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161. Pride, Faith, and Fear: Islam
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162. Forbidding Wrong in Islam : An
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163. Health and Medicine in the Islamic
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164. Guide to Understanding Islamic
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165. The Jews of Islam
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166. Islam and the Destiny of Man (Suny
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167. The Sole Spokesman : Jinnah, the
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168. The True History of Master Fard
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169. Makers of Contemporary Islam
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170. Islam and Democracy
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171. In Search of Islamic Feminism:
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172. The Two Faces of Islam : The House
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173. Muslim Devotions
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174. On the Perfect State
175. Veil : Modesty, Privacy and Resistance
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176. Talking to the Other: Jewish Interfaith
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177. A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam
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178. The Unlimited Mercifier: The Spiritual
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179. No God but God: Egypt and the
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180. Hajj & Umrah From A to Z

161. Pride, Faith, and Fear: Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Charlotte A. Quinn, Frederick Quinn
list price: $30.00
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Asin: 0195063864
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 674342
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

While nearly one in every five people in the world today is Muslim, Islam is spreading most rapidly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where one in three Africans today practices a form of Islam. Sub-Saharan Africa is today home to over 150 million Muslims. Although immensely varied, African Islam, the authors demonstrate, is defined by three overarching beliefs. First, African Islam is local Islam, with no ordained clergy or international body to regulate doctrine. At the same time, the importance of Islam as a source of communal identity, both within African societies and as part of the worldwide Islamic community, is a defining feature of the African Muslim worldview. Finally, there is a pervasive belief among African Muslims that the West is on a new crusade against Islam. At a time of growing interest in the worldwide expansion of Islam, the Islamic revival in Africa deserves special attention. With in-depth coverage of Islam in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Pride and Fear provides both a general overview of African Islam and a detailed picture of Muslim politics--which are increasingly national politics--in some of Africa's most populous regions. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pride and Fear: Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa
I just finished reading Pride and Fear.What a great read!It kept me captivated from front to back. I was interested to find out more about the religion of Islam and how it has come to have such an impact in all of our lives. This book has helped by showing how a number of African communities have integrated their religion into their political and daily attitudes. It was both accesible and informative. I have found a handful of books in the last couple of years that have helped expand my understanding of our global community and this is one of them. ... Read more

162. Forbidding Wrong in Islam : An Introduction (Themes in Islamic History)
by Michael Cook
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Asin: 0521536022
Catlog: Book (2003-05-27)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 479338
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Book Description

Michael Cook's classic study, Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought (Cambridge, 2001), reflected upon the Islamic injunction to forbid wrongdoing. This book is a short, accessible survey of the same material. Using Islamic history to illustrate his argument, Cook unravels the complexities of the subject by demonstrating how the past informs the present. At the book's core is an important message about the values of Islamic traditions and their relevance in the modern world. ... Read more

163. Health and Medicine in the Islamic Tradition: Change and Identity (Health/Medicine and the Faith Traditions)
by Fazlur Rahman
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Asin: 1871031648
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Kazi Publications
Sales Rank: 215896
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Book Description

This is a pioneering attempt to portray the relationship of Islam as a system of faith and as a tradition to human health and health care. The author explores Wellness and Illness in the Islamic World view, the Religious Valuation of Medicine, The Prophetic Medicine, Medical Care, Medical Ethics and Passages. ... Read more

164. Guide to Understanding Islamic Investing
by Virginia B Morris, Virginia B. Morris, Brian D. Ingram
list price: $12.95
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Asin: 0965093212
Catlog: Book (2001-08)
Publisher: Lightbulb Press
Sales Rank: 456889
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This first-of-its-kind guide provides the information and guidance that Muslims need to make informed investment choices while conducting their financial lives in accordance with Islamic principles. A concise 64 pages, the guide is an ideal introduction for Muslim investors, as well as an essential resource for financial professionals who work with Muslim clients.

With a foreword by Shaykh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, an internationally recognized Shariah scholar, the Guide examines the issues that confront Muslim investors, including the distinction between investments that are halal and those that are haram—and the screening process that determines which stocks or mutual funds are acceptable investments. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars disappointing
This is a slim book--a very slim book--full of very general and very basic advice on investing in general, which could have been found in any personal finance book. I was looking for SPECIFIC information on Islamic investing, and all I could find was very vague, and not very useful, information. In sum, about 10 percent of this tiny booklet is about Islam, and this is not much... ... Read more

165. The Jews of Islam
by Bernard Lewis
list price: $22.95
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Asin: 0691008078
Catlog: Book (1987-06-01)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 235489
Average Customer Review: 3.62 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Delightfull read but not for the belligeratti
It's informative, interesting anthropological material, and well researched, this is certainly a book for those who wish to have a better cultural understanding of an interesting period in history.

[Note: This book is not for those with a black/white, simplistic, Manichean view of the world, Eg: That Islam is somehow essentially "evil", Or for those who view Mohammed as a supervillian of cartoonish proportions]

Not the best of Lewis's work but still interesting...

2-0 out of 5 stars The truth of the Jews under Islam is.......
I am a non-Muslim from a predominantly Muslim country. I grew up learning the traditions and history of Islam with my Muslim childhood friends.

Although as always, Prof Lewis writes well and convincingly (hence the 2 stars) it irks me (, in fact it dowright enrages me) everytime a non-Muslim Westerner who has never lived under the Islamic yoke proclaims with great confidence how tolerant Islam is. Having said this, although Prof Lewis tries to be politically correct, thankfully he is not as bias towards Islam as Karen Armstrong, Prof Michael Sells, Edwad Said and John Esposito.

It must be emphasised that Islamic jurisprudence with regards Islam's relationship with Jews is based on how Prophet Muhammad treated the Jews during his lifetime. Muhammad's first real contact with the Jews was in Yathrib (now known as Medina) where he encountered three Jewish tribes, namely Banu Qaynuga, Banu Nadir and Banu Quraiza. The Prophet hoped that the Jews would accept him as the "One". When they did not, he was so enraged that not only did he instruct his followers to stop facing Jerusalem (but to Mecca) when they prayed but he attacked and pillaged all the three Jewish tribes. The first two were expelled after being relieved of their possessions. With regards the last of the three tribes (i.e. Banu Quraiza), he had all the men (about 700) decapitated outside Medina and enslaved their wives and children. Only one was spared because he embraced Islam. The rest of Prophet Muhammad's life was spent fighting 66 offensive wars against pagans and Jews including those at Khaybar [Hence, the contemporary Palestinian war cry "O Jews (Yahud) of Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is coming"]. Two of Muhammad's many wives and concubines (ie. Safiya and Reihana) were Jewish widows whose husbands and fathers, the Muslims killed. One of Muhammad's last instructions were to expel all Jews and Christians (all pagans have been forcibly converted) from the Arabian peninsula. It is clear in the Quran that he who obeys Prophet Muhammad, obeys God (Allah).

For those who are interested in knowing the true history of the Jews (and Christians) under Islam, I would like to recommend Bat Yeor's "Dhimmi" and "Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam" and Ken Blady's Jewish Communities in Exotic Places. Bat Ye'or's books include many texts by well-known Muslim historians and jurists showing the persecutions of and humiliations experienced by Jews (and Christians) during the 13 or 14 centuries under Islam. Although not all Jews were forcibly converted, there were a few occassions where this happened to Jews in a certain locality or community (i.e. Meshed and Isfahan in Persia). Ken Blady's book describes how Jewish communties once flourished in the Middle East and North Africa before Islam and how the Jews were persecuted. It seems that on the eve of the Muslim conquest, most of the world's Jewry were in the Middle East/Persia and North Africa. A great many of those Jews were forcibly converted to Islam and were absorbed by the Persians, Yemenis, Morrocan and Libyan Berbers, Tats, Kurds, Arabs, Afgans/Pathans etc.

As one can see, the difference with Nazism is Hitler killed all Jews including those who embraced Christianity. Islam on the other hand is not "technically" anti-semitic nor is it concerned with genetics. There are good Jews and bad Jews. The good ones are those who embrace Islam.

My last point is although politically correct pro-Islam Western historians always talk about the 1492 expulsion of Spanish Jews, few ever mention about the persecution in Spain by the Almohads where many Jews including the great Maimonides were forcibly converted to Islam. Also, although they talk about exiled Spanish Jews finding refuge in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire, they always fail to mention about those Sephardim who emigrated to equally tolerant Christian countries such as South west France (Bordeaux), Holland and England, and how their descendants fared so much better than their counterparts in Muslim countries. On the eve of the creation of Israel, descendants of those Spanish Jews who emigrated to Christian lands consists of many great merchant dynasties in America, Britain, Holland, France and Belgium whereas those in Muslim lands were living in abject poverty without knowing that they would be expelled in a few years time after the creation of Israel. There are or were dozens of Jewish peers in the House of Lords (such as Lord Rothschild and Lord Forte) and many more as American senators. How many Jews are allowed to remain in the Islamic lands? This more or less sums it up for the Jews of Islam.

1-0 out of 5 stars Elegant prose, but superficial, inaccurate historiography
Even Professor Lewis' elegant prose cannot redress the serious limitations in this very disappointing book. Organizational lapses - the book is merely a "re-assembly" of lecture material delivered in November, 1981- may explain some of these inadequacies. More importantly, he ignores a voluminous amount of historical data, and his own sound advice to avoid "loaded comparisons". As a result, his analyses are plagued by grossly inaccurate generalizations, and awkward internal contradictions. I have focused my discussion on two egregious, broad reaching examples which best illustrate these major flaws.

