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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Plot: At mid-thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert seeems to have everything that a woman can ever desire: a successful carrer, a loving husband, a beautiful house and wonderful charm and beauty. However, she is not happy with her life. Suffering depression from a recent nasty divorce and disastrous relationship, Liz decides to travel abroad to Italy, India and Indonesia for a year. The memoir is divided into three sections based on the three country she visited. In Italy, she found all the possible worldly pleasure and expressions of beauty with its rich culture of arts, philosophy, languages and cuisine. In India, she found the true expression of happiness and a spiritual relationship with God. In Bali of Indonesia, she finds a balance between enjoying worldly pleasures and spiritual serenity. Through this year of travel, she is able to rediscover and refine her identity.

Why read? With its exotic description of each country and the author’s intriguing experiences, it is hard to believe that it is a non-fiction work. The explicit description of different cultures are very alluring and interesting. Besides, the author also talks about her change of feelings as she learn about how to deal with her life’s ups an downs, which makes you want to laugh and cry with her.

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Published by Macmillan Reference USA

The reference literature for Islam has long consisted of either a densely academic, multivolume encyclopedia or several, often specialized, single-volume works with brief definitions. Happily, there is now a reference work falling between these two extremes. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World is a scholarly work “about Islamic cultures, religion, history, politics, and the like as well as the people who have identified with Islam over the past fourteen centuries.”

A team of international scholars is responsible for the 515 entries, which are arranged alphabetically and range from 200 to 5,000 words in length. Many include some sort of illustration and end with helpful see also references and excellent supplemental bibliographies. A useful index completes the set. Coverage includes the religious dimensions of Islam as well as the development of the tradition in various parts of the world (e.g., Africa, South Asia, U.S.). Cultural issues of importance to the history of Islam (e.g., architecture, calligraphy, language) are also treated. Entries such as Political organization and Political thought demonstrate the historical completeness for which the encyclopedia strives, tracing developments from the life of the Prophet to the present day. Even topics of contemporary interest include a historical perspective. The entry for Jihad describes the many meanings of the term, including its contemporary association with violence, and how the concept has developed historically. The treatment of secularization in the Muslim world includes a comparison to historical events in the West, thereby helping the reader to understand that it cannot be understood solely from a Western perspective. Finally, the biographical entries include important figures from the religious, cultural, and political history of the Muslim world.

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Two teeens, a Mulsim from New Jersey and a Christian from near Boston learn about each other in the post 9/11 world. Learn about Islam, Muslims and the month of Ramadan.

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DUSHANBE, September 8

The Times of Central Asia

Addressing a meeting dedicated to the 17th anniversary of Tajikistan’s Independence, President Emomali Rahmon announced that the year of 2009 will be Year of Imama Azam in Tajikistan.

The president noted that separation of Islam from Tajik national culture and separation of Tajik national culture from Islam is erroneous.

The Tajik head of state noted that 1,310 birthday anniversary of Al-Imam al-A’zam, “The Greatest Imam” Nu’man bin Thabit bin Zuta bin Mahan, better known by his kunya as Abu Ḥanīfah, who was the founder of the Sunni Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.

Al-Imam al-A’zam, “The Greatest Imam” Nu’man bin Thabit bin Zuta bin Mahan, better known by his kunya as Abu Ḥanīfah, (699 — 767 CE / 80 — 148 AH) was the founder of the Sunni Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.

Abu Hanifa was also one of the Tabi’een, the generation after the Sahaba, because he saw the Sahabi Anas ibn Malik, and transmitted hadiths from him and other Sahaba.

Abu Hanifa (699 — 767 CE / 80 — 148 AH) was born in Kufa, Iraq during the reign of the powerful Umayyad capilph Abdul Malik bin Marwan.  Acclaimed as Al-Imam al-A’zam, or Al-A’dham (the Great Imam), Nu’man bin Thabit bin Zuta bin Mah was better known by his kunya Abu Hanifa. It was not a true kunya, as he did not have a son called Hanifa, but an epithetical one meaning pure in monotheistic belief. His father, Thabit bin Zuta, a trader from Kabul, part of Khorasan in Persia, (the capital of modern day Afghanistan),was 40 years old at the time of Abu Hanifa’s birth.

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The Associated Press, The New York Times

Published: August 19, 2008

The city council of Cologne has voted to allow construction of what will be one of the largest mosques in Germany, a plan that has drawn protests from residents and Cologne’s Roman Catholic archbishop.The vote late Thursday by most of the city’s political parties cleared the way for the Ditib Turkish-Islamic umbrella group to build a new house of worship – complete with two 55-meter-tall, or 177-feet-tall, minarets – in the city’s Ehrenfeld district.

Sardi Arslan, the leader of Ditib, said Friday that construction of the mosque would begin immediately, and he expressed hope that it would facilitate communication between Muslims and non-Muslims. “We are building for all citizens of Cologne, not just for the Muslims,” Arslan said in a statement.

For the past 20 years, Ditib has used a converted warehouse as a house of worship. That will be torn down to make way for the new building, which the group hopes to finish by 2010.

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Part 1/4

Nasfim Haque is a film-maker at the BBC, conceiving program ideas and working as a producer/director. A Cambridge graduate, she joined the BBC in 2003, and her film projects have included “A Muslim in Wales: Qu’ran and Country” – she herself is Cardiff-born and of Bengali heritage.

In 2006 she won a BBC competition for first-time directors for her film “Don’t panic, I’m Islamic”, on attitudes towards Muslims in Britain. Nasfim notes that “as a Muslim myself, I feel Islam has recently been saddled with an image problem, quite unfairly in my opinion, so I wanted to twist this around to ask the real questions about religion in secular society.”

 

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