Blog Smith

Blog Smith is inspired by the myth of Hephaestus in the creation of blacksmith-like, forged materials: ideas. This blog analyzes topics that interest me: IT, politics, technology, history, education, music, and the history of religions.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Deobandi Islam

SherAli Tareen, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College, was awarded an American Academy of Religion’s 2014 Individual Research Grant. He talks to Religious Studies News about his project Islam, Tradition, and Democracy: The Case of the Deoband Madrasa.


An Enemy We Created

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Islam vs. Europe


Saturday, July 14, 2018


  • Asani, Ali S., Abdel-Malek, Kamal, and Schimmel, Annemarie. Celebrating Muḥammad : Images of the Prophet in Popular Muslim Poetry. Columbia, S.C.: U of South Carolina, 1995.
  • Brown, Jonathan. Hadith : Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World. Oxford: Oneworld, 2009. Sections found here.
  • Schimmel, Annemarie. And Muhammad Is His Messenger : The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 1985.
  • Lings, Martin., and Islamic Texts Society. Muhammad : His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. Rev. ed. London: Islamic Texts Society, 1991
  • Daftary, Farhad. “Diversity in Islam: Communities of Interpretation”, in The Muslim Almanac (Gale Research Inc, Detroit, MI: 1996), pp.161-173, ed. A. Nanji.
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. “Sunnism and Shiism", in Ideals and Realities of Islam. New York: Praeger, 1967, pp. 147-178.
  • "The Prophet Muhammad Was Once Glorified In Art", radio segment from WBUR's Here & Now, a National Public Radio production, 16 Jan 2015.

The Qur’an: God’s Names and the Prophet Muhammad

Prepared By: Khalil Andani (Harvard University)
In the below diagram with accompanying explanation, you are able to see the overlapping names and attributes given to God and the Prophet within the Quran. Given this overlap, one can see why the Prophet Muhammad possessed interpretative authority of the Quran, and why his actions and teachings recorded in the ḥadīth literature became formative of Islamic practice, whether that be Islamic law or Islamic mysticism, or anything in between. The names shared in common between the Prophet and God may also explain the many and various forms of Prophetic devotion found throughout varying geographical and historical contexts.
  • God is al-Raḥmān (The Merciful) and Prophet Muḥammad is raḥmah (mercy) (21:107)
  • God is al-Raḥīm (The Beneficent) and Prophet Muḥammad is raḥīm (9:128)
  • God is al-Ra’ūf (The Kind) and Prophet Muḥammad is ra’ūf (9:128)
  • God is al-Karim (The Generous) and Prophet Muḥammad is karīm (69:40; 81:19-21)
  • God is al-Nūr (The Light) and Prophet Muḥammad is nūr from God (5:15) and radiant lamp (sirāj munīr) (33:46)
  • God is al-Ḥalīm (The Forbearing) and Prophet Muḥammad is halīm (11:75)
  • God is al-Qawiy (The Strong) and Prophet Muḥammad is dhū al-quwwah (possessor of power) (81:20-21)
  • God is al-‘Ālim (the Knower) and Prophet Muḥammad is the teacher (mu‘allim) of knowledge (62:2; 3:164; 2:151)
  • God is al-Ṣabūr (The Patient) and Prophets are ṣabūr (patient) (38:16, 46:34)
  • God is al-Shahīd (The Witness) and Prophet is shahīd (witness) of humankind (2:143, 33:46; 4:41)
  • God is al-Walī (The Guardian) and Prophet Muḥammad is the walī of the Believers (5:55)
  • God is al-Ghaffar (The Forgiver) and Prophet Muḥammad intercedes for people’s forgiveness (4:64, 63:5, 60:12)
  • God is al-‘Afū (The Pardoner) and Prophet Muḥammad pardons the Believers (5:13; 3:159; 7:199)
  • God is al-Hādī (The Guide) and Prophet Muḥammad guides to the Straight Path (45:25)
  • God is al-‘Aẓīm (The Great) and Prophet Muḥammad’s character is ‘aẓīm (68:4)
  • God is al-Ḥakam (The Judge) and Prophet Muḥammad is the judge of the Believers (4:65; 4:105; 24:51; 33:36)
  • God is al-Mubayyin (The Clarifier) (5:75, 24:58) and Prophet Muḥammad makes things clear (5:15; 5:19; 16:44)
  • God is al-Mutahhir (The Purifier) (4:49; 33:33) and Prophet Muḥammad purifies the believers (9:103)
  • God is al-Mawlā (The Master) and Prophet Muḥammad holds awlā (authority) over the Believers (33:6)
  • God is al-Muḥyī (The Giver of Life) and Prophet Muḥammad summons the believers to life (8:24).
  • God recites His Signs (2:252; 3:108) and the Prophet Muḥammad recites His Signs (2:151).
  • God sends Ṣalawāt (blessings) and Prophet Muḥammad sends ṣalawāt (blessings) (9:103)
  • God receives ṣadaqah (9:104) when Prophet Muḥammad receives ṣadaqah (9:103; 58:12)
  • God brings people from darkness to Light (2:257) and Prophet Muḥammad brings people to Light (14:1; 14:5 65:11) He who gives their allegiance (bay‘ah) to Prophet Muḥammad has given their allegiance to God (48:10)
  • God commands right & forbids wrong (66:6) and Prophet Muḥammad commands lawful & forbids wrong (7:157) He who obeys the Prophet Muḥammad, obeys God (4:80; 4:64)
  • When Prophet Muḥammad threw stones, it was actually God who threw (8:17)

Crowder vs. Transgender


Friday, July 13, 2018


In addition to the "Further Reading" found in this day's session, please find here a selection of some representations of the Prophet found in various societies of Muslims and Islamic cultures. 

Burda: This Youtube link is a rendition of Al-Busiri's Burdah (or "Mantle" ode) one of the most famous poems in praise of the Prophet Muhammad in the Muslim world. Composed in the thirteenth century, it has been translated into almost every major language. Part of its popularity stems from belief in its healing properties, just as its author was cured of blindness when the Prophet Muhammad appeared to him in a dream and blessed him for having composed such a beautiful poem. The poem's refrain is a blessing on the Prophet: Burda with English Subtitles
"maulaya salli wa sallim daa'iman abadan 'alaa habeebika khayril khalqi kullihim"
O God send your prayers and blessings always and forever upon the one whom you loved, the best of all creatures
Qasidah: This is a Youtube link for a Qasīdah, a classical genre of Arabic poetry; once again, it is in praise of the Prophet Muhammad. This is a Moroccan version: Ya Imam al-Mursalīn

Qawwali: The Qawwali is arguably the most famous genre of South Asian music. The following is a Qawwali in praise of the Prophet Muhammad, sung by Nusrat Fath Ali Khan: Kamli Wale Mohammad Toon Sadqe Main Jaan.
Mawlid: These are examples of celebrations for the Mawlid, that is, the birth of the Prophet.
Sudanese Disciples of al-Shaykh al-Bur'i: Qumak Ma'y
West African: Muhammad al-Mustapha: This is a recitation of a Qasīdah written by Ibrāhīm Niass (1900–1975), a major figure and Sufi shaykh of the Tijānī Sufi order of Islam in West Africa.
Contemporary Genre:
Maher Zain: Ya Nabi Salam 'Alayka: Maher Zain is a Muslim, Swedish R&B singer, songwriter and music producer of Lebanese origin.