Professor Lewis states, "..Persecution, that is to say, violent and active repression, was rare and atypical. Jews and Christians under Muslim rule were not normally called upon to suffer martyrdom for their faith. They were not often obliged to make the choice, which confronted Muslims and Jews in reconquered Spain, between exile, apostasy, and death. They were not subject to any major territorial or occupational restrictions, such as were the common lot of Jews in premodern Europe.." He then adds this somewhat contradictory caveat: "..There are some exceptions to these statements, but they do not affect the broad pattern until comparatively modern times, and even then only in special areas, periods, and cases..".

Professor Lewis frames this debatable premise by ignoring his own advice (about "loaded comparisons"), inviting a comparison between the Reconquista, and presumably, the jihad conquests that preceded the Reconquista. In fact, the first three centuries of Islam in the in the East overlapped the Carolingian rule in Christian Europe (747-987 C.E.), a period recognized by scholars as one when European Jewry experienced a considerable degree of security and prosperity. Muslim chroniclers themselves, in contrast, have described the ongoing jihad conquests during the same period (i.e., the first three centuries of Arab Muslim conquests), which included the destruction of whole towns, the massacre of large numbers of their populations, the enslavement and deportation of women and children, and the confiscation of vast regions. Indeed, between 640 and 1240 C.E., jihad conquests lead to the total and definitive destruction of Judaism and Christianity in the Hijaz (modern Saudi Arabia), and the dramatic decline of once flourishing Christian and Jewish communities in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia. In the North African Maghreb, Christians had been virtually eliminated by 1240 and the Jews decimated by Almohad persecutions (including an "Inquisition" for Jewish converts to Islam which antedated the infamous "Spainish Inquisition" by over two centuries).

Muslim Spain itself was a land of constant jihad ruled under Maliki jurisdiction, which offered one of the most severe, repressive interpretations of Islamic law. It was populated by tens of thousands of Christian slaves, and humiliated and oppressed Christian dhimmis, in addition to a small minority of privileged Christian notables. The muwallads (neo-converts to Islam) were in nearly perpetual revolt against the Arab immigrants who had claimed large estates for themselves, farmed by Christian serfs or slaves. Expropriations and fiscal extortions ignited the flames of continual rebellion by both muwallads and mozarabs (Christian dhimmis) throughout the Iberian peninsula. Leaders of these rebellions were crucified, and their insurgent followers were put to the sword. These bloody conflicts, which occurred throughout the Hispano-Umayyad emirate until the tenth century, fueled endemic religious hatred. An 828 letter from Louis the Pious to the Christians of Merida summarized their plight under Abd al-Rahman II, and during the preceding reign: confiscation of their property, unfair increase of their exacted tribute, removal of their freedom (probably meaning slavery), and oppression by excessive taxes. In Grenada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela, and his son Joseph, who protected a once flourishing Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 to 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population by the local Muslim community (at least three thousand Jews perished in an uprising surrounding the 1066 assasination, alone).

Professor Lewis also errors when he maintains that the Jews were somehow limited uniquely under European Christendom by being forced to practice usury, for example, which was reviled by Christians. In fact he appears to acknowledge that under the yoke of dhimmitude in Muslim countries, the most degrading vocations were set aside for the Jews, including: executioners, grave-diggers, salters of the decapitated heads of rebels, and cleaners of latrines (in Yemen, in particular, this was demanded of Jews on Saturdays, their holy sabbath). Islamic societies also exhibited their own unique forms of severe oppression of Jews, NOT found in Christian Europe, such as: abduction of Jewish girls for Muslim harems; enslavement (including women and children) during warfare, revolts, or for economic reasons (for example, impossibility of paying the jizya, a blood ransom "poll tax" demanded of non-Muslims); the obligation for a Jew to dismount from his donkey on sight of a Muslim; the obligation in some regions (like the Maghreb) for Jews to walk barefoot outside their quarters; prohibiting Persian Jews from remaining outdoors when it rained for fear of polluting Muslims. With regard to enslavement, specifically, from the Middle Ages, right up until their mass exodus in 1948, rural Yemenite Jews were literally Muslim chattel.

He offers yet another self-contradiction when he acknowledges the plight of Jews in Morocco and Persia (Iran) who were in fact confined to living in ghettos.

Finally, Professor Lewis also contends that, "..In the early centuries of Islamic rule, there was little or no attempt at forcible conversion, the spread of the faith being effected rather by persuasion and inducement..".

In fact, enforced conversions were not exceptional, they were the norm. Orders for conversion were decreed under the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, and Mamluks- ranging from Spain and the Maghreb, to Yemen and Persia. Moreover, during jihad, the (dubious) concept of 'no compulsion' was meaningless. An enduring practice was to enslave populations taken from outside the boundaries of the Muslim shari'ah. Inevitably fresh non-Muslim slaves or their children were Islamized within a generation, their ethnic and linguistic origins erased. Two enduring and important mechanisms for this conversion were concubinage and the slave militias.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must read for Jewish/Muslim relations
Antedote for common polemics about "ageless (therefore inevitable) conflict between Jew and Muslim". The lessons are that historically Muslims have treated Jews better than Christians did until recent times and that Histocical Circumstances rather than innate religious ideologies explain the relationships that have varied in time and place. Iran and Morocco have generally been less tolerant of Jews. It is an interesting and revealing story probably more valuable than Lewis's "What Went Wrong" for understanding the Middle East. Too many readers who go further than the mainstream Press limit themselves to JDL or equally biased Muslim sources.

4-0 out of 5 stars Concise, well-written, informative
This book is fairly short and thus isn't intended to be the definitive book about Jews in Islamicate societies, but nevertheless, the Jews of Islam does provide a good introduction to anyone who wishes to know about the Jews on the other side of the Mediterranean.

I wouldn't characterize Lewis as believing that Islam is just an outgrowth of Judaism, but it is true that theologically, Islam and Judaism are very similar. Indeed, the two religions have much more in common with each other than either has with Christianity. The two religions are also share a fusion between faith and law, something that Christianity, due to Paul, does not share.

Finally, perhaps what is best about Lewis, aside from his clear style, is his rigid definitions before embarkation. For instance, what is Islam? Islam is the equivalent of Christianity, Christiandom, and secular law. ... Read more

166. Islam and the Destiny of Man (Suny Series, Islam)
by Charles Le Gai Eaton
list price: $29.95
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Asin: 088706163X
Catlog: Book (1986-02-01)
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Sales Rank: 270859
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A new, revised edition, in paperback, of a highly successful book. Islam & the Destiny of Man is a wide-ranging study of the religion of Islam from a unique point of view. The author was brought up as an agnostic and embraced Islam at an early age after writing a book (commissioned by T. S. Eliot) on Eastern religions and their influence on Western thinkers. The aim of this book is to explain what it means to be a Muslim, a member of a community which embraces a quarter ofthe world's population and to describe the forces which have shaped their hearts and minds. Throughout the book the author is concerned not simply with Islam in isolation, but with the very nature of religious faith, its spiritual and intellectual foundations and the light it casts upon the mysteries and paradoxes of the human condition. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars How can someone against religion become Muslim?
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the true Islam. Charles le Gai Eaton has written an excellent guide to Islam that will leave the intellectual reader full of thought-provoking questions about their spirituality, their concept of God, and the meaning of life. I was a church-going Christian when I read this book, quite uninterested in changing my religion, and certainly never to become the unthinkable: a Muslim. When I first read this 5 years ago, I heard that thousands of people had embraced Islam after reading his book. The author's depth of conviction and his miraculous change of heart from anti-religion and serious student of philosophy, to becoming Muslim, is beyond what most Americans/Europeans would expect. I praise God that I found this book to help lead me to true freedom, the path of Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, Thought Provoking, Challenging
Gai Eaton takes the reader on his own spiritual journey. From an atheist through the Eastern religions, through Christianity, we as the reader see why Islam is the only logical conclusion, and completion of all the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity). Although his objective is for western minds to understand the fastest growing religion, in this day when there are millions of Muslims in the west, I highly recommend it to those raised Muslim,and converts alike.It is such a complete understanding of Islam from the basics to the whole existance of man.Anyone searching for true meaning in their life, and for anyone who has EVER asked WHY AM I HERE?, read this book, carefully, and with an open heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Charles
Charles inspired me to pray again, alhamdulAllah.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellence in faith and expression
I have little to add to the other reviews lauding the brilliance with which this book is written, the excellence of its philosophy, and the sympathetic exegesis of Islam: indeed all of the Abrahamic religions. The one sour review you will read says it all about the excellence of this work.

I am a born-again, Bible believing Christian. It is a pleasure to read such a surrender to the wisdom of God, the Author of history, even if the true nature of Christ isn't, sadly, acknowledged.

I discovered this book entirely by accident, and cannot understand why it is not vastly better known. Do not let this gem of a book escape your careful attention!

