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121. Islam : Religion, History, and
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122. Alone with the Alone
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123. The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
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124. The Great Divide: The failure
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125. Islam (DK Eyewitness Books)
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126. Rumi's World : The Life and Works
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127. Islam Revealed A Christian Arab's
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128. Milestones
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129. Light in the Shadow of Jihad :
130. The Failure of Political Islam
131. Islamic Law and Legal System:
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132. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction
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133. The Shi'ite Movement in Iraq
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134. I Dared to Call Him Father: The
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135. Islam: The Straight Path
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136. Malcolm: The Life of the Man Who
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137. Angels Unveiled: A Sufi Perspective
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138. The Majestic Quran: An English
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139. Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and
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140. Awakening: A Sufi Experience

121. Islam : Religion, History, and Civilization
by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0060507144
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 95529
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The world's leading Islamicist offers a concise introduction to this rich and diverse tradition of 1.2 billion adherents.

In this informative and clear introduction to the world of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr explores the following topics in depth:

  • What Is Islam?
  • The Doctrines and Beliefs of Islam
  • Islamic Practices and Institutions
  • The History of Islam
  • Schools of Islamic Thought
  • Islam in the Contemporary World
  • Islam and Other Religions
  • The Spiritual and Religions Significance of Islam
... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Historical Perspective of Islam
This book turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, a historical book on Islam. The author is an Islamic scholar, and his credentials impress me a little more than Karen Armstrong, though I hold no grudge against her. I wanted to get an inside, learned perspective on the religion itself, without the preaching, and that's exactly what this book offers. I highly recommend it.

The negative review from "AtheistWorld.Com Book Review" is actually posted by Solomon Tulbure, as you will find by doing a simple Yahoo! search. That is truly sad.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just a taste of Nasr's insight....
Seyyed Hosseein Nasr is the most profound and eloquent spokesman of Islamic thought in the United States today. This book is a mere introduction into the ocean of his thought. The other reviewer is simply trying to peddle his own book. The George Washington University, where Dr. Nasr is a professor, organized a conference in 2001 honoring his unparalled contributions to Islamic studies. Check out the site, ....., if you would like to have a sense of the depth and breadth of Nasr's thought.

3-0 out of 5 stars AtheistWorld.Com Book Review
Very good book but NOT as good as "Islam Exposed" by Solomon Tulbure

The author is trying very hard not to step on toes and as a result leaves many important details out. ... Read more

122. Alone with the Alone
by Henry Corbin
list price: $26.95
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Asin: 0691058342
Catlog: Book (1998-03-02)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 369178
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Henry Corbin's works are the best guide to the visionary tradition.... Corbin, like Scholem and Jonas, is remembered as a scholar of genius.He was uniquely equipped not only to recover Iranian Sufism for the West, but also to defend the principal Western traditions of esoteric spirituality."--From the introduction by Harold Bloom

Ibn 'Arabi (1165-1240) was one of the great mystics of all time. Through the richness of his personal experience and the constructive power of his intellect, he made a unique contribution to Shi'ite Sufism. In this book, which features a powerful new preface by Harold Bloom, Henry Corbin brings us to the very core of this movement with a penetrating analysis of Ibn 'Arabi's life and doctrines.

Corbin begins with a kind of spiritual topography of the twelfth century, emphasizing the differences between exoteric and esoteric forms of Islam. He also relates Islamic mysticism to mystical thought in the West. The remainder of the book is devoted to two complementary essays: on "Sympathy and Theosophy" and "Creative Imagination and Creative Prayer." A section of notes and appendices includes original translations of numerous Su fitreatises.

Harold Bloom's preface links Sufi mysticism with Shakespeare's visionary dramas and high tragedies, such as The Tempest and Hamlet. These works, he writes, intermix the empirical world with a transcendent element. Bloom shows us that this Shakespearean cosmos is analogous to Corbin's "Imaginal Realm" of the Sufis, the place of soul or souls. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
After reading "The seal of saints" by Mr. Chodkiewickz, I got curious about Mr. Corbin's books in general and this one, Alone with the Alone" in particular. In the book " The seal of saints" Chodkiewickz is highly critical of Corbin in assesing a "Shia" core for Suif's in general and great Shiekh in particular. I am no expert in these matters but from my studies of suffism and Shiism, I see about a 80% overlap between the two. Suffism has much more in common with Shia beliefs than it has with our Sunni beliefs. I always wondered why Shiism has added " I bear witness that Ali is Wali of God" to the call for prayer, I didn't get the significance of this addition until I read Mr.Chodkiewickz's fine book on Ibne' Ul-Arabi's doctorine of Sainthood. Not that I agree with the Sufi or Shia assertion in this regard, it violates my Sunni beliefs, but at least I have an appreciation for the concept. I respect Sufis, though I am not an advocate , well at leats not yet. I tend to agree with Corbin that Shiism and Suffism seem to be twins, or at least distant causins. Reading some of Sheikh's work in Arabic, I came across passages that had strong Shia tone, one wonders if these passages were added to the book or was written by Sheikh himself. If written by Shiekh himself, then knowingly or unknowngly, Sheikh must have been influneced by Shii thoughts. Whatever the case maybe, this is an excellent book, I recommend Mr.Chodkiewickz's book as well. I think everyone should read about all point of views and arrive at their own conclusion.

3-0 out of 5 stars Who's sufism? Corbin's or Ibn Arabi's?
Corbin is perhaps one of the least appreciated of 20th century Islamicists. One reason no doubt is the difficulty of his works. But obscuriy often parodies profundity so "difficulty" by itself doesn't mean much. Perhaps in philosophical circles the book might be appreciated, but as a monograph on the role of creative imagination in the thought of Ibn Arabi, the author appears to miss the mark in achieving the object of his task.

Another interrelated problem as Chittick points out, is discerning where Corbin ends and Ibn Arabi begins. The French writer had his own premises and weaves Ibn Arabi around them. This had to with his own interests in Iranian illuminationist philosophy as well his early ties with existentialism. For example, Corbin tries to make Ibn Arabi some sort of secret shiah which he certainly wasn't, attested to by strong remarks Ibn Arabi directs against them, as well as his own immersion in sunnism. Chodkiewickz and Addas have illustrated the falsity of Corbin's ideas on this point. On a whole, Corbin fails to do justice to Ibn Arabi's dhahiri or exoteric dimension, projecting him as an exclusively esoteric mystic who stood at odds with the law. In fact, Ibn Arabi was as much an exotericist as he was an esotericist. (Eric Winkel has recently brought to light the importance that Ibn Arabi laid on the outward dimension of Islam in his MYSTERIES OF PURITY as well ISLAM AND THE LIVING LAW).

Apart from these short comings, the book is an interesting read, and requires the carefull attention of the reader. But sadly, the book is perhaps a better introduction to Corbin's ideas than Ibn Arabi.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic analysis of Arabi
The only thing which might be better than reading this book, is reading Arabi himself. This is a useful introduction to a vast field, that gives a careful analysis to his ideas and therefore it is a must. I will have to re-read it, to get everything out of it and at that time I may change my rating.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Vertical Imagination of Henry Corin
Though Chodkiewicz and Chittick have offered respected criticisms of Mr. Corbin's treatment in his study of Ibn 'Arabi, his work still stands out as a testimony to the transcendent imagination. Chittick has stated that Henry Corbin overstressed the imagination in his presentation of Ibn 'Arabi's teaching and couldn't go beyond to the Substance those imaginatings seek to convey. Chodkiewicz raised the issue that Corbin's appology for the apparent esoterism of Ibn 'Arabi is that he was a "form breaker" (i.e. that the form wasn't all that important and certainly present an obstacle to beholding Reality). Chodkiewicz sees this as a dangerous over-simplification of the Shaykh al-Akhbar's teaching because while Ibn 'Arabi did seek the underlying and immutable truth (haqiqah) in every form, and while he considered the manifest world to be a dream, this does not mean that the dream doesn't share in "Being", or that it serves no higher purpose (thus the form is essential to beholding Reality).
Aside from that this work does reintroduce Western readers to the dynamic function of the imagination in spiritual intuition and rekindles some of the lost beauty in the human condition. A beauty which has been seared over by the onslaught of Western modernity and its desacrilizing effects on humanity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rethinking Imagination
This is an important study of imagination in Ibn Arabi by a significant philosopher-Orientalist. Corbin differentiates imagination from mere "fantasy," an "exercise of thought without foundation in nature." Thus what he has in mind when speaking of imagination is quite different from what we usually associate with the term. Cosmic Imagination is the creative power that gives birth to the sensory world: God imagines the cosmos and brings it into being. Imagining is a creative act which at the Divine level is a form of genesis where God draws out existence from Himself. This view stands in contrast to creation ex nihilo, a theological view partly responsible, in Corbin's view, for the degeneration of imagination into fantasy. But it is not only God who creates through Imagination, but man as well. The God that man creates is a theophony of man's active imagination, which is merely an organ of "absolute theopanic Imagination" (takhayyl mutlaq). This is another way of saying that God imagines Himself or rather creates an image of Himself through man, and that this imagining is a part of a larger Divine Imagination. No two images of God created by mortal imagination are exactly alike.

