What Is Islam?

The Importance of Being Islamic

Author: Shahab Ahmed

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691178313

Category: Religion

Page: 624

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What is Islam? How do we grasp a human and historical phenomenon characterized by such variety and contradiction? What is "Islamic" about Islamic philosophy or Islamic art? Should we speak of Islam or of islams? Should we distinguish the Islamic (the religious) from the Islamicate (the cultural)? Or should we abandon "Islamic" altogether as an analytical term? In What Is Islam?, Shahab Ahmed presents a bold new conceptualization of Islam that challenges dominant understandings grounded in the categories of "religion" and "culture" or those that privilege law and scripture. He argues that these modes of thinking obstruct us from understanding Islam, distorting it, diminishing it, and rendering it incoherent. What Is Islam? formulates a new conceptual language for analyzing Islam. It presents a new paradigm of how Muslims have historically understood divine revelation—one that enables us to understand how and why Muslims through history have embraced values such as exploration, ambiguity, aestheticization, polyvalence, and relativism, as well as practices such as figural art, music, and even wine drinking as Islamic. It also puts forward a new understanding of the historical constitution of Islamic law and its relationship to philosophical ethics and political theory. A book that is certain to provoke debate and significantly alter our understanding of Islam, What Is Islam? reveals how Muslims have historically conceived of and lived with Islam as norms and truths that are at once contradictory yet coherent.
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Being Muslim the Bosnian Way

Identity and Community in a Central Bosnian Village

Author: Tone Bringa

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691001753

Category: Social Science

Page: 281

View: 6563

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"I have been able to follow a Bosnian community over a period of six years, during which it has undergone dramatic changes. In the late 1980s people were working hard against economic crisis. In 1990 they were full of optimism for the future. In January 1993 the village was in fear, surrounded by war on all sides. In April 1993 it was attacked by Croat forces. In October 1993 none of the Muslims in the village remained. They had either fled, been placed in detention camps, or been killed." Thus begins Tone Bringa's moving ethnographic account of Bosnian Muslims' lives in a rural village located near Sarajevo. Although they represent a majority of the population in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Muslims are still members of a minority culture in the region that was once Yugoslavia. The question of ethno- national identity has become paramount in this society, and the author focuses on religion as the defining characteristic of identity. Bringa pays particular attention to the roles that women play in defining Muslim identities, and she examines the importance of the household as a Muslim identity sphere. In so doing, she illuminates larger issues of what constitutes "nationality." This is a gripping and heartfelt account of a community that has been torn apart by ethno-political conflict. It will attract readers of all backgrounds who want to learn more about one of the most intractable wars of the late twentieth century and the people who have been so tragically affected.
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Western Muslims and the Future of Islam

Author: Tariq Ramadan

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 019517111X

Category: Religion

Page: 272

View: 888

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Ramadan, named by Time magazine in 2000 as one of the 100 most important innovators of the coming century, takes stock of Islamic law and tradition to analyze whether Islam is in conflict with Western ideals; Ramadan is emphatic that there is no contradiction. He then spells out several key areas where Islam's universal principles can be "engaged" in the West, including education, interreligious dialogue, economic resistance and spirituality.
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Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Adam J. Silverstein

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019160934X

Category: Religion

Page: 176

View: 6760

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Does history matter? This book argues not that history matters, but that Islamic history does. This Very Short Introduction introduces the story of Islamic history; the controversies surrounding its study; and the significance that it holds - for Muslims and for non-Muslims alike. Opening with a lucid overview of the rise and spread of Islam, from the seventh to twenty first century, the book charts the evolution of what was originally a small, localised community of believers into an international religion with over a billion adherents. Chapters are also dedicated to the peoples - Arabs, Persians, and Turks - who shaped Islamic history, and to three representative institutions - the mosque, jihad, and the caliphate - that highlight Islam's diversity over time. Finally, the roles that Islamic history has played in both religious and political contexts are analysed, while stressing the unique status that history enjoys amongst Muslims, especially compared to its lowly place in Western societies where history is often seen as little more than something that is not to be repeated. Some of the questions that will be answered are: · How did Islam arise from the obscurity of seventh century Arabia to the headlines of twenty first century media? · How do we know what we claim to know about Islam's rise and development? · Why does any of this matter, either to Muslims or to non-Muslims? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Liberal Islam

A Source Book

Author: Charles Kurzman

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195116229

Category: Religion

Page: 340

View: 8190

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This book contends that "Liberal Islam" is not a contradiction in terms, but rather a thriving tradition more than a century old and undergoing a revival within the last generation. This anthology presents the translated work of 32 Muslims who are concerned with the seperation of church and state, democracy, the condiditon of women, the rights of minorities, freedom of thought, and the future of human progress.
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Being Young and Muslim

New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North

Author: Asef Bayat,Linda Herrera

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195369211

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 428

View: 2316

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This volume explores the ways in which the young, both in Muslim majority societies and Muslim communities in the West, negotiate their Muslim identity in relation to their youthful desires - their individuality, the search for autonomy and security for the future.
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Windows on the House of Islam

Muslim Sources on Spirituality and Religious Life

Author: John Renard

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520210868

Category: Religion

Page: 431

View: 7689

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This volume and its companion, John Renard's 1996 book, SEVEN DOORS TO ISLAM, together integrate a wide range of Islamic literary and visual forms, offering a superb introduction to the primary religious sources, as well as a general understanding, of Islamic spirituality and culture. 66 illustrations. 1 map.
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A History of Islamic Societies

Author: Ira M. Lapidus

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521779333

Category: History

Page: 970

View: 3485

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An accessible worldwide history of Muslim societies provides updated coverage of each country and region, in a volume that discusses their origins and evolution while offering insight into historical processes that shaped contemporary Islam and surveying its growing influence. Simultaneous. (Social Science)
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Good Muslim, Bad Muslim

America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror

Author: Mahmood Mamdani

Publisher: Harmony

ISBN: 9780385515917

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 1233

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In this brilliant look at the rise of political Islam, the distinguished political scientist and anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani brings his expertise and insight to bear on a question many Americans have been asking since 9/11: how did this happen? Mamdani dispels the idea of “good” (secular, westernized) and “bad” (premodern, fanatical) Muslims, pointing out that these judgments refer to political rather than cultural or religious identities. The presumption that there are “good” Muslims readily available to be split off from “bad” Muslims masks a failure to make a political analysis of our times. This book argues that political Islam emerged as the result of a modern encounter with Western power, and that the terrorist movement at the center of Islamist politics is an even more recent phenomenon, one that followed America’s embrace of proxy war after its defeat in Vietnam. Mamdani writes with great insight about the Reagan years, showing America’s embrace of the highly ideological politics of “good” against “evil.” Identifying militant nationalist governments as Soviet proxies in countries such as Nicaragua and Afghanistan, the Reagan administration readily backed terrorist movements, hailing them as the “moral equivalents” of America’s Founding Fathers. The era of proxy wars has come to an end with the invasion of Iraq. And there, as in Vietnam, America will need to recognize that it is not fighting terrorism but nationalism, a battle that cannot be won by occupation. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim is a provocative and important book that will profoundly change our understanding both of Islamist politics and the way America is perceived in the world today. From the Hardcover edition.
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