Few things provoke controversy in the modern world like the religion brought by Muhammad. Modern media are replete with alarm over jihad, underage marriage and the threat of amputation or stoning under Shariah law. Sometimes rumor, sometimes based in fact and often misunderstood, the tenets of Islamic law and dogma were not set in the religion’s founding moments. They were developed over centuries by the clerical class of Muslim scholars. Misquoting Muhammad takes the reader back in time through Islamic civilization and traces how and why such controversies developed, offering an inside view into how key and controversial aspects of Islam took shape. From the protests of the Arab Spring to Istanbul at the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and from the ochre red walls of Delhi’s great mosques to the trade routes of Islam’s Indian Ocean world, Misquoting Muhammad lays out how Muslim intellectuals have sought to balance reason and revelation, weigh science and religion, and negotiate the eternal truths of scripture amid shifting values.
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Kecia Ali delves into the many ways the Prophet’s life story has been told from the earliest days of Islam to the present, by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Emphasizing the major transformations since the nineteenth century, she shows that far from being mutually opposed, these various perspectives have become increasingly interdependent.
In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state—and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying—and alarmingly successful—example of ISIS. With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid offers a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region's descent into violence. Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam's past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics. We don't have to like it, but we have to understand it—because Islam, as a religion and as an idea, will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well in the decades to come.
This book analyses the formulation, interpretation and implementation of sharia in Pakistan and its relationship with the Pakistani state whilst addressing the complexity of sharia as a codified set of laws. Drawing on insights from Islamic studies, anthropology and legal studies to examine the interactions between ideas, institutions and political actors that have enabled blasphemy laws to become the site of continuous controversy, this book furthers the readers’ understanding of Pakistani politics and presents the transformation of sharia from a pluralistic religious precepts to a set of rigid laws. Using new materials, including government documents and Urdu language newspapers, the author contextualises the larger political debate within Pakistan and utilises a comparative and historical framework to weave descriptions of various events with discussions on sharia and blasphemy. A contribution to the growing body of literature, which explores the role of state in shaping the religion and religious politics in Muslim-majority countries, this book will be of interest to academics working on South Asian Politics, Political Islam, Sharia Law, and the relationship of Religion and the State.
What happens when authorities you venerate condone something you know is wrong? Every major religion and philosophy once condoned or approved of slavery, but in modern times nothing is seen as more evil. Americans confront this crisis of authority when they erect statues of Founding Fathers who slept with their slaves. And Muslims faced it when ISIS revived sex-slavery, justifying it with verses from the Quran and the practice of Muhammad. Exploring the moral and ultimately theological problem of slavery, Jonathan A.C. Brown traces how the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions have tried to reconcile modern moral certainties with the infallibility of God’s message. He lays out how Islam viewed slavery in theory, and the reality of how it was practiced across Islamic civilization. Finally, Brown carefully examines arguments put forward by Muslims for the abolition of slavery.
Elijah Muhammad is arguably the most significant figure in the history of Islam in the United States. Successor to W. D. Fard, the founder of the Nation of Islam, and a mentor to Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad led the Nation of Islam for over forty years. In Elijah Muhammad and Islam, Herbert Berg focuses on Elijah Muhammad's religiosity, which is frequently brought into question as the authenticity of the Nation of Islam as "truly Islamic" remains hotly debated. To better comprehend this powerful and controversial figure, Berg contextualizes Elijah Muhammad and his religious approach within the larger Islamic tradition, exploring his use of the Qur’an, his interpretation of Islam, and his relationships with other Muslims. Above all, Berg seeks to understand—not define or label—Muhammad as a Muslim. To do otherwise, he argues, is to misunderstand and distort the man, his teachings, his movement, and his legacy.
A biography of the founder of Islam dealing with the life of the man and the religion and civilization he shaped.
America on the Cusp of God’s Grace issues a rousing call for true, Bible-believing patriots to save America by reverting back to the august principles of our Founding Fathers. With simple, straightforward language, Dennis G. Hurst digs deep into the ideas and beliefs upon which the Republic was founded and then juxtaposes them with the sobering reality of today. Hurst provides a history of the beginning of America, from its seventeenth-century colonies based on religious freedom to the Revolutionary War’s stunning impact on the world and to the Constitutional Convention’s innovative ideas. Hurst shows how faith in God guided the Founders during every step of the process and compares and contrasts this history with the present state of American culture. In addition, he looks at the damaging effects of Islam on the United States and how it has brought about a decisive, polarizing effect on ideologies today. But Hurst doesn’t stop with mere commentary and historical scholarship. Instead, he offers a blueprint for how God-loving American citizens begin a revival in their country. This includes a return to character, leadership, and integrity, plus a steady focus on Christ. True believers were this country’s founders; true believers were its sustainers; and true believers will be its rescuers, even an America on the Cusp of God’s Grace!
"In 2012, the year 1433 of the Muslim calendar, the Islamic population throughout the world was estimated at approximately a billion and a half, representing about one-fifth of humanity. In geographical terms, Islam occupies the center of the world, stretching like a big belt across the globe from east to west."--P. vii.