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In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers? With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe's leading thinkers and one of Islam's most innovative and important voices. As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of wha In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers? With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe's leading thinkers and one of Islam's most innovative and important voices. As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslim becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West. While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context. French, English, German, and American Muslims--women as well as men--are reshaping their religion into one that is faithful to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies. Ramadan's goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West. He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western societies. He then shows how these principles can be put to practical use. Ramadan contends that Muslims can-indeed must-be faithful to their principles while participating fully in the civic life of Western secular societies. Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam offers a striking vision of a new Muslim Identity, one which rejects once and for all the idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West.


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In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers? With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe's leading thinkers and one of Islam's most innovative and important voices. As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of wha In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers? With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe's leading thinkers and one of Islam's most innovative and important voices. As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslim becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West. While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context. French, English, German, and American Muslims--women as well as men--are reshaping their religion into one that is faithful to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies. Ramadan's goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West. He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western societies. He then shows how these principles can be put to practical use. Ramadan contends that Muslims can-indeed must-be faithful to their principles while participating fully in the civic life of Western secular societies. Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam offers a striking vision of a new Muslim Identity, one which rejects once and for all the idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West.

30 review for Western Muslims and the Future of Islam

  1. 4 out of 5

    miteypen

    I'm really proud of myself for finishing this book, because it wasn't easy. Not because it was boring, but because it was scholarly and very detailed. It was basically about how Muslims in the West need to adapt to their surroundings without compromising their religion. Not an easy task. There was so much to digest, I feel like I need to read this again, but I'll probably move on to another one of his books first. The only reason I gave the book 3 stars is because it is hard to read and definite I'm really proud of myself for finishing this book, because it wasn't easy. Not because it was boring, but because it was scholarly and very detailed. It was basically about how Muslims in the West need to adapt to their surroundings without compromising their religion. Not an easy task. There was so much to digest, I feel like I need to read this again, but I'll probably move on to another one of his books first. The only reason I gave the book 3 stars is because it is hard to read and definitely not for the somewhat casual reader. The only reason I kept on going is because I'm trying to challenge myself to learn as much as I can about how to live my life as a Muslim convert. I did learn a lot from this book, but I don't know how much I'll retain!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I've been deeply impressed with Tariq Ramadan when I've seen him on Al-Jazeera, and reading this book, there's clearly an intelligent and subtle thinker at work. I'm afraid, however, that I'm not the right audience for much of this particular text. While I was fascinated by Islamic theology (as Ramadan understands it, at least), many of his appeals-- I say this as perhaps the least spiritual person on the planet-- are lost on me. People who probably could gain something from this book: 1) Muslims I've been deeply impressed with Tariq Ramadan when I've seen him on Al-Jazeera, and reading this book, there's clearly an intelligent and subtle thinker at work. I'm afraid, however, that I'm not the right audience for much of this particular text. While I was fascinated by Islamic theology (as Ramadan understands it, at least), many of his appeals-- I say this as perhaps the least spiritual person on the planet-- are lost on me. People who probably could gain something from this book: 1) Muslims looking for an interesting perspective on their own religion. 2) Westerners-- especially religious Westerners-- who don't really know much about Islam. Anyway, this is an impressive work, loaded with impressive arguments based on Ramadan's interpretation of the Qu'ran. There's this almost Reformation desire to clear out the centuries of dogma and ritual and cultural influence and try to return to a universalist, humanistic Islam. It's a theological mission I can't quibble with-- I wish him the best of luck-- but I'm the wrong audience.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Noah

    Often characterized as a "Muslim Martin Luther"--though he would contest the idea that Islam is in need of a reformation and would instead suggest the idea of renewal--Ramadan clearly outlines the universal (that is, trans-cultural) elements of Islam in the first part of the book, before applying them to very specific social, political, economic situations. Ramadan himself is actively involved in the global peace and justice/anti-globalization movement and offers clear, Islamically based forms o Often characterized as a "Muslim Martin Luther"--though he would contest the idea that Islam is in need of a reformation and would instead suggest the idea of renewal--Ramadan clearly outlines the universal (that is, trans-cultural) elements of Islam in the first part of the book, before applying them to very specific social, political, economic situations. Ramadan himself is actively involved in the global peace and justice/anti-globalization movement and offers clear, Islamically based forms of economic resistance, moving the movement one step closer to the other world that it envisions. All of which makes it only that much more regrettable that Ramadan has been denied entry to the United States by the current administration.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ebadur

    "We are currently living through a veritable silent revolution in Muslim communities in the West: more and more young people and intellectuals are actively looking for a way to live in harmony with their faith while participating in the societies that are their societies, whether they like it or not." - pg. 4 12/12/09: See Ebrahim Moosa's review of this book particularly his critique through Sherman Jackson's argument regarding false universals. Tim Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad) also has a review of "We are currently living through a veritable silent revolution in Muslim communities in the West: more and more young people and intellectuals are actively looking for a way to live in harmony with their faith while participating in the societies that are their societies, whether they like it or not." - pg. 4 12/12/09: See Ebrahim Moosa's review of this book particularly his critique through Sherman Jackson's argument regarding false universals. Tim Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad) also has a review of this and another book in a review article for the Times Literary Supplement. Let me know if you would like me to email you either.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sithara