Most of the work is based on Ibn Arabi's Fusus al-Hikam, but as Chittick has noted, determining where Ibn Arabi ends and Corbin begins is not a simple task. ... Read more

123. The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
by Carole Hillenbrand
list price: $60.95
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Asin: 0415929148
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 166228
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With breathtaking command of medieval Muslim sources as well as the vast literature on medieval European and Muslim culture, Carole Hillenbrand has produced a book that shows not only how the Crusades were perceived by the Muslims, but how the Crusades affected the Muslim world - militarily, culturally, and psychologically. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives
This is the best-produced academic paperback I have ever seen. The book is wonderfully illustrated. The photographs are supplemented by hundreds of intriguing drawings in the wide margins. The text is spaciously presented and easy to read. I found zero typographical errors in more than six hundred pages of text, a delight in these days of hasty editing. Hillenbrand's writing is clear, straightforward, and balanced. The book presents a much-needed new perspective on the Crusades. Five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hillenbrand's The Crsuades: Islamic Perspectives
This book is an excellent review of the most up-to-date knowledge we have about contemporary Islamic persepctives on the "Wars of the Cross." The author carefully sets our her purpose in writing this work, which includes both Muslim sources for the major figures and events, as well as Muslim perceptions of the Crusaders and how the Crusades have influenced Middle Eastern history. Anyone wishing to learn fully about this time period must read this work.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Resource
I have only skimmed the surface of this book, yet am very impressed. The bibliography alone is a treasure for anyone studying the Crusades. It's arranged so that the translated chronicles are used to illustrate points in the narrative. The index is detailed and useful, while the narrative itself is easy to read and divided into subsections within the chapters (for example: Old Frankish Women, Marriage, Medicine etc.) A welcome addition to Crusades scholarship, especially for students/readers who cannot read the originals. ... Read more

124. The Great Divide: The failure of Islam and the Triumph of the West
by Alvin J. Schmidt, Marvin Olasky
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 1928653197
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: Continental Sales
Sales Rank: 7748
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Book Description

These days, the hills are alive with the sound of musings about Islam.Publisher's Weekly reported this spring that a spate of new books on the religion are hitting the bookstores, and they're unlike the critical books that came out after September 11; the new tomes assure readers that Islam is a religion of peace. That, as Alvin Schmidt points out Thre Great Divide, is wishful thinking.Muslims are right to point out that the Bible has its parts (such as the book of Joshua) that sound bloodthirsty to modern readers, but the Quran is Joshua all the way through, without its contextualization in the peace-emphasizing prophetic and New Testament books. Professor Schmidt does not hack away at Islam, nor does he attack Christianity because of headlined absues that arise in it.He doesn't hyperventilate about the Abu Ghraibs of Christianity - the misogyny of some church fathers, the bloody entry of the Crusaders into Jerusalem, the pro-slavery rhetoric of some antebellum fire-eaters. Instead, he compares the normal practice of Christianity and Islam. He shows how Christianity grew by the blood of its martyrs, but Islam grew by killing those who opposed it.He compares the view of women in the New Testament and the Quran, showing how Christ's teaching eventually led to the development of complementary roles for men and women but Muhammad's teaching eventually led to the development of complementary roles for men and women but Muhammad's teaching led to subservience. He shows how Christians looked at slavery critically over the centuries and how many fought for its abolition; Islam, though, has no intrinsic anti-slavery position, so it's no surprise that some Islamic countries today still allow it. Christians who understand these specific differences, delineated in Schmidt's book, will strengthen their own faith and be ready to enter into discussions with Muslims without offering either appeasement or shotgun-blast aggression. ... Read more

125. Islam (DK Eyewitness Books)
by Philip Wilkinson
list price: $15.99
our price: $10.87
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Asin: 075661077X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-18)
Publisher: DK CHILDREN
Sales Rank: 408305
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126. Rumi's World : The Life and Works of the Greatest Sufi Poet (Shambhala dragon editions)
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0877736111
Catlog: Book (2001-05-22)
Publisher: Shambhala
Sales Rank: 95700
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
There are a number of writers on Islamic topics that are excellent from differing perspectives. There are only two Western authors, however, that I have any respect for when it comes to the subject of Islamic spirituality. One of them was Frithjof Schuon, and the other is Annemarie Schimmel.

With all of the fuss about Rumi and the whole New Age Sufi thing, it is all too easy to forget that Rumi was a Muslim (sometimes I suspect that too many people would like to forget it). Rumi was the sort of person that he was because he was a Muslim, and not in spite of that fact. Professor Schimmel places Rumi squarely in the Islamic perspective, which is where he belongs. This book provides the best short introduction to his life and thought within that context that I have run across, and I recommend it highly to anyone interested in his life and work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening
An excellent piece of writing on the life and poetry of Rumi. Gives a biographical sketch as well as outlines the technicalities of Rumi's prose, his beliefs and ideas as rendered in poetry. One of the most moving book's I've ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, poetic, biography of the great Mawlana Rumi.
This book is the best biography of Mawlana Jalal uddin Rumi (may his secret be sanctified!) that I have read in the English language to date. The prose itself is absolutely wonderful and is almost poetry in itself! Added to this is Prof. Schimmel's intimate knowledge of the works and life of Mawlana Rumi which she does a wonderful job of presenting. Also, unlike other Orientalist interpreters of Sufism, she firmly places Rumi within the orthodox Islamic framework and ideology/world-view where he belongs. Her translations of his poems are also delightful. This book is highly recommended for all those Muslim and non-Muslim who are interested in the life and works of one of the greatest Saints to ever walk this earth.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book about a great Sufi poet
The Truth that Rumi hints in his work do not need any introduction "la ilaha ill-Allah." Rumi immersed in the love of "Hu" tried his best to sing from his heart. Annemarie Schimmel has done a great service to mankind by introducing Rumi's call to general public. I enjoyed thoroughly every page of this book, which feels like a book of poetry in prose. I highly recommend this book for people who would like to have a short introduction to the life and work of Rumi.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book about a Great Sufi Poet
The Truth that Rumi hints in his work do not need any introduction "la ilaha ill-Allah." Rumi immersed in the love of "Hu" tried his best to sing from his heart. Annemarie Schimmel has done a great service to mankind by introducing Rumi's call to general public. I enjoyed thoroughly every page of this book, which feels like a book of poetry in prose. I am lucky to have a copy of this book and highly recommend the Publisher to reprint this book to further spread Rumi's message from the words of Professor Schimmel, an eminent Sufi scholar. ... Read more

127. Islam Revealed A Christian Arab's View Of Islam
by Anis Shorrosh
list price: $14.99
our price: $10.19
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Asin: 0785264647
Catlog: Book (2001-12-04)
Publisher: Nelson Books
Sales Rank: 22680
Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Thumb through any newspaper, listen to any newscast, and the terms "Islamic Al Jihad" or "Shi'ite Muslims" will inevitably be linked with bombings, hijackings, and other terrorist acts. What do you know about this religion that boasts "the greatest joy is to kill and be killed for Allah"?

In Islam Revealed, Dr. Anis Shorrosh explains the driving force behind the fanatical, as well as the moderate and conservative sects of Islam. Drawing on his experience as a Palestinian-born Arab Christian and years of research and study, Dr. Shorrosh takes a hard look at an ever-growing religion that currently numbers 900 million members.

Through comparisons of Islam's Quran and the Hebrew-Christian Bible, Dr. Shorrosh outlines the contradictions and inaccuracies that form the basis for the Muslims' beliefs, and contrasts the turbulent life of Muhammad with the life of Jesus. In light of recent terrorist activities in America and the continuing tensions in the Middle East, Islam Revealed is a timely reference to the belief system of one in five people on earth. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Politics; The Root Of The Problem.
I bought this book after having listened to the author speak on two occasions, where I was extremely impressed in relation to his knowledge of the Hebrew-Christian Holy Bible, the Quran and the fundamental beliefs of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The author, describes himself as a Christian Palestinian/Arab, who grew up from childhood surrounded by practicising Moslems.

