In the Name of God
A History of Christian and Muslim Intolerance
Selina O’Grady examines the concept of tolerance – ‘that highest of liberal political virtues’ – through the histories of Islam and Christianity, from the time when the Roman Empire became Christian to the genocides of the 20th century. As she traces the two religions’ changing attitudes to religious minorities she asks whether tolerance is enough to bring today’s post-Christian and Islamic worlds together, or whether something deeper is needed.
People of the Prophet's House
Artistic and Ritual Expressions of Shi'i Islam
In 22 illustrated essays, this volume examines how reverence for the prophet Muhammad and his family (Ahl al-bayt, literally, ‘People of the House’), an essential principle of belief for Shi’i Muslims, has shaped how artists, patrons and ritual participants have expressed their allegiance through the arts, architecture, material culture and ritual.
The Art and Architecture of Twelver Shi'ism
Iraq, Iran and the Indian Sub-Continent
Although Twelver Shi‘ism is dominant in southern Iraq and Iran, it rarely appears in discussions of Islam’s artistic heritage. This book introduces the faith’s great shrines, its impact on craft industries and the annual processions when metal standards are paraded.
The Clerics of Islam
Religious Authority and Political Power in Saudi Arabia
Based on research in Saudi archives and interviews with the kingdom’s leading clerics and intellectuals, this historical and sociological study analyses the rise of the Wahhabi religious movement since the 18th century and its complex relationship with Arabia’s political authorities.
A Beginner's Guide
Little was known in the West about Shi‘i Islam before the Iranian Revolution of 1979 but much unrest has been attributed to tensions between Shi‘i and Sunni communities since. This introduction explains the origins, leadership and doctrines of the religion. Slightly off-mint.
Books of Divine Encounter
The 55 Qur’ān manuscripts featured here, which include some of the earliest surviving copies, range from luxury editions decorated with gold to a more humble pocket book of selections. They illustrate developments in Arabic script and styles of illumination, as well as more unusual forms of the text, such as a 12th-century Latin translation and a talismanic shirt inscribed with Qur’ān verses and invocations. Slightly off-mint.
In the Shadow of the Sword
The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World
Taking a sceptical approach to the traditional story of Islam’s origins, Holland surveys the world of late antiquity, which saw ‘the establishment, for the first time in history, of various brands of monotheism as state religions’. He explores how patterns of thought were altered as an Arab superpower replaced the Roman and Persian empires, with far-reaching consequences for world history.
Sharing the Wisdom of the Enlightened Sufis
The ancient Sufi way, which leads spiritual seekers past ordinary states of consciousness, still thrives in the modern Islamic world. This book comprises personal reminiscences of travels to Sufism’s holy sites and meetings with its teachers, from India and Pakistan to the Maghreb and South Africa. These are interspersed with an outline of Sufi history and the words of great masters of the past.
Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia
Teachings from the Sufi Path of Liberation
Hasan Lutfi Shushud, renowned Sufi saint and master, introduces the teachers known as the Khwajagan (‘Masters of Wisdom’), who lived during the golden age of Islamic Sufism among the Turks and who advocated maintaining an active connection with the world. He examines their writings and teachings, revealing how they followed the path of Absolute Liberation, allotted to ‘one out of a thousand perfect men’. Revised second edition.
Islam and the West: Wars of the Gods
The Geopolitics of Faith
Ardavan Amir-Aslani was born in Tehran and now works as an international lawyer in Paris. Here he offers his perspective on contemporary geopolitics, arguing that simplistic thinking in terms of a ‘clash of civilizations’ between Muslim nations and the West obscures the complexity of Islam’s religious turmoil and the causes of the Arab Spring: ‘As long as Iran has not returned to secularism the Middle East will continue to burn with religious sectarianism.’
Islamism and Islam
Despite the intense media focus since 9/11, many Western policymakers have little understanding of the distinction between Islam as a religion and the political movement known as Islamism. Drawing on three decades of research in 20 Muslim countries, this courageous study subjects Islamism's political ideology to trenchant analysis and warns of its dangers, while demonstrating how Islam as a religion and culture is open to tolerance and coexistence with other faiths.