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Forbidding Wrong in Islam: An Introduction (Themes in Islamic History) Hardcover – June 16, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


"... this is an excellent book, one that provides a concise synthesis of one of the most important concepts driving Islamic thought."
Brannon M. Wheeler, Journal of Near Eastern Studies

"... every modern student of Islamic law should study this work seriously."
Afzal Sumar, Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies

Book Description

Michael Cook's classic study, Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought, reflected upon the Islamic injunction to forbid wrongdoing. This book is a short, accessible survey of the same material. Using stories from Islamic history to illustrate the argument, Cook unravels the complexities of the subject. Moving backwards and forwards through time, he demonstrates how the past informs the present. The book educates and entertains. At its heart, however, is an important message about Islamic tradition, its values, and the relevance of those values today.
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Product Details

  • Series: Themes in Islamic History (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (June 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521829135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521829137
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,795,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Prudence Dear on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Michael Cook, in exploring the topic of (commanding right and) forbidding wrong in Islam approaches it in a very thorough manner; unfortunately, along the way, he discusses so many thinkers, scholars, and individuals that one has difficulty making sense of the actual concepts being outlined. Additionally, while his use of examples often adds to the overall understanding of the concept, it just as often hinders it, weighing down the prose with anecdotes instead of theory. As to the theory, he presents a detailed look at the concept of forbidding wrong in Islam with all its history, nuances, and implications. I found the last few chapters the most interesting. In them, Cook compared and contrasted this practice in the Islamic tradition with similar ones found in other monotheistic and philosophic traditions in both pre- and post-Islamic time frames. In doing so, he reveals similarities between the "irreconcilable" cultures of the East and West which significantly informed my reading of the subject. By placing the theory in a solidly European context, Cook also placed a previously foreign theory on the plane of the familiar, effectively shattering the popular concept of the "irreconcilable" differences and conflicts between the Islamic world and the mainly Judeo-Christian Western world. It was a fascinating read for anyone interested in expanding their sphere of knowledge and becoming a well-rounded individual.
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