Perhaps the main takeaway students and scholars of Islam should derive from Shahab Ahmed's What Is Islam? is that instead of avoiding definitions of Islam, blithely insisting that the sheer diversity of Muslim thought, practice, and experience makes such an enterprise impossible, we should tackle the question head-on and consider what that diversity really means for the problem of definition. But how to move forward? How best to explore the implications of such an argument, operationalizing the consequences of his observations in practical terms?
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