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In the Name of God بسم الله

What Are You Reading Currently? [OFFICIAL THREAD]

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"Journey to the end of Islam" by Michael Muhammad Knight

 

Fantastic book (I like most of his work) covering his tour with a group of Muslim rock bands throughout several countries and trying to come to terms with Muslim identity (as he's American.) He explores many facets of Islam, from the ultra-conservatism in Sunni Islam, to some of our more controversial sects in Shia, the book culminates in his pilgrimage to Mecca. The book is a personal journey and offers room for us too, to reflect on Islam in the 21st century - both the good and the bad. Ultimately, it's trying to love and do Allah's Will, while making sense of the modern world.

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The Hate you Give

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32075671-the-hate-you-give

I just started it this morning. The chapters are short but I have to stop to collect my emotions at the end of each. This book is intense. I'm afraid to read what happens next and can't put it down. 

The writing might be challenging for people whose first language isn't English or who are unfamiliar with the urban patois. Even I, a well-read hillbilly from the southern end of the Appalachians, wouldn't want to be forced to read it aloud. So far it's really good though, at least up to chapter 4. Eye opening, even. 

They made a movie of it. I haven't seen the movie. 

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On 1/15/2019 at 11:44 AM, notme said:

Read it. But not if you don't want to care. It'll tear you up and you'll come out the other side changed. 

Well, you might. I suppose it might not have such an impact on people who can't say "that could have been me but for fortunate (or unfortunate) birth". 

-------

Up next: A People's History of the United States

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2767.A_People_s_History_of_the_United_States

I haven't started it yet, but it was the suggested first book for a community activist reading group that hasn't formed yet. It was on my "to read" list anyway. I'm more a pacifist than an activist, but I can read and talk. 

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Still reading A People's History of the United States, but I also started reading Kindred, by Octavia Butler. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60931.Kindred

It's classified as sci-fi, but it's not really. There's time travel, but it's more like speculative historical fiction. 

 

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The following quotation is from a review of the book, 'A world without Islam' by G. Fuller:

https://www.amazon.co.United Kingdom/dp/B00FOQSFX4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

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Christianity and Islam are significant shifts away from the previous forms of social bonding that emphasized kinship. Multiple layers of "social glue," including language, behavioral norms, dress and sacred rituals, define individual membership in a group and distinguish groups from each other. The social glue that is culture is influenced by local conditions but is also a reflection of the group's inherited tendencies. A shared, common culture facilitates in-group cooperation and altruism, serving to perpetuate the group's unique genes in a world of competing groups striving for control of limited resources. The universality emphasized by Christianity and Islam displaced kinship and extended cooperation, altruism and resources to persons outside the kinship group, thereby decreasing Darwinian competition and the survival of unique genes. The ultimate Darwinian impact of insular, ethnic religions, such as the pre-Christian and pre- Islamic Semitic tribal religions, was the propagation of their unique clusters of genes. With the application of altruism to strangers, and the introduction of other behaviors that do not promote in-group interests, what is the ultimate genetic impact of Christianity and Islam?

Hama, Aldric.The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies; Washington Vol. 36, Iss. 2,  (Summer 2011): 256-262.

FWIW, this is a review of the book from the Amazon site:

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This is an exceptional book. I can read over and over again. It lays history of political conflicts to the reader in a way so neutral and capturing. The book is enlightening and revealing. It just makes you understand that it's not religions that drive us mad, but it's politics and what type of power we seek in the world. The book is not with Islam nor against it. It just shows you that the conflict in the Middle East, that started with the Crusades, would've happened whether Islam existed or not. The issue is purely political. I recommend the book very highly.

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3 hours ago, strength=Abbas said:

Oh man! This is the book that inspired my friend to become a Shia !!

It's (Lantern On The Path) one of my all-time favorite books, it's so great. Very dense in it's explanations of it's topics, very eloquent like Imam Ali ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) as well. Imam al-Sadiq is one of my favorite Imams to read probably because of that, he speaks directly to me. 

I casually share excerpts from that book with one of my non-Muslim friends (a Pagan actually) and she is always completely amazed by stuff we have in Islam, deeply rewarding reading!

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The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

I'm finding it fascinating. I knew I liked geology, but this is up there with some of the best astronomy books I've read. Maybe I should reevaluate my future career plans. Or maybe it's just really well written. In any event, I recommend this book if you're looking for a scientist's view on the formation of the Earth. Who knew rocks could be so captivating?

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I am currently reading three.