5-0 out of 5 stars MONUMENTAL!!
This is a truly majestic book and is, without doubt, one of the most powerful works available on Islam in the English language. Intended primarily for the non-Muslim, or specifically for Westerners with little or no prior knowledge of Islam, I would say that this book is equally accessible and helpful to those who are either practising believers or who have a good working knowledge of the Faith, in the way it goes so far beyond ordinary introductory texts in dealing with and answering the vital questions of human existence. A comprehensive coverage of specifically the Islamic ethos is included, with regards to formation, beliefs, sources, history and crystallization, yet this representation always remains couched in an acute understanding of other major religious forces and (contemporary) intellectual contexts. This work is scholarly and encyclopaedic in content and scope, yet is saved from becoming abstruse or inaccessible by the author's pronounced gift of articulation, where with an almost effortless ease complex issues and matters are expressed in beautiful and poetical style. In fact, certain passages of this book are simply spellbinding, and there is a definite spiritual dimension to the text where the reader can tangibly feel the calm serenity of the author being transmitted through the words. I really cannot recommend this book enough; for those interested in furthering their knowledge of specifically Islam and the Muslim faith it is an excellent place to start or continue your research, for those who have any type of interest in religion in general or who are simply concerned with the deeper questions of life, meaning, purpose and existence then reading this book will prove to be an intriguing experience and for those who are simply looking for an interesting read then I am sure that this book will not disappoint you. Unreservedly, I recommend this book to as many people as possible. ... Read more

167. The Sole Spokesman : Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan (Cambridge South Asian Studies)
by Ayesha Jalal
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Asin: 0521458501
Catlog: Book (1994-04-28)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 624486
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1940 the All-India Muslim League orchestrated the demand for independent Muslim states in India. Seven years later Pakistan was created amidst a communal holocaust of unprecedented proportions. Concentrating on the All-India Muslim League and its leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, The Sole Spokesman assesses the role of religious communalism and provincialism in shaping the movement for Pakistan. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the history of Pakistan
This is a excellent book on the history of Pakistan. Ayesha Jalal has done her home work and has presented the facts in a very logical fashion. I find this book among the few honest assesment on India and Pakistan division.

5-0 out of 5 stars Attn Tom Greensburg
You say Moderate and secular Congress :

I say : "Mahatma" Gandhi and "Pandit" Nehru? Is this secularism?

You say Poisonous fruit of their efforts "A Nuclear Rogue pakistan"

I ask you which country detonated the nuclear device first? Gandhi's so called secular India or the Nuclear Rogue Pakistan?

Kindly tell me where you acquires such biases... have you even tried to read the book? Have you read about Mr Jinnah? Why is it that people like yourself wish to propagate the same false myths again and again, and not salute people like Ayesha Jalaal who have done an extremely good job in bringing out the facts..

Ayesha Jalaal mentions a very important fact... the Muslim Extremists and fanatics like the Ahrar were actually in alliance with your Mr Gandhi and the "secular Moderate Congress Party". Indeed Gandhi brought all fundamentalists and religious fanatics together regardless of religion caste or creed. Truly secular!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mr Jinnah was a secularist
Indeed, the premise of the book is correct, Mr Jinnah was a SECULARIST! However, by 1946, did he still want a unified India? I dont think so.

By the way, the guy who wrote the first review.. I am afraid, Bias aint gonna get you anywhere.

3-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant .. a rabit out of the hat of history
In her masterly work of deceit, Ayesha Jalal would have a century of research hung by the way side.

A generally well-accepted principle called Occam's Razor says that a problem should be stated in its basic and simplest terms. The simplest theory that fits the facts of a problem is the one that should be selected. When applied to the events in the Indian subcontinent, the picture appears like a moderate and secular congress fighting to keep India united; pitted against a brilliant political-Muslim Jinnah hell bent on breaking it. A chronic problem of Muslims with peaceful co-habitation manifesting itself into Pakistan.

But Ayesha would have us believe otherwise..... Congress a Hindu party. Jinnah and his cronies paramount examples of "secular ideals" (look at the poisonous fruit of their efforts .... The nuclear rogue Pakistan...) Gandhi .. the father of Indian partition. Even Bart Simpson won't say "I didn't do it" this innocently.........

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for anybody interested in the history of India
Ayesha Jalal has delivered a highly impressive piece of work. The research is impeccable and the analysis rigorous. Contrary to most historical accounts of the creation of Pakistan, Ayesha does not engage in rhetoric or political slogans. Instead, her efforts to remain unbiased clearly come across and are admirable. She is a historian par excellence and her talent for writing clearly and lucidly about complex subjects is clearly revealed in this book. A provocative piece of work which might actually get students of India/ Pakistan interested in a subject which they have always found dull. ... Read more

168. The True History of Master Fard Muhammad
by Elijah Muhammad
list price: $11.95
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Asin: 1884855318
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Secretarius Memps Publications
Sales Rank: 184188
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book addresses many of the arguments of who Elijah Muhammad's teacher actually is.From the emphirical to thue spiritual, the arguments are quite enlightening. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars BELIEVE IT OR NOT

169. Makers of Contemporary Islam
by John Esposito, John Obert Voll
list price: $22.00
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Asin: 0195141288
Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 486966
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Shaping Islamic Discourse
At present, John Esposito and John Voll are probably the most prominent writers on things Islamic in the United States. Both pair a sound academic grounding in religious studies with the ability to provide readable and balanced accounts on current affairs and important intellectual trends in the Islamic world. In 'Makers of Contemporary Islam' they present a number of Islamic thinker-activists - some of whom are quite controversial - in an empathic manner.
In composing this book the authors have tried to strike a balance between 'pure' intellectuals and political activists. In addition to that they have endeavored to ensure a fair geographical spread as well, by including representatives from North Africa, the Arab Middle East, Iran, the Indian Subcontinent, and Southeast Asia.
In their introductory chapter Esposito and Voll give an account of the role of the intellectual in society. This issue is addressed from both a historical and cross-cultural perspective. The writers have also included a typology of the intellectual in Islamic society: distinguishing between traditional religious scholars (the so-called Ulama), secular thinkers, and modern Muslim activist intellectuals. While the relative influence of the first group has been on the decline ever since the arrival of modernity in the Islamic world, the second group was discredited and soon overtaken by the Islamists following the defeat of the Arabs by Israel in 1967.
The authors have emphasized the subtleties in the thought of the Islamists treated in this volume. It is made clear that all these thinkers take a critical stand towards their own cultural heritage and share an interest in dialogue and intellectual exchange with other cultures. This way a much-needed counterweight is provided for the commonly held image of Islamists as narrow-minded radical fanatics and extremists bound on a violent-ridden collision course with the West.
The Arab Middle East is represented by a Palestinian scholar of religion, Ismail al-Faruqi, and the Egyptian philosopher Hasan Hanafi. These two thinkers share a rigorous academic training in both Islamic studies and western philosophy. Al-Faruqi, who has spent his academic career mainly in North America, was very apt at representing Islamic thought in western philosophic jargon, which may greatly contribute to its accessibility for western thinkers. In addition to that he has written penetrating books on important Islamic concepts such as the tawhid - de absolute unity of God. Al-Faruqi has also been engaged in comparative religious studies. Hanafi is a very prolific writer who has spent time in France and the United States. His most important contributions are his treatment of the concept of 'heritage' and the introduction of the phenomenon of 'the Islamic Left': a strand of Islamism that endeavors to translate critical thought into action.
The account on Hasan al-Turabi, a leading Sudanese Islamist, is focussed more on subject's political career than his philosophy as such. Probably this is due to the fact that the authors have based themselves predominantly on earlier research conducted for the State Department. Yet again, their account is more nuanced than the usual - overly facile - qualification of Sudanese Islamism as state-sponsored terrorism. Yet they never become apologetic and clearly point out that Turabi has indeed not shied away from associating with the country's repressive regimes in order to pursue his own agenda. Esposito and Voll point out that the real influence of Turabi has by and large been limited to the local Sudanese political experience. In the intellectual field however his writings have been - and continue to be - very influential throughout the Islamic world.
The Tunisian Rachid Ghannoushi fits in a similar mold. Probably intellectually the least powerful, he has been instrumental in articulating the importance of dialogue between 'culture zones', in order to find ways to borrow from each other's achievements and yet retain cultural authenticity.
Moving further east we encounter the Pakistani economist Khurshid Ahmad, who has been involved in both the development of an Islamic theory of economics and the actual application thereof during his years as a cabinet member and government adviser. Khurshid Ahmad is also a key-figure in Pakistan's Jamaat-i-Islami, whose founder Mawlana al-Mawdudi has been extremely influential for the formation of Ahmad's thought and the furthering of his political career.
A very interesting figure is the Iranian Abdolkarim Soroush (pen name of Hossein Dabbagh). A pharmacologist-turned-philosopher of science, he has been able to remain at the core of Iran's Revolutionary establishment and yet maintain a controversial stand regarding the impact of Islam on science and politics. In this respect he takes an interesting position through his distinction between religion and 'knowledge of religion', which is very much informed by his expertise in textual studies and profound understanding of poetics. Maybe most surprising is Soroush negative attitude towards Iran's 'Mullahcracy'.
Two of Southeast Asia's most influential islamically oriented politicians are also included in this book. Not only do they share a common cultural-geographic origin and rather similar outlook, but both have also fallen from political grace. Anwar Ibrahim, a former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and anointed successor of Mahathir, is serving a long-term prison sentence for alleged corruption and sexual misconduct. Abdurrahman Wahid, long-time leader of the Nahdatul Ulama (NU), was impeached as president of Indonesia and forced to resign.
The only female in this book is Maryam Jameelah; an American woman of Jewish extraction, who decided to embrace Islam and has since then made a name as a writer on traditional Islamic values. I wonder if the authors could not have identified another female intellectual, who is more representative for women Islamists.
In conclusion, 'Makers of Contemporary Islam' is an informed and balanced contribution to the growing body of books on the role of Islam in defining relations between cultures and in international politics. ... Read more

170. Islam and Democracy
by John L. Esposito, John O. Voll, John Obert Voll
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195108167
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 287730
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Religious resurgence and democratization have been two of the most significant developments of the last quarter of the twentieth century. Frequently they work together; other times they are at odds. In the Muslim world, this relationship is of special importance because of the strength of the Islamic resurgence, and the intensity of Muslim demands for greater popular participation in political processes

Esposito and Voll use six case studies to look at the history of this relationship and the role played by new Islamic movements. At one end of the spectrum, Iran and Sudan represent two cases of militant, revolutionary Islam opposing the political system. In Algeria and Malaysia however, the new movements have been legally recognized and made part of the political process. The authors identify several important factors, such as the legality or illegality of the new Islamic movements and the degree to which they cooperate with existing rulers, as being key to understanding the success or failure of these movements. Still, the case studies prove that despite the commonalities, differing national contexts and identities give rise to differences in agenda and method.

