Books on Islam, Bavism, and the Bah’ai Faith


September 4, 2023

297. Books on Islam, Bavism & Bahai Faith

Further Reading:

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Fouad Ajami The Vanished Imam: Musa Al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon, 1986.

Before 1959, when Musa Al Sadr arrived in Lebanon from Iran, the Shia were a downtrodden Islamic minority. But his charismatic leadership transformed them into political activists. But in 1978, while visiting Libya, he disappeared, leaving his followers to wonder if Al Sadr was the embodiment of their myth of the Hidden Imam. This makes a good introduction to Shia history and belief.

Paul M. Barrett American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion, 2007.

Millions of Muslims live in America. Journalist Paul Barrett explores their homes, mosques, and gatherings, revealing astonishing diversity.

Tariq Ramadan Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, 2005.

An Arabic and Islamic scholar argues that the huge influx of Muslims into the West calls for a new kind of culture for these immigrants. He also contends a new kind of Islam independent of other Islamic communities is needed.

Feisal Abdul Rauf What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims in the West, 2004.

As chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, a group that brings together leaders from the Muslim world and the West, Feisal Abdul Rauf looks at what caused the rift between the two groups. And he explores what can heal it in this inspiring book.

Olivier Roy Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah, 2006.

Scholar Roy Olivier explores how Muslim exposure to Western cultures has created a backlash among its younger members, many of whom want a return to traditional Islam. He examines the schisms in the Muslim world. It’s a complicated situation, but Olivier provides a detailed analysis of the factors involved.

Sally Howell Old Islam in Detroit, Rediscovering the Muslim American Past, 2015.

While many Americans tend to think of Muslims as recent immigrants, Sally Howell examines how they have been here for over a century. Then, focusing on Detroit’s Muslim communities, she finds that anxiety about the community’s place in an ever-changing American society hasn’t been resolved. Instead, she found unsettling look cultural conflicts that still haunt us.


Deborah Baker The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism, 2011.

Margaret Marcus converted to Islam and moved to Pakistan in the mid-20th century. She began a new life as a radical defender of Islam against the West under the name Maryam Jameela. After finding a cache of her letters to her parents, Baker set out to uncover her story.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see “Further Reading: Start Here.”

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