One of Dune’s overarching concerns is to locate and explore a “Muslimness in time.” The novels fixate on change across time and space: How does a tradition adapt, or not, across centuries, environments, and societies? The novels interrogate this question through a range of Muslim approaches to it. They look to Muslim scholarly traditions, historical interpretations, and experiences as they shift from place to place and generation to generation. The saga finds answers in Muslim beliefs in the sanctity of the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings; in Muslim practices of mysticism and experience as a response to legalism and scientism, or to the (orientalist) binary of reason against unthinking following; in a respect for other traditions that nevertheless preserves a unique commitment to the bespoke quality of Islam; and in Muslim narratives of political succession and revolutionary power.
Haris Durrani, writing on Dune in “The Muslimness of Dune: A Close Reading of “Appendix II: The Religion of Dune“, tor.com