One of the “Best Nonfiction Books of 2004” [The Christian Science Monitor]


In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatdly heard above the din : where are the Muslim reformers ? With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe’s leadind thinkers and one of Islam’s most innovative and important voices.Western Muslims and the Future of IslamAs the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslims becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West. While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context. French, English, German, and American Muslims -women as well as men- are reshaping their religion into one that is faithfuol to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies. Ramadan’s goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West. He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western socities. He then shows how these principles can be put to pratical use. Ramadan contends that Muslims can -indeed must- br faithful to their principles while participating fully in the civic life of Western secular socities. Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islamoffers a striking vision of a new Muslim identity, one that rejects once for all idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West.

12 Commentaires

  1. Essalamu Aleykum Br. Tariq

    Regarding the topic of European Muslims, I would like you to comment your views on Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since Bosnia-Herzegovina has been a muslim dominated country in the hart of Europe for last 600 years and “clean (of Ottoman rule) European” country with the muslim majority for the last century, do you not see it in any way as an example of what your idea of an european muslim populous might be.
    Can you picture the role and position of Bosnia and Herzegovina in promoting and sampling “the culture of Muslims of a genuine european nation”?
    I do not like to use the term “western” as I do not see it as a compatible to term Islam.
    F.e “Islam and the West”, just as I don’t find compatible “Christianity and the West”. Due to both or rather all of the major religions being founded in the “East” or “Middle East”. Thus such a comparing does not reason.

    Being an european Muslim and coming from a muslim family that has been muslim back for generations and generations and for centuries with the european heritage, how do you see me or the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina today?

    I would appreciate in you sharing your thoughts on this.

    Thank you.

    Adnan Kapidzic

  2. Salam,

    Sorry if this is not very deep, Brother Tariq, or it doesn’t pertain to a deeper issue in your book, but I just felt like I should still mention this.

    It makes me kind of cringe in awkwardness when I see that picture of the Brother on the cover of your book, raising his hands making Dua’a, but looking up to the Heavens. I have read a Hadeeth before, which means that certain peoples (aqwaam) should stop looking up at the Heavens when they’re supplicating or saying Dua’a, or else Allah will take their eyesight away, God forbid.

    And believe it or not, I think that Allah has taken away my grandmother’s eyesight because of this very reason, but, of course, using physiological earthly reasons like optical diseases. However, she always used to go out in the balcony and look up at the Heavens while making Dua’a and crying.

    • as a matter of fact, that hadith refers to muslims in the middle of prayer, I don’t believe it applies to supplication or ‘duaa’ without prayer.. and God SWT knows best.

    • Yaseen,

      Are you really serious? What you are saying, if true, scares me quite a lot. I am not an expert but think some people could say that you are a literalist Muslim. I have only just started reading the book myself and love it so far.

      In any case, why don’t you just forget the book cover and concentrate on its contents? You know what they say about judging a book by its cover.

      Do not be judgmental and do not cringe, leave it to Allah, He knows better after all. As for all that stuff about your poor grandmother, how could you even think that? I had started laughing then thought you might be serious.

  3. Jambo Tariq,

    I have only just began reading this book but I love it already and think it could possibly be my all time favourite book…

    I had no idea there was so much to Tawhid (!)

    Some of us are so ignorant about our religion,or maybe I should speak for myself, but anyway, I’d just finished reading Karen Armstrong’s biography of Prophet Muhammad (saw)and was trying to come to terms with learning so much about my own faith from a non-Muslim, so it’s immensely comforting to me to be following that up with a book written by a scholar of your stature.


    • salaam
      you are not alone Karen Armstrong through her books has educated a lot of people Masha Allah but its good now we have people like Tariq Ramadan ,Hamza yousif. Adul hakeem murad
      and many others now who are helping us to see the light with our hearts and be better Muslims
      may Allah protect them all for the future in the west as well as east

  4. Dear Br. Tariq,

    I am a Turkish Muslim and writing from Turkey. I believe the matters put in this brief introduction are important. It is difficult for a non-expert (while it is also not that easy for an expert) do differnetiate what is cultural and what is essentially Islamic. Cultural differences are to respected as long as they do not violate the essential Islam; this is how I know of Islam. And West obviously has got a rich and precious culture that can enrichen all mankind when the parts that damage human beings are taken out. And I believe these harmful parts are more or less the same as what higher cultural critics of Western origin themselves put. And maybe than rather then being falsely counter eachother Muslim world and West mutually enrichen eachother.

    For a Turk this is especially important. Probably more than any other muslim country we have difficulty of determining our position relative to west and Islamic world.

    Here I also would like to say something I much hope that Western people read and are convinced; Muslim intellectuals of Turkey who have passed the hardest tests about the genuinness of their faith even when holding this faith did not seem to be their worldly benefits and had to give up many worldly interests for this, deeply valued many many things about Western culture.

    I wish you much success at your works.

  5. I’m an italian muslim praticant but not coverd woman, I’ve married an arabic muslim man, but thanks God I’ve studied Islam and its Essence….. more and more I study Islam I undestand really a few of islamic arbic people are feeling Islam in their hearts: they are muslim without Islam. After having known lots of islamic arabic men whose behaviour towards their wives is really totally bad ,cruel and unsensitive like my ex husband …I ‘m creating a club of islamic clever women with the intent of helping poor ignorant islamic women to go out their ignorance and figth to be free and cultural indipendent ….I agree with Tariq in everything he says . I hope he will come to Italy soon…. I’m a west italian muslim , happy to be what I am ,even if I’m separeted from the father of my two sons but since Islam is so important in my life I couldn’t stay with a man that studied islam but lost the way and begun bad and prepotent with me. If someone can help me in my jihad against ignorance against the false islam…. please contact me salamaleikum to everyone

  6. Great book! Very insightful, very clever. I recognise a lot of problems from the way things were in my youth (lack of vision, a lot of denial, thinking that to be harsh and/or not talk about issues makes realities change). But, as is suggested in many places throughout the book, I also see that a lot of this has changed and is changing for the good. Given the starting position (uneducated first generation, from a totally different culture that was not at all interested in building a future here), the progress is remarkable.

  7. The future of Islam in the west will be indeed very delighted whether muslims living there will take a chalenge and work very hard to improve the image of islam and take away from some groups who have been given a worst picture of islam as violent religion or treat the women very badly.
    The social system which is based on the justice is very encouraging for muslims to be intergrated into the western society without being to renounce to our traditions or culture.

  8. It was my first time listening to Mr Tareq Ramadan at ICNA convention in Chicago,Dec 2012,I didn’t know him before
    I felt so relieved that there is somebody thinks like me,I thought I was crazy spinning in my own world,I wanted to shout yes,yes,yes but I couldn’t
    The only issue I have is that I am raising four children and running out of time when it comes to finding quality education for my kids about Islam
    Mr Tareq Ramadan vision is like a road map for generations to come though the need is so urgent now
    I am planning on start getting into his books Inshallah
    Allah Kareem
    Najwa Shawish,MD


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