Book List #2 – February ’19

Check out the second edition of our monthly book list, a roundup of four book recommendations related to Islam, politics, social issues, and anything else we think is worth reading. The monthly list will include books whose authors or ideas we may or may not agree with, but that we find interesting and useful for generating discussion.

Have a title you think we should read? Comment down below or let us know on Twitter @QarawiyyinProj.

Read the previous month’s recommendations here.

1. The Women of Madina 

They have been praised by Allah ﷻ as the best generation, and Muhammad Ibn Sa’d’s exposition on the women of Madina shows why. An abridged translation of Volume 8 of  Kitab At-Tabaqat al-Kabir, one of the greatest Islamic biographies, this text was written during the ninth century and has been praised by many authorities for its reliability. Dealing exclusively with the women of Rasulullah ﷺ, it describes in detail the extraordinary legacies of our foremothers. 

Length: 320 pages

Highlight:

It is related from Ibn Abbas that the women of the people of Makkah met for a festival in the month of Rajab … While they were in retreat with an idol, something in the shape of a man appeared to them and said, “Oh women of Tayma! A Prophet will appear in your land who will be called Ahmad. He will be sent with the message of Allah. So any woe who is able to be his wife should do so.” The women threw pebbles at him and denounced him and were harsh to him. [But] Khadijah bint Khuwaylid did not treat him as the other women did. 

 

2. Deliverance From Error  Al-Munqidh min Al-Dhalal (translated by R.J. McCarthy)

Al-Munqidh min Al-Dhalal is a concise text in which Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali discusses his intellectual journey and his approach to seeking knowledge. He admonishes the reader regarding the pitfalls students of knowledge can easily fall into, and explains the necessity of spiritual purification for those on the path of ‘ilm.

Length: 115 pages

Highlight:

Ascertainment by apodeictic proof leads to knowledge. Intimate experience of that very state is fruitional experience. Favorable acceptance of it based on hearsay and experience of others is faith. These, then, are three degrees, or levels, of knowledge — “God raises in degrees those of you who believe and those to whom knowledge is given”.

 

3. A Brief History of Neoliberalism

In A Brief History of Neoliberalism, author David Harvey details the history of Neoliberalism as a doctrine and how it has come to dominate economic policy globally. He criticizes Neoliberalism as being a “vehicle for the restoration of class power”, namely a class of financiers and heads of multinational corporations. Harvey’s critique of Neoliberalism focuses on the rise of finance and how this has destroyed social infrastructure, basing much of his argument on the theories of Antonio Gramsci and Karl Polanyi.

 

Length: 235 pages

Highlight:

Neoliberalization has meant, in short, the financialization of everything. This deepened the hold of finance over all other areas of the economy, as well as over the state apparatus and, as Randy Martin points out, daily life.

 

4. Studies in Usul ul Fiqh

A cornerstone of the Islamic sciences, understanding Usul-ul-Fiqh is crucial for Muslims to comprehend the development of the Islamic tradition and the tools with which we apply Islam to our lives today. In this concise book aimed at English speakers, Ustadh Iyad Hilal explains the main terminology in this area and the various principles enshrined in the four madhaahib, as well as looking briefly at the schools of Imam Zaid, Imam Jafar and Ibn Hazm. Ending with some insightful chapters on minority fiqh and the alleged need for an American fiqh, the book serves as a holistic introduction to the topic for readers looking to grasp the fundamentals of this vast area of scholarship. 

Length: 158 pages

Highlight:

It should be understood that sovereignty belongs to the Islamic legislative source, which came from the Wahiy (revelation). If everyone keeps this idea in mind and is ready to abandon his own opinion in order to adopt an opinion based on the Daleel (evidence), the problems would be eliminated.

The idea of an American Fiqh is an alien concept which seeks to distort the nature of Islam … This is a result of a defeated mentality which seeks to change the Shariah to fit the society rather than changing the society to conform to the Shariah.

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