07.25.08

Understanding Islam: An Introduction

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:17 pm by Haider

As some of you might already know, I am currently writing a book (series?) entitled: Understanding Islam. This book is intended for both Muslims and non-Muslims trying to make sense of Islam. The book, therefore, has the twin aims of:

  • Explaining the differences that have arisen amongst Muslims in their understanding of Islam, and why the Muslim world is what it’s like today. Many non-Muslims aren’t interested in understanding Islam, as a religion, as much as they are trying to understand Islam as the ideology behind the crimes being perpetrated in its name. They do not want to hear about Islam being a peaceful religion, but more about the Muslim world and the ideas it is living by
  • Presenting an objective criteria and a valid approach to the interpretation of Islamic scripture that avoids the common mistakes people have fallen into. This will help Muslims to make better sense of their religion, without feeling that understanding their religion is beyond their reach, or is reserved for a small class of Muslims, or is too risky a field to venture into

It is my hope that by making Islam more accessible to people, they can discover how they can enrich their lives with Islam’s teachings, and come to understand the difference between what the Muslims believe and what Islam actually teaches.

7 Comments »

  1. صلاح said,

    July 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Mashallah,

    All the best Sayedna

    I look forward to the moment when I can place my order for your book from Amazon.com!

  2. Abu Junayd said,

    July 25, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Salaam ‘alaykum -

    I’m not aware of who you are, nor am I aware of your credentials, but I must caution and advice as you:

    If you are not a scholar, and if you are not a student of knowledge studying under the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, it is not your responsibility to write such a book on a subject as important as this one. If you were to do so, it would mean anyone–qualified or not–would be able to write a book on the Deen.

    Would that not produce more harm than benefit?

    Besides, you might write a thing believing it to be true when in fact it is not. Akhi, the least you can do, if you choose to ignore my advice, is to verify what you have written with the scholars.

    Baarak Allaah feek.

  3. Abu Junayd said,

    July 25, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Woops, that should have read: “…I must caution and advise you:”

    If I came off as rude, know that I did not intend to. Wafaqakallaah,

  4. Haider said,

    July 25, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Salah, I hope the book will be worth buying :D

    Dear Abu Junayd,

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Thank you very much for your advice and concern. Your comment isn’t rude in the least, and it is a concern I expect many Muslims to have about such a book.

    To rely on scholars for the understanding of our religion is an approach many Muslims take, since it makes more sense to turn to those with greater exposure to Islamic sources than those who have only read the Holy Koran casually.

    However, there is a lot more involved in this matter than meets the eye. For example, on what basis did you consider the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah to be an authority, and dismissed the scholars of other sects? And if there are disputes amongst the scholars you accept as an authority, how can you, as a layman, determine which of the scholars is correct?

    I don’t think that, simply because I am not studying under a scholar, I will open the door for everyone to write a book on Islam. Anyone *can* already write a book, but it is the strength of its arguments that determines whether it presents a correct understanding of Islam or not.

    I will deal with the issue of credentials in greater depth, and I sincerely hope that you can point out to me the weaknesses in my arguments so that I can review them, and refine my thinking. You will get a clearer picture of my approach once I begin my actual take on the subject.

    I look forward to your feedback in this project :)

  5. Manal said,

    July 26, 2008 at 3:09 am

    بالتوفيق

    تستاهل كل خير

    :)

  6. No Dhimmi said,

    July 26, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Yes, yes, we already understand Islam, and we know it SUCKS.

    Give it up, and maybe we can all live in peace.

  7. Haider said,

    July 26, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Manal: Thank you for your words of encouragement :)

    No Dhimmi: This is your current impression of Islam, and I can offer you 3 guarantees from reading the book:

    1- You will realise how the Muslims have misunderstood Islam in major ways

    2- You will change your impression of Islam for the positive

    3- Even if you continue to disagree with some Islamic beliefs or practices, you will be able to make use of some of Islam’s teachings that you were not exposed to before

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