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Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures [Paperback]

Richard Foltz
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 12.61 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 Dec 2005
This is the first comprehensive study of the role of animals in the Islamic tradition. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including classic texts in philosophy, literature and mysticism, Foltz traces the development of Islamic attitudes towards animals over the centuries and confronts some of the key ethical questions facing Muslims today.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (21 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851683984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851683987
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 665,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Richard Foltz (b.1961) is a cultural historian specializing in the Iranian world. He has also worked as a musician, film critic, and travel writer. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught at Brown, Columbia, and the University of Florida. He is currently a professor in the Department of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. His work has appeared in over a dozen languages.

Product Description

Review

"For those who wish to learn about animal rights and Islam, but who are beginners when it comes to either or both, this will be an interesting book and an easy read." (American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences)

"Drawing on a wide range of sources, including classic texts in philosophy, literature and mysticism, Foltz traces the development of Islamic attitudes towards animals over the centuries and confronts some of the key ethical questions facing Muslims today." (Concordia Journal)

"Foltz's book encapulates, in a very brief and handy volume, most of the available information about animals in Islam." (Eco Islam)

--Positive review in the magazine of the Danish Vegetarian Society, it is written in Danish. (Vegetaren)

"This book endeavours to enlighten and inform the reader about the place of animals in Islam" (Muslim World Book Review)

Article "For Pet's Sake: A religious debate on whether there's an afterlife for animals" mentions the books and discusses some of Foltz views. (Newsday.com)

"A thoroughly researched and comprehensive study on Islam and Animal Welfare." (Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics)

Review

A marvellous piece of research, this book will help those interested in animals learn about Islam, and those familiar with Islam probe into the animal realm." (Christopher Key Chapple - Professor of theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Nonhuman Animals' in Islam 16 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback
The author--a religion historian, Iran expert and animal rights advocate--explores the role and treatment of "nonhuman animals" in Islamic traditions and cultures.

This is a useful resource for writings about animals from the Qur'an, traditions (hadiths) and works of science and philosophy. Great minds are cited, including Ibn Sina, al-Razi, al-Jahiz, al-Damiri, the Ikhwan al-Safa' (Brethren of Purity), Jalal al-Din Rumi and Ibn Tufail.

The book features modern Muslim discussions of animal rights, the role of dogs in Muslim societies and Islamic vegetarianism (as lifestyle option, not requirement).

The author finds Islam more sympathetic scripturally to nature and the preservation of living species than some other world faiths. But he is uncomfortable with Islam's "hierarchical perspective" (shared by the Judeo-Christian tradition), giving humans higher ranking than animals. He recommends fresh Muslim interpretations of old notions on animals, which he notes are already taking place on the Internet.

(A version of this review appeared in the September/October 2011 issue of Saudi Aramco World magazine.)
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Resource 5 Mar 2012
By Robert Lebling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author - a religion historian, Iran expert and animal rights advocate - explores the role and treatment of "non-human animals" in Islamic traditions and cultures. This book is a useful resource for writings about animals from the Qur'an, Traditions (Hadiths) and works of science and philosophy.

Great minds are cited, including Ibn Sina, al-Razi, al-Jahiz, al-Damiri, the Ikhwan al-Safa' (Brethren of Purity), Jalal al-Din Rumi and Ibn Tufail.

The book features modern Muslim discussions of animal rights, the role of dogs in Muslim societies, and Islamic vegetarianism (as lifestyle option, not requirement). The author finds Islam more sympathetic scripturally to nature and the preservation of living species than some other world faiths. But he is uncomfortable with Islam's "hierarchical perspective" (shared by the Judeo-Christian tradition), giving humans higher ranking than animals.

He recommends fresh Muslim interpretations of old notions on animals, which he notes are already taking place on the Internet.

[A version of this review appeared in Saudi Aramco World, Sep/Oct 2011.]
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid book on a neglected topic 10 Mar 2009
By Amina Henriksen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was quite pleased with this book. Solidly researched, eloquently written, objectively addressed, and not without wit. Kudos to the author for broaching a sensitive subject so professionally, and for deciding to write about it in the first place!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More literature 7 Nov 2011
By LORY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
R.C. FOLTZ's Animals in Islamic Tradition and Muslim Cultures is a nice and clear overview of the question of the status of animals in Islamic religion and culture. It is meant for a broad public. As for the academic side, it would have taken advantage from other publications on the subject, namely:
BENKHEIRA Mohammed Hocine, MAYEUR-JAOUEN Catherine, SUBLET Jacqueline, L'Animal en islam, Paris, Les Indes savantes, 2005 - and several articles of the three authors elsewhere.
GIESE Alma, Betrachtungen zur Seele der Tiere im islamischen Mittelalter , dans Die Seele der Tiere, Wolfenbütteler Forschungen, Band 94, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 2001.
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