1. Fasoos al Ihkam- during the tea break at work. It's a tedious read. I started with the English translation but thinking of checking out the Urdu one too.

2. Al- Khisaal, bedtime read.A compilation of hadith by Sheikh Saduq in which are narrations are divided into chapters according to the numbers. Engrossing book that I would suggest everyone to read.

3. Broken verses, an english novel by a Pakistan based author,Kamila Shamsie. This is my dose of literary junk food, one or two pages with the evening tea. 

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Elegy for Kosovo by Ismail Kadare.

A slim collection of stories by Albania's greatest modern writer. Essential reading for the crazy times we live in.

I wish Kadare gets the Nobel prize for literature next week. 

kosov.jpg.58fe0670c05843e5b5fae1dbaa0b5872.jpg

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On 28 June, 1389, a Christian army made up of Serbs, Bosnians, Albanians and Romanians was defeated by an Ottoman army. The battle was over in ten hours. But ever since, the birds of prey have been hovering above the battlefield to pick over the corpses. It was on 28 June, 1989, that the Serb Leader Slobodan Milosevic launched his campaign for a fresh massacre of the majority population of Kosovo, the Albanians. That was the day on which Yugoslavia began its process of implosion and post-War western Europe was first revisited by the barbarity of earlier epochs.

The agony of one tiny population at the close of the 20th Century is the symptom of a sickness that European civilisation has carried in its bloodstream for a thousand years.

 

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44334073-tools-and-weapons

 

44334073.jpg

It's interesting. I'm not used to thinking of Microsoft as a leader in corporate morality, but the writers certainly present it as such.

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On 6/25/2019 at 9:28 AM, notme said:

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet

I'm finding it fascinating. I knew I liked geology, but this is up there with some of the best astronomy books I've read. Maybe I should reevaluate my future career plans. Or maybe it's just really well written. In any event, I recommend this book if you're looking for a scientist's view on the formation of the Earth. Who knew rocks could be so captivating?

I checked my library for this -on your recommendation, but they only had 'electronic resource' and l do not want to pay over the net.

So, l read several reviews. In short, Hanzen's book is an update of the standard narritive with an emphasis on mineralology and its interrelationship with biology.

The reviews repeat a common mistake l read: this primodial biology did not "produce" oxygen, it released it. Oxygen is only produced in stars, particularly with the C-N-O cycle.

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image.jpeg
 

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The New York Times bestselling, groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to "change the world" preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. An essential read for understanding some of the egregious abuses of power that dominate today’s news. 

Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can—except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. They rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; they lavishly reward “thought leaders” who redefine “change” in ways that preserve the status quo; and they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm.   
   
Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? His groundbreaking investigation has already forced a great, sorely needed reckoning among the world’s wealthiest and those they hover above, and it points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world—a call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.

 

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@Reza  Can you provide a synopsis of that book? l'm sure several of us will like to read it.

The reviews are not very encouraging. These suggest the Jean-Baptist A. Karr's ""the more things cahnge . . . " renditions quote as a premise,  and the book (apparently) only themes from the 70s onward.

Edited by hasanhh
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I am about to start Nahj al-Balagha and am really excited to begin it after my move.

Ref;

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B018EDTNFC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. 

It was featured at my local library, and I enjoyed a book of short stories I had read by this author. 

@hasanhh, don't read this. You would hate this liberal propaganda. :book:

 

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This is a bit expensive on Amazon, around US$200 for the hardback. I have access to an ebook version and it's certainly worth a look.

It's certainly at the scholarly end of the spectrum rather than the polemical. I've been reading the chapter on gambling and the author does take a studied view to the subject (180 pages).

There are references to Arabic words used and their etymology and Hadiths (many of which we would disagree with).

Screenshot 2020-10-10 at 12.17.34.png

 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Versus-Society-Medieval-Islam-Classics/dp/9004270884/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Man+Versus+Society+in+Medieval+Islam&qid=1602328551&sr=8-1

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@Mohammad313Ali interesting coincidence that I just used my bonus dollars for opting for slower Amazon shipping to buy the same book. 

I've got $2 left. Any recommendations? 

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16 minutes ago, notme said:

@Mohammad313Ali interesting coincidence that I just used my bonus dollars for opting for slower Amazon shipping to buy the same book. 

I've got $2 left. Any recommendations? 

Wonderful coincidence indeed! I love reading the Stoic works and can confidently say that you’ll enjoy Seneca’s letters. For $2 the only book relevant to stoicism that comes to mind is the kindle version of The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01HNJIJB2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1609631208&sr=8-1

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