Maher Zain (In Arabic): Ya Nabi Salam 'Alayka

"The Prophet Muhammad Was Once Glorified In Art", radio segment from WBUR's Here & Now, a National Public Radio production, 16 Jan 2015.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Kaltura Video Research



Name three things that you learned from this unit. Was there anything that you found especially compelling or challenging?  If so, please explain.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Write your answers to the following questions on the course discussion board:
  1. You have now read about a significant diversity of approaches to understanding the Prophet Muhammad and his legacy. Please reflect on these differences and consider their significance for the interpretation of the Quran. 
  2. This course is entitled "Islam Through Its Scriptures." In general, we have been considering the Islamic "scripture" to be the Quran. How, then, may the ḥadīth literature be considered Islamic scripture, as well? How may it not be considered scripture, based on what you have read?

US President Trump Smack Down Before NATO Summit: 'Germany is totally controlled by Russia'

Trump Attacks Russia & Germany

US President Donald Trump launched a scathing attack on German support for one of Europe's most contentious energy developments, saying Germany is “totally controlled” by Russia. Speaking in Brussels, Belgium on the first leg of his European trip, the U.S. president said a flurry of oil and gas deals had given Moscow far too much influence over the continent’s largest economy. In particular, he singled out the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project as being especially "inappropriate." “Germany is totally controlled by Russia … They will be getting between 60 and 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline, and you tell me if that is appropriate because I think it's not,” Trump said, before criticizing Berlin's failure to significantly increase defense spending. Trump was speaking at a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Canvas Surpasses Blackboard in Market Share


Tuesday, July 10, 2018


The selection below is from Celebrating Muhammad: Images of the Prophet in Popular Muslim Poetry, by Ali Asani and Kamal Abdel-Malek. In this book, Asani and Abdel-Malek bring translations and analyses of the many and various poems dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad. Oftentimes, expressions of devotion to the Prophet constitute some of the primary public practices of societies of Muslims. Even though there have been reservations and objections to Prophetic veneration (some groups label this practice excessive at best, and prohibited at worse), just as many groups, if not more, have considered devotion to the Prophet to be the natural consequence of viewing him as model and guide, and as "the best of humankind." 

Please read the prologue (1-9) and introduction (which is by Annemarie Schimmel, 10-15) of Celebrating Muhammad: Images of the Prophet in Popular Muslim Poetryby Ali Asani and Kamal Abdel-Malek. (i.e., pp. 1-15)

Monday, July 9, 2018

REL 205 Americans Leave Religion



Write your answers to the following questions on the course discussion board:
  1. Based on his commentaries, how does the Shi'a Imam al-Baqir understand the meaning of leadership in the Qur'an?
  2. How is Imam al-Baqir's tafsir different from Sunni Muslim tafsir or other commentaries of the Qur'an that you have read?

How Obama Promoted Afghan Drugs


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Students Against Trump’s Supreme Pick: Before Pick



Prepared by Khalil Andani (Harvard University), based on 
Early Shi‘i Thought by Arzina R. Lalani (London, New York: I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2000).
In the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet himself was both the revealer and the interpreter of the verses of the Qur’an. Even when the Qur’an only existed in aural/oral form, it was the Prophet who contextualized, explained, and implemented its message in practical everyday matters. Over the first three centuries after the death of Prophet Muhammad, Sunni and Shi‘i Muslims developed their own distinct approaches for interpreting the Qur’an. While Sunni Muslims came to follow the religious and legal interpretations of religious scholars (‘ulama) and jurists (fuqaha), Shi‘i Muslims believed that the Prophet Muhammad’s religious authority and spiritual knowledge was inherited exclusively by his family (Ahl al-Bayt), beginning with his cousin and son-in-law ‘Ali b. Abi Talib and thereafter by specific lineal descendants of ‘Ali, called “Imams.” The first Imam, 'Ali, according to Shi'i belief, was designated and appointed by Prophet Muhammad himself, and each Imam selects and designates the succeeding Imam from among his sons. Shi‘i Muslims, therefore, regard the Imams as the legitimate interpreters of the Qur’an after Prophet Muhammad and the bearers of spiritual and religious authority (walayah). In the practical sense, while Muhammad is the final prophet who brings revelation, the Imam for Shi'i Muslims continues many of the spiritual functions of the Prophet Muhammad mentioned in the previous section, such as providing divine guidance, religious interpretation, intercession, resolving and judging over disputes, forgiving the community and accepting offerings from them, praying for them, dispensing wisdom, etc. The earliest Shi‘i Muslim commentaries (tafsir) on the Qur’an are attributed to the early Shi‘i Imams, Muhammad al-Baqir (d. 743) and Ja‘far al-Sadiq (d. 765). Various Shi‘i Muslim sources contain Qur’an commentaries in which these two Imams explain the Shi‘i doctrine of imamah (divinely-ordained leadership after the Prophet) through specific Qur’anic verses. Below are a selection of Qur’anic verses accompanied by the commentaries by the Imam Muhammad al-Baqir as presented in the academic work Early Shi‘i Thought by Arzina R. Lalani. 
In general, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir was highly respected in non-Shi'i circles as a trustworthy authority (thiqa) in transmitting the sayings (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad. The sources suggest that many scholars felt inferior to him and regarded him with great reverence due to his vast knowledge. (Lalani, 96).
Walayah - Imamah: The First Pillar of Islam
“According to the Shi‘a on the other hand, the choice of an Imam is not within the domain of the community; it is not its concern to decide who the Imam should be. This follows from al-Baqir’s view that walaya or the imamate is one of the pillars of Islam, indeed the most important pillar.  ‘Islam’, according to al-Baqir, ‘is built on seven pillars: walaya (love for and allegiance to the Imam), tahara (purification), salat (prayer), zakat (almsgiving), sawm (fasting), hajj (pilgrimage) and jihad (striving in God’s way). Walaya is the best among them, because through it and through the one to whom allegiance should be paid, the knowledge of the other pillars is reached. Being a matter of fundamental belief, consensus (ijmā‘) cannot be applied to walaya, just as it cannot be applied in matters concerning monotheism, or the prophethood of Muhammad, or his status as God’s Messenger.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 76)
Qur’an Verses about ‘Ali:
“Indeed your Guardian [Wali] is only God, His Messenger and those believers who perform prayer and give the zakat while bowing down.” (Qur’an 5:55)

