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American Stories

Developed by Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Reed College.

While the large presence of Muslims in the United States dates to the 1960s, Muslims have been a part of the history of America since colonial times. American Muslims’ stories draw attention to ways in which people of varying religious, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds interact to shape both their communities’ identities and our collective past. (from Programming Librarian)

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Acts of Faith - Eboo Patel
ISBN: 9780807006221
Publication Date: 2010-07-27
Acts of Faithis a remarkable account of growing up Muslim in America and coming to believe in religious pluralism, from one of the most prominent faith leaders in the United States. Eboo Patel's story is a hopeful and moving testament to the power and passion of young people and of the world-changing potential of an interfaith youth movement.

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The Butterfly Mosque - G. Willow Wilson
ISBN: 9780802145338
Publication Date: 2011-06-07
The Butterfly Mosque, journalist G. Willow Wilson's remarkable story of converting to Islam and falling in love with an Egyptian man in a volatile 9/11 world, was praised as an eye-opening look at a misunderstood and often polarizing faith. (Booklist)

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The Columbia Sourcebook of Muslims in the United States - Edward E. Curtis
ISBN: 9780231139564
Publication Date: 2007-11-28
Bringing together an unusually personal collection of essays and documents from an incredibly diverse group of Americans who call themselves Muslims, Edward E. Curtis "finds Islam" in the American experience from colonial times to the present.

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Prince among Slaves - Terry Alford
ISBN: 9780195320459
Publication Date: 2007-09-19
In this remarkable work, Terry Alford tells the story of Abd al Rahman Ibrahima, a Muslim slave who, in 1807, was recognized by an Irish ship's surgeon as the son of an African king who had saved his life many years earlier.

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A Quiet Revolution - Leila Ahmed
ISBN: 9780300170955
Publication Date: 2011-04-29
In Cairo in the 1940s, Leila Ahmed was raised by a generation of women who never dressed in the veils and headscarves their mothers and grandmothers had worn. To them, these coverings seemed irrelevant to both modern life and Islamic piety. Today, however, the majority of Muslim women throughout the Islamic world again wear the veil. Why, Ahmed asks, did this change take root so swiftly, and what does this shift mean for women, Islam, and the West?

 

Literary Reflections

Developed by Leila Golestaneh Austin, Johns Hopkins University.

Islam has long provided a source of inspiration through which Muslims experience, understand, and guide their everyday lives. The readings for this theme can be seen as literary reflections on Muslim piety and communal concepts such as ethics, governance, knowledge, and identity. Each one reveals transformations in faith and identity, as Muslims living at different times and in different places have interpreted Islamic traditions to meet their distinctive cultural realities and spiritual needs.

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The Arabian Nights - Husain Haddawy (Translator); Muhsin Mahdi
ISBN: 0393331660
Publication Date: 2008-05-17
Now as sumptuously packaged as they are critically acclaimed new deluxe trade paperback editions of the beloved stories. Husain Haddawy's rapturously received translation of The Arabian Nights is based on a landmark reconstruction of the earliest extant manuscript version.

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The Conference of the Birds - Farid Ud-Din Attar; Afkham Darbandi (Foreword by, Translator); Dick Davis (Foreword by, Introduction by, Translator)
ISBN: 0140444343
Publication Date: 1984-07-03
Composed in the twelfth century in northeastern Iran, Farid Attar's great mystical poem is among the most significant of all works of Persian literature. A marvelous, allegorical rendering of the Islamic doctrine of Sufism, it describes the pilgrimage of the world's birds in search of their ideal king, the Simorgh bird, and the arduous journey they take to reach him.

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Dreams of Trespass - Fatima Mernissi
ISBN: 0201489376
Publication Date: 1995-09-04
In Dreams of Trespass, Mernissi weaves her own memories with the dreams and memories of the women who surrounded her in the courtyard of her youth - women who, deprived of access to the world outside, recreated it from sheer imagination. Dreams of Trespassis the provocative story of a girl confronting the mysteries of time and place, gender and sex in the recent Muslim world.

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Minaret - Leila Aboulela
ISBN: 0802170145
Publication Date: 2005-08-19
In her Muslim hijab, with her down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich families whose houses she cleans in London. Twenty years ago, Najwa, then at university in Khartoum, would never have imagined that one day she would be a maid. A novel about class, faith, and family, "Minaret" is an illuminating glimpse into a culture few westerners understand.

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Snow - Orhan Pamuk; Margaret Atwood (Introduction by)
ISBN: 0307700887
Publication Date: 2011-10-18
The Nobel Prize winner's second novel to appear in an Everyman edition is a spellbinding story of a poet seeking his lost love in a remote Turkish town riven by religious conflict and cut off from the world by a blizzard.

 

Points of View

Developed by Deborah Amos, international correspondent, National Public Radio.

The drama of conflict, chaos, and war come to Western readers in daily newspaper stories, but the news gives us scant details about how people live their lives in Islamabad, Fez, Cairo, or Tehran. Through the titles in “Points of View,” readers will encounter individual experiences in Muslim-majority societies through memoirs and novels representing a diverse geography and some of the best contemporary storytelling.

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Broken Verses - Kamila Shamsie
ISBN: 0156030535
Publication Date: 2005-06-01
Merging the personal with the political, Broken Verses is at once a sharp, thrilling journey through modern-day Pakistan, a carefully coded mystery, and an intimate mother-daughter story that asks how we forgive a mother who leaves.

