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Martyrdom in Islam (Themes in Islamic History) Paperback – January 15, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0521615518 ISBN-10: 0521615518

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Product Details

  • Series: Themes in Islamic History (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521615518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521615518
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...highly recommended for both non-specialists as well as specialists in Islam. It reflects existing scholarship on this issue and complements it. It should, therefore, prove very useful for those interested in understanding the rich authentic legacy of classical Islam with its contemporary implications for the contemporary Muslim as well as non-Muslim world." - Canadian Journal of History

"Cook ambitiously seeks to provide a broad vision of martyrdom and its meaning and the practice in the Islamic tradition, combining historical analysis, global coverage ranging from Africa to Southeast Asia, and a thematic approach ot the definition of the martyr in the Sunni, Shia, and Sufi traditions in order to locate martyrdom both within Islam and in comparison to other religious traditions, notably Judaism and Christianity.... The writing is engaging, and Cook cleverly chooses his excerpted tidbits for their dramatic impact.... The major contributions of this book are many." - The Historian

Book Description

Ideas about Islamic martyrdom have evolved across the ages to suit prevailing circumstances. It is the evolution of these different interpretations, from the time of Muhammad to the present, that David Cook charts in this fascinating history of the role of suffering and peoples' willingness to die for their faith.

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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William Garrison Jr. VINE VOICE on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book reviews many old Islamic tracts in the author's fine attempt in trying to explain the energy that Islamic terrorists have in committing deadly Islamikazi attacks of martyrdom; attacks that non-Muslims view as being more of purposeless suicidal assassination than being constructive `in the way of Allah.' Part of the book is a history of some individual Muslims who are listed as dying as a "shahid" or a "martyr" in some militant jihad action, whether it was during a religious dispute amongst Muslim sects, on a medieval battlefield, during the 1980s Iran-Iranian War, or during the Israeli intifadas since 1990. Now, this is not a list of the names of hundreds of "shuhada." No, it is a research into how different Islamic writers viewed the theory of the use of a shahid in the killing of other Muslims or non-Muslim kafirs. The author raised the question of "if martyrdom through jihad is in the `way of Allah', how can a Muslim know if his attack or martyrdom is `just' and will be accepted by Allah when he attacks another Muslim?" The author poses the question, but acknowledges that Muslim theologians have yet to provide a satisfactory answer to this conundrum. The author provides the briefest review of the Quran in analyzing how Mohammad's book justifies jihad. (For more detailed analysis, for a start, one needs to read Robert Spencer's `Religion of Peace" or Mark Gabriel's `Islam and Terrorism'.) Instead, the author spends much more time in reviewing the hadith and numerous other ancient Muslim tracts that analyzed how Allah might approve of a warrior's death in a martyrdom event, but not in a mere suicidal-battle event that had no lasting consequence.Read more ›
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