Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys Of A Sceptical Muslim and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$16.16
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.95
  • Save: $1.79 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Desperately Seeking Parad... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim Paperback – June 1, 2005


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.16
$10.14 $0.61

Frequently Bought Together

Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim + Tribal Modern: Branding New Nations in the Arab Gulf
Price for both: $41.83

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Granta UK (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186207755X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862077553
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sardar has written a curious, often amusing travelogue of his quest for understanding and the Muslims he has encountered along his journeys. Pakistani by birth (in 1951) but raised in Britain, Sardar studied physics, but got sidetracked early into popular science writing and politics, becoming a member of FOSIS (the Federation of Students Islamic Society), an intellectual group opposed to the right-wing Muslim Brotherhood. This book chronicles Sardar's travels through the Muslim world as an observant journalist and a seeker with one principal question: how can Muslims keep the faith but also fit into the modern world? In Tehran in 1974, Sardar found an Islamic revolution brewing, with an Imam Khomeini at its front. In Baghdad, he was told to "keep an eye on" vice-president Saddam Hussein. In Mecca, he found the ancient pilgrim's city being rapidly demolished and "hideous mosques" being erected by the Bin Laden Group. In Pakistan, China and Nigeria, he discovered groups who yearned to be governed by harsh shariah law. Sardar has done the necessary background reading to fill readers in, he never preaches, and despite what sometimes seems a dismaying array of evidence otherwise, he never loses hope for the future of Muslim civilization. (Dec. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"The only funny book I've read about Islam" -- Mail on Sunday

“A curious, often amusing travelogue.” -- Publishers Weekly

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
3
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 12 customer reviews
A good read for both Muslims and Non-Muslims.
S. Khan
All the while Sardar makes references to key individuals, organizations, and places that help the casual student of contemporary Islam to piece everything together.
S. Clark
Zia does a good job taking jabs at Muslim intransigence and the challenges facing the Ummah to tackle its problems.
Atif Fareed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sardar is a deeply religious, indeed a passionate Muslim. He repeatedly excoriates secularism, of which he gives a highly subjective and partisan definition, and his account of its history (pp.249 to 251) is deeply flawed. He accepts the Qur'an as a revealed text (p.341), albeit one that has to be understood metaphorically rather than literally. He reveres Muhammad, and describes how emotionally shattered he was by Salman Rushdie's treatment of the Prophet in The Satanic Verses: "I felt that every word, every jibe, every obscenity [in it] was directed at me - personally" (p.281). Yet, as a liberal, he was equally horrified by the Ayatollah's fatwa calling for Rushdie's death.

Our media do not often tell us that there are religious Muslims who also espouse modern knowledge, pluralism, and the principles of western democracies; so it is good to see in the book of this prominent Muslim journalist that such Muslims do exist, and we need to hear a lot more from and about them than we do. But it must be said that the picture which Sardar paints of most of the contemporary Muslim organizations, whether they are sects or the states he has visited, will provide ample evidence of how widespread is the rejection of modernity, pluralism and democracy in the Muslim world. Sardar sees all these as a perversion of Islam, as cases of rigidity and of arrested development and as a betrayal of the spirit of its golden age under the early Abbasids (roughly from the 9th to the 12th century) and from which the West learnt so much.

In the course of his Search for Paradise Sardar engaged with one Muslim sect after another and visited one Islamic country after another. He paints a devastating picture of almost all of them.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Drennan on September 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Ziauddin Sardar is a British Muslim and knows it. His writing is very English, full of dry humour and is very subtle. This is his autobiography, but written in a way to educate the reader about contemporary Islam as well. He writes for a number of newspapers in the UK, including the Guardian.

The first movement he experiences growing up - the bane of many a Desi Muslim - is the Tablighi Jama'at. He documents his experiences with them and from my own dealings with them, it seems that everyone must share a similar experience so it is worth reading!

In his student years he experiences a number of different groups, including Sufism and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as being educated in traditional Islamic subjects. Not content with that he gets mixed up in the Iranian Revolution, insults a Pakistani prime minister and meets Osama bin Laden, amongst other things.

The best part of the book is later in his life, when he and a group of other 'misfit' Muslims come together to begin writing and developing their understanding of modern Islam. He meets (and argues with) such noteable figures as Ismail al-Faruqi and Anwar Ibrahim, recounting many memorable moments.

It is a great read... sometimes incredibly sad, sometimes shocking, but a fascinating account of one man's life and the state of contemporary Islam. With people like him at the helm, I feel very that Islam will be safe from the hands of the extremists.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Harvey T. K. Koh on November 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
At long last, a book that presents the Islam of the optimistic, socially compassionate critical thinker! I'd always known that Islam was not the malicious, vengeful, monolithic bloc that it is often seen to be in the West, but I now know much more about what it IS like, at least through Sardar's eyes -- he illustrates its rich diversity of thought and practice, past and present, and teases out its complexities with elegance and deftness of touch, peppering it liberally with hilarious anecdotes from his many 'journeys'. As such, despite the gravity of the issues he and his friends wrestle with in such heartfelt fashion, the whole thing is both enlightening and eminently readable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Clark on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
The book presents Ziauddin Sardar's autobiographical survey of contemporary Islam in all of its diverse forms, antecedents and components; truly a whirlwind tour. In sequence the reader enounters the Tablighi Jemaat, the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat-e-Islami, the Qur'an, classical Islamic studies, Sufism, al-Ghazali, the Shia (Jafaris), the Ismailis, Baathism, the Hajj, Wahhabism, the Iranian Revolution, Islamization, the role of Shariah, Mutazilla, Secularism, the Rushdie affair, and Multiculturalism. All the while Sardar makes references to key individuals, organizations, and places that help the casual student of contemporary Islam to piece everything together. Sardar frames all of this information in his own personal search for an expression of Islam that responds to the present and addresses his spiritual needs. He relays this journey in a humorous and ironic style that makes the book a delight to read. I highly recommend this work for those who seek insight into Islam's adaptation to the contemporary world and for Muslims who grew up in the West.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By game theory on March 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a student who is constantly searching for answers on the things around, i find this that not only does solves most of the questions but also inspires me a lot. When i came upon this book, i was having my "darkest moment". i was inspired by the likes of Ibn Rusyd, Imam Bukhari and Sardar himself on their quest for knowledge. As we know, knowledge is power and i felt really powerful physically, mentally and spiritually after reading this book

Another thing brought forward in this book is don't be afraid to question things as that is how Islam works. You have got to question things so that we can understand it fully and don't except things as black and white. We are to engrossed categorizing things as good and bad that we overlook that nothing is perfect; everything has its good and bad. Sure, we always SAY nothing is perfect but do we really acknowledge it?

the issue Sardar brought forward such as the iranian revolution, afghanistan and so on is such an eye opener for me. there's so much to take into, so much lessons to be learned and so much to be understand

this book really inspired me a lot and the questions brought forward made me really ponder hard... if anything that can make a difference, i believe this book really does
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?