This broad spectrum of experience contains important lessons for understanding this complex and subtle relationship, and will also provide insight into the powerful forces of religion and democracy in a broader global context. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Overview
If you have ever wondered if there is a democratic future in countries declared to be Islamic, this book is good food for thought. Starting with a thoughtful discussion of different possible definitions of democracy, Eposito then reviews the history of six Islamic countries to review the record. The book is well written, and also a good primer for the political history of those countries; living in one of them, I feel the treatment was fair. Eposito leaves me wondering, "what next?", but this is perhaps because it is hard to determine, based on the cases, what may actually be the final end of Islamic democracy. ... Read more

171. In Search of Islamic Feminism: One Woman's Global Journey
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385488580
Catlog: Book (1998-11-10)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 184246
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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To the West, the Islamic world often appears homogeneous and monolithic; the Islampracticed in Iran or Saudi Arabia is our model for Islam everywhere: heavily veiled women, strictlysegregated schools and workplaces, the harsh law of sharia demanding a thief's hand cut offor an adulterous woman stoned to death. In reality, the practice of Islam varies widely from place toplace and culture to culture; in Turkey, for example, Islam may be the religion of the majority, butthe political and legal systems are strictly secular. In Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, politics andreligion are one, represented by the power of the mullahs and the ruling family. Uzbeki Muslimsare different from Senegalese Muslims, and North African Islam has more than a little sub-Saharaninfluence to thank for its pantheon of djinns, afrites, and holy saints. Just asreligious practices differ from country to country, so does the impact of Islam on women. Muslimwomen in Morocco, for example, have the legal right to drive a car, while women in Saudi Arabiado not. This being the case, is it even possible to define an Islamic brand of feminism? Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas,Austin, certainly tries and, in many cases, succeeds. Her book, In Search of IslamicFeminism, is both an account of her many years spent living and traveling in the Middle Eastand an attempt to define the issues facing Islamic women today. Though Fernea occasionallycomes off as naive, she also makes valuable points about the many faces of Islam and feminism. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

2-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, but problematic
This is without a doubt the most informative book I've ever read.The lessons learned are innumerable, invaluable, and unforgettable. Fernea however, is irrepressibly annoying.Not only does she seem unbelievably ignorant about the cultures she studies, especially for such an accredited "expert", but she clings firmly to her own misconceptions and stereotypes, regardless of what her interviewees may say. I give her credit though, for being so honest.In that position, I might have tried to make it sound like I knew what I was talking about.

4-0 out of 5 stars a personal account
Very interesting personal account of a Western woman's experiences in the Middle-East, giving a voice to those who really have no voice: the women. No, this isn't scholarly and her lack of ability to speak Arabic certainly handicaps her, but still this is valuable.

Those who complain about the emphasis on clothing are either apologists or fail to understand the meaning of such required restrictive dress to Western women: it means a lack of ability to move about freely (because of voluminous fabric or the heat of wearing such occulsive clothes) as well as, more seriously, the idea that women are objects to be kept secluded because they belong to a man. It means that women are responsible for men's morality and must pay for men's inability to exhibit self-control. I don't think Fernea did a good job of explaining her own view of such subjects.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't let the other reviews turn you off ---
A superb book, describing the authors travels to several Middle Eastern countries emphasizing the role of women in each country.In her discussions with local women, she explores the various images of women, in those countries and in the West, and looks for how feminist ideas interact with Islamic cultures. I lead tour groups to the Middle East, and one of the most common questions I hear from prospective travelers is the perception that women in all Islamic countries are oppressed and undervalued. Fernea and her associates dispell this idea, and show the wide range of responses and possibilities.As in the West, many people have a reluctance to even use the word 'feminism', when in fact there is substantial agreement on the actual ideals of equality and other principles that transcend other cultural or religious artifacts and obstacles. On our trips, we don't often have the chance to get as involved in discussions as Fernea, with her years of experience and contacts does, but, in what I have experienced (in Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Uzbekistan and Turkey), her discussions here ring true. Along with Dalrymple's From the Holy Mountain, these are 2 of my highest recommended books as glimpses of modern culture in the Middle East.It was particularly interesting to read some of the negative reviews on Amazon -- I find it hard to believe those people were reading the same book I was!

3-0 out of 5 stars Long journey
This book describes Fernea's personal quest for Islamic feminism throughout the Middle East.Each chapter describes her experiences in a different country. It is never made clear whether the ordering of the chapters corresponds to the chronology of her visits, although she mentions in the beginning that she began in 1994, and the most recent entries seem to be from about 1997.Although some of the visits seem to be specifically for this project, others appear to have been incidental, where she did research for the project while on various lecture tours arranged for other purposes.

Fernea writes from a very personal point of view in this book.Indeed, the book, with its details of such things as the food she ate and her misadventures with her hostesses' dog, comes across more as a travel journal than an academic survey.Throughout, she seems to go out of her way make it clear that she does not consider herself an expert on the topic, but rather as a curious seeker.She also laments frequently her limited ability in Standard Arabic.Coming from an author of her stature, this is a bit surprising.But then again, this is in line with her previous ethnographic studies on the Middle East, which described her and her family's personal dealings with the culture as much as they described the culture itself.And perhaps given the topic and the ethnicity of the author, this was the only possible approach for a book exploring these questions.

Fernea presents few clear conclusions in her search for Islamic feminism.Those generalities that are mentioned come mostly from the mouths of the women she interviews.The clearest message is that women in the Middle East seem leery of the term "feminist".To them, "feminism" seems to represent attitudes of Western women (of perhaps questionable morals) who want to subvert their culture.On the other hand, virtually all the women interviewed in the book are concerned about women's issues and would like to improve the lives of women in their communities.Several of the women stressed that there is no overall "Islamic" culture; each Islamic country has its own culture.The issues that are important for women in any given country arise more from the culture than from the religion.Nevertheless, the religion does provide certain rights and expectations for all Islamic women; whether the women can take advantage of these rights depends on the conditions prevailing where they live.

This book represents yet another chapter in the Fernea's growth in understanding about the women in this region.As such, it will be a welcome addition in the library of anyone who has read her previous books, or for anyone else who is exploring women's issues and Islam.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nice as a travel book
This book is nice as a travel book.Description of the "adventures" was really enjoyable.But that was it!The author seemed so much interested in the external appearances rather than the core.For example, I noticed the way she handled the Islamic dress code.As afeminist, she obviously has her biased stand against it.There's much morein the life of a Muslim woman than the way she dresses, but it seemed thatthis issue was one of the author's most primary targets.She handled theissue in such a naive way and displayed any positive views expressed bysome Muslim women in a disagreeable manner.

I was astonished to learnfrom the book that Mrs. Fernea doesn't know standard Arabic.This meansshe doesn't have direct access to all the Arabic written material.All hersources must be second hand. If this is the case, then I wonder how she canbe described as an "acclaimed Arab Studies scholar." Neither hershort visits to Arab and Muslim countries, nor her stay with her husband ina remote village in Iraq qualify her to be an authority in Arab studies. ... Read more

172. The Two Faces of Islam : The House of Sa'ud from Tradition to Terror
by Stephen Schwartz
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385506929
Catlog: Book (2002-10-15)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 222017
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this informed, compelling exploration of Moslem beliefs and of the sectarian conflicts within the community, a Jewish historian paints a sympathetic portrait of mainstream Islam and exposes the centuries-old roots of Osama bin Laden’s extremism.

The difficult, protracted war against terrorism has raised unsettling questions about the nature of Islam and its influence on America’s declared enemies. In The Two Faces of Islam, Stephen Schwartz, who has devoted years to the study of Islam, explains its complex history and describes the profound philosophical and religious differences that distinguish traditional beliefs from the radical sects that have sprung up over the past fifteen hundred years. He focuses on Wahhabism, the puritanical sect to which Osama bin Laden belongs. Founded in the eighteenth century by a radical cleric, this intolerant “Islamo-fascist” sect became the official creed of the Saudi Arabian state and has been exported to Moslem countries from the Balkans to the Philippines, as well as to Islamic communities in Western Europe and the United States.

By setting the current upheavals within an historical and religious context, Schwartz demonstrates that Osama bin Laden and his followers are not really fighting a war against America. Rather, they are engaged in a revolution within Islam itself–a movement that parallels the turmoil within Christianity during the sixteenth century. Schwartz not only exposes the collusion of the Saudi Arabian government in the spread of radical Islam (which makes them at best reluctant allies of the West), he shows that the majority of Moslems have little sympathy for the Wahhabis and that many openly denounce their motivations and goals.

