What Is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic

What Is Islam The Importance of Being Islamic What is Islam How do we grasp a human and historical phenomenon characterized by such variety and contradiction What is Islamic about Islamic philosophy or Islamic art Should we speak of Islam or of i

  • Title: What Is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic
  • Author: Shahab Ahmed
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 291
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • What is Islam How do we grasp a human and historical phenomenon characterized by such variety and contradiction What is Islamic about Islamic philosophy or Islamic art Should we speak of Islam or of islams Should we distinguish the Islamic the religious from the Islamicate the cultural Or should we abandon Islamic altogether as an analytical term In What Is IsWhat is Islam How do we grasp a human and historical phenomenon characterized by such variety and contradiction What is Islamic about Islamic philosophy or Islamic art Should we speak of Islam or of islams Should we distinguish the Islamic the religious from the Islamicate the cultural Or should we abandon Islamic altogether as an analytical term In What Is Islam , Shahab Ahmed presents a bold new conceptualization of Islam that challenges dominant understandings grounded in the categories of religion and culture or those that privilege law and scripture He argues that these modes of thinking obstruct us from understanding Islam, distorting it, diminishing it, and rendering it incoherent.What Is Islam formulates a new conceptual language for analyzing Islam It presents a new paradigm of how Muslims have historically understood divine revelation one that enables us to understand how and why Muslims through history have embraced values such as exploration, ambiguity, aestheticization, polyvalence, and relativism, as well as practices such as figural art, music, and even wine drinking as Islamic It also puts forward a new understanding of the historical constitution of Islamic law and its relationship to philosophical ethics and political theory.A book that is certain to provoke debate and significantly alter our understanding of Islam, What Is Islam reveals how Muslims have historically conceived of and lived with Islam as norms and truths that are at once contradictory yet coherent.

    • What Is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic ¦ Shahab Ahmed
      291 Shahab Ahmed
    • thumbnail Title: What Is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic ¦ Shahab Ahmed
      Posted by:Shahab Ahmed
      Published :2019-07-10T13:37:19+00:00

    2 thoughts on “What Is Islam?: The Importance of Being Islamic

    1. Shahab Ahmed was a Pakistani American scholar of Islam at Harvard University Professor Elias Muhanna of Brown University described Ahmed s posthumous work, What Is Islam , as a strange and brilliant work, encyclopedic in vision and tautly argued in the manner of logical proof, yet pervaded by the urgency of a political manifesto.

    2. This book starts with a series of observations about the historical practice of Islam that seem incongruous or irreconcilable to modern Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Among these are the positive valorization of wine drinking, figural representation, the single-minded pursuit of "love," and even pantheism - all of which had been variously practiced and endorsed by seminal thinkers as well common Muslims throughout Islamic history. Exemplary among these are an image on the book's cover of the Mug [...]

    3.  "How Has Islamic Orthodoxy Changed Over Time?: A new book by the late scholar Shahab Ahmed reveals the capaciousness, complexity, and contradictions of Islam."reviewed by Elias Muhanna in The Nation ;;thenation/article/cont' When discussing the modern discipline of Islamic studies, Ahmed liked to complain that it was possible to earn a doctorate in this field from an Ivy League university without ever reading the Divan of Hafiz, the great 14th-century Persian poet. He describes that work [...]

    4. OK, I started this behemoth and quickly realized that the auth0r is something of a self-indulgent windbag who writes very unclearly. I'm sure he is very erudite and that there is tons to learn in this book - but I am not wading through 600+ pages of this, with all the attendant fury I would experience.

    5. Shahab Ahmed tells us up front that he is not going to answer the question "what is Islam?". And of course, he does not really do so, but the title (misleadingly) suggests that he will, and in the course of the book, he comes perilously close to trying (and failing) to do so without outright saying he is going to do it. In short, Shahab himself seems confused about what he is trying to achieve here. The book is a description of some (but certainly not all) aspects of Islamic culture as it develo [...]

    6. Sebagai Muslim, kita tentunya sedang hidup di dalam suatu fasa sejarah yang menarik di mana kontradiksi ditemui di setiap bucu identiti kita apabila diselangkan dengan apa yang umum difahami tentang Islam.Muslimah yang menyanyi di khalayak ramai, imam yang mengaku gay, protes umum terhadap konsert dari artis Barat - walaupun ramai daripada demonstran tersebut menyimpan audio muzik dendangan artis tersebut di dalam peranti masing. Berita terbaru Pokemon Go telah difatwakan sebagai haram. Setiap a [...]