“Muslim exegetes have, over the years, entertained contradictory views on this verse. Some believe it refers to ‘Ali who, while kneeling in prayer, once threw his ring to a beggar who stood asking for alms… Commenting on the verse, al-Baqir categorically maintains that it was revealed at the time when the Messenger was with a group of Jews, amongst whom ‘Abd Allah b. al-Salam was present. As soon as the verse was revealed, the Messenger got up and walked towards the mosque where he met a beggar. Inquiring if anyone had given him anything, the beggar pointed to a man who was still praying. The man was ‘Ali.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 59)
“O Messenger, deliver [to the people] what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not do so then you have not delivered His message; and Allah will protect you from the people. Indeed Allah does not guide the disbelieving people (Qur’an 5:67)

“Explaining the message, al-Baqir said that, just as the Messenger had elucidated the details regarding the verses on prayer, alms giving, fasting, and pilgrimage, so too he was expected to expound on the walayah that was revealed in the aforementioned verse 5:55. But when asked to do this in practice, the Messenger felt extremely uneasy, fearing that people would apostatize. As his reluctance continued, God repeated the command in verse 5:67… Al-Baqir continues that the Messenger, upon receiving this verse, carried out God’s command and endorsed the walayah or imamate of ‘Ali b. Abi Talib at Ghadir Khumm.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 61)
“This day I have perfected your faith for you and completed my favours upon you and have chosen for you Islam as a faith/religion.” (Qur’an 5:3) 
“According to al-Baqir it was only after the endorsement of walayah that God revealed verse 5:3. Al-Baqir’s position regarding the verse, […] reported in various Shi ‘i sources, is very clear. It was, he says, revealed on the occasion of ‘Ali’s appointment as the Imam at Ghadir Khumm.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 62)
 Qur’an Verses about the Family of Muhammad (ahl al-bayt):
“Al-Baqir maintains that not only is obedience to the imam incumbent upon the believers, but that love for them is a duty enjoined upon the worshippers according to verse 42:22: Say, I do not ask for any reward except love for the relations...the Prophet himself considered his relations to be ‘Alī, Fātima and their two sons.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 67)
“Al-Baqir also puts forward the concept of ‘isma (infallibility) of the imam, his divine protection from sin and error. He bases this on his interpretation of the Qur’anic verse 33:33: And God only wishes to remove uncleanliness from you, O People of the House (ahl al-bayt) and to purify you thoroughly.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 69) 
“O ye who believe! Obey God and obey the Messenger and those who hold authority (ulu’l-amr) amongst you… (Qur’an 4:59) 
“If they had only referred it ot the Messenger and those who hold authority (ulu’l-amr) among them, then those among them who can derive knowledge would have known it.” (Qur’an 4:83)

“Al-Baqir’s commentary on this verse is that the ulu al-amr are the imams from the family of Muhammad… Using this verse to reassert the position of the Imams, al-Baqir maintains that obedience to them is incumbent as God made them ‘the people of knowledge’ and enable them to extract that knowledge.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 63-64)
Qur’an Verses about the Authority of the Imams:
“And no one knows its esoteric interpretation (ta’wil) except God and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge (rasikhun fi’l-‘ilm).” (Qur’an 3:7) 
“We are the ones who are firmly rooted in knowledge (rasikhun fi’l-‘ilm) and we know its ta’wil.
Those who are firmly rooted in knowledge (rasikhun fi’l-‘ilm) are the Commander of the Faithful (‘Ali ibn Abi Talib) and the Imams after him.”
- Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq, (al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, Kitab al-Hujjah, Chapter 22, Hadith No. 1 & 3)
 “Commenting on this verse, al-Bāqir says that the Messenger was the best of those firmly rooted in knowledge. God taught him regarding all that was revealed to him and how to interpret it. Thereafter, it is the imams who know all the interpretations of the Qur’ān.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 65)
“And ask the People of Remembrance (ahl al-dhikr) if you do not know.” (Qur’an 16:43, 21:7) 
The Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq said: ‘The Remembrance (dhikr) is Muhammad and we are his Family (ahl) who must be questioned.’ About the words of God (43:33), “He is a Remembrance for you and for your people and you all will be asked questions”, the Imam said: ‘And we are the People of Remembrance (ahl al-dhikr) and we are the ones who will be questioned.’ (Usul al-Kafi, Kitab al-Hujjah, Chapter 20, Hadith No. 2) 
“Nay, rather it [the Qur’an] is Clear Signs (ayat) in the breasts of those who are given knowledge (alladhi utu al-‘ilm).” (Qur’an 29:49)
“Take note…He [God] does not say [the Qur’an] “in between the two covers of the written text (mushaf)].” He said: “in the breasts of those who are given knowledge.” Who can they be apart from us? They are specifically the Imams.’- Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, (Usul al-Kafi, Kitab al-Hujjah, Chapter 23, Hadith No. 23-4) 
“And you are but a warner and there is a guide for every people.” (Qur’an 13:7)
“Since they have been endowed with knowledge from God, the Imams, says al-Bāqir, have the clear signs of God in their hearts, and since they are the ahl al-dhikr, namely people of the Message, it is they who should be questioned about its interpretation. The Prophet, continues al-Bāqir, was a warner to his people while in every age there is an imam to guide his people about what the Prophet brought” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 65)
Qur’an Verses about the Imams as the Light (nur) of God:
“O ye who believe! Fear God and believe in His Apostle and He will bestow upon you a double portion of His mercy; He will provide for you a light by which ye shall walk…” (Qur’an 28:28)
“Al-Baqir says that the Imams are the light of God mentioned in various verses of the Qur’ān such as 44:8… The Imams, says al-Baqir, are the light, which guides men along the path of righteousness. They illuminate the hearts of the believers in whom the imam’s light is brighter than the resplendent sunlight shining during the day” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 68)
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” (Qur’an 24:35)
“And believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Light that we have sent down.” (Qur’an 44:8)
“The Imams are, according to Baqir, the light of God (nur Allah). When asked to comment on the Qur’anic verse 44:8…al-Baqir replied that the ‘the nur (light) is indeed the nur of the Imams from the Prophet’s family; they, [i.e. the imams], were the light that God brought down and they [in fact] are the light of God (nur Allah) in the heavens and the earth.’ This spiritual light, which passes from generation to generation, is the symbol of that eternal knowledge (‘ilm) which forms part of the Prophet Muhammad’s testament (wasiyyah) to ‘Ali and thereafter to the Imams who followed him.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 80) 
Qur’an Verses on the Intercessory Role of the Imams:
“On the Day when We shall call summon all men with their Imam, whoso is given his book (kitab) in his right hand – such will read their book and they will not be wronged a shred.” (Qur’an 17:71)
“Closely related to the concept of ‘ismah is the notion of shafa‘ah or intercession, which is inherent in the theory of the imamate propounded by al-Baqir. Many of these Qur’anic verses interpreted by al-Baqir imply the intercessional powers of the Imam. One of them is 17:71: ‘on the day when we shall call all men with their Imam…’ Commenting on this verse, al-Baqir says that, when it was revealed, the Muslims asked the Messenger whether he was not the Imam for all the people. The Prophet replied that he was the Messenger of Allah for all the people, but after him there would be imams from his family who would be oppressed rather than accepted. However, those who loved the imams, followed them and believed in them, were indeed from him (the Prophet) and would meet him (in Paradise), while those who oppressed them and called them liars were not from him and would be disowned by him.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 69)
“Or are they jealous of mankind of that which Allah of His bounty hath bestowed upon them? For we bestowed upon the House of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and We bestowed on them a mighty kingdom.” (Qur’an 4:54) 
“Thus We have appointed you a Middle Nation (ummah wasat) that ye may be witnesses against mankind, and that the Messenger may be witness against you.” (Qur’an 2:143) 

