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Below are the 17 most recent journal entries recorded in Muslim Book Club's LiveJournal:

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
1:25 am
FYI: 1st Annual Summer Islamic Reading Challenge
Thought some of you might be interested in this...


1st Summer Islamic Reading Program
2009 Summer Islamic Reading Challenge

1st Annual Summer Islamic Reading Challenge – July 1, 2009 – August 15, 2009

Hosted by AmericanMuslimMom.com (to be launched July 1, 2009)


* To encourage Muslim children (and non-Muslims interested in Islam) to read and review Islamic children and adult books during the Summer months,
* To create a comprehensive list of recommended Islamic books, and
* To share the Islamic book reviews with as many Muslim children (and non-Muslim interested in Islam) as possible, by publishing the reviews on AmericanMuslimMom.com in the “By Muslims for Muslims” “Kids’ Review” section*.
* All participants will receive a prize.

*All entries are subject to editorial review for clarity and appropriateness. Participants may opt not to have their reviews published.

(For rules, instructions, and registration, see the source.)

Current Mood: awake
Sunday, September 14th, 2008
2:38 am
salams, i just joined. is this community dead? what's everyone been reading?

anyone read anything good on political islam?
Monday, June 23rd, 2008
11:54 pm
The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf
The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf
Mohja Kahf's fiction debut tells the story of Khadra Shamy, a Syrian Muslim girl who, at a young age, moves with her family to the United States during the 1970s, and grows up in Indiana. Khadra's parents struggle to raise their children in accordance with Islamic values, while awash in a mostly Caucasian, Christian, and very American environment. The reader follows Khadra's journey to understand herself as an American Muslim well into adulthood. She travels to Syria after her marriage breaks down, and while there, learns her mother's secrets and the meaning of prayer. She lives in Philadelphia, away from the confines of the Indiana community she was raised in, and discovers Jewish friends and a passion for photography. And finally, the reader follows Khadra when she is finally able to go home again. Read the rest here.

I would love to know what the rest of you think of this book if you've read it!

Current Mood: okay
Monday, April 14th, 2008
8:55 am
from Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
"For years, Mortenson had known, intellectually, that the word 'Muslim' means, literally, 'to submit.' And like many American, who worshipped at the temple of rugged individualism, he had found the idea dehumanizing. But for the first time, kneeling among one hundred strangers, watching them wash away not only impurities, but also, obviously, the aches and cares of their daily lives, he glimpsed the pleasure to be found in submission to a ritualized fellowship of prayer."
Monday, February 4th, 2008
11:20 pm
The End of Poverty

Salaamu alaykum! :)

This book doesn't refer to religion at all . . . but made me think a lot. So much of the vision of the Quran is for social justice and this book addresses that issue in global terms regarding the possibility of ending extreme poverty (people living on less than $1 per day) within our lifetimes. In particular, this book addresses itself to the problems of Africa (where most of the world's extreme poor still live) using examples and stories from the success of programs for economic development in other countries such as Bolivia, Russia, Poland, India and China. He argues that if the richest countries in the world would merely act on the commitments they have already made in regards to foreign aid, with appropriate use in the countries it is directed to, extreme poverty could be eradicated.

I really enjoyed reading this book -- it is not too academic or dry -- actually the first time I ever felt like anything I read about economics was about actual people and not money. Never before has reading about economics made me think about God. :) So, I'd definitely recommend reading this book . . . . 

Sunday, November 25th, 2007
10:48 pm
Fazlur Rahman
Salaam alaykum~
Yaaaay!!!....shopping time!!! I'm browsing Amazon. :)
I'm wondering if anyone has read one of Fazlur Rahman's books, and what are your opinions/recommendations??? 
And if not one of those books, any authors/books you recommend??
Thank you!!!!!!
Monday, November 5th, 2007
9:06 am
Book on Hamas
i'm cross posting this from Free_Palestine 

I just finished HAMAS: A HISTORY from WITHIN

Hamas: A History from Within
I will let you all decide for yourselves how you feel about Hamas... i thought it was a very fair look at the group... 

It was interesting to read about their history and dealings with surrounding countries and with Fatah. it has brought to light a lot of the current situation for me... especially now that the annapolis peace talks (scoff!) are coming up and Hamas' exclusion... plus, the rise and quick fall of the unity government... 

i rarely agree with anything 100% and Hamas is included in that but i will say that the book has giving me a better appreciation for their movment, their players and im a bit more sympathetic to their history... i can see where they are coming from 

welp, now that ive put myself on a watchlist here is some more info:

you can learn about the author, Azzam Tamimi here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azzam_Tamimi
here are some of his articles from The Guardian http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/azzam_tamimi/index.html

right now i am reading COVERING ISLAM by Edward Said... he is mainly focused on Iran at this point... 
i also bought THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE written by an Israeli historian and i have THE VENTURE OF ISLAM high up on my list.