A riveting narrative that never smacks of propaganda, The Two Faces of Islam is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand who we are fighting, what our enemies believe, and who our friends in the Moslem world really are.
... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars An eye opener
Stephen Schwartz's book does an excellent job of explaining the history of Islam and its various sects for those of us who are neophytes on the subject. He then spends plenty of ink explaining the rise of the Wahhabi sect and what hatred it has preached in the last 300 years. Not only is Wahhabism anti western civilization, it is even militant against other Muslim sects. Schwartz saw the nefarious side of the Wahhabi sect while reporting on the Bosnian conflict. He witnessed first hand the Wahhabi clerics sent to Bosnia to help rebuild the Muslim community try to take over and change the culture of Bosnian Muslims and their religious beliefs. They were sent with plenty of money from the Saudi royal family to rebuild mosques that were destroyed but only if the mosques were rebuilt using Wahhabi architectural standards and modes. He focuses in on the relationship between the militant Wahhabi sect and the Saudi royal family. Schwartz, a Moslem himself, does a good job of exposing the Saudi ruling family's efforts in using its vast wealth in promoting this militant hateful sect's teachings in Muslim day schools throughout the world including right here in the U.S. This book goes a long way to shedding light on the disturbing fact that the Saudi royal family is supporting this kind of hatred throughout the world.

3-0 out of 5 stars Certainly topical, if flawed it'll inspire you to learn more
Having finished this book just as headlines about Saudi charities and U.S. recipients emerged, Schwartz's overview appears timely. His Jewish background and interfaith efforts in the Balkans enrich his study. Too often, Christian readers receive in such journalistic introductions comparisons between their faith and Islam, while Jewish readers are often ignored--it's assumed Israeli issues suffice! Many reviews here have pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of his book already.

I might add that the attempt to pit Wahhabism against Sufi/Sh'ia interpretations does make for a rather unwieldy combination. So much of the book involves Saudi machinations, and so little by balance opens up alternative versions of Islam. Certainly his sympathies are defended, but the book cannot seem to settle for either a sustained exploration of the narrow Saudi ideology or a convincing insider's defense of the expansive Sufi/Sh'ia messages.

Too often, Schwartz seems to rely upon his earlier journalism (and it's not often the Albanian Catholic Bulletin, the Anderson Valley Advertiser [as in that great Boonville brewery!], and the Forward share bibliographical mention). His accounts of the Balkans fragment, and the reader hops with him from noted figure to infamous tragedy without really feeling the depth of the human impact of either war or enlightenment. Likewise, with his Saudi chapters, the destruction committed by the regime against its Sh'ia and other dissident Muslims lacks the telling detail needed for a new reader to this topic to enter fully into what obviously for the author is a heartfelt as well as intellectual issue of the utmost importance. His connecting the Saudi to U.S. academia and think-tanks and mosques is intermittently revealing, but he does not delve in-depth as I expected, say, on Saudi funding of American mosques and centers.

Lacking footnotes: he lists many works in the text but without hardly any citations. One must guess from the authors he cites what texts he has quoted from and as for the page references of 98% of what he mentions, forget it. I do applaud his inclusion of URL's and acknowledge his reliance on Net sources, but since the vast majority of his research listed is from traditional print, his lack of scholarly adherence to convention leaves readers eager to find more having to make more of an effort than is customary to do so. He could have put endnotes in for more than a few of his sources--only a handful appear at the back of the book.

For instance, he notes Khalid Duran's "Children of Abraham: An Intro to Islam for Jews" book and some Sufi sources that I found intriguing. But, again, no exact page or even title citations discourage the reader faced in his works consulted with pages of titles and very little guidance. And, as others have noted on, why he plays his evident embrace of Sufism up and down simultaneously dampens his credibility. Surely his example would strengthen and not weaken his claim to have both observed the faith he had studied first without and then within to defend what he sees as its proper form. He isn't a dispassionate academic but an involved pilgrim, and I would have liked to have had Schwartz more throroughly blend the two rather than piece together much of what seem to have been his articles over the past decade.

What could have been included more often? One example: in a few pages on Marin County and John Walker Lindh, he mixed his Bay Area perspective with a take on Lindh that could have become its own book! I look forward to more from Schwartz, and thanks to his own blending of Western analyst, Balkan-languages speaker, and Sufi practitioner, he brings a rare perspective to the topic.

1-0 out of 5 stars Simplistic, Naive
The author of this book is a neo-conservative so-called expert on Islam. He doesn't speak or read Arabic. He is not a Middle East scholar. Rather than explore the complexities of Middle Eastern history or Islam, he has decided to focus on a narrow brand of Islamic fundamentalism to show how Islam is a threat to the west.

Does this sound familiar? This combination of naivite and narrow interests got the United States in the Iraq war. Readers -- American voters, for that matter -- would do well to avoid this kind of book and this kind of simplistic thinking.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you read only one book on Islam, make it this one.
In the very short space of several hundred pages, Schwartz does something really remarkable: Out of the backdrop of a solidly-researched and tautly-written history of Islam emerges the picture of a river splitting in two. One branch, the original river of Islam, having emerged from earlier wars and the Crusades, meanders on, mostly peacefully. But another branch diverges and becomes a virulent strain of psychopathically-distorted religious fundamentalism. This nightmare began to take shape from 1703 with the birth of Mohammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the world's first Islamist terrorist, and descends to the present in its alliance with the Al Sa'ud. The Wahhabis -- the Haters of Music -- have always claimed all other forms of Islam to be heretical and have waged a 250-year war against all those who have resisted its ultra-puritanical doctrine -- Shi'as, Sufis, Christians, Jews. Now that war comes to us. In a brilliantly, and often beautifully, written book, we watch the two rivers separate and flow down into our time. Schwartz's condemnation of Wahhabism is unapologetic, as is his antipathy for the duplicity of the Royal House of Sa'ud. But it is condemnation and antipathy irrefutably supported by the facts. And in this time it is a book of unmatched value: For with the information contained within this masterpiece on contemporary Islam, we are able to separate mainstream Islam from its evil twin and fight a more intelligent and more compassionate War on Terror. It is a profound and often lyrical book, and Schwartz is remarkably brave to have written it (after you read it, you'll understand why). If you read only one book on Islam in our time, let it be this one.

1-0 out of 5 stars Overshooting the mark
In line with its title, the author of this book comes himself across as a bit of a Janus Head: an adherent of Sufism and religious pluralism on the one hand, a staunchly patriotic political conservative, on the other. The Two Faces of Islam is not the work of a detached analyst of political Islam, but an unabashed diatribe against 'Wahhabism' and the Saudi role in promoting this strand of Islam. Here lies the main weakness of this book: although Schwartz provides us with many interesting facts and noteworthy observations regarding the rich pluralist heritage of Islam, he is so selective in his argumentation against Wahhabism that it undermines his credibility.

For example, in one and the same chapter, "Sword of Dishonor", Schwartz claims that the US should let Uzbek president Karimov get on with exterminating the Muslim extremists who are terrorizing his country, but that Washington should protest on every occasion against Russia's repression of the Chechens. His argument for this inconsistency: The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Hizb al-Tahrir are of a distinctly Wahhabi signature and thus a menace to Central-Asia's centuries-old pluralist Islam. Therefore they must be routed. What are the guarantees that Karimov will only target 'Wahhabis' and leave 'Traditionalists' alone? Chechnya's Sufi tradition, on the other hand, has supposedly survived intact and its representatives are in the vanguard of the struggle against a Russian-Orthodox threat. Since the assault on a Moscow theater it can hardly be denied that extremism has also taken root in Chechnya.

Schwartz is so eager to lump all Sunni extremists together that he refuses to believe Bin Laden is anti-Riyadh. It is all a ploy to mislead the West. Yet at the same time he engages in what amounts to an apologetics of Khomeini and the Iranian revolution. Because he was educated as a philosopher and initiated in 'Irfan or gnosticism, the Ayatollah does not fit into Schwartz' paradigm of militant Islam. Instead Khomeini is credited as a "standup guy" who at least makes no secrets about his anti-Western views. Anti-Khomeinism in the West was fed by the Saudis because of their vehement anti-Shi'ism. Schwartz goes even further, Khomeini is implicitly dubbed a tolerant pluralist because he taught philosophy, was mystically inclined and wrote poetry in the same vein as the great Sufis. In furthering the cause of Sufism Schwartz could have selected a more convincing argument.

In making his case against Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism, Schwartz is further hampered by having never visited the Kingdom and the use of secondary sources only. His selection of these is also questionable. It features Said Aburish but not Mamoun Fandy's excellent study of Saudi dissidents. Schwartz reviles explorer and royal confidant Harry St. John Philby although there is no evidence in the bibliography that he has read any of Philby's books or even Elizabeth Monroe's biography. T.E. Lawrence, however, is presented as a pure idealist, while certain studies shed a very different light on his persona, revealing both a deeply disturbed psyche and political duplicity.

This selective use of material also explains his erroneous assessment of the succession question in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar, and former intelligence chief (now envoy to London), Prince Turki al-Faisal, are certainly high profile figures. But in the line-up for the throne the governors of Riyadh and the oil-rich Eastern Province -- one a full brother, the other the oldest surviving son of ailing King Fahd -- figure more prominently, yet their names - and those of some other key contenders -- are not even mentioned.

His report of the Najran uprising in early 2000 fails to notice that the Shi'ites clashing there with security forces are Ismai'ilis (Seveners), while those in the Eastern Province belong to the Twelvers branch. Although the regime does regard the former also as a liability, failing to make the distinction is not only factually incorrect but also a misjudgment of the potential political impact.

