Visions of reality

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THE VISION OF ISLAM

by Sachiko Murata and William C. Chittick

PARAGON HOUSE St. Paul, Minnesota

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VISIONS OF REALITY

A Series on Religions as Worldviews Series Editor: Roger Corless, Duke UniversityEditorial Board: R. Ninian Smart, University of California, Santa Barbara Charles H. Long, University of California, Santa BarbaraA common assumption behind many surveys of religions is that there is something called "religion" which is a uniquely classifiable phenomenon and which may be dealt with and written about according to recognized and agreed upon subdivisions. Systems identified as religions are then fitted into a prescribed format without considering whether the format is suited to the particular system under consideration.This series is motivated by the awareness that, rather than there being something called "religion", there are many religions, and the more they are studied, the more each one manifests itself as equally profound, nontrivial, and adequate unto itself. Each volume will be an attempt to take each religion on its own terms. Comparison may be made with other religious traditions, but there will be no attempt to impose a single methodology in order to reduce the plurality of one basic scheme.Published Volumes in the Visions of Reality Series:

THE VISION OF BUDDHISM THE VISION OF ISLAM

Roger Corless Sachiko Murata and William Chittick

Envisioned subsequent volumes on specific religions or families of religions:

The Vision of China

The Vision of Christianity

The Visions of the Elders: An Anthology

The Vision of Hinduism

The Vision of Japan

The Vision of Judaism

The Vision of the West and

Visions of Reality: Understanding Religions Understanding Themselves (a methodological volume)

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Published in the United States by Paragon House 2700 University Avenue West St. Paul, Minnesota 55114

Copyright © 1994 by Paragon House All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form, without written permission from the publishers, unless by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Murata, Sachiko, 1943--

Vision of Islam: reflecting on the Hadith of Gabriel / by Sachiko Murata and William Chittick -- 1st ed.

p. cm. --(Visions of reality. Understanding religions) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-55778-516-3 (pbk.) 1. Islam. I. Chittick, William C. II. Title. III. Series.

BP161.2.M78 1994

297--dc2O 94-16064

CIP

Manufactured in the United States of America Typeset by AeroType, Inc.



The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences--Permanance of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSIZ39.48-1984.

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Table of CONTENTS

Preface


ix






Introduction


xiv







The Koran

xiv







The Messenger of God

xix







The Hadith of Gabriel

xxv







Religion

xxvii







Three Dimensions of Islam

xxxii







Islamic Learning

xxxiv







A Fourth Dimension

xxxviii







PART I: Islam

1










The Word Islam

3










Chapter 1. The Five Pillars

8













Practice: Embodied Submission

8













The First Pillar: The Shahadah

9













The Second Pillar: Salat

11













The Third Pillar: Zakat

16













The Fourth Pillar: Fasting

17












The Fifth Pillar: Hajj


19













A Sixth Pillar? Jihad and Mujahada

20













The Shariah

22













Sin

25










Chapter 2. The Historical Embodiment of Islam

28













The Koran and the Sunna

28













The Madhhabs

30











Jurisprudence and Politics


32







PART II: Iman

35









Islam and Iman

37










The Three Principles

43










Chapter 3. Tawhid

45













The First Shahadah

45













God

47













Shirk

49













The Signs of God

52













Interpreting the Signs

54













Divine Names

58













Speech

62













Essence and Attributes

64












Mercy and Wrath

67













Nearness and Distance

68













Tanzih and Tashbih

70













Mercy's Precedence

74













Acts

77













The Unseen and the Visible

79













Heaven and Earth

80













Angels

84











God's Unseen Messengers


85













Light

87













Angelic Lum- inosity

89












Clay

92













Spirits and Bodies

93













Fire

97













Soul

100











Imagination


102













Summary

103













The Measuring Out

104













Creative Power

104













Good and Evil

108













Trial

111













Freedom

113













Creaturely Diversity

117













The Human Being

120













Servant and Vicegerent

124













The Merciful King

126













The Hierarchy of Creation

128










Chapter 4. Prophecy

132





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The Second Shahadah

132







Prophet and Messenger

133







The Trust

134







Innate Human Nature

137







Adam and Iblis

139






The Fall

142







Heedlessness

144







Dhikr

147







Responding to the Signs of God

149







Guidance and Misguidance

151







Wrongdoing

155







God's Two Hands

158







Islam and Other Religions

164







The Universality and Particularity of Prophecy

164







Judaism and Christianity

168








The Koran

175






Names of the Koran

181







The Prophet Muhammad

184







Good News and Warning

187



Chapter 5. The Return


193







Stages of Life and Death

193







Life and Death

196







This World and the Next World

197







The Grave

200







The End of the World

202







The Resurrection

204







Hell and Paradise

211






The Unfolding of the Soul

213







Shaping the Divine Form

213







Imagination

216








The Dreamworld

221







The Barzakh

223







Meeting the Angels

226







Final Judgment

231




Chapter 6. The Intellectual Schools

236







The Expression of Faith in the Earliest Period

239







Kalam

242





Theoretical Sufism

246






Philosophy

247







The Two Poles of Understanding

250







Kalam's Rationality

257







Philosophy's Abstraction

258







Sufism's Vision

262

PART III: Ihsan


265




Chapter 7. The Koranic Roots of Ihsan

267







The Word Ihsan

267







Worship

273







Seeing God

276






Sincerity

277







God-wariness

282







Love

285







Wholesomeness

288




Chapter 8. The Historical Manifestations of Ihsan

295







Supplication

295







Art and Poetry

298







Practical Sufism

304







The Ethos of Love

309







The Embodiment of Spirit

312

PART IV: Islam in History

319




Chapter 9. History as Interpretation

321







Islamic Interpretation of the Past

324








The Marks of the End

326




Chapter 10. The Contemporary Situation

329







The Declining For- tunes of Islam

330







Reading the Signs of History

332

Select Glossary

337

Appendix: Sources of the Hadiths

347

Notes

353

Index

361




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