He not only impressed me with his depth of knowledge but also with his enormous love for both Arab and Jew alike. Something which is unfortunately an extremely rare commodity in these days, and which the World would do well to emulate. His infectious smile and all embracing respect are captivating.

In this excellent book he details in some depth the 'driving force' behind the fanatical, moderate and conservative sects of Islam based on many years of research and study. The underlying and prevailing attitude towards Moslems at all times in this study is one of love and compassion, yet with an earnest desire that they all come to see the truth amidst the countless inaccuracies that are presented to them.

The book carefully details, through many comparisons between the Quran and the Bible, the inaccuracies and contradictions which form the foundation of the Moslems' beliefs. Not least, the book contrasts the Holy, virtuous, sinless life of Jesus Christ to the turbulent, violent, sixth century life of Islam's prophet Muhammad. The eloquent and learned writer knows and shows where both faiths agree and disagree and presents an illuminating dialogue in print that everyone should pay attention to.

There is no propaganda in this book. It is very 'meaty' and can be read time and again as well as being an excellent reference book. Relating to his own personal history, the author describes how he can identify with (but not justify) the 'passion for revenge' on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, he then describes how Christ the Messiah 'intercepted' him and prevented him from becoming a terrorist. He elaborates that upon his surrender to the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace, his hatred for the Jews drained from his heart. He goes on to describe how, in November 1973 during an interview on Israeli television/radio, he was able to publicly declare that "I love you because of Jesus".

Not everyone will agree with the minuscule references to politics made in small sections of this book, but in relation to the fountain of love and knowledge emanating from these pages, one cannot fail to be moved and educated. If you have any interest in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict or Islam-Christianity, then get yourselves a copy of this book. Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent and readable examination of Islam
... I have read Islam Revealed and find it to be a very good book about Islam. Dr. Shorrosh is a Palestinian Arab, has lived most of his life around Muslims,and has debated the subject of Islam for years.
Dr. Shorrosh critically examines the life of Muhammad and the history of Islam, including the violent battles waged against any people who did not accept Islam as a revealed religion. To this day Islam is a religion that encourages violences against any who do not accept its teachings. Dr. Shorrosh also reveals the tremendous number of historical errors and contradictions in the Quaran concerning, among others, the genealogy of Abraham; the life of Moses; the error of confusing Mary, the mother of Jesus, as the sister of Aaron; the error as to the birthplace of Jesus; and the life of Jesus.
Dr. Shorrosh also writes extensively about the inferior role of women in Islam. A Muslim husband may divorce his wife without a single reason and may have up to 4 wives. He may beat his wives if they disobey him.
For those who are interested in a scholarly, historical and theological comparison between Christianity and Islam, this book is an excellent start.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Moslem point view
I am a Moslem and trained as an Islamic scholar. As of most Moslems I was not exposed to other points of view. After reading this book by Dr. Shorrosh and cross-referencing with the Quran, it confirmed all the scientific, historical, theological, and moral errors that are in the Quran. It confirms without any doubt that the Quran is NOT an inspired or divine scripture.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dr.Shorrosh should consider writing comedy !!!!!!!!!
DR. Anal (Anis)A.Shorrosh is credited with 4 highly respected university degrees (B.A. in Sociology,Master of Divinity,Doctor of Ministries,Doctor of Philosophy). However, in his recent critique of Islam Dr.Shorrosh unwittingly leaves his educational background highly suspect. For example, on page 188 Dr.Shorrosh violates the law of non-contradiction (Something cannot be A and non-A at the same time in the same respect):

"In other words, no matter what ones religion is, it does not provide the ultimate reality. A person needs a relationship with Christ Jesus because only He can satisfy our souls."

This can be formulated as follows:

1.No religion provides the ultimate reality
2.Christianity is a religion
3.Christianity provides the ultimate reality

Clearly, the premise and conclusion in Dr.Shorrosh statement contradict each other. Therefore, this statement as presented by Shorrosh as a case for Christianity is invalid. It is my opinion that if one wishes to research the subject of Islam & Christianity steer clear away from any and all of Dr.Shorrosh books !!!!!!!!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Another bad author, which is not surprising
The author is showing his extereme ignorance which is expected from a person like him. He is presenting himself as a palastenine arab to show his connection to the arab world and islamic faith, but he failed shcolarly to present a logical reasons for what he presented in his book. You can't trust what he said because he did not follow the regular steps that any researcher or an author has to take. Beside this the author followed every single stereotype they said about islam in the media without even trying to see whether that is true or not. This book is very good for people who want to hate islam or those who want to have false information about islam. The author did not mention how islam speaks very elegantly about the Jesus christ and the virgin Mary in a manner he don't even know from his religion. Finally, I got bored from those books who just put the word islam in their title to assure that they will have good seller reports and gain some fame. ... Read more

128. Milestones
by Sayyid Qutb
list price: $11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892590769
Catlog: Book (1991-12-01)
Publisher: American Trust Publications
Sales Rank: 69018
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Extremist ideologue's bankrupt
Qutb's elevation of offensive jihad to and above the five pillars of Islam, his impossible idea of banishing the 'kingdom of man' (even in an Islamic society, people ultimately have to make decisions), and his rabid anti-Semitism make it no wonder that radicals and terrorists found inspiration in his intolerant views. This book is the work of a sad man, wallowing in prison, unable to cope with the modern world, and longing for some golden age of purity which never existed.

4-0 out of 5 stars an American take on this controversial book
Milestones has received more attention in the wake of 9.11, as many point to Qutb's works and ideas as the birth of modern Islamist terrorism.

I read this book a year ago, but the general theme is still with me. And with this in mind, I admit confusion. The tone is not nearly as violent as it has been portrayed in some quarters. I'd say Milestones is more revolutionary in thought, rather than violence. For Qutb, Islam is a beautiful thing that has been hijacked from within, and misunderstood from the outside. And in some ways, I can't help but think he's right.

While one can perceive his ideas a certain way that will lead to violent actions, there is still positivity to be taken from this tome. As you read it, you almost get caught up in the idea of a nationless world, where competition and hierarchy gives way to true brotherhood. Unfortunately, that brotherhood for Qutb comes from Islam. The underlying force of most religions seems to be to conquer the world, and this is a problem.

Yet, Qutb strikes me as one who had more love than hate in his heart. Milestones captures this. While I may disagree with his take on his religion, or Islam in general, I can understand his feeling that Islam has become something of a tool to be used against mankind. And while the tone can be abrasive at times, I don't think this is a manifesto for terrorists, as Qutb is as concerned with spreading knowledge as he is with picking up a sword.

In today's world, Milestones is an important document to understanding the essence of Islam. True devotees of this religion live in a world that us Westerners can't fully relate to. And I don't mean geographically so much as I mean culturally. We are so used to heirarchy and competition. We are used to bosses and leaders and kings and queens and bishops and popes and generals that is almost impossible to imagine a world where we are all indeed truly equal before the eyes of a god in the sky. Even for those who are not "religious," much can be gleamed from those whose path has included faith in religion. While Qutb's vision is ultimately unrealistic and perhaps a bit dangerous, it is nonetheless fascinating and potentially inspiring in a way that you wouldn't think of.

4-0 out of 5 stars Correction to previous review
Actually, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood was Hassan al-Banna, in 1928. Sayyid Qutb was one of the Brotherhood's most widely known thinkers in the 50's and 60's, but he was not the founder.

1-0 out of 5 stars pity for him, not respect
The sad tragedy of Qutb's works is that he sets the
groundwork for turning islam back on itself. His
ideas set muslims fighting against each other in a
war that will never end. Brother will turn on brother
when muslims start questioning the belief of other
muslims. No state, law or culture will ever be islamic
enough to prevent war after war being fought by muharib
against fellow moslems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Milestones
Sayyid Qutb is easily one of the major architects and "strategists" of contemporary Islamic revival. Along with Maulana Maududi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, the revivalist movement in South Asia, and Imam Khomeini, the leader of Iran's Islamic revolution, he gave shape to the ideas and the worldview that has mobilized and motivated millions of Muslims from Malaysia to Michigan to strive to reintroduce Islamic practices in their lives and alter social and political institutions so that they reflect Islamic principles. Milestones was written to educate and motivate the potential vanguard of the re-Islamization movement.

