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.
In a world threatened by religious wars, depleting natural resources, a crumbling ecosystem, and alienation and isolation, what has happened to our humanity? Who are we and what are we doing here? The Sufi path offers a journey toward truth, to a knowledge that transcends our mundane concerns, selfish desires, and fears. In Sufism we find a wisdom that brings peace and a relationship with God that nurtures the best in us and in others.
Noted scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr helps you learn the secret wisdom tradition of Islam and enter what the ancient mystics call the "garden of truth." Here, liberate your mind, experience peace, discover your purpose, fall in love with the Divine, and find your true, best self.
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.
This book allows both Muslims and those unfamiliar with the Islamic faith complete access to the holiest sites of one of the world's major religions, practiced by a quarter of the world's population but often misunderstood in the west.
Photographer Ali Kazuyoshi Namachi, a Muslim convert from Japan, garnered the full support of Saudi Arabian authorities—rarely given—to shoot in cities where photography is strictly controlled and non-Muslims are not allowed.
An expansive work of photojournalism, Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant includes:
140 full-color, never-before-seen photographsMystical places and scenes of IslamBreathtaking aerial photographs of the Arabian terrainVistas of teeming crowds of worshippers surrounding the Kacbah, Mecca's sacred centerIntense portraits of faithful Muslims in prayerMagnificent architecture reflecting the faith of the believersArchival illustrations
Text by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the most highly regarded scholars of Islam, enhances the stunning Islamic holy city photographs to illuminate many aspects of Islamic belief that have remained enigma to non-Muslims—until now.
Once the author establishes art as an aid and support to the spiritual life, he traces the creative act to its ultimate source: inner knowledge and barakah, or grace, which make the crystallization of inner realities in form and space and time possible. Through this knowledge and grace, the author asserts, unity manifests upon the plane of multiplicity, making archetypal realities perceivable by the senses. Through this knowledge and grace, art functions as a ladder for the journey of the soul from the visible to the invisible. How Islamic art leads man to the inner chamber of divine revelation forms the substance of much of this important work.
An especially close look is given to the Sufi tradition within Islam, for its mystical teachers have often clearly demonstrated in their works the spiritual significance of beauty and served as the source of inspiration for art.
By rediscovering the root of art in the Islamic tradition, Seyyed Hossein Nasr opens doors to new dimensions of unity which have seemingly been obscured in recent Western art. In so doing, he extends the significance of this book beyond the Islamic belief system to touch the hearts and creative impulses of readers from all traditions.
The intent of this book is to balance the attention that has been focused on the political aspect of Shicism. Shicism is often seen, not only as an essentially political phenomenon, but as a creed of violence. Understanding Shicism in its total reality will encourage a more balanced approach to issues which are viewed mostly politically. While not denying the importance of political manifestations, this book offers an understanding of the often neglected religious beliefs and spiritual practices of this world community.
The first part of the volume is concerned with "The Roots of the Islamic Tradition and Spirituality". These are seen to include the Qu’ran as the central theophany of Islam, the Prophet who received the word of God and made it known to mankind and the rites of Islam.
The second part examines the divisions of the Islamic community with their distinctive pieties and emphases: Sunnism and Shi’ism and female spirituality.
Part III is devoted to Sufism – its nature and origin, its early development, its various spiritual practices and its science of the soul.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr is one of the preeminent philosophers writing today. Sure to be a key resource for decades to come, In Search of the Sacred: A Conversation with Seyyed Hossein Nasr on His Life and Thought illuminates Nasr's experiences and shares his insights on topics from religion and philosophy to science and the arts.
Based on a series of interviews, the book combines traditional autobiography with an exploration of the intellectual and spiritual trajectories of the author's thought during key periods of his life. In doing so, it presents a fascinating panorama, not only of the life and ideas of one man, but also of major events ranging from intellectual life in Iran during the Pahlavi period and the Iranian Revolution to some of the major religious and intellectual debates between Islam and modernism. Nasr writes that his "whole life has been a quest for the sacred." This work connects that quest with some of the most important issues of the day in encounters between Islam and the West.
While the cities of Mecca and Medina are restricted to Muslims, and photographing the sites requires special—and rarely given—permission from the Saudi Arabian authorities, Mecca the Blessed, Medina the Radiant is an unprecedented exploration of Islam's most holy cities and the great pilgrimage, mostly presented in full-color, never-before-seen photographs. A remarkable achievement, Japanese photographer Ali Kazuyoshi Namachi garnered the full support of the Saudi Arabian authorities to capture over 140 stunning and dynamic images, providing an opening to the mystical places and scenes of Islam. From breathtaking aerial photographs of the Arabian terrain, to vistas of teeming crowds of worshippers surrounding the Kacbah, Mecca's sacred center and the fulcrum toward which they face in prayer five times daily, to intense portraits of faithful Muslims in prayer, to the magnificent architecture reflecting the faith of the believers, this book allows both Muslims and those unfamiliar with the Islamic faith complete access to the holiest sites of one of the world's major religions. A selection of archival illustrations are also included to supplement the photographs.
