The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony. Nonfiction Book Review: The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony by Stephen Schwartz, Author . Doubleday $24.95 (275p) ISBN 978 2019-01-09

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony Rating: 9,1/10 1666 reviews

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

The book offers the 19th Century founders of the study of religion as a bracing corrective to contemporary timidity. Sufism, a blend of the mystical and rational tendencies within Islam, emerged soon after the revelation of Muhammad. The author is Muslim and a member of a tariqa. But read him and you will feel you are being briefed by an insider with no illusions. He comments on such celebrated Sufi poets and philosophers as Rumi and Al-Ghazali, and narrates their influence on the Kabbalah, on the descendants of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides, and on Christian mystics like Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Ãvila as well as the American transcendentalists. In contrast, the Sufi goal is ultimately spiritual: Yes, we need to transform our negativity and be effective in the world; but beyond that, we need to reach a state of harmony with the Divine.

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The Other Islam by Stephen Schwartz by Stephen Schwartz

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

The book offers the 19th Century founders of the study of religion as a bracing corrective to contemporary timidity. So, for instance, he holds that following the destruction of the Baghdad caliphate in 1258, it was mainly by the Sufi path that, like their ethnic Turkic cousins, the Mongol rulers of Iran and Iraq came to Islam pp. His articles have been printed in the world's major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Toronto Globe and Mail and Reforma in Mexico City, as well as leading periodicals in the Balkans. Schwartz is a strange breed. This is a curious and apparently neglected area of study by most scholars of all three religions.

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The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony (English Edition) eBook: Stephen Schwartz: inquiry-hub.net: Kindle Store

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

In the aftermath of Sept. This was one of the few books at my local library written specifically about Sufism. This eye-opening, insightful exploration of Sufism, the spiritual tradition that has supported Islam for more than a thousand years, shows why it offers a promising foundation for reconciliation between the Western and Muslim worlds. Sufism is a natural bridge-builder between Islam and the West, especially nowadays that they need each other to win 'their common battle against Islamist radicalism' ibid. He comments on such celebrated Sufi poets and philosophers as Rumi and Al-Ghazali, and narrates their influence on the Kabbalah, on the descendants of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides, and on Christian mystics like Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Ávila as well as the American transcendentalists.

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The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

Carlyle can be somehow 'justified' for his flimsy comprehension of Islam; after all, he was a representative of the mid-nineteenth century European colonial mindset inclined to see any real or perceived threat to Western expansion as 'crude', 'uncouth' and even outright 'barbaric'. The book is not intended to 'exonerate' Islam either; one of its purposes is to inform readers including Muslim readership of how little they know of a faith that continues to be largely misunderstood, pigeonholed and demonised as a result of external as much as internal factors. Summary This eye-opening, insightful exploration of Sufism, the spiritual tradition that has supported Islam for more than a thousand years, shows why it offers a promising foundation for reconciliation between the Western and Muslim worlds. For readers seeking a non-theological, unbiased, and richly human portrait of Islam, as well as a strong grasp of Islamic study's major issues and debates, this textbook is a productive, progressive alternative to more classic surveys. The Other Islam transforms this image and opens the way to finding common ground in our troubled times.

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The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony (English Edition) eBook: Stephen Schwartz: inquiry-hub.net: Kindle Store

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

Hughes's work challenges the dominance of traditional terms and concepts in religious studies, recasting religion as a set of social and cultural facts imagined, manipulated, and contested by various actors and groups over time. This eye-opening, insightful exploration of Sufism, the spiritual tradition that has supported Islam for more than a thousand years, shows why it offers a promising foundation for reconciliation between the Western and Muslim worlds. The Other Islam transforms this image and opens the way to finding common ground in our troubled times. The book argues that conceptualizing religion as part of the world of human action and experience is the first requirement of the study of religion. Sufism, a blend of the mystical and rational tendencies within Islam, emerged soon after the revelation of Muhammad. It did not provide enough information about Sufi beliefs except in a very cursory and epigrammatic way. This short-sighted abbreviation of something much more complicated and deep has lead to Sufism's inclusion in western New Age spirituality, turning it into a fashionable, cheap enlightenment tool like Kabbalah, much to the author's chagrin.

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The Other Islam by Stephen Schwartz by Stephen Schwartz

The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

I highly recommend the book as an introduction to anyone interested in Sufism, or Islam more generally. The Other Islam transforms this image and opens the way to finding common ground in our troubled times. The book discusses the history of Sufism, some of the main branches of Sufi Islam today, and how Sufis can promote a more moderate Islam. If the Egyptians believed that all religions are true, and the Greeks believed that all religions were false — Stephen Schwartz believes that Sufi Islam is particularly useful for the Pentagon. Schwartz tends to present Ibn Taymiyyah more as 'a confused individual, of a type known throughout history' p. Some of the markers in his past suggest he's a spiritual shopper, an impractical idealist.

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The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

Because the author's opinion is not kind towards shariah compliant tariqas, his statements about history are somewhat skewed in an effort to portray certain tariqas in a negative light. The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony by Stephen Schwartz is a reminder about the dangers of generalization and closed-mindedness. In this work Stephen Schwartz undertakes to encapsulate on an ambitious scale the story of Sufism, one of the most fascinating and so far relatively unknown and largely ignored, underestimated, abused and often persecuted 'sects' of Islam both in the Muslim world and globally, covering almost everything of importance regarding its achievements and setbacks from its inception in the twelfth century or perhaps earlier until the start of the twenty-first century. The author also discusses the attacks by Wahhabi Muslims against Sufis. The author also discusses the attacks by Wahhabi Muslims against Sufis. While the Western discourse on Islam is often either hostile or politically correct, Schwartz does not resort to condescending statements of the type often made by some Western politicians and scholars of Islam. One cannot help thinking after reading this book that rather than a two-branch faith — Sunni and Shi'ite — Islam is a three-mainstream religion.

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The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony

If the Egyptians believed that all religions are true, and the Greeks believed that all religions were false — Stephen Schwartz believes This book is well-written, but overall tends to boost Sufi Islam as a tool in a propaganda war against Wahhabism. What people were expecting to find: an introduction to the history and practices of Sufism, from a purely academic angle. Much grief and suffering can be avoided if we would only open our minds and hearts to listen. The wealth of information on the time and place as well as historical, political and spiritual circumstances when Sufism emerged, flourished and was oftentimes defeated but never eliminated, is not presented as dry facts. In 2002, he published the bestselling Doubleday. In The Other Islam, Stephen Schwartz traces the origins and history of Sufism, elucidates its teachings, and illustrates its links to the other religions.

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