In his description of Wahhabism Schwartz lowers himself to the level of outright demonization. While it can hardly be denied that Wahhabism is rife with bigotry, difficult to engage in constructive debate, and generally not conducive to intellectual maturing, an attempt should be made to understand how and under which circumstances it developed, and how it is rooted in Islamic tradition. Whether we like it or not, Wahhabism is a factor of very considerable significance in the Muslim World as Schwartz is admitting by writing a book about it. Instead Schwartz makes himself guilty of what he accuses Wahhabism of: dualism and the inherent demonization of "the Other".

Schwartz qualifies its namesake, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, as a "monster" and calls the inhabitants of Central Arabia "savages", prone to sedition since the time of early Islam. He also implies that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was bound to dissent due to his affiliation with the Bani Tamim: because the Bani Tamim had once joined the Kharijites, a descendant of the tribe is bound -- a millenium later - to concoct an equally uncompromising form of Islamic revivalism! In an attempt to further soil the Saudis' reputation, Schwartz wrongly represents them as belonging to the Bani Hanifa, a tribe associated with Musaylama, 'the false Prophet' active in Central Arabia during the days of the Prophet Muhammad. The Al Saud descend from the eastern Arabian Dur'u and the clan's ancestor Mani al-Muraydi was only in the 15th century invited by the Bani Hanifa to take up residence in Najd .

With his eclecticism and invectives Schwartz has undermined his in itself sympathetic plea for pluralist Islam. Militancy, extremism, and other intolerant forms of Islamic revivalism have rendered the atmosphere in the Muslim world rather insalubrious and Saudi politics have some very unsavory aspects, but Schwartz' approach will do little to clear the air. There are certainly two faces of Islam, but readers would have been better served if the writer had elaborated more on that pluralist Islam instead of this negativist account of what Islam should not be about. ... Read more

173. Muslim Devotions
by Constance Padwick
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1851681159
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Sales Rank: 515841
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Drawing on a wide range of sources, Muslim Devotions traces the stages in the evolution of Islamic theological thought from the first century of Islam to the present day. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sourcebook on Muslim Devotion
There is a spate of books on the Islamic world and Islamic viewpoints on the market presently.You can find legions of books on Islam as an historical and social phenomenon, many books that do an admirable job describing Islamic dogma, a few that do a good job describing Islamic inner belief, and perhaps too many on esoteric Islam.However, to my knowledge there is not other book on Islam quite like this one, at least not in English.

The book describes the variety of popular devotions that are found throughout the Muslim world.This includes the form and content of daily prayer, and what these daily prayers mean to Muslims, as well as those types of devotions that are not canonical but which many Muslims hold dear - in short, it is an attempt to describe Islamic prayer life.

Anybody who has spent some time in the Muslim world, perhaps especially in Islamic South Asia, is aware of the large number of small prayer tracts that are printed off cheaply and circulated widely.A good deal of the material in this book comes from these sources.But the book is not merely a catalogue of practice; Ms. Padwick describes points of similarity in Christian practice (particularly Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic practice) where it occurs, and also does an admirable job in breaking down the vast amount of material into intelligent order.

My one objection - and the reason why I haven't given the book five stars - is that the originals of the prayers are not given in the book, but only the English translations.Ms. Padwick raises the matter herself in the introduction, objecting that including the originals would make the book much larger than it is.Perhaps, but in Islam the centrality of the Arabic language and its nuances is of critical importance, and I would have preferred to see the originals.Aside from that, however, this is an admirable contribution to our understanding of Islam as it is practiced on an everyday basis by millions of Muslims. ... Read more

174. On the Perfect State
by Abu Nasr Al-Farabi, Richard Walzer, Translator: Richard Walzer Abu Nasr al-Farabi
list price: $59.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1871031761
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Kazi Pubns Inc
Sales Rank: 665229
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Al-Farabi (d. 950 AD), known in medieval Latin texts as Alfarabius or Avennasar, was one of the most outstanding and renowned Muslim philosophers. He became known as the second teacher, the first being Aristotle. On the Perfect Statereflects al-Farabi's view that philosophy had come to an end everywhere else and that it had found a new home and a new life within the world of Islam. Philosophy, in his view, gives the right views about the freedom of moral choice and of the good life altogether. The perfect human being, the philosopher, ought also to be the sovereign ruler. Philosophy alone shows the rightpath to the urgent reform of the caliphate. Al-Farabi envisages a perfect city state as well as a perfect community and a perfect world state. His importance for subsequent Islamic philosophers is considerable. His impact on the writings of 10th century AD authors such as the Ikhwan al-Safa, al-Masudi, Miskawayh and Abu l-Hasan Muhammad al-Amiri is undeniabl! e. Ibn Sina seems to have known his works intimately and Ibn Rushd follows him in the essentials of his thought. Maimonides, the greatest Jewish philosopher who lived in Muslim Spain and wrote in Arabic, appreciated al-Farabi highly. Al-Farabi'spolitical ideas had a belated and lasting success from the 13th century onwards. A few of his treatises became known to the Latin Schoolmen while more were translated into medieval Hebrew. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Critical Edition
Walzer's edition is the de facto standard for the Ara.Compiled from 10 MSS with an exhaustive commentary and parallel englsh-arabic translation it is a very important edition of a very important text by Al-Farabi.A must-have for any serious student of arabic philosophical thought.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Merging of Politics, Psychology, and Metaphysics
Farabi here lays out the foundations of his political philosophy. On the basis of the title, the work appears to be simply a political text. It is in fact a comprehensive summation of Farabi's worldview of which political philosophy is only a part. Walzer's edition contains useful commentary, but he minimizes Farabi's own creative genius, reading into too many of his ideas Greek antecedents.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
Al-Farabi is one of the greatest Moslem philosophers who had lasting influence on many Moslem thinkers coming after him.His book " on the perfect state" shows a clear "Shia" influence on his thoughts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Annotated Edition of an Arab Classic
Though this book is somewhat expensive, it is definitely worth the money for those interested in understanding the political philosophy of al-Farabi.His book is truly beautiful in its philosophical grace.As a Christian whose tradition also was profoundly impacted by its contact with classical philosophy, I could not help being pulled in with great fascination peering into how Greek philsophy was adapted and understood by a philsopher of Arab-Islamic culture.

This edition is excellent.Included with the translation is the parallel Arabic text with variants and an extensive introduction and notes written by the translator, Richard Walzer.Walzer's work here is excellent making a reading of the contents of this book a study in itself. ... Read more

175. Veil : Modesty, Privacy and Resistance (Dress, Body, Culture)
by Fadwa El Guindi
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1859739296
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Sales Rank: 162367
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award 2000.

In the 1970s, often to the consternation of parents and siblings, certain progressive young Arab women voluntarily donned the veil. The movement, which rapidly expanded and continues to gather momentum, has sparked controversy within Islamic culture, as well as reactions ranging from perplexity to outrage from those outside it.Western feminist commentators have been particularly vociferous in decrying the veil, which they glibly interpret as a concrete manifestation of patriarchal oppression.

However, most Western observers fail to realize that veiling, which has a long and complex history, has been embraced by many Arab women as both an affirmation of cultural identity and a strident feminist statement. Not only does the veil de-marginalize women in society, but it also represents an expression of liberation from colonial legacies. In short, contemporary veiling is more often than not about resistance.By voluntarily removing themselves from the male gaze, these women assert their allegiance to a rich and varied tradition, and at the same time preserve their sexual identity.Beyond this, however, the veil also communicates exclusivity of rank and nuances in social status and social relations that provide telling insights into how Arab culture is constituted.Further, as the author clearly demonstrates, veiling is intimately connected with notions of the self, the body and community, as well as with the cultural construction of identity, privacy and space.

This provocative book draws on extensive original fieldwork, anthropology, history and original Islamic sources to challenge the simplistic assumption that veiling is largely about modesty and seclusion, honor and shame.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
The influence of the ideas of western feminism combined with Islamic principals is described eloquently in this book.The rich history of veiling, Islam and colonization are thoroughly described.It is complete as well as exciting to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sailing through history to present veil with vision.
The author has done such a great job, challenging the stereotypical western view to the meaning of veiling in a thorough scientific research, using an anthropological analysis and sailing through the history; east andwest. She succeeded in disentangling the confusions that exist betweencultural language as far as veil is concerned. In a serious and greateffort, her analysis illustrate the layers and layes of meanings that aremixed with veiling in the past and present, in Muslim and non-Muslimcountries.I am glad that there an anthropologist in the internationalcommunity who can introduce a picture of the Islamic culture that isdifferent from what has become known through Mernessi and Sa'adawi.Westill need to do more in two directions, clarifying the misunderstanding tothe western mind through more research in the direction that she has taken,and self criticizing the limitations of the current mind structure oftheso called Muslims. As far as I can see as an anthropologist who lives inEgypt, the Egyptian Islam is endangered by the petrodollars Islam.Preserving the Egyptian identity is a great targetto whichsocialsciences in general and anthropology in particular should direct theirefforts. Islam as digested and introduced by the Egyptians is theinternational Islam. The one that is tolerant, unbiased, humane and open. That is the Islam we need in order to establish a real cultural debate inthe next millennium and not to go into cultural conflicts as Huntington hasexpected. ... Read more

176. Talking to the Other: Jewish Interfaith Dialogue with Christians and Muslims
by Jonathan Magonet
list price: $49.50
our price: $19.80
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Asin: 186064905X
Catlog: Book (2003-05-02)
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
Sales Rank: 334192
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Book Description

Rabbi Jonathan Magonet has long been engaged in a dialogue between Jews and Muslims. For over 30 years he has organized the annual Jewish-Christian-Muslim student conference in Basle, and has lectured on these themes, and participated himself in interfaith conferences all over the world. In this book he explores the issues that arise in such an encounter, the traps that so easily hinder relationships, and the historical and theological problems to be confronted once a basis of trust has been established. As well as examining specific areas that need to be addressed in the Jewish encounter with Christians and Muslims, he challenges the Jewish community to broaden its commitment to interfaith dialogue in a complex and rapidly changing world.
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177. A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam
by Gordon D. Newby
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 1851682953
Catlog: Book (2002-09)
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Sales Rank: 608655
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178. The Unlimited Mercifier: The Spiritual Life and Thought of Ibn Arabi
by Stephen Hirtenstein
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 1883991293
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: White Cloud Press
Sales Rank: 66285
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the first full introduction written for a general audience to the life and teachings of Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240), regarded as the greatest mystical thinker in the history of Islam and known in the Islamic world as al-Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master).