    This book is divided into two parts: It is in Part A, entitled "A Universe of Reference" that the book really shines. Ramadan uses Islamic sources, the Quran, authentic hadiths, as well as tools of Islamic jurisprudence such as Maslaha (the common good) and ijtihad (independent reasoning) to set aside meaningless historical concepts such as "Dar al Harb" [abode of war:] and "Dar al Islam" [abode of Islam:] and come up with the simple, rather obvious, but revolutionary concept: Western countries a This book is divided into two parts: It is in Part A, entitled "A Universe of Reference" that the book really shines. Ramadan uses Islamic sources, the Quran, authentic hadiths, as well as tools of Islamic jurisprudence such as Maslaha (the common good) and ijtihad (independent reasoning) to set aside meaningless historical concepts such as "Dar al Harb" [abode of war:] and "Dar al Islam" [abode of Islam:] and come up with the simple, rather obvious, but revolutionary concept: Western countries are "Dar al-Shahada" or, area of testimony. Basically, the task of Muslims in the West is to express the Shahada, the creed that "There is no God but God, and Muhammad (s) is His Messenger" not only in word, but in deed (no easy task, as Ramadan makes clear.) Such an attitude requires becoming intimately involved in Western society, understanding the Western mindset, and actively participating in civic engagement. We can not sit around and depend on fatwas being given from the Islamic world by some scholar who has never lived in the West, and therefore has no idea of Western concepts and thinking. To truly bear witness to the One God in one's society, one has to be BOTH fully a Westerner AND a Muslim- not choose between one or another. I give this part of the book 5 stars. In the second part of the book, part B, "The Meaning of Engagement," Ramadan tries to lay out how Muslims should engage themselves in the West, keeping in mind their primary task of bearing witness to the One God by acts and deeds. He explores Muslim engagement in topics such as "Spirituality and Emotions", Islamic Education, "Social Commitment and Political Participation", "Economic Resistance", and "Interreligious Dialogue." Defining the proper Islamic engagement in each of these areas, much less all of them, is a huge undertaking, and as Ramadan repeatedly stresses, can only be done properly by taking into account one's context. Thus, appropriate Islamic Education, or political participation, or interreligious dialog will wary from America to Europe, and from region to region, and from town to town. However, because of these limitations, Ramadan is limited to offering interesting insights, but not much in the way of solutions or guidelines. For example, I wholeheartedly agree with the need for Muslims to resist and offer REAL alternatives to the murderous and unjust economic order, and the need for Muslims to be educated BOTH in Islam and in Western civic engagement (including lessons in Western history, philosophy, etc). Ramadan rightly claims that many solutions that have so far been promoted (Islamic banking, Islamic schools, etc) are superficial solutions, which may help Muslims feel that they have followed 'the letter of Islamic law' but do nothing to actually improve our societies. However, Ramadam himself is not able to offer much in the way of solutions or guidelines as to how to achieve aims such as a just economic order, or proper education. Ultimately,, this section feels incomplete, with the reader wanting more. I give this part of the book 3 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I gave this book four stars not necessarily because I really liked the book but because as a non-Muslim westerner, I think it was an important book to read. This book is written by a Muslim scholar who is trying to reach the Muslim community and reform it from within. (At least that is the perception i got from reading this book.) It is a very scholarly book and therefore must be read carefully. And for a non-Muslim, it was, at east in the beginning, a very difficult book to read and understand b I gave this book four stars not necessarily because I really liked the book but because as a non-Muslim westerner, I think it was an important book to read. This book is written by a Muslim scholar who is trying to reach the Muslim community and reform it from within. (At least that is the perception i got from reading this book.) It is a very scholarly book and therefore must be read carefully. And for a non-Muslim, it was, at east in the beginning, a very difficult book to read and understand because it is talking about a religion that I am not familiar with from an inside viewpoint. This book was a helpful read because I feel now like I have a better understanding of the complexities that a Muslim faces when trying to stay true to her religion but also live within a Western culture. And therefore it makes me more sympathetic to their difficulties and contradictions. I have a better understanding of the core believes of the religion and therefore can understand better why certain conflicts arise in our western culture. However, I also thought the author used a very broad brush and did not try to answer any of the really hard questions that he brought up. He would say, "This is a difficult situation and we must use these processes to try to find an answer," but he never actually did the work of trying to find an answer to the situation. I suppose finding specific answers to specific problems was outside the purview of this book as it is looking at Muslims in many western cultures, from America to various European countries. But I found it frustrating as I continued to read that the author seemed to broach each difficult subject only to say "we must find an answer" and then nothing more. I was also frustrated that the author did not address at all the conflict of women's treatment under Islam. Finally I was frustrated that, in the conclusion, the author states that Muslims will have to continue to deal with intolerance and prejudice in the West without ever acknowledging the behavior of Muslims that led and continues to lead to the intolerance and prejudice. Perhaps it is necessary for the author to speak softly, if you will, because he is speaking to the Muslim communtiy, not the non-Muslim community. So perhaps he is trying to find a middle ground to send his message of reform in a way that the people will listen and not immediately shut out his message. But as a non-Muslim, it was a frustrating read toward the end of the book. But again, a very important and helpful book for me to read because it did give me an insight into the religion that I otherwise would not have.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Overall the book was good, yet I honestly was a bit disappointed by what felt like a more defensive engagement for most of the book. Now, that's not the say the "defensiveness" is not called for. Islam in the West has been under attack for some time and in many ways it will be Muslims in the West who hold the key to how Islam as a whole engages with both People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab) as well as those who are considered unbelievers as well as those who are actively denying the truths of Islam Overall the book was good, yet I honestly was a bit disappointed by what felt like a more defensive engagement for most of the book. Now, that's not the say the "defensiveness" is not called for. Islam in the West has been under attack for some time and in many ways it will be Muslims in the West who hold the key to how Islam as a whole engages with both People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab) as well as those who are considered unbelievers as well as those who are actively denying the truths of Islam. All to say, I was a bit disappointed until I reached chapter 9 in the book, "Interreligious Dialogue." It was here that my faith and hope in what Tariq Ramadan has to say was restored. He shared many much needed insights into the current climate of dialogue between these two faiths. “Nevertheless, the problem remains that these [Muslims and Christians engaged in interfaith dialogue:] are fairly closed circles whose members are not always in real contact with their own religious groups, and this makes it difficult to convey to the heart of each religious community the advances made in these numerous meetings. Moreover, whole sections of these communities are neither concerned with nor touched by the various dialogues that are taking place. Those who meet do not represent the various denominations, schools of thought, or tendencies of the adherents of their religion. Those who hold the most closed opinions, which in daily life are the cause of the real problem, never meet.” (p. 200). Or this, “Dialogue is not enough. Even if it is rigorous, even if it is necessary to give time to knowing, trusting, and respecting each other, even if we should take on ourselves the widest possible responsibility to report back, it is only one stage or one aspect of the encounter among the various religious traditions. In Western societies, it is urgent that we commit ourselves to joint action. In dialogue, we soon realize that we hold a great number of convictions and values in common. We understand very quickly that we are facing the same difficulties and challenges. But we very rarely move outside these circles of reflection.” (p. 211)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Affad Shaikh

