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Mahmud Karam

It is well-known that the religious heritage circulating in the collective mind and in the cultural and social environment of the Islamic world still generally retains the power to exercise authority and control, and still retains the authority to ‘enjoin that which is good and forbid that which is evil’. It derives the legitimacy for its control, authority, direction and governance from the fact that it has always been characterised in the Islamic mental, emotional, intellectual and cultural imagination by a stamp of inexorability, perpetuity, certitude, metaphysics and absoluteness.

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Riyad Hammadi

While the ‘ulamā’ have placed the condition of ‘non conflict of the content (of the Text) with reason, that is, the necessity of what is handed down to be in accordance with what is reasonable, and that the Text should be rationally acceptable and not demonstrating any weakness in the meaning (even if there is no associated weakness of expression), despite the importance of this condition Muslims have cancelled it out by limiting the evaluation of its agreement with reason as something to be carried out solely by the hadith collector.

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Hashem Saleh

I am well aware that my position differs greatly from the position of major Arab intellectuals who have waged battles against Orientalism, intellectuals such as Anwar ʽAbd al-Malik, Hishām Jaʽīt and Edward Saïd and many others. There are times when I have got to the point of thinking about putting together an entire work on this with the title: In Defence of Orientalism, or In Praise of Orientalism. But until now I have not had the time.

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Lafif Lakhdar 1934-2013

It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Lafif Lakhdar, who passed away on the morning of 26 July 2013, in Paris.

He had been suffering for some time with cancer, but stayed energetic to the very end writing articles (including for Almuslih) and penning his final work ‘From the Muhammad of Faith to the Muhammad of History’, demonstrating in all of his work a dedication of purpose to the cause of religious reform, social emancipation and intellectual freedom.

We at Almuslih were personally witness to his fortitude and courage when we were privileged to have his attendance at our Rome conference in December 2012, where his good humour and lively participation, despite the debilitating effects of his illness, energised the discussions and inspired all of the participants.

His good will and charitable nature as much as his intellectual authority – which he wore lightly and with disarming modesty – and his valuable guidance will be sorely missed by all of us at Almuslih as, I am sure, by all of our readers.

Director, Almuslih

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