A History of Islamic Societies by Ira M. Lapidus

By Ira M. Lapidus

Lengthy thought of a vintage, A background of Islamic Societies is now that rather more valuable a reference for basic readers and students alike. commonly praised for its balanced and finished account, Ira Lapidus' paintings has been absolutely revised in its insurance of every state and sector of the Muslim global via 2001. It comprises the origins and evolution of Islamic societies and brings into concentration the old strategies that gave form to the manifold types of modern Islam. The concluding chapters survey the starting to be impact of the Islamist hobbies inside of nationwide states and of their transnational or international dimensions, together with the Islamic revival, Islamist politics and terrorism. An up-to-date dialogue of the jobs of girls in Islamic societies is further, with new sections approximately Afghanistan and Muslims in Europe, the United States, and the Philippines. Ira M. Lapidus is Professor Emeritus of historical past on the college of California at Berkeley. His many books and articles comprise Islam, Politics and Social routine (University of California Press, 1988) and Muslim towns within the Later center a long time (Cambridge, 1984).

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One must have an eye which cuts through secondary causes and tears aside all veils, To the end that it may see the First Cause in No-place and know that exertion, earnings, and shops are nonsense. Every good and evil arrives from the First Cause. Oh father, secondary causes and means are naught But a phantom materialized upon the highway, so that the period of heedlessness may endure sometime longer. (M V 1551-55) Whoever looks upon secondary causes is for certain a form-worshiper. Whoever looks upon the First Cause has become a light which discerns Meaning.

So it became the root because of the branch. If there were no branch, it would have no name. (F 144/153) 4. "The Science of Religions" Just as Rumi constantly distinguishes between form and meaning, he also refers over and over again to two kinds of knowledge and vision: one that discerns only form, and another that passes beyond form and discerns the meaning. The first he sometimes calls the "science of bodies" ('ilm-i abdan) to distinguish it from the "science of religions" ('ilm-i adyan); the former embraces all that we customarily understand by the term "science" and "knowledge," even such disciplines as theology and metaphysics, for these are learned by rote and study.

Only God or the spirit can know the spirit, which is man's higher or angelic nature, Ultimately the ego cannot even know itself without a totally distorted viewpoint, for it gains all of its positive reality from the spirit that lies above and beyond it. Only the spirit that encompasses and embraces the ego can know the ego. And only the saints have attained to the station whereby their consciousness of reality is centered within their spirits or in God. In Sufi psychology, the "stations" are said to be the spiritual and moral perfections, or the "virtues," achieved by the traveler on the path to God.

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