There have been many ideologues but few deserve the status of a pioneer. Rahnema's collection focuses on the most important, namely: Sayyid Jamal al-din al-Afghani, Muhammad Abduh, Ruhollah Khomeini, Sayyid Abd'al Ala Mawdudi, Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Musa al-Sadr, Ali Shariati, and Muhammad Baqr as-Sadr. Each has a chapter by a seperate authority covering their lives, ideas and achievements. This is specifically a collection covering around a century of ideological thought and development and the product is to see these as branches on a tree, rather than more linearly. Other works, such as those by JN Jalbani, cover earlier thinkers, such as Shah Waliullah. The development of thought contributing to the Pakistan Movement is also covered elsewhere. This, though, is an invaluable collection dealing with the foremost intellectual developments in the period and is a must read for anyone wanting to learn about them. It is also an ideal accompaniment to Abu-Rabi's Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam.
-- This summary is based on the 1994 edition. In 2005 a revised edition was published, with a new introduction placing these thinkers within a post-9/11 context. --