A Reader on Classical Islam
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A Reader on Classical Islam

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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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 440 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 27.94mm | 544.31g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0691000409
  • 9780691000404
  • 1,306,962

Review quote

"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 Bulletinshow more

About Mr. F. E. Peters

F. E. Peters is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures and History at New York University and the author of many books on Islam, including The Hajj (forthcoming from Princeton).show more

Table of contents

Preface xvIntroduction: A Primer on Islam 3CHAPTER I The Past, Sacred and Profane1. The Quran on Creation 82. Adam and the Angels 103. The Primordial Ka'ba I I4. The Covenant with Abraham 135. Abraham and Ishmael in the Holy Land 166. Abraham the Builder 177. The Beginning of the Pilgimage Ritual 208. The Prophet Moses 229. The Wisdom of Solomon 2410. The Muslims' Jesus 2711. A Muslim Account of Pentecost 3412. Mecca in the Era of Ignorance 3513. The Religion of Mecca 3714. Pre-Islamic Monotheism 3915. The Hanifs 40CHAPTER 2 The Life and Work of the Prophet1. Muhammad's Descent from Adam 442. The Birth of the Prophet 443. The Scriptural Prediction of the Coming of the Prophet of Islam 464. Marriage with Khadija 495. Muhammad's Call and First Revelation so6. Sadness, Doubt, Consolation 537. The Conversion of Ali 548. The Earliest Public Preaching of Islam SS9. The Opposition of the Quraysh 5910. Persecution and Migration to Abyssinia 6 111. The Boycott 6312. Muhammad's Night Journey 6413. Losses, Personal and Political 6714. An Invitation from Yathrib 6815. A Turn to Armed Resistance 7016. The Hijra or Migration to Medina (622 C.E.) 7117. The Constitution of Medina 7418. Jewish Opposition 7519. Fighting in the Sacred Month 7620. The Battle at the Badr Wells 7721. The Fate of the Banu Qaynuqa' 7822. From Badr to the Battle of the Trench 7923. The Banu Qurayza 8324. The Arrangement at Hudaybiyya 8525 The Pilgrimage Fulfilled 8826. "The Truth Has Come and Falsehood Has Passed Away" 8927. Consolidation of Gains 9028. The Submission of the Idolators 9129. A Primer on Islam 9230. The Farewell Pilgrimage 9431. Muhammad's Illness and Death (June 632 C.E.) 9532. The Beginning of the Muslim Era 97CHAPTER 3 The Community of Muslims1. The Peoples of the Book 992. The Errors of the Jews 1003. The Jews Warned by Their Own Prophets 1024. The Error of the Christians 103S. The Muslim Community 1046. An Arabic Quran 1067. "Catholic" Islam: Staying Close to the Tradition 1098. A shi'ite View of the Community 1129. Wrong Belief and Unbelief 11310. The Caliphate 11711. Caliph and Imam 12o12. The Ruler, Chosen by the People or Designated by God? 12213. Ali, the First Imam 12414. The Pool of Khum 12715. The Martyrdom of Husayn 12816. The "People of the House" 13117. The shi'ite Succession 13318. Awaiting the Hidden Imam 13519. "Twelvers" and "Seveners" among the Shi'ites 14020. A juridical Portrait of the Sunni Caliph 14221. The Powers of the Caliph-Imam 14422. The Delegation of the Royal Power: The Sultanate 14-723. The Religious Powers of the Caliph 14824. The Five Pillars of Islam ISO25. Moral Islam 15226. Alms and Charity 15327. The Sixth Pillar: War in the Path of God 15428. "There Is No Compulsion in Religion" 156CHAPTER 4 The Word of God and Its Understanding1. A Muslim History of Prophecy 1582. Did the Jews and Christians Tamper with Scripture? 1613. The Divine Origin of the Quran 1654. Muhammad's Ascension into Heaven 1685. The Night of Destiny 16q6. The Heavenly Book 1707. The Quran: Created or Uncreated? 1728. "Bring a Sura Like It" 1739. The Earliest Sura 17510. The Heart of the Quran: The "Throne Verse" 17611. The "Satanic Verses" 17712. The Revelation and Its Copy 17813. Uthman's Recension of the Quran 17914. Who Put Together the Suras? 