An Islamic Jihad of Nonviolence

An Islamic Jihad of Nonviolence

by Salih Sayilgan


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Today Islam is often associated with violence, more so than other world religions. In the center of this reception of Islam is the concept of jihad, which has been distorted by many. On the one hand, there are some Muslims who take jihad as a reference point for their violent crimes against innocent people. On the other hand, the concept is intentionally used to promote fear against Islam and its adherents. This study challenges these presentations of jihad by exploring the late Muslim theologian Said Nursi's jihad of nonviolence. The book shows how Nursi's teaching concerning nonviolent struggle, reconciliation, and religious tolerance has much in common with Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, as well as Martin Luther King Jr.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781532657559
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 01/21/2019
Pages: 150
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)

About the Author

Salih Sayilgan is Visiting Assistant Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Wesley Theological Seminary. He lives with his family in Virginia.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Salih Sayilgan offers a fresh examination of an Islamic practice so often misunderstood and maligned. Through an analysis of the life and thought of Said Nursi, Sayilgan helps readers visualize a nonviolent approach to jihad that is organic to Islam and on par with the revolutionary thought of Gandhi and King.”

—Todd Green, Associate Professor of Religion, Luther College

“Sayilgan provides an in-depth analysis of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s ethic of nonviolence as a significant Muslim framework for An Islamic Jihad of Nonviolence. The book provides an important alternative to analyses based on the idea that jihad is simply violent ‘holy war.’