Between 1961 and 1978, Muslim Fula immigrants from different West African countries became one of the most successful mercantile groups in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone. African Entrepreneurship, published by Ohio University Press on December 31, 1999, examines the commercial activities of Fula immigrants and their offspring in Sierra Leone. Author Alusine Jalloh explores the role of Islam in Fula commercial organizations and social relationships, as well as the connection between Fula merchants and politics.
Departing from the prevailing scholarship, Jalloh characterizes the Fula businesses as independent, rather than appendages of Western expatriate commerce. In addition to establishing successful businesses, Fula merchants established Islamic educational institutions for propogating the Muslim faith and promoting Islamic scholarship.
This study also examines the evolution of Fula chieftaincy from the colonial era to the postcolonial period and documents the importance of mercantile wealth and networks in the election of Fula chiefs in Freetown. African Entrepreneurship makes an important contribution to the understudied role of African business in Sierra Leone.
The Aga Khan Case
Teena Purohit Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress KNS46.A33P87 2012 | Dewey Decimal 344.547096
An Arab-centric perspective dominates the West’s understanding of Islam. Purohit presses for a view of Islam as a heterogeneous religion that has found a variety of expressions in local contexts. The Ismaili community in colonial India illustrates how much more complex Muslim identity is, and always has been, than the media would have us believe.
Jamal J. Elias Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress BP190.5.A7E45 2012 | Dewey Decimal 297.267
Westerners have a strong impression that Islam does not allow religious imagery. Elias corrects this view. Unearthing shades of meaning in Islamic thought throughout history, he argues that Islamic perspectives on representation and perception should be sought in diverse areas such as optics, alchemy, dreaming, vehicle decoration, Sufi metaphysics.
Widely regarded among students of medieval thought as the most important of the medieval Islamic thinkers, al-Ghazali (1058–1111) remains an extremely complex figure whose texts continue to present serious challenges for scholars. In this book, Richard M. Frank confronts the traditional view of al-Ghazali as a loyal supporter of Ash arite doctrine and reexamines his relationship to the school theologians. This reexamination, Frank argues, is essential to an understanding of al-Ghazali’s work, a diverse series of texts made difficult by the various postures and guises assumed by their author. Statements by al-Ghazali regarding the kalam (the speculative theology of the schools) and its status as a religious science provide the focus for a detailed analysis that contrasts the traditional school theology with his own. From this, the question of al-Ghazali’s relationship to the Ash arite school becomes a key to the basic characteristics of his method and language and therefore to the overall sense that governs much of his work. Finally, as reflected in the chronological sequence of al-Ghazali’s writings, Frank’s analysis demonstrates al-Ghazali’s commitment to basic elements of Avicennian philosophy and his progressive alienation from the Ash arite establishment. Al-Ghazali and the Ash arite School offers an important and provocative reassessment of a major medieval Islamic thinker. It will be of interest not only to specialists in the field, but also to a broad range of historians of the period and to those interested in all aspects of Islam.
Centuries after his death, al-Ghazali remains one of the most influential figures of the Islamic intellectual tradition. Although he is best known for his Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief is his most profound work of philosophical theology. In it, he offers what scholars consider to be the best defense of the Ash'arite school of Islamic theology that gained acceptance within orthodox Sunni theology in the twelfth century, though he also diverges from Ash'arism with his more rationalist approach to the Quran. Together with The Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief informs many subsequent theological debates, and its influence extends beyond the Islamic tradition, informing broader questions within Western philosophical and theological thought.
The first complete English-language edition of Moderation in Belief, this new annotated translation by Aladdin M. Yaqub draws on the most esteemed critical editions of the Arabic texts and offers detailed commentary that analyzes and reconstructs the arguments found in the work’s four treatises. Explanations of the historical and intellectual background of the texts also enable readers with a limited knowledge of classical Arabic to fully explore al-Ghazali and this foundational text for the first time.
With the recent resurgence of interest in Islamic philosophy and the conflict between philosophy and religion, this new translation will be a welcome addition to the scholarship.
“Citizenship is salvation,” preached Noble Drew Ali, leader of the Moorish Science Temple of America in the early twentieth century. Ali’s message was an aspirational call for black Americans to undertake a struggle for recognition from the state, one that would both ensure protection for all Americans through rights guaranteed by the law and correct the unjust implementation of law that prevailed in the racially segregated United States. Ali and his followers took on this mission of citizenship as a religious calling, working to carve out a place for themselves in American democracy and to bring about a society that lived up to what they considered the sacred purpose of the law.
In The Aliites, Spencer Dew traces the history and impact of Ali’s radical fusion of law and faith. Dew uncovers the influence of Ali’s teachings, including the many movements they inspired. As Dew shows, Ali’s teachings demonstrate an implicit yet critical component of the American approach to law: that it should express our highest ideals for society, even if it is rarely perfect in practice. Examining this robustly creative yet largely overlooked lineage of African American religious thought, Dew provides a window onto religion, race, citizenship, and law in America.
