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Sardar, Ziauddin

By:
John H. Watson
Source:
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World What is This? Provides comprehensive scholarly coverage of the full geographical and historical extent of Islam

Sardar, Ziauddin

Ziauddin Sardar (b. 1951) is a Pakistani-born writer and editor. His father, Salahuddin Khan Sardar, emigrated from Pakistan, and the family was reunited in London. He studied at Brooke House Secondary Modern School in South London, became teenage science editor of the British magazine Sixth Form Opinion, and studied physics at the City University, London. He became well known as an information scientist, correspondent, and lecturer, and he served for several years as General Secretary of the Federation of Students Islamic Society. Student activism was widespread among British political and religious groups at that time, and in the 1970s, Ziauddin Sardar studied Islamic theology with Jaʿfar Sheikh Idrīs and Ṣūfī spirituality with Sheik Nazim Adil Haqqani. He did not reject his teachers but continued to study a wider Islamic tradition, one that was accommodating rather than restrictive. In 1974 he worked in the Islamic Hajj Research Centre at the King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, undertaking his first hajj to Mecca in 1975 and completing four more pilgrimages before 1980.

With the publication of his primary text in the mid-1970s, he was recognized as a gifted Muslim author, broadcaster, essayist, journalist, and reviewer, and he contributed to an exceptionally wide range of newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. The most significant magazine, Afkar: Inquiry, was conceived and edited by Ziauddin Sardar from June 1984 to September 1987. The Muslim intelligentsia acclaimed the journal, and it sold 50,000 copies per issue. The editor divided his monthly commitments into thirds: a fixed period editing Afkar: Inquiry, travel through Muslim communities in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and ten days’ teaching at the Centre for Policy and Future Studies at East-West University in Chicago. Afkar: Inquiry ceased publication in December 1987 but is still regarded as a most significant Muslim publication.

Professor Sardar has served as the editor of Futures, the monthly journal of policy, planning, and prospective studies, and as coeditor of Third Text, the critical journal of visual arts and modern culture. He is a leading correspondent for the New Statesman and Professor of Postcolonial Studies in the Department of Arts Policy and Management, City University, London.

For more than a quarter of a century, Dr. Sardar has written studies which explore the reality of the modern Muslim world; they vary from academic texts to popular paperbacks. In the subtitle of his autobiography, he refers to himself as a “sceptical Muslim,” trying constantly to engage with the sense of an internalized Islam which is the essence of his Muslim identity. Pluralism is central to modern Islamic studies, and the openmindedness in his writings is obvious. Ziauddin Sardar is a major interpreter of all progressive and nonviolent international faiths. He supports firm spiritual structures and believes confidently in authentic twenty-first century Islam, which should achieve a peace-making, moral, equitable, and inclusive social and political order.

Bibliography

  • Inayatullah, Sohail, and Gail Boxwell, eds.Islam, PostModernism, and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader. London: Pluto Press, 2003.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin. “Natural Born Futurist.”Futures28, no. 6 (1996): 665–668.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin. Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim. London: Granta Books, 2004.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin. Introducing Islam. Cambridge: Icon, 2001. Illustrations by Zafar Abbas Malik.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin. Islamic Futures: The Shape of Ideas to Come. London: Mansell, 1985.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin. The Future of Muslim Civilisation. London: Croom Helm, 1979.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin. What Do Muslims Believe?London: Granta Books, 2006.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin, and Merryl Wyn Davies. American Dream, Global Nightmare. Thriplow, U.K.: Icon, 2004.
  • Sardar, Ziauddin, and Merryl Wyn Davies. Why Do People Hate America?Cambridge: Icon, 2002.
  • Steyn, Juliet, ed.Other Than Identity: The Subject, Politics, and Art. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996.
  • Watson, John H.Listening to Islam: With Thomas Merton, Sayyid Qutb, Kenneth Cragg, and Ziauddin Sardar. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2005.
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