Ron Geaves is professor of the comparative study of religion at Liverpool Hope University and has contributed substantially to the study of British Islam, religion in South Asia, and fieldwork in religious studies.
A spellbinding story of renunciation, conversion, and radicalism from Pulitzer Prize-finalist biographer Deborah Baker
What drives a young woman raised in a postwar New York City suburb to convert to Islam, abandon her country and Jewish faith, and embrace a life of exile in Pakistan? The Convert tells the story of how Margaret Marcus of Larchmont became Maryam Jameelah of Lahore, one of the most trenchant and celebrated voices of Islam's argument with the West.
A cache of Maryam's letters to her parents in the archives of the New York Public Library sends the acclaimed biographer Deborah Baker on her own odyssey into the labyrinthine heart of twentieth-century Islam. Casting a shadow over these letters is the mysterious figure of Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi, both Maryam's adoptive father and the man who laid the intellectual foundations for militant Islam.
As she assembles the pieces of a singularly perplexing life, Baker finds herself captive to questions raised by Maryam's journey. Is her story just another bleak chapter in a so-called clash of civilizations? Or does it signify something else entirely? And then there's this: Is the life depicted in Maryam's letters home and in her books an honest reflection of the one she lived? Like many compelling and true tales, The Convert is stranger than fiction. It is a gripping account of a life lived on the radical edge and a profound meditation on the cultural conflicts that frustrate mutual understanding.
Using methods and perspectives borrowed from biblical studies, Shoemaker concludes that these reports of Muhammad's leadership during the Palestinian invasion likely preserve an early Islamic tradition that was later revised to meet the needs of a changing Islamic self-identity. Muhammad and his followers appear to have expected the world to end in the immediate future, perhaps even in their own lifetimes, Shoemaker contends. When the eschatological Hour failed to arrive on schedule and continued to be deferred to an ever more distant point, the meaning of Muhammad's message and the faith that he established needed to be fundamentally rethought by his early followers.
The larger purpose of The Death of a Prophet exceeds the mere possibility of adjusting the date of Muhammad's death by a few years; far more important to Shoemaker are questions about the manner in which Islamic origins should be studied. The difference in the early sources affords an important opening through which to explore the nature of primitive Islam more broadly. Arguing for greater methodological unity between the study of Christian and Islamic origins, Shoemaker emphasizes the potential value of non-Islamic sources for reconstructing the history of formative Islam.
If the Oceans Were Inkis Carla Power's eye-opening story of how she and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship-between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh-had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text.
A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Quran's most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafes, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humor and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca, as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars. Armed with a new understanding of each other's worldviews, Power and Akram offer eye-opening perspectives, destroy long-held myths, and reveal startling connections between worlds that have seemed hopelessly divided for far too long.
Praise for If the Oceans Were Ink
“A vibrant tale of a friendship.... If the Oceans Were Ink is a welcome and nuanced look at Islam [and] goes a long way toward combating the dehumanizing stereotypes of Muslims that are all too common.... If the Oceans Were Ink should be mandatory reading for the 52 percent of Americans who admit to not knowing enough about Muslims.”—The Washington Post
“For all those who wonder what Islam says about war and peace, men and women, Jews and gentiles, this is the book to read. It is a conversation among well-meaning friends—intelligent, compassionate, and revealing—the kind that needs to be taking place around the world.”—Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World
“Carla Power’s intimate portrait of the Quran, told with nuance and great elegance, captures the extraordinary, living debate over the Muslim holy book’s very essence. A spirited, compelling read.”—Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad
“Unique, masterful, and deeply engaging. Carla Power takes the reader on an extraordinary journey in interfaith understanding as she debates and discovers the Quran’s message, meaning, and values on peace and violence, gender and veiling, religious pluralism and tolerance.”—John L. Esposito, University Professor and Professor of Islamic Studies, Georgetown University, and author of The Future of Islam
“A thoughtful, provocative, intelligent book.”—Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds Of Paradise and The Language of Baklava
For Asma Hasan, being a Muslim is not merely a matter of birth, but a matter of choice and faith. Hasan's personal relationship with her religion was, and continues to be, a defining element of her life, and through her writing she inspires a new understanding and appreciation of a frequently misunderstood tradition. This is her American story.
Among the many tragic victims of the Bosnian genocide are its mosques; more than a thousand were destroyed. A part of the essential fabric of Bosnian life was changed. With this book, Rusmir Mahmut ́cehaji ́c seeks to rebuild the spirit and majesty of each mosque that was destroyed, the spiritual grace it lent the Bosnian landscape.
"Beautifully composed, elegantly written and constructed, this is a primary text of Islamic spirituality, by one of the most significant Muslim European voices of our age . . . . A book to be returned to again and again."--Adam B. Seligman, Boston University
"This work by one of the leading intellectual figures of Bosnia is one of the finest written in the English language on the spiritual significance of the mosque. It speaks the language of universal spirituality and is able to open a door for Western readers to the relationship between the mosque, as understood outwardly, and the inner mosque, which is the heart. The book also reflects in most elegant language the reality of a land where mosques, churches, and synagogues have stood side by side over the centuries, each bearing witness in its own way to the Presence of the One."--Seyyed Hossein Nasr, George Washington University
It is ideal for courses on Islam and will be a useful, concise reference for all readers eager to know more about this important religious tradition and its place in our contemporary world.
This popular book is an attempt to respond to the needs of both Muslims and non-Muslims in North America. Its purpose is simply to acquaint the average reader with the basic teachings of Islam; not intended to present the depth or breadth of Islam. It guides Muslims to the median way in all matters of life, rejects fanaticism and narrow mindedness. It provides truth about Islam, a spiritual insight and a moral approach to the human condition. The author hopes that "it will make them responsible citizens of their respective countries, honorable members of the human race, and above all else, God-minded people"
The work of al shahid, Dr. Ismail Raji al-Faruqi on the subject of tawhid affords the reader not only a look on the axial doctrine of Islam, but also allows the reader to understand that doctrine from a number of different perspectives. In the endeavor to explain the simple truths of the doctrine of unity, Dr. al-Faruqi touches upon a broad spectrum of subjects, drawing elements from history, comparative religion, anthropology, philosophy, ethics, epistemology, archaeology, and other disciplines. As such, his concept of tawhid is rich in the depth of its erudition, abundant in its perception, and direct in its implications for life and thought. Indeed, it is perhaps this work more than any other that reflects the profound and original thought of Dr. al-Faruqi.
Focusing on the pivotal role of preacher as "culture broker," Antoun compares the process of "the social organization of tradition" in rural Jordan with similar processes outside the Muslim world. He then highlights the experiential dimension of Islam. The sermons discussed range over such topics as family ethics, political attitudes, pilgrimage, education, magic, work, compassion, and individual salvation.
Originally published in 1989.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Given this fact, it is vital for the West to understand the terms in which Islam thinks and to communicate effectively with Muslims. This anthology includes writings central to Islamic thought, some translated earlier but here redone, and others which have never before appeared in any Western language.
The selections include an interpretation of the Qur'an, as well as portions of the Hadith, or sayings and actions of the Prophet; Islamic law; mysticism (Sufism); theology; and sectarian writings. A final essay on Islam today places these writings in their contemporary context and shows the breadth and variety of Islamic belief and practice.
Compiled with the intention of letting Islam describe itself in its own words, the book is an important source for all students of Muslim culture and world religions. This book is similar in scope to Williams' well-known 1961 George Braziller publication, but freshly written and much improved.