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Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0521661744
ISBN-10: 0521661749
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Editorial Reviews


"The author's erudition is mindboggling; his precision never wavers; his analyses are consistently trenchant and frequently startling. For specialists this work is a feast; for non-specialists it offers fresh insights into an entire range of central concerns about the religion of Islam and Islamic societies." Professor Everett Rowson, University of Pennsylvania

"Michael Cook's deeply penetrating and exhaustive examination of this sacred duty will undoubtedly set the standard for all future work on the subject. ...Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought is encyclopedic in scope and breath taking in analysis. ...The value of Cook's study is immeasurable for all students of Islam whatever their disciplinary training and perspective." Digest of Middle East Studies

"[Michael Cook's] account of how injustice and immorality have been confronted by Muslim thinkers provides an unusual and fascinating perspective on the social history of Islam. It also furnishes an essential basis for understanding the roots of modern Islamic rigorism. This is one of the most important scholarly works dealing with Islam to have been produced in the western world in the last one hundred years." Dr. Robert Irwin

"This work is one of the most meticulous studies of any aspect of Islamic thought and practice ever to have been produced...One wishes that a greater number of serious academic studies showed this work's combination of amazing erudition, clarity of expression, trenchant observation, and lightness of touch...Introductions to Islamic law and theology are fairly numerous now, but none is as engaging to read as this."
Alan S. Kaye, Journal of Near Eastern Studies

Book Description

What kind of duty do we have to try to stop others doing wrong? The question is intelligible in almost any culture, but few seek to answer it in a rigorous fashion. The most striking exception is found in the Islamic tradition where 'commanding right and forbidding wrong' is a central moral tenet. Michael Cook's comprehensive and compelling analysis represents the first sustained attempt to map the history of Islamic reflection on this obligation and to explain its relevance for politics and ideology in the contemporary Islamic world.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 724 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (February 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521661749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521661744
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tron Honto on March 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Cook has achieved something special in this work. He demonstrates that he is a rare and gifted scholar with an awesome ability to intregrate vast seas of thought into one coherent whole. This work covers "Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong" from its origins in the Koran up until modern times, though he focuses upon the classical period throughout the vast majority of his book. All sects with a significant body of material are represented. Why this topic?-- Basically, this doctrine has historically proved to be the major foundation of any Islamic social ethic; therefore, how it is concieved usually predetermines how one thinks justice ought to be established in this word or by whom it should be established. Cook possesses a talent for giving seemingly distant and irrelevant doctrines a timely relation to today insofar as his studies illuminates how two different cultures approach moral actions in their respective societies. Parts of this book are vast and copiously detailed; however, it was exhaustively documented and extremely efficiently organized throughout. Thus, it is enormously accessible and immensely useful for reference as well. The high price is unfortunate, but it is without a doubt worth the money for anyone interested in Islamics.
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Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought
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