Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim

Overview

Raised in Pakistan, Ziauddin Sardar learned the Koran at his mother’s knee. As a young student in London, he embarked on a quest to grasp the meaning and contemporary relevance of his religion and, hopefully, to find “paradise.” After experimenting with the mystical branch of Islam, Sufism, and with classical Islam, he set off on extensive travels through the Muslim world. Along the way, he came to accept that he might never reach paradise, realizing that it’s the journey that’s important. At a time when the ...

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Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys Of A Sceptical Muslim

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Overview

Raised in Pakistan, Ziauddin Sardar learned the Koran at his mother’s knee. As a young student in London, he embarked on a quest to grasp the meaning and contemporary relevance of his religion and, hopefully, to find “paradise.” After experimenting with the mystical branch of Islam, Sufism, and with classical Islam, he set off on extensive travels through the Muslim world. Along the way, he came to accept that he might never reach paradise, realizing that it’s the journey that’s important. At a time when the Western view of Islam is so often distorted and over-simplified, Desperately Seeking Paradise is essential reading.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sardar has written a curious, often amusing travelogue of his quest for understanding and the Muslims he has encountered along his journeys. Pakistani by birth (in 1951) but raised in Britain, Sardar studied physics, but got sidetracked early into popular science writing and politics, becoming a member of FOSIS (the Federation of Students Islamic Society), an intellectual group opposed to the right-wing Muslim Brotherhood. This book chronicles Sardar's travels through the Muslim world as an observant journalist and a seeker with one principal question: how can Muslims keep the faith but also fit into the modern world? In Tehran in 1974, Sardar found an Islamic revolution brewing, with an Imam Khomeini at its front. In Baghdad, he was told to "keep an eye on" vice-president Saddam Hussein. In Mecca, he found the ancient pilgrim's city being rapidly demolished and "hideous mosques" being erected by the Bin Laden Group. In Pakistan, China and Nigeria, he discovered groups who yearned to be governed by harsh shariah law. Sardar has done the necessary background reading to fill readers in, he never preaches, and despite what sometimes seems a dismaying array of evidence otherwise, he never loses hope for the future of Muslim civilization. (Dec. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781862077553
  • Publisher: Granta UK
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Paradise awakened 1
2 The brotherhood of salvation 20
3 A tall fruit-bearing tree 40
4 The mysteries of mysticism 57
5 The cradle of paradise 85
6 Presidents and peasants 104
7 Saving Mecca 122
8 Leaving Saudi Arabia 136
9 The heavenly revolution 156
10 The Inquiry years 183
11 The laws of heaven 216
12 The delights of secularism 249
13 The satanic verses 278
14 Multiculturalism, then and now 294
Conclusion : going up, or going down? 325
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