Islam: A Very Short Introduction offers essential insight into the structure and Malise Ruthven answers fundamental questions about the nature and scope of. Page i Islam A Very Short Introduction Malise Ruthven is a lecturer in comparative religion, specializing in Islamic affairs, at the University of Aberdeen. Malise Ruthven’s Very Short Introduction contains essential insights into issues such How must Islam adapt as it confronts the modern world?.

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Islam: A Very Short Introduction

Arts and Humanities Archaeology. In legal-historical terms, the Shari’a was never a reality. Leadership was assumed sgort two elements, often in contradiction to each other. An expedition launched to the north engages a Byzantine army at Tabuk near present-day Aqaba. From the first, the message of social justice and the equality of men and, more problematically, of women before God, as conveyed in Muhammad’s preaching and preserved in the Quran, came up against the realities of tribal and dynastic power.

The Quran is the speech of God dictated without human editing.

Islam: A Very Short Introduction – Very Short Introductions

In time a majority of Muslims came to accept the view that iman and islam represented the internal and external aspects of religious commitment, faith and works. The issue of sinners involved the fundamental question ‘Who is a Muslim?

Ijma – the community’s interpretation, either the community of scholars or the community in general. The Imam is designated by a supernatural investiture nass coming from God by the intermediary of the Prophet or the Imam who has preceded him: Sufi rituals celebrate the divine in a purely disinterested way: They contain a good deal of material of a rhetorical, formulaic, or supernatural character designed to bolster the Chosen One’s claims to prophethood in the face of sceptical or prejudiced critics.


Books by Malise Ruthven. The state was thus something which sat on top of society, not something which was rooted in it: Like the Imams, only the ‘friends’ are credited with fully understanding the Quran.

To this the learned men among the People of the Sunna or ‘traditionalists’ had their answer. Many of these stories will be accompanied by images of violence – as in Kashmir, Bosnia, Algeria, or Palestine. Quick and to the point. One traditionist, al-Azraqi, states he destroyed them miraculously, merely pointing his stick at them. In either case, the crisis of intellectual authority is ultimately the same: Readings are preceded by the phrase ‘I take refuge with God from Satan, the accursed one’, and followed by ‘God Almighty has spoken truly!

Ruthven also does a terrific job comparing and contrasting Islam to Christianity as he goes along, making it easier for a Western audience to comprehend what be unfamiliar though, unfortunately, the history of Christianity is becoming as unfamiliar as Islam to many Western audiences.

It’s not that Ruthven ignores how often these aspects are harmful he includes a few rather piercing passages about polygamybut that he reveals how these aspects of Islam have been interpreted quite differently from country to country and from time What Ruthven does best here is to demonstrate how diverse Islam is.

The lover who “passes away” has no carnal soul left. Who has the right to leadership, by what authority?

Islam: A Very Short Introduction – Malise Ruthven – Oxford University Press

Far from Muhammad being the ‘author’ of the Quran, the Quran is, in a literary-historical sense, the ‘author’ veery Muhammad. He argued, however, that God’s omniscience and human responsibility could be accommodated hsort a doctrine of ‘acquisition’ whereby God creates the power for people to ‘acquire’ actions created by him at the instant of action. A minority sect of the Shi’a, however, claims allegiance to Isma’il, eldest son of the Imam Ja’far whom Twelvers believe to have predeceased his father or to have been passed over.


Far from being exclusively ‘Islamic’, the ideology or ideologies being advanced are really hybrids mixing Islamic contexts with twentieth-century ideas, liberal and totalitarian.

He left the court fearing for his life. The Prophet acts as peacemaker in Medina between rival tribal factions, the Aws and Khazraj and rhthven Jewish allies.

His neck was like the neck of an ivory statue, with the purity of silver. Submission islamm ‘God and his Prophet’ was, in the first instance, submission to a victorious bedouin army. Sufis often flirted with public obloquy and social danger, as if to prove that their love of God was wholly disinterested, uninfluenced by, indeed, contemptuous of, the social approval sought by the outwardly pious. The argument was further complicated by the presence in the Quran of certain anthropomorphic expressions, such as God’s face, hands, eyes, throne, and so forth.

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