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What Are You Reading Currently? [OFFICIAL THREAD]

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So many people here have mentioned reading To Kill a Mockingbird, which I read many years ago. I heard in the news that the author Harper Lee is publishing a new book called Go Set a Watchman. Thinking this is exciting news for a famous author.

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So many people here have mentioned reading To Kill a Mockingbird, which I read many years ago. I heard in the news that the author Harper Lee is publishing a new book called Go Set a Watchman. Thinking this is exciting news for a famous author.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird was dumb; this one is going to be dumber - dumb and dumber complete. This 'new' book is said to be the earlier version of what was eventually edited to become Mockingbird. I am not sure if Ms Lee wrote the new novel or her editors did. Hmmm

 

But I have no doubt that the publication of this 'new' novel is designed entirely for the publishing industry to make money. Initial print run is 2 million. It is expected to run into 10 m within a year.

Edited by Marbles

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^ Marbles, you may be right about the new book being a money making project. Since it was written in the 1950's and not published at that time, I think the publisher said this is good, but not good enough. Write a novel about the characters (living in the South) when they were younger and develop something interesting, then we can talk about publishing the other book (character is many years older, living in New York, and goes back home). 

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i have read the Persian version of it , it is Great . beside the book concept ,the writer himself is not also a great scholar but a great author , you seems as if you are in the real situation in the book.so it is worth reading.

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In for long haul. A beautiful book of epic proportions.

 

Currently reading and will probably be reading it half the year. It's dense, rich, challenging and 800 words of small print that should be 1500 in normal font but has the weight of a 5000 page epic. A Mahabharata of Latin America.

 

150 pages in going brilliantly.

 

portada-terra-nostra_grande.jpg

Edited by Marbles

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An Outline of Islamic Thought in the Qur'an by Imam Khamenei 

 

(get the hardback version, printed on high quality paper ) . This is based on a series of lectures by Imam Khamenei - short introductory comments, and then verses from the Qur'an highlighting the points covered... awesome book, easy to read and digest for all levels. 

 

post-74619-0-84698200-1424113675.jpeg

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Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1) - just started it. I have always had a soft spot for Fantasy (well, I love good one) and then, mixed with history- it's good so far :D

Btw, does anyone here also get their books online? Where I live, I have almost no access to Islamic books, but I have never done online shopping, so don't know how safe/reliable that is (since you have to give out personal information). Though, I found the wfshop.org (world-federation) which offers some nice books - has anyone had experience with them?

I would be glad if someone could help me out :)

Wa salam.

Edited by Noor al-Batul

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Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1) - just started it. I have always had a soft spot for Fantasy (well, I love good one) and then, mixed with history- it's good so far :D

Btw, does anyone here also get their books online? Where I live, I have almost no access to Islamic books, but I have never done online shopping, so don't know how safe/reliable that is (since you have to give out personal information). Though, I found the wfshop.org (world-federation) which offers some nice books - has anyone had experience with them?

I would be glad if someone could help me out :)

Wa salam.

Salaam!

 

If you have a tablet, I can point you toward a TON of ebooks.  Check out al-islam.org.  The amount of material there for free is astonishing.  They have more than just English translations as well.

 

 

wa salaam,

R

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Salaam!

 

If you have a tablet, I can point you toward a TON of ebooks.  Check out al-islam.org.  The amount of material there for free is astonishing.  They have more than just English translations as well.

 

 

wa salaam,

R

 

Thank you for the offer- and yes, I have a tablet! :) I also have a e-book library, I read a lot of ebooks. Though, on al-islam.org they have the option to 'download', right? It never works for me, somehow... Hm, I know that they offer a lot on there, though I haven't yet looked too deep into it. Well, I was talking about books such as "The brother of the prophet Muhammad" (Mohammed Javad Chirri) and other such biographies by, for example, Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi. Don't know if they have those an al-islam, too?

 

I was asking about online shops as it's always nice to have real books in your hands, too - as much as I love ebooks^^

 

Wa salam.

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Thank you for the offer- and yes, I have a tablet! :) I also have a e-book library, I read a lot of ebooks. Though, on al-islam.org they have the option to 'download', right? It never works for me, somehow... Hm, I know that they offer a lot on there, though I haven't yet looked too deep into it. Well, I was talking about books such as "The brother of the prophet Muhammad" (Mohammed Javad Chirri) and other such biographies by, for example, Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi. Don't know if they have those an al-islam, too?