Thursday, November 1st, 2007
8:28 am
Islam and computer games
This topic isn't really book related so please feel free to close this down if its not suitable, but I wanted to talk about Islam and computer games (as there is no Muslims Play :D).

I started playing computer games when I had a Spectrum 128K (how processors have moved on!), then I got into console like the Megadrive (Genesis in the States), and now I like to play the occasional strategy game on the PC. Anyway I'm sure that most games were not exactly Muslim or Arab friendly back in the day as games like Desert Strike or Tomahawk Sim had you attacking 'terrorists' in Lebanon, Iraq etc or saving the president of the US from turbaned bearded fanatics! However games have somewhat moved on from these racist/bigoted stereotypes, and one of these games is the Medieval: Total War series. These games are set just after William the Conquerer taking the throne of England from himself and ends with the fall of Constantanople, but features 'events' like the discovery of gunpowder, Crusades, Jihads, Reconquista of Iberia to inventions like the wheelbarrow and Islamic paper mills in Europe.

You can play as one of the many factions catagorised by religion (Christian, Muslim, Orthodox) such as Norman England, The Almohads, The Turks, Byzantium and the Holy Roman Empire etc. Though the game follows history, you do have the ability to change history eg if you are playing as Egypt you have to make sure you are prepared for the crusades and the Golden Horde invasion. You can also spread your religion peacefully (by sending Imams or Priests to different settlements) or more forcefully, such as Jihads and Crusades.

Its a really fun game where you can build up your economy and take control of battles themselves by choosing tactics and formations for your troops.

Its refreshing to find a historical game that can remain neutral.
Saturday, October 27th, 2007
9:29 pm
In the Footsteps of the Prophet / Approaching the Quran
Salaam alaykum~!

Recently I read In the Footsteps of the Prophet, by Tariq Ramadan.
It was fabulous. :)

It discussed about Muhammad's (pbuh) early experiences in relation to nature,  in particular as a kid when he was fostered to his Bedouin nurse, Halimah. growing up in the desert.  It talked about how the universe is, and is full of, signs of/from God,  and how contemplation of these can lead us deeper into faith and relationship with God. The author writes:

"Far removed from the formalism of soulless religious rituals, this sort of education, in and through its closeness to nature, fosters a relationship to the divine based on contemplation and depth that will later make it possible, in a second phase of spiritual education, to understand the meaning, form, and objectives of religious ritual. Cut off from nature in our towns and cities, we nowadays seemd to have forgotten the meaning of this message to such an extent that we dangerously invert the order of requirements and believe that learning about the techniques and forms of religion (prayers, pilgrimages, etc.) is sufficient to grasp and understand their meanings and objectives. This delusion has serious consequences since it leads to draining religious teaching of its spiritual substance, which actually ought to be its heart."

This really hit home for me -- not because I feel that disconnected from nature (although I do live in Seoul which has got to be one of the most concrete of concrete jungles!!!!), but because as a convert, I often find myself getting stressed about doing things the "right" way -- filling the form of what it is to be a Muslim, as it were, and in the process sort of forgetting about the relationship with God that underlies all that anyway!! I read this book during Ramadan, and during that month I found myself thinking a lot about my identity as a Muslim -- and a westerner, an Australian, a woman, a feminist (the four things I identify most strongly as) (apart from Muslim). Anyway, reading that passage about nature in the book just really reminded me that while those things are all important, the most important thing is to be constantly seeking to deepen my understanding, faith, and relationship to God through simply looking around me and allowing this wonderful world He created to teach me its lessons about Him.

Anybody else have any ideas about that?

Have a lovely day!!! :)

Current Mood: enthralled
Sunday, October 21st, 2007
4:41 am
I just finished Women and Qur'an by Amina Wadud and I highly recommend it. She really does a great job of breaking down interpretations and words and the core of meaning in every misconstrued ayat about women. If only more people read this. I am now on Believing Women in Islam by Asma Barles.
Friday, October 12th, 2007
9:26 am
Books on Salah al-Din (Saladin) and Nur al Din?
So far I have found Muslim Heroes of the Crusades by Shahnaz Husain on Amazon for £3.99, but I was wondering if anyone had other recommendations?

I did take a look in my local bookshop, but the ME sections are dominated by political books on Iraq, Israel/Palestine etc and hardly anything on Medieval History so your feedback will be greatly apreciated!

Also are there any good films on Saladin and Nur al Din? I heard there was an Egyptian film from the 60's, but I can't remember the title...
Thursday, October 11th, 2007
11:39 am
Interview with Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong is one of my favorite religious historians. i just came across this interview with her in Islamica Magazine. 


a sneak peek: 

What has made Fundamentalism, seemingly, so predominant today?