    7. Extremely interesting content demonstrating the actual, living Islam with all its diversity and paradoxes. But the writing style is terrible. If ten-line sentences in abstruse academese is your thing you'll love it though.

    8. It has been just over 40 years since Marshall G.S. Hodgson's The Venture of Islam, but these have been the most eventful 40 years in Islamic history for a very long time. Islam is now world-historical: Islamic theology is now bound up in the order of world affairs and infects the grand narratives of Marxists, Fukuyamaists, Spenglerians, Toynbeeites, and even doomsayers on the streets. Yet nearly all of these visionaries of the future seem sorely misinformed about Islam; something in the work of [...]

    9. If you can get through the obtuse academic language of this book (in a couple chapters anyway) this work is a fascinating tour of what it means and has meant to be "islamic" at least in one of the worlds great cultural spheres - The area influenced by Persian in the classical and early modern period. Hint: all that talk about wine by the Sufi poets wasn't just allegorical. According to Dr. Ahmed's thesis I'm acting in terms of Islam just by writing this review; may more people read this book, an [...]

    10. Ahmed starts out irritated by how previous scholars have defined (or not defined) Islam as a human and historical phenomenon. He ends up providing in response a brilliant, wide-ranging argument for the historical breadth and subtlety of Islamic hermeneutics and theological sources, capped by a furious critique of Islamic modernity as legalistic and intellectually shallow. Chs. 4 and 5, to a Christian theologian, read as a robust constructive theology of revelation and account of theological meth [...]

    11. A great example of what passion and knowledge can accomplish, even when hindered by the horrors of contemporary academic-theory prose: What is Islam? should be read by everyone who cares about world affairs. It won't, because that contemporary academic-theory prose stuff is more than a little off-putting (random example, certainly not the worst case: "I would suggest that the creative energy that is invested and worked into the decoration and ornamentation of these implements of everyday lives o [...]

    12. In this monumental book, Shahab Ahmed attempts to answer the question «what is Islam», through providing a conceptualization that comprises the whole historical spectrum of Islamic thought, actions, artifacts, etc. In short, to find coherence in seeming incoherence. The book is divided into three parts: 1 – Questions, an overly long introduction where he lays out six essential questions and some historical background, 2 – Conceptualizations, where he essentially shreds to pieces any previo [...]

    13. I read about half way through but found it too academic for me at this time. I have no prior experience with Islam and need to read something more basic before I can understand what this author is saying. I did get some good insight though and I did enjoy reading what I did. I'll definitely come back to this later.

    14. Full review to follow but this is, by far and without question, the very best piece of scholarship on religion that I have ever read. Erudite, courageous and persuasive, this book provides abundant material with which to re-conceptualise Islam in a way that does justice to the tremendous diversity and depth (and richness) of the religion.

    15. Setting out to define what is Islam, and what it means to be Islamic, is an act of interpretation. It is the history of meaning, of revelation, of text, pretext, and context. Ahmed does a great (albeit scholarly) job of describing this process. How do muslims parse the paradox of seeking Truth and following Law? How can Islam contradict itself while remaining cohesive?He uses Islamic wine-drinking to illustrate these points and trace distinctions between the many aspects of Islam. Is it Islamic [...]

    16. Dit is geen makkelijk boek. Het had voor mij ook wel at korter gemogen. Het heeft veel weg van een academisch proefschrift. Maar al lezende krijg je toch een aardig inzicht in wat Islam zou "kunnen" zijn, als het niet gekaapt was door een stel fanatieke idioten. De schrijver, zelf Pakistaan, laat zien hoe de Islam eeuwenlang functioneerde in het gebied van "Balkan tot Bengalen". Dat was heel wat anders dan de fundamentalistische stroming (Wahabisme) die sinds ongeveer een eeuw vanuit het Arabisc [...]

    17. An incredible achievement. Ahmed's breadth of knowledge and grasp of the Islamic tradition is evident on every page. We have been robbed of a mind to my knowledge unequaled in our time. One star deducted because this book is totally inadequate stylistically - while not insurmountable, the author's hyper-academic prose is an obstacle. Bad writing can be overcome if the author's thoughts are compelling enough. This book offers proof enough that, in the case of Shahab Ahmed, the thought more than j [...]

    18. Mind-expanding, altering, sometimes blowing, if at times excessively verbose and a tad smug. That said, utterly worth a read by anyone, Islamic (!) or not, with interest in religion, non-Western history, and Islam

    19. One of the brilliant works on Islam I have ever came across. I am one among who still grieve on the loss of such an extraordinary scholar - Shahab - may peace be with his soul.

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