Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted by V. S. Naipaul

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By V. S. Naipaul

"Brilliant. . . . A powerfully saw, stylistically based exploration." —The big apple Times

A New York Times awesome e-book of the Year

"The book's power lies in Naipaul's remarkable skill as a storyteller to attract extraordinary pix of a pass component of individuals."—The Boston Globe

Fourteen years after the book of his landmark go back and forth narrative Among the Believers, V. S. Naipaul lower back to the 4 non-Arab Islamic nations he said on so vividly on the time of Ayatollah Khomeini's triumph in Iran. Beyond Belief is the results of his five-month trip in 1995 via Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia—lands the place descendants of Muslim converts stay at odds with indigenous traditions, and the place goals of Islamic purity conflict with monetary and political realities.

In prolonged conversations with an enormous variety of people—a infrequent survivor of the martyr brigades of the Iran-Iraq struggle, a tender highbrow education as a Marxist guerilla in Baluchistan, an impoverished aged couple in Teheran whose dusty Baccarat chandeliers safeguard the reminiscence of vanished wealth, and numerous others—V. S. Naipaul intentionally effaces himself to permit the voices of his topics come via. but the result's a set of reports that has the author's unmistakable stamp. With its incisive statement and exceptional cultural research, Beyond Belief is a startling and revelatory addition to the Naipaul canon.

"Highly finished. . . . one other show of Naipaul's striking talent." —The Independent (London)

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Extra resources for Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples

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He abrogated all usurious transactions that were made by anyone prior to their adoption of Islam, starting with those of his own uncle, al-[Abbas. He also waived all revenge for any killing that took place prior to Islam, starting with the killing of one of his own cousins. Thus, he provided a model for all Muslims to follow. In his speech he outlined five basic principles of the Islamic programme of action. The first two principles operate on the level of the individual. The first indicate that Islam severs all ties that a Muslim has with Jahiliyyah (its idols, practices, financial dealings, usury transactions and so on), because the adoption of the religion of Islam means a start of a new life for a Muslim which is completely divorced from the erroneous ways of the past.

Both recognized that a final message from God was promised, but they feared that they would lose their power if they were to accept Islam. Only the Negus of Abyssinia and the ruler of Bahrain accepted Islam. These letters might have not produced an immediate favourable result, but they certainly made Islam known in vast areas of the old world: across Asia, Europe and Africa, the three continents known at the time. Moreover, these letters were a prelude to what the future would bring. Islam moved into vast areas of all these countries, but this had to wait until the Prophet’s successors started to mount their campaigns.

The Prophet was then brought back to Makkah. This all happened within a few hours, and he returned at the time of the dawn prayer. Some Muslim scholars maintain that this was a spiritual journey, and others say that it was all a very vivid dream. There is no need to say that this journey did not actually occur, because God is certainly able to accomplish whatever He wills. If he decides to take the Prophet, or anyone else, on a miraculous journey, He does so. This is just as easy for God as sending rain or wind, or making the earth suitable for human life, or giving a child the faculties of hearing and speech.

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