Recommended Resources

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What Is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic

by Shahab Ahmed

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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The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary

by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

An accessible and accurate translation of the Quran that offers a rigorous analysis of its theological, metaphysical, historical, and geographical teachings and backgrounds, and includes extensive study notes, special introductions by experts in the field, and is edited by a top modern Islamic scholar, respected in both the West and the Islamic world.

Drawn from a wide range of traditional Islamic commentaries, including Sunni and Shia sources, and from legal, theological, and mystical texts, The Study Quran conveys the enduring spiritual power of the Quran and offers a thorough scholarly understanding of this holy text.

Beautifully packaged with a rich, attractive two-color layout, this magnificent volume includes essays by 15 contributors, maps, useful notes and annotations in an easy-to-read two-column format, a timeline of historical events, and helpful indices. With The Study Quran, both scholars and lay readers can explore the deeper spiritual meaning of the Quran, examine the grammar of difficult sections, and explore legal and ritual teachings, ethics, theology, sacred history, and the importance of various passages in Muslim life.

With an introduction by its general editor, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, here is a nearly 2,000-page, continuous discussion of the entire Quran that provides a comprehensive picture of how this sacred work has been read by Muslims for over 1,400 years.

 


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The Islamist: Why I Became an Islamic Fundamentalist, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left

by Ed Husain

Raised in a devout but quiet Muslim community in London, at sixteen Ed Husain was presented with an intriguing political interpretation of Islam known as fundamentalism. Lured by these ideas, he committed his life to them. Five years later, he rejected extremism and tried to return to a normal life. But soon he realized that Islamic fundamentalists pose a threat that most people-Muslim and non- Muslim alike-simply don’t understand.

Based on first-hand experiences and written with pervasive clarity, The Islamist delivers a rare inside glimpse of the devious methods used to recruit new members, and offers profound insight into the appeal fundamentalism has for young Muslims in the Western world.


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The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800 (Themes in Islamic History)

by Jonathan Berkey

Jonathan Berkey surveys the religious history of the peoples of the Near East from approximately 600 to 1800 c.e. After examining the religious scene in the Near East in late antiquity, he investigates Islam’s first century, the “classical” period from the accession of the Abbasids to the rise of the Buyid amirs. He then traces the emergence of new forms of Islam in the middle period, deftly showing how Islam emerged slowly as part of a prolonged process.


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When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam’s Greatest Dynasty

by Hugh Kennedy

The “golden age of Islam” in the eighth and ninth centuries was as significant to world history as the Roman Empire was in the first and second centuries. The rule of Baghdad’s Abbasid Dynasty stretched from Tunisia to India, and its legacy influenced politics and society for years to come. In this deftly woven narrative, Hugh Kennedy introduces us to the rich history and flourishing culture of the period, and the men and women of the palaces at Baghdad and Samarra-the caliphs, viziers, eunuchs, and women of the harem that produced the glorious days of the Arabian Nights.


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The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity

by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

 

As the specter of religious extremism has become a fact of life today, the temptation is great to allow the evil actions and perspectives of a minority to represent an entire tradition. In the case of Islam, there has been much recent confusion in the Western world centered on distorted portrayals of its core values. Born of ignorance, such confusion feeds the very problem at hand.

In The Heart of Islam one of the great intellectual figures in Islamic history offers a timely presentation of the core spiritual and social values of Islam: peace, compassion, social justice, and respect for the other. Seizing this unique moment in history to reflect on the essence of his tradition, Seyyed Hossein Nasr seeks to “open a spiritual and intellectual space for mutual understanding.” Exploring Islamic values in scripture, traditional sources, and history, he also shows their clear counterparts in the Jewish and Christian traditions, revealing the common ground of the Abrahamic faiths.

Nasr challenges members of the world’s civilizations to stop demonizing others while identifying themselves with pure goodness and to turn instead to a deeper understanding of those shared values that can solve the acute problems facing humanity today. “Muslims must ask themselves what went wrong within their own societies,” he writes, “but the West must also pose the same question about itself . . . whether we are Muslims, Jews, Christians, or even secularists, whether we live in the Islamic world or in the West, we are in need of meaning in our lives, of ethical norms to guide our actions, of a vision that would allow us to live at peace with each other and with the rest of God’s creation.” Such help, he believes, lies at the heart of every religion and can lead the followers of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) as well as other religious and spiritual traditions to a new future of mutual respect and common global purpose.

The Heart of Islam is a landmark presentation of enduring value that offers hope to humanity, and a compelling portrait of the beauty and appeal of the faith of 1.2 billion people.


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The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis

by Robert R. Reilly

Robert R. Reilly’s eye-opening book masterfully explains the frightening behavior coming out of the Islamic world. Terrorism, he shows, is only one manifestation of the spiritual pathology of Islamism.

Reilly uncovers the root of our contemporary crisis: a pivotal struggle waged within the Muslim world nearly a millennium ago. In a heated battle over the role of reason, the side of irrationalitywon. The deformed theology that resulted, Reilly reveals, produced the spiritual pathology of Islamism, and a deeply dysfunctional culture.

The Closing of the Muslim Mind solves such puzzles as:

·         why the Arab world stands near the bottom of every measure of human development

·         why scientific inquiry is nearly dead in the Islamic world

·         why Spain translates more books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand
years

·         why some people in Saudi Arabia still refuse to believe man has been to the moon

Delving deeper than previous polemics and simplistic analyses, The Closing of the Muslim Mind provides the answers the West has so desperately needed in confronting the Islamist crisis.


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History Of Philosophy In Islam (Curzon Classics)

by  Dr. T.J. De Boer

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts – the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.


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Averroes – The Incoherence of the Incoherence

by Averroes

The Incoherence of the Incoherence is an important Islamic philosophical treatise, in which the author defends the use of Aristotelian philosophy within Islamic thought.

 

 


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