As it’s a truly beautiful fall day here in Minnesota (eerily similar to 9/11/2001), I sat outside for a while reading the first half of What Do Muslims Believe? : The roots and realities of modern Islam by Ziauddin Sardar. A brief (140 small pages) but helpful introduction to Muslims and Islam. Sardar starts with a fairly concise, straightforward answer to “What makes a Muslim?” and then explores the historical and modern complexities. I’ll be returning to this book after a bit of a break & nap. Should be helpful preparation for the early evening “Prayerful Action: Reading the Qur’an on September 11, 2010” I’ll be attending.
In response to recent events, this year September 11th has been declared:
International Read a Book Day
For an explanation, take a look at this excellent video:
For my part, I’m suggesting that everyone spend at least some time tomorrow “reading about a religion you do not practice”. A group of us over at LibraryThing.com will be reporting in on when/where/what we read. I’ll also be adding new posts here describing what I read and my thoughts and reactions.
I’ll be reading from one or more of the following books (gathered from my own bookshelf and the religion section of the local branch of my library):
Judaism: An anthology of the key spiritual writings of the Jewish tradition edited and interpreted by Arthur Hertzberg
Inviting God In by Rabbi David Aaron
What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism by Robert Schoen
What Do Muslims Believe? by Ziauddin Sardar
Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong
No god but God by Reza Aslan
The Wisdom of the Prophet: Sayings of Muhammad translated by Thomas Cleary
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
I’ll also be attending a “Prayerful Action” gathering at a local Episcopal Church where a Professor of World Religion will teach us about the Qur’an and guide us in reading selections from it “as an expression of honor and respect.”
So please join International Read a Book Day and if you don’t have your own blog, add your reflections here at Lucidia!