The Future of Islam, 1672–1924
Modern Intellectual History
This article examines the ways in which defining the character of early Islam has been instrumental to contemporary political debates at distinct moments in time. It looks in particular at Restoration-era England and the last decades of the Ottoman Caliphate. In the latter period, European and Muslim scholars alike reappraised Islamic history in the context of the often polemical discourse surrounding pan-Islamism and the future of Islam. Indian Muslim writers especially moved into new and inventive historical territory. They took up the vocabulary of modern politics in their histories and in doing so pluralized the heritage of certain ideas and concepts, including democracy, constitutionalism, republicanism, and socialism. The result was the articulation of a usable, progressive Islamic past.