    Many a reader have been attracted to label Tariq Ramadan a modern day Martin Luther, a reformer of Islam and reconciler between modernity and Islam. However, I take serious issue with that typecasting. I find that it might be easy to refer to him as a reformer, however, such a label is an egregious misunderstanding of history and circumstances, and in its worst manifestation it presents an innocuous view that Islam, as a world religion, is somehow in the throes of European and Catholic turmoil. Many a reader have been attracted to label Tariq Ramadan a modern day Martin Luther, a reformer of Islam and reconciler between modernity and Islam. However, I take serious issue with that typecasting. I find that it might be easy to refer to him as a reformer, however, such a label is an egregious misunderstanding of history and circumstances, and in its worst manifestation it presents an innocuous view that Islam, as a world religion, is somehow in the throes of European and Catholic turmoil. The Muslim dilemma is far from that of Europe and the Catholic church, in ways our challenges are not as systemic and problematic, i would argue. What Tariq Ramadan is, and I see that more in this work then any other, is a modern day Muslim shaman, or in it's proper cultural context a Vizier of the people. Like ancient shamans, Ramadan helps individuals and the community reconcile themselves with their struggles and their environment with his insight, knowledge, wisdom and intellect. The shaman was a healer and finder of lost souls that worked to restore wholeness and fullness of being to both individuals and communities. In that manner, "Western Muslims" is an exercise of applying compassionate application of Ramadan's knowledge and intellect to help push forward a intelligent discourse on what the community as a whole and as individuals needs to work on. For the purposes that I was reading this book I found that Part I is far more structured, poignant and applicable. Part II, however, is an exercise in creative problem solving by providing ideas but not necessarily solutions, therefore, Part II had very little applicability for me directly as I was looking for information to frame my own internal search for structuring identity and prioritizing effort. Overall this book is dense and its filled with information that requires a person to be well versed in Islam, Muslim history as well as terminology. Those who are not Muslim that read this book, I applaud you because it is not an easy read whatsoever because it requires the reader to have such in-depth background on the topics discussed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mishelle Masri

