"I can safely say this concept is unique and quite a nail biter once you begin to understand things you couldn't before. Andalus Book Club gives you the in depth opportunity to find keys to locks you never had, to find voices you've never heard, and to find thoughts you never thought would pass through your mind. Don't take it from just me, try it!"
- Ali Talib, Andalus Book Club Member
Michel de Montaigne said in his Essays, "The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation." A claim made for Islam is that it is a way of life and a rational worldview. In the open market of ideas this means that a Muslim should be intellectually active, reflecting on what he or she comes across and critically assessing its merit. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, "Wisdom is the lost property of the believer. Wherever they find it, they have more right to it." Andalus Book Club is a place where we search for wisdom. Irrespective of where an idea comes from, if it is good, we take it. If it is bad, we discard it. Truth can come from the most unlikely places.
Every month a new book will be assigned for reading and discussed from an Islamic lens by members under the direction of Andalus Online's founder Mohamed Ghilan, PhD. While we may sometimes cover a best-seller, the goal of the forum is to open minds and raise consciousness. Hence, many of the books will be chosen for what they have to offer as opposed to how widely known they may or may not be.
Andalus Book Club began on October 15th, 2016. The books to be discussed until the end of 2017 are:
- The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi (Oct 15, 2016 - Nov 14, 2016)
- Islam between East and West by 'Alija 'Ali Izetbegovic (Nov 15, 2016 - Dec 14, 2016)
- The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt (Dec 15, 2016 - Jan 14, 2017)
- The Tao of Islam by Sachiko Murata (Jan 15, 2017 - Feb 14, 2017)
- Misquoting Muhammad by Jonathan AC Brown (Feb 15, 2017 - Mar 14, 2017)
- Technopoly by Neil Postman (Apr 15, 2017 - May 14, 2017)
- Soul Machine by George Makari (July 1, 2017 - Jul 31, 2017)
- Islam in Liberalism by Joseph A Massad (Aug 1, 2017 - Aug 31, 2017)
- Aping Mankind by Raymond Tallis (Sep 1, 2017 - Sep 30, 2017)
- The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam by Muhammad Iqbal (Oct 1, 2017 - Oct 31, 2017)
- The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart (Nov 1, 2017 - Nov 30, 2017)
- Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History by Ahmad Dallal (Dec 1, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017)
In addition to the discussion forum, Andalus Book Club members will also have exclusive access to videos where Dr. Ghilan translates and offers commentaries on Arabic texts from the Islamic tradition, as well as videos on contemporary topics. The books and topics selected there are less directly related to Islamic law and more focused on aspects of existentialism and the human experience as explained from an Islamic perspective.
A webinar for Andalus Book Club members is held on the last Sunday of every book cycle. This is an interactive session to close off the discussion on each book and the recordings are available afterwards in the Andalus Book Club videos page.
Philosophy of Science
Andalus Book Club members get access to a 5-part series introducing philosophy of science exploring the major topics of the field, scientific reasoning, and the nature of explanation in science.
Commentaries on Arabic Texts
A new set of videos is now being released, offering translations and commentaries on Arabic texts written by Muslim scholars on various subjects. The first set is on Ibn Hazm's text on the nature of love titled The Ring of the Dove.