Qutb, like most contemporary mujaddids, Islamic revivalists, was distressed with the growing distance between Islamic values, institutions and practices and the emerging postcolonial Muslim societies, specially in his native Egypt. In Milestones, he sought to answer some of the fundamental questions such as why Islam needs to be revived? why no other way of life is adequate? What is the true essence of an Islamic identity and an Islamic existence (he uses the term "concept" to signify these two elements)? How was Islam established by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions? Can the same method, which was undoubtedly divine in its conception be replicated again? Qutb is particularly concerned with this issue of "Islamic methodology". He believes that Islamic values and the manner in which they are to be realized (read as were realized by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his glorious companions) both together constitute the faith of Islam.

Relying entirely on the Quran, Qutb uses the concepts of jahiliyya, Islamic concept, Islamic methodology, jihad and Allah's sovereignty, to dilineate the strategy by which Muslims would:

1. realize the true significance and implications of La-ilaha-illallah, having faith in the exclusive unity of Allah (tawhid).

2. understand the imperfections, injustices and moral poverty of jahiliyya.

3. empower themselves by realising the meaning of ashhadu-anna-muhammadur-rasoolullah (bearing witness that Muhammad is Allah's messenger) -- internalizing his method of dawah and submitting to the will and laws of Allah.

4. through this Islamic methodology, as articulated in the Quran and manifested in the practices of Prophet Muhammad, which does not separate theory from practice, and discourse from action, establish an Islamic order. The Islamic order, which is Allah's most significant gift to the entire humanity.

5. The most remarkable aspect of Qutb's book is his insistance on an approach in "stages" and the repeated assertion that the need for implementing Islamic law would not arise until every member of the community had completely submitted to the sovereignty of Allah and by that agreed to live under Allah's laws. Laws would then be framed merely to serve the needs of this "living community of Islam". A far cry from the perception that a handful of Islamists are out to impose an essentialized shariah on all Muslims and non-Muslims living in Muslim lands.

Jahiliyya, as used in the traditional Islamic sense suggests ignorence in the ways of God. However, Qutb gives an interesting twist to the idea of jahiliyya. Jahiliyya for Qutb is the sovereignty of man over man. Socio-political orders where men have power over other men, to institute legislation and determine principles of right and wrong conduct. The Quran is explicit in postulating Islam as the antithesis of jahiliyya. Qutb, by redefining jahiliyya to encompass modern secular systems of political organization, is basically decreeing that all existing systems are unacceptable and even antithetical to the spirit of Islam. Thus the dichotomy, Islam and jahiliyya includes both the Islamic and the anthropocentric way of doing things, and Islamic regimes and the existing unIslamic regimes in Muslim lands. A clever ploy that uses Islamic reasoning to indirectly condemn contemporary political organizations as antithetical to Islam.

His notion of the sovereignty of Allah as opposed to the sovereignty of man is basically a restating of the meaning of Islamic faith -- submission to the will of God. It clearly suggests, that any principle of organization that is not premised on God's supreme and sole prerogative as a legislative source, is shirk. Shirk, in Islam is the only unforgivable sin. It means to associate other Gods with Allah thereby denying the fundamental article of faith, lailaha illalah, there is no deity but Allah. He also uses it to declare the "universal declaration of the freedom of man on earth from a every authority except Allah" (p. 48). I have already discussed his idea of the Islamic concept which basically emphasizes the inseparability of knowledge and practice. It is an important insight which means that one cannot really understand Islam fully unless one is also practicing it. Islamic methodology is his interpretation of how Prophet Muhammad realized the Islamic ideal. He believes that any other way of approaching Islamization is destined to fail.

His understanding of the obligation of jihad -- struggle in the path of Allah -- is also a significant departure from traditional understanding. He understands jihad as taking many different forms depending upon the stage of development of the Muslim community. Thus at the earliest stage it implies struggling to assert the principle of tawhid against all odds. Further along the journey of Islamization it means defending the communities right to "freely practice Islamic beliefs" even if it entails the use of arms. He challenges the "defensive" constitution of the duty of jihad and argues that jihad is a mandatory proactive activity that seeks to establish Allah's sovereignty on earth. He is however careful to emphasize that it does not necessarily mean the use of violence, it includes preaching use of service and wealth in the way of Allah. He is also careful to remind his readers that there is no compulsion in Islam. But if someone has chosen to live by it then no one has the right to prevent him from doing so. Jihad, for Qutb is both, the defense of the right to believe and live by Islam and also the struggle to establish Allah's sovereignty. Qutb, true to his preachings died for the values he espoused. He was sentenced to death and hanged by a military court established by Nasser. I think, and Qutb would agree, writing Milestones was his jihad against the jahiliyya that he saw all around him. ... Read more

129. Light in the Shadow of Jihad : The Struggle for Truth
by Ravi Zacharias
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Asin: 1576739899
Catlog: Book (2002-02-28)
Publisher: Multnomah
Sales Rank: 158595
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The terrorists who brought death to thousands said they did it in God's name. Thousands of Christians around the world gathered in churches to pray for peace, while others blamed the very idea of God for the tragedy. Ravi Zacharias deals with five of the major questions on people's minds after September 11: - Is this true Islam or a fanatical counterfeit? - In what ways does the relation of church and state change a nation's view of religion and affect its culture? - Is this Islam or a pollution of it? Is religion dangerous to a culture? - Was there a prophecy that this would happen? - Where does this leave the future?"If we find those answers," writes Zacharias, "they will spell life, steadying the soul even though the heart still aches." ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, Dr. Ravi Zacharias sat down to collect his thoughts, and wrote this book. First off, he looks at good and evil, and calls on America to return to morality. Then he looks at the struggle between truth and falsehood, and asks questions that Muslims must answer. The next chapter of the book looks at prophecy and the modern Middle East. And, the final two chapters ask the questions of where was God, and where do we go from here.

But, don't stop there. Be sure to read the appendix, which is entitled, "Steadying the Soul While the Heart is Breaking." It is a very touching postscript.

In many ways I feel inadequate in writing this review. I wish that I could easily boil down Dr. Zacharias' thoughts, but this book is just not like that. It is a book that came from his soul-searching, and it made me search my soul as well. If, as a Christian, you are willing to peer into your soul, as you prepare for the years ahead, then I would highly recommend that you get this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Discussion of Post-9/11 Reality
This is the first book that I have read that deals specifically with the 9/11 attacks. I always find Dr. Zacharias' approach to the great and terrible issues of our day to be sound, clear, and well thought out, with the entire logical ramifications in perfect order. Moreover, Dr. Zacharias has that rare ability to meld mind and heart in his theology, so much so, that I prefer his style to many of his more popular peers.

So what are we to make of the 9/11 attacks? Dr. Zacharias devotes six chapters, plus an appendix to covering this vexing question. I suggest reading the appendix first, got get a thumbnail of the arguments used in this rather slim book.

Chapter One sets the stage for the book, reminding us of what all this worry is about. Our memories too often are like the Short Attention Span Theater, with all segments not being over seven minutes. Sometime reality doesn't make it to the commercial break.

Chapter Two is a discussion of moral absolutes. Dr. Zacharias has come up with a concise definition of why moral relativism is bankrupt:

"Rarely have I met a true relativist. Hidden somewhere in the words of everyone who argues for complete relativism is a belief that there are, indeed, some acts that are wrong. The bottom line is this: When someone says that all truth is relative, he or she is making either a relative statement or an absolute one. If it is a relative statement, then that statement, by definition, is not always true. On the other hand, if the belief that all truth is relative is absolute, then the very statement itself must be denied, because it denies absolutes. The pure relativist cuts off the branch on which he is sitting while telling you the branch cannot be severed. The landing is mind-shattering." (p. 20)

In logic, this is called the "Self Inclusion Fallacy."

In Chapter Three, Dr. Zacharias discuses the essential nature of Islam, weather it is good or bad. ...

I think that we make sweeping generalizations against Islam, since the key to understanding the two Islams is how one translated "jihad." Dr. Zacharias makes the case that Islam is not inherently evil, but that the fundamentalists have hijacked it He spends some time discussing the blasting cap book of radical Islam, "The Missing Religious Precept," which focused on the negative, violent definition of "jihad."

Chapter Four is an interesting chapter that deals with Biblical prophecy about 9/11. We have read the Nostradamus "pious frauds," but this is the first time I have read a specific hermeneutic or theology on the attacks. Dr. Zachairas focuses on the Image of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel, and the incidents surrounding the birth of Ishmael and Isaac. The lineage is important, since so much depends on weather Ishmael or Isaac had the birthright.