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Dreams of Trespass - Fatima Mernissi
ISBN: 0201489376
Publication Date: 1995-09-04
In Dreams of Trespass, Mernissi weaves her own memories with the dreams and memories of the women who surrounded her in the courtyard of her youth - women who, deprived of access to the world outside, recreated it from sheer imagination. Dreams of Trespass is the provocative story of a girl confronting the mysteries of time and place, gender and sex in the recent Muslim world.

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House of Stone - Anthony Shadid
ISBN: 0547134665
Publication Date: 2012-02-28
The story of a battle-scarred home and a journalist's wounded spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this bittersweet and resonant memoir, Shadid creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house's renewal alongside the history of his family's flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America around the turn of the twentieth century.

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In the Country of Men - Hisham Matar
ISBN: 0385340435
Publication Date: 2008-02-26
In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare. But above all, it is a debut of rare insight and literary grace. From the Hardcover edition.

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Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0375422307
Publication Date: 2003-04-29
In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit.

 

Connected Histories

Developed by Giancarlo Casale, University of Minnesota.

Centuries before the dawn of the modern age, the world was already a surprisingly interconnected place. Readings for this theme introduce a way of understanding the past in which Islam and the West are seen as products of a shared, cosmopolitan, and inextricably intertwined past. These books help envision the world of our ancestors, which was as complex and dynamically interconnected as the world we live in today. (from Programming Librarian)

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The House of Wisdom - Jim Al-Khalili
ISBN: 9781594202797
Publication Date: 2011-03-31
A myth-shattering view of the medieval Islamic world's myriad scientific innovations, which preceded-and enabled-the European Renaissance. The Arabic legacy of science and philosophy has long been hidden from the West. British-Iraqi physicist Jim Al-Khalili unveils that legacy to fascinating effect by returning to its roots in the hubs of Arab innovation that would advance science and jump-start the European Renaissance.

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In an Antique Land - Amitav Ghosh
ISBN: 0679727833
Publication Date: 1994-03-29
Amitav Ghosh recounts his ten-year investigation into the life a twelfth-century Indian slave who lived in a remote corner of Egypt.

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Leo Africanus - Amin Maalouf
ISBN: 1561310220
Publication Date: 1992-07-01
Written in the form of a memoir, this historical novel explores the meeting of two worlds, Islam and Christendom, through the adventures of real-life Arab traveler and geographer Hassan al-Wazzan.

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The Ornament of the World - María Rosa Menocal
ISBN: 0316168718
Publication Date: 2003-04-02
Mar¡a Rosa Menocal's wafting, ineffably sad The Ornament of the World tells of a time and place--from 786 to 1492, in Andaluc¡a, Spain--that is largely and unjustly overshadowed in most historical chronicles. It was a time when three cultures--Judaic, Islamic, and Christian--forged a relatively stable (though occasionally contentious) coexistence. --H. O'Billovich

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When Asia Was the World - Stewart Gordon
ISBN: 030681739X
Publication Date: 2009-01-06
While European civilization stagnated in the Dark Ages, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of spiritual, commercial, and intellectual connections, the distant regions of Asia's vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with trade, international diplomacy, and the exchange of ideas.

 

Pathways of Faith

Developed by Frederick M. Denny, University of Colorado.

Following the correct pathway to spiritual fulfillment and success is a key Islamic principle. Readings for this theme explore the basic requirements for learning and obeying the precepts of the Qur’an, following Muhammad’s teachings, and engaging in specific formal practices. Also introduced are the pathways leading from Judaism and Christianity to Islam, the youngest of the three Abrahamic religions; the divergent paths followed by the Sunni and Shia communities; and the mystical routes to spiritual fulfillment known as Sufism.

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The Art of Hajj - Venetia Porter
ISBN: 1566568846
Publication Date: 2012-03-01
'It is laid down in the Quran that at least once in their lives Muslims should undertake the annual spiritual pilgrimage, the Hajj, to the holy city of Mecca.This striking little book not only takes the reader on a journey, but celebrates the skill and creativity of artists, craftspeople, and the pilgrims themselves who have responded to the call of Hajj over the centuries.

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Muhammad - Jonathan A. C. Brown
ISBN: 0199559287
Publication Date: 2011-04-15
As the founder of Islam, a religion with over one billion followers, Muhammad is beyond all doubt one of the most influential figures in world history. This Very Short Introduction provides a superb introduction to the major aspects of Muhammad's life and its importance, providing both Muslim and Western historical perspectives. It explains the prominent roles that Muhammad's persona has played in the Islamic world throughout history, from the medieval to the modern period.

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The Children of Abraham - Judaism, Christianity, Islam - F. E. Peters; John L. Esposito (Foreword by)
ISBN: 0691120412
Publication Date: 2004-08-16
F.E. Peters, a scholar without peer in the comparative study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, revisits his pioneering work after twenty-five years. Peters has rethought and thoroughly rewritten his classic The Children of Abraham for a new generation of readers at a time when the understanding of these three religious traditions has taken on a new and critical urgency.

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Rumi - Reynold A. Nicholson
ISBN: 1851680969
Publication Date: 1995-06-01
"Jalalu'l-Din Rumi (1207-73) was the greatest of the Persian mystical poets. In his extensive writings he explored the profound themes that had gradually evolved with the long succession of Sufi thinkers since the ninth century, such as the nature of truth, of beauty, and of our spiritual relationship with God.

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The Story of the Qur'an - Ingrid Mattson
ISBN: 1405122587
Publication Date: 2007-12-18
An essential introductory text for the study of the Qur'an, its content, and its place in Muslim society. An insightful and authoritative introduction to the book at the heart of Muslim life, written by a well-known Islamic scholar This book examines the doctrines contained in the Qur'an, providing a comprehensive explanation of their significance to individual Muslims and the societies in which they live.

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