A Reader on Classical Islam / Edition 1

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To enable the reader to shape, or perhaps reshape, an understanding of the Islamic tradition, F. E. Peters skillfully combines extensive passages from Islamic texts with a fascinating commentary of his own. In so doing, he presents a substantial body of literary evidence that will enable the reader to grasp the bases of Muslim faith and, more, to get some sense of the breadth and depth of Islamic religious culture as a whole. The voices recorded here are those of Muslims engaged in discourse with their God and with each other—historians, lawyers, mystics, and theologians, from the earliest Companions of the Prophet Muhammad down to Ibn Rushd or "Averroes" (d. 1198), al-Nawawi (d. 1278), and Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406). These religious seekers lived in what has been called the "classical" period in the development of Islam, the era when the exemplary works of law and spirituality were written, texts of such universally acknowledged importance that subsequent generations of Muslims gratefully understood themselves as heirs to an enormously broad and rich legacy of meditation on God's Word.

"Islam" is a word that seems simple to understand. It means "submission," and, more specifically in the context where it first and most familiarly appears, "submission to the will of God." That context is the Quran, the Sacred Book of the Muslims, from which flow the patterns of belief and practice that today claim the spiritual allegiance of hundreds of millions around the globe. By drawing on the works of the great masters—Islam in its own words—Peters enriches our understanding of the community of "those who have submitted" and their imposing religious and political culture, which is becoming ever more important to the West.

To enable the reader to shape, or reshape, an understanding of the Islamic tradition, Peters skillfully combines extensive passages from Islamic texts with a fascinating commentary of his own, providing a grasp of the basics of the Muslim faith, as well as some sense of the breadth and depth of Islamic religious culture as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

