The Walking Qur'an
Author: Rudolph T. Ware III
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Walking Qur'an: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa
Writing boards and blackboards are emblematic of two radically different styles of education in Islam. The essays in this lively volume address various aspects of the expanding and evolving range of educational choices available to Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa. Contributors from the United States, Europe, and Africa evaluate classical Islamic education in Africa from colonial times to the present, including changes in pedagogical methods--from sitting to standing, from individual to collective learning, from recitation to analysis. Also discussed are the differences between British, French, Belgian, and Portuguese education in Africa and between mission schools and Qur'anic schools; changes to the classical Islamic curriculum; the changing intent of Islamic education; the modernization of pedagogical styles and tools; hybrid forms of religious and secular education; the inclusion of women in Qur'anic schools; and the changing notion of what it means to be an educated person in Africa. A new view of the role of Islamic education, especially its politics and controversies in today's age of terrorism, emerges from this broadly comparative volume.
Author: Michael A. Gomez
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Beginning with Latin America in the fifteenth century, this book, first published in 2005, is a social history of the experiences of African Muslims and their descendants throughout the Americas, including the Caribbean. The record under slavery is examined, as is the post-slavery period into the twentieth century. The experiences vary, arguably due to some extent to the Old World context. Muslim revolts in Brazil are also discussed, especially in 1835, by way of a nuanced analysis. The second part of the book looks at the emergence of Islam among the African-descended in the United States in the twentieth century, with successive chapters on Noble Drew Ali, Elijah Muhammad, and Malcolm X, with a view to explaining how orthodoxy arose from varied unorthodox roots.
One Woman's Jihad
Author: Beverly Blow Mack, Jean Boyd
Publisher: Indiana University Press
"... a most welcome addition to the body of scholarship on the Sokoto Jihad and Caliphate." -- Religious Studies Review The fascinating life and times of Nana Asma'u (1793 - 1864), a West African woman who was a Muslim scholar and poet. As the daughter of the spiritual and political leader of the Sokoto community, Asma'u was a role model and teacher for other Muslim women as well as a scholar of Islam and a key advisor to her father as he waged a jihad to bring Islam to the population of what is now northwestern Nigeria.
Author: Ousmane Oumar Kane
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Timbuktu is famous as a center of learning from Islam’s Golden Age. Yet it was one among many scholarly centers to exist in precolonial West Africa. Ousmane Kane charts the rise of Muslim learning in West Africa from the beginning of Islam to the present day and corrects lingering misconceptions about Africa’s Muslim heritage and its influence.
Finding Mecca in America
Author: Mucahit Bilici
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
The events of 9/11 had a profound impact on American society, but they had an even more lasting effect on Muslims living in the United States. Once practically invisible, they suddenly found themselves overexposed. By describing how Islam in America began as a strange cultural object and is gradually sinking into familiarity, Finding Mecca in America illuminates the growing relationship between Islam and American culture as Muslims find a homeland in America. Rich in ethnographic detail, the book is an up-close account of how Islam takes its American shape. In this book, Mucahit Bilici traces American Muslims’ progress from outsiders to natives and from immigrants to citizens. Drawing on the philosophies of Simmel and Heidegger, Bilici develops a novel sociological approach and offers insights into the civil rights activities of Muslim Americans, their increasing efforts at interfaith dialogue, and the recent phenomenon of Muslim ethnic comedy. Theoretically sophisticated, Finding Mecca in America is both a portrait of American Islam and a groundbreaking study of what it means to feel at home.
Ways unto Heaven
Author: Abdoul Aziz Mbacke
This book was written by Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, the famous African Muslim leader of nonviolence and Sufi. "Ways unto Heaven" is devoted to the rules of Muslim Ethics and of Sufism which enables humankind to purify theirs hearts and theirs souls so as to lift them to the Lord. Through this book Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba demonstrates the universality of Muslim spirituality which leads to fraternity and peace beyond present bias of intolerance and violence against Islam.
From the opening pages, amidst the throes of Ramadan during the hottest and driest season in Mali, Dutch ethnographer Geert Mommersteeg welcomes readers into the religious culture of a historic city uniquely filled with Islamic scholars known as marabouts. This finely crafted English-language translation provides a remarkable contribution to the study of Islamic practices and beliefs observed in local contexts in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on the interrelationship between public and secret knowledge of maraboutage in everyday reality. This inviting personal narrative of an anthropologist's long-term fieldwork in Djennfor centuries a center of West African culture, scholarship, and architectureis full of valuable methodological insights. Mommersteeg, with unassuming honesty, becomes absorbed in the knowledge of the Holy Word and slowly enters the closed world of religious practice in which marabouts serve as intermediaries between God and their clients. While marabouts do not claim to be all-knowing, they do know how God can be addressed most effectively, which amulets are the most powerful, and which alms are best for nudging the future in the right direction.
