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Open Thread Sunday 5/4/2008


book-review.jpgHave you read a wonderful/awful book recently? Anything else on your mind? Here’s your opportunity to take it all out!

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  1. Amad

    May 4, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    kind of quiet today, aren’t we?

  2. Sharif

    May 4, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Well, regarding books, as I mentioned in another thread, I strongly purchased Ibn Qayyim’s Patience and Gratitude (Taha Publishers). I only have briefly read a small part of it (which was amazing!), but my father is currently reading it. He’s going through some difficulties, and as such he told me that he feels as if that book was written for him. He loves it! If it had that much of an impact on him, then I would strongly advise others to read it as well.

  3. Sharif

    May 4, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    *strongly recommend/recently purchased

  4. Dawud Israel

    May 4, 2008 at 3:54 PM

    A book I am currently looking at is, Islam and Ecology to learn more about Environmentalism. Haven’t started but looks promising…
    Another author I would highly recommend is Gai Eaton. His books are phenomenal–people have converted like that after reading them and Muslims have gotten really close to the deen through them. Islam and the Destiny of Man is more for non-Muslims and King of the Castle is more for Muslims. He belongs to the Perennialist school of Islamic thought so somethings are very weird and Aqeedah issues, but I just ignored those bits. Even from the Sufis I know reject Perennialist thought (it can be confusing) but will attest that it brought them into the deen. Intelligent reading is necessary for intelligent books. :)
    Check it out!

    Amad, I’m experimenting with Mind Maps with some free software MOFW hooked me up with.
    From the feedback I got, it seems people like it better than a written article, especially for the more analytical and advising pieces. Much better than printing out a huge PDF. I know Sh. Abdul Raheem Green implements this technique too…but he does it behind the scenes I think.
    Maybe you guys could try it out?

    See some of my Mind map posts on my blog to get more info on Mind maps.

  5. Nirgaz

    May 5, 2008 at 1:28 AM

    I am always reading several at a time…right now I am reading In the Footsteps of the Prophet by Tariq Ramadan…I always like seeing Prophet’s life from various perspectives as to really know him even better(I love Muhammad by Yahya Emerick as well as that to me was like reading a narrative and being so drawn in as if I was there witnessing the events!!). The more I learn about Prophet (PBUH) it makes my love grow deeper. I am only half way thru this one, but I like it so far.
    Also a good book about Kurdistan (Northren Iraq) is A Thousand Sighs, A thousand Revolts by Christiane Bird…its one Journalists story of her travels thru many parts of Kurdistan. It gives a great glimpse into another middle eastern culture that is not heard of often.

  6. Osman

    May 5, 2008 at 5:04 AM

    I still can’t get used to this new format, page layout argh! It doesnt make for easy reading . . . .

  7. Zaynab

    May 5, 2008 at 9:16 AM

    A book I really enjoyed recently was Anderson Cooper’s “Dispatches from the Edge”, it’s a memoir of all the war zones he’s visited in the past. SubhanAllah, it really opened my eyes up to the human side of all the issues we see in the news. Even when you see those news stories where they try to be compassionate and show the issue from the perspective of those suffering, it always comes across cliche, and you can feel the effort. But the book is full of stories of families, aid workers and even soldiers that really touch you and give you a better understanding of the cost of war. He covers the war in Bosnia, Iraq, the famine in Niger and Somali (early 90’s), the Tsunami (in Bangladesh), the genocide in Rwanda, and Hurricane Katrina.

    Also, I’m currently reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Good stuff, very interesting. I can see why it was such a big hit.

  8. sahmed

    May 5, 2008 at 9:22 AM

    Br. Dawud: Who wrote Islam and Ecology? I’d be interested in checking it out.

  9. sahmed

    May 5, 2008 at 9:34 AM

    another thing…what exactly is the Perennialist school of Islamic thought? Any resources online that may shed some light on this?

  10. mcpagal

    May 5, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    I didn’t have time to go to the library so I re-read Pollyanna.. I hated that book so much.

    Since this is an open thread: is it just me, or is the font used in the comments section ridiculously tiny? I always end up ctrl-+ ing it but then I lose my place :(

  11. Ammar Diwan

    May 5, 2008 at 6:23 PM

    As-salamu alaykum,

    Sorry for the off topic comment

    I noticed an increase in English Shi’ite propaganda against the integrity of the companions, so I looked around the major Muslim websites, and was quite shocked to realize that NONE of them (Ashari, Salafi, this-that, you name it) have a single PROPER resource regarding this issue.
    In fact, besides a few short books by Bilal Philips (and it’s not even clear where to buy them, except for that short book ‘Devil’s Deception’), one dedicated website (, and a few Q&As off a Deobandi website, English resources regarding this issue are minimal. Everything else in English is either filled with random pictures of Shias beating themselves or incoherent responses to the issues brought up. Contrast this with Shia websites such and answering ansar which have thousands of pages of English material against the companions.