    I can`t seem to get how is it possible to reject the Islamic binary division of the world into dar al-Islam and dar al-harb. Even though it is not mentioned in the Qura'an, it is actually a part of the contemporary political views of Islam. Other matter to notice is the notion of a 'west muslim', one cannot simply add a normativity to a concept that works as a status and on its behalf state that this should be (or it tends to be) the closest future of Muslims who move to the west; clearly they h I can`t seem to get how is it possible to reject the Islamic binary division of the world into dar al-Islam and dar al-harb. Even though it is not mentioned in the Qura'an, it is actually a part of the contemporary political views of Islam. Other matter to notice is the notion of a 'west muslim', one cannot simply add a normativity to a concept that works as a status and on its behalf state that this should be (or it tends to be) the closest future of Muslims who move to the west; clearly they have radical distinctions but those are not because of an islamic paradigm, be it religiously or ethically addressed, but rather because of a political status and ideological position: a place on a map marks and determines a civil, administrative and social matter, the place on the book (be it whatever interpretaition of the Qura’an he wants) is a matter of religion. The issue of the ‘muslim of the west’ isn’t a matter of interpretation of the texts, but it is rather a matter of political invisibility or maximum visibility in some cases, of persecution, profiling, distrust, doubt of motives, hostility, lack of approvement, etc., all in a political, economic and social dimension. The ‘future’ of the ‘west muslim’ is, in any case, unpredictable; simply because it remains, and will remain still, undefinable, unidentifiable. Even though I admire its views on the women status, and the condemnation of violence in any form of terrorism. Some facts turned out to be interesting and some of his political views are cleared out in this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    arafat

    If there's one contemporary 'mainstream' Muslim author worth reading, it's probably Tariq Ramadan. While not without its problems, I agreed with a lot of what's said in this book. Ramadan's analysis of existing tendencies in Muslim life in the West, though not entirely novel, is extremely perceptive. And he has a talent for writing, which we can hope will lead to more developed works in the future. The sections in this book that I liked best were the one in which he offers a classification of co If there's one contemporary 'mainstream' Muslim author worth reading, it's probably Tariq Ramadan. While not without its problems, I agreed with a lot of what's said in this book. Ramadan's analysis of existing tendencies in Muslim life in the West, though not entirely novel, is extremely perceptive. And he has a talent for writing, which we can hope will lead to more developed works in the future. The sections in this book that I liked best were the one in which he offers a classification of contemporary Islamic thought into six trends, and the one in which he elaborates the place of Islam in epistemology (related to that is the critique of pseudoscientific Muslim apologists of the Quran-and-Science business).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zul Azim

    Ugh, this book is such a bore. He goes on and on about the same points. Probably because I have learnt about almost everything he talked about. But I respect his effort to reconcile his identity as a European and a practicing Muslim. All that mental gymnastics can be quite exhausting but he manages to put them in a book. And that is how I felt upon finishing it, exhausted.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashik Uzzaman

    Finally Professor Tariq gave some concrete recommendations for western Muslims, unlike his other books and speeches where he would only analyze various situations at a high level or theoretical point of view.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shifaa

    It's a bit confusing at first, but once you start getting used to turning the pages it gets interesting. There were times when I didn't feel like continuing it, because it goes around the point that you're trying to get, but it gets better when you proceed with the reading :) It's a bit confusing at first, but once you start getting used to turning the pages it gets interesting. There were times when I didn't feel like continuing it, because it goes around the point that you're trying to get, but it gets better when you proceed with the reading :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Zahrah Awaleh

    Good, comprehensive, but those who know little of Islam would benefit the most from this one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Very intelligent - takes a lot of concentration and patience to get through. Not for beginners.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Useful read for understanding Muslim identity formation in the secular West, and the challenges that one must face.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Ghazali

    Tariq is the man!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hafizuddin

    Baru nak start baca. Introdution by abang ipar is not bad.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sabah

    Great forward thinking writer who is an asset to western Muslims rethinking their role in assimilation.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tharwat