The question of God's presence or absence during the attack is the subject of Chapter Five. I think Dr. Zacharias raised a poignant question, when he suggested a thought problem. If God appeared to you, and announced his existence in all his glory and fire, would you belie? Well, yes. But then, suppose you then accidentally ran over you child as you were backing up. Would you be content with you sure vision? (p. 84-89) He makes the point that we are not purely intellectual being, and that we need the whispering of the Spirit to our heart even more so. Doesn't the Bible speak of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter?

He rounds off his discussion in Chapter Six with confirming our faith in God. The issue isn't death, since we will all die, but on what we do with our allotted days.

This book is a very gentle book, yet it has a backbone along with its brain and heart. I recommend it for anyone wanting a strong philosophical answer to the question raised by the falling towers.

3-0 out of 5 stars A short thought provoking read
This is a good short book that highlights some of the fundamental strengths of Christianity as they relate to September 11th. It provide a good philosophical view of how we as Christians can help bridge the gap. Warning, Mr. Zacharias is an intellectual and you'll need to bring your A game to truly absorb the philosophy behind his thoughts.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This book takes a very interesting look at our current world situation. One might think based on the title that the book is about Islam, but in reality this book is geared toward introspection regarding our own relativistic society (and the problems related to it). These problems have been brought to the forefront due to recent world events.

I read this book during a bus ride and found it to be an extremely interesting read.

3-0 out of 5 stars A problematic response to 9-11
"Light in the Shadow of Jihad: The Struggle for Truth," by Ravi Zacharias, is a short book, written from the evangelical Christian perspective, that attempts to place the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 in a greater theological and social perspective. The author discusses the origins of Islam, ethical relativism, biblical texts, the debate over "the hiddenness of God," intolerance in Islamic countries, and United States national values.

There are some interesting and effective parts of the book. I was moved by his account of returning home to the U.S. after the tragedy. He also partially reproduces an article written by Muslim scholar Muqtedar Khan, in which Khan challenges the Islamic world to do some soul-searching in the post 9-11 context. Zacharias himself challenges moderate Muslims to speak out against violence done in the name of Islam.

I found the most problematic part of the book to be the author's attitude towards Islam. There is a subtle vein of hostility towards Islam running throughout the book, such as when he claims that Islam can be "demanding [. . .] of the American culture to provide it unlimited freedom." An unqualified statement like that hurts Zacharias' credibility in my mind. At times it seems like he wants to criticize Islam more pointedly but is trying to be politically correct about it. He also presents a naively rosy view of Christendom as a whole.

Ultimately, I found few new insights in this book. But I think it is still worth reading for those seeking more perspectives on 9-11. ... Read more

130. The Failure of Political Islam
by Olivier Roy
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Asin: 0674291409
Catlog: Book (1994-10-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 522674
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Resisting the idea of the clash of civilizations
This is an easy to read book that contains interesting ideas about the role of political islamic movements. However it puts advances different notions than most books on the subject that ahve been published in the aftermath (and before, if we think of Huntington). This book suggests that Islam is not necessarily heading for a major confrontation or clash with the West. Some have suggested and criticized that the WTC attack proves otherwise; however, the the full story on that event and its aftermath have yet to be written and despite its horror, the evnt has worked far more in favoring an attack from the West to Islam than the other way around.
Olivier Roy, in the tendency of another French scholar Gilles Kepel, challenges the clash of civilizations concept and suggests that Political islam has failed because it has proven itself incapable of bringing about desirable changes in the poltical and socio-economic spheres in the Islamic world. Indeed, the very fact it has to resort to violent means (after the many years that muslim politics have existed in one form or another) is a sign of its failure to make attract sufficient followers. More significantly, Roy points out the various divisions theological and sectarian (eg. Shi'a vs. Sunni)national that have impeded the succesful formation of a universal and monolythic Islam capable of challenging the supposed antagonistic civilization of the West. he provides examples from all over the Islamic World including Algeria, Afghanistan and Iran. Some of the comments made by the more critical reviewers here are also worth noting, notwithstanding the fact this booo remians an importnat book, perhaps more so today than at the time it was written.

3-0 out of 5 stars He Might Be Right In the Long Term
Unlike Orientalists like Bernard Lewis, Olivier Roy's book sees Islamist movements as sharing only a spurious connection with traditional religious texts, law and culture.Instead of arising out of an Islamic religious specificity, for Roy, Islamist movements are direct products of the political sociology of the modern, nation-state era.

Other scholars, like Burgat, also make this argument, but Roy departs from Burgat's conclusions in one major area, which is his evaluation of the logic of the Islamists' mission, and its likely political fate.This evaluation forms the major argument of his book; the so-called "failure" of Islamism because of its necessary reliance on the very modernity that it seeks to counter.For Roy, Islamism will fail because it contains internal contradictions that will be the seeds of its own downfall.These contradictions are in the relationship of Islam to politics.Roy claims that Islamism rejects political philosophy, since it sees no separation between religion and politics (unlike traditional Islamic culture, he is careful to point out, differentiating himself from the Orientalists), it sees no role for institutions, and sees "virtue" as the only necessary leadership quality.Thus, Islamism, by self-definition, writes itself out of the very political arena it seeks to enter."The magical appeal to virtue masks the impossibility of defining the Islamist political program in terms of the social reality" (71).In other words, there can be no Islamic state without virtuous Muslims, but there can be no virtuous Muslims without an Islamic state.Islamist ideas, because they do not match social reality, end up in self-negation, since the arise from and rely upon this social reality.

Empirically, Roy sees this social reality as mainly an urban one, which bears little or no resemblance to traditional Muslim village culture.Not only do Islamists come from urban, educated and non-traditional backgrounds, but they also seek to "construct a new urban space, in which relationships would no longer be mediated solely by family or guild bonds" (59).Thus, those who see Islamists as wanting to return to a medieval or traditional society are misreading the movement's program, which differs from traditional Muslim culture in many areas, such as the acceptance of social differentiation in society, including conceptions of political parties, and new roles for groups such as women and ulamas.However, Roy sees this acceptance of social differentiation as an internal contradiction in the logic of Islamism, since the ideal of Islamist movements is a wholly egalitarian society, without classes or political parties.

Politically, Islamists depart from their own traditions in replacing the concept of the caliph (a religious ruler, of the tribe of the Prophet) with that of the amir, who can of course spring from a new (modern) social elite.This provides evidence against a traditionalist, orientalist reading of the Islamist program, since the amir is elevated to a position above even the ulamas, who are religiously sanctioned interpreters of the holy text.Thus, if the Islamic religion were the causal factor, then we might see the ulama or a neo-caliph touted as leader, instead of an amir that can be adapted to modernity.In fact, Roy claims that Islamists compromise with modernity by departing from the positions of the ulama on three issues:political revolution (they favor it), the role of sharia (they favor it less than the ulama does, and want to go beyond its limited reach), and the role of women (they are more emancipatory).

More generally, Roy argues that there has historically been a de facto autonomous public space in the Muslim world, a separation between religion and politics, with the ulama and the sharia on one side, and the ruler on the other.This goes against cultural arguments that see "despotism" as inherent to Islam throughout history.But the paradox, for modern Islamists, is that in seeking a Muslim state, they break this tradition.By concerning themselves with politics, they reject the autonomous space of politics that the ulama accepted, "specifically, the possibility for the state to elaborate a positive law to legislate in areas not covered by the sharia" (64).Thus, they revive politics even as they seek to negate it.For Roy, "no matter what the actors say, any political action amounts to the automatic creation of a secular space or a return to traditional segmentation" (23).In order to destroy secular space, the Islamists are required to create it.

There are many different ways to phrase these contradictions and paradoxes, which show that Roy has identified some inherent tensions in the logic of political Islam.However, the most pressing critique that can be made of his book is that logical inconsistencies in the ideas of a political movement do not automatically translate into a death sentence for that movement's practice, as Roy seems to want us to believe.One only need think of the contradictions inherent in democracy, i.e. between liberty and equality, or between majoritarianism and minority rights.Would democracy be called a failure because it contains these contradictions?No.Political movements are pragmatic and synthetic, and they often endure despite problematic ideational underpinnings.Followers make compromises and adapt to social realities, while attempting to stay in touch with ideational inspirations as well.Roy seems to hold Islamists to unrealistically high standards, chastising them for failing to rapidly create new societies and states, and even to redraw world borders.If the bar were set lower, Roy might acknowledge that Islamists have achieved substantial political change despite their supposedly contradictory relationship with modernity and the realm of politics.

