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The Good Muslim: Reflections on Classical Islamic Law and Theology Paperback – September 13, 2012
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Subjects considered include divorce in Islamic law (which required classical scholars to consider what intent was needed for effectual divorce, how this intent must be manifested in words and guidelines for the resolution of the effect of "problematic" utterances in circumstances where the existence of the necessary intent to divorce is unclear), the status of slaves, the proper practice of ritual slaughter of animals sacrificed to God, the Islamic attitude toward drunkenness, including what constitutes drunkenness and the effects of drunkenness on a believer's fitness for the performance of effective religious duties, Islam and the problem of evil (with insights from other traditions also), the meanings of the language of love as expressed in the Qur'an, and virtue and limits in the ethics of friendship in the Islamic scholarly tradition.
I was repeatedly struck by each of these essays with the diligent efforts of the classical scholars to interpret the materials before them so as to give a fair and accurate reading of God's will in the matters. Equally obvious, however, was each scholar's efforts not to set the bar so high as to be out of the reach of ordinary believers. The "rules" of Islamic life, as discussed in this book, do not require heroic measures from the faithful in order to meet the mark.Read more ›
Having had a chance to live for years in Islamic states, I appreciated the candor of the Professor's analysis.
She does not candy coat her explanations, and in many of the explanations Professor Siddiqui does come down to a single, important element, faith.
Somewhere in the Age of Reason, the Industrial Revolution, and the Information Age, faith has been given a discounted value.
Then, large swaths of the world are confronted by actions take on faith and cannot understand the motivation.
Professor Siddiqui's, "the Good Muslim," serves as an excellent set of footnotes for world events.
Whether you are a faithful Moslem who is interested in some non-obvious aspects of Islamic faith and culture or someone of another walk who is just interested in Islamic faith and motivation, this book is for you!
Contrary to popular opinion, the whole of Islam is summed up neither in the media's nor the Islamic fundamentalist's representation of sharia law. Siddiqui's goal is not to rehabilitate Islam, nor to elevate Islam over either Judaism or Christianity; her goal is to showcase the ofter overlooked (by Western eyes) beauty of Islamic thought, something very few non-Muslims recognize. No, we cannot call it Islamic theology, because as she notes, the Christian view of theology is wholly different than the Islamic view. Her goal, then, is to call attention to the intelligenstia of Islam's greatest teachers, to give a hidden view of what she finds in her faith.
While the book is not divided into sections, the chapters fall somewhat naturally into a bifurcated rythme. The first portion clearly deals with issues of Law while the second deals with Qur'anic views on life, love, and happiness. On the subject of Qur'anic law, the Western reader (albeit Christian or Jewish), will find that the broadcasted views of sharia law are more often than not equal to that of Christian zealots, i.e., gross misinterpretations. In this section, Siddiqui covers divorce, slavery, and purity laws (eating swine). Many of the views -- these are views expressed over the centuries by medieval and modern Islamic intellectuals -- will surprise Christians who tend to view Islam in much the same way they would view an archaic version of Paul's Judaism. The second section, beginning with chapter 5, is perhaps the most important to even the casual reader.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I ordered this book basically because I'm fascinated with the world and have been interested in the Middle East and Islam recently. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by MussSyke
As a first book I have read explaining the Muslim relegion it offered me a lot of insight to what they beleive in. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by David A. Spearman