    -82- " إِيلِي، إِيلِي، لِمَ شَبَقْتَنِي؟"، فقدتُ ذاتي، تلك الأيام الصعبة، السخيفة، أشعرُ بالمهانة والضعة، يقول شكسبير "الباب الذي يُغلَق في وجهك عمدًا إياك أن تطرقه ثانية"، يا مسكين: أنتَ ما زلت في الدوامة، تعتقد أنك تناضل في حياتك وما أنت إلا حصاة في دوامة، يقول ساراماجو "يا له من مسكين، لا يستطيع الاستيقاظ من حلم لم يعد حلمه"، تلك الأحلام ليست لي، حتى هذه الحياة الغثة.. الرخيصة، كان أولى بها آخر ممن فقد حياته وهو في منتصف حلم من أحلامه الأصلية.. حلمي الزائف، ومعركتي الزائفة، حتى كلماتي أحسبُ أن -82- " إِيلِي، إِيلِي، لِمَ شَبَقْتَنِي؟"، فقدتُ ذاتي، تلك الأيام الصعبة، السخيفة، أشعرُ بالمهانة والضعة، يقول شكسبير "الباب الذي يُغلَق في وجهك عمدًا إياك أن تطرقه ثانية"، يا مسكين: أنتَ ما زلت في الدوامة، تعتقد أنك تناضل في حياتك وما أنت إلا حصاة في دوامة، يقول ساراماجو "يا له من مسكين، لا يستطيع الاستيقاظ من حلم لم يعد حلمه"، تلك الأحلام ليست لي، حتى هذه الحياة الغثة.. الرخيصة، كان أولى بها آخر ممن فقد حياته وهو في منتصف حلم من أحلامه الأصلية.. حلمي الزائف، ومعركتي الزائفة، حتى كلماتي أحسبُ أنها هي الأخرى.. زائفة، يقول ساري العتيبي "جاثٍ ببابكَ، يا مولايَ يا سندي، لو لم تشأ مقدمي، والله لم أفِدِ.. المجدُ أني - ولو طال الوقوفُ هنا - = أظلُ أطرقُ بابَ الواحدِ الأحدِ، أعتابُ جودك أعلى ما أتت قدمي = وطرقُ بابك أسمى ما اشتهته يدي"، يقول محمد البغدادي "لا شَكَّ أنِّي لَمْ أزَلْ لا أفهَمُكْ = يَبنِيكَ صِدقَي حينَ ظَنَّكَ يَهدِمُكْ!!، تَبدو قَوَيًَّا لا تَهَابُ = وَعِنْدَما تَرنو إلَيكَ عُيُونُ طِفْلٍ تَهْزِمُكْ!!، يَا صَارِخًا في داخِلي يَحتَلُّنِي = أحتَارُ كيفَ وأنتَ صَوتِي أكتُمُكْ؟، أحتَارُ في: هَلْ لَمْ تَزَلْ مُستَنْفَرًا = تَغلِي بِآلامِ الحيَاةِ جَهَنَّمُكْ؟"، ما الذي فعلته الأيام بي، ثلاثٌ وثلاثون في اللا شيء، قال اللعين نيتشه "إنهم لا يكادون يولدون للحياة حتى يبدأ موتهم"، يقول الجواهري "لمْ يبْقَ عنديَ ما يبْتزُّهُ الألمُ = حسبي من الموحِشاتِ الهمُّ والهرمُ، وحينَ تُطوى على الحَرّانِ جمرتُهُ= فالصمتُ أفضلُ ما يُطوى عليهِ فمُ"، تقول حنين الرحلي "بيديهِ أكوامُ الورقْ، قصصٌ قصيراتٌ يُرى فيها التردّد والوجلْ، وقصائدٌ خجلى، ورسائلٌ كُتبتْ إبانَ صَبابةٍ، ما زال يشْتَمُّ العبَقْ.. في كل حينٍ كان يشعر أنّه فقدَ الشّغفْ، فقدَ الحلُمْ، فقدَ الأرقْ؛ يذْوي إلى أوراقهِ، "لا بأس.. ما دمتُ حيًا في الورقْ، لا شيء يدعو للقلقْ!"، اللهم رحمتك أرجو، يقول ابن القيم "ما أغلق الله على عبد بابًا بحكمته، إلا فتح له بابين برحمته"، يقول البردوني "لماذا أرتجي أمرًا = ويأتي عكسه أسرع؟، وتجتاز الذي تخشى = ولا تلقى الذي ينفع، تضيع الليلة الأولى = وتأتي الليلة الأضيع، فلا يأتي الذي يأتي = ولا يمضي الذي ودَّع، أراحت نفسها الأوقات = لا تأتي ولا ترجع"، عدتُ ثانية لنقطة الصفر، بلا عمل حقيقي، بلا شريكة طريق، بلا بصيرة.. لا أدري متى أتوقف عن التوقف؟!، أجلس الساعات أدير في رأسي معارك الهذيان المحبطة، حتى مللتُ من نفسي، يقول عدنان الصائغ "معادلة صعبة أن أبدّل حلمًا.. بوهم، وأنثى.. بأخرى، ومنفى.. بمنفى، وأسألُ: أين الطريق !"، صرتُ أكره الناس، لا أريد مواصلة التنفس، عبٌ ثقيل، يقول سنان أنطون "كل ما أعرفه هو أنني تعبتُ من نفسي ومن كل شيء، وبأن قلبي ثقب يمكن المرور عبره لكن يستحيل البقاء فيه"، يقول تشيكوف "منذ وقت طويل لم أعد أحب أحدًا .. لا أحد .. لا أحد"، ويقول بسام حجار "وها إنك تستريح الآن، فالوقت يتسع لمّا تبقى، لأنفاسك الميتة، لشعرك، لأفكارك، لملابسك الميتة، للألم الذي يمكث في رأسك كصخرة"، أعترفُ بفشلي الحياتي، لا أصلح لشيء، أقول كما قال بيسوا "أحمل إدراكي بهزيمتي كمن يحمل راية نصر"، لا شيء لي.. فارغ اليدين أعود للتراب، "كأن قلبي جهنمْ، حبلُ الوصال تصرّمْ/ لقد خسرتُ بعيري.. الفنيقَ - والله أعلمْ -/ حاولتُ ما ليس دهري يسخو ولا أتكلمْ/ وفي سبيل مرادي رأيت موتي وأعظمْ/ حتى لقد صار صبري من همتي يتألمْ" قالها سلطان الكامل، يقول سومرست موم في كتابه "عبودية الإنسان": "وبصورة مدهشة اكتسب ألطف عادة في العالم، عادة القراءة. دون أن يدرك أنه هكذا يصنع لنفسه ملجأ من كل محن الحياة. لم يكن يعلم أنه يخلق لنفسه عالمًا غير واقعي يجعل العالم الحقيقي كل يوم مصدرًا لخيبة الأمل المريرة"، قرأتُ ثلاثة أجزاء من منشورات الجيب في سلسلة "كتابي" والتي