By Nasr Abu Zaid,Esther Nelson
In 1995 Ayman al-Zawahiri, a popular terrorist determine lately linked to Al Queda and al-Jihad, issued a bounty opposed to Dr. Nasr Abu Zaid, a revered Islamic student at Cairo college. What used to be Zaid's offense? Arguing that Islam's holy texts may be interpreted within the historic and linguistic context in their time, and that new interpretations may still account for social swap. His debatable declare that the Qur'an be interpreted metaphorically instead of actually additional enraged fundamentalists. classified an apostate via the Cairo court docket of appeals, his lifestyles used to be threatened and he was once compelled to escape to the Netherlands along with his spouse. A professor of Arabic and Islamic experiences at Leiden collage in his followed kingdom, this innovative Islamic student insists that adjust remains to be attainable and that new understandings of Islam should be authorised and complex. Forgoing claims that Islam is a violent faith, Zaid indicates us that, specifically, justice and obedience lies on the middle of the Qur'an.
At the outset of this booklet, we discover Zaid turning out to be up in Quhafa, a village in northern Egypt. Islam provides that means and definition to his existence. As he matures, we see him sorting via Egypt's a variety of political advancements and upheavals. Zaid conscientiously weaves such advancements into the occasions of his personal life―his father's demise, elevating his more youthful siblings, attending Cairo college, his examine in a foreign country, his marriages, the occasions resulting in his exile, and his stopover at to Egypt after a seven-year absence. via all of it, we see him advancing in his educational profession and using new abilities to his research and interpretation of the Qur'an. He wrestles with topics resembling polygamy, spouse beating, inheritance, and the perform of usury in Islamic cultures. He asserts and illustrates that Islam needs to be become independent from the kingdom on the way to safeguard the faith from political manipulation. Zaid's own tale and educational ambitions, reflecting the social fact of the wider tradition, provide new views on Islam and supply wish to Muslims who think their faith has been misrepresented and misunderstood.
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