MESA Bulletin
For a text to use in an introductory course on Islam, this volume would make an excellent choice. Islam is presented here as understood by Muslims themselves, and where Muslims themselves are in disagreement.
From the Publisher
"For a text to use in an introductory course on Islam, this volume would make an excellent choice. Islam is presented here as understood by Muslims themselves, and where Muslims themselves are in disagreement."MESA Bulletin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691000404
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/27/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 1,222,700
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xv
Introduction: A Primer on Islam 3
CHAPTER I The Past, Sacred and Profane
1. The Quran on Creation 8
2. Adam and the Angels 10
3. The Primordial Ka'ba I I
4. The Covenant with Abraham 13
5. Abraham and Ishmael in the Holy Land 16
6. Abraham the Builder 17
7. The Beginning of the Pilgimage Ritual 20
8. The Prophet Moses 22
9. The Wisdom of Solomon 24
10. The Muslims' Jesus 27
11. A Muslim Account of Pentecost 34
12. Mecca in the Era of Ignorance 35
13. The Religion of Mecca 37
14. Pre-Islamic Monotheism 39
15. The Hanifs 40
CHAPTER 2 The Life and Work of the Prophet
1. Muhammad's Descent from Adam 44
2. The Birth of the Prophet 44
3. The Scriptural Prediction of the Coming of the Prophet of Islam 46
4. Marriage with Khadija 49
5. Muhammad's Call and First Revelation so
6. Sadness, Doubt, Consolation 53
7. The Conversion of Ali 54
8. The Earliest Public Preaching of Islam SS
9. The Opposition of the Quraysh 59
10. Persecution and Migration to Abyssinia 6 1
11. The Boycott 63
12. Muhammad's Night Journey 64
13. Losses, Personal and Political 67
14. An Invitation from Yathrib 68
15. A Turn to Armed Resistance 70
16. The Hijra or Migration to Medina (622 C.E.) 71
17. The Constitution of Medina 74
18. Jewish Opposition 75
19. Fighting in the Sacred Month 76
20. The Battle at the Badr Wells 77
21. The Fate of the Banu Qaynuqa' 78
22. From Badr to the Battle of the Trench 79
23. The Banu Qurayza 83
24. The Arrangement at Hudaybiyya 85
25 The Pilgrimage Fulfilled 88
26. "The Truth Has Come and Falsehood Has Passed Away" 89
27. Consolidation of Gains 90
28. The Submission of the Idolators 91
29. A Primer on Islam 92
30. The Farewell Pilgrimage 94
31. Muhammad's Illness and Death (June 632 C.E.) 95
32. The Beginning of the Muslim Era 97
CHAPTER 3 The Community of Muslims
1. The Peoples of the Book 99
2. The Errors of the Jews 100
3. The Jews Warned by Their Own Prophets 102
4. The Error of the Christians 103
S. The Muslim Community 104
6. An Arabic Quran 106
7. "Catholic" Islam: Staying Close to the Tradition 109
8. A shi'ite View of the Community 112
9. Wrong Belief and Unbelief 113
10. The Caliphate 117
11. Caliph and Imam 12o
12. The Ruler, Chosen by the People or Designated by God? 122
13. Ali, the First Imam 124
14. The Pool of Khum 127
15. The Martyrdom of Husayn 128
16. The "People of the House" 131
17. The shi'ite Succession 133
18. Awaiting the Hidden Imam 135
19. "Twelvers" and "Seveners" among the Shi'ites 140
20. A juridical Portrait of the Sunni Caliph 142
21. The Powers of the Caliph-Imam 144
22. The Delegation of the Royal Power: The Sultanate 14-7
23. The Religious Powers of the Caliph 148
24. The Five Pillars of Islam ISO
25. Moral Islam 152
26. Alms and Charity 153
27. The Sixth Pillar: War in the Path of God 154
28. "There Is No Compulsion in Religion" 156
CHAPTER 4 The Word of God and Its Understanding
1. A Muslim History of Prophecy 158
2. Did the Jews and Christians Tamper with Scripture? 161
3. The Divine Origin of the Quran 165
4. Muhammad's Ascension into Heaven 168
5. The Night of Destiny 16q
6. The Heavenly Book 170
7. The Quran: Created or Uncreated? 172
8. "Bring a Sura Like It" 173
9. The Earliest Sura 175
10. The Heart of the Quran: The "Throne Verse" 176
11. The "Satanic Verses" 177
12. The Revelation and Its Copy 178
13. Uthman's Recension of the Quran 179
14. Who Put Together the Suras? 181
15. The Seven "Readings" of the Quran 181
16. Textual Corruptions? The Shi'ite View 183
17. The Proofs of Prophecy 18S
18. Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets 18S
19. Muhammad among the Prophets 187
20. Avicenna on the Prophethood of Muhammad 189
21. The Clear and the Ambiguous in the Quran 191
22. How the Muslim Should Read the Quran 194
23. Quranic Exegesis 19S
24. Where Did the Muslim Commentators Get Their Information? 197
25. The Outer and Inner Meanings of the Quran 198
26. Ghazali on the Sciences of Revelation 201
27. Allegorical Interpretation as a Resolution of Apparent Contradictions 203
28. Dull Masses and Minds Tied Down to Sensibles 205
29. The Pleasures of Paradise 207
CHAPTER 5 The Quran, the Prophet, and the Law
1. On the Usefulness of Tradition 213
2. Scripture, Tradition, and the Law in Islam 214.
3. The Word of God Is One: The Inspiration of the Prophetic Traditions 220
4. Their Transmission 220
5.Tendentious and Sectarian Traditions 221
6. The Criticism of Traditions 222
7. The Categories of Traditions 224
8. The Companions of the Prophet 224
9. Contradictory Traditions 22S
10. The Canonical Collections 226
11. The Derivation of God's Commands 227
12. On Consensus 229
13, Personal Initiative in the Law 231
14. Legal Knowledge and Legal Obligations 236
15. The Collective Obligation 237
16. The Evolution of Islamic jurisprudence 239
17. The Classical Schools 240
18. The End of the Age of the Fathers 242
19. Abrogation in Islamic Law 243
20. The Case of the Woman Taken in Adultery 246
21. Crimes and Their Penalties in the Quran 248
22. Divorce in Islamic Law 249
23. Controversial Questions 251
24. "0 Believers, Fasting Is Enjoined on You" 252
CHAPTER 6 The Worship of God
1. How Paganism and Idol Worship Came to Mecca 258
2. Islam and the Graven Image 260
3. The Muslims' Prayer 263
4. Prophetic Traditions on Prayer 26S
5. The Direction of Prayer 268
6. The Prophet Builds His Mosque 270
7. The Institution of the Call to Prayer 271
8. On the Manner and Intent of Prayer 272
9. The Friday Service 274
10. The Two Liturgical Festival Days 276
11. A Muslim Holy Day: The Tenth of Muharram 277
12. The Pilgrimage of Islam 279
13. Muhammad's Farewell Pilgrimage 280
14. Islamicizing the Hajj 28S
15. The Twelfth-Century Haram 289
16. Ghazali on the Proper Performance of the Hajj 294
17. The Prophet's Mosque and Tomb at Medina 298
18. A Visit to Medina 302
CHAPTER 7 Saints and Mystics
1. This World and the Next: The Islamic Preaching 307
2. The Historical Origins of the Sufi Movement 310
3. Conversions and Affirmations 3 1 2
4. Two Sufi Autobiographies: Ibn Abi al-Khayr and al-Ghazali 315
5. "No Monasticism in Islam" 321
6. Monks and Sufis 322
7. Sufi. Communities 32S
8. Convent Life in Islam 328
9. The Lamp in the Niche 330
10. What Is the Mystic Way? 332
11. Junayd on Oneness of and with God 33S
12. Self-Obliteration 337
13. Oneness with God Is Not Identity with God 338
14. The Life and Death of a Mystic: Al-Hallaj 339
15. "I Am the Truth" 341
16. Ecstatic Utterances 342
17. The Face in the Mirror 343
18. Al-Jili and the Perfect Man 349
19. Ibn Khaldun: An Evaluation of the Sufi. Tradition 351
20. Sufis and shi'ites 353
CHAPTER 8 Islamic Theology
1. The Origins of Theology in Islam 358
2. The Intrusion of Philosophy into Dialectical Theology 361
3. The Limited Role of Dialectical Theology 363
4. The Fundamentalist Position: "Without Howing" versus Dialectical Theology 365
5. Ash'ari on the Charge of Heretical Innovation 367
6. Rationalist Theology 368
7. Farabi on God's Providence 369
8. Ghazali on Theology and Muslim Belief 370
9. The Truth of Philosophy 371
10. Rationalist Ethics and Revealed Morality 372
11. Ibn Rushd: The Law Commands the Study of Philosophy 374
12. The Mystic's Gnosis and the Theologian's Science 377
13. The Illumination of the Intellect 382
14. The Life after Death 388
15. The Second Coming: The Muslim Tradition 389
16. "A Man from My Family" 391
17. The Preaching of God's Final Judgment 392
18. The End Defined 401
19. The Torments of the Grave 403
20. The Incoherence of the Philosophers on the Afterlife 405
21. An End to Hell? 409
22. The Vision of God 411
Sources Cited 413
Index 417

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