2-0 out of 5 stars Small on Content, Big on Hype
Olivier Roy is basically the founder of the francophone position that Islamism is basically a failure and its nastier incarnations are the result of this failures rather than its successes.Mostly, however, this work is a poorly written book with a novel thesis that has been adapted and put in a much more rigorous scholarly study by Gilles Kepel.

Admittedly, there is something `catchy' about his writing.Roy assures us that the inner contradictions of this movement will collapse in on itself and inadvertently cause the secularism that all of the bourgeoisies have come to enjoy.

The weaknesses of this work as a piece of scholarship are many, but I'll the two principle ones.For one, it is methodologically contradictory.As is customary today in Mid East scholarship, he disavows Orientalist sins by claiming there is no such thing as a monolithic Islam only a plurality of Islams, then he goes on to state that political Islam is one of these "Islams".Oddly enough, though spanning multiple continents and a multitude of countries, he seems that he believes political Islam IS a monolith.By the end, the picture that results is that of monolithic, triumphant modernity mocking an impotent, fanatic, and frustrated nativist politics.

Secondly, any glance at the bibliography would reveal that Roy's work is more or less a hodge-podge of secondary source material-not even a wide spectrum of sources are used and many are journalistic in nature.A lack of knowledge of requisite languages is apparent as he makes the classic mistakes of doubling Arabic plurals, butchering Arabic phrases, and outright mis-translating words.

Though oddly famous, this work is mostly a waste of time.For francophone scholarship, there are much more worthwhile scholars such as Fran├žois Burgat and Gilles Kepel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't misunderstand the book's title
[many people] seem to have latched on to the book's title and misinterpreted his thesis.They have declared Roy completely wrong because political Islam is still with us and often manifests itself violently.(By the way, "Fundamentalist" Islam is a misnomer.Roy explains why."Islamism" or "political Islam" is more accurate to say.)

Roy is not saying political Islam is "dead;" he is saying it has "failed."Failed to deliver on its promise of a just government.Failed to provide a prosperous society.Failed to foster a flourishing culture.In this sense, it has failed.Not in the sense that those who believed in it have abandoned it.On the contrary, of course.(There are remarkable parallels to Communism's failure here.I wonder if anyone has written a good comparison...)

In the wake of a failed ideology, we are left with murderous extremists who will not be convinced the failure was internal, despite Roy's excellent piece of scholarship...Every killing in the name of Allah and Sharia is further proof Roy was right.

1-0 out of 5 stars WHOSE FAILURE?
Has Islamic fundamentalism really failed?
Well, in September 2001 it struck at the heart of New York and Washington and is now at war with the United States in Afghanistan.
No need to travel to any Muslim country. Just have a look at the streets in any major Western city, New York itself for example. You will see women wearing the " hijab", thekind off headgear that symbolsies Islamic fundamentalism. This kind of headgear did not exist in Islam until a few years ago when the fundamentalists began to impose themselves on Muslim communities, first in Iran, then in the whole of the Middle East, and eventually even in Europe and the United States. Also lok for the beards that are specially designed to indicate the owner's attachment to the radical fundamentalist version of Islam.
Go also to mosques, including in New York and Washington, and listen to the Friday sermons to find out how fundamnetalism has imposed itself, through a mixture of terror and bribery, driving out the traditional, moderate versions of the faith.
Is fundamentalism dead when it cuts the throats of an average of 10 Algerians each day? Has fundamentalism failed when it has managed to silence everyone in the Muslim world?
To understand the real situation the reader would do well tofind a copy of Amir Taheri's " Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism" which tells us all we need to know about the background of the recent tragedies, and from a Muslim's point of view. I also recommend Anthony J. Dennis's book " The Rise of the Islamic Empire and The Threat to the West" which studies the issue from a Western point of view. A READER IN LONDON ... Read more

131. Islamic Law and Legal System: Studies of Saudi Arabia (Studies in Islamic Law and Society)
by Frank E. Vogel
list price: $127.00
our price: $127.00
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Asin: 9004110623
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: Brill Academic Pub
Sales Rank: 1182939
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Understanding the tension in Saoudi Arabia
This book offers a unique glimpse into the two forces that are trying to dominate Saoudi-Arabian society: the islamic legal scholars (ulama) and the royal Saud family. At the moment the ulama seem to be winning this battle, which leads to the implementation of strict islamic Hanbali law in almost all spheres of everyday life. The striving of the king to implement more westernized laws is largely ignored by the ulama and the islamic judges. All this makes the Saoudi-arabian islamic system of law an ideal subject for studying and understanding Islam. The book is fairly easy reading, although I would say that some preliminary knowledge about Islam is required. ... Read more

132. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Michael Cook
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Asin: 0192853449
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 370064
Average Customer Review: 2.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Koran has constituted a remarkably resilient core of identity and continuity for a religious tradition that is now in its fifteenth century. In this Very Short Introduction, Michael Cook provides a lucid and direct account of the significance of the Koran both in the modern world and in that of traditional Islam. He gives vivid accounts of its role in Muslim civilization, illustrates the diversity of interpretations championed by traditional and modern commentators, discusses the processes by which the book took shape, and compares it to other scriptures and classics of the historic cultures of Eurasia. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars A Piece of Orientalist Junk
Cook hates the Qur'an, as he does Muslims. One can see it clearly in this book's 164 sarcastic pages. Dripping with snideness and flippancy, this academic screed tells little about what the Qur'an actually says. Instead it conveys the prejudices and preoccupations of Orientalist scholarship---largely concerned with maintaining a negative view of Islam in order to further various bigoted and colonialist agendas. To say, as a previous reviewer did, that this book is favorable to Islam not shows one's terminal illiteracy but also testifies to the power of Orientalist propaganda. For a brief introduction of worth, I recommend the enjoyable and informative Introducing Muhammad by Ziauddin Sardar.

4-0 out of 5 stars It ain't the Bible...and that's okay.
I really appreciated this (very) short introduction to the Koran. As a Christian who is fairly familiar with my own tradition's sacred book, the Bible, I found it helpful in explaining how the Koran and Bible are different. The books that make up the Bible were written over many centuries, the Koran was written and compiled in less than a century (and five centuries after the latest book in the New Testament). Most Jews and Christians read their Bibles in a translation (leaving it to their biblical scholars to learn the original languages); the Koran is read and recited exclusively in its original Arabic, even in countries where Arabic is not a native language (Iran, Malaysia). The Bible contains many types of literature--poetry, wisdom sayings, compelling narratives, prophetic utterances; the Koran refers to events and stories (including some, like Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, from the Jewish and Christian Scriptures) but has no narratives of its own (not even the story of its primary prophet, Muhammad) and consists only of prophetic utterances. The Bible is quite long; the Koran is relatively short and some Muslims have memorized it in its entirety. The Bible plays a significant role in the liturgy of Jews and Christians; public reading of the Koran is not part of Islamic public worship.

However, like the Hebrew Bible with its Midrashim and Talmud, and New Testament with the writings of the church fathers, the Koran has gathered around itself a enormous body of commentaries to help explain its difficult and contradicory texts. Many Islamic beliefs that are attributed to the Koran are actually based on the commentaries of its interpreters.

I liked this book because it focused solely on the Koran itself. Most books I've picked up on Islam don't give this much attention to the Koran, or only refer to it intermittently. For a "very short introduction" there's a lot here to digest.

The photos and illustrations are interesting and instructive. The book also includes a short chapter on reading Arabic transliteration, an annotated bibliography, and an index.

