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Knowing the Spirit Cover

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Knowing the Spirit

Ostad Elahi’s Knowing the Spirit provides a concise and remarkably illuminating philosophic account of our unique place in the universe: of the creative expressions of the divine Spirit throughout nature, and of the process of the soul’s deepening perfection through all the challenges and lessons of our existence in this world and beyond. This revealing book draws together in a single vision those symbolic teachings and spiritual insights familiar to many Western readers today through the classical mystical poetry of Rumi, Hafez, and Attar. The historical context and language of this study are marked by the confluence of classical Islamic philosophy and spirituality, including Sufi thought, and their scriptural sources. But Elahi’s thought integrates those influences and marks them with the magisterial imprint of his own profound spiritual experience and characteristic simplicity, openness, and directness of expression. This volume offers a singular masterpiece of recent spiritual thought, opening up fundamental human perspectives and possibilities too often clouded by the distractions of current events. The emphatic universality of both the subject and presentation of Knowing the Spirit points the way to unsuspected bridges between different civilizations and religious traditions, indeed to the prospect of an inclusive “science of spirituality” based on the common ground of each person’s spiritual life and experience.

Knowledge before Action Cover

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Knowledge before Action

Islamic Learning and Sufi Practice in the Life of Sayyid Jalal al-din Bukhari Makhdum-I Jahaniyan

Amina M. Steinfels

In Knowledge before Action, Amina M. Steinfels examines medieval Sufism and its place in Islamic society by telling the story of the life and career of Sayyid Jalal al-din Bukhari, a revered figure in Pakistan. Considered one of the most important Sufi masters of South Asia, Sayyid Jalal al-din Bukhari, more popularly referred to as Makhdum-i Jahaniyan, is known for combining spirituality and scholarship in a formative period for Sufism. Steinfels assembles the details of Bukhari's life from records of his teachings, dynastic chronicles, and correspondence to discover how he achieved his status and laid the groundwork for a devotional cult that has lasted seven centuries. Steinfels also examines Bukhari's theories of the relationship between scholar and mystic. Bukhari's teachings provide windows into the underlying concerns and themes of medieval Sufism. Knowledge before Action describes Bukhari's training as a scholar and a Sufi, his exercise of religious authority over his disciples, and his theories of the relationships between saint and shaykh. Knowledge before Action discusses ritual and contemplative practices, the economic bases of Sufi institutions, and the interconnectedness between Sufi masters, the 'ulama, and the political authorities by telling the story of Bukhari.

The Language of Secular Islam Cover

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The Language of Secular Islam

Urdu Nationalism and Colonial Hyderabad

Kavita Datla

During the turbulent period prior to colonial India’s partition and independence, Muslim intellectuals in Hyderabad sought to secularize and reformulate their linguistic, historical, religious, and literary traditions for the sake of a newly conceived national public. Responding to the model of secular education introduced to South Asia by the British, Indian academics launched a spirited debate about the reform of Islamic education, the importance of education in the spoken languages of the country, the shape of Urdu and its past, and the significance of the histories of Islam and India for their present.

The Language of Secular Islam pursues an alternative account of the political disagreements between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia, conflicts too often described as the product of primordial and unchanging attachments to religion. The author suggests that the political struggles of India in the 1930s, the very decade in which the demand for Pakistan began to be articulated, should not be understood as the product of an inadequate or incomplete secularism, but as the clashing of competing secular agendas. Her work explores negotiations over language, education, and religion at Osmania University, the first university in India to use a modern Indian language (Urdu) as its medium of instruction, and sheds light on questions of colonial displacement and national belonging.

Grounded in close attention to historical evidence, The Language of Secular Islam has broad ramifications for some of the most difficult issues currently debated in the humanities and social sciences: the significance and legacies of European colonialism, the inclusions and exclusions enacted by nationalist projects, the place of minorities in the forging of nationalism, and the relationship between religion and modern politics. It will be of interest to historians of colonial India, scholars of Islam, and anyone who follows the politics of Urdu.

4 illus.

Localizing Islam in Europe Cover

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Localizing Islam in Europe

Turkish Islamic Communities in Germany and the Netherlands

Ahmet Yükleyen is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Mississippi. His research focuses on anthropology of religion, ethnicity, Islamic movements, and multiculturalism.

This book compares how different Islamic communities assert their authority to represent “True Islam” for Muslims living in Europe and how they cope with challenges from rivals with different interpretations and fields of activism. It focuses on five Islamic communities active among Muslims originating from Turkey that represent the spectrum from moderate to revolutionary Islamic opinions: representatives of “official Islam” (Diyanet), political Islamists (Milli Görüş), a mystical Sufi order (Süleymanlı), Turkish civil Islam (Gülen) and a movement seeking an Islamic revolution in Turkey (Kaplan). The research included twelve months of intensive ethnographic fieldwork among Turkish Muslims in Germany and the Netherlands.

Making Modern Muslims Cover

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Making Modern Muslims

The Politics of Islamic Education in Southeast Asia

Robert W. Hefner (ed.)