In Islam Is a Foreign Country, Zareena Grewal explores some of the most pressing debates about and among American Muslims: what does it mean to be Muslim and American? Who has the authority to speak for Islam and to lead the stunningly diverse population of American Muslims? Do their ties to the larger Muslim world undermine their efforts to make Islam an American religion? Offering rich insights into these questions and more, Grewal follows the journeys of American Muslim youth who travel in global, underground Islamic networks. Devoutly religious and often politically disaffected, these young men and women are in search of a home for themselves and their tradition. Through their stories, Grewal captures the multiple directions of the global flows of people, practices, and ideas that connect U.S. mosques to the Muslim world. By examining the tension between American Muslims’ ambivalence toward the American mainstream and their desire to enter it, Grewal puts contemporary debates about Islam in the context of a long history of American racial and religious exclusions. Probing the competing obligations of American Muslims to the nation and to the umma (the global community of Muslim believers), Islam is a Foreign Country investigates the meaning of American citizenship and the place of Islam in a global age.
What Is Islam?
Author: Shahab Ahmed
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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 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.
Blackness is a term which has been understood differently based upon time and geography. The authors of this book explore how the term was understood by Arabs during the era surrounding the first three generations of Muslims and how such context can better inform understanding who from among them would today be considered Black Muslims in the West. This is very important in light of the effects of colonialism and scientific racism theories such as eugenics etc., have forced the idea of species level taxonomies which are in reality social constructs upon the psyche of laymen across the globe. By examining texts of antiquity and centering them in the modern discourse, it is hoped that the nuance and breadth of the human experience can be appreciated. Moving beyond providing generic descriptive terminology, they elucidate in detail particulars based upon semantics of the Arabic language. Authors then give biographical information on a series of early Muslims from African and Arab lineage who would be considered Black in the post modern era/
In his controversial 1973 book, Is God a White Racist?, William R. Jones sharply criticized black theologians for their agnostic approach to black suffering, noting that the doctrine of an ominibenevolent God poses very significant problems for a perennially oppressed community. He proposed a 'humanocentric theism' which denies God's sovereignty over human history and imputes autonomous agency to humans. By rendering humans alone responsible for moral evil, Jones's theology freed blacks to revolt against the evil of oppression without revolting against God. Sherman Jackson now places Jones's argument in conversation with the classical schools of Islamic theology. The problem confronting the black community is not simply proving that God exists, says Jackson. The problem, rather, is establishing that God cares. No religious expression that fails to tackle the problem of black suffering can hope to enjoy a durable tenure in the black community. For the Muslim, therefore, it is essential to find a Quranic/Islamic grounding for the protest-oriented agenda of black religion. That is the task Jackson undertakes in this pathbreaking work. Jackson's previous book, Islam and the Blackamerican (OUP 2006) laid the groundwork for this ambitious project. Its sequel, Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering, will solidify Jackson's reputation as the foremost theologian of the black American Islamic movement.
Double Edged Slavery
Author: Imam Luqman A. Ahmad
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
A close look at the colonial existence of African American Muslims in the shadow of the greater American Muslim community. This book offers an analysis of the many factors that results on African American and convert Muslims being a second class community amongst immigrant Muslims living in America.
Author: Efraim Karsh
Publisher: Yale University Press
From the first Arab-Islamic Empire of the mid-seventh century to the Ottomans, the last great Muslim empire, the story of the Middle East has been the story of the rise and fall of universal empires and, no less important, of imperialist dreams. So argues Efraim Karsh in this highly provocative book. Rejecting the conventional Western interpretation of Middle Eastern history as an offshoot of global power politics, Karsh contends that the region's experience is the culmination of long-existing indigenous trends, passions, and patterns of behavior, and that foremost among these is Islam's millenarian imperial tradition. The author explores the history of Islam's imperialism and the persistence of the Ottoman imperialist dream that outlasted World War I to haunt Islamic and Middle Eastern politics to the present day. September 11 can be seen as simply the latest expression of this dream, and such attacks have little to do with U.S. international behavior or policy in the Middle East, says Karsh. The House of Islam's war for world mastery is traditional, indeed venerable, and it is a quest that is far from over.
Jihad Beyond Islam
Author: Gabriele Marranci
By observing the current crisis of identity among ordinary Muslims, this book explores why, and in what circumstances Muslims speak of jihad. In the end, jihad is what Muslims say it is. Marranci offers us a nuanced and anthropolitical understanding of Muslims' lives beyond the predictable clichés.