Episodes
In his new book, Hajj to the Heart: Sufi Journeys Across the Indian Ocean (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) and is available as an open-access enhanced edition, Scott Kugle follows the life and legacy of the influential Sufi scholar of Arabic, hadith, and scriptural hermeneutics shaykh ‘Ali Muttaqi. ‘Ali Muttaqi left South Asia for hajj (Mecca) where he eventually settled as an exile. Kugle provides a microscopic history of this figure by engaging a wealth of diverse Arabic and...
Published 04/01/22
Gender and sexuality in modern Iran are frequently examined through the prisms of nationalist symbols and religious discourse. In Revolutionary Bodies: Technologies of Gender, Sex, and Self in Contemporary Iran (Bloomsbury, 2020), Kristin Soraya Batmanghelichi, Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, Norway, takes a different approach, by interrogating how normative ideas of women's bodies in state, religious, and public health discourses have resulted in the female body being deemed...
Published 03/25/22
Rivals in the Gulf: Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Abdullah Bin Bayyah, and the Qatar-UAE Contest Over the Arab Spring and the Gulf Crisis (Routledge, 2021) goes to key questions of governance at the heart of developments in the Muslim world. Warren looks at the issue through the lens of two of the foremost Middle Eastern religious protagonists and their backers: Egyptian-born Qatari national Yusuf a Qaradawi, widely seen as advocating an Islamic concept of democracy, and UAE-backed Abdullah Bin Bayyah...
Published 03/21/22
In Half of Faith: American Muslim Marriage and Divorce in the Twenty-First Century, readers find a wide range of texts on Muslim Americans’ experiences with questions of marriage and divorce in an effort to do what is deemed Islamically acceptable. This exciting reader, which brings together previously published as well as new content, includes the broad themes of wedding, marriage, and divorce in the Muslim American experience. More specifically, the reader aims to explore the diversity in...
Published 03/18/22
Within Islam, Ihsan includes doing good deeds that God has ordained in all spheres of life. Islam and Good Governance: A Political Philosophy of Ihsan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019) seeks to develop a political philosophy based on Ihsan which emphasizes love, process, and self-restraint. Working at the intersection of political theory, international relations, mysticism, and theology, Dr. Khan interrogates TWO forms of Islamic political theory: Muslim realism and Islamic idealism. He argues that...
Published 03/14/22
Peter Mandaville's Islam and Politics (3rd Edition; Routledge, 2020) is a basic and comprehensive account of political Islam in the contemporary world. It provides a broad introduction to all major aspects of the interface of Islam and politics in an accessible style with sufficient depth for the academic classroom. Features include: Exploration of the origins and development of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and various regional affiliates of the global Salafi-Jihadi movement. Coverage of contemporary...
Published 03/11/22
Jeffery D. Long and Michael G. Long's Nonviolence in the World's Religions: A Concise Introduction (Routledge, 2021) introduces the reader to the complex relationship between religion and nonviolence. The meanings of both religion and nonviolence are explored through engagement with nonviolence in Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Sikh, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Jain, and Pacific Island religious traditions. This is the ideal introduction to the relationship between religion and violence for...
Published 03/10/22
Today I talked to Christopher Clohessy about his book Angels Hastening: The Karbalāʾ Dreams (Gorgias Press, 2021), When, on an autumn Medina night in 61/680, the night that saw al-Ḥusayn killed, Umm Salama was torn from her sleep by an apparition of a long-dead Muḥammad, she slipped effortlessly into a progression of her co-religionists who, irrespective of status, gender or standing with God, were the recipients of dark and arresting visions. At the core of those Delphian dreams, peopled by...
Published 03/09/22
In Producing Islam(s) in Canada: On Knowledge, Positionality and Politics (University of Toronto, 2021), Amélie Barras, Jennifer Selby, and Melanie Adrian bring together twenty-nine interdisciplinary scholars of all levels to engage and reflect on how Islam and Muslims in Canada has been studied from the 1970s to the present moment. Originating from a workshop, the contributors were asked to reflect on diverse approaches to the study of Islam and Muslims in Canada, especially as it centers...
Published 03/04/22
Islam's fourth caliph, Ali, can be considered one of the most revered figures in Islamic history. His nearly universal portrayal in Muslim literature as a pious authority obscures centuries of contestation and the eventual rehabilitation of his character.  In Opposing the Imam: The Legacy of the Nawasib in Islamic Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Nebil Husayn, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Miami, examines the enduring legacy of the nawasib, early...
Published 02/28/22
Usaama al-Azami’s Islam and the Arab Revolutions: The Ulama Between Democracy and Autocracy (Oxford UP, 2022) focuses on the responses of several prominent Muslim religious scholars towards the 2011 Arab popular revolts, particularly in Egypt, that toppled long-standing autocratic leaders. It also looks at their reaction to the subsequent military coup in 2013 that overthrw Egypt’s first and only democratically elected leader and led to the brutal and bloody repression of anti-coup...
Published 02/23/22
What role does the Islamophobic conspiracy theory of “love jihad” play in the politics of Hindu nationalist statecraft—the legal codification of Hindu nationalist ideology—in India today? In this podcast, Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Alf Gunvald Nilsen unpack this question on the basis of a recent article published in the journal Religions. The idea of love jihad, they argue, is both a conservative ideology for the governance of gender relations, and a marker that is being used to draw a line...
Published 02/18/22
The Ottoman Empire has been many things throughout its long history. One of the greatest and gravest threats to Christian Europe. A source of inspiration for Renaissance and Reformation thinkers. An exoticized realm of sultans, slaves and harems. An equal and key partner in the European system of international relations. And, near its end, “the sick man of Europe”. The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs (Basic Books, 2021) by Professor Marc David Baer charts the rise and fall of the...
