This book argues that ever since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, which established a Shia Islamic government in Iran, that country’s religious and political leaders, have used Shia Islam as a crucial way of expanding Iran’s objectives in the Middle East and beyond. Since 1979, Iran’s religious and political leaders have been concerned about Iran’s security in the face of the hostility and expansionism of the United States and other western countries, and the threats from powerful neighboring Sunni leaders and countries. While Iran’s government has attempted to align itself with Shia Muslims in various countries, such as Iraq and Lebanon, against American and Sunni expansionism, the Iranian government has attempted to religiously nourish and politically mobilize those Shias as a matter of principle, not only because of the Iranian government’s desires to protect Iran from external threats. The book analyzes Shia Islam and politics in Iraq, Iraq, and Lebanon which have among the largest proportional Shia populations in the Middle East and are vibrant centers of Shia intellectual life. The book's clear and jargon-free approach make it especially accessible for students and general readers who would like an introduction to the book's topics.
What exactly is the Qur'an? How does this extraordinary document -- literally "recitation" -- relate to the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad? And why did the religion of the Prophet, which came to be called "Islam" (or submission to God's will), at the center of which lies the Qur'an, give birth to a legacy so richly diverse in faith, law and civilization? This immaculately researched, but at the same time thoroughly accessible, book offers a journey into the full range of experience -- past and present, secular and sacred -- of the peoples and cultures that share in Islamic tradition. The volume examines a broad diversity of themes and topics. Poets, cities and the architecture of mosques are as much a part of its exploration as the role of science in belief, ways of reading scripture, the relationship of women to the faith and the emergence of a "digital community" of believers. In the aftermath of 9/11, the so-called "war on terror" and a new global geopolitics defined by reaction and response to the perils of fundamentalism and extremism, it is imperative to understand -- across all its frontiers -- what Islam is about and what Muslims believe. A Companion to the Muslim World comprises an attractive and coherent attempt by distinguished scholars to contibute towards that vital process of comprehension.
Some scholars believe that the influence of Islam in the United States can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson. Today, Islam and American Muslim populations are growing in importance in this country, and demand for information about them is high, especially in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. This A-to-Z encyclopedia will help students and other readers get a fast grip on pertinent holidays, terms, beliefs, practices, notables, and sects of the Islamic faith and Muslim practitioners in the United States. The accompanying primary documents volume provides 93 crucial articles, speeches, essays, poems, songs, and more to flesh out the encyclopedia entries. This encyclopedia and primary documents set, the first on the topic and for the general reader, is a must-have for every library. The primary focus is contemporary but the entries are historically contextualized, so the fuller picture of origins outside the country and practice now in the United States is clear. Further reading suggestions accompany each entry. The primary documents volume enhances the encyclopedic entries with annotated selections such as an article from an entry on a leading Muslim American magazine or an essay by a Muslim American scholar to illuminate an entry on her. This will be a boon for students doing reports on Islam and for non-Muslims looking to learn about Muslims in an objective, broad way. It is clearly and authoritatively written and compiled by a host of scholars, primarily from Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. An introduction, chronology, selected bibliography, set index, and photos round out the set. Sample entries: African Americans; Bush, George W.; Calendar; Dietary Rules; Dress; Gulf War; Hate Crimes; Iranian Hostage Crisis; Media Coverage; The Message International Magazine; Mosques; Music; Muslim Students Association; Nation of Islam; Native Americans; New York City; Poetry; Prisons; Shi'a Communities; Sufism; World Trade Center; Young Professionals. Sample documents: Salah Al-Sawy, The Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America Fatwa Against the Danish Media and Government over the Cartoon Crisis, from The Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America; Michael Wolfe, Michael Wolfe, United States, 1990, from One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing about the Muslim Pilgrimage; Waris and Wajid Syed, Top 10 Muslim Hip-Hop Lyrics, from Warbux Records, beliefnet.com
This book analyzes the discourses and deliberations in the discussion forums of three of the most visited Islamic websites and investigates the extent to which they have provided a venue for Muslims to freely engage in discussion among themselves and with non-Muslims about political, economic, religious and social issues.