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The decline of the decline paradigm: Revisiting the periodisation of Islamic history
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CitationŞentürk, R. (2020). The decline of the decline paradigm: Revisiting the periodisation of Islamic history. Niedergangsthesen auf dem Prüfstand / Narratives of Decline Revisited içinde (213-217 ss.). Berlin: Peter Lang.
Did the Islamic civilisation decline? If yes, then when did its decline begin? If not, then how can one explain the conflicts the Muslim world has been facing for the last two centuries? These giant questions continue to occupy the minds of scholars of Islamic Civilisational Studies worldwide and from all disciplines. There are numerous contested answers, and the conventional ones offered to these questions, once taken for granted, are no longer applicable. This article attempts to shed light on the Eurocentric historical periodisation process of the Islamic civilisation that has dominated the disciplines of history and social sciences, and the recent paradigm shift from declinist to anti-declinist paradigm that is challenging the orientalist narratives that have dictated how we perceive the Muslim world, how it has become and how it may be. The paradigm shift from declinist to anti-declinist among historians of Islam necessitates revisiting the existing periodisation of Islamic history commonly used today, and re-dividing it into periods in light of new research and data from primary sources. By doing so, we can redefine the propagated chosen time periods of the ‘golden ages’ and the ‘dark ages’ in Islamic history, and introduce a new narrative to the story of Muslims in the world...