Revisionist Religion, Agnosticism and Disbelief in the Modern Arab World
Author: Ralph M. Coury
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
Arab debates about the critical relationship between religion and modernity began in the early nineteenth century. Such debates are now integral to the struggle for power between a variety of political groups and their opponents, and are vital to understanding the modern Middle East. This unique volume introduces writings of Arab Christian and Muslim revisionist and radical "free thinkers" who have tried to redefine the relationship. It challenges the deeply entrenched idea that the contemporary Islamic world has been impermeable to a critique of religious ideas and practices. Authors from the nineteenth century to the present are included. Some are avowed believers, even if they adopt positions many might regard as heretical; others are openly agnostic and atheistic. Despite their differences, all have been united in disputing the notion that life should conform exclusively to a system of values and laws based upon the Qur'an or the Bible, or, in some cases less radically, upon these as they were widely understood before the onset of modernity. They have also rejected many of the standard religious 'liberal' assumptions that are regularly invoked against traditionalism. The book's originality lies in its evaluation of the social and cultural impact of these thinkers.
The Authenticity of Muslim Literature from the Formative Period
Author: Herbert Berg
Category: Social Science
The most important debate in Islamic origins is that of the reliability of the lists of transmitters (isnads) that are said to guarantee the authenticity of the materials to which they are attached. Many scholars have come to the conclusion that most traditions (hadiths), which claim to preserve the words and deeds of Muhammad and early Muslim scholars, are spurious. Other scholars defend hadiths and their isnads, arguing for an early continuous written transmission of these materials. The first purpose of this study is to summarize and critique the major positions on the issue of the authenticity of hadiths in general and exegetical hadiths in particular. The second purpose is to devise a means of evaluating isnads that does not rely on circular arguments and to use it to determine if the hadiths in the Tafsir of al-Tabari, attributed to Ibn 'Abbas, are genuine.
A rendering into English of extracts from the writings, speeches, announcements and discourses of Hadrat Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Mulim Jamā'at.
This study present a new source for the early history of the Murji'a, and argue new positions regarding the early doctrine and politics of the movement. It investigates the authenticity and dating of sources, issues fundamental for the history of Muslim dogma and early Muslim history.
Why International Religious Liberty Is Vital to American National Security
Author: Thomas F. Farr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Virtually every trouble spot on the planet has some sort of religious component. One need only consider Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and Palestine, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Russia, and China, to name but a few. Looming behind national issues, of course, is the problem of regional Islamist extremism and transnational Islamist terrorism. In all of these sectors, religious tensions, ideas and actors are of great geo-political importance to the United States. Yet, argues Thomas Farr, our foreign policy is gravely handicapped by an inability to understand the role of religion either nationally or globally. There is a strong disinclination in American diplomacy to consider religious factors at all, either as part of the problem or part of the solution. In this engaging and well-written insider account, Farr offers a closely reasoned argument that religious freedom, the freedom to practice one's own religion in private and in public, is an essential prerequisite for a stable, durable democratic society. If the U.S. wants to foster democracy that lasts, he says, it must focus on fostering religious liberty, especially in its public manifestations, properly limited in a way that advances the common good. Although we ourselves have developed a remarkably successful model of religious freedom, our foreign policy favors an aggressive secularism that is at odds with the American model. It is essential, says Farr, that we take an approach that recognizes the great importance of religion in people's lives.
This new rendering of the Holy Quran into the English language is the first of its kind, since it is a combination of translation and exegesis in which the author 'opens out' the verses of the Holy Book to reveal some of the layers of meaning expounded by the Prophet and transmitted through the ages by the Prophet's companions, family and the scholars who followed them. The fruit of over thirty years of research into the principles of Quranic exegesis and hadith analysis, this work matches a depth of Arabic and Islamic learning with a mastery of English that is lucid and accessible while preserving the integrity of the original text.
This book is concerned with the rationality and plausibility of the Muslim faith and the Qur'an, and in particular how they can be interrogated and understood through Western analytical philosophy. It also explores how Islam can successfully engage with the challenges posed by secular thinking. The Quran and the Secular Mind will be of interest to students and scholars of Islamic philosophy, philosophy of religion, Middle East studies, and political Islam.
