Understanding Islam

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $5.46
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 69%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $5.46   
  • Used (4) from $5.46   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$5.46
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(202)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Very Good
2003 Paperback Very Good+ 0941532240. 8.20 X 5.50 X 0.70 inches; 204 pages.

Ships from: Louisville, KY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.47
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(4104)

Condition: Good
First Good [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: World Wisdom Pub Date: 4/25/1998 Binding: Paperback Pages: 204.

Ships from: College Park, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$24.95
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(22)

Condition: Good
2003 Trade paperback Revised ed. Good. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 204 p.

Ships from: Pueblo West, CO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$41.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(6)

Condition: Like New
Bloomington, Indiana 1998 Paperback Fine copy. Bright, clean pages; like new. Octavo in black stiff paper wraps (white spine); 204p., 21 cm. First English edition. // Foreword ... by Annemarie Schimmel. Out of print. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Oakland, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by

Overview

a classic, written from the perspective of why Muslims believe in their faith.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780941532242
  • Publisher: World Wisdom
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Series: The Library of Traditional Wisdom
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Read an Excerpt

People often ask me: "Why do you like Islam?" and my regular answer is: “Because the Muslims take God seriously; they are aware that God the One is near us here and now, and yet cannot be described, either by intellectual or by supra-intellectual means but can be experienced by the pure and loving heart.

It is this aspect of Islam which is lucidly shown in Frithjof Schuon's work: God is The Reality, and to be a true Muslim means to believe in the reality of the Absolute and the dependence of all things on the Absolute. Religion, so he holds, ought to be treated as something sui generis, something that cannot be described in scholarly technical terms and whose goal is not to tackle social and political problems but rather to guide humankind to a spiritual level on which all problems are seen, and thus eventually solved, through man's faith in and reliance upon the eternal wisdom of the Creator—an idea difficult to understand, let alone to appreciate, for many modern people in whose world view no room is left for transcendence; and for whom—as the author remarks in passing—religion might "become the handmaid of industry." For the Muslim, however, God The Absolute has destined everything according to His eternal wisdom—“He will not be questioned as to what He does" (Qur'an, Sura XXI, 23) and "man chooses freely what God wills.”

These words remind the reader of the beautiful lines of the Indo-Muslim poet-philosopher Mohammad lqbal, who in one of his last poems tells a praying person that even though his prayer might not change his destiny, yet it can change his spiritual attitude by bringing him into touch with the Absolute Reality:

Your prayer is that your destiny be changed.
My prayer is that you yourself be changed.
This means that you accept willingly and lovingly whatever God has decreed.

As for the Qur'an, it is, as Schuon says, "a closed book," a book which, being divinely inspired has to be difficult and will not disclose the depths of its meaning to the superficial reader; rather, it has to be meditated upon and, as the mystics of yore used to say, has to be understood as if man were listening to God's own words, addressed to him at this very moment. This does not mean simply an intellectual understanding, but an "understanding with one's whole being." The divine threats and promises contained in the Qur'an are symbols for the equilibrium that exists in the entire universe, as all great religions have taught; this is a kind of "Golden Rule" which is at work throughout the created cosmos, because in God the One and Absolute both jamal—kindness, beauty, relief—and jalal—power, majesty, wrath—are contained (as Rudolf Otto spoke of the mysterium tremendum and the mysterium fascinans). They manifest themselves in the twofold rhythm of life, be it the heartbeat or the breathing, the two poles in electricity, or simply the contrast of day and night. And yet, as the Islamic tradition states, God's mercy is greater than His wrath.

The Prophet of Islam, so often misunderstood in the West, represents in his "serenity, generosity, and strength…the human form oriented toward the Divine Essence," as the author states, and his role is visible in his place in the confession of faith, the twofold shahadah. The shahadah is the center of true Islam; it is the statement that "there is no deity save Allah" (which sacred Name embraces all that is), and that "Muhammad is His messenger." It is this confession of Absolute Divine Unity that makes a human being a Muslim. As for man's response to the Divine Presence, it is prayer; for to exist is to praise God. Sum ergo oro, "I am, therefore I pray," as Schuon changes the cogito ergo sum. Prayer is the activity of all that is created, and as the Qur'an asserts so beautifully: the birds with their wings and the flowers with their fragrance, the glaciers and the deserts—everything is created to glorify God, and man's noblest work is to join this chorus of prayer that permeates the Universe, whether we know it or not.

But what is prayer? "Prayer is as if the heart, risen to the surface, came to take the place of the brain which then sleeps with a holy slumber." "My eyes sleep, but my heart is awake," said the Prophet. This constant awareness of and participation in the laud of the universe is the duty and privilege of human beings, as the great leaders of the Muslim worlds have never tired to emphasize.

Schuon's book shows the essence of Islam, compares its world view with that of Christianity and often brings examples from other religious traditions, all of which his vast erudition comprises. The style of the work reminds the reader sometimes of crystalline pure forms, and yet one often finds passages which touch the heart. I think that everyone, and in particular those who rely solely upon an intellectual approach to the world and ridicule the beautiful ages-old symbols, should study the passage on page 137, in which the author's language soars to poetical heights, and learn that the scientific approach to the universe does not exclude or contradict the religious interpretation of the world: "What most men do not know—and if they could know it, why should they be called on to believe it?—is that this blue sky, though illusory as an optical error and belied by the vision of interplanetary space, is nonetheless an adequate reflection of the Heaven of the Angels and the Blessed and that therefore, despite everything, it is this blue mirage, flecked with silver clouds, which is right and will have the final say; to be astonished at this amounts to admitting that it is by chance that we are here on earth and see the sky as we do."

ANNEMARIE SCHIMMEL
BONN
1 August, 1997

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)