Living without why. A Muslim’s attempt to authenticity
Abdullah Trevathan (Roehampton University, London and Al –Qayrawan University in Morocco)
What is presented is the exploration of an individual path towards individual authenticity in the context of Muslim faith and culture. The pathway presented is not meant to be prescriptive, nor exclusive but simply to provide an example of a way of working intellectually through to some form of authentic Muslim ‘beingness’. Much of the analysis will take place within a comparative arena of classical Islam and Existentialist thought.
However, the question of whether there are obstacles to the individual Muslim seeking personal authenticity is raised. While the inner search has traditionally been part of Muslim culture, what is significantly different from the past, is its being at odds with an increasing mundanization of religion (Drane : 2000). Is there any discernible evidence of an underlying inauthenticity within the Muslim discourse and if so, how and why ? Both philosophical and theological approaches are used to explore inauthenticity, authenticity and the changing nature of religious experience.
Social theories such as reification and McDonaldization are also brought to bear upon these questions in examining to what extent these might have seeped into the religious arena with specific reference to contemporary Islam. There also an examination of the role of reason and rationalism throughout Muslim intellectual history and the influence of this upon Muslim thought, theology and jurisprudence. With this backdrop, a working through of a pathway towards personal authenticity is embarked upon and presented.