Books Media Reading Lists

Reading List: Intro to Islam

What would an introductory reading list on Islam look like? Not for an academic audience, but for the educated lay reader? My suggestions: General: Abou El Fadl, Khaled. Conference of the Books: The Search for Beauty in Islam. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2001. Algar, Hamid. Wahhabism: A Critical Essay. 1st ed. Oneonta, NY: Islamic Publications International, 2001. Bulliet, Richard W. The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. Ernst, Carl W. Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. Islamic Civilization & Muslim Networks. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. Firestone, Reuven. Jihad…

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Intra-faith Shi'ism

What is Shi’ism?

In the contemporary period Shi’ah is the standard short form for Shi’ah Ali, the Partisans of Ali. The Shi’ah have a history that goes back as far as the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and form one of the two main schools of thought in Islam; the other group being the Sunni, short for Ahl us-Sunnah wa Jama’ah, the People of Tradition and Consensus. The main division between these two groups relates to questions of religious authority, and who has that authority. In this post I want to give a brief outline of Shi’ah understandings of authority. Rather than cover…

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