Also featured is an essay about the spiritual and historical signficance of both Mecca and Medina as well as a discussion of the meaning and symbolic content of the hajj—the Muslim annual pilgrimage to Mecca—by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, one of the most highly regarded scholars of Islam.
FINALIST FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD
In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.
Praise for No god but God
“Grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined . . . a literate, accessible introduction to Islam.”—The New York Times
“[Reza] Aslan offers an invaluable introduction to the forces that have shaped Islam [in this] eloquent, erudite paean to Islam in all of its complicated glory.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Wise and passionate . . . an incisive, scholarly primer in Muslim history and an engaging personal exploration.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Acutely perceptive . . . For many troubled Muslims, this book will feel like a revelation, an opening up of knowledge too long buried.”—The Independent (U.K.)
“Thoroughly engaging and excellently written . . . While [Aslan] might claim to be a mere scholar of the Islamic Reformation, he is also one of its most articulate advocates.”—The Oregonian
Lesley Hazleton's new book, Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto, is out now from Riverhead Books.
Muhammad’s was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in full, in all his complexity and vitality.
Hazleton’s account follows the arc of Muhammad’s rise from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from insignificance to lasting significance. How did a child shunted to the margins end up revolutionizing his world? How did a merchant come to challenge the established order with a new vision of social justice? How did the pariah hounded out of Mecca turn exile into a new and victorious beginning? How did the outsider become the ultimate insider?
Impeccably researched and thrillingly readable, Hazleton’s narrative creates vivid insight into a man navigating between idealism and pragmatism, faith and politics, nonviolence and violence, rejection and acclaim. The First Muslim illuminates not only an immensely significant figure but his lastingly relevant legacy.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
As the second-largest and fastest-growing religion in the world, Islam is deemed by more than a billion Muslims to be a source of serenity and spiritual peace, and a touchstone for moral and ethical guidance. While extremists have an impact upon the religion that is wildly disproportionate to their numbers, moderates constitute the majority of Muslims worldwide. It is this rift between the quiet voice of the moderates and the deafening statements of the extremists that threatens the future of the faith.
In The Great Theft, Khaled Abou El Fadl, one of the world's preeminent Islamic scholars, argues that Islam is currently passing through a transformative period no less dramatic than the movements that swept through Europe during the Reformation. At this critical juncture there are two completely opposed worldviews within Islam competing to define this great world religion. The stakes have never been higher, and the future of the Muslim world hangs in the balance.
Drawing on the rich tradition of Islamic history and law, The Great Theft is an impassioned defense of Islam against the encroaching power of the extremists. As an accomplished Islamic jurist, Abou El Fadl roots his arguments in long-standing historical legal debates and delineates point by point the beliefs and practices of moderate Muslims, distinguishing these tenets from the corrupting influences of the extremists. From the role of women in Islam to the nature of jihad, from democracy and human rights to terrorism and warfare, Abou El Fadl builds a vital vision for a moderate Islam. At long last, the great majority of Muslims who oppose extremism have a desperately needed voice to help reclaim Islam's great moral tradition.
In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe-a place it long perceived as primitive and disorganized-had somehow hijacked destiny.
Learn how the papacy helped start Islam,
only to have this new daughter rebel against her. You'll understand the Arab's
place in Bible prophecy. Muslims have been saved by reading this book. See how
Rome guided the development of Islam, only to be double-crossed later.
Read how the Virgin Mary is being used to bring that rebellious daughter, Islam, back
into cooperation with "Mother Church." The global "super-church" is forming!
This revised and updated edition provides sympathetic descriptions of the various traditions, explaining how they work “from the inside,” which is a big reason why this cherished classic has sold more than two million copies since it first appeared in 1958.
No less significant than the collapse of the Roman Republic or the Persian invasion of Greece, the evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history, a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character, and achievement. Just like the Romans, the Arabs came from nowhere to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion—except that they achieved their conquests not over the course of centuries as the Romans did but in a matter of decades. Just like the Greeks during the Persian wars, they overcame seemingly insuperable odds to emerge triumphant against the greatest empire of the day—not by standing on the defensive, however, but by hurling themselves against all who lay in their path.
