- Paperback: 262 pages
- Publisher: Brainbow Press; 1st edition (May 19, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0979671574
- ISBN-13: 978-0979671579
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.6 x 6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
This book is the by-product of "A Celebration of Heresy Conference: Critical Thinking for Islamic Reform", in Atlanta on March 28-30 of 2008. It was a conference that I had prayed for years before it took place. When Fereydoun Taslimi offered his help and then Abdullahi an-Naim joined us, the idea became a reality. I offered Critical Thinking for Islamic Reform as the title, while Abdullahi insisted on using the word Heresy in the title. After a lengthy and hot debate among us, we finally agreed to combine both suggestions. With the support of Fereydoun's family and friends, about hundred Critical Thinkers gathered in Atlanta to discuss the imperative of Islamic Reform.
From the Author
The contributors of this book do not necessarily agree on every issue. However, we all agree on the imperative of a radical reformation in the Muslim world. A reform under the guidance of the Quran with the light of reason, our Creator's greatest gift to us... Inshallah, we are planning to continue organizing these conferences under the title "Critical Thinking for Islamic Reform" and publish the articles of the participants in annual anthologies with the same title.
Top customer reviews
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The Humanistic Approach vs. the Religious Approach
How the Focus Matters
Article published in Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform, Edip Yuksel, Arnold Mol, Faruk A. Peru Editors, Brainbow Press, 2009.
Reviewed by Joseph Codsi
This is the article I liked best in the entire collection of articles published under the umbrella title, "Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform". The article consists in going over a series of Quranic passages where the spiritual and universal dimension of Islam is discussed. This is highly selective. As can be expected, it leaves out of the picture the other side of the Quran, where the religious requirements are discussed. Here is one of the passages that are selected:
Wealth and children are the joys of the life of this world. But good deeds that fulfill the needs of others, their fruit endures forever. Such actions are of far greater merit in the sight of your Lord, and the best foundation of hope. (Quran 18;46)
This passage illustrates what Mol calls the "humanistic approach". How does this humanistic approach differ from the religious approach? I think Mol answers this question in the following statement:
Throughout the Quran it is made clear people are judged on their conduct towards other people, not on their amount of worship. (page 176)
I think that all religions have two dimensions, a spiritual one and a religious one. The religious dimension is that of religion as an institution endowed with a specific faith, special rituals and legal requirements. The spiritual dimension, on the other hand, transcends the human institution. Because of this, there is a tension between the two dimensions. Institutions tend to emphasize the requirement of submission to their directives. Those who do not comply are rejected.
Mol has the merit of reminding the readers that many passages of the Quran emphasize the humanistic requirements and seem to ignore the religious requirements. He does not say so openly, but I think that he gives priority to the spiritual and humanistic requirements over the religious ones.
Seattle, June 30, 2010
I sent this review to Mr. Mol and asked him to comment on it. Here is what he had to say:
"Thank you for your review and that you liked my article the most. My only comment is on your last sentence:
He does not say so openly, but I think that he gives priority to the spiritual and humanistic requirements over the religious ones.
This is not true, if you look at my article, even the title, I clearly say that I believe the Quran puts humanism above religiosity. That is the whole point of my article. This is also why I do not ignore the religious points in the Quran, I focus on the humanistic verses to show how dominant they are.
You quote my sentence of page 176, but then say I ignore the religious side. From the quote you can see clearly that I do not ignore them, but that I want to prove that they are lesser then the humanistic message of the Quran. So your comment is a contradiction with the quote."
Hadith as Scriptures: Discussion on the Authority of the Prophetic Tradition in Islam. This single page lists the parts of this chapter and what they deal with-- It lists three. However, when you turn the page to go to part 1 you are on a different chapter. Where is the rest of this chapter?
Grammar is the worst I have ever seen. The chapter below has the worst part.
Islam and Democracy: Why there is No Democratic Government in the Muslim Countries?
Page 187 second to last paragraph.
"Jesus came to spread love and mercy but his companions and ran away, the day the saw him being taken to the cross. Mohamed's own family tortured him and so too the families of many companions on them. The Jews and the Christians were among the first people to join him in Medina, when the Muslim were few and new immigrants. None of the prophets was holy and neither one of their companions. They were like ordinary people. They were mostly illiterate and poor people. They called people to worship their creator and they were not to be worshiped."
This is the exact wording and spelling in this chapter-- an yes the way Muhammad's name is spelled above is how it is in this chapter.
The others chapters, that are complete and edited, are great. This it the only reason why I am giving it four stars instead of three.