God has made the imams, according to al-Baqir’s interpretation of verse 2:143, an ummah wasat so that they might be God’s witnesses to His creatures. His definition of a ‘great kingdom conferred upon the family of Ibrahim’ (4:54) is that God made from among them leaders whose obedience was equal to the obedience of God and whose disobedience was equal to the disobedience of God. How, argues al-Baqir, could people accept this position for the family of Ibrahim and deny it to the family of Muhammad.” (Arzina Lalani, Early Shi‘i Thought, 65)

Saturday, July 7, 2018



This section's reading is from Chapter One of Jonathan Brown's Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World. In this selection, Brown gives a broad overview of the meaning and import of the ḥadīth (pl. aḥādīth), or the traditions and narratives of and about the Prophet Muhammad. He notes that the Quran is not the only source for Islamic law, mysticism, theology, philosophy, popular practice, etc.; the collection of ḥadīth complement the Quran in informing the multifarious doctrines and practices of the Islamic religious tradition, within which are found communities of interpretation that may in fact contradict one another.

In this respect, Brown offers us a more detailed explication of the ḥadīth literature, how they function in societies of Muslims across historical time and geographical space, and the various components of a given ḥadīth. You will also gain a deeper understanding of the paramount role of the Prophet in the formation of the Muslim self.

Read Chapter One of Jonathan Brown's Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World, entitled "The Prophet's Words Then and Now: Hadith and its Terminology". (You can skip the section, 'The Contents of this Book'.)

Note that you are encouraged to draw on this reading for the two discussions that follow. There is a lot of content in it, so we suggest you read it carefully and take some notes.

Reform Islam


Friday, July 6, 2018

Video: The Diversity of Approaches to the Prophet

Video: The Diversity of Approaches to the Prophet

On several occasions, the Quran speaks of the importance
of following the Prophet Muhammad.
One verse declares, "Indeed, you have in the messenger
of God a beautiful example."
Another verse states that "whoever obeys the messenger, obeys God."
A third verse asked the Prophet to declare, "If you love God, follow me.
And God will love you and forgive you your sins."
Muslims of diverse identities have exerted a great deal of effort
to understand the authentic message of the Prophet
Muhammad, whom they regard as the exemplar of the ideal way to live.
There are two important genres of Islamic scholarship
that deal specifically with the Prophet Muhammad.
First, there is the sira, or the biography of the Prophet, which
you have already encountered in Day 2.
Second, there is the hadith, which refers to the collected reports
of the sayings and actions of Mohammed.
The hadith play an extremely important role
in many aspects of Islamic thought and culture
as they provide guidance for all aspects of Muslim life.
They are also particularly important for interpreting the Quran
as the Prophet Muhammad is understood to have had the deepest knowledge
of the scripture of any human being.
As a messenger of revelation, he is seen as embodying the message.
Hence, his wife A’isha is reported to have said,
‘His characteristics are the characteristics of the Quran,’
and ‘He was a walking Quran.’
But soon after the hadith began to be collected
towards the end of the eighth century of the common era,
scholars realized that many hadith were being fabricated
to serve personal and political ends.
Thus, it was necessary to develop a method of validating and corroborating
the authenticity of each hadith on the basis of its transmitters.
You will learn about this method in the reading that follows.
However, this account of the hadith sciences,
which is based on the perspective of Sunni Islam,
is somewhat complicated when we consider other interpretations of Islam.
For most Shi‘i Muslims, the words and actions of their Imams
are of equal validity to the words and actions of the Prophet.
This is because they believe the Imams, who are descendants of the Prophet
through his daughter Fatima, are the infallible guardians
and interpreters of revelation.
Indeed, the Shi‘i refer to these Imams as "the speaking Quran."
Shi‘i hadith collections, therefore, include
sayings of the Imams in addition to sayings of the Prophet.
Furthermore, the ways in which Shi‘i scholars authenticate their hadith
are a little different from the Sunni hadith sciences.
Finally, sira and hadith are by no means the only way
that the message of the Prophet Muhammad is present within Islamic communities.
Praise of the Prophet and the family of the Prophet
play a crucial role in the devotional life
of the majority of Muslims the world over, albeit in different forms.
Based on the teachings of the Quran, most Muslims, whether Sunni or Shi‘i,
regard the Prophet as an intercessor.
Those Muslims who are mystically inclined
place special emphasis on cultivating a relationship with the living
presence of the Prophet through individuals
who are spiritually connected with him.


Obama EPA Scandals


Thursday, July 5, 2018


Write your answers to the following questions on the course discussion board:
        1. What is the function of a prophet/apostle-messenger according to these passages?
        2. Do you see a fundamental difference between the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad and the portrayal of other prophets and apostle-messengers in these verses?
        3. Make a list of the functions of the Prophet Muhammad that the Quran describes. When you have finished you can consult the more extensive list compiled by Khalil Andani, a member of our teaching staff, below.

