Malek Bennabi and his modern Islamic thought
, PhD thesis, University of Salford.
For a long time, Arab and Muslim writers and
intellectuals have not been able to agree on clearly defined
causes of "al-Takhalluf" (social, cultural and economic
retardation) in their societies. One group attributed it to
ignorance and illiteracy, while another lay the blame on the
lack of technological know-how or colonialism etc. Every
effort to get rid of "al-Takhalluf" was frustrated due to the
fact that, rather than being directed to an analysis of the
problem, such efforts usually focused on the symptoms and
consequences. As a result, the Arab and Muslim world is still
suffering from economic, technological and cultural
retardation. However, the issue of development continued as
a major preoccupation of a large section of Arab and Muslim
Malek Bennabi is ranked among the very few who have
profoundly and systematically contributed to the debate
concerning the issue of development. This thesis is intended
to discuss Malek Bennabi's singular ideas on "al- Takhalluf",
development and social transformation. Compared to other Arab
and Muslim writers and intellectuals who have dealt with the
subject and achieved a consensus on its vitality, Malek
Bennabi's thought singularly provides a realistic perspective
based on a more comprehensive methodology. In the discourse of this thesis, Malek Bennabi's ideas will be compared to
those expressed by geographers, economists, sociologists, and
management scientists as well as to those specifically
advocated by Arab and Muslim intellectuals, with a view to
delineate the comprehensiveness of Malek Bennabi's approach
vis-a-vis his predecessors and contemporaries.
The study comprises an introduction, three chapters
and the conclusion.
Chapter One deals with the atmosphere prevailing in
Malek Bennabi's country of origin and his own intellectual,
cultural and educational itinerary both in Algeria and in
France. It will also discuss the intellectual elements that
have influenced his thoughts and are reflected in his works.
Chapter Two is an elaborate account of Malek Bennabi's
ideas on "al-Takhalluf" (retardation), development and social
change in the Arab and Muslim world, and his analysis of the
causes rather than symptoms of social and economic
retardation as outlined in his nineteen books.
Chapter Three is an assessment of Malek Bennabi's ideas
on "al-Takhalluf" (retardation), development and social change
in comparison to theories formulated by other experts in the
field. It demonstrates the singularity, comprehensiveness and
profundity of his thought and the success be achieved in diagnosing the phenomenon of "al- Takhalluf" as "deprivation
of civilization" rather than a consequence of colonialism,
ignorance or poverty.
The conclusion sums up Malek Bennabi's ideas on
"al-Takhalluf" and social change. It also includes
recommendations towards a greater consideration of his work
in order to reveal its more substantial aspects. This is
followed by two appendices containing:
(a) The various theories of backwardness, development
and social change as propounded by selected geographers,
economists and management scientists, and
(b) The various ideas proffered by Arabs and Muslims on
"al-Takhalluf" s well as their proposals to eliminate this
malady from the Arab and Muslim world.
A comprehensive bibliography of references used in the
thesis follows the conclusion.
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