Published 02/17/22
In his brilliant and philosophically charged new book God, Science, and Self: Muhammad Iqbal's Reconstruction of Religious Thought (McGill-Queen's UP, 2021), Nauman Faizi conducts a close and often dazzling reading of a towering yet difficult Muslim modernist text. Through a painstakingly intimate analysis of Muhammad Iqbal’s discourse on wide ranging themes including revelation, the self, knowledge, and science, Faizi shows that Iqbal’s thought houses in productive tension representational...
Published 02/11/22
Based on religious ethnography, in-depth interviews and archival data, Afe Adogame, Indigeneity in African Religions: Oza Worldviews, Cosmologies and Religious Cultures (Bloomsbury, 2021) explores the historical origins, worldviews, cosmologies, ritual symbolism and praxis of the indigenous Oza people in South West Nigeria. The author's locationality and positionality plugs the book within decolonizing knowledges and indigeneity discourses, thus unpacking the complexity of “indigeneity” and...
Published 02/11/22
Elora Shehabuddin’s new book Sisters in the Mirror: A History of Muslim Women and the Global Politics of Feminism (University of California Press, 2021), traces the genealogy of the representation of Muslim women, and especially Bengali women, from colonial contexts to the contemporary moment. Weaving a rich analysis using diverse historical archives, the study highlights how notions of feminism did not develop in isolation, especially between the Anglo-Western world and South Asia but rather...
Published 02/04/22
In How ISIS Fights: Military Tactics in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt (Edinburgh UP, 2021), Omar Ashour has written a detailed and data-rich analysis of ISIS's way of war. He analyzes the tactical and operational levels of war to depict what makes ISIS successful and unique. He reveals that ISIS was tactically and organizationally innovative, redefining not just what a terrorist organization is, but what it does. Not only did SIS pioneer a number of highly innovative tactical and procedural...
Published 01/31/22
In his new book cum manifesto, Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit (Wiley-Blackwell, 2021), legendary scholar of Islam Bruce Lawrence outlines his politico-conceptual manifesto for the study and place of Islam in the modern world. He does so by expounding, lyrically and brilliantly, on the key category of his book that also forms its title: "Islamicate Cosmopolitan Spirit.” Much of the book is devoted to elaborating and nuancing what these three categories mean to Lawrence and their significance...
Published 01/24/22
Shajar al-Durr--known as "Tree of Pearls"--began her remarkable career as a child slave, given as property to Sultan Salih of Egypt. She became his concubine, was manumitted, became his wife, served as governing regent, and ultimately rose to become the legitimately appointed sultan of Egypt in 1250 after her husband's death. Shajar al-Durr used her wealth and power to add a tomb to his urban madrasa; with this innovation, madrasas and many other charitably endowed architectural complexes...
Published 01/05/22
The Ansaru Allah Community, also known as the Nubian Islamic Hebrews (AAC/NIH) and later the Nuwaubians, is a deeply significant and controversial African American Muslim movement. Founded in Brooklyn in the 1960s, it spread through the prolific production and dissemination of literature and lecture tapes and became famous for continuously reinventing its belief system. In this book, Michael Muhammad Knight studies the development of AAC/NIH discourse over a period of thirty years, tracing a...
Published 01/05/22
In Intersectionality in the Muslim South Asian-American Middle Class: Lifestyle Consumption beyond Halal and Hijab (Lexington Books, 2021), wherein Ternikar theorizes the everyday consumption of South Asian Muslim American women through case studies of their food, clothing, and social media presence. Through feminist, intersectional, and sociology of consumption theories, she provides excellent insights into the nuanced ways that these women negotiate their gendered, classed, racial, and...
Published 12/24/21
Part of the series CAHIM Connecting Art Histories in the Museum, Anna McSweeney's book From Granada to Berlin: The Alhambra Cupola (Kettler Verlag, 2020) is the story of an extraordinary survivor from the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain: the Alhambra cupola, now in the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin. The cupola, a ceiling crafted from carved and painted wood, was made to crown an exquisite mirador in one of the earliest palace buildings of the Alhambra. The book is the cupola's biography...
Published 12/21/21
In her landmark new book Leaving Iberia: Islamic Law and Christian Conquest in North West Africa (Harvard UP, 2021), Jocelyn Hendrickson launches a searingly brilliant legal history centered on the question of how medieval and early modern Muslim jurists in Iberia and North Africa wrestled with various thorny questions of living under or migrating away from non-Muslim political sovereignty. This book combines meticulous social and political history with nimble and accessible readings of a...
Published 12/17/21
Ali ibn Abi Talib is arguably the single most important spiritual and intellectual authority in Islam after prophet Mohammad. Through his teachings and leadership as fourth caliph, Ali nourished Islam. But Muslims are divided on whether he was supposed to be Mohammad’s political successor and he continues to be a polarizing figure in Islamic history. In The Prophet's Heir: The Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib (Yale UP, 2021), Hassan Abbas provides a nuanced, compelling portrait of this towering yet...
Published 12/15/21
Most observers of Iran viewed the Green Uprisings of 2009 as a 'failed revolution', with many Iranians and those in neighboring Arab countries agreeing. In Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings (Cambridge UP, 2020), however, Pouya Alimagham re-examines this evaluation, deconstructing the conventional win-lose binary interpretations in a way which underscores the subtle but important victories on the ground, and reveals how Iran's modern history imbues those triumphs with...
Published 12/09/21