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Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

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Full-Text Articles in Near and Middle Eastern Studies

What Is Enlightenment? An Islamic Perspective, Muqtedar Khan Sep 2014

What Is Enlightenment? An Islamic Perspective, Muqtedar Khan

Muqtedar Khan

This essay draws on Immanuel Kant’s concept of enlightenment as an escape from self- imposed ignorance and argues that a similar concept of enlightenment can be understood within the Muslim context as escape from self-imposed jahiliyyah, which is understood as fear to exercise reason publicly. The article advocates for ijtihad, is critical of Taqlid, and invokes Islamic sources to invest confidence in contemporary use of reason for interpreting Islam.