progressive Islam and neo-traditional Salafism  ).
Some of these experiences have been really helpful in clarifying my own thinking further and I have learnt things I did not know. However, some of the debates have been the opposite. Usually , these involve  young Muslim men with little or no scholarly credentials who ‘critique’ my work in a highly distortive. self-serving ,piecemeal,  and unsystematic and essentially uninformed  manner to basically score an ideological point ( usually against progressive Islam) . This prompted me to write this short blog piece  for such individuals to check whether or not their knowledge on the topics I have been publishing on  for 10 years is sufficient for me to actually take them seriously.

I would also like to mention that some 15 years ago when I embarked on my journey  to academia/scholarship ( I read many academic works at least 5 years prior to that  since the late 1990s)  I was very fortunate to receive some wonderful advice from professor Ebrahim Moosa who highlighted the importance of identifying and  reading the works of the leading scholars in respective disciplines as the first and essential step in the academic /scholarly journey. I have held onto this advice ever since.
In what follows  let me be absolutely clear that this is not about stifling genuine criticism or self-promotion  but ensuring that  the standards of intellectual honesty, factual accuracy ,erudition and scholarship are not swamped by intellectual laziness, lack of erudition ,lack of  respect for scholarship and similar.

My publications straddle several disciplines including the modern study of Islamic law/legal theory/early Islamic history/Islamic theology/Islamic ethics, sunna/hadith and Islamic feminism/gender issue in Islam. I have been publishing on all of them for a decade and have a very distinguished publication record on these topics ( for those who know) .  The scholars ( and their most relevant and important works )  I identify below  have been read properly and referenced in my  publications.
So my friendly piece of advice to my (pseudo-scholar) interlocutors on FB is before you ‘criticise’ myself ( especially if you did not bother actually reading my work) I want you to do a checklist whether or not you are AT LEAST as a bare minimum   familiar with these scholars and their major works  that I have read and cited in my scholarship ( for full list please click here including many  traditionalist scholars). This  does not necessarily mean that I agree with their findings. 

Modern Field of Study
Name of Scholar
Sunna /hadith
H.Motzki, GHA Juynbol, J.Schacht, I.Goldziher, A.Goerke, F.Rahman, Ghamidi, M.Shahrur,Z.I.Ansari, Y. Dutton, Lowry, Joseph, El-Omari, Racha; Brown, Jonathan; Melchert, C; Abd- Allah, U. F.; Abbott, N.;Sezgin;
Islamic legal theory /Islamic law /ethics
Abou El Fadl, Wael Hallaq, M.Kh. Masud, Imran Nyazee, Hashim Kamali, M.Kadivar,A.Souaiaia, Vishanoff, David, A.El-Shamsy, Jackson, Sherman, Zysow, Aron, Wheeler Brannon, Reinhart, A. Kevin, Johansen, Baber; Melchert, C; Anver Emon; Johnston, David L; Ibn Ashur, Tahir;J.Auda;
Early Islamic theology
Madelung, J. van Ess,W.M. Watt, Mourad, Suleiman, Schmidtke, Sabine and Hasan Ansari
Qur’anic hermeneutics/tafsir
Abdullah Saeed, A.Rippin, F.Esack, A.Wadud, S. Taji-Farouki, Abu Zayd N.H., Mumisa, Michael; Neuwirth, A; Achrati, Ahmed
Islamic intellectual tradition in  general ( turath) both classical and modern period
Hassan Hanafi, M. A. Al-Jabiri, Ebrahim Moosa, Farid Esack, M. Arkoun, Soroush, Abdolkarim,Ali Mabrook,Ali A.Engeneer, Afsaruddin, Asma;I. Abu Rabi’i
Islam and gender (from historical/religious/hermeneutics/legal perspective)
Mir-Hosseini, Ziba; Shaikh, Sa’diyya; Chaudhry, Ayesha,Fatima Seedat,Asma Barlas, Amina Wadud; Abdul Kodir, Faqihuddin,F.Mernissi, Marin, Manuela, Bauer, Karen;K.Ali, N.Keddie; Azam, Hina,
Human rights /democracy in  Islam
A.Sachedina, A.Moussali, M.Khan, N.Hashemi, Afsaruddin, Asma.

This is just the most basic guide and list of scholars whose major works you needed to have read  if you want me to take you seriously. Alternatively, I will respond only to  genuine  queries that  demonstrate that you have read and specifically cited and engaged with my work  as I did in this case .Everything else is a waste of time. 


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