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Looks at the history of Islam, arguing that its origins began with the "Believers" movement that emphasized strict monotheism and righteous behavior that included both Christians and Jews in its early years.

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Genre: History
Author: Fred M. Donner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release: 2012-05-07
File: 300 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780674064140

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Traces the history of Islam back from the twentieth century to its origins, discussing the faith-based "Believers' movement" started by the prophet Muhammad, and explaining how this led to the separation of Muslims from Christians and Jews as monotheists.

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Genre: History
Author: Fred M. Donner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release: 2010-05
File: 280 Pages
ISBN-13: 0674050975

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Deep in the heart of seventh-century Arabia, a new prophet named Muhammad has arisen. As his message of enlightenment sweeps through Arabia and unifies the warring tribes, his young wife Aisha recounts Muhammad's astonishing transformation from prophet to warrior to statesman. But just after the moment of her husband's greatest triumph -- the conquest of the holy city of Mecca -- Muhammad falls ill and dies in Aisha's arms. A young widow, Aisha finds herself at the center of the new Muslim empire and becomes by turns a teacher, political leader, and warrior. Written in beautiful prose and meticulously researched, Mother of the Believer is the story of an extraordinary woman who was destined to help usher Islam into the world.

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Kamran Pasha
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 2009-04-14
File: 560 Pages
ISBN-13: 1416580697

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This study of the Qur'an arises from an interest in a pressing contemporary issue, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims ('the Ummah and the Other'). This text explores how the Qur'an comments on this relationship as it changed in the course of Muhammad's ministry. Particular attention is paid to the portrayal in the Meccan 'punishment-narratives' of a fascinating and complex triangular relationship between God, the powerless and persecuted believing community with Muhammad at its centre, and the unbelieving Meccans who rejected Muhammad's preaching. The text raising questions about the possible contemporary relevance of this analysis, focusing firstly on discussions about the appropriate models for Islamic society today, and secondly on dialogue between Christians and Muslims. This book presents a detailed and illuminating analysis of many important Qur'anic themes and passages, and offers a coherent and original account of significant developments within the thought of the Qur'an as a whole.

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Genre: Social Science
Author: David Marshall
Publisher: Routledge
Release: 2014-04-08
File: 222 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781136815843

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Naipaul's controversial account of his travels through the Islamic world was hailed by The New Republic as "the most notable work on contemporary Islam to have appeared in a very long time." From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Genre: Travel
Author: V.S. Naipaul
Publisher: Vintage
Release: 2011-03-23
File: 448 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307789303

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"This Is Islam" presents a lively introduction to a religion that has a dramatic history and plays a crucial role in the world today. Designed for people unfamiliar with Islamic beliefs, rituals, and customs, it explains the history of Islam, the importance of Islamic law, and major sects including Sunnism, Shi'ism, and Sufism. "It is vital for our schools to teach what the religion of Islam is like and how it agrees and differs from Judaism, Christianity and other world religions. 'This Is Islam' serves that purpose with calm, cool, brief and authoritative explanations of the Islamic religion and of Muslim societies with all their variations." -William McNeill, professor emeritus of history, University of Chicago; author of 'The Rise of the West' (National Book Award) and 'The Human Web.'

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Genre: Religion
Author: Jamal J. Elias
Publisher: Berkshire Publishing Group LLC
Release: 2010
File: 125 Pages
ISBN-13: 1933782811

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The Community of Believers offers the proceedings of the 2013 Building Bridges seminar, a dialogue between leading Christian and Muslim scholars under the stewardship of Georgetown University. These essays consider such themes as the Church as mystical body of Christ versus the Church as proclamation; the roots and uses of the term ummah and its development over time; Christian desires for communion, experiences of division, and approaches to unity; the history of Muslim disunity; twentieth-century Christian ecclesiology and its responses to a post-Christendom and post-Christian world; and the Arab Spring as a case study for contemplating accommodationism, conservatism, reformism, and fundamentalism as Muslim strategies to address the pressures of modernism. The volume also includes texts and commentaries used in the seminar’s discussions of each topic and a concluding essay summarizing the tone, content, and style of participant exchanges throughout the seminar.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Lucinda Mosher
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Release: 2015-05-06
File: 186 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781626161955

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The emergence of radical Islamist movements in various parts of the world, the rise and fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the 9/11 attacks, widespread vilification spearheaded by Hindutva groups--all these and more have made madrasas a much talked about institution. Focussing on the madrasas of India, Bastions of the Believers seeks to critically interrogate sensationalist and stereotypical images of the madrasas by highlighting their diversity and the complex social roles that they play in the lives of many Muslims. Madrasas, as a rule, represent a conservative form of theology and jurisprudence that is, in many ways, ill-suited to a modern, pluralistic society. Much of what is taught in madrasas is outdated and unscientific (the Deoband madrasa, for instance, still insists that the sun revolves around the earth, and it has special seating arrangements for invisible jinns). Yet, obscurantism need not necessarily lead to militancy and hostility against others. For instance, in the decades leading to India's independence, the Deobandis, representing an extreme form of religious conservatism, insisted on Hindu-Muslim amity and a joint struggle for a free and united India. It is this integrated view of madrasas and a more liberal and open understanding of Islam, and indeed of all faiths, which Yoginder Sikand seeks to promote--for he believes this is one of the principal duties confronting committed believers if we have to learn to live together despite our differences. Bastions of the Believers covers a wide range of thought-provoking issues--from the origins and development of the institution to critiques of madrasa curricula and the alleged links between madrasas and Islamist militancy--making this a must-read for all those interested in creating and preserving a just social order.

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Genre: Education
Author: Yoginder Sikand
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Release: 2005
File: 358 Pages
ISBN-13: 0144000202

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This endlessly informative history brings the classical Islamic world to life In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the ‘Abbasid Empire (750–1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions. At its zenith the ‘Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennison’s examination of the politics, society, and culture of the ‘Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the “civilized” values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennison’s argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.

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Genre: History
Author: Amira K. Bennison
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release: 2014-05-14
File: 255 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780300154894

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Available in Canada for the first time since its initial publication in 1981, this is acclaimed author Karen Armstrong’s classic memoir of her life as a young woman in a convent — the precursor to the bestseller The Spiral Staircase. Through the Narrow Gate is Karen Armstrong’s intimate memoir of life inside a Catholic convent. With honesty and clarity, she explains what drove her at age seventeen to devote herself to God. Over the next seven years, she endures the difficulties of convent life — the enforced silence, the lack of friendship and family, her own guilt at not being able to stifle her voracious intelligence — and unveils the secrets of religious life during the post–Vatican II years. Through the Narrow Gate is a moving account of a young woman’s search for God and the experiences that put Karen Armstrong on her way to becoming one of the most admired and most respected interpreters of religious faith. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Author: Karen Armstrong
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Release: 2010-11-05
File: 368 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307368331

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