18115. The Seven "Readings" of the Quran 18116. Textual Corruptions? The Shi'ite View 18317. The Proofs of Prophecy 18S18. Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets 18S19. Muhammad among the Prophets 18720. Avicenna on the Prophethood of Muhammad 18921. The Clear and the Ambiguous in the Quran 19122. How the Muslim Should Read the Quran 19423. Quranic Exegesis 19S24. Where Did the Muslim Commentators Get Their Information? 19725. The Outer and Inner Meanings of the Quran 19826. Ghazali on the Sciences of Revelation 20127. Allegorical Interpretation as a Resolution of Apparent Contradictions 20328. Dull Masses and Minds Tied Down to Sensibles 20529. The Pleasures of Paradise 207CHAPTER 5 The Quran, the Prophet, and the Law1. On the Usefulness of Tradition 2132. Scripture, Tradition, and the Law in Islam 214.3. The Word of God Is One: The Inspiration of the Prophetic Traditions 2204. Their Transmission 2205.Tendentious and Sectarian Traditions 2216. The Criticism of Traditions 2227. The Categories of Traditions 2248. The Companions of the Prophet 2249. Contradictory Traditions 22S10. The Canonical Collections 22611. The Derivation of God's Commands 22712. On Consensus 22913, Personal Initiative in the Law 23114. Legal Knowledge and Legal Obligations 23615. The Collective Obligation 23716. The Evolution of Islamic jurisprudence 23917. The Classical Schools 24018. The End of the Age of the Fathers 24219. Abrogation in Islamic Law 24320. The Case of the Woman Taken in Adultery 24621. Crimes and Their Penalties in the Quran 24822. Divorce in Islamic Law 24923. Controversial Questions 25124. "0 Believers, Fasting Is Enjoined on You" 252CHAPTER 6 The Worship of God1. How Paganism and Idol Worship Came to Mecca 2582. Islam and the Graven Image 2603. The Muslims' Prayer 2634. Prophetic Traditions on Prayer 26S5. The Direction of Prayer 2686. The Prophet Builds His Mosque 2707. The Institution of the Call to Prayer 2718. On the Manner and Intent of Prayer 2729. The Friday Service 27410. The Two Liturgical Festival Days 27611. A Muslim Holy Day: The Tenth of Muharram 27712. The Pilgrimage of Islam 27913. Muhammad's Farewell Pilgrimage 28014. Islamicizing the Hajj 28S15. The Twelfth-Century Haram 28916. Ghazali on the Proper Performance of the Hajj 29417. The Prophet's Mosque and Tomb at Medina 29818. A Visit to Medina 302CHAPTER 7 Saints and Mystics1. This World and the Next: The Islamic Preaching 3072. The Historical Origins of the Sufi Movement 3103. Conversions and Affirmations 3 1 24. Two Sufi Autobiographies: Ibn Abi al-Khayr and al-Ghazali 3155. "No Monasticism in Islam" 3216. Monks and Sufis 3227. Sufi. Communities 32S8. Convent Life in Islam 3289. The Lamp in the Niche 33010. What Is the Mystic Way? 33211. Junayd on Oneness of and with God 33S12. Self-Obliteration 33713. Oneness with God Is Not Identity with God 33814. The Life and Death of a Mystic: Al-Hallaj 33915. "I Am the Truth" 34116. Ecstatic Utterances 34217. The Face in the Mirror 34318. Al-Jili and the Perfect Man 34919. Ibn Khaldun: An Evaluation of the Sufi. Tradition 35120. Sufis and shi'ites 353CHAPTER 8 Islamic Theology1. The Origins of Theology in Islam 3582. The Intrusion of Philosophy into Dialectical Theology 3613. The Limited Role of Dialectical Theology 3634. The Fundamentalist Position: "Without Howing" versus Dialectical Theology 3655. Ash'ari on the Charge of Heretical Innovation 3676. Rationalist Theology 3687. Farabi on God's Providence 3698. Ghazali on Theology and Muslim Belief 3709. The Truth of Philosophy 37110. Rationalist Ethics and Revealed Morality 37211. Ibn Rushd: The Law Commands the Study of Philosophy 37412. The Mystic's Gnosis and the Theologian's Science 37713. The Illumination of the Intellect 38214. The Life after Death 38815. The Second Coming: The Muslim Tradition 38916. "A Man from My Family" 39117. The Preaching of God's Final Judgment 39218. The End Defined 40119. The Torments of the Grave 40320. The Incoherence of the Philosophers on the Afterlife 40521. An End to Hell? 40922. The Vision of God 411Sources Cited 413Index 417show more

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