Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Adeel Zeerak

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1477517109
Publisher: CreateSpace

An in-depth comparison of Islam with other dominant worldviews.

Zeerak makes the case that Islam is the most complete and relevant philosophy for living. The author contrasts the history and teachings of Islam with the philosophies that polarized most of the 20th century—communism and capitalism. Zeerak associates capitalism with unfettered greed and inevitable inequality. He’s more sympathetic to communism and socialism but points to many of the paradoxes that have made communal systems of governance so difficult to apply in the real world. The book portrays Islam as a sort of middle ground, one that combines the charity of communism with the spirit of self-determination inherent in capitalism. It also compares Western feminism with Muslim teachings about women and their role in society. Zeerak details not only the spiritual aspects of Islam, but also the social, political and economic philosophies that have risen from it. The book’s greatest success is that it presents Islam as a dynamic, adaptive, and ultimately humanitarian, faith that has something to offer followers in every aspect of their daily lives. In this way, it amends much of the false and reductive rhetoric that has been applied to the faith in the wake of 9/11. However, less successful is his argument that all philosophies of living err to the point of irrelevance when compared with a Muslim way of life. Zeerak offers readers a number of straw-man arguments that do little to bolster his point. The work also quotes liberally from outside sources, some of which have a questionable authority. It becomes difficult to trust these sources when they identify feminism as a plot by the New World Order to reduce global population. Many Muslims may find a lot to agree with in this book, but outsiders to the faith will be less swayed by his arguments.

An interesting but ultimately unconvincing argument.