Catholic Criminals for Teaching Faith


Harvard Lacks Transparency


Wednesday, July 4, 2018


Now that you have read several Quranic verses discussing prophecy in general, you are in a better position to understand the way Muhammad is addressed and portrayed in the Quran. As you will see in the selected verses below, sometimes the Quran addresses Muhammad in the second person (you/thee), and sometimes it describes him in the third person. You may wish to think about whether the depictions of the Prophet Muhammad differ from the depictions of other prophets you have encountered so far. You may also wish to make a list of the diverse functions, roles and qualities that the Quran attributes to Muhammad in the verses below.
All translations are by Muhammad Asad unless otherwise noted.
45:25 (trans. Pickthall)
And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! thou verily dost guide unto a right path,
And know, O believers, that] Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but is God's Apostle and the Seal of all Prophets. And God has indeed full knowledge of everything.
45 [And as for thee,] O Prophet - behold, We have sent thee as a witness [to the truth], and as a herald of glad tidings and a warner, 46 and as one who summons [all men] to God by His leave, and as a light-giving beacon.
Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender!
2:151 (also see 3:164, 62:2 for similar verses)
Even as We have sent unto you an apostle from among yourselves to convey unto you Our messages, and to cause you to grow in purity, and to impart unto you revelation and wisdom, and to teach you that which you knew not:
Behold, all who pledge their allegiance to thee [the Prophet] pledge their allegiance to God: the hand of God is over their hands Hence, he who breaks his oath, breaks it only to his own hurt; whereas he who remains true to what he has pledged unto God, on him will He bestow a reward supreme.
4:79-80 (trans. Pickthall)79 We have sent thee (Muhammad) as a Messenger unto mankind and Allah is sufficient as Witness.
80 Whoso obeyeth the Messenger hath obeyed Allah, and whoso turneth away: We have not sent thee as a warder over them.
64 For We have never sent any Apostle save that he should be heeded by God's leave. If, then, after having sinned against themselves, they would but come round to thee [the Prophet] and ask God to forgive them - with the Apostle, too, praying that they be forgiven - they would assuredly find that God is an acceptor of repentance, a dispenser of grace.  65 But nay, by thy Sustainer! They do not [really] believe unless they make thee [O Prophet] a judge of all on which they disagree among themselves, and then find in their hearts no bar to an acceptance of thy decision and give themselves up [to it] in utter self-surrender
102 And [there are] others - [people who] have become conscious of their sinning after having done righteous deeds side by side with evil ones; [and] it may well be that God will accept their repentance: for, verily, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser' of grace.
103 [Hence, O Prophet,] accept that [part] of their possessions which is offered for the sake of God, so that thou mayest cleanse them thereby and cause them to grow in purity, and pray for them: behold, thy prayer will be [a source of] comfort to them-for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.
And thou (standest) on an exalted standard of character.
21:107 (trans. Yusuf Ali)
We sent thee [O Prophet] not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.
3:159And it was by God's grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy followers: for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God loves those who place their trust in Him.
Indeed, there has come unto you [O mankind] an Apostle from among yourselves: heavily weighs - upon him [the thought] that you might suffer [in the life to come]; full of concern for you [is he, and] full of compassion and mercy towards the believers
Verily, in the Apostle of God you have a good example for everyone who looks forward [with hope and awe] to God and the Last Day, and remembers God unceasingly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


After the Unity of God (tawhīd), prophecy (nubuwwa) is generally considered the second most important teaching of the Quran. This is evident in the Islamic profession of faith, the shahāda: "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God;" to which Shi'i Muslims add, "And 'Ali is the walī (Friend) of God."
You have already encountered an important story involving Joseph and Jacob, who are both considered prophets in the Islamic tradition. The verses below have been selected to extend your knowledge about the Quranic perspective on prophecy, before we turn to the figure of the Prophet Muhammad in particular. 
Note that the terms prophet, messenger, and apostle are used interchangeably in some translations of the Quran. Technically, within the Islamic intellectual tradition there is a distinction made between the roles and functions of a prophet (nabī) and those of a messenger/apostle (rasūl), and a good translation will keep that distinction in the target language. Messenger/apostle (rasūl)  usually refers to prophets who have received revelation in the form of scripture. In the translations below  (by Muhammad Asad), "apostle" is used for rasūl, and "prophet" for nabī. For the sake of this course and the content and discussions that follow, you may elide the understanding of a prophet and an apostle-messenger into a single unit. 
Some of these apostles have We endowed more highly than others: among them were such as were spoken to by God [Himself], and some He has raised yet higher.' And We vouchsafed unto Jesus, the son of Mary, all evidence of the truth, and strengthened him with holy inspiration.
And if God had so willed, they who succeeded those [apostles] would not have contended with one another after all evidence of the truth had come to them; but [as it was,] they did take to divergent views, and some of them attained to faith, while some of them came to deny the truth. Yet if God had so willed, they would not have contended with one another: but God does whatever He wills.
THE APOSTLE, and the believers with him, believe in what has been bestowed upon him from on high by his Sustainer: they all believe in God, and His angels, and His revelations, and His apostles, making no distinction between any of His apostles; and they say: "We have heard, and we pay heed. Grant us Your forgiveness, O our Sustainer, for with You is all journeys' end!
85 AND [remember] Ishmael and Idris, and every one who [like them] has pledged himself [unto God]: they all were among those who are patient in adversity,
86 and so We admitted them unto Our grace: behold, they were among the righteous!
87 AND [remember] him of the great fish - when he went off in wrath, thinking that We had no power over him! But then he cried out in the deep darkness [of his distress]: "There is no deity save You! Limitless are You in Your glory! Verily, I have done wrong!"
88 And so We responded unto him and delivered him from [his] distress: for thus do We deliver all who have faith.
84 And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob; and We guided each of them as We had guided Noah aforetime. And out of his offspring, [We bestowed prophethood upon] David, and Solomon, and Job, and Joseph, and Moses, and Aaron: for thus do We reward the doers of good;
85 and [upon] Zachariah, and John, and Jesus, and Elijah: every one of them was of the righteous;
86 and [upon] Ishmael, and Elisha, and Jonah, and Lot. And every one of them did We favour above other people;
87 and [We exalted likewise] some of their forefathers and - their offspring and their brethren: We elected them [all], and guided them onto a straight way.
AND UNTO [the tribe of] Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. This she-camel belonging to God shall be a token for you: so leave her alone to pasture on God's earth, and do her no harm, lest grievous chastisement befall you."
AND UNTO [the people of] Madyan [We sent] their brother Shu'ayb. He said: "O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Clear evidence of the truth has now come unto you from your Sustainer. Give, therefore, full measure and weight [in all your dealings], and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs; and do not spread corruption on earth after it has been so well ordered: [all] this is for your own good, if you would but believe.
123 [AND the tribe of] 'Ad gave the lie to [one of God's] message-bearers
124 When their brother Hud said unto them: "Will you not be conscious of God?
125 Behold, I am an apostle [sent by Him] to you, [and therefore] worthy of your trust:
126 be, then, conscious of God, and pay heed unto me!
127 And no reward whatever do I ask of you for it: my reward rests with none but the Sustainer of all the worlds."
In matters of faith, He has ordained for you that which He had enjoined upon Noah - and into which We gave you [O Muhammad] insight through revelation - as well as that which We had enjoined upon Abraham, and Moses, and Jesus: Steadfastly uphold the [true] faith, and do not break up your unity therein.
[And even though] that [unity of faith] to which thou callest them appears oppressive to those who are wont to ascribe to other beings or forces a share in His divinity, God draws unto Himself everyone who is willing, and guides unto Himself everyone who turns unto Him.

