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The question of the West in the ideology of revivalism : perspectives from Mawlana Abu’l- a‘la Mawdudi, Sayyid Qutb and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

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2008
Aras, Esra
This thesis surveys the response of the ideology of 20th century Islamic revival to the West and the Western-inspired regimes at home. Based on J.S. Mill’s “method of difference, it compares the ideological perspectives of the prominent figures of Islamic revival: Mawlana Abu’l-A‘la Mawdudi in Indio-Pakistan, Sayyid Qutb in Egypt and Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran. In this context, it analyzes the appraisal of Islam as a total way of life in order to refute the Western tradition and refuse its interference into the socio-politics of the Islamic world in the ideal order proposed by those ideologues. The question of the West is the dependent variable of the comparison and is searched through two independent variables: (1) ontology/epistemology of the ideal Islamic order which necessitates a socio-political transformation from “jahiliyya” to “hakimiyya” and (2) the methodology to attain the ideal order which is based on activism. In this perspective, it questions the revivalist proposal of “Occidentalism” as a reaction to the Western-originated system of governance. To this end, the thesis firstly explores the characteristics of the independent variables the epistemology/ontology and methodology- of Islamic revival from a historical point of view. Then, it continues with comparing how Mawdudi, Qutb and Khomeini respectively regard the West in the theory of ideal Islamic order which reads a process from “jahiliyya” to “hakimiyya” through activism.