Publication

  • Culture shapes every aspect of the relationship between God and the believer in Islam – as well as between believers, and with those beyond the fold. Fasts, prayers and pilgrimages are attuned to social rhythms, old and new, no less than the designs of mosques and public gardens, the making of ‘religious’ music, and ways of thinking about technology and wellbeing. Ancient deserts and modern urban landscapes may echo with the same call for transcendence, but in voices that emerge from very different everyday realities.

    Scripture itself is always seen through a cultural lens; both the language and what it communicates are intimately tied to certain contexts. The cosmopolitanism that runs through Muslim history from the outset recalls T.S. Eliot’s remark that culture is ‘that which makes life worth living’. It frames how the deepest religious values are understood and practised, from modesty in adornment and solidarity with the underprivileged, to integrity and accountability in political life. Muslims have never been content with a passive separation of faith from their daily lives, whether public or private.

    What are the implications of this holistic view in a diverse world of Muslims and non-Muslims? How do core ethical values interface with the particulars of local cultures in all their complexity, especially when it comes to matters like the status of women and the scope of individual religious freedom? The answers – at a time when secular and Muslim identities appear to be locked in conflict – are explored in this Companion by some of today’s finest scholars.

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  • About the Contributors xi
    List of Illustrations xvii
    1.Introduction: Faith and Culture  
    AMYN B.SAJOO 1
    2.Everyday Tradition  
    EARLE WAUGH 21
    3.Modernity: Secular and Sacred  
    ABDULLAHI AN-NAIM 37
    4.Spiritual Life  
    CARL W. ERNST 57
    5.Gender and Identity  
    ELENA CAPRIONI AND EVA SAJOO 77
    6.Science and Social Change  
    MORGAN CLARKE 103
    7. Architecture and Community  
    HUSSEIN KESHANI 117
    8. Moving Words  
    JONATHAN M.BLOOM 137
    9. Moving Sounds  
    JONATHAN SHANNON 165
    10. A Taste of Mecca  
    MAI YAMANI 185
    11. Cosmopolitanism: Ways of Being Muslim  
    KARIM H. KARIM 201
    Index 221
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  • Dr Amyn Sajoo

    English
    Amyn B. Sajoo is a Scholar-in-Residence at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies in Vancouver, Canada. A specialist in international human rights, civil society and public ethics, Dr Sajoo was educated at King's College London and McGill University, Montreal. He has taught at the University of British Columbia, McGill, Simon Fraser University and The Institute of Ismaili Studies, and was a 2005 Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. Dr Sajoo earlier served as a human rights advisor with the Canadian department of Justice in Ottawa. He also served as a Canada-ASEAN...Read more