Ian Hunter, Mott The Hoople, Ramblin’ Man Festival


Monday, July 2, 2018



Day 4

Video Introduction

Welcome to Day 4 of Islam Through its Scriptures.
As we saw in the story of Joseph, the prophets who preceded Muhammad
played a crucial role in the Quran.
From the Quranic perspective, humankind has a shared history.
This is the history of God's communication
with humanity through prophets, extending in a chain from Adam
down to the prophet Muhammad.
According to the Quran, God has sent a prophet to every people,
to every culture.
The prophet Muhammad is reported to have said
that the total number of his prophets was 124,000.
The Quran calls upon its listeners to affirm the truth of all these prophets.
Although each prophet lived in a particular time and place,
and manifested a specific relationship with God,
the Quran describes their messages as being fundamentally the same.
From a Quranic perspective, a Muslim is not
just someone who belongs to the community of Muhammad.
Rather, the Quran uses the word Muslim to indicate anyone
who has submitted to the will of God.
In this sense, all prophets and their followers are Muslim.
This is not to say that understandings of these prophets are the same.
For example, the Quranic depiction of Jesus
is different from the understanding of Jesus held by most Christians today.
The Quran warns against equating Jesus with God himself.
Yet in the Quran, Jesus is nonetheless a word of God, born of the Virgin Mary,
and one of the many prophets sent to humanity.
Today, we look at how the Quran depicts the prophets.
They are warners and givers of good tidings to humanity,
as well as guides to how we should live our lives in accordance
with God's will.
It is not surprising that the Quran gives special attention
to the prophet Muhammad.
We will therefore consider the depiction of Muhammad in the Quran
and explore similarities and differences with its depiction
of the prophets who preceded him.
In thinking about the prophet Muhammad, we introduce another fundamental aspect
of our course, namely that the Quran cannot be properly understood
in isolation.
It has to be read in light of the many contexts in which it
has been interpreted.
In this regard, the figure of Muhammad is crucial.
His sayings and actions are the most important complement
that Muslims have used to understand the divine message in the Quran.
Although all Muslims revere the prophet Muhammad,
they have understood him in diverse ways.
These diverse understandings have impacted
the ways different Muslim communities have interpreted
the Quran across time and place.
As you read the verses that follow, keep in mind
that they can be understood differently depending
on many other aspects of Muslim thought and culture.
We will gradually explore these aspects as the course develops.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Introduction to Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of Islam Through Its Scripture!
Although the Qur'an lies at the heart of Islam, it is according to tradition and convention never read in isolation. As we have seen in Day 3,  the contexts in which the scripture and specific verses were revealed play a crucial role in determining interpretation. In Days 5-7, we will take a closer look at the complex and diverse approaches to interpreting the Qur'an that Muslims have used across time and in differing contexts. Today, we focus on the relationship of the Prophet Muhammad to the Qur'an and the concept of prophecy.  
First, we will read what the Quran says about prophecy, and what it says in particular about Muhammad as 'the Seal of Prophets'.
Then we will consider the diverse ways in which Prophet Muhammad, as the bearer of the God's message, has been understood by different groups of Muslims as an important complement to the interpretation the Qur'an. 
We start this topic with a reading on the hadith, or sayings of the Prophet, as they are understood in Sunni interpretations of Islam. We will then read Quranic commentaries (focusing on the issue of authority) by Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, the Prophet's great-great-grandson, who is accepted as Imam or religious/spiritual leader by Shia Muslims, whilst also being respected by Sunnis as a respected scholar and descendant of the Prophet.
Finally, we will read about some of the devotional attitudes that Muslims have held towards the Prophet Muhammad. We have also selections of contemporary devotions to the Prophet, which are presented at the end of the Day.
We look forward to the discussion and your responses!
--The Teaching Team

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Spread of Islam

Thursday, June 28, 2018

American Population Animation


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Religion 212


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Led Zeppelin, Four Sticks, Friends, Bombay Indian Sessions

Led Zep, Four Sticks

The song was re-recorded by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with the Bombay Symphony Orchestra in 1972, during their trip to India, along with another track, "Friends" from Led Zeppelin III.[4] This version featured tabla drums and sitars. The recordings were finally released officially on the 2015 remastering of Coda. The project is said to have run into problems because the orchestra didn't keep time in the Western style and some of them drank rather a lot.[5]

Q 1972 Bombay Sessions

Only known live version of Friends.

Bombay Friends

Ian Hunter, Live At The Genting Arena, Birmingham-16/6/2018

Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Johnnie Depp, Hollywood Vampires

Sweet Jane, ATYD


NSA Spy Hubs


Monday, June 25, 2018

Led Zeppelin Rip Off

Page describes how Stairway was written.

Rip off

Origin of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" Intro - Originally by Giovanni Battista Granata.

Giovanni Battista Granata (1620/1621 – 1687) was an Italian Baroque guitar player and composer. He is generally known as the most prolific guitarist of the 17th century, publishing seven books during his lifetime.[1] Along with many pieces in the standard dance genre of that time, Granata also composed many instrumental toccatas, preludes, and chaconnes. Granata was a barber-surgeon by profession.[2]

Granata's Sonata di Chitarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo appeared in a surprising connection with a 1970 rock music work, Stairway to Heaven, by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of the rock group Led Zeppelin. After Stairway to Heavenachieved tremendous success, a dispute arose about whether part of the work was plagiarised. Commentators cited numerous earlier works with some degree of similarity,[4] including Granata's Sonata.[5] However, similarity was not evidence that Page and Plant plagiarised Granata.[4]

The trust of the late Randy Craig Wolfe claimed that Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page lifted a passage that Wolfe, better known as Randy California, wrote for “Taurus,” a short work he recorded with his band Spirit in 1968.
The “Taurus” recording contains a section that sounds like the instantly recognizable start of “Stairway,” but it was never played for jurors. In trying to show the works were substantially similar, the trust had the tricky task of relying on expert renditions from the sheet music filed with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Jurors, who deliberated about five hours, reached their verdict shortly after having videos of a guitarist performing both passages in question replayed in court. Those renditions seemed more like distant cousins than twin siblings.