    I spoke to the admin of and he said that back when he was confused about this issue he had to beg, I repeat BEG, Sunnis for proper responses.

    I searched this website and information by the people who write on here, and at the end of it I found one 10 min youtube video

    Shaykh Yasir has poured in a lot of resources in order to refute the Asharis. My firm convinction is that if we had such information against Shias, the threat of Shi’ite propaganda in the West would drop dramatically. I’ve emailed the Shaykh regarding a similar issue with the Shias, and did not receive a response. However, I understand that he is probably too busy.

    If my observations were wrong, or I was disrespectful, I seek your forgiveness.



  12. AnonyMouse

    May 5, 2008 at 11:08 PM

    Ah man, I love Pollyanna! Okay, so she may be a bit too chirpy and perky… but still… she’s all right.
    I’ve been picking up random books and reading pages here and there because I don’t have time to read anything cover to cover :(

  13. inexplicabletimelessness

    May 5, 2008 at 11:24 PM

    As salamu alaikum
    Currently reading Great Women of Islam by Mahmood Ahmad Ghadanfar, Darussalam. Excellent book mashaAllah!

  14. ibnabeeomar

    May 6, 2008 at 1:11 AM

    ammar – actually there’s a couple of articles posted here on the status of the sahabah, as well as some posts regarding self-flagellation in muharram. check the links for amad and abu bakr in the right side under the authors.

  15. khawla

    May 6, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Sorry, I am always behind. Sundays are for school.

    I would suggest these two books:
    The Undercover Economist: exposing why the rich are rich, the poor are poor by Tim Harford.

    … lives up to its subtitle:Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, Why the Poor Are Poor–And Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car! Tim Harford explains a lot of phenomenon through the tools provided by Capitalist Economics, and covers the main ideas behind the phenomena very well. He has an excellent but brief explanation of adverse selection, for instance, and why it makes it difficult for a fully private health insurance system to work well. Unlike many other authors who leave it at that, he explores a solution that appears to work well and shows how successful you can be.

    If you don’t know much about economics, this is a great book to read. In the process of pondering the phenomena Harford covers, you will learn a lot of economics. If you are an economics junkie or victims of credit cards, health care and mortgage crisis, you’re going to enjoy this book, even more so while sipping that Starbuck coffee.

    And contrast it with this 2nd book:

    …account of John Perkins’ life as an Economic Hit Man (EHM) — an economist who convinces developing countries to accept loans in order to finance infrastructure and promote growth. …”The foreign aid game was a sham”, writes Perkins, “It existed to make [foreign leaders] rich and to shackle his country with debt” … he and his colleagues could and would manipulate variables to achieve the predicted and exorbitant growth rates they desired. He sees it as a “tool that scientifically ‘proved’ we were doing countries a favor by helping them incur debts they could never be able to pay off”.

    Now, change “developing countries” with “people”

    I can see credit cards and mortgages again!!!

    Side effects:
    I read these two books in just a few days with much neglected house work and chores.

  16. Ammar Diwan

    May 6, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    ibnabeeomar: I’m aware of those articles, sorry if I didn’t bring them up. However, I was referring to a more comprehensive defense.

  17. Dawud Israel

    May 6, 2008 at 11:59 AM

    Islam and Ecology: A Bestowed Trust is a collection of Essays edited by Foltz, Denny and Baharuddin.

    Although they may be written by non-Muslims, they often do a better job than Muslims today in analyzing and discussing.

  18. Nadia

    May 6, 2008 at 7:11 PM

    I’m currently reading a book called: “The Prophet Muhammad A Biography” by Barnaby Rogerson, someone recommended it to me. I’m wondering if anyone else here has read it and what they think about it? He’s a very good writer and his ability to make Arabia seem so real is amazing. But there are some parts of his narrative of the Prophet mentioned which I’m never heard before, so I’m curious of what other people think of this biography.

  19. Umm nadia

    May 8, 2008 at 3:34 PM

    I am rather late to this thread but I would like someone to address the issue of the breakdown of marriage (largely due to feminism) in the west and how Muslims are slowly following suit if we do not wake up.

    Also comments on this article and the comments with it would be appreciated.

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