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Exploring the increasing impact of the Internet on Muslims around the world, this book sheds new light on the nature of contemporary Islamic discourse, identity, and community. The Internet has profoundly shaped how both Muslims and non-Muslims perceive Islam and how Islamic societies and networks are evolving and shifting in the twenty-first century, says Gary Bunt. While Islamic society has deep historical patterns of global exchange, the Internet has transformed how many Muslims practice the duties and rituals of Islam. A place of religious instruction may exist solely in the virtual world, for example, or a community may gather only online. Drawing on more than a decade of online research, Bunt shows how social-networking sites, blogs, and other "cyber-Islamic environments" have exposed Muslims to new influences outside the traditional spheres of Islamic knowledge and authority. Furthermore, the Internet has dramatically influenced forms of Islamic activism and radicalization, including jihad-oriented campaigns by networks such as al-Qaeda. By surveying the broad spectrum of approaches used to present dimensions of Islamic social, spiritual, and political life on the Internet, iMuslims encourages diverse understandings of online Islam and of Islam generally.
In an environment of increasing conservatism, in a world where a woman's right to wear the headscarf has become a touchstone for issues of all sorts, and at a time when racial and religious profiling has become commonplace, it is our political and social
Walking Qur'an: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa
This vivid introduction to the heart of Islam offers a unique approach to understanding Allah, the central focus of Muslim religious expression. Drawing on history, culture, theology, politics, and the media, Bruce B. Lawrence identifies key religious practices by which Allah is revered and remembered, illuminating how the very name of Allah is interwoven into the everyday experience of millions of Muslims. For Muslims, as for adherents of other religions, intentions as well as practices are paramount in one's religious life. Lawrence elucidates how public utterances, together with private pursuits, reflect the emotive, sensory, and intellectual aspirations of the devout. Ranging from the practice of the tongue (speaking) to practices in cyberspace (online religious activities), Lawrence explores how Allah is invoked, defined, remembered, and also debated. While the practice of the heart demonstrates how Allah is remembered in Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, the practice of the mind examines how theologians and philosophers have defined Allah in numerous contexts, often with conflicting aims. The practice of the ear marks the contemporary period, in which Lawrence locates and then assesses competing calls for jihad, or religious struggle, within the cacophony of an immensely diverse umma, the worldwide Muslim community.
The prospects for peace in Afghanistan, dialogue between Washington and Tehran, the UN's bid to stabilise nuclear-armed Pakistan, understanding the largest Muslim minority in the world's largest democracy in India, or the largest Muslim population in the world in Indonesia all require some knowledge of the traditional religious sectors in these countries and of what connection traditional religious schooling has (or not) to their geopolitical situations.Moosa delves into the world of madrasa classrooms, scholars and texts, recounting the daily life and discipline of the inhabitants. He shows that madrasa are a living, changing entity, and the site of contestation between groups with varying agendas, goals and notions of modernity.Reading this unique and engaging introduction will provide readers with a clear grasp of the history, place and function of the madrasa in todays Muslim world (religious, cultural and political). It will also investigate the ambiguity underlying the charge that the madrasa is at heart a geopolitical institution.
Avoiding the traps of sensational political exposes and specialized scholarly Orientalism, Carl Ernst introduces readers to the profound spiritual resources of Islam while clarifying diversity and debate within the tradition. Framing his argument in terms of religious studies, Ernst describes how Protestant definitions of religion and anti-Muslim prejudice have affected views of Islam in Europe and America. He also covers the contemporary importance of Islam in both its traditional settings and its new locations and provides a context for understanding extremist movements like fundamentalism. He concludes with an overview of critical debates on important contemporary issues such as gender and veiling, state politics, and science and religion.
“Meditative and unique, a lovely read for any spiritual person, Muslim or not.”—Publisher's Weekly Few books in history have been as poorly understood as the Qur’an. Sent down in a series of revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur’an is the unmediated word of Allah, a ritual, political, and legal authority, an ethical and spiritual guide, and a literary masterpiece. In this book, one of the launch titles in Atlantic Monthly Press’ “Books That Changed the World” series, the distinguished historian of religion Bruce Lawrence shows precisely how the Qur’an is Islam. He describes the origins of the faith and assesses its tremendous influence on today’s societies and politics. Above all, Lawrence emphasizes that the Qur’an is a sacred book of signs that has no single message. It is a book that demands interpretation and one that can be properly understood only through its history. Bruce Lawrence’s work is a beautifully written and, in these increasingly troubled times, invaluable introduction to and exploration of the core sacred text of Islam.

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