Questions over the compatibility of Islam and Human Rights have become a key area of debate in the perceived tensions between ‘Islam and the West’. In many ways, discussion over the stance of Islam in relation to such factors as gender rights, religious freedom, social and political freedoms, and other related issues represents a microcosm of the broader experience of how Muslim and ‘Western’ communities interact and relate. This volume seeks to engage with the various debates surrounding Islam and Human Rights, in particular, challenging assumptions of a ‘standard’ or ‘essential’ Muslim perspective on Human Rights. Through a survey of the experiences of Muslim communities across the globe (the ummah), this volume highlights the dynamic way Muslims understand and incorporate Human Rights into their personal, social and political experiences. From conceptual discussions on the issues of gender rights and religious freedom, to examining Muslim communities from South East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, leading global experts bring forth key insights into the way in which Muslim communities live and experience Human Rights. The potential for deeper engagement with this issue is critical, as it opens possibilities for more profound understanding and tolerance.
Aamer Hussein takes love to its logical conclusion, Robert Irwin traces the origins of the ghazal (love lyric), Christopher Shackle recites epic Panjabi poems of sacred love and lyrical death, Imranali Panjwani mourns the massacre of Karbala, Martin Rose istaken hostage by Saddam Hussein, Jalees Rahman reflects on Nazi doctors who took delight in deathly experiments, Ramin Jahanbegloo is incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison, Hamza Elahi visits England's Muslim graveyards, Shanon Shah receives valuable guidance on love and sex from the "Obedient Wives Club", Samia Rahman sets out in search of love, Khola Hasan has mixed feelings about her hijab, Sabita Manian promotes love between India and Pakistan, Boyd Tonkin discovers that dead outrank the living in Jerusalem , Alev Adil takes "a night journey through a veiled self" and Irna Qureshi's mother finally makes a decision on her final resting place. Also in this issue: Parvez Manzoor throws scorn on a nihilistic, revisionist history of Islam, Naomi Foyle reads the first novel of a British Palestinian, Ahmad Khan explores the colonial history of The Aborigines' Protection Society, a short story by the famous Fahmida Riaz, Syrian scenarios by Manhal al-Sarraj, poems by Sabrina Mahfouz and Michael Wolf, Rachel Dwyer's list of Top Ten Muslim Characters in Bollywood and Merryl Wyn Davies's "last word" on love and death at the movies. About Critical Muslim: A quarterly publication of ideas and issues showcasing groundbreaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world. Each edition centers on a discrete theme, and contributions include reportage, academic analysis, cultural commentary, photography, poetry, and book reviews.
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.
Aristotle, Kant, Marx, and Tabari are only a few of the many world thinkers whom Abul-Fazl Ezzati explores in his sweeping history and analysis of natural law. While this work distinguishes itself from other similar works by its detailed treatment of natural law in Islamic thought, it engages with both Islamic and Western discourse, with topics such as human rights, the inherent human nature, and rationality. The result is an insightful, all-encompassing treatment of human rights and the human beings physical, rational, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Collected in this volume are articles written over a span of two decades, dealing with Islam and other faiths, and Christianity and Judaism in particular. They cover a wide spectrum of inter-religious issues including commonality and differences as well as the issue of Mission and Da'wah.
The collapse of the Argentinian economy, the rise of the far right, 9/11, suicide bombings in the Middle East, campaigns against multiculturalism, anti-abortion terrorism, the militia movement in America, teaching creationism in schools, riots at Miss World: what ties these seemingly unrelated phenomena together?. All are products of a fundamentalist mentality, determined to crush all opposing ideas. Belief in these kinds of universal theories was, until recently, assumed to be in decline. Stuart Sim argues that this is far from true.
Islamic Thought is a fresh and contemporary introduction to the philosophies and doctrines of Islam. Abdullah Saeed, a distinguished Muslim scholar, traces the development of religious knowledge in Islam, from the pre-modern to the modern period. The book focuses on Muslim thought, as well as the development, production and transmission of religious knowledge, and the trends, schools and movements that have contributed to the production of this knowledge. Key topics in Islamic culture are explored, including the development of the Islamic intellectual tradition, the two foundation texts, the Qur’an and Hadith, legal thought, theological thought, mystical thought, Islamic Art, philosophical thought, political thought, and renewal, reform and rethinking today. Through this rich and varied discussion, Saeed presents a fascinating depiction of how Islam was lived in the past and how its adherents practise it in the present. Islamic Thought is essential reading for students beginning the study of Islam but will also interest anyone seeking to learn more about one of the world’s great religions.