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Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys Of A Sceptical Muslim [Kindle Edition]

Ziauddin Sardar
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Kurzbeschreibung

Ziauddin Sardar, one of the foremost Muslim intellectuals in Britain, learned the Koran at his mother's knee in Pakistan. As a young student in London he set out to grasp the meaning of his religion, and, hopefully, to find 'paradise', his quest leading him throughout the Muslim world, from Iran to China to Turkey. Along the way he accepts that he may never reach paradise - but it's the journey that's important. At a time when the view of Islam in the West is so often distorted and simplistic, Desperately Seeking Paradise - self-mocking, frank and passionate - is essential reading.

Synopsis

Ziauddin Sardar, one of the foremost Muslim intellectuals in Britain, learned the Koran at his mother's knee in Pakistan. As a young student in London he set out to grasp the meaning of his religion, and, hopefully, to find 'paradise', his quest leading him throughout the Muslim world, from Iran to China to Turkey. Along the way he accepts that he may never reach paradise - but it's the journey that's important. At a time when the view of Islam in the West is so often distorted and simplistic, Desperately Seeking Paradise - self-mocking, frank and passionate - is essential reading.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ansichten eines Muslims 1. Oktober 2011
Von A. Berti
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Ziauddin Zardar beschreibt sein Leben als Muslim, muslimischer Funktionär, Journalist und Denker. Wenn heute jemand das Buch und seine früheren Eskapaden und Ideen lesen würde, Zardar wäre schnell in den Verdacht eines Islamisten gekommen, aber die 1970er, 80er waren anders und der Autor ist sehr ehrlich und angenehm zu lesen. Wer das Buch liest, gewinnt ein anderes Bild vom Islam und den Muslimen in Europa, in diesem Sinne lohnenswert.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Desperation indeed! 9. Oktober 2005
Von Ralph Blumenau - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Sardar is a deeply religious, indeed a passionate Muslim. He repeatedly excoriates secularism, of which he gives a highly subjective and partisan definition, and his account of its history (pp.249 to 251) is deeply flawed. He accepts the Qur'an as a revealed text (p.341), albeit one that has to be understood metaphorically rather than literally. He reveres Muhammad, and describes how emotionally shattered he was by Salman Rushdie's treatment of the Prophet in The Satanic Verses: "I felt that every word, every jibe, every obscenity [in it] was directed at me - personally" (p.281). Yet, as a liberal, he was equally horrified by the Ayatollah's fatwa calling for Rushdie's death.

Our media do not often tell us that there are religious Muslims who also espouse modern knowledge, pluralism, and the principles of western democracies; so it is good to see in the book of this prominent Muslim journalist that such Muslims do exist, and we need to hear a lot more from and about them than we do. But it must be said that the picture which Sardar paints of most of the contemporary Muslim organizations, whether they are sects or the states he has visited, will provide ample evidence of how widespread is the rejection of modernity, pluralism and democracy in the Muslim world. Sardar sees all these as a perversion of Islam, as cases of rigidity and of arrested development and as a betrayal of the spirit of its golden age under the early Abbasids (roughly from the 9th to the 12th century) and from which the West learnt so much.

In the course of his Search for Paradise Sardar engaged with one Muslim sect after another and visited one Islamic country after another. He paints a devastating picture of almost all of them. Even modern Sufism, to which he felt most attracted, has strayed from its original nature and tends to go in for the unquestioning cult of the local Sufi sheikh. Here, as elsewhere, he found a disturbing authoritarianism at work. Besides, he was troubled by the mystics' belief that a state of grace could be found only by withdrawing from the modern world, whereas for him the challenge was to bring a state of grace into the modern world.

The Iranian Revolution obviously failed to provide the paradise Sardar was looking for; and the atmosphere in Ba'athist Iraq and Syria was equally oppressive, though in a different way.

Sardar's devotion to Islam can be deduced from the fact that he had five times made the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Each time he was more distressed at what was happening to Mecca: sacred old buildings were being torn down to make way for six- or eight-lane roads and new concrete buildings, out of the construction of which the Bin Laden family made huge amounts of money. These physical changes and the mass-tourism technology which was applied to these sacred areas, Sardar thought, increasingly destroyed the centuries-old rhythm of the hajj. "The Saudis," he writes, "approached technology as though it was theology. And in both, complexity and plurality was shunned", for of course the Wahhabi brand of Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia is as narrow, intolerant and antiquated as the fanatical brand of Shi'ism which dominated Iran.

Disillusioned with all these experiences, Sardar was involved in setting up an institution and a journal devoted to working out an approach to a more liberal but still essentially Islamic approach to the intellectual disciplines of the modern world. They could make no headway against "Islamization", the name given to the attempt to force these intellectual disciplines into an Islamic straitjacket, and which Sardar describes as "an uncontrollable forest fire that consumed everything in its path." (p.213)

What depresses Sardar is the realization that in so many parts of the world the rigidities and cruelties of the Sharia cannot be said to be imposed on the unwilling masses by the mullahs. Even in countries like China, which do not have Islamic governments, it appears that the desire of most Muslims is to be governed by the Sharia: they see it as defining their identities as Muslims.