1-0 out of 5 stars waste of your time
This book is a waste of your time. It is totally islamophobic and bias. This book is a waste of your time instead read Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World
by Akbar S. Ahmed if you want book you can actually learn something from

1-0 out of 5 stars Apologetic for Islam
Every page is filled with apologetics for Islam. This is a waste of time for the objective reader. However, if you are just concerned with building a system of flimsy apologetics for Islam, then this is the book for you. Otherwise, don't read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars For the Curious
Though a short book, the Koran is like all scripture and enormous topic to tackle. For a book as short as this, it is inevitable that the work will only scratch the surface. Cook does a good job of putting in secular language how one can approach the Koran as a book and as the centerpiece to the Islamic faith. He writes in inverse chronological order, starting with the modern and ending with the opaque early history of the Koran. This is neither a guide to reading to the Koran nor an interpretation of its contents, but rahter, an anecdotal presentation of many topics relating to its contents. For an introduction to the Koran, it is rather disappointing in the end in terms of offerring a strong list for further study focusing on various topics. Much of this is not Cook's fault so much insofar as few interesting works address the Koran at a layman's level and usually tend to be quite technical and assume at least a cursory knowledge of Arabic. Also missing unfortunately is a good summary of some of the modern trends in literary and historio-critical approaches to the Qur'an though some mention is made of Wansborough (about a paragraph). Overall, it's an accessible read that is likely to inspire further study... There are good collections of scholarly articles by the polemicist ibn Warraq that one can buy as well if one is looking for something with more details. ... Read more

133. The Shi'ite Movement in Iraq
by Faleh A. Jabar
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Asin: 0863563953
Catlog: Book (2004-03-04)
Publisher: Saqi Books
Sales Rank: 443709
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Book Description

Long oppressed despite their majority status, the Shi'is of Iraq have seen their leaders assassinated or exiled and their rituals debased. But they are a force to be reckoned with, and will play a key role in the reshaping of Iraq. This book is a thorough investigation by one of the foremost experts on the region into the origins and development of Iraqi Shi'ite political activism. Tracing the course of the Shi'is' quest for self-representation, the book shows how their political formation has historically intersected with a variety of religious and geopolitical forces, contending with a series of modern-era strongman regimes culminating in the most violent of them all, the Ba'th rule under Saddam Hussein. Almost alone amongst observers of the region, Faleh A. Jabar greatly enlarges our understanding of Shi'ism in its social, cultural, political and economic dimensions, and underscores the fact that Iraq's Shi'is have never constituted the homogeneous group that political analysts have too often insisted upon. Timely and exhaustively researched, this book offers a perspective on the complexities of the Iraqi situation before and after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
... Read more

134. I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman's Encounter With God
by Bilquis Sheikh, Richard H. Schneider, Dick Schneider
list price: $12.99
our price: $10.39
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Asin: 0800793242
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Chosen Books
Sales Rank: 82077
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this one
This book -- a true-life story -- is a page-turner. Very well done as a born-again story, and has the marks of authenticity. Eventually the author got connected with the Billy Graham ministry and had to leave Pakistan. It's a book to read and give to a friend. This new edition (I read the old edition 20 years ago) has an update epilogue and a couple of fascinating appendixes. Don't miss it. ... Read more

135. Islam: The Straight Path
by John L. Esposito
list price: $34.00
our price: $13.60
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Asin: 0195182669
Catlog: Book (2004-12-30)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 59344
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This updated version of Islam: The Straight Path includes a new Epilogue by John Esposito in which he addresses the impact 9/11 and its aftermath have had on both the Muslim and non-Muslim world, discussing Islam's relationship to democracy and modernity and focusing more sharply on the origins and growth of extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam.This exceptionally successful survey text introduces the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from its earliest origins up to its contemporary resurgence. Esposito, an internationally renowned expert on Islam, traces the development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics, discussing the formation of Islamic belief and practice and chronicling the struggle of Muslims to define and adhere to their Islamic way of life. Lucidly written and expansive in scope, Islam: The Straight Path provides keen insight into one of the world's least understood religions and is ideally suited for use in courses on Islam, comparative religions, and Middle Eastern history and culture. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Truth About Islam
Many books these days claim to give readers "a true depiction," of Islam, but most of them fail to live up to their promise. "Islam:The Straight Path," is an exception to that rule.

Esposito's book is the most objective overview on Islamic beliefs published, and is required reading for any one who wants to understand prevalent beliefs and virtues held in esteem, embraced and practiced by Islamic societies in countries across the world - not only where Islam is the dominant religion, but also in countries such as the US and UK where Islam is a religion of a minority. Esposito highlights how the interpretation and articulation of values may differ depending on cultural settings.

This book is often a standard core text for survey courses on Islamic societies, Islamic history and basic relgion courses for good reason. It is comprehesive in its analysis and provides a great wealth of information in very accessible form. No serious student of world affairs or religious dialogue can afford to ignore this book. ... Read more

136. Malcolm: The Life of the Man Who Changed Black America
by Bruce Perry
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
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Asin: 0882681214
Catlog: Book (1992-10-01)
Publisher: Station Hill Press
Sales Rank: 221209
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"exhaustively researched" biography of Malcolm X ... Read more

Reviews (8)

1-0 out of 5 stars Reader
This book was obviously written by someone who hates Malcolm X. He had nothing positive to say only negative. He even went so far as to make the reader feel as though everything that Malcolm ever said was a lie. He portrays Malcolm as a person who hated himself but I believe it is the writer of this book who hates Malcolm and his family.

2-0 out of 5 stars Questionable
This book is good if only for the insight into Malcolm's childhood. Other than that, it makes too many cynical conclusions based on whatever it is the author was trying to get across-- which by the end, is still unclear. Reading the introduction one would assume that this book was poised to breathe new insight on Malcolm the political figure and man. However, what you end up getting is more of a repetitious editorial piece. The author almost insults the intelligence of the reader by constantly rehashing the possible reasoning for Malcolm's every move. At one point, he suggests that Attallah was favored by Malcolm because of her light skin (like his) the way his dark-skinned father had once favored him. Perry also volunteers the very real and most likely possibility that Malcolm took this particular daughter to different events because she was the oldest of the girls. This is just one example of how he insists on giving the reader something to ponder on Malcolm's sincerity as a Black leader, tangible or not. There are parts of this book that indeed ring true with me for what I have interperted Malcolm to be, but these instances are too few and far between. I was in no way expecting an idealized picture to be painted here, only this book offers no real balance. Beyond this wounded Malcolm he avidly portrays, what else was there? Also for the attention he gave to alleged homosexual activity, arson, etc. he mentioned Betty Shabazz sparsely as if she held no importance in Malcolm's life. I found that fact very telling. After supposedly over 400+ interviews, Perry could only gather enough to give the mother of Malcolm's six children passing mentions. I actually got more of a rounded glimpse of Malcolm the man in the biography of Betty Shabazz by Russell J. Rickford. I advise those who are thinking of reading this book first to check out the autobiography w/ Alex Haley instead, then tackle this one if you wish. Even for all its omissions and probable half truths, you'll come away from that book actually understanding something. After reading Mr. Perry's biography, you get the urge to so say, "So?! What was your point?"

2-0 out of 5 stars Approach With Caution
You have to question what Perry wanted to achieve from this book. He seems to have missed, or overlooked, all of the important issues that Malcolm X stood for.

He takes the word of Malcolm's detractors as the gospel truth and diminishes Malcolm's teachings and beliefs by portraying them as paranoid.

Perry seems obsessed with highlighting flaws in Malcolm's personality and uses this device to side step the vital lessons which Malcolm was trying to teach - lesson's which still need to be learnt today.

By all means read this book, but do so very objectively.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too many unsubstatiated statements
I was not too fond of this book, not because I'm a Malcolm fan, but there are too many conclusions that Perry makes with weak evidence. Such as Malcolm's father (and Malcolm himself) setting their houses on fire, Malcolm's alleged homosexual activity,Malcolm asking the Klan why they allowed Dr. King to live, etc. etc. One could see why Dr. Betty Shabazz (Malcolm's wife)told Perry to get lost!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Telling Tale : The Life and Times of Malcom X
Bruce Perry'sMalcom gives an in depth analysis of one of the most controversial public figures in modern American history.Perry describes Malcom's troubled childhood in the Midwest, from his bouts with his fatherinfidelities and his unexpected death -ruled accidental, but not certain--to his, light skinned, mentally ill mother who was not afraid to keep herson in line by any means necessary. Living within a dysfunctional familyand having no friends, Malcom finds himself wanting to leave his lonely andslow-pace lifestyle for the exciting East Coast. Moving in with hishalf-sister in Boston,Malcom becomes involved in criminal activities,from petty dope slinging and "runnin' numbers", to sleeping withwhite women and committing burglaries.Eventually he finds himself behindbars and from there Malcom X emerges. Known as Red, Malcom becomesacquainted with an inmate, a devoted follower of the Nation of Islam, whoteaches Malcom that their is an alternative for black men other than a lifeof crime.Malcom X is introduced to classic literature, poetry, and Islam. The religion has a powerful effect on Malcom, who embraces its ways andultimately becomes a follower. When he is released, Malcom X quickly workshis way through the ranks to head minister of the most populated andsuccessful Black Mosque in America.According to Perry, Malcom was notonly a devoted minister to his mosque, but to several others as well.Hissuperior, the honorable Elijah Muhammad, was initially impressed with thearticulate, young orator.In time Malcom X rises in the movement. He grabsall of the headlines and from the media's point of view, becomes thespokesman for the Nation of Islam.Eventually,Malcom breaks from thegroup and starts his own, which never gets off the ground.He was shotdead during a speech in Harlem, New York in 1965. Malcom X, thoughpoorly educated and a product of a mentally and physically abusedhousehold, nevertheless tookcenter stage and improved the quality of lifefor Black America.Bruce Perry gives the reader a personal account ofoneof America's enigmatic and flamboyant intellectuals of the twentiethcentury. ... Read more

