Author: Azizah Al Hibri

Book review by: Ziad Hafez (**)

Published by:  Chicago, ABA 

Year of publication: 2015

Number of pages: 224

ISBN: 978-1-62722-284-6


This book, by a renowned Arab American Muslim scholar, Dr Azizah Al Hibri, attempts to answer a fundamental question that concerns Muslims not only in the United States but also throughout the world at large. She explicitly asks whether practicing Islam in the American diaspora is identical to its practice in other countries, or if there is a need for a new Islamic jurisprudence that takes into account the culture, customs and laws of the United States (4).

The author methodically constructs an argument, piece by piece, by first laying the foundations of Islamic jurisprudence (chapters 1–3), then by describing the ‘Islamic Worldview’ (chapter 4), in order to address the issues dear to the author’s heart, i.e., gender relations (chapters 5–7). It is a concise book including notes, an extensive bibliography and a short index. The book is well written, with crisp sentences, and a clear articulation of concepts and arguments. The author addresses the book to a general readership not versed in Islamic jurisprudence and aims at dispelling many misconceptions about Islam and its jurisprudence.

Reading the book is essential for Muslims in the diaspora as well to non-Muslims who have difficulty in coping with the storm of misconceptions peddled by politicians, right-wing zealots of all denominations, as well as by a complacent media that does not try to distinguish between truth and untruth. It is quite convenient, even cheap, for those who seek political office or recognition to attack Islam through the prism of the misguided actions by a few. It is a much more difficult exercise to reach an informed level of understanding.


Read full text here  The Islamic worldview, Islamic jurisprudence: An American Muslim perspective


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