Only in post-Kemalist Turley and in Malaysia does Sardar find Islamic governments that accept pluralism, though he implies that in Malaysia it is under threat after its leading exponent, Anwar Ibrahim was forced out of office on trumped-up charges, imprisoned and tortured.

Sardar is frequently depressed by the current state of the umma of which he cannot help but feel a member, and his book must be equally depressing for those readers who would like the efforts of the like of him to succeed. His book unfortunately confirms the impression of today's Islam which is presented to us by the media and which many of us would so much like to dismiss as illegitimate stereotyping. He presents himself and the little group of intellectuals around him as a gallant minority struggling against overwhelming odds (p.331) to shape a gentler, more tolerant, more pluralistic and above all a more intelligent Islam. If he is right, the outlook for convivencia, for a peaceful coexistence between Islam and the West, is bleak indeed. But perhaps he over-dramatizes: perhaps there are millions of devout but tolerant Muslims like himself. Perhaps especially in the West, many devout Muslims, just like devout Jews and devout Christians, have absorbed its respect for pluralism and a democratic society. But they would need to speak out, to assert themselves vigorously and openly against those who preach narrowness and intolerance. And if and when they do so, our media must report it, if only to give the lie to the vicious idea floated on p.311, that the West has a vested interest in demonizing Islam.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great survey of contemporary Islamic movements. 23. September 2005
Von David Drennan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Ziauddin Sardar is a British Muslim and knows it. His writing is very English, full of dry humour and is very subtle. This is his autobiography, but written in a way to educate the reader about contemporary Islam as well. He writes for a number of newspapers in the UK, including the Guardian.

The first movement he experiences growing up - the bane of many a Desi Muslim - is the Tablighi Jama'at. He documents his experiences with them and from my own dealings with them, it seems that everyone must share a similar experience so it is worth reading!

In his student years he experiences a number of different groups, including Sufism and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as being educated in traditional Islamic subjects. Not content with that he gets mixed up in the Iranian Revolution, insults a Pakistani prime minister and meets Osama bin Laden, amongst other things.

The best part of the book is later in his life, when he and a group of other 'misfit' Muslims come together to begin writing and developing their understanding of modern Islam. He meets (and argues with) such noteable figures as Ismail al-Faruqi and Anwar Ibrahim, recounting many memorable moments.

It is a great read... sometimes incredibly sad, sometimes shocking, but a fascinating account of one man's life and the state of contemporary Islam. With people like him at the helm, I feel very that Islam will be safe from the hands of the extremists.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A very welcome book! 26. November 2005
Von Mr. Harvey T. K. Koh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
At long last, a book that presents the Islam of the optimistic, socially compassionate critical thinker! I'd always known that Islam was not the malicious, vengeful, monolithic bloc that it is often seen to be in the West, but I now know much more about what it IS like, at least through Sardar's eyes -- he illustrates its rich diversity of thought and practice, past and present, and teases out its complexities with elegance and deftness of touch, peppering it liberally with hilarious anecdotes from his many 'journeys'. As such, despite the gravity of the issues he and his friends wrestle with in such heartfelt fashion, the whole thing is both enlightening and eminently readable.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Buckle your seatbelt 12. September 2005
Von S. Clark - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
The book presents Ziauddin Sardar's autobiographical survey of contemporary Islam in all of its diverse forms, antecedents and components; truly a whirlwind tour. In sequence the reader enounters the Tablighi Jemaat, the Muslim Brotherhood, Jamaat-e-Islami, the Qur'an, classical Islamic studies, Sufism, al-Ghazali, the Shia (Jafaris), the Ismailis, Baathism, the Hajj, Wahhabism, the Iranian Revolution, Islamization, the role of Shariah, Mutazilla, Secularism, the Rushdie affair, and Multiculturalism. All the while Sardar makes references to key individuals, organizations, and places that help the casual student of contemporary Islam to piece everything together. Sardar frames all of this information in his own personal search for an expression of Islam that responds to the present and addresses his spiritual needs. He relays this journey in a humorous and ironic style that makes the book a delight to read. I highly recommend this work for those who seek insight into Islam's adaptation to the contemporary world and for Muslims who grew up in the West.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen a refreshing, informative, inspiring book 11. März 2006
Von game theory - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
As a student who is constantly searching for answers on the things around, i find this that not only does solves most of the questions but also inspires me a lot. When i came upon this book, i was having my "darkest moment". i was inspired by the likes of Ibn Rusyd, Imam Bukhari and Sardar himself on their quest for knowledge. As we know, knowledge is power and i felt really powerful physically, mentally and spiritually after reading this book

Another thing brought forward in this book is don't be afraid to question things as that is how Islam works. You have got to question things so that we can understand it fully and don't except things as black and white. We are to engrossed categorizing things as good and bad that we overlook that nothing is perfect; everything has its good and bad. Sure, we always SAY nothing is perfect but do we really acknowledge it?

the issue Sardar brought forward such as the iranian revolution, afghanistan and so on is such an eye opener for me. there's so much to take into, so much lessons to be learned and so much to be understand

this book really inspired me a lot and the questions brought forward made me really ponder hard... if anything that can make a difference, i believe this book really does
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