Relates key events in Muhammad's life to his spiritual and ethical teachings, and reflects on the prophet's example in terms of some of today's most controversial issues.
in the footsteps of the prophet
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This book enables the reader to look up a Biblical site quickly in alphabetical form, read the Biblical references, and travel to the sites throughout Israel and Jordan. --From publisher's description.
" Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women's rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is-or is not. Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women's rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is-or is not. But little opportunity exists, either in the media or in society as a whole, to describe Islam. In simple, direct language, an Introduction to Islam introduces readers to Islam and to its principles, rituals, diversity, and evolution. In this book, Tariq Ramadan focuses upon the realities of Islam today. Avoiding ideology and idealism, Ramadan brings to life an essence of the true meaning of Islam and its implications today. No prior knowledge of Islam is required; the book makes the complexity of Islam easy to understand by looking closely at its multi-faceted reality as a religion, and at the civilization that arose from it. The book begins with definitions, and basic principles of Islam. It then delves into history: from the beginnings in the prophetic mission and the Sunni-Shia schism, to the rise of legal schools and the construction of the "Islamic sciences," and to its theological, philosophic mainstream, and mystical (Sufi) undercurrents. The six pillars of faith will also be presented, along with the five pillars of practice, as well as Islam's prescribed rights, duties and prohibitions, the principles of Muslim mysticism and the elements of Islamic philosophy and ethics. The two final chapters focus on the modern era, offering a broad overview of the debates and controversies that are shaking Muslim-majority societies, and reshaping the lives of those who live as minorities elsewhere." --
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Written by an American Muslim convert who has lived nearly 40 years among the Muslims, the author presents an insiders account of Islams true place within the family of religions, what it means to be a Muslim living in the shadow of the modern world, and how to cultivate a life of spirituality through the way of Islam in todays anti-spiritual environment. Within its pages, history unfolds, mysteries are unveiled, and secrets are revealed that shed light on the great human story of spiritual awakening and fulfillment. This rigorous and highly readable introduction to Islam goes a long way to remedy the lack of historical perspective and the narrowing of intellectual and spiritual scope contributing to the outer and inner crisis of the Muslim world, as well as the poor understanding of this religion in the West. Another significant merit of Herlihys book is the way it sets out the universal principles of Islam, shared with other traditional faiths, and its emphasis on the moral and spiritual fruits of the religion. This work is an invaluable resource for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, providing as it does a solid grounding in the traditional spirit of Islam. Patrick Laude, professor at Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Qatar Readers will find that this timely work by John Herlihy offers a sublime contribution to the field of Islamic Studies. Relevant for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, one of the books major themes is that the Islamic tradition converges with the unanimous tradition residing at the heart of each of the worlds religions. The book reminds us that the foundations of the modern and postmodern world were formulated in revolt from the sacred, which is an essential point to be recognized by anyone seeking to understand the crisis that consumes the contemporary epoch. This work provides ultimate answers to ultimate questions. Samuel Bendeck Sotillos, editor of Psychology and the Perennial Philosophy: Studies in Comparative Religion Amidst widespread miscomprehensions of Islam generated by Western media, readers who wish to understand the true nature of this noble tradition and its related spirituality will find this volume a trustworthy and illuminating guide. As a Western convert, philosopher, and above all practitioner, John Herlihy is well placed to dispel the fog of misunderstanding which often surrounds the subject of Islam. This book will be warmly welcomed by all those wishing to understand the timeless message of Islam, by seekers looking for practical guidance, and by those concerned with fostering a more harmonious global community of religions. Harry Oldmeadow, author of Frithjof Schuon and the Perennial Philosophy.
The Mahdia was an important Islamic millenarian movement of the Nilotic Sudan in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. It contributed substantially to the emergence of the Sudan as a nation-state in the twentieth century. The Mahdi's family and heritage played a major political and cultural role in the Sudan, both before and after independence. This volume begins with introductory material on the Mahdia and a biographical sketch of the author of the sira, followed by discussion of composition, acquisition, sources, and literary features of the account. The text itself presents a condensed paraphrase of the account while retaining the spirit of the original document. It pays special attention to preserving historical events. Appendixes include full transcriptions of the main source materials for the biography, two photographic reproductions of the handwriting of the original Arabic manuscripts, and an annotated list of the Mahdist proclamations and letters transcribed in the original Arabic text of the sira.
