Society & Civilization

The Society and Civilization stream considers ways ummatic solidarity already animates Muslim life, looking at how the ummah informs Muslims’ lived experiences and how it is theorized/conceptualized. The stream complements the others by providing a space for the development of new forms of ummatic analyses, thought and strategies for societal transformation. It would seek to draw on the best of classical and contemporary Islamic thinkers who have deliberated upon the patterns of history, culture and social change. This would include highlighting the civilization analysis of the great classical scholars and reformist intellectuals from the late nineteenth century, twentieth century to our current times.


The transformation this stream seeks is one that deepens ummatic thought in the ummah, and turning ummatic solidarity into a lived experience, or living discourse among Muslims at various levels. The stream would also engage with modern social theories, concepts and methodologies and where possible attempt to synthesize with Islamic approaches to generate new paradigms and problem solving techniques. It would also benefit from various relevant disciplines and analytical approaches such as Future Studies, Cultural Studies and Systems Thinking to provide multi-dimensional, multi-layered micro, meso and macro meta analyses of the issues affecting Muslim societies in majority and minority contexts. 


The problems and challenges that need to be researched and examined are vast and need a systematic, society by society approach which is integrated into a coherent transnational, ummah level of analysis. Initial questions that could be addressed are:


  • What are the global social, cultural and civilizational trends Muslim thinkers and change makers need to be aware of?
  • What are the immediate and long term social challenges facing individual Muslim states?
  • What can we learn from influential non-Muslim thinkers and social movements in the recent past and present moment?
  • How can we build, sustain and promote networks that nurture new generations of Muslim scholars, activists, entrepreneurs and influencers that think in an ummatic way?
  • What are the most impactful ways of working collectively to address the social and civilisational challenges that we face in our separate countries, as an ummah and as human beings facing various planetary crises?

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