Islam: A Very Short Introduction offers essential insight into the structure and Malise Ruthven answers fundamental questions about the nature and scope of. Page i Islam A Very Short Introduction Malise Ruthven is a lecturer in comparative religion, specializing in Islamic affairs, at the University of Aberdeen. Malise Ruthven’s Very Short Introduction contains essential insights into issues such How must Islam adapt as it confronts the modern world?.

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Yet his modelidealised, no doubt, and infused with the values and aspirations of later generationswas disseminated, both orally and through the hadith literature, to become a cultural and religious icon as powerful as Christ or the Buddha, the image of al-insan al-kamil, the perfect or complete human being in both his worldly and spiritual aspects. There are quite often references and comparisons with Christianity.

One has the impression that Muhammad’s words those articulated in the prophetic ‘Each ayah of the Quran is also a signin the symbolic or semiotic sensethat points to another level of reality that in turn reaffirms the message of revelation. Orphaned at about 6, Muhammad was brought up by his grandfather and later by his maternal uncle Abu Talib. Inyroduction books in the series. Generally decentralized religious authority as in American Protestantism vey towards conservatism.

We asked the Messenger of God about this and he said “Is that what you did? God is both transcendent and immanent, the Lord of Creation and One who is nearer to an individual than his ‘jugular vein’. Although there was an element of consensus in this relationship, there was also, as Crone and Hinds point out, ‘a total lack of institutional machinery behind [it]. Published by Oxford University Press first published The five pillars of Islam References Further reading.

Islam: A Very Short Introduction

Malise Ruthven answers fundamental questions about the nature and scope of Islam such as why the greatest Jihad holy war is now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil, why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shiis, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and how the Sharia Islamic law has become such an important aspect of Islamic life.


Ruthven’s own bailiwick, fundamentalism, makes him seem s reasonable candidate to update his own text sixteen years on.

The latter are the only group of Shi’a who still claim allegiance to a living Imamthe Imam in the line of the Fatimid caliph al-Mustali having also ‘disappeared’. Don’t have a Kindle? Overall, too cursory for my liking.

I hope this helps. It is the ruler who appoints the judge, so the implementation of the religious law, but not its interpretation, is under state control. Islam and Islamism The religious revival in introductioon Islam is a reflection of the pace of social and technological change in the Muslim world, particularly the disruptive effects of a rapid increase in urbanization.

Activists seeking to ‘Islamize’ their societies, bringing them more closely into line with what they perceive to be Islamic law, ignore the centuries of nuanced and qualifying scholarship by which the ‘ulama reconciled the demands of the divine law with the realities of political power and the exigencies of everyday life. I was not disappointed by this book and am glad to have a bit more insight into another of the world’s religions.

The style of the Quran is allusive and elliptical. Each of the four ‘Rightly-Guided’ caliphs has been credited with initiating or forwarding the collection of the text. Even the virulent anti- Semitism he adopted in the wake of the ArabIsraeli conflict is partly imported, based on the uncritical adoption of European ideas.

It’s not that Ruthven ignores how often these aspects are harmful he includes a few rather piercing passages about polygamybut that he reveals how these aspects of Islam have been interpreted quite differently from country to country and from time What Ruthven does best here is to demonstrate how diverse Islam is. A Muslim is one born to a Muslim father who takes maliss his or her parent’s confessional identity without vefy subscribing introdhction the beliefs and practices of the faith, just as a Jew may define him- or herself as ‘Jewish’ without observing the Halacha.

Here the Islamic concern for equity in business relation-ships offers a challenge to a post-Christian world where corporate power often flourishes at the expense of the individual or family needs.

But Malise Ruthven has done a good job of raising a lot of issues to the forefront, has dealt with it with fair amount of objectivity maalise has, atleast in me, kindled the desire to know more.


Theosophical Speculations The Sunni consensus may have opted for the safety of focusing on God’s commands rather than indulging in speculation about his nature; but after their first encounters with Helleno-Christian thought some Muslim intellectuals refused to introductoon put off by bila kaif, going to considerable lengths to reconcile the Quranic deity with the God of the philosophers.

The men who collected this material may have been as scrupulous in winnowing out reliable from unreliable traditions as circumstances allowed see below.

Islam: A Very Short Introduction – Malise Ruthven – Oxford University Press

God himself remains intact, uninfringed, unexplained, and inexplicable. A work that had been subjected to any kind of redaction would surely show more signs of narrative coherence. Without a cult of divinely inspired leadership the text becomes paramount, and even if the text itself is deemed to be divine, interpretation is most likely to proceed in the safety of well-worn grooves.

In contrast, it has been a long time malsie Christian churches have killed people for apostacy. Both Sufism and Shi’ism infuse the law with spiritual meanings; both endow their leaders with a measure of supernatural authority; both seek to establish avenues to illumination inspired by love of God rather than fear of punishment.

Ibn ‘Arabi could thus be described as a ‘mystical humanist’ for ‘in a very real way [his] man is somehow God in a sense that he is one with God like all things and God is simply somehow man’, ‘In the name of God the Merciful the Compassionate and Him we ask for aid: The Messenger was a prophet, not a deity or divine avatar.

Oxford University Press; 2nd edition March 21, Language: This book explains the origins, growth, decline, and growth again of Islam starting with the Prophet to the turn of mapise century.