Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond

I love popular science books. I hope that many would be translated into languages Muslims often speak, particularly Arabic, since many educated Arabs only read Arabic, unlike Urdu, for example, of which I'm told its educated speakers typically can read English.

One of the authors whose books I suggested should be translated is Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. His latest book, The World Until Yesterday: What We Can Learn from Traditional Societies?, also deserves the widest possible audience.

By comparing how modern and traditional societies handle war, raising of children, care of the elderly, health risks, religion, language and diet, The World Until Yesterday stretches our conception of the ranges of choices available to us in a matter similar to the best science fiction.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: On the Means of Beholding The Prophet in a Dream by Yusuf ibn Ismail al-Nabahani

by Imam Yusuf b. Isma'il al-Nabahani, translator Imam Abdul Aziz Suraqah.  

A Muslim's Book Shelf reviewed the book:

This book presents 40 means that Imam Yusuf al-Nabahani has collected in order to see Prophet Muhammad  in a dream. ... read more ...

I have not read the book.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sanad Collective: Letters to the Beloved Writing Competition

Letters to the Beloved ﷺ

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa raḥmātullahi wa barakatūh
Sanad Collective is inviting you to express your feelings for the Prophet ﷺ by composing a letter, from you to him ﷺ. ... read more ... 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Anti-Terrorism Messages Lack Substance

This morning, I heard a segment on USA National Public Radio entitled Building Ties to Counter Religious Extremism in LA. The segment features two law enforcement types extensively, and two Muslims, Amina Mirza Qazi and Salam al-Maryati, who present different points of view. I've written on this blog extensively on the Global War on Terror, so I'd encourage you to review those posts.

Friday, January 16, 2015

ATL Discusses "Mornings in Jenin" by Susan Abulhawa, Jan 31, 2015, 6pm

This book has also been translated into Arabic. This blog entry is an adaptation of an e-mail I received from Ingrid Torsay through a mailing list. See if this is going on in a city near you.
Atlanta is participating in the One Book, Many Communities project, organized by Librarians and Archivists with Palestine. We will discuss Mornings in Jenin by Palestinian-American author Susan Abulhawa. Please join us for a lively discussion and a pot luck supper:

31 January, Saturday, 6:00 PM
Our Lady of Lourdes (cafeteria)
25 Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA  30312

The 'One Book, Many Communities' project by Librarians and Archivists with Palestine aims to introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination."

Communities throughout the world will be reading and discussing Mornings in Jenin. Just a few of the places are Rome, Venice, Bologna, Trieste, Naples, and 3 or 4 more in Italy; Dèvillac, France; Tel Aviv, Israel; Malmö and Stockholm in Sweden; Ramallah, Palestine; Quebec and Toronto in Canada; and several cities in the U.S.

Everyone is welcome. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library has four copies available. Come even if you have not finished reading. Contact information: Ingrid Torsay (404) 438-6598 or by e-mail

Update: Jan 16, 2015 23:15: The author Susan Abulhawa is excited about the worldwide response to this project.
Updated February 17, 2015: Yousef Munayyer's review of the book.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Review: In God's Path: Arab Conquests and The Creation of an Islamic Empire by Robert Hoyland

Stuart Kelly reviewed In God’s Path: Arab Conquests and The Creation of an Islamic Empire by Robert Hoyland in The Scotsman of January 7, 2015.
This kind of book always eschews its embedded nature in contemporary discourse: it’s the facts, man, not a comment on the contemporary cradled in archaism. That is true, but it would be beneficial to everyone if both Muslims and non-Muslims read it, realised their shared history, understood their differences, and appreciated that the stories can always be retold, reinterpreted, revised and reimagined. A Norman knight and a Korean monk can give us insights into Islam; Islamic writing, thinking and behaving can hold up a mirror to the West as well. Read more
I have not read the book.