Contemporary mass media descriptions of Muslims often suggest that Islam and Muslims are fundamentally undemocratic. Policy-makers in the West have weaponized these descriptions in attempts to legitimize anti-Muslim right-wing policy developments across the West and in the United States in particular, from surveillance in the aftermath of 9/11 to the anti-Islamic travel ban of 2017. But are Muslims undemocratic? Ahmed Khanani argues that this is not the case. In All Politics are God's Politics, Khanani shows that in fact, the opposite holds true: for socially conservative, politically active Muslims (Islamists), democracy or dimuqrāṭiyya reflects and extends their religious values. By drawing on conversations with over 100 Islamists in Morocco, this book enables readers to understand and appreciate the significance of dimuqrāṭiyya as a concept alongside new prospects for Islam and democracy in the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Khanani's in-depth analysis of the Moroccan case brings these Islamists and their attending political views to the forefront.
Unfolding in a region marked by upheavals and academic inability to diagnose significant political developments, All Politics are God’s Politics contends that by attending to ordinary language everyday citizens use, one can in fact begin to accurately understand politics. Readers will discover that by connecting Islam to dimuqrāṭiyya, Islamists alter the meanings of both Islam and dimuqrāṭiyya, broaching new, democratic forms of Islam and rendering the everyday practices of dimuqrāṭiyya, like protesting electoral violations, protecting freedom of speech, and voting sacred.
Ambient Sufism is a study of the intertwined musical lives of several ritual communities in Tunisia that invoke the healing powers of long-deceased Muslim saints through music-driven trance rituals. Richard C. Jankowsky illuminates the virtually undocumented role of women and minorities in shaping the ritual musical landscape of the region, with case studies on men’s and women’s Sufi orders, Jewish and black Tunisian healing musical troupes, and the popular music of hard-drinking laborers, as well as the cohorts involved in mass-mediated staged spectacles of ritual that continue to inject ritual sounds into the public sphere. He uses the term “ambient Sufism” to illuminate these adjacent ritual practices, each serving as a musical, social, and devotional-therapeutic niche while contributing to a larger, shared ecology of practices surrounding and invoking the figures of saints. And he argues that ritual musical form—that is, the large-scale structuring of ritual through musical organization—has agency; that is, form is revealing and constitutive of experience and encourages particular subjectivities. Ambient Sufism promises many useful ideas for ethnomusicology, anthropology, Islamic and religious studies, and North African studies.
Patrick J. Ryan SJ Catholic University of America Press, 2018 Library of Congress BL80.3.R93 2018 | Dewey Decimal 201.4
Amen: Jews, Christians, and Muslims Keep Faith with God examines faith as it is understood by Jews, Christians and Muslims; it does not aim to be a work of systematic theology or a lengthy explication of the contents of different faith traditions. It offers Jews, Christians and Muslims several approaches to faith as a category of human experience open to God: a faithful God who reaches out to grasp the faithful human being at the same time that the faithful human being reaches out to grasp a faithful God. This two-sided faith, divine and human, lies at the center of each faith tradition. The book examines faith as one might examine a gem, gazing at different facets in turn.
Shari’a, the framework of Islamic rules and norms, governs many aspects of human behavior. The contributors to Applying Shari’a in the West examine in depth how Muslims in the West shape their normative behavior on the basis of Shari’a and how Western societies and legal systems react thereto. With its explicit focus on social and family relations, these country and thematic studies provide a timely overview of the current state of Shari’a and outline aspects of possible future developments, studies, and policies.
In Arguing Sainthood, Katherine Pratt Ewing examines Sufi religious meanings and practices in Pakistan and their relation to the Westernizing influences of modernity and the shaping of the postcolonial self. Using both anthropological fieldwork and psychoanalytic theory to critically reinterpret theories of subjectivity, Ewing examines the production of identity in the context of a complex social field of conflicting ideologies and interests. Ewing critiques Eurocentric cultural theorists and Orientalist discourse while also taking issue with expatriate postcolonial thinkers Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak. She challenges the notion of a monolithic Islamic modernity in order to explore the lived realities of individuals, particularly those of Pakistani saints and their followers. By examining the continuities between current Sufi practices and earlier popular practices in the Muslim world, Ewing identifies in the Sufi tradition a reflexive, critical consciousness that has usually been associated with the modern subject. Drawing on her training in clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis as well as her anthropological fieldwork in Lahore, Pakistan, Ewing argues for the value of Lacan in anthropology as she provides the basis for retheorizing postcolonial studies.
Jihad, with its many terrifying associations, is a term widely used today, though its meaning is poorly grasped. Few people understand the circumstances requiring a jihad, or "holy" war, or how Islamic militants justify their violent actions within the framework of the religious tradition of Islam. How Islam, with more than one billion followers, interprets jihad and establishes its precepts has become a critical issue for both the Muslim and the non-Muslim world.
