The Last Muslim Intellectual: The Life and Legacy of Jalal Al-e Ahmad

By Hamid Dabashi

In this social and intellectual biography, Hamid Dabashi contends that Jalal Al-e Ahmad was the last Muslim intellectual to have articulated a vision of Muslim worldly cosmopolitanism, before the militant Islamism of the last half a century degenerated into sectarian politics and intellectual alienation from the world at large.

Dabashi places Al-e Ahmad beside other towering critical thinkers of his time, showing how he personified a state of Muslim anticolonial modernity that has now disappeared behind the smokescreen of sectarian politics. This unprecedented engagement with Al-e Ahmad’s life and legacy is a prelude to what Dabashi calls a ‘post-Islamist Liberation Theology’.

The Last Muslim Intellectual expands the wide spectrum of anticolonial thinking beyond its established canonicity by adding a critical Muslim thinker to it – an urgent task, if the future of Muslim critical thinking is to be considered in liberated terms beyond the dead-end of its current sectarian predicament.

Read a Columbia News interview with Professor Dabashi about The Last Muslim Intellectual.