This provocative and unflinching analysis of Europe’s unexpected influx of immigrants investigates the increasingly prominent Muslim populations actively shaping the future of the continent. Muslims dominate or nearly dominate many important European cities, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Strasbourg and Marseille, the Paris suburbs and East London, and in those cities Islam has challenged the European way of life at every turn, becoming, in effect, an “adversary culture.” In Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Caldwell examines the anger of natives and newcomers alike. He exposes the strange ways in which welfare states interact with Third World customs, the anti-Americanism that brings European natives and Muslim newcomers together, and the arguments over women and sex that drive them apart. He considers the appeal of sharia, “resistance,” and jihad to a second generation that is more alienated from Europe than the first, and addresses a crisis of faith among native Europeans that leaves them with a weak hand as they confront the claims of newcomers.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
On the web: http://sufibookoflife.com
More than any other Persian poet—even Rumi—Hafiz expanded the mystical, healing dimensions of poetry. Because his poems were often ecstatic love songs from God to his beloved world, many have called Hafiz the "Invisible Tongue." Indeed, Daniel Ladinsky has said that his work with Hafiz is an attempt to do the impossible: to render Light into words—to make the Luminous Resonance of God tangible to our finite senses.
a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves
listen to this
With this stunning collection of Hafiz's most intimate poems, Ladinsky has succeeded brilliantly in presenting the essence of one of Islam's greatest poetic and religious voices. Each line of The Gift imparts the wonderful qualities of this master Sufi poet and spiritual teacher: encouragement, an audacious love that touches lives, profound knowledge, generosity, and a sweet, playful genius unparalleled in world literature.
There is only one problem with this widely accepted account: it is a myth.
In this groundbreaking book, Northwestern University scholar Darío Fernández-Morera tells the full story of Islamic Spain. The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise shines light on hidden features of this medieval culture by drawing on an abundance of primary sources that scholars have ignored, as well as archaeological evidence only recently unearthed.
This supposed beacon of peaceful coexistence began, of course, with the Islamic Caliphate’s conquest of Spain. Far from a land of tolerance, Islamic Spain was marked by religious and therefore cultural repression in all areas of life, and by the marginalization of Christians and other groups—all this in the service of social control by autocratic rulers and a class of religious authorities.
As professors, politicians, and pundits continue to celebrate Islamic Spain for its “multiculturalism” and “diversity,” Fernández-Morera sets the record straight—showing that a politically useful myth is a myth nonetheless.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Coleman Barks presents entirely new translations of Rumi's poems, published for the first time in The Soul of Rumi. The poems range over the breadth of Rumi's themes: silence, emptiness, play, God, peace, grief, sexuality, music, to name just a few. But the focus is on the ecstatic experience of human and divine love and their inseparability, conveyed with Rumi's signature passion, daring, and insights into the human heart and the heart's longings.
(1) Field Testing the Communication of Divine Message: The unique feature of this translation is its field testing for over 3 1/2 years to improve the communication and understanding of the Divine Message. Translation passages were given to the New Muslim and Non-Muslim high school and college students for reading under the supervision of various Ulema (scholars). After reading, the person was asked to explain as to what he/she understood from the passage. If his/her understanding was the same as is in the Arabic Text of the Holy Qur'an then we concluded that we have been successful in conveying the Divine Message properly. If his/her understanding was different than what the Qur'anic verses were stating, we kept on rewording the translation until those verses were understood properly. It was tremendous patience on part of the participants. May Allah reward them all.
(2) Simplicity: In this translation Simple Language and Direct Approach is used for appealing to the common sense of scholars and common people.
(3) Understandability: There are no foot notes to refer and no commentary or lengthy explanations to read. All necessary explanations have been incorporated right there in the text with italic type setting to differentiate from the translation of the meanings of Qur'anic Arabic Text.
(4) Outline of Pertinent Information: Before the start of each Srah, information relating to its Period of Revelation, Major Issues, Divine Laws and Guidance has been presented as an outline. Then a summary of the preceding events has been tabulated for the reader to understand the histo! rical background to grasp the full meaning of the Divine Message.
(5) Reviews, Input and Approvals: This project was started in 1991 and initial draft completed in 1994. Then the Translation was sent to different Ulema (Scholars) in Town and throughout United States for their review and input. After their reviews and input it was sent to Jme Al-Azhar Al-Sharif in Egypt, Ummal Qur in Saudi Arabia and International Islamic University in Pakistan for their review, input and approval. This translation was published after their reviews and approvals.
"This is a nonpareil work, not only because of its command of its subject but also because it demonstrates how, ideally, history should be written."—The New Yorker
Volume 1, The Classical Age of Islam, analyzes the world before Islam, Muhammad's challenge, and the early Muslim state between 625 and 692. Hodgson then discusses the classical civilization of the High Caliphate. The volume also contains a general introduction to the complete work and a foreword by Reuben Smith, who, as Hodgson's colleague and friend, finished the Venture of Islam after the author's death and saw it through to publication.