كان يصدرها حلمي مراد عن المؤسسة العربية الحديثة، رواية "غرام سوان" للروائي الفرنسي الخالد "مارسيل بروست"، وهي أحد أجزاء معقدته الأدبية "البحث عن الزمن المفقود"، وقد ترجمها عن الفرنسية د. نظمي لوقا، حاول المترجم إبراز أسلوب بروست التكنيكي في جمله الطويلة وأوصافه المستفيضة المثيرة للضيق والألم في نفس القارئ؛ خاصةً لو كان من النوع غير الصبور، مما جعل قراءة ذلك الجزء البسيط من مطولته الأدبية عذابًا نفسيًا يضاف لما أعانيه تلك الأيام، بل إن وصف تلك العلاقة العاطفية المرضية التي ورطَّ "سوان" فيها نفسه مع بغي أثارت ما تبقى من رباطة جأش أعصابي، يقول فرويد "إننا لا نشعر، في أي يوم من أيام حياتنا، بأننا غير محصنين ضد الألم إلى هذا الحد إلا عندما نحب"، أنهيتُ تلك الأيام العصيبة علاقة عاطفية مضطربة أيضًا في سجل علاقاتي العاطفية الفاشلة، كنتُ قد أعتقدتُ بجدية الأمر وقلتُ في ذاتي: لأدع الحياة تسير، غير أن ما ظننته سيرًا كانَ وهمًا من جملة أوهامي، ، تقول كلاريس ليسبيكتور "مِن كُل ما أشعُر به بداخلي، عرفتُ ما هو الجحيم!"، يقول أحمد الملا "عليّ أن أواصلَ المشيَ... حتى لا أصل"، في ظل تلك الغيمة من الفراغ لا أجد ما أفعله سوى الجلوس في المنزل ومطالعة تلك الكتب، يقول توين "الأمر أشبه بأن ينتهي شغفك فجأة، أن يتساوى بنظرك كل شيء، كل شيء دون إستثناء، لن يصبح باستطاعتك سوى النوم و مراقبة ما يحدث دون ردة فعل تُذكر"، تصفحت كتابًا من إصدارات مركز البابطين للترجمة بعنوان "العقول الإلكترونية" لمايك هايلي، والله لا أدري إن كان المترجم ترجمه عن طريق الإنترنت أم أن هذه مقدرته اللغوية والترجمية، شيء غث، ليست هذه بلغة عربية، كيف دفعوا المال في سبيل إخراج هذا الشيء بتلك الطبعة الجيدة، وكيف أجاز المراجعون هذا العار، لماذا تبعثرون أموال الخليج هدرًا؟!!، قرأتُ رسالة صغيرة عن "بيئة المعلومات في أفريقيا والاتجاه نحو مجتمع المعلومات الإفريقي" لمفتاح محمد دياب، تتحدث بشكل عام عن تكنولوجيا المعلومات والاتصالات في إفريقيا ومستقبل التوسع في تدريس تكنولوجيا المعلومات في الجامعات والمدارس، دراسة مبتسرة للغاية تعتمد في المقام الأول على المدلول الرقمي، تعتبر ورقة بحثية تفتقر لأصول الدراسة الموسعة، قرأتُ بعدها كتابًا عن "شعر المناسبات في ليبيا (1911-1969)، مؤلفها إحنين المعاوي، الشيء الجيد فيها أنها ألقت الضوء على بعض الشعراء الليبيين المغمورين بالنسبة للغالبية من القراء، مثل أحمد الشارف وأحمد الفقيه حسن الابن وغيرهم، تجلت أبرز عيوبها في تقسيماتها الداخلية المطنبة والأسلوب الإنشائي في فصولها، وتفريعاتها الجافة التي صارت سمةً مقلدة غربية لأغلب رسائلنا الجامعية، قرأتُ أيضًا كتابًا جيدًا عن "التعددية الإثنية في جنوب أفريقيا" لمحمد مهدي عاشور، يعد مدخلًا ممتازًا لمن أراد أن يعرف المشكلة الرئيسة في جنوب إفريقيا والتي زرعها الاستعمار، والتي كانت سببًا في الصراعات الأخيرة التي شكلت تاريخها الحديث، والكتاب موثق بالإحصائيات ولغة الأرقام كما هو شأن الدراسات الجادة، إن تاريخ القارة الإفريقية خليط عجيب من الصراعات والانقسامات زرعه الشيطان الأوروبي الأبيض، إن الشيطان نفسه بريء من أفعال الحيوان الغربي المريض، في الفترة الماضية كنتُ أجلس عند دكان "كوَّاء" مصطحبًا كتابي، جاءني ذات يوم صاحب محل البقالة المقابل لمحل الكواء وهو يمسك في يديه كتابًا ذو غلاف أزرق أنيق، قالَ لي أنه يعمل خادم مسجد في منطقة "مصر الجديدة" بوزارة الأوقاف، وأنه جاءته اليوم سيدة وقالت له أن قسًا استوقفها في طريقها وأعطاها كتابًا مجانًا وأنها وجدته نسخة من الإنجيل، وأنها لا تعرف ماذا تفعل به، وقد جاءَ به يسألني ماذا نفعل به - نحرقه أم تأخذه؟ - قلت له: اعطنيه، سأتصرف فيه للصالح العام على أية حال، طباعة نظيفة للعهد الجديد، ومكتوب على الغلاف "الترجمة العربية المبسطة من اللغة الأصلية" نشرة المركز العالمي لترجمة الكتاب المقدس، عكفتُ على قرائته في شهر رمضان بالتوازي مع وِردي، ذلك التكرار والتشابه العجيب بين الأناجيل الأولى في وصف مبعث المسيح ومطاردة الرومان واليهود له ثم صلبه أصابني بالملل في بعض الأحيان، لكن محصلة تعاليم السيد المسيح في مجملها لم تنسخ شريعة موسى إلا في أضيق النقاط، غيرَ أن رسائل تلاميذه في بقية الكتاب جاءت صارمة مفسرة لأغلب تلك التعليمات فيما يختص بالمعاملات الربوية وملابس النساء والخضوع للسلطات من أجل إمرار الشريعة ونشرها، بل إن ترجمة تلك الرسائل للعربية تراوح فيما