137. Angels Unveiled: A Sufi Perspective
by Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Hisham Kabbani, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani
list price: $15.00
our price: $12.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567445144
Catlog: Book (1996-01-01)
Publisher: Kazi Publications
Sales Rank: 307759
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible persepctive on Angels
This book provides a totally untapped view on Angels which the reader of non-islamic literature ususally cannot obtain. What do they really look like, their shapes, powers, love for human beings and closeness to us. These stories and descriptive facts from the Author bring us much closer to the reality of what Angels are and their relationship with us...until the blessed day we come face to face with them. A must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The One Book to Read About Angels
This book contains 30 chapters and is about 250 pages. It covers the topic of Angels extensively and sheds insights into their being that are rarely mentioned in other texts. It is written by a Sufi Master and Islamic scholar whose warm personal style shows a deep sincerity and love of God that those interested in Angels should cherish. After reading this book one can not look at the Universe as being the same again, God's love is reaching and his Angels are present at all times in every place. This book should be "required reading" of all those interested in the topic of Angels, I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most astounding book on Angels in Islamic & Sufi Tradition!
Shaykh Kabbani beautifully combines knowledge and experience to bring to the reader the role of Angels in life according to the Islamic and Sufi Tradition. An exciting book the reader simply does not wish to put down!

5-0 out of 5 stars A most uplifting spiritual journey through the unseen!
Shaykh Kabbani writes with lucidity and sincerity, creating an enchanting work which will transport the reader into the unimagineably beautiful world of angels, granting him or her a glimpse into the sublime realities of Prophets and Saints, and the wonder of God's immense creation.

5-0 out of 5 stars a leap in understanding angels and their function
I enjoyed the depth and knowledge that goes in this book. The author goes in detail explaining each angel, his function and their interaction with humans, prophets, and GOD. Very enlightning ... Read more

138. The Majestic Quran: An English Rendition of Its Meanings
by Translation Committee
list price: $69.95
our price: $44.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1929694504
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Starlatch Press
Sales Rank: 185673
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This translation is distinctive among the dozens of existent English translations of the Quran because of the fluidity and clarity of its language, the elegance of its style, and the inclusion of more than 800 explanatory notes. The modern standard English makes the message of the Quran easily accessible to today's reader. When curiosity arises about Islam, all roads lead to its Book. People want to read for themselves what the Quran projects: the message it offers, the spirituality it excites, and the worldview it establishes. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars You would be more at ease without all the Es
Beware of Osama's review, it is the salaafeeee/Wahabi way of negating anything but their close minded view of Islam. Full of errors. Stay away.


By the way its an excellent translation, perhaps the best available.

1-0 out of 5 stars This is a soofee translation
Beware of this book, it is the soofee way of introducing their version of the Qur'an. Full of errors. Stay away.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Translation of Quran to date
This translation is the best quran translation to date. The only thing that it needs to work on is a better index and a little more commentary. Other than that, a great work. ... Read more

139. Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad
by Natana J. Delong-Bas
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 0195169913
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 165960
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Book Description

Before 9/11, few Westerners had heard of Wahhabism. Today, it is a household word. Frequently mentioned in association with Osama bin Laden, Wahhabism is portrayed by the media and public officials as an intolerant, puritanical, militant interpretation of Islam that calls for the wholesale destruction of the West in a jihad of global proportions. In the first study ever undertaken of the writings of Wahhabism's founder, Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1702-1791), Natana DeLong-Bas shatters these stereotypes and misconceptions. Her reading of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's works produces a revisionist thesis: Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was not the godfather of contemporary terrorist movements. Rather, he was a voice of reform, reflecting mainstream 18th-century Islamic thought. His vision of Islamic society was based upon a monotheism in which Muslims, Christians and Jews were to enjoy peaceful co-existence and cooperative commercial and treaty relations. Eschewing medieval interpretations of the Quran and hadith (sayings and deeds of the prophet Muhammad), Ibn Abd al-Wahhab called for direct, historically contextualized interpretation of scripture by both women and men. His understanding of theology and Islamic law was rooted in Quranic values, rather than literal interpretations. A strong proponent of women's rights, he called for a balance of rights between women and men both within marriage and in access to education and public space. In the most comprehensive study of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's interpretation of jihad ever written, DeLong-Bas details a vision in which jihad is strictly limited to the self-defense of the Muslim community against military aggression. Contemporary extremists like Osama bin Laden do not have their origins in Wahhabism, she shows. The hallmark jihadi focus on a cult of martyrdom, the strict division of the world into two necessarily opposing spheres, the wholescale destruction of both civilian life and property, and the call for global jihad are entirely absent from Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's writings. Instead, the militant stance of contemporary jihadism lies in adherence to the writings of the medieval scholar, Ibn Taymiyya, and the 20th century Egyptian radical, Sayyid Qutb. This pathbreaking book fills an enormous gap in the literature about Wahhabism by returning to the original writings of its founder. Bound to be controversial, it will be impossible to ignore. ... Read more

140. Awakening: A Sufi Experience
by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Vilayat Inayat Khan, Pythia Peay
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585420387
Catlog: Book (2000-07-01)
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher
Sales Rank: 253638
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The long-awaited work on the principles of Sufism and self-transformation by the beloved Sufi master Pir Vilayat.

For readers encountering Sufism for the first time, Awakening is the perfect companion and introduction to the way of the dervishes--as well as a doorway to a direct experience of the Divine.

"This book, drawing on the wisdom of an 83-year-old Sufi master, defines awakening and offers a clear map for the journey." --Personal Transformation magazine
... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Take Time To Heal
When "The Awakening" arrived, it took me 2 weeks before I sat down and turned to page one. I tried to scan through like a "good" student, but somehow this book is not a typical Sufi book that teaches you through steps without wisdom. You have to be "awaken" or to "have died before death", in order to embrace every word, and comprehend the underlying structures and words chosen to convey the message therein. I would recommend "The Awakening" only to serious seekers. If you are a self-labelled religionist {Muslim, Jew, or Christian} and a staunch one at that you might find yourself against a brick wall.

"The Awakening" is a book that teaches you to take the time to heal your heart, in the wake, will then open you to your "Reality". The religion of the heart is most important here. If you're devoid of that, taking the path written therein can be an awesome task. "The Awakening" is one of the best Sufi manual I've read and understood without recoursing to references. A must-have in your collection, if you're seriously contemplating returning "home" sanely.

4-0 out of 5 stars Awakening : A Sufi Experience
When one explores the world of mysticism, one must take into account cultural biases. This book transcends those biases by accurately portraying the real life experiences of the practioners of Sufism. In great detail the authors articulate the dervishes which play such a vital role to Sufis. As one who has visited the Old City in Jerusalem, I must confess that Sufism can be manipulated by those who are seeking profit. By contrast, the authors of this text are genuinly concerned about accurately portraying Sufism. I recommend this book for any individual who seeks to learn about spirtuality in the Middle East.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mystical teaching grounded in everyday responsibility
Based on my own experience, I can't say enough to encourage others to seek out retreat experiences. But for those who cannot carve out the time, this fine book comes as near to the real thing as I've seen. Pythia Peay's transcription and editing of retreat sessions by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan allows the reader to participate in the "process of inner unveiling" (ix) and awakening at the heart of this very readable and ecumenical book. With a gentle insistence on the development of conscience ("awakening in life") as a result of "awakening beyond life", Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan provides an antidote to mystified notions of spirituality and the disengagement often associated with conventional religious enthusiasm. Here are some of Pir Vilayat's own words from a book filled with authentic wisdom: "Though the mystical encounter goes deeper than words can convey, tangible traces of it can be seen in the actions we take, the values we uphold, and the ideals we strive for. In effect, what I am trying to say is that the illumination of consciousness leads inevitably to the awakening of conscience. This enables us to fulfill the purpose of our lives and actualize the unfurling of the potentialities of our beings.... there is no limit to the responsibility we bear toward others. (page 196) ... Read more

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