Have you ever had questions about Islam that were never clearly answered?
This short book by Nabeel Qureshi offers a sensitive and insightful explanation of some key terms and definitions, including an outline of what Islam, jihad and sharia mean. The whole book is organised with titles phrased as questions which facilitate quick access to the sections that interest you the most, such as “What is Radical Islam?”
There is a great deal of confusion about Islam today. With varied accounts of what sort of religion it is, and what doctrines its adherents believe in, it is very difficult to know what to believe unless you have been raised in a Muslim environment. The motivation for writing this short book was precisely to clear up misconceptions which are becoming more and more urgent to address: “there is too much confusion and too little grace to remain silent any longer [page 11].”
Qureshi makes it very clear that the questions he addresses are very complex. Raised as a devout Muslim in the U.S., Qureshi has a coherent understanding of varying interpretations within Islam itself. In fact, he stresses that “Muslims are not Islam,” and that following the teachings of the Quran can look different in different contexts [page 27]. Even jihad has numerous interpretations, which can vary depending on the context, and differ depending on if a Muslim or non-Muslim scholar attempts to define it.
Although raised as a Muslim, Qureshi converted to Christianity while at university which explains his inclusion of some comparisons with Christianity. However, his sensitive tone means that his personal conviction adds an element of care, rather than taking away from the central concern of the book.
Overall, this is an informative and enjoyable read that deserves a wide reader-ship.
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