بين العربية المبسطة إلى الركاكة في بعض الأجزاء، والأغلب أن الذي يقوم على ترجمتها لبنانيون شوام، ومركز طبع تلك الترجمات في تكساس بالولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، المحصلة النهائية من قراءة الإنجيل هو الغرابة الشديدة من حمل تلك التعاليم البسيطة للسيد المسيح إلى تلك الطلسمات والهذيانات الغزيرة وسلسلة الطقوس الوثنية التي تمارسها الكنائس العديدة بطوائفها المختلفة، يقول بدر شاكر السياب في قصيدة "سفر أيوب": "شهور طوال وهذي الجراح= تمزق جنبي مثل المدى، ولا يهدأ الداء عند الصباح = ولا يمسح الليل أوجاعه بالردى، ولكن أيوب إن صاح، صاح: = "لك الحمد، إن الرزايا ندى، وإن الجراح هدايا الحبيب = أضم إلى الصدر باقاتها، هداياك في خافقي لا تغيب، هداياك مقبولة، هاتها!"، يقول فاروق جويدة "ما عدتُ قريبًا من أحدٍ، حتّى نفسي"، قرأت كتاب "عقيدة أهل السنة والجماعة" لأحمد فريد، معظمه نقل من كتاب حافظ أحمد حكمي "معارج القبول في شرح سلم الوصول"، قرأتُ بعده كتابًا للمحامي سعد محمد الشناوي يتناول "مدى الحاجة للأخذ بنظرية المصالح المرسلة في الفقه الإسلامي"، والكتاب أسلوبه سهل، وما تناوله من تطبيقات في إحياء نظرية المصالح المرسلة في واقعنا المعاصر يصب في قضية الكتاب، غير أن مقارناته الفقهية مع المذاهب الغربية جاءت بعيدة عن مضمون الكتاب وجانحة بعيدًا عن شاطئ الوصول، قرأتُ أخيرًا كتابًا للمفكر البريطاني طارق رمضان، تحت عنوان "مسلمو الغرب ومستقبل الإسلام"، ترجمة إبراهيم يحيى الشهابي، ما قرأته مسبقًا عن اتجاه المفكرين الإسلاميين الذين نشأوا في بلاد الغرب جعلني أرجأ قراءة هذا الكتاب فترة طويلة، لعلمي أن أي أطروحة فكرية ستكون متوائمة مع الإستراتيجية الغربية في التماهي مع واقع المجتمعات الأوروبية، وأنهم مؤدلجين فكريًا وتنظيميًا مع مخابرات الدولة التي يعيشون فيها، غير أن ما قرأته في تلك الدراسة جاء صادمًا لكل توقعاتي عن هذا الرجل وما يتناوله، بغض النظر عن بعض جوانب الضعف في فهم بعض المصطلحات القرآنية والدينية؛ إلا أن توجهه الفكري جاء مغايرًا تمامًا لما يريده الغرب من الجاليات الإسلامية في بلادهم، فالرجل يرى أن التمايز الإسلامي لابد أن يظهر من خلال فرض حلول واقعية غير محايدة لمشكلات المعاملات الربوية والتعليم بالمدارس الإسلامية والمساهمة السياسية في الدول الغربية، الرجل لا يدفن رأسه بالرمال؛ بل يدعو لمجابهة أكثر جدية لمواجهة تلك العوائق التي تواجه الهوية الإسلامية، بل إنه يدعو لمقاومة اقتصادية لتغيير الواقع الربوي للبنوك الغربية، أمر عجيب جدًا، أعترف أني كنت أعتبر هذا الرجل علمانيًا صرفًا، منافقًا أصليًا، لكن بعد قراءة هذا الكتاب فقط من جملة مؤلفاته تراجعت في وجل عن وجهة نظري المسبقة، واضطرتُ للعودة إلى "فقه الواقع" الذي دعا له ملحًا في عدم الحيدة عنه والانسحاق في متاهة العقلية الغربية في التعامل مع مشكلات اللاجئين المسلمين أو الأقليات المسلمة، ليتني كنتُ حجرًا، كنتُ مطرًا، يقول البردوني " سأقول شيئًا تافهًا: يكفي الذي قد كان يكفي / ما عاد يسبقني الحنين إليك أو ينجرُّ خلفي !/ ما كان جبارًا هواك وإنما قوّاه ضعفي !!"، يقول رشاد حسن "أيّتها الأرض، ما هذا العبء، من منّا فوق الآخر؟"، ويقول محمد لافي "أنا زمن الرصيفِ، عطالة المقهى، وكسرُ الحلم في الخاطرْ، أنا الشاعرْ، أنا الخطأ المكرّر من بداياتي ... إلى الآخِرْ !"، أحاول البحث عن أي عمل إضافي لتحسين دخلي حتى تنجلي هذه الغمة، الديون شيء ثقيل على الكاهل، حتى أنك لا تستطيع رفع عنقك لتنظرَ السماء، "ولا أخاف سوى أن ألتفت وأجدني بنفس المكان بعد كل هذا الركض"؛ هذه العبارة ذكرها غسان كنفاني في بعض كتاباته، قلَّ المعين، وعرفتُ في تلك الأزمة من الصديق ومن العدو، لسوء حظي لم يعدْ لدي أصدقاء، قال أرسطو "آه يا أصدقائي، لا يوجد صديق واحد"، يقول محمد عبدالباري "ها هم، وقد سقطَ المكانُ وراءهم ، والوقتُ عنهم قاما، دخلوا القصيدة وهي تغلقُ نفسها، وتجمّعوا في الذكرياتِ.. ركاما"، يقول اللعين نيتشه "ليس في الحياةِ مِن أعباءٍ على الإنسان غيرُ الإنسانِ نفسِه!"، ويقول أيضًا "كل إنسان هو أبعد الناس عن نفسه"، يقول كازانتزاكيس "الشيء الوحيد الذي أعرفه أنني مليء بالجروح وما زلت أقف على قدمي"، ضاعت أيامي، اللهمَّ إني حُطام إنسان، يقول ابن الفارض "إنْ كان مَنزِلَتي في الحبّ عندكُمُ = ما قد رأيتُ فقد ضيّعْتُ أيّامي"!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fatimah Elfeitori