The militant piety that we call "fundamentalism" erupted in every single major world faith in the course of the twentieth century. There is fundamentalist Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Confucianism, as well as fundamentalist Islam. Of the three monotheistic religions-Judaism, Christianity and Islam-Islam was the last to develop a fundamentalist strain during the 1960s.

Fundamentalism represents a revolt against secular modern society, which separates religion and politics. Wherever a Western secularist government is established, a religious counterculturalist protest movement rises up alongside it in conscious rejection. Fundamentalists want to bring God/religion from the sidelines to which they have been relegated in modern culture and back to centre stage. All fundamentalism is rooted in a profound fear of annihilation: whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, fundamentalists are convinced that secular or liberal society wants to wipe them out. This is not paranoia: Jewish fundamentalism took two major strides forward, one after the Nazi Holocaust, the second after the Yom Kippur War of 1973. In some parts of the Middle East, secularism was established so rapidly and aggressively that it was experienced as a lethal assault.

Do you think the West has some responsibility for what is happening in Palestine?

Western people have a responsibility for everybody who is suffering in the world. We are among the richest and most powerful countries and cannot morally or religiously stand by and witness poverty, dispossession or injustice, whether that is happening in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya or Africa. But Western people have a particular responsibility for the Arab-Israeli situation. In the Balfour Declaration (1917), Britain approved of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and ignored the aspirations and plight of the native Palestinians. And today the United States supports Israel economically and politically and also tends to ignore the plight of the Palestinians. This is dangerous, because the Palestinians are not going to go away, and unless a solution is found that promises security to the Israelis and gives political independence and security to the dispossessed Palestinians, there is no hope for world peace.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007
8:41 am
Increasing Your Knowledge of the Qur'an During Ramadan
Salam all - Ramadan Mubarak to the Muslims here... 
I wanted to post one of my favorite books having to do with the Qur'an. 
it is: Dictionary of the Holy Quran 
I use it when i read the Qur'an because, as many of us who can't understand (fully) the Arabic know, the English translations often don't measure up. This book gives you an in depth look at the Arabic words. sometimes they stem from words you never wouldve thought of but when you know, it makes the Qur'an that much more awesome. i highly, highly recommend it... here is the link to amazon but feel free to get it anywhere you can find it. i found mine at Barnes and Noble. 
Thursday, September 13th, 2007
9:05 am
Why stop at Al-Andalusia?
I saw this book this weekend on the shelves at B&N and have added it to my Amazon.com wishlist... i thought you all might be interested... 

Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 
by Mark Mazower 

Review from Publishers Weekly: 

Situated on the Aegean where two mountain ranges meet, Salonica has a unique geographical location, which promoted the rich confluence of cultures that once characterized the city. Part travelogue, part history and part cultural study, this is a splendid tour of the fortunes and misfortunes of this Balkan city. Drawing on a wealth of archival documents, Mazower (The Balkans; Dark Continent) weaves a lavish tapestry illustrating the tangled history of Salonica, which began as a Hellenistic urban center in 315 B.C. and flourished through the Middle Ages as a Greek Orthodox city. In 1430, the Ottoman Empire commenced a rule that lasted until 1912. By the end of the 15th century, Salonica had a large influx of Jews who had fled persecution in Spain. Mazower eloquently points out that these "peoples of the Book" largely tolerated and learned from one another, even though rivalry sometimes erupted into street fights, civil wars and power struggles. A series of civil wars in the 19th century returned the city to the Greeks, and the fall of the Ottoman Empire after WWI turned Salonica into a European city. In addition, the impact of the work of 19th-century Christian missionaries, along with the Nazis' removal of Jews, left Salonica bereft of its rich religious pluralism and multiethnic heritage. Mazower's graceful, evocative prose, his deft attention to details and his empathetic presentation of all sides of the story add up to a magnificent tale of this unique city.
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007
4:17 pm
politics / current events
anyone reading any good political or current event books?
Monday, August 27th, 2007
3:57 pm
Favorite Books on the Prophet (saws)
Salams all - 
i cant stress enough how non-religion related these books can be in order to post what you are reading but i am responding to someone who posted before about needing to read the Qur'an and Hadith... personally, ive found without historical context, the Qur'an is kind of rough. 

i recently read IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE PROPHET by Tariq Ramadan and thought it was one of the most readable books about Muhammad (saws)... he discusses what happened to him in his time and how that can relate to us in our time. He mentions ayat from the Qur'an and quotes hadith... it was a super quick read because it was so accessible... it wasnt dense with theology and history... 

has anyone else read it?

In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007
9:26 am
First Post
salam alaikum everyone -

what is everyone reading right now? what was the last Islam/Muslim-oriented book you read?
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