Taurus Stairway

Philadelphia School District: Islam 1, Jews 0


Global Muslim Beliefs are Alarming

Surveys conducted by Pew Research have revealed a great deal about Muslim beliefs and practices across the globe.  But they fall short of providing an overall picture of the Muslim world because they are divided by country or region.
The Muslim Global Demographic Project was established to answer this need by compiling Pew survey information in order to compute global percentages and global population statistics on Islamic beliefs and practices as they relate to security, terrorism, and the potential threat to Western culture.[1]
Taken together, nearly 1.1 billion Muslims are represented in the 39 countries where Pew surveys were completed between 2008 and 2012.[2]  This encompasses two-thirds of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims (based on a 2010 estimate), though not every country was polled in all of the survey questions.[3]  Since the surveys cover only countries with substantial Muslim populations, the United States and Western Europe were not included.
Some of the key findings of the project are presented here.  For the complete report and analysis, see “Muslim Beliefs & Practices:  A Global Demographic Assessment.”
Most Muslims Believe there is Only One Islam
67% (736.3 million) of Muslims surveyed believe that there is only one true interpretation of Islam’s teachings.  Disagreements over the interpretation of Islam have sometimes resulted in deadly violence, mostly between Sunnis and Shias.  However, the acceptance of Shias by Sunni Muslims varies considerably between countries.  Though most Muslims are certain about the true interpretation of Islam, they are divided over how far to stretch the boundaries of Islam.
Devout Muslims—those who say their lives reflect the hadith and the sunna to a considerable degree—comprise 41% (369.7 million) of the survey population. [4]  Statistically, they are more likely to say that (1) sharia is the revealed word of Allah, (2) that Islam and sharia have only one interpretation, (3) that proselytizing is a religious duty, and (4) that sharia should be the official law of their country.[5]
Most Muslims Prefer to Live Under Sharia    
Though Muslims are evenly divided over the belief that there is only one interpretation of sharia, 64% (581 million) believe it is the revealed word of Allah, rather than a form of law developed by men and based on Allah’s word.  69% of Muslims (741.8 million) in the countries surveyed favor making sharia the official law of their country.  This was the highest number in the project’s survey questions.
About one-third (274.0 million) believe sharia should be applied to non-Muslims in some way, and about one-third to one-half of Muslims (352.2 million – 463.3 million) support extreme punishments such as whippings, amputations, stoning for adultery, and the death penalty for apostasy.
These punishments belong to a legal class of penalties known as Hudud.  They are prescribed by the Quran, the sunna (the example and teachings of Muhammad), and traditional sharia (see table below). Hudud offenses are considered crimes against Allah.
Hudud Punishment
AdulteryStoningBukhari 6814, 6827, 6828; Ibn Ishaq 267, 652; Reliance o12.2
Fornication (or Sodomy)100 LashesQuran 24:2; Bukhari 6827, 6828, 6833; Reliance o12.2
False Accusation of Adultery80 lashesQuran 24:4; Reliance o13.3
Drinking AlcoholUp to 80 lashesMuslim 4452; Bukhari 6780; Reliance o16.3
Theft or Highway RobberyAmputation of Hand and/or FootQuran 5:33, 38; Bukhari 6787, 6789; Ibn Ishaq 678; Reliance o14.1, o15.0
Highway Robbery
with Homicide
Crucifixion or Death by SwordQuran 5:33 (see Bukhari 6802-6805); Ibn Ishaq 678; Reliance o15.2
ApostasyDeathBukhari 3017, 6922; Ibn Ishaq 550; Reliance o8.1
KEY:     Bukhari—A Sunni, canonical, hadith collection (Darussalem version numbering)
Ibn Ishaq—Life of Muhammad, trans. by A. Guillaume (Oxford U. Press, 1955)
RelianceReliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, trans. by Nuh Ha             Mim Keller (Amana Publications, 1991)
A Large Minority of Muslims Support Forced Veiling & Honor Killing
About one-third of Muslims surveyed support the forced veiling of women (349.4 million) and say that honor killings are justified (361.8 million), in at least some circumstances, for women who commit pre or extra-marital sex.  Muslims are less likely to justify honor killings for men who commit the same offences.
Honor killing is not taught in the Quran and it is condemned by many Muslim clerics.  Nevertheless, a provision of traditional sharia law called Qisas, which is found in some countries, provides a legal loophole for honor killing by allowing blood relatives to forgive the perpetrator.[6]
Many Muslims Reject Basic Universal Rights and Freedoms
When taken together, about one-third to one-half of Muslims (274.0 million – 463.3 million) in the survey countries uphold beliefs and practices (in addition to support for sharia) that are contrary to many Western values and internationally recognized human rights, as shown in this table.
Survey Question
Number Who Affirm
Conflict with Western
Principles & Values
Favor sharia in their country
741.8 million
Separation of religion and state
Religious freedom
Apply sharia to non-Muslims
in their country
274.0 million
Separation of religion and state
Religious freedom
Individual freedom
Freedom of speech
Equality of all persons under the law
Whippings and amputations for
crimes like theft and robbery
456.7 million
Cruel and unusual punishment
Stoning for adultery
463.3 million
Cruel and unusual punishment
Death penalty for apostasy
352.2 million
Religious freedom
Freedom of speech
Cruel and unusual punishment
Forced veiling of women
349.4 million
Individual rights
Gender equality
Justify honor killings for women who commit pre or extra-marital sex
361.8 million
Religious freedom
Individual rights
Gender equality
Conspiracy to murder
Over 100 Million Muslims Can Justify Using Violence in Defense of Islam   
Nearly 17% (which includes 114.7 million adults) of the survey population said that violence against civilians, is justified in order to “defend Islam from its enemies.”  Though the percentage is small, the population number is significant and implies a substantial base of moral and, perhaps, material support for violence and terrorism.[7]  If we assume that 17% is representative of the global Muslim population as a whole (i.e., 1.75 billion in 2015), then the number rises to approximately 191.5 million adults.  Granting that only a small percentage of those who justify terrorism would actually commit a terrorist act, these numbers are still more than sufficient to sustain a significant global terrorist threat for the foreseeable future.
The defense of Islam can be broader than resistance to armed attacks.  For many Muslims, insulting Islam or Muhammad is regarded as an attack on Islam.  Historical support for this view comes from Islam’s traditional texts.  Those who criticized or mocked Muhammad, including women, the elderly, and possibly children, were assassinated at his behest or with his approval according to both the hadith (Bukhari 1067, 4037, Abu Dawud 4361) and Muhammad’s biography, the sira (Ibn Ishaq, 551, 665, 675).  Numerous terrorist threats and attacks on Western targets have been provoked by nothing more than words or pictures which some Muslims found offensive.
There are other important conclusions regarding the survey population which have major implications for immigration.  These are discussed in the full, project report:
  • Devout Muslims are more likely to reject the legitimacy of Western laws and government.
  • Converting non-Muslims and promoting sharia are religious imperatives for many Muslims.
  • Intolerance of non-Muslims is widespread and continues to be taught.
  • A significant minority of Muslims are conflicted about modern society
  • A pre-scientific worldview continues to inhibit Islamic historical and scientific inquiry.
The report analyzes 16 survey questions in detail, providing the historical, theological, political, and social background of Muslim beliefs and practices.  It also includes an assessment of security, terrorism, and areas of potential conflict with Western culture—information which is crucial for policymakers and analysts.

