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The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books

The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books [Kindle Edition]

Khaled Abou El Fadl
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description


El Fadl attempts to offer interpretations that are humanistic and accommodating to modern values, yet simultaneously challenging for traditionalist scholars and preachers. -- An-Chi Hoh Dianu The Library Quarterly This highly original book is in part a dialogue with Muslim scholars in the past, and, in part, a hymn to an enthralling vision that 'beauty' is to bring life to the truth of the Prophet. The dialogue shows the enormous breadth of [the author's] reading in classic works of learning by Muslims, and his vision suggests a new spiritual esthetic, which is both inspiring and challenging. -- Roy Parviz Mottahedeh, Gurney Professor of History, Harvard University Khaled Abou El Fadl is emerging as a major Muslim voice for the twenty-first century. Conference of the Books is an excellent introduction to the ideas, insights, and reflections of this important scholar of Islam and Islamic law, author, and poet. -- John L. Esposito, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, the most important scholar writing on Islamic jurisprudence and its development in the American context today, sets a high standard here for legal discourse and practice among North American Muslims. -- Karen Leonard, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Irvine Each independent essay may be read in any order, but collectively they illustrate richness and diversity. -- Charles C. Kolb, National Endowment for the Humanities, Religious Studies Review

Product Description

Khaled Abou El Fadl is a classically-trained Islamic jurist, an American lawyer and law professor, and one of the most important Islamic thinkers today. In this updated and expanded edition of The Search for Beauty in Islam, Abou El Fadl offers eye-opening and enlightening insights into the contemporary realities of the current state of Islam and the West. Through a "conference of the books," an imagined conference of Muslim intellects from centuries past, Abou El Fadl examines the ugliness that has come to plague Muslim realities and attempts to reclaim what he maintains is a core moral value in Islam-the value of beauty. Does Islamic law allow, or even call for, the gruesome acts of ugliness that have become so commonly associated with Islam today? Has Islam become a religion devoid of beauty, compassion and love?

Based on actual cases, this book tackles different issues and problems in each chapter through a post-9/11 lens, discussing such topics as marriage, divorce, parental rights, the position of women, the veil, sexual abuse, wife-beating, terrorism, bigotry, morality, law, and the role of tradition. Abou El Fadl argues that the rekindling of the forgotten value of beauty is essential for Muslims today to take back what has been lost to the fundamentalist forces that have denigrated their religion.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3292 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2 Dec 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C1OKB7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #426,769 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of A Book 7 April 2007
This is one of the most poetic books I have read. So much so that for the first 30 pages of it I thought the author was writing in some opium haze, however persevere as beyond that as when the book gets down to the more serious "search for beauty in Islam" is where it really begins to stimulate the mind.

First a bit about the author, unfortunately of late he does not seem to have been given to good a press from either the liberal or traditionalist sides. The traditionalists will I fear never like him, however the liberals also now seem reluctant to let him ride their bandwagon and have labelled him as one the `progressive Muslims'.

His book covers a multitude of issues, not all of which did I agree with him on, but he seems at least in places to bring a new perspective to the argument. The author, a lawyer by profession, is often consulted by Muslims on different aspects of their lives. The majority of these cases are as one would expect on marital discord. I've always felt that I have a liberal attitude when it comes to gender issues in Islam however reading this book made me feel somewhat a misogynist. Issues such as segregation which I have always taken for granted he shows have little or no historical basis, he shows also that women have equal rights of divorce without necessarily having to include the right to divorce in their marriage contract and gives an interesting take on wife beating. He acknowledges that the husband has the right to beat his wife (lightly) and he goes on to discuss this with regards to the fact that the husband does not even have the right to beat his own slaves or animals.

A large part of his book concerns morality in law.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 29 Jun 2014
Great Book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awakening of the mind 14 July 2013
By Sid
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading an excerpt of the book on the issues of dogs. This book will, I am sure, benefit those who wants to understand deeper on several problematic issues, particular issues on women. It has awakened my mind and curiosity to know more and delve deeper into the principles behind the Islamic law and the Islamic history touching on the scholars of Islam. The book is truly inspiring me to search for the beauty in Islam.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!!!! 22 Nov 2011
Beautifully written - poetic, lyrical, anecdotal, academic, historical - I have yet to read anything like it! You don't need to be a Muslim to read this and its certainly not a how-to book on Islam. I've recommended this to so many people who all loved it as much as I did! Very short chapters take on a variety of diverse subject matters from love to dogs to torture to dreams - but at its heart is the underlying story of the compelling life journey of a man trying to understand the true reality of 'beauty' and finding peace with God.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A landmark text addressing some of the crucial issues in Islamic law that is beautifully written in poetic prose.
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