This concise introduction to Islam offers a sophisticated and informative exploration of the history, beliefs, tenets, and practices of the second-largest religion in the world. There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world today, yet Islam remains a misunderstood faith. In this day and age, when issues related to Islam are dominating current affairs, The Beliefnet® Guide to Islam takes readers into the heart of this global religion, describing its origins, its links to Judaism and Christianity, and its place and practices in the modern world. In clear, unbiased language, the authors outline the core beliefs that shape the daily lives of practicing Muslims: faith, prayer, charity, fasting and self-purification (during the period of Ramadan), and the Hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca). They clarify the differences between the Sunni and the Shia, the two main branches of Islam, shedding light on a topic that has garnered attention during the current crises in Iraq and other parts of the Muslim world. Hassaballa and Helminski also look at the many misinterpretations of basic terms and beliefs that have had a serious impact on the relationship between Muslims and those who practice other religions, explaining such essentials as the meaning of jihad, Islamic teachings on the role of women in society, and much more. From the premier source of information on religion and spirituality, the Beliefnet® Guides introduce you to the major traditions, leaders, and issues of faith in the world today.
One of the most important developments in the modern history of the Middle East, the so-called Arab Spring began in Tunisia in December 2010, bringing down dictators, sparking a civil war in Libya, and igniting a bloody uprising in Syria. Its long-term repercussions in Egypt and elsewhere remain unclear. Now one of the world's leading Islamic thinkers examines and explains it, in this searching, provocative, and necessary book. Time Magazine named Tariq Ramadan one of the most important innovators of the twenty-first century. A Muslim intellectual and prolific author, he has won global renown for his reflections on Islam and the contemporary challenges in both the Muslim majority societies and the West. In Islam and the Arab Awakening, he explores the uprisings, offering rare insight into their origin, significance, and possible futures. As early as 2003, he writes, there had been talk of democratization in the Middle East and North Africa. The U.S. government and private organizations set up networks and provided training for young leaders, especially in the use of the Internet and social media, and the West abandoned its unconditional support of authoritarian governments. But the West did not create the uprisings. Indeed, one lesson Ramadan presents is that these mass movements and their consequences cannot be totally controlled. Something irreversible has taken place: dictators have been overthrown without weapons. But, he writes, democratic processes are only beginning to emerge, and unanswered questions remain. What role will religion play? How should Islamic principles and goals be rethought? Can a sterile, polarizing debate between Islamism and secularism be avoided? Avoiding both naive confidence and conspiratorial paranoia, Ramadan voices a tentative optimism. If a true civil society can be established, he argues, this moment's fragile hope will live.
Taking us inside the world of the madrasa--the most common type of school for religious instruction in the Islamic world--Ebrahim Moosa provides an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand orthodox Islam in global affairs. Focusing on postsecondary-level religious institutions in the Indo-Pakistan heartlands, Moosa explains how a madrasa can simultaneously be a place of learning revered by many and an institution feared by many others, especially in a post-9/11 world. Drawing on his own years as a madrasa student in India, Moosa describes in fascinating detail the daily routine for teachers and students today. He shows how classical theological, legal, and Qur'anic texts are taught, and he illuminates the history of ideas and politics behind the madrasa system. Addressing the contemporary political scene in a clear-eyed manner, Moosa introduces us to madrasa leaders who hold diverse and conflicting perspectives on the place of religion in society. Some admit that they face intractable problems and challenges, including militancy; others, Moosa says, hide their heads in the sand and fail to address the crucial issues of the day. Offering practical suggestions to both madrasa leaders and U.S. policymakers for reform and understanding, Moosa demonstrates how madrasas today still embody the highest aspirations and deeply felt needs of traditional Muslims.