 

I was asking about online shops as it's always nice to have real books in your hands, too - as much as I love ebooks^^

 

Wa salam.

Excellent!  If you click on the PDF link, it will download.  I totally prefer real books as well!  I've gotten a lot of good books through amazon.  Let me know if you have trouble, because I will be happy to set up a drop box account with the texts in there or email them to you.  If I can help a brother out, I'm always down!

 

wa salaam

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An Outline of Islamic Thought in the Qur'an by Imam Khamenei 

 

 

How many pages is the book? I can't imagine it's a translation of the whole (farsi) book. 

 

Wow, published in 2008, i'm surprised i wasn't aware of it until now (and here was me thinking i was well informed of ICAS publications). 

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(salam)

 

Criticizing the Soglodite:

 

Huffington Post, 06March15, "Franklin Graham Is Still the Worst Thing to Happen to God in a While"

-by Derek Panwell

 

This article is criticizing one of America's best known SOGs --Bible says, Satan says, "son of god"; it is Gospel--  for his troglodytic, vituperate behavior.

It is too nuanced (maybe?) to recount here, but is a quick and easy-to-read slam at Franky "cut a tree down with a machine gun" Graham's vitriolic persona.

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Just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. Both books are in the fantasy dystopian genre, both are insightful, very intelligent, well written and definitely must reads. 

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Good book on Islamic Philosophy for the non-specialist, but I would still recommend that b/4 reading any book on Islamic Philosophy, to read a basic introductory book on Philosophy (which in English will be "western philosophy" - but will provide some framework on how to approach such material) or take a couple of introductory classes on philosophy at your local university... if you are near a good university, with a department on Islamic studies, or "near east" etc. , then you might even find a class on introductory Islamic philosophy... 

 

The Heart of Islamic Philosophy

The Quest for Self-Knowledge in the Teachings of Afdal al-Din Kashani William C. Chittick

 

"This book introduces the work of an important medieval Islamic philosopher who is little known outside the Persian world. Afdal al-Din Kashani was a contemporary of a number of important Muslim thinkers, including Averroes and Ibn al-Arabi. Kashani did not write for advanced students of philosophy but rather for beginners. In the main body of his work, he offers especially clear and insightful expositions of various philosophical positions, making him an invaluable resource for those who would like to learn the basic principles and arguments of this philosophical tradition but do not have a strong background in philosophy. Here, Chittick uses Kashani and his work to introduce the basic issues and arguments of Islamic philosophy to modern readers."

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Sadr al-Din Shirazi and his Transcendent Theosophy, background, life and works - by Seyyed Hossein Nasr 

 

A good introduction to Mulla Sadra  -but as with all books on Islamic philosophy, it is a good idea to get some basics of philosophy before trying to read these works... the ongoing classes on philosophy by Shi'a chatters are a good place to start... 

 

I've learnt that if I try to take a class on philosophy - i.e. western philosophy, it is useful as far as learning the vocabulary , especially in reading translated works, but then I have to unlearn also - because the terminologies (even in translation) have a a different and more profound meaning in the context of Islamic philosophy. ... So that ends up causing some confusion, but being in the "west" it is difficult to find teachers in the tradition... so left trying to understand as much as possible, through books, online lectures, and the occasional live lecture in the area... 

Edited by skylight2

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Astrobiology: A Brief Introduction.

It's some pretty fun stuff to think about, but a lot of chemistry and a bit of physics in what I've read so far. I won't pretend to understand all of it, but it's readable anyway.

Still working on this one. It was especially chemistry heavy in the middle, but now I'm back in a more comfortable zone, with just a bit of physics and some easier chemistry. The whole book is very speculative, as might be expected. It does, probably by accident, give a good appreciation of the miracle that is life.

I did take a break to read the Space Odyssey series, by Arthur Clarke. The first book, 2001, was pretty enjoyable sci-fi, but the other three declined in quality. It was easy light reading, else I wouldn't have made it through all four.

I'm also rereading through Household Tales, by the brothers Grimm. I need some bedtime stories for my little ones.