In the course of his adventures, Knight sorts out his own relationship to Islam as he journeys from punk provocateur to a recognized voice in the community, and watches first-hand the collapse of a liberal Islamic dream. The book’s extensive cast of characters includes anarchist Sufi heretics, vegan kungfu punks, tattoo-sleeved converts in hard-core bands, spiritual drug dealers, Islamic feminists, slick media entrepreneurs, sages of the street, the grandsons of Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, and a group called Muslims for Bush.
cultural standards of elites, not the ethical philosophy of the Quran.
Contesting Justice examines the development of the laws and
practices governing the status of women in Muslim society, particularly in terms
of marriage, polygamy, inheritance, and property rights. Ahmed E. Souaiaia
argues that such laws were not methodically derived from legal sources but
rather are the preserved understanding and practices of the early ruling elite.
Based on his quantitative, linguistic, and normative analyses of Quranic
texts—and contrary to the established practice—the author shows that these texts
sanction only monogamous marriages, guarantee only female heirs’ shares, and do
not prescribe an inheritance principle that awards males twice the shares of
females. He critically explores the way religion is developed and then is
transformed into a social control mechanism that transcends legal reform,
gender-sensitive education, or radical modernization. To ameliorate the legal,
political, and economic status of women in the Islamic world, Souaiaia
recommends the strengthening of civil society institutions that will challenge
wealth-engendered majoritism, curtail society-manufactured conformity, and
bridle the absolute power of the state.
“…[Souaiaia’s] ideas are
illuminating … his examination of Qur’anic laws, particularly those concerning
women, should resonate well in the international community. Moreover, he offers
moderate Muslims a refreshing new approach to the sort of interpretations that
have traditionally stifled women’s advancement.” —
“Contesting Justice may be appreciated from
two points of view. It is, on the one hand, an advocacy piece, an original
contribution to Islamic thought … But Justice also includes at least
two chapters which, although part of the author’s impassioned argument for a new
view of Islamic law, also contain material that reveals much about the workings
of the classical tradition … [Souaiaia] is surely an intellectual to watch on
the North American Muslim scene.” — Studies in
“Contesting Justice is in many ways a
groundbreaking and pioneering study that links discourses pertaining to the
nature, origins, development and the scope of Islamic law and practices with the
concept of justice as it relates to the legal and economic status of women with
special attention to the Islamic laws of polygamy and inheritance … Souaiaia’s
book is an extremely important study and a major contribution to the literature
of Islamic law, legal theory, Islamic hermeneutics, as well as politics, women
and gender studies and is recommended highly to all those interested in these
disciplines.” — Middle East Studies Online Journal
Contesting Justice, Ahmed Souaiaia offers an innovative examination of
the link between social justice and the Islamic interpretive and legal tradition
… the author’s efforts at combining a theoretical approach and practical
methodology are commendable and very welcome efforts for scholars, students, and
practitioners of Islamic law and human rights.” — Journal of Middle East
“There are numerous books published in the U.S.
about Islamic law and women in the Muslim world. Many of those books are by
people with no language skills, and little familiarity with original sources.
Souaiaia has deep familiarity with the original sources in Arabic and Persian.
He knows his sources firsthand, and does not treat the subject superficially …
this book contains many important and original ideas about Islamic law and the
interpretation and classification of texts.” — CHOICE
“This is the
first study I have seen in which the author combines expert knowledge of highly
technical aspects of shari`ah, Islamic hermeneutics, human rights, and
social justice. Souaiaia speaks with authority to a specialist Islamic scholar,
while making his argument and analysis clear and accessible to a general reader.
This is an informative and engaging book.” — Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na‘im, Emory
University School of Law
The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's readable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmet II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current conflict between the West and the Middle East.
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: to preserve this crucial part of the world’s patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door.
“Part history, part scholarly adventure story, and part journalist survey….Joshua Hammer writes with verve and expertise” (The New York Times Book Review) about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world’s greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist “has all the elements of a classic adventure novel” (The Seattle Times), and is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it.
At seven years old, Nabila Sharma began her lessons at the mosque as every good Muslim girl does. But from the minute she looked up at her Imam, the man who held her spiritual future in his hands, she knew something was wrong.
Over the next five years Nabila’s life became unbearable. While she was behind the doors of the mosque, the most sacred of places, the Imam brutally molested her on the slightest whim. Each day he would make her perform unspeakable acts, physically and mentally torturing her into compliance, to fulfil his perverse desires.
Nothing would stop him; no plea would make him relent. But he was a respected member of the community, trusted by everyone; if Nabila cried for help she would risk the honour of her family, an unthinkable act. There was nowhere she could turn, no one she could talk to. As a young Muslim girl, Nabila was powerless.
Brutal is the shocking, revelatory and heart-rending account of one girl’s plight in a society where honour and shame are a matter of life and death. It is a tale of innocence lost and a life shattered, but above all it is a tale of survival, of a young girl who found love and hope in the darkest of places.