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In A Singular Hostage and A Beggar at the Gate, Thalassa Ali introduced us to the lush, intriguing world of nineteenth-century British India—and to Mariana Givens, a brave, beautiful Englishwoman. Now, as vengeful Afghan tribesmen close in, Mariana must face the repercussions of her marriage to a Punjabi Muslim, and choose between the people she calls her own—and the life that owns her heart. Mariana Givens aches to return to the rose-scented city of Lahore, home of Hassan Ali Khan, the Muslim stranger she has come to love, his mystical family, and his prescient little son. But her own reckless behavior has sent her into exile at the British cantonment near Kabul, on the eve of the First Afghan War. There, she embarks on a dangerous double life, pretending to be a proper young Victorian lady while secretly traveling Kabul’s violent, fascinating streets to visit the Sufi seer who possesses the answers she needs. But the mystic’s help comes with a price, and her family wants her to marry a British officer. As Afghanistan descends into violence and her hopes of rescue fade, Mariana must make a fateful decision: can she abandon her old life and allow herself to be drawn toward her destiny—whatever it may be? From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dr. Nakshawani in the following work not only corrects the widespread misconception that the Shi’i intellectual tradition despises and curses all Companions, but also clarifies the reason for which some Companions were considered people of Paradise in the Shi’i (and usually the Sunni) tradition. In a few places, the author notes reasons for which the Shi’i tradition does not venerate certain Companions. Discussing controversial history as it relates to Companions and the ahl al-bayt remains a difficult enterprise, where methods and premises, let alone conclusions, substantially differ from scholar to scholar. As an expert of the Shi’i tradition, Dr. Nakshawani presents relevant Shi’i narratives for non-specialists who would otherwise be unaware of them. Thus, the following biographies fill a gap in knowledge about Companions not only revered in the Shi’i tradition, but according to the collective memory of pro-Alid Sunni and Shi’i authors, granted Paradise.
Short, accessible essays from fifteen recognized Milton specialists touching on the most important topics and themes in Paradise Lost.
The human soul strives to achieve happiness in all its endeavors. Strangely, many people during this pursuit find nothing but disaster and failure. This happens when one is outside of Islamic guidance, and especially happens to individuals who are only following after that proverbial rainbow where they think a barrel of treasure is the answer to their miseries. A great philosopher, named Aristotle, said that happiness is achieved through contemplation of the Divine (Allah) and by leading a disciplined life. What describes Islam better than saying that it is a 'disciplined way of life?' The Companions of Allah's Messenger were perfectly cognizant of this fact. Thus, they sought to please Allah; and in doing so, they achieved not only happiness but material prosperity as well. The Islamic community is one where wealth is shared. Those who have most, share the most; and those in need are looked after. In pleasing Allah, our scales of good deeds pile up and Paradise is our final reward. What better reward and place to work toward than Paradise? Jihad can be an everyday event. The Companions were horsemen by day and spent their evenings in worship. They were people of prayer, fasting, charity, kindness and truthfulness. They were chaste, sincere and pious. They were people who knew self-control of mind, body and temper. They did not go about feeding their lusts. They went about instead feeding the hungry. All of these things are Jihad. When the call for Jihad (meaning war or struggle) was proclaimed, the Companions readily sacrificed everything: their wealth, their lives, and they left their families behind. The fear of death was not an issue, for they knew no better reason or way to die than in fighting to uphold Muslim's rights or Islamic values. And this is the true meaning of the testimony: La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah). In return for their loyalty to the cause, Allah bestowed on them true happiness and Paradise. Paradise is the final abode of all pious and sincere believers. There were many Companions who were given the glad tidings of Paradise out of acknowledgment of their virtues and high status. As we follow this book, we will learn about them. And, in doing so, we will learn the way to Paradise.
Fourteen centuries of Islamic thought have produced a legacy of interpretive readings of the Qu'ran written almost entirely by men. Now, with Qu'ran and Woman, Amina Wadud provides a first interpretive reading by a woman, a reading which validates the female voice in the Qu'ran and brings it out of the shadows. Muslim progressives have long argued that it is not the religion but patriarchal interpretation and implementation of the Qu'ran that have kept women oppressed. For many, the way to reform is the reexamination and reinterpretation of religious texts. Qu'ran and Woman contributes a gender inclusive reading to one of the most fundamental disciplines in Islamic thought, Qu'ranic exegesis. Wadud breaks down specific texts and key words which have been used to limit women's public and private role, even to justify violence toward Muslim women, revealing that their original meaning and context defy such interpretations. What her analysis clarifies is the lack of gender bias, precedence, or prejudice in the essential language of the Qur'an. Despite much Qu'ranic evidence about the significance of women, gender reform in Muslim society has been stubbornly resisted. Wadud's reading of the Qu'ran confirms women's equality and constitutes legitimate grounds for contesting the unequal treatment that women have experienced historically and continue to experience legally in Muslim communities. The Qu'ran does not prescribe one timeless and unchanging social structure for men and women, Wadud argues lucidly, affirming that the Qu'ran holds greater possibilities for guiding human society to a more fulfilling and productive mutual collaboration between men and women than as yet attained by Muslims or non-Muslims.

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