White Cloud Press, in a joint publishing effort with Anqa Publishing in the United Kingdom, presents the first in a series of books on the life and teachings of Ibn 'Arabi. Relatively unknown in the West until the 20th century, he has been revered by Sufi mystics ever since he first burst upon the Islamic world at the turn of the 13th century. He wrote over 350 books and treatises that are recognized as classics of world spirituality.

The Unlimited Mercifier is a new appreciation of Ibn 'Arabi, clarifying the meanings and relevance of his life and thought. It serves as a thorough introduction for those new to his work, as well as providing food for contemplation and further study for those alre!ady familiar with his genius.

Divided into five sections, the book consists of seventeen alternating chapters of biography and thought. The biographical chapters chart the historical trajectory of his life, using his own descriptions as well as the latest research, and are richly illustrated with photographs and maps. Every second chapter discusses a facet of his thought, demonstrating Ibn 'Arabi's immediate relevance to our modern era. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ibne' Al-Arabi and Christ
I wish o propose an interpretation of Mr. Arabi's choice of person for Seal of Saints which will undoubtedly be controversial and draw disagreement from many people. Given the fact that Mr. Ibne' Al_Arabi was originally from Spain; he must have had many encounter with Christians and their spiritual tradition. He must of have struggled with the notion of Islam vs. Christianity and in my view he made a final choice by declaring Jesus Christ as the Seal of all Saints over anyone else. He must have often wondered about the spirituality of Muhammad as compared to that of Jesus, or even other Prophets for that matter. According to Moslem history, Muhammad underwent a self-doubt after his encounter with the angel. This behavior is almost unprecedented even by Moslem's own holy book accounts. While Jesus declares his Holiness in a cradle, Muhammad is confused about his own spiritual ability, as is well indicated by the story of Muhammad's first encounter with Angel in which Muhammad rushes to his wife filled with agony and self-doubt as to whether he really saw an Angel or was he possessed by a Demon. In the story of Moses, too, we see that Moses had no doubt as to his encounter with his God in the Mount. In fact according to Quran, as far as I know, no Prophet had ever experienced the same kind of self-doubt as it has been attributed to Muhammad. This historical fact, written by Moslems themselves, indicates that Muhammad's spiritual capacity was at best a mediocre one. This indeed must have caught Ibne' Al-Arabi's attention.

Yet in another story we read that Muhammad underwent a heavenly operation to his "chest" to purify him and make him ready for his future mission. While Muhammad needed a direct intervention to be purified, Jesus had no such a need and was born pure. All these accounts and many more, must have made Ibne' Al-Arabi wonder about his religion and its truthfulness. Mr. Arabi makes a clear choice by announcing Jesus as the Seal of Saint, clearly making Jesus the most spiritual man in the world, and by doing so, in an indirect manner, invites Moslems to Christianity. He declares himself as the seal of saints among Moslem spirituals, knowing all too well, that he and only he alone had enough courage to declare the truthfulness of Christianity and superiority of Jesus over all, specially over Muhammad, in the heart of Islamic empire. I do not think of Ibne' Al-Arabi as a Moslem saint but rather an apostle of Christianity, a messenger of Jesus Christ to Moslems who happen to follow a man who, according to their own account, could not distinguish between an angel and a demon, even after going through a purification attempt by angels earlier at his childhood.

2-0 out of 5 stars not impressed
I have read Arabi's major book in Arabic and one thing that immediately becomes clear is how much sheikh was into himself. I have never seen or heard anyone be as much into himself as Ibne' Al-Arabi, he is constantly at your face repeating over and over again how great he is and how he has direct access into entire universe. I have no doubt he must have thought that it was unfortunate that he was born after Prophet Muhammad since he had more right of being last prophet than Muhammad had. Arrogance radiates out constantly out of his books. I am sure he was gifted and smart, but no doubt he over estimated himself by a factor of trillion or so. If he was so smart, I am sure he would have had some vision where the Islamic world was headed, a total collapse and humiliation as we now know all too well, and yet instead of writing about things that would be more relevant, he writes about things that no one can verify one way or another. He claims too know the secret of Quran, but when you read his stuff, you soon find out that he, like all other self proclaimed saints, is only using some best guesses. He says he has been all over the universe, seen many worlds hidden to human intellect, etc( he goes on and on of course) but when one reads the detail of his work, one realizes that he never takes a step beyond the many then popular but false scientific theories of his time. There is nothing in his writings that can verifiably prove that he had knowledge of the world more than any other well-educated man at his time, and now we most definite know that many of his views were false.

He believed that he was the seal of the saints, I am not sure what he means by this, and quite frankly, reading his comments many times in his best seller book futuhat, it seems to me that he himself didn't know what he meant by it. But from the fact that he sees himself as such, it shows how much he was into himself and hungry for some sort of recognition and desperate to make a place for himself in history comparable to that of Muhammad. While Muhammad's being the last prophet is mentioned in Quran, Ibne' Al-Arabi's being last of saints was actually dreamt up by sheikh himself, which again indicates that sub-consciously he was very much into himself, he must have always looked at himself in the mirror a few hundred times a day saying to himself " Damn I am good". One thing Ibne' Al-Arabi should have learned from Prophet Muhammad was Prophet's humbleness and humility. He never walked around constantly praising himself, though in my opinion he had more right to self-praise than sheikh did. I guess what I am trying to say is that if sheikh had such a good insight into human soul and human mind, he should have known that his constant self-glorification is a big turn off. Besides, after so many centuries, we are in a position to observe that mankind has produced many many scientists and philosophers, who are, and verifiably so, more brilliant the sheikh. In my view, and based on my studies, sheikh doesn't really say anything that had not been said before in one way or another. His contribution is the fact that he took many of these philosophical theories of his time and put them in some sort of order. Of course he rarely mentions the fact that most of his ideas have been floating around for a few centuries or so, he usually gives the impression to the readers that he is the first one who has come up with the idea which is a bit dishonest but I guess those days that was the name of the game. If sheikh was my PhD student and he came up to me with futuhat, I would have told him to go back and make sure he had a lot more footnotes, names, and references than he has included in the book, or else he would suffer the humiliation of being accused of academic dishonesty. I don't wish to play down his intelligence, he was a smart man, but I just don't have tolerance for those who don't give credit where it is due and try to make a name for themselves by using other people's work, this is just not acceptable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Origin of Sufism
Sufism is a fascinating phenomenon in Islam with many mysteries surrounding its origin. I always wondered about the origin of Sufism. True that Quran has elements of Sufi worldview and some of the saying of Muhammad contains mystical contents but majority of Muslims have understood both Quran and sayings of Muhammad in a non-mystical way. Most of these non-mystical understanding of Quran comes from people who were intimately familiar with Arabic language as well as sayings of Prophet. Obviously Sufi way of understanding Islam and Quran is not a mainstream phenomena so the question remained in my mind that where do these folks get their ideas. I think I found an answer during my studies in the US where I had a roommate from Iran. Any time that I had mentioned one of the Sufi philosophical teachings my roommate would come up with one of the sayings from their imams, they have twelve whom they claim were divinely chosen and communicated to people by Prophet. At first I thought he is making up these sayings to impress me but when I read some of their "Hadith" books I was actually surprised how much it resembled some of the key Sufi teachings. What I found very interesting was a thick book on Munajat which I would have thought was written by Sufi masters. I had heard from our scholars that Sufism have had Shia influence, and they say it usually in a negative way, but this was the first time I had actually read some Shia books directly myself. If Sufis were influenced by "Shia" teachings, then where did Shiism get their version of Islam? It is as if there was two version of Islam that grew side by side, one the majority which is us Sunnis and a minority which came to be known as Shia. Shiism has always been violently rejected by Sunni world, my teacher used to say if a Shia comes to our mosque, we have to wash the mosque for 3 days before it is clean enough for us to pray in it again. I think some of the Sunnis who were attracted to Shia mystical teachings adopted it and called themselves Sufi and this way protected themselves. Unfortunately most of the books written by modern scholars don't look into the social and political dynamics within which different Islamic schools of thoughts grew. I understand now why most of our Sunni scholars are not so sympathetic with Sufism; they smell a Shia conspiracy, so to speak. I agree with them in that the root of Sufism is in shia teachings, provided their- Shia- books are authentic and wasn't written a couple of centuries ago and post dated to make us believe that it was written during first or second century Islamic calendar.

