By Carla Power
PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • nationwide publication AWARD FINALIST • Named A most sensible publication of the 12 months by way of The Washington put up and The Denver Post • Praised via Fareed Zakaria as “intelligent, compassionate, and revealing,” a strong trip to aid bridge one of many maximum divides shaping our global today.
If the Oceans have been Ink is Carla Power's eye-opening tale of the way she and her longtime buddy Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi discovered how to confront gruesome stereotypes and protracted misperceptions that have been cleaving their groups. Their friendship-between an earthly American and a madrasa-trained sheikh-had regularly appeared not going, yet now they have been pissed off and bewildered via the battles being fought of their names. either knew shut examine the Quran might demonstrate a religion that preached peace and never mass homicide; appreciate for ladies and never oppression. they usually launched into a yearlong trip throughout the debatable text.
A journalist who grew up within the Midwest and the center East, strength deals her precise vantage element at the Quran's such a lot provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafes, kinfolk gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations jam-packed with either stable humor and robust insights. Their tale takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage websites in Mecca, as they come across politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative students. Armed with a brand new figuring out of every other's worldviews, strength and Akram provide eye-opening views, smash long-held myths, and show startling connections among worlds that experience appeared hopelessly divided for a lot too long.
Praise for If the Oceans have been Ink
“A vivid story of a friendship.... If the Oceans have been Ink is a welcome and nuanced examine Islam [and] is going some distance towards struggling with the dehumanizing stereotypes of Muslims which are all too common…. If the Oceans have been Ink may be crucial interpreting for the fifty two percentage of american citizens who admit not to understanding adequate approximately Muslims.”―The Washington Post
“Journalist energy writes approximately her yr learning the Quran with a Muslim student she befriended whereas operating at a imagine tank in London. For a few, this can be a powerful creation to Islam. To others, it truly is fodder for dialogue at the Sheikh's perspectives, how Westerners (such as energy) interpret these perspectives and the interaction of tradition and religion.” ―The Denver submit
“For all those that ask yourself what Islam says approximately warfare and peace, women and men, Jews and gentiles, this can be the publication to learn. it's a dialog between well-meaning friends―intelligent, compassionate, and revealing―the sort that should be happening round the world.”―Fareed Zakaria, writer of The Post-American World
“Carla Power’s intimate portrait of the Quran, advised with nuance and nice beauty, captures the extreme, residing debate over the Muslim holy book’s very essence. A lively, compelling read.”―Azadeh Moaveni, writer of Lipstick Jihad
“An inspiring tale of 2 [people] from assorted worlds who refuse to enable spiritual and cultural ameliorations, prejudice, and lack of expertise get in the way in which in their friendship, If the Oceans have been Ink is as thought-provoking because it is elegantly written. It takes a tricky, hugely charged subject and places it into phrases that aren't merely comprehensible and eye-opening, yet beautiful.”―Bustle (11 superbly Written Memoirs by means of Women)
“Unique, masterful, and deeply attractive. Carla strength takes the reader on a rare trip in interfaith figuring out as she debates and discovers the Quran’s message, which means, and values on peace and violence, gender and veiling, spiritual pluralism and tolerance.”―John L. Esposito, college Professor and Professor of Islamic stories, Georgetown college, and writer of The way forward for Islam
“A considerate, provocative, clever book.”―Diana Abu-Jaber, writer of Birds Of Paradise and The Language of Baklava
“With a journalist’s brain for the tale, a born traveler’s center for the journey of crossing borders, and a seeker’s yen for the poetry and mysticism of trust, strength creates a great list of a undying quest.”―Merritt Tierce, a countrywide ebook starting place “5 below 35” honoree and writer of Love Me Back
Read or Download If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran PDF
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Extra resources for If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran
The Quran is suggestions, it’s now not laws,” Akram as soon as instructed me. “It provides the path. Like that allows you to move from the following to London, it’s primarily south. The Prophet comes and provides the most roads to make it more uncomplicated. ” Muhammad’s spouse Aisha referred to as him “the Quran jogging. ” For Muslims, his existence mapped out Quranic values on a human scale. * * * In way of life, the Sheikh may try and keep on with the Prophet’s instance in rankings of how. at any time when he walked into the kitchen, he put his correct foot first, because the Prophet used to. He could devour breakfast together with his correct hand, like the Prophet, and comb the perfect aspect of his hair first. sooner than utilizing the bathroom, he might utter the Prophet’s general prayer: “Oh, Allah! I search shelter with you from all evil and evildoers. ” there has been a prayer, too, on leaving the lavatory, simply as there has been one on leaving the home. His observance of the Prophet’s sunna unfold past mere behavior and into manners. He didn’t ever are looking to hold his visitors ready, as the Prophet by no means did. because the Prophet consistently used to visit the mosque after getting back from a trip, in order to not take his kinfolk without notice, the Sheikh made bound to telephone his circle of relatives to inform them he used to be coming domestic. Following the way in which of the Prophet, Akram as soon as recommended, “makes existence loads more straightforward. ” Take social gatherings, he ventured. think you’re serving visitors a few water. Do you begin with the extra very important visitors? The elders or the children? effortless, he spoke back: commence from the suitable, on the grounds that that’s what the Prophet did. As a early life, Akram had started a lifelong attempt to emulate the Prophet, not only in conduct and manners, yet in personality. as the Prophet had recommended his partners “to do issues lightly and softly,” Akram attempted to do a similar. “When i used to be younger, I made an attempt to regulate my anger,” he stated. It labored. “Now, to develop into offended is an attempt with me! ” The Muslim males who make the headlines are inclined to specialize in the Prophet as a political chief. now not the Sheikh. For him, Muhammad was once essentially a instructor in regards to the fires of hell and the way to prevent them. “The Prophet isn't calling humans to get energy, or to set up an Islamic government,” he acknowledged. “He’s educating them something: to persist with the plan in their writer and to avoid wasting humans from the fireplace of hell. ” Unsurprisingly, for a guy who usually offers eight-hour seminars, Akram used to be keenly attuned to Muhammad as an individual who may try out, many times, to give an explanation for his message. “He by no means compelled humans to think anything,” Akram instructed me. “Anybody who forces humans to alter their ideals, they aren't a instructor. studying may still come from knowing safely, no longer from being compelled. ” as soon as, I requested Akram what it was once he such a lot widespread in regards to the Prophet. He notion for a second, after which stated quietly, “That he knew his limits. ” He knew his limits as a husband, no longer presuming to dictate to his better halves tips on how to behave. He additionally knew his limits on what lay in different people’s hearts. a well known anecdote tells how, in the course of a conflict opposed to a non-Muslim tribe, a significant other killed a guy who—just because the blade fell—had said the shahada, “There is not any God yet God, and Muhammad is His Prophet.