Deciphering the Signs of God: A Phenomenological Approach to by Annemarie Schimmel

By Annemarie Schimmel

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Extra info for Deciphering the Signs of God: A Phenomenological Approach to Islam

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Some half-century after Ibn Sina appeared another extremely influential figure who was to serve as the great “integrator”—or perhaps more appropriately, “reconciler”—in the history of Islamic thought. That person is the renowned theologian, philosopher, and mystic Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. As al-Shafi‘i had provided a kind of middle way between the legal extremes in his day, and Ibn Sina in his very person brought together a range of disciplines, so al-Ghazali served as a reminder to the sometimes fractured Islamic umma that true Islam both integrates and reconciles and that the umbrella of the faith has room for a range of interpretations.

Arabic was becoming a truly international language, and massive projects of translation were undertaken, especially by Christians employed at the caliphal court. Soon after the death of the Prophet, the community began assembling narratives of what the Prophet had said and done during his lifetime, as collected by his close companions and confidants. This task involved determining the authenticity of each individual narrative (hadith) and arranging an enormous number of reports into categories of clearly authentic, probably reliable, and unsubstantiated.

Many of them are very lonely, and they enjoy and appreciate having someone to talk to. Since many of them have never met Muslims before, we talk to them about our religion and tell them what we believe and why we dress the way we do. . ”4 . Fasting during the month of Ramadan. While the Qur’an contains a number of references, some direct and some oblique, to the other four pillars, in only one place does it specifically enjoin fasting during the month of Ramadan: “O you faithful, fasting is ordained for you in the same way that it was ordained for those who came before you, so that you may fear God.

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