    "You find God only by rediscovering your own nature, and the essence of your nature is the only thing that can free you from its appearance... "I" must set out to discover another "I": such is the meaning of life." "You are on your way not toward the end of the road but toward its beginning: to go is to return; to find is to rediscover." This book went well beyond my expectations, and I can see how his ideas may have been groundbreaking at the time this book was published. Tariq Ramadan's writing "You find God only by rediscovering your own nature, and the essence of your nature is the only thing that can free you from its appearance... "I" must set out to discover another "I": such is the meaning of life." "You are on your way not toward the end of the road but toward its beginning: to go is to return; to find is to rediscover." This book went well beyond my expectations, and I can see how his ideas may have been groundbreaking at the time this book was published. Tariq Ramadan's writing is extremely intelligent and theoretical. I especially enjoyed -His definition of Islamic Spirituality and his focus on an 'intimacy of the heart', -how he defines this journey as a return to God, to our fitra and the retention of the need of Him which gives birth to humility, -his review of al-maslaha in the context of Usul al Fiqh, -emphasizing the centrality of certain civil liberties as a central pivot in the Muslim identity, -and what he called 'third stage associational structures'; a vision of future Muslim Associations run and established by Muslims who identify as exclusively Western. I also found interesting his use of the term 'Islamic feminism' as integral to the reformist movement needed in Western Muslim communities, but he did not elaborate beyond the basic criticisms of current discriminatory and sexist practices.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Khaled

    Western Muslims and the Future of Islam by Tariq Ramadan is an excellent book for understanding the circumstances and the challenges that Western Muslims living in the west are facing. This is a book of mutiny; calling for a tumultuous change in the mentality in which Western Muslims are dealing with the current socio-economical situation in the West. Ramadan is able to convey his thoughts and his recommendations scrupulously in this unique book. Most importantly, he calls for an economic resist Western Muslims and the Future of Islam by Tariq Ramadan is an excellent book for understanding the circumstances and the challenges that Western Muslims living in the west are facing. This is a book of mutiny; calling for a tumultuous change in the mentality in which Western Muslims are dealing with the current socio-economical situation in the West. Ramadan is able to convey his thoughts and his recommendations scrupulously in this unique book. Most importantly, he calls for an economic resistence, an inter-faith dialougue, and highlights the emerging need of producing art work as entertainment music, movies, literature and novels with a western style and quality, but preserving the essence of Islamic morals and ethics in order to attract and speak to the new generation of our Muslim youth.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amaury Dreher

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shameer A

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mahdi Mousavi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yasser

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Trochimowicz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Ar-rizal iii

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed Adam

  30. 4 out of 5

    Greg

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