By Amyn B. Sajoo

What precisely is the Qur'an? How does this striking record -- actually ""recitation"" -- relate to the existence and instances of the Prophet Muhammad? And why did the faith of the Prophet, which got here to be referred to as ""Islam"" (or submission to God's will), on the middle of which lies the Qur'an, provide start to a legacy so richly various in religion, legislation and civilization? This immaculately researched, yet while completely available, booklet bargains a trip into the entire diversity of expertise -- previous and current, secular and sacred -- of the peoples and cultures that percentage in Islamic culture. the amount examines a wide variety of subject matters and subject matters. Poets, towns and the structure of mosques are as a lot part of its exploration because the function of technological know-how in trust, methods of examining scripture, the connection of girls to the religion and the emergence of a ""digital community"" of believers. within the aftermath of Sep 11, the so-called ""war on terror"" and a brand new international geopolitics outlined through response and reaction to the perils of fundamentalism and extremism, it's important to appreciate -- throughout all its frontiers -- what Islam is set and what Muslims believe. A better half to the Muslim World contains an enticing and coherent try through exclusive students to contibute in the direction of that important technique of comprehension.

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Yet Tahtawi was keen – as were reformers like Muhammad Abduh (1814-1905), Sayyid Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) and Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897) – to absorb what they saw as the best of the West. There was confidence not only that this could be done but also that it must be done. After all, had Muslims not once carried the torch in the sciences and humanities, from which was lit the fire of the Renaissance that led to Modernity? Tahtawi evokes the image of the Prophet as a model seeker of wisdom earthly and divine, 10 From his account of 1834, quoted in Roxanne L.

As the reality of overlapping worlds becomes clearer, so may the need to hold on to that which is found to be distinctive. This is especially so when the Other is seen as dominant. In the aftermath of World War II, America was for Qutb a threatening presence, as was France in the 1820s for Tahtawi. Yet Tahtawi was keen – as were reformers like Muhammad Abduh (1814-1905), Sayyid Ahmed Khan (1817-1898) and Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897) – to absorb what they saw as the best of the West. There was confidence not only that this could be done but also that it must be done.

As a result, their accounts more often reflect the political and religious ideologies of ninthcentury Damascus, or 11th-century Baghdad, than of seventhcentury Medina. To understand what really happened in Medina and why, one must sift through the sources to uncover not the holy city that would become the capital of the Muslim community, but rather the remote desert oasis originally called Yathrib, which nurtured and cultivated that community in its infancy. II Yathrib in the seventh century was a thriving agricultural oasis thick with palm orchards and vast arable fields, most of which were dominated by some 20 Jewish clans of varying sizes.

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