Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization

Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization

by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

The world's leading Islamicist offers a concise introduction to this rich and diverse tradition of 1.2 billion adherents.In this informative and clear introduction to the world of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr explores the following topics in depth:What Is Islam?The Doctrines and Beliefs of IslamIslamic Practices and InstitutionsThe History of IslamSchools of Islamic ThoughtIslam in the Contemporary WorldIslam and Other ReligionsThe Spiritual and Religious Significance of Islam

  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 3.67
  • Pages: 224
  • Publish Date: December 24th 2002 by HarperOne
  • Isbn10: 0060507144
  • Isbn13: 9780060507145

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However as a native Muslim I couldn't find lots of new info in it (except the parts covering parts of Shi'ti's history , schools & thinkers).

This person is called Imam -- the word 'imam' is generally used in Sunni Islam to refer to a spiritual or worship leader, but in Shia Islam is used specifically to refer to a Prophetic leader, of whom there have been twelve, and the twelth of which has disappeared but not passed away but is extant in the world and will return as Mahdi (Messiah), with Christ also appearing as his follower. The Shari-ah, or divine law, "is like the circumference of a circle, each point of which represents a Muslim who stands on that circumference. One can follow one of the radii to the center, but only on the condition of beginning at the circumference -- hence the great significance of the Shari-ah, without which no spiritual journey would be possible and the religion itself could not be practised." Islam, Iman, and Ihsan -- the first means 'surrender', the second 'faith', the third 'virtue', or beauty. All who accept the Koranic revelation and surrender themselves to God are 'muslim', they possess 'islam', or surrender. The whole of life may be viewed as a constant jihad between the carnal soul and the demands of the immortal spirit within -- the Prophet said once to his companions after a major battle for Islam: "Verily you have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jiahd", whereupon a follower asked what the greater jihad was, to which the answer "to battle against your passionate souls".

I was, of course, expecting a sympathetic treatment of Islam, the author being a notable Muslim scholar, but it went far beyond that and was basically an apologia for Nasr's personal beliefs with an interlude of historical summary of Islamic political history.

chapter 8 -the last chapter- islam in contemprary world it was obvious that the auther is opposing modernism completely therefore he is not willing to accept applying any modern science and technology in any field to intrepret islam as a fact , religion , culture and style of life.

Only once before have I recycled a book before having finished it. I would have given this book zero stars but that might look like I simply hadn't rated it.

An excellent book on Islam from a traditionalist Sufi scholar.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, currently University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington D.C. is one of the most important and foremost scholars of Islamic, Religious and Comparative Studies in the world today. The range of subjects and areas of study which Professor Nasr has involved and engaged himself with in his academic career and intellectual life are immense. For Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, the quest for knowledge, specifically knowledge which enables man to understand the true nature of things and which furthermore, "liberates and delivers him from the fetters and limitations of earthly existence," has been and continues to be the central concern and determinant of his intellectual life.