The Study Quran Review: Gibril Fouad Haddad

[The Muslim World Book Review, 36:3, 2016, pp. 2025]
 
Seyyed Hossein Nasr et al., ed. The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary. New York: Harper Collins, 2015. Hardback. lix + 1988pp. Maps. ISBN: 9780061125867.
 
This book is the magnum opus of Iranian University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University Seyyed Hossein Nasr (b. 1933), an expert on Islamic philosophy and the history of science and the heir apparent of the syncretist Frithjof Schuon (19071998) as head of the Maryamiyya Order, a universalist movement based on the socalled Traditionalist School. (“Traditionalism” is a Western adaptation of Hinduism that negates claims of Truth  by any religion through relativizing all of them; I will refer to its ideology in this review by the term Perennialism.) It is a wellcrafted, mostly North American project that lumps several works in a single hefty volume printed on extrathin India paper: an original English rendering of the Qur’n; a firstever, rich anthology in English from 41 works of Quranic commentary with an embedded 42nd, original commentary on the part of Nasr, who terms it “not simply a collage of selections but a new work” (p. xliii); and the mismatched last part, 15 essays on the Qur’n by a mixed group of academics—three of whom are also the book’s general editors— “included… at the suggestion of the publisher… the essays are in a sense a separate book… an independent work” (p. xlv).
[Featured image source: CNN]

Saviours of Islamic Spirit – Revised Translation Released by White Thread Press

The much anticipated revised English translation of Saviours of Islamic Spirit (Tarikh-i Da’wat wa Azimat) by Shaykh Abu ‘l-Hasan Ali al-Nadwi (ra) has been released by White Thread Press.

The work was originally rendered into English by the late Mohiuddin Ahmad (may Allah have mercy upon his soul), who has also translated other works of Shaykh Nadwi (ra). The initial publication of that translation was released by the Academy of Islamic Research & Publications (Lucknow, India). A later publication of the same translation – without editing – was done by Darul Ishaat (Karachi, Pakistan). May Allah (SWT) reward them as they were the only conduits through which this highly regarded work was available to the English-speaking audience.

Notwithstanding, some of the language in the translation had become archaic. Also, the original publication’s quality was in much need of revamping in regards to the typesetting, print, paper quality, binding, cover, etc. White Thread Press embarked upon this project some time back, and we had been eagerly awaiting news of its progress. 

All praise belongs to Allah (SWT) who brought the project to fruition. Mufti Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf Mangera (may Allah bless and accept him) revised and edited the work, and it has now been released by White Thread Press.

Currently, only the 1st volume is published and available. We pray and hope that WTP continues to pursue the editing and publishing of the remainder volumes to complete the entire series (containing the biographies of Ibn Taymiyya, Nizāmuddin Awliya, Mujaddid Alf-Thāni, Shah Walīullah, Syed Ahmad Shahīd, and more).

Table of Contents

Pages: 282

Format: Softcover

Dimensions: 6″ x 9″

ISBN: 978-1-93-376413-9

Sample Excerpt

 

A Critical Reading of Martin Lings’ Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

Foreword to the first Swedish translation © GF Haddad 2005

Twenty-three years after its first publication in 1983, Muḥammad: his life based on the earliest sources by the late Abū Bakr Sirāj al-Dīn (Martin Lings, d. 2004) continues its lead as the best-written work of Prophetic biography in English and has now been translated into a dozen languages. The readers’ blurbs from distinguished writers on the back cover call it “superb… scrupulous… exhaustive… mesmerising… easy and absorbing… enthralling… engrossing… majestic… gripping… fascinat[ing].” Indeed, Lings’ lofty English, his knowledge of genealogy, his reflexive and worshipful narrative style, and his excellent adab with the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) all deserve such glowing praise.

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Book Review: The Immense Ocean

A Muslim's Book Shelf

The Immense Ocean

Title: The Immense Ocean (Al-Bahr Al-Madid): A Thirteenth Century Quranic Commentary on the Chapters of The All-Merciful, The Event and Iron
Author: Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Ajiba
Translated and Annotated by: Mohamed Fouad Aresmouk and Michael Abdurrahman Fitzgerald
Publisher: Fons Vitae (2009)

Shaykh Ibn Ajiba was born in northern Morocco in 1747 or 1748, into a family that descended from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was a spiritual master in the Shadhiliyya-Darqawiyya tradition. Shaykh Ibn Ajiba has written an autobiography that has been translated, also by Fons Vitae, which can be found here. In regards to the book at hand, Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Ajiba writes in his own introduction:

I have been requested by my Shaykh, Sidi Muhammad al Buzidi al-Hasani, as well as his Shaykh, Qutb Mulay al’Arabi al-Darqawi al-Hasani, to set down in writing a commentary that would combine both exoteric explanation and esoteric allusion, and…

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Observations on Chapter 1 of Karen Armstrong’s Book “Islam: A Short History”

Waqar Akbar Cheema

Islam A Short History
The following is a reproduction of some observations I made while reading the first chapter of Karen Armstrong’s book “Islam: A Short History” well over a year ago.
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All quotes and page numbers are from the e-book here
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She writes;

” … the opposition grew, led by Abu al-Hakam (who is called Abu Jahl, “Father of Lies,” in the Quran), …” (p.12)

The Qur’an no where mentions Abu Jahl explicitly, what to say of giving him this title.

Islamic tradition would later assert that there had been 124,000 such prophets, a symbolic number suggesting infinity.” (p.8)

Clear reflection of the mythological orientalist belief that Hadith is a later “invention”

“On one occasion his most intelligent wife,Umm Salamah, helped to prevent a mutiny.” (p.16)
This is a reference to short lived reluctance of the companions to put off ihram at the eve of Hudaybiya. Giving it…

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Book review: “The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas: An Exposition on the Original Concept of Islamization”

asSalaamu Alaikum,

Download book review by Aamir Bashir.

Book: The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas: An Exposition on the Original Concept of Islamization

Author: Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud.

Publisher: International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1998.

Pages:  507

ISBN: 983-9379-09-7 (PB)

 

Description from the publisher:

The topic of Islamization of contemporary knowledge and education of the Muslims has been debated since the First World Conference on Muslim Education in Mecca in 1977, but no serious attempt has been made to trace the history of the ideas and to study and evaluate some of these matters in practice.

This book is an exposition of the educational ideas and practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, who is one of the most prominent, multifaceted and creative Muslim thinkers in contemporary times, and one of the key speakers at the first and second World Conferences on Muslim Education. The author puts forward that al-Attas is the original conceptualizer of the notion of Islamization of present day knowledge and education, and that he has consistently applied it in his lifelong endeavors at Muslim higher learning institutions, particularly at ISTAC. Possibly the first work of this nature in contemporary Islamic discourse on the subject, the author uses both written and many unpublished documents, recording personal discussions and the daily practices of al-Attar as an educator, and tracing and comparing some of alAttas’ ideas and practices to those of earlier scholars and contemporary Muslim and non-Muslim thinkers. Among the important topics discussed are the metaphysical worldview of Islam; knowledge and knowing; the meaning, content and method of education; the concept and reality of the Islamic university, and the history of and the issues concerning the Islamization of present-day knowledge. Modern Muslim scholars discussed are ‘Abduh, Iqbal, al-Farugi, Fazlur Rahman, S. H. Nasr, and others. This work is useful for specialists, policy-makers as well as the general reader interested in the Islamization and substantive reform of Muslim education, especially at the higher levels.