Some Recent Publications on Islam/Muslims Download

Being Muslim and Working for Peace by Raphael Susewind.2013.Sage India

This book explores various ways in which religious beliefs,ritual practices and dynamics of belonging impact the politics of Muslim peace activists in Gujarat,and traces how their activism in turn transforms their sense of being.It challenges popular notions about Muslims in India and questions ill conceived research designs in sociology of religion.

More than a decade after the 2002 riots in Gujarat,this empirical typology sheds light on the diversity of Muslim civil society and Muslims in civil society.Muslim peace activists in post conflict Gujarat experience the ‘ambivalence of the sacred’ as a personal dynamics;as faith based actors,secular technocrats,emancipating women and doubting professionals,they struggle for a better future in diverse and sometimes surprising ways.By taking their diversity seriously,this book sharpens the distinction between ambivalence and ambiguity,and provides fresh perspectives on religion and politics in India today.

Frontiers of Embedded Muslim Communities in India by Vinod Jairath.Routledge India.

This volume approaches the study of Muslim societies through an evolutionary lens, challenging Islamic traditions, identities, communities, beliefs, practices and ideologies as static, frozen or unchangeable. It assumes that there is neither a monolithic, essential or authentic Islam, nor a homogeneous Muslim community. Similarly, there are no fixed binary oppositions such as between the ulama and sufi saints or textual and lived Islam. The overarching perspective — that there is no fixity in the meanings of Islamic symbols and that the language of Islam can be used by individuals, organizations, movements and political parties variously in religious and non-religious contexts — underlies the ethnographically rich essays that comprise this volume.

Divided in three parts, the volume cumulatively presents an initial framework for the study of Muslim communities in India embedded in different regional and local contexts. The first part focuses on ethnographies of three Muslim communities (Kuchchhi Jatt, Irani Shia and Sidis) and their relationships with others, with shifting borders and frontiers; part two examines the issue of ‘caste’ of certain Muslim communities; and the third part, containing chapters on Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai and Gujarat, looks at the varied responses of Muslims as Indian citizens in regional contexts at different historical moments.

Although the volume focuses on Muslim communities in India, it is also meant to bridge an important gap in, and contribute to, the ‘sociology of India’ which has been organized and taught primarily as sociology of Hindu society.

Plight of Indian Muslims after Partition by Habibur Rehman.Atlantic


  • Muslim perceptions and apprehensions
  • The turbulence and agony of post partition period from 1947 to 1971.
  • Stability pressure tactics and apprehensions.
  • Stress exerted by the right wing extremist parties.
  • The Contemporary phase of assertion, depression and contemplation
  • Policy measure to tackle radicalism
  • The Socio-religious structure of Muslim Community.
  • The economic deprivation of Muslims.
  • Hindus and Muslims are the two sides of the same coin.

The book attempts to present the plight of Indian Muslims after Partition and is based on the findings of Sachar Committee Report and perceptions of Muslim community. The Report convincingly proves that all is not well with the Muslims in India. Muslims feel that they could not reap the benefits of development vis-a-vis others during the last sixty years and they are struggling with several social, economic, political and cultural issues, affecting their identity, security, livelihood, status and dignity. Due to lack of equality of opportunities and transparency as well as the absence of inclusive approach, they could not be brought within the pluralistic mainstream of the country. Consequently, they are educationally worse than the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, economically behind the Backward Castes, socially isolated, politically divided and culturally suffocated.

A wide variety of policy initiatives have been taken by the government for the development of the minorities but the general feeling among most of the Muslims is that these are cosmetic in nature. Despite the process of accelerated growth, the development deficit between them and others is increasing. There is general perception among many Muslims that there seems to be some fears among various sections of the society that the consequences of empowerment of Muslims by giving them special benefits would strengthen communal politics in the country. This factor as well as the lack of necessary will on the parts of the Central and State Governments due to vote bank politics appears to have largely dented the development process among minorities in the country.

The book attempts to put the case history on the conditions of Muslims in India and their feelings and perceptions before the majority and minority communities as well as the Central and State Governments of the country and the people of India in general and the Muslims in particular, so that they may find a solution to this vex problem through peaceful, democratic, constitutional and humanitarian means in the interest of the people.

Islam and the Foundations of Political Power by Ali Abdel Razek.Edinburgh University Press.


The first English Translation of this controversial essay that challenged fundamental ideas about political power

Egypt, 1925 : the Muslim world is in turmoil over Mustapha Kamal Ataturk’s proposal to abolish the caliphate in turkey. The debates over Islam and politics re-ignites as traditional political systems dissolve under pressure from European powers and most Muslim countries lose their sovereignty
Into this debate enters Ali Abdel Razek, a religious cleric trained at al-Azhar University, arguing in favour of secularism in this essay ‘Islam and the Foundations of Political Power’, translated here for the first time.

