Beyond the Binary
Exploring Literary Representation of Islamic Diversity through Irshad Abdulkadir’s Prodigal
Keywords:Diversity of Islamic Thought, Pakistani Anglophone Fiction, Irshad Abdulkadir, Prodigal, Binary, Literary Representation, Diversity
This article focuses on the struggle between various facets of Islam within the contemporary Pakistani community as represented in the novel ‘Prodigal’ (2019) by Irshad Abdulkadir. The novel chronicles the journey of two young Muslim men on their separate yet parallel paths to discover their faith and find the right means ‘to serve Allah’. The text challenges the Western stereotyping of Islam being a rigid and static entity that dissociates with changing sociocultural norms of modern societies. The present study is qualitative in its nature and examines the selected text to see how the novel depicts various characters that represent the intellectual trends of Islamic thought in the contemporary Muslim world. Also, the study investigates how the author has woven different Islamic worldviews into the fabric of the novel’s plot and character development. The analysis reveals that the text remarkably brings forth a positive image of Islam and pleads a strong case to advocate for the world’s most misunderstood religion. The study also foregrounds the inadequacy of the categorization of Muslims and offers a critique of the taxonomies often proposed by Western scholars to divide Islam into different varieties.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Hafiz Abid Masood, Azher Khan
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