When students from a Muslim boarding school were convicted for the 2002 terrorist bombings in Bali, Islamic schools in Southeast Asia became the focus of intense international scrutiny. Some analysts have warned that these schools are being turned into platforms for violent jihadism. Making Modern Muslims is the first book to look comparatively at Islamic education and politics in Southeast Asia. Based on a two-year research project by leading scholars of Southeast Asian Islam, the book examines Islamic schooling in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, and the southern Philippines. The studies demonstrate that the great majority of schools have nothing to do with violence but are undergoing changes that have far-reaching implications for democracy, gender relations, pluralism, and citizenship. Making Modern Muslims offers an important reassessment of Muslim culture and politics in Southeast Asia and provides insights into the changing nature of state-society relations from the late colonial period to the present. It allows us to better appreciate the astonishing dynamism of Islamization in Southeast Asia and the struggle for Muslim hearts and minds taking place today. Timely and readable, this volume will be of great interest to teachers and specialists of Islam and Southeast Asia as well as the general reader seeking to understand the great transformations at work in the Muslim world.

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Making Moros

Imperial Historicism and American Military Rule in the Philippines' Muslim South

Making Moros offers a unique look at the colonization of Muslim subjects during the early years of American rule in the southern Philippines. Hawkins argues that the ethnological discovery, organization, and subsequent colonial engineering of Moros was highly contingent on developing notions of time, history, and evolution, which ultimately superseded simplistic notions about race. He also argues that this process was highly collaborative, with Moros participating, informing, guiding, and even investing in their configuration as modern subjects. Drawing on a wealth of archival sources from both the United States and the Philippines, Making Moros presents a series of compelling episodes and gripping evidence to demonstrate its thesis. Readers will find themselves with an uncommon understanding of the Philippines’ Muslim South beyond its usual tangential place as a mere subset of American empire.

Malaysian Chinese Cover

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Malaysian Chinese

Recent Developments and Prospects

Lee Hock Guan and Leo Suryadinata

This collection of papers examines a variety of topics on the Chinese in Malaysia: the nature of Malaysian multi-ethnic society and the position of the ethnic Chinese, the conflation between ethnicity and religion, the 8 March 2008 election and its impact on the community, the similarities and dissimilarities of the Chinese positions in East and West Malaysia, the new developments in the economy, and the media and education in the past few decades under the New Economic Policy which have major bearings on the 8 March 2008 election and the post-election Malaysian Chinese community.

The Mantle Odes Cover

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The Mantle Odes

Arabic Praise Poems to the Prophet Muhammad

Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych

Three of the most renowned praise poems to the Prophet, the mantle odes span the arc of Islamic history from Muhammad's lifetime, to the medieval Mamluk period, to the modern colonial era. Over the centuries, they have informed the poetic and religious life of the Arab and Islamic worlds. Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych places her original translations of the poems within the odes' broader cultural context. By highlighting their transformative power as speech acts and their ritual function as gift exchanges, this book not only demonstrates the relevance of these poems to contemporary scholarship but also reveals their power and beauty to the modern reader.

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The Many Faces of Political Islam

Religion and Politics in the Muslim World

Mohammed Ayoob

Analysts and pundits from across the American political spectrum describe Islamic fundamentalism as one of the greatest threats to modern, Western-style democracy. Yet very few non-Muslims would be able to venture an accurate definition of political Islam. Mohammed Ayoob's The Many Faces of Political Islam thoroughly describes the myriad manifestations of this rising ideology and analyzes its impact on global relations. "In this beautifully crafted and utterly compelling book, Mohammed Ayoob accomplishes admirably the difficult task of offering a readily accessible yet nuanced and comprehensive analysis of an issue of enormous political importance. Both students and specialists will learn a great deal from this absolutely first-rate book." ---Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow, Cornell University "Dr. Ayoob addresses the nuances and complexities of political Islam---be it mainstream, radical, or militant---and offers a road map of the pivotal players and issues that define the movement. There is no one as qualified as Mohammed Ayoob to write a synthesis of various manifestations of political Islam. His complex narrative highlights the changes and shifts that have taken place within the Islamist universe and their implications for internal Muslim politics and relations between the world of Islam and the Christian world." ---Fawaz A. Gerges, Carnegie Scholar, and holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies, Sarah Lawrence College "Let's hope that many readers---not only academics but policymakers as well---will use this invaluable book." ---François Burgat, Director, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Institute for Research and Study on the Arab and Muslim World (IREMAM), Aix-en-Provence, France "This is a wonderful, concise book by an accomplished and sophisticated political scientist who nonetheless manages to convey his interpretation of complex issues and movements to even those who have little background on the subject. It is impressive in its clarity, providing a badly needed text on political Islam that's accessible to college students and the general public alike." ---Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland, and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor of International Relations with a joint appointment in James Madison College and the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. He is also Coordinator of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University.

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Martyrs of Karbala

Shi'i Symbols and Rituals in Modern Iran

by Kamran Scot Aghaie

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