Title: The Broken Chain: Reflections upon the Neglect of a Tradition
Author: Aftab Ahmad Malik
Publication: Amal Press, 460 Stapleton Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6PA, United Kingdom
First chapter: The first chapter can be read in full at http://www.amalpress.com
Summary: Today, the publication of books that have been translated into the English language have undoubtedly allowed Muslims to read what otherwise would have been inaccessible to those of us who cannot understand the language of the Revelation - Arabic. However there is an alarming consequence to this - unknowingly, print is replacing person, and books replacing transmission. Now, more than ever is there the heightened danger of people trying to take away their own interpretation of our Din simpley from books. 'Ali al-Qari said in his book 'Mu'taqad Abi Hanifa al-Iman fi Abaway al-Rasul' that:
The early scholars said: The hadith scholar without knowledge of fiqh is like a seller of drugs who is no physician; he has them but he does not know what to do with them; and the fiqh scholar without knowledge of hadith is like a physician without drugs; he knows what constitutes a remedy, but he does not dispose of it.
Although Classical Islamic culture valued as a memory aid it also recognised the dangers of the ways books allowed for the decontextualisation of knowledge from the authoritative control of a given teacher or school. Bypassing the tradition means by which 'ilm was acquired, individuals were able to claim religious authority, independant of proper certification by an established teacher or school. Classical Islamic culture emphasised the importance of internalising knowledge - until knowledge is internalised and recognised by an authoritative teacher to have been integrated properly into the general understanding and conduct of the student, it was not viewed as knowledge at all.
The theme of this book looks at the distortion of traditional scholarship within Islam that has occured, due to a break in the transmission or a paralysis of knowledge. Looking specifically at how the Prophet of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has been venerated in a tradition that began from the time of the first generation of Muslims, the book simply attempts to convey to the reader what has stemmed from over a thousand years of orthodoc scholarship.
Title: Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam
Author: Dr. Jeffrey Lang
Publication: Amana Publications
Price: 8.50 pounds (UK) US $11.75
About the Author: Dr. Lang is now an associated professor in the Deaprtment of Mathematics at the University of Kansas. He converted to Islam in the early 80s. He was brought up as a Catholic and educated in a Catholic school. However, he found that his religious beliefs could no longer provide satisfactory answers to his questions.
Review: There is a debate about the dangers of books like this. Please read "Is Jeffrey Lang misleading or simply crying for help?"
Title: Islam 2000
Author: Murad Hoffmann
Publication: Amana Publications
Price: not available
About the Author: Murad Wilfried Hoffmann embraced Islam in 1980. There were huge protests and riots by the German public that a man of such high profile should embrace Islam. He was born in a Catholic family in 1931. In 1957, he completed his studies of German Law with a doctorate and his bar exam. In 1960, he did his masters degree at Harvard Law, in American Law. When he converted, he was a member of the German foreign service and a specialist on issues of nuclear defence. He also served as Director of INformation for NATO at Brussels (1983-87), Ambassador to Algeria (1987-90), and Ambassador to Morocco (1990-94). He has written several highly acclaimed books on Islam.
Title: Daughters of Another Path
Author: Carol Anway
Publication: Yawna Publications
Price: US $13.95, Can $ 17.95
About the Author: Carol is a staunch Christian. Her own daughter converted to Islam. This book is a result of the survey she conducted on 53 American women (previously almost all Christians) who chose to convert. It is a heart-wrenching book. I highly recommend it...it's one of my favourties. Carol has a M.S. Ed in Guidance and Counselling and has spent many years as a school councelor. For 11 years she wrote and edited Christian education sources. She has travelled across the USA and Canada for conducting Christian missionary workshops. Carol gives a superbly unbiased outlook into Islam and those who embraced it. This book...reading it for yourself is believing!
Title: Islam and the Environmental Crisis
Author: Akhtaruddin Ahmad
Publication: Ta-Ha Publishers, London
About the Book: A timely book since the environmental crisis is extremely serious. The world is falling apart - we have crossed the line of sustainable development. The author does a comparative analysis of how all religions approach this problem. Islam, of all religions, seems to hold the greatest promise for a long-lasting cure for the wounds that we afflict on our planet. The author weighs his arguments with a great deal of evidence.
Title: History Testifies to the Infallibility of the Qur'an
Author: Dr Louay Fatoohi & Professor Shetha Al-Dargazelli
Publication: Amana Publications
Price: 6.95 Sterling. P&P: USA 4.80 by air mail, 2.40 Sterling by surface mail.
About the Book:
The authors claim "Christians that I know who have read the book could not raise a single credible objection to its analysis."
They are looking for a supplier in the USA who will sell their book. This book will sell well, we are sure of it. If you are interested in becoming a supplier, please contact Yahya at firstname.lastname@example.org
Internal inconsistencies in the Bible were never difficult to spot. In the 19th and 20th centuries, new data from archaeological excavations in sites of Biblical times has also exposed so many fundamental flaws in the Bible's account of history, including its version of the early history of the Children of Isr'l (Israel). Scholars differed in their reaction to this. Some chose to reject parts of the Biblical narrative and accept others which they considered reconcilable with attested historical facts. Other scholars simply decided that the exodus and related events are mere Biblical fictions. What scholars could not disagree on, however, is the unreliability of the Bible.
In their quest for an answer to the question of the historicity or non-historicity of the exodus and other Biblical claims about the early history of the Israelite, scholars made the most of every bit of textual and artifactual information that they gained access to. Yet throughout the long history of the scholarly interest in this subject, the Qur'anic account of the early history of the Israelites has been persistently ignored. This book amends this situation and highlights the very significant implications of studying the Qur'anic version of the exodus. This book has three general conclusions. Firstly, unlike its Biblical counterpart, the Qur'anic account of the exodus is totally consistent and free of any internal discrepancies. Secondly, the Qur'an does not contain any claim that is contradicted by established historical facts. Immensely significant is the fact that the fourteen-century-old Book reveals historical facts that came to the knowledge of man only in the 19th and 20th centuries. The third and equally significant conclusion is that the Qur'an includes information that expands our historical knowledge and gives answers to centuries old questions. In other words, the Qur'an contains historical information that does not exist elsewhere. Beside shedding light on the amazing accuracy of the Qur'anic account of the history of the Israelites in Egypt, this book also highlights stunning Qur'anic information about the life of Prophet 's (Jesus). The view of many that the Qur'an was derived from the Bible is simply nonsensical. The arguments of this book are not driven by emotion, nor they are baseless rhetoric. The methods used in drawing the conclusions are explained clearly and in detail so that they can be easily and independently evaluated. The challenge that the findings of this book represent is straightforward: if these findings cannot be shown to be wrong, they can only mean that the Qur'an could not have been authored by anyone other than Allah, the Perfect Historian.
A. S. Noordeen, Malaysia, 1999, paper back
Number of pages 275.
Size: 23.5 cm x 16.5 cm.
P. O. Box 8204
Birmingham B27 6HR