John Kelsay's timely and important work focuses on jihad of the sword in Islamic thought, history, and culture. Making use of original sources, Kelsay delves into the tradition of shari'a--Islamic jurisprudence and reasoning--and shows how it defines jihad as the Islamic analogue of the Western "just" war. He traces the arguments of thinkers over the centuries who have debated the legitimacy of war through appeals to shari'a reasoning. He brings us up to the present and demonstrates how contemporary Muslims across the political spectrum continue this quest for a realistic ethics of war within the Islamic tradition.
Arguing the Just War in Islam provides a systematic account of how Islam's central texts interpret jihad, guiding us through the historical precedents and Qur'anic sources upon which today's claims to doctrinal truth and legitimate authority are made. In illuminating the broad spectrum of Islam's moral considerations of the just war, Kelsay helps Muslims and non-Muslims alike make sense of the possibilities for future war and peace.
France is often depicted as the model of assimilationist or republican integration in the international literature on immigration. However, rarely have surveys drilled down to provide individual responses from a double representative sample. In As French as Everyone Else?, Sylvain Brouard and Vincent Tiberj provide a comprehensive assessment of the state of integration in France and challenge the usual crisis of integration by systematically comparing the "new French" immigrants, as well as their children and grandchildren born in France, with a sample of the French general population.
The authors' survey considers a wide range of topics, including religious affiliation and religiosity, political attitudes and political efficacy, value systems (including gender roles, work ethics, and anti-Semitism), patterns of integration, multiple identities and national belongings, and affirmative action. As the authors show, despite existing differences, immigrants of Maghrebin, African, and Turkish origin share a wide scope of commonality with other French citizens.
Aspects of Islam
Ron Geaves Georgetown University Press, 2005 Library of Congress BP161.3.G435 2005 | Dewey Decimal 297
On a Monday in August 2004, three Muslim girls sat with each other on the floor of a mosque surrounded by boxes of books. Two wore traditional Muslim dress, their companion was dressed Western style, but their intention was the same. They were involved in a project to distribute almost 2 million dollars worth of books, DVDs, and videos to over 300 British public libraries. Their aim was not to convert or proselytize but to educate the public about their faith and try to offset the negative image of Islam that has developed since 9/11. Perhaps of more significance was the fact that the books used for the project were not the 'insider' literature produced by the mosques, but works of Western academics that approached their subject in a neutral and informative manner.
Ron Geaves offers a thematic and experiential exploration of the Muslim religion and world that shows it is not some homogenous entity but the dynamic faith you would expect to find in a religion over fourteen centuries old, consisting of over a billion people stretching from the USA to China.
Readers of the book require no previous knowledge of the subject. Chapters are dedicated to individual topics and range from a look at Western media representation of Islam, through controversial issues such as martyrdom, shari'a law, jihad, and the place of women. It examines the ideas of community, Sufism, fundamentalism and other sects within the faith, and also explains the source of many of the interpretations of the Prophet Mohammed, and the importance of the Muslim concept of unity.
By examining the divisions that exist within contemporary Islam, Geaves makes a special contribution to the ongoing examination of today's Muslim communities. By offering a way to better understand this tradition, Geaves helps to counteract the oversimplifications that seem to dominate popular discourse about Muslims and instead shows them as participants in a religious tradition that is still unfolding, struggling to recognize and respect its diversities while seeking to maintain a unity that all parts of it acknowledge as central.
Islamic literature is rich, varied, and abundant, as befits the literature of a civilization which once controlled an empire as great as that of the Romans. In Aspects of Islamic Civilization, A. J. Arberry has chosen and translated passages from the most highly regarded works of Islamic literature in order to illustrate the development of Islamic civilization from its origins in the sixth century to the present.
This anthology is made up of selections from Arabic and Persian writers who have given world renown to Islamic literature—such as Hafiz, Sa'di, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Ibn al-Farid, Avicenna, Ibn Hazm—and from such works as the Koran, the Masnavi, and the Moorish Anthology. It is an invaluable collection of sources for anyone interested in the Moslem world and a fascinating volume to browse in.
Stephane Lacroix Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS244.63.L345 2011 | Dewey Decimal 320.55709538
With unprecedented access to a closed culture, Lacroix offers an account of Islamism in Saudi Arabia. Tracing the last half-century of the Sahwa, or “Islamic Awakening,” he explains the brand of Islam that gave birth to Osama bin Laden—one that has been exported, and dangerously misunderstood, around the world.
The troubled transition to democracy in Iraq has led many to wonder how the country’s Shi’ites and Sunnis will balance their religious beliefs with political pressures. Inthis volume, historian Juan R. I. Cole explores clerical participation within Iraq's emerging democracy, including that of the Da’wa Party, the al-Sadr Movement, and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution. Ideal for students and scholars of foreign affairs, Cole’s thought-provoking analysis will be important reading for anyone concerned about the future of Iraq.