5-0 out of 5 stars Important Introduction
As the first full introduction written for a general audience about the life and significance of Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240), this volume long fills an acute gap in the general literature about Sufism in English. Ibn 'Arabi can rightly be regarded as the greatest mystical thinker in the history of Islam and as might be extrapolated from this study, perhaps some future global mysticism that is inter-sectarian. In the Islamic world Ibn 'Arabi is often referred to honorifically as al-Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master). Among the literalists and reactionary legalists in Islam the profound readings of the Qur'an and hadith, that is the staple of just about everything the Shaykh al-Akbar' wrote, is regarded with shrewd suspicion, if not outright hostility and censor. Among a core of Sufis the Shaykh al-Akbar's works have been savored with a relish and delight as often his lengthy considerations show a nearly unfathomable grasp for the living presence of the divine in all aspects of life. Any mystic can find much to ponder in a studied reading of Ibn 'Arabi's texts. For the many Christians and some Jews who are still perhaps unconsciously swayed by the centuries of anti-Islamic polemic in the west, an astute reading of Shaykh al-Akbar's work should banish many of the silly sectarian ideas that cling to our ideas about Islam. Muslims themselves are still extreamly divided over the worth of Shaykh al-Akbar's views and common misattributions to him of pantheism and even incarnationism are still common slurs betraying a willful misreading of Shaykh al-Akbar's ideas. Though it is unlikely that The Unlimited Mercifier will seriously affect this perennial debate about Shaykh al-Akbar's ultimate worth as a Muslim, Hirtenstein does offer a useful introduction to ibn 'Arabi that has not existed in English before. I believe that as scholarly work proceeds on translating the profound depth of Islam as a spiritual path toward knowing self and the divine will become more widely appreciated. The perspective of Shaykh al-Akbar, acknowledged and not, definitely sets the standard of any spiritual reading of the Qur'an. Also in the emerging world spirituality ibn 'Arabi may yet play an unique role is forging a link between the monotheisms of the west to the pantheisms and non-theisms of the east and of a rationalist scientific humanisms of modernity. The Unlimited Mercifier provides not only an introduction to the life and ideas of ibn 'Arabi but without too strong a reading between the lines that the importance and perennial relevance of Shaykh al-Akbar's ideas for emerging global civilization become apparent. Given this breath I highly recommend this introduction and eventually a closer consideration of the of Shaykh al-Akbar's works as available in the works reviewed below. Special note of SUFI PATH OF KNOWLEDGE and SELF-DISCLOSURE OF GOD by William C. Chittick should be noted by sincere students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exemplary
This book is an excellent introduction to the writings and life of a man who's understanding was not limited by time, culture, nor a particular tradition. Unusual for books written on this subject, it is readily accessible to new readers of Ibn Arabi as well as to scholars. The book could easily serve as an introduction to a spiritual perspective of life that includes the underlying basis of all religions and philosophies, excludes none of them, and goes beyond particular expressions to the heart of the matter of what it is to be human. It introduces the reader to a universal spiritual perspective of life regardless of their level of education, their cultural or traditional background. The book is very hard to put down and can be read many times over. ... Read more

179. No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam
by Geneive Abdo
list price: $21.50
our price: $21.50
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Asin: 0195157931
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 201564
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Western media has consistently focused on the extremes of Islam, overlooking a quiet yet pervasive moderate religious movement that is currently transforming the nation of Egypt. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, No God But God opens up previously inaccessible segments of Egyptian society to illustrate the deep penetration of "Popular Islamic" influence. Geneive Abdo provides a firsthand account of this movement, allowing its leaders, street preachers, scholars, doctors, lawyers, men and women of all social classes to speak for themselves. Challenging Western stereotypes, she finds that this growing number of Islamists do not seek the violent overthrow of the government or a return to a medieval age. Instead, they believe their religious values are compatible with the demands of the modern world. They are working within and beyond the secular framework of the nation to gradually create a new society based on Islamic principles. Both fascinating and unsettling, Abdo's findings identify a grassroots model for transforming a secular nation-state to an Islamic social order that will likely inspire other Muslim nations. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book well-written
As an Egyptian who came to America I was amazed by an American who had such a clear view and analysis of what is going in Egypt, and I hope many American and non-Egyptians would read her book. She tried (with a great success) to let her readers be "Egyptians" in their view to what is happening in their country. Her best conclusion, and which she, intelligently, leaves to the reader to conclude, is that a grassroots solution is always much more effective (and democratic) than an imposed solution (where the solution here is having an Islamic society)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very impressive, but biased
Abdo's work is very impressive and timely. While Abdo has made clear a clear distinction between Orthodox and militant Islam, she seem to have been completely unreceptive to other genuine forms of Islam such as Sufism or moderate Islam. As such, she has adopted a narrow view of Islam, that of Orthodox Islam or Brotherhood's Islam and saw all others as either secularists or militant.

The Jest of Abdo's findings of the non violent nature of the vast majority of Fundamentalist or Orthodox Moslems was very well presented in her first chapter. Her analysis of the multitude of educated and affluent women willingly taking up the veil was enlightening.

Most fascinating was Abdo's contrast of the situation in Iran to that of Egypt, and how the non-political social Islamic movement in Egypt has produced a more religious society than the Political imposed from above Islam of Iran

Most disappointing is Abdo's failure to represent the alternate pious views of Islam in Egypt, views that accept the religion but see a separation between Government and religion. Such as separation, contrary to Abdo's reading of history is more than the norm of an Egypt that had separate roles for the Sultan, and the Caliph for centuries

5-0 out of 5 stars Great, But try SB 1 or God
Religion and people all over the world are the same, this book is no different in that it has a hidden undertone for a search for truth. Thats why I rate it 5 star. Any time we have authors like this we are receiveing a great contribution. The book does have a message, in general for help, enlightenment, and a cry for response. These are the undertones of this book not the outward message of Islam in Egypt or any place else. I highly recommend reading SB 1 or God By Karl Mark Maddox.

5-0 out of 5 stars Looking through the veil
"No God But God" offers a wonderful glimpse inside contemporary Egypt as this ancient society struggles with how it will integrate the precepts -- and spirituality -- of Islam into today's secular world. Ever since the Iranian revolution, we have been bombarded by an all-out media effort to demonize Arabs and marginalize their religion, especially the "threat" posed by fundamentalists. Geneive Abdo, an American journalist based in the Middle East, has made an extraordinary effort to track down and interview a vibrant cross-section of believers and has courageously asked them about their vision for Egypt and their agenda for realizing it. Her cast of characters is unforgettable: some frightening in their narrow-mindedness; some amusing in their depiction of the changes around them; and some wise in their capacity to envision a different world view.

I found that her reporting and her insights forced me to reconsider many assumptions about Islam and its followers. After reading the book, it's easier to understand why so many millions of people are clamoring for change and for an opportunity to express their religion the way they choose. During this intense time in the Palestinian/Israeli crisis her respectful and inquisitive treatment of the second-largest Islamic community in the region can help inform the debate ... and calm passions. By finding sources on the front lines of change -- those without access to the media -- she has made her book both intimate and credible. For me, someone without much knowledge about Egypt or Islam, shw was able to paint a very detailed foreground picture while expertly filling in much-needed background information: about the Koran, politics and politicians in Egypt, and the reasons for the "triumph of Islam."

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Perceptive and Profound
To be honest, when I first borrowed this book, I expected to sift through an easy read full of quirky anecdotes that I would enjoy but I did not find too engaging. It surprised me, however. Once again, it made me rethink the trends of Egyptian society and Islam. Mrs. Abdo is amazingly persistent in gathering the information for this book. As an expatriate living in Egypt with a first-hand observation of how difficult the society can be for Western women, I was in awe at her achievements.

Her portrait covers the slums to Imbaba to the elite of the American University in Cairo and Egyptian hollywood, and she provides interesting vignettes of each sector of society. I do wish she would have been a bit more comprhensive. The influential and visible Coptic population of Egypt remained on the margins. One cannot expect too much, so perhaps she fealt this was not a part of her analysis. Nonetheless, if you are fascinated by the Mid East and modern Egypt, you will enjoy this book heartily. It is readable and very accessible to the average reader. ... Read more

180. Hajj & Umrah From A to Z
by Mamdouh N. Mohamed
list price: $12.50
our price: $10.62
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Asin: 096528770X
Catlog: Book (1996-01-01)
Publisher: Mamdouh Mohamed
Sales Rank: 188428
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A 4-Color guidebook that explains the annual pilgrmage from A to Z steps.This how-to book contains valuable information about Muslim culture & beliefs, making the book good for multi-cultural education.It has uniquely designed & illustrated content with many illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Book Before Hajj
I made Hajj with my husband in March/April of last year - 1998. I read this book and it is excellent. It has all the information needed to successfully complete your Hajj. I do recommend it specially to all Non -Arabic speaking and American born pilgrims who are planning to perform Hajj. I actually ordered 4 copies to give as a gift to my friends who are planning to go to Hajj this year.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must on the Hajj packing List.
I made Hajj with my family in March/April of this year(1998). My uncle gave us a copy of this book and on the plane ride to Saudi Arabia I begin reading. As I looked around at the other members of our group about five other people were reading the same book. This book was excellent. It gives the pilgrim-specifically the American born, English speaking pilgrim all the necessary information for completing a successful Hajj. The book is written in a user friendly, comprehensive style that is accessible to all readers. The sources and references are universally acceptable and I urge all those who are interested in making Hajj or learning about Hajj to get this book. ... Read more

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