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Reading since summer 2006 (some of the classics are re-reads): including magazine subscriptions

  • Abbot, Edwin A., Flatland;
  • Accelerate: Technology Driving Business Performance;
  • ACM Queue: Architecting Tomorrow's Computing;
  • Adkins, Lesley and Roy A. Adkins, Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Ali, Ayaan Hirsi, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations;
  • Ali, Tariq, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity;
  • Allawi, Ali A., The Crisis of Islamic Civilization;
  • Alperovitz, Gar, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb;
  • American School & University: Shaping Facilities & Business Decisions;
  • Angelich, Jane, What's a Mother (in-Law) to Do?: 5 Essential Steps to Building a Loving Relationship with Your Son's New Wife;
  • Arad, Yitzchak, In the Shadow of the Red Banner: Soviet Jews in the War Against Nazi Germany;
  • Aristotle, Athenian Constitution. Eudemian Ethics. Virtues and Vices. (Loeb Classical Library No. 285);
  • Aristotle, Metaphysics: Books X-XIV, Oeconomica, Magna Moralia (The Loeb classical library);
  • Armstrong, Karen, A History of God;
  • Arrian: Anabasis of Alexander, Books I-IV (Loeb Classical Library No. 236);
  • Atkinson, Rick, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy);
  • Auletta, Ken, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It;
  • Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice;
  • Bacevich, Andrew, The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism;
  • Baker, James A. III, and Lee H. Hamilton, The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward - A New Approach;
  • Barber, Benjamin R., Jihad vs. McWorld: Terrorism's Challenge to Democracy;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating;
  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century;
  • Barron, Robert, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith;
  • Baseline: Where Leadership Meets Technology;
  • Baur, Michael, Bauer, Stephen, eds., The Beatles and Philosophy;
  • Beard, Charles Austin, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (Sony Reader);
  • Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon, The Age of Sacred Terror: Radical Islam's War Against America;
  • Bergen, Peter, The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader;
  • Berman, Paul, Terror and Liberalism;
  • Berman, Paul, The Flight of the Intellectuals: The Controversy Over Islamism and the Press;
  • Better Software: The Print Companion to;
  • Bleyer, Kevin, Me the People: One Man's Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America;
  • Boardman, Griffin, and Murray, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World;
  • Bracken, Paul, The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics;
  • Bradley, James, with Ron Powers, Flags of Our Fathers;
  • Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre;
  • Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 10 1974-1984: The Marshall Cavendish Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 8 The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Nathan J., When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics;
  • Bryce, Robert, Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of "Energy Independence";
  • Bush, George W., Decision Points;
  • Bzdek, Vincent, The Kennedy Legacy: Jack, Bobby and Ted and a Family Dream Fulfilled;
  • Cahill, Thomas, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter;
  • Campus Facility Maintenance: Promoting a Healthy & Productive Learning Environment;
  • Campus Technology: Empowering the World of Higher Education;
  • Certification: Tools and Techniques for the IT Professional;
  • Channel Advisor: Business Insights for Solution Providers;
  • Chariton, Callirhoe (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Chief Learning Officer: Solutions for Enterprise Productivity;
  • Christ, Karl, The Romans: An Introduction to Their History and Civilization;
  • Cicero, De Senectute;
  • Cicero, The Republic, The Laws;
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 1 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • Cicero, The Verrine Orations I: Against Caecilius. Against Verres, Part I; Part II, Book 2 (Loeb Classical Library);
  • CIO Decisions: Aligning I.T. and Business in the MidMarket Enterprise;
  • CIO Insight: Best Practices for IT Business Leaders;
  • CIO: Business Technology Leadership;
  • Clay, Lucius Du Bignon, Decision in Germany;
  • Cohen, William S., Dragon Fire;
  • Colacello, Bob, Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House, 1911 to 1980;
  • Coll, Steve, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century;
  • Collins, Francis S., The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief ;
  • Colorni, Angelo, Israel for Beginners: A Field Guide for Encountering the Israelis in Their Natural Habitat;
  • Compliance & Technology;
  • Computerworld: The Voice of IT Management;
  • Connolly, Peter & Hazel Dodge, The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome;
  • Conti, Greg, Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?;
  • Converge: Strategy and Leadership for Technology in Education;
  • Cowan, Ross, Roman Legionary 58 BC - AD 69;
  • Cowell, F. R., Life in Ancient Rome;
  • Creel, Richard, Religion and Doubt: Toward a Faith of Your Own;
  • Cross, Robin, General Editor, The Encyclopedia of Warfare: The Changing Nature of Warfare from Prehistory to Modern-day Armed Conflicts;
  • CSO: The Resource for Security Executives:
  • Cummins, Joseph, History's Greatest Wars: The Epic Conflicts that Shaped the Modern World;
  • D'Amato, Raffaele, Imperial Roman Naval Forces 31 BC-AD 500;
  • Dallek, Robert, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963;
  • Daly, Dennis, Sophocles' Ajax;
  • Dando-Collins, Stephen, Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome;
  • Darwish, Nonie, Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror;
  • Davis Hanson, Victor, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion;
  • Dawkins, Richard, The Selfish Gene;
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