The Messenger by Tariq Ramadan (Penguin, £20) Being Arab by Samir Kassir (Verso, £10.99)
Tariq Ramadan, the leading Muslim scholar, thinks that Islamic law should be reinterpreted in the light of modern social conditions. There are two primary sources for Islamic law: the Koran, which was revealed to Muhammad, and the words and deeds of the Prophet himself, which are set out in a series of early biographies. Writing a new biography of Muhammad offers a reformist like Ramadan the opportunity to place Islamic precepts drawn from both sources in their historical context. It is, perhaps, the first step in…
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