Scholarly features include

  • A substantial introduction that places the essay in its context and explains its impact
  • An appendix of Razek’s sources with full publication details
  • Explanatory notes beside Razek’s original footnotes
  • Additional notes about particular people, events or vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to modern readers

Islamic Radicalism and Multicultural Politics: The British Experience by Tahir Abbas.Routledge.

The expression of an Islamic political radicalism in Britain has been one of the most dramatic developments in recent decades. Islamic Radicalism and Multicultural Politics explores the nature of this phenomenon by analyzing the origins of Islam and its historical contact with Western Europe and Britain, and the emergence of Islamic political radicalism in the Muslim world and in the West.

Tahir Abbas draws on historical analysis and contemporary case studies to explore the post-war immigration and integration of Muslim groups, the complex relations that exist between a secular liberal Britain and a diverse but multifaceted Islam, and the extent of social and economic inequalities that affect Muslims as individual citizens and in local area communities. He shows how violent extremism among British Muslims is in reality influenced by a range of issues, including the factors of globalization and contemporary politics, media and culture. Analyzing and dissecting public policy, Abbas offers suggestions for tackling the major social, political and economic questions facing British Muslims in the post-7/7 era.

An important contribution to the study of religion, ‘race’ and ethnicity in modern Britain, this accessible work will be of interest to anyone working in the field of Islamic studies, sociology and political radicalism.
Preface :

  • From the Historical to the contemporary
  • Islamic Political Radicalism: Origins and Destinations
  • Post-war Immigration Ethnicity, Identity and spatiality
  • The formation of Muslim Capital: Education, Employment and Entrepreneurialism
  • Neo-Orientalism and Islamophobia : The Media and Print News
  • The Political Philosopy of Multiculturalism and the ‘Modern Muslim’
  • Islamic identity Politics in the Context of Glocalisation
  • Muslims, Crime, Terror and the law
  • British Islam Tomorrow and the Battle Ahead


Muslim Worldviews and Everyday Lives by el-Sayed  el-Aswad.Altamira Press.

el-Aswad introduces the concepts of world views/cosmologies of Muslims, explaining that the different types of world views are not constructed solely be religious scholars or intellectual elite, but are latent in Islamic tradition, embedded in popular imagination, and triggered through people’s everyday interaction in various countries and communities. He draws from a number of sources including in-depth interviews and participant observation as well as government documents and oral history. Though the perspectives of ethno-cosmology, emic interpretation of sacred tradition, modernity, folklore, geography, dream, imagination, hybridity and identity transformation he examines how culturally and religiously constructed images of the world influence the daily actions of people in various Muslim communities. The worldviews of Sunnis, Shi’as and Sufis are covered in turn, and Muslims in the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain and suburban Detroit are the focus. El-Aswad also discusses the effects of Western attempts at imposing its essentially secular worldview through the process of globalization and how cyberspace has promoted connectivity among Muslim communities and, especially in the United States, open up unlimited options and new possibilities.

Notes on Transliteration and Translation
List of Figures
Introduction : Worldview, Geography, and Ideology

  • Muslim Worldview : Unity and Diversity
  • The Worldview  of the Sunni
  • The Esoteric Worldview of the Shi’s
  • The Mystic Worldview of Sufism
  • Muslim Worldviews, Imagination and the Dream World
  • Multiple Worldviews and Multiple Identities of the Muslim Diaspora
  • Conclusion

Glossary of Arabic Terms
Appendix : Muslim Code of Honor

Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation and the Fateof Others (ed.)Mohammad Hasan Khalil.Oxford University Press,USA.

In Between Heaven and Hell, eminent and up-and-coming scholars representing a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints address the question of non-Muslim salvation : according to the Islamic ethos (however understood), what can be said about the status and fate of non-Muslims? Each of the volume’s contributors responds to this often asked “Salvation question” a question with profound theological and practical implication-from different angles : While some limit themselves to its historical dimensions, others approach  it as theologians and philosophers, while yet other focus on the relationship between this-worldly relations with Others and next-worldly conceptions of salvation. Collectively and individually, the essays in this volume advance our understanding of Islamic thought and Muslim societies and indeed the discourse on religious diversity. This groundbreaking volume does not conclude with neat resolution : instead, it offers fascinating expositions, debates, and points of departure for further contemplation. Contributors include Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Tariq Ramadan, William C. Chittick, Farid Esack, Mohammad Fadel, David M. Freidenreich, Marcia Hermansen, Jerusha Lamptey, Bruce B. Lawrence, Muhammad Legenhausen, Yasir Qadhi, A Kevin Reinhart, Sajjad Rizvi, Reza Shah-Kazemi and Tim Winter.