Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Responses To William M. Watts Thought In Islamic Studies

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Salamah Noorhidayati , Ahmad Zainal Abidin , Iffatin Nur , Nur Kholis


The dialectic of thought among scholars is something that is inevitable even is very beneficial for the development of knowledge. By dialectics, the sides of originality, strengths and weaknesses will be known so that every party can take lessons from other parties. This paper could not be separated with that spirit.  The responses of Indonesian Muslim scholars to William Montgomarry Watt's thoughts especially in Islamic studies concerning controversial issues became inevitable. With descriptive analytical methods, this paper attempts to map the responses given by those scholars. Some Indonesian Muslim scholars through their writings such as Ilyas, Muslih, Thohir,  and Mahmud appreciated and criticized several Watts ideas related to methods, approaches, or content of discourses in Islamic studies. Among those traced in this paper are the responses of Indonesian scholars regarding Watt's thoughts related to the theory of the emergence of Islam in Arabia, the prophetic status of Muhammad, critical studies of the Qur'an to their responses and criticisms to the methods, approaches, and tendencies used by Watt in explaining his ideas. In this paper, those responses are placed as a reception as well as a reaction to a thought that emerge in Watts context and position while at the same time emphasizing how the cultural-social background that encourages both reception and reaction emerge.

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