Reza Aslan: Connecting East and West through literature

Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American writer and contributor to The Daily Beast, is the author of the best-selling book about Islam, “No God but God.” Aslan, an Islamic scholar and American Muslim reformer, believes one of the ways to connect the Middle East and the West is through literature. As part of that effort, he has edited a new anthology called Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. He joined Alison Stewart this week to discuss the history of the Middle East through literature.

 

Comments

  • Sarwatm

    Bravo Reza! proud of your work on behalf of 1.5 Billion Muslims around the globe

  • Amnah

    The poem is really beautiful.

  • Muslim

    Narrated Abu Said: The Prophet said, “You will follow the wrong ways, of your predecessors so completely and literally that if they should go into the hole of a mastigure, you too will go there.” We said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Do you mean the Jews and the Christians?” He replied, “whom else?” (Meaning, of course, the Jews and the Christians.) (Book #56, Hadith #662) Sahih Al-Bukhari.

    The Jews and The Christians, once they came to the US they embarked on a plan to secularize and relegate the Theocratic aspect of scripture to the Church and not the whole society.

    If you truly want to reform the Muslim world, then you must decolonize i.e. end the colonial escapade started during near the Era of the Renaissance and continued during the times of the British Empire till today with the American Empire.

    As it is the Muslims are in the position of the beggars, having homelands demolished and devastated by the colonizers, and so they have to come to the lands of the colonizers and beg for jobs in order to to be fed. When they come, they are subjected to the influences of secularism, whereas in Islam, applying it to Government Law they have had stability and security for about 1000 years in a contiguous land stretching from Spain till India.

    The solution for Muslims is not to accept secularism, but to go back to Islam. According to Islamic law, as it was applied in the land the Muslims ruled over, there were Churches and Synagogues in operation in Baghdad, the Capital City of the Caliphate.

    Modern Western Secularism cannot teach us anything better than what we had during the time of the Caliphate.

  • Muslim

    Muslims have a job to do while in the West, among the Jews and Christians(People of the Book):

    64 Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah (Alone), and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah . Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.”
    65 O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Ibrahim (Abraham), while the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense?
    66 Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have knowledge. Why do you then dispute concerning that of which you have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.
    67 Ibrahim (Abraham) was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism – to worship none but Allah Alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikun (See V.2:105) .
    68 Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrahim (Abraham) are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.
    ( سورة آل عمران , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #64-68)

    The Torah was not revealed till the time of Moses, and the Gospel till the time of Jesus, so what then was Abraham? A Jew or a Christian?

    What we are commanded in the Qur’an to follow:
    And they say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided.” Say (to them O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), “Nay, (we follow) only the Religion of Ibrahim (Abraham), Hanifa [Islamic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allah (Alone)], and he was not of Al-Mushrikun (those who worshipped others along with Allah – see V.2:105).”
    ( سورة البقرة , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #135)

    Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Allah has spoken the truth; follow the Religion of Ibrahim (Abraham) Hanifa (Islamic Monotheism, i.e. he used to worship Allah Alone), and he was not of Al-Mushrikun ” (See V.2:105)
    ( سورة آل عمران , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #95)

    Then, We have sent the revelation to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم saying): “Follow the Religion of Ibrahim (Abraham) Hanif (Islamic Monotheism – to worship none but Allah) and he was not of the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters and disbelievers).
    ( سورة النحل , An-Nahl, Chapter #16, Verse #123)

  • Hakeem

    “Modern Western Secularism cannot teach us anything better than what we had during the time of the Caliphate. ”

    Modern Western secularism teaches us capitalism, free markets, property ownership, liberty and freedom under the constitution. Whatever places deviate from these, there you find poverty.