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(salam)

I just finished reading Al-Muhaddithat: The Women Scholars in Islam 2 days ago.

 

attachicon.gifmuhaddithat.gif

 

This book is an adaptation of the Muqaddimah or Preface to Mohammad Akram’s 40-volume biographical dictionary (in Arabic) of the Muslim women who studied and taught hadith. It demonstrates the central role women had in preserving the Prophet’s teaching, which remains the master-guide to understanding the Qur'an as rules and norms for life. Within the bounds of modesty in dress and manners, women routinely attended and gave classes in the major mosques and madrasas, travelled intensively for ‘the knowledge’, transmitted and critiqued hadith, issued fatwas, etc. Some of the most renowned scholars among men have depended on, and praised, the scholarship of their women teachers. The women scholars enjoyed considerable public authority in society, not exceptionally, but as the norm.
 
The huge body of information reviewed in al-Muhaddithat is essential to understanding the role of women in Islamic society, their past achievement and future potential. Hitherto it has been so dispersed as to be ‘hidden’. Akram’s dictionary will greatly facilitate further study, contextualization and analysis.
 
The book covers the role of Sunni women scholars and is only a mere presentation of what was happening in history. As the author himself says, that this book is not an exercise in women's studies. He rather hopes that people skilled in the subject will make proper use of the material that is recorded in the book. The book also at times depicts issues in charts for a better understanding of certain issues, and even has manuscript scans of certain ijazaat that some of the women had gotten for hadith transmission.
 
Some interesting stories:
 
  • On page 37: The Sunnah is particular about treating sons and daughters equally. Al-Bazzar (d. 292) has cited the hadith from Anas ibn Malik that there was with the Prophet a man whose son came to him; the man kissed the boy and sat him on his lap. Then his daughter came and he sat her in front of him. 'God's Messenger - pbuh - said to the man: Why did you not treat them equally?'

    Source: Al Haythami, Majma' al-Zawaid, viii, 286-87

  • On page 239: Ya'la al-Taymi narrated: I entered Makkah three days after 'Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr was killed, while his body was hanging on the cross. His mother came. She was a tall, blind lady. She said to Hajjaj [wanting her son's body taken down]: Has the time not come for this rider to dismount? He said: The hypocrite? She said: By God, he was not a hypocrite. Rather he was a sawwam [one who fasts much], a qawwam [one who stands much in prayer and] an obedient [one]. He said: Go back, old woman! You have lost sense because of old age. She said, No, by God, I have not lost my sense. For I heard the Messenger of God - pbuh - say: In the tribe of Thaqif there will be a liar and a destroyer. As for the liar, we have seen him - she meant Mukhtar - and as for the destroyer, that is you.

    Source: Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, ii, 294

     

  • On page 52 it discusses the tradition of memorizing. It says, 'Abd al-Razzaq said: 'Any knowledge that does not "enter with its owner into the bathroom" - then do not consider it as knowledge.' Al-Asma'i (d. 217) says: 'Any knowledge that does not "enter with me in the bathroom", it is not knowledge.'

    Source: Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, al-Jami' li-akhlaq al-rawi, ii. 250. The bathroom expression is used because that is where books were never taken.

     

  • On page 110, regarding Arabic grammar: According to the renowned man of letters al-Mubarrid (d. 285), awareness of the need to think about grammar may have arisen because of a woman. He said: "Al-Mazini narrated to us that the cause of the foundation of grammar was that the daughter of Abu l-Aswad [d. 69] once said to her father ma ashadda al-harri? [What is the most violent of heat? instead of ma ashadda al-harra! How violent the heat is]. He said: Pebbles in the hot eart. She said: I meant to express my shock at te heat. The he said: Have people begun to make mistakes [like that]? Then he told Ali about that; [and then Ali] dictated to him some basic rules that were later expanded by Abu l-Aswad.

    Source: Al-Dhahabi, Siyar a'lam al-nubala, iv. 83

     

  • On page 114 It mentions that it was between the 4th - 6th centuries that the genre of "Fort hadith" blossomed.

 

There are also many other interesting cases like husbands learning from their wives or narrating on the authority of their wives etc. It definitely isn't a must read for everyone.

 

Wassalam

 

(salam)

 

Looks really interesting. 

 

There is a book I'm about to begin which you may be interested in: Women and The Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam

 

 

9781107529816.jpg

 

 

 

 

Here is an interview with the author: http://newbooksinislamicstudies.com/2015/05/22/asma-sayeed-women-and-the-transmission-of-religious-knowledge-in-islam-cambridge-up-2013/  for those interested.

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k8041.gif

 

 

Not a bad book. The author tries to dispel romanticized portraits of Iranians as prone to excess or extremely puritanical and presents an overview of the different religious opinions regarding substances like wine, tobacco, opium, coffee and hashish.

 

 Rather than being an either-or society when it came to these controversial matters, the Iranians of the Safavid period onward had many different approaches  to the issue. Rather than occuring in spite of religion, some substances like wine or hashish may have been embraced individually or together under a religious justification (such as mystics who drank wine or smoked hashish as a matter of ritual or certain social and religious elites who felt the laws in the shariah concerning wine applied only to the common believers while being no less faithful themselves). At the same time, some Muslims, aware of their own lack of ability to put an end to habits they found religiously reprehensible simply tried to work around them ('At least don't drink on Friday/Ramadhan'). Still you had those who tried through force or legislation to put an end to such things for good, only for time and the stubborness of people to make it impractical in the long run. And in some cases, people were apt to embrace one substance while rejecting others. Tobacco eventually became the hot item among the general body of Iranians, whether they also partook in opiates or depressants or not. And some of those who smoked hashish still felt wine was haram while hashish was perfectly acceptable.

 

All in all, what the auther presents is a dynamic portrait of the culture of drugs and alcohol in Iran that might make one re-examine what they think they know about the role Islam played in discussions on various substances in the past and rather than being purely a case of clear and universally accepted religious injunctions battling with ingrained cultural habits wholly unrelated to religion, the clash here was more often one of different religious approaches to the different substances of varying degrees of liberality/conservatism. In such cases, people like myself who do agree that wine is forbidden nonetheless can't take it as something for granted in the context of Shi'i history.

 

Plus, it causes one to really look at his or her own religion or culture. Often times, Muslims take pride in the apparent moral superiority of their respective cultures over the West. The issue of alcohol becomes one such proof. But in the time period covered in this book, it was more often the Europeans who looked at the Iranian upper and middle class and found their drinking habits even too much for their own moral sensibilities. Case in point, Iranians preferred Russian, Armenian and their own homemade wine to European wine for one reason: European wine was TOO WEAK. While the Europeans often drank for social occasions (a toast at a Christening or feast, etc.), the Iranians more often than not drank for one reason and one reason only: TO GET HAMMERED. Not to mention, a number of the Shahs, particularly of the Safavid dynasty, were alcoholics who died young because of alcoholism. Even Shah Abbas I, who was the most effective ruler of that dynasty, administered his state while half-drunk most of the time. So before Iranians hold the mirror up to the West or other Muslim cultures for that matter, they should really hold the mirror up to their own culture.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23

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Sadr al-Din Shirazi and his Transcendent Theosophy, background, life and works - by Seyyed Hossein Nasr 

 

A good introduction to Mulla Sadra  -but as with all books on Islamic philosophy, it is a good idea to get some basics of philosophy before trying to read these works... the ongoing classes on philosophy by Shi'a chatters are a good place to start... 

 

I've learnt that if I try to take a class on philosophy - i.e. western philosophy, it is useful as far as learning the vocabulary , especially in reading translated works, but then I have to unlearn also - because the terminologies (even in translation) have a a different and more profound meaning in the context of Islamic philosophy. ... So that ends up causing some confusion, but being in the "west" it is difficult to find teachers in the tradition... so left trying to understand as much as possible, through books, online lectures, and the occasional live lecture in the area... 

 

Bismillah

 

There are three good books that i know of in english, i hope to finish two of them this summer, God willing.

 

http://www.bookfari.com/Book/9781907905056/An-Introduction-to-Islamic-Philosophy

 

http://www.adinehbook.com/gp/product/9645913463

 

The above two are by the same author, but are not the same book. 

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Introduction-to-Contemporary-Islamic-Philosophy-by-Eshkevari-Mohammad-FanaI-/181327173501

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Salam

Nahj al Balaghah...

A brother lended his copy after finishing his ' then I was guided'...

"Grit your teeth" Imam Ali(as)

ws

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k8041.gif

 

 

Not a bad book. The author tries to dispel romanticized portraits of Iranians as prone to excess or extremely puritanical and presents an overview of the different religious opinions regarding substances like wine, tobacco, opium, coffee and hashish.

 

 Rather than being an either-or society when it came to these controversial matters, the Iranians of the Safavid period onward had many different approaches  to the issue. Rather than occuring in spite of religion, some substances like wine or hashish may have been embraced individually or together under a religious justification (such as mystics who drank wine or smoked hashish as a matter of ritual or certain social and religious elites who felt the laws in the shariah concerning wine applied only to the common believers while being no less faithful themselves). At the same time, some Muslims, aware of their own lack of ability to put an end to habits they found religiously reprehensible simply tried to work around them ('At least don't drink on Friday/Ramadhan'). Still you had those who tried through force or legislation to put an end to such things for good, only for time and the stubborness of people to make it impractical in the long run. And in some cases, people were apt to embrace one substance while rejecting others. Tobacco eventually became the hot item among the general body of Iranians, whether they also partook in opiates or depressants or not. And some of those who smoked hashish still felt wine was haram while hashish was perfectly acceptable.

 

All in all, what the auther presents is a dynamic portrait of the culture of drugs and alcohol in Iran that might make one re-examine what they think they know about the role Islam played in discussions on various substances in the past and rather than being purely a case of clear and universally accepted religious injunctions battling with ingrained cultural habits wholly unrelated to religion, the clash here was more often one of different religious approaches to the different substances of varying degrees of liberality/conservatism. In such cases, people like myself who do agree that wine is forbidden nonetheless can't take it as something for granted in the context of Shi'i history.

 

Plus, it causes one to really look at his or her own religion or culture. Often times, Muslims take pride in the apparent moral superiority of their respective cultures over the West. The issue of alcohol becomes one such proof. But in the time period covered in this book, it was more often the Europeans who looked at the Iranian upper and middle class and found their drinking habits even too much for their own moral sensibilities. Case in point, Iranians preferred Russian, Armenian and their own homemade wine to European wine for one reason: European wine was TOO WEAK. While the Europeans often drank for social occasions (a toast at a Christening or feast, etc.), the Iranians more often than not drank for one reason and one reason only: TO GET HAMMERED. Not to mention, a number of the Shahs, particularly of the Safavid dynasty, were alcoholics who died young because of alcoholism. Even Shah Abbas I, who was the most effective ruler of that dynasty, administered his state while half-drunk most of the time. So before Iranians hold the mirror up to the West or other Muslim cultures for that matter, they should really hold the mirror up to their own culture.

 

Nice review. Thanks for posting.

 

Although alcohol was and is present in every Muslim land, in Iran, a transgression like wine-drinking has been historically tolerated to a remarkable degree amongst the Farsi-speaking peoples. And Iranian wine-drinking habits haven't really gone anywhere, just gone underground. If people in Iran to be believed, it is very easy to get plenty of drinking stuff in Iran today despite the the religious state's ban.

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Nice review. Thanks for posting.

 

Although alcohol was and is present in every Muslim land, in Iran, a transgression like wine-drinking has been historically tolerated to a remarkable degree amongst the Farsi-speaking peoples. And Iranian wine-drinking habits haven't really gone anywhere, just gone underground. If people in Iran to be believed, it is very easy to get plenty of drinking stuff in Iran today despite the the religious state's ban.

 

 

Alcohol exists in every society, what's your point?

 

That does not mean that Iranian culture is somehow more embracing of alcohol or wine than any other country.

 

 

 

 

And the point about mystics which bro Saintly Jinn mentioned is in the book... I'm sorry but that just doesn't fly. That's orientalist perversions. If we're gonna say that mystics drank wine, why not accuse Imam Khomeini of the same thing? He mentions "wine" many times in his poems.

 

The problem is that base people read poems and they project their own base ideas upon them. 

 

 

A lot of so-called academics just say things for the sake of saying them, and their "research" generally consists of flimsy "evidence" supplemented by heavy projection of their own values.

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