- Hardcover: 624 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (11 December 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691164185
- ISBN-13: 978-0691164182
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,31,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Is Islam? – The Importance of Being Islamic Hardcover – 11 Dec 2015
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Winner of the 2016 Best First Book in the History of Religions, American Academy of Religion One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016 "Anyone interested in exploring the intricacies and complexities of Islam as a religion, philosophical system and social text should study the new bookWhat Is Islam?... [A] perfect antidote to our present discourse."--Hussein Ibish, New York Times "One can't but be impressed by the grandeur of Ahmed's vision."--Malise Ruthven, London Review of Books "This is an enduring and timely work well worth the effort for those interested in discerning the essence of Islam beyond the seeming paradoxes of its own representations."--Publisher's Weekly "A bold new conceptualisation of Islam that reflects its contradictions and rich diversity."--Bookseller Buyer's Guide "[A] major new study ... a strange and brilliant work, encyclopedic in vision and tautly argued in the manner of a logical proof, yet pervaded by the urgency of a political manifesto."--The Nation "We can be grateful ... that Ahmed managed to complete this extraordinary work. Scholars from east and west will be under his influence for years to come."--Sameer Rahim, Prospect "In this monumental work, the late Shahab Ahmed sought new answers to important questions: How does one understand what Islam is? How does one study it meaningfully? ... This volume will be central to the study of Islam and of religion more broadly for the foreseeable future."--Choice "Remarkable."--Damian Howard, The Tablet
From the Back Cover
"Not merely field changing, but the boldest and best thing I have read in any field in years."--Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
"This book seeks to offer nothing short of a new way of looking at Islam, and it succeeds admirably at so doing . I know of no book on the question of how to approach Islam that comes close to this study in its learning, breadth, and sophistication. It should be read not only by students and scholars of Islam, but by all those interested in the broad questions about conceptualizing religion, culture, and history that it raises."--Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Princeton University
"Strikingly original, wide-ranging in its engagement, subtle in its interpretations, and hard-hitting in its conclusions, this book will certainly provoke debate for a number of years. Ahmed's assertions are provocative, his analysis is sharp, and his own solution is both strong and creative. The book lays out a new and capacious basis for thinking about an Islamic humanism. It reconstructs basic scholarly paradigms, ranges across all fields of the Islamic humanities--literature, history, philosophy, art, music, et cetera--and will create potentials for new streams of scholarship in all these fields."--Engseng Ho, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Professor of History, Duke University
"Lucid and compelling, beautifully constructed and powerful, important and brave. What Shahab Ahmed has accomplished in this book is to create a postcolonial ontology of Islam, one that provincializes the Euro-American categories of analysis that up to now have been applied to Islam, both by Western scholars as well as by scholars from the Muslim world who have appropriated these categories."--Robert Wisnovsky, James McGill Professor of Islamic Philosophy, McGill UniversitySee all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
One hopes that everyone who wants to say something about Islam in public discourse will take the time to read this book. It will greatly expand everyone's understanding of what islamic civilization has traditionally encompassed.
I have deducted one star because the style can be a quite meandering at times and I find the constant use of italics to emphasize a point somewhat distracting. In good writing, strength of discourse makes the point, not italics. Shahab Ahmed, may he rest in peace, had a brilliant mind, but did need a brilliant copy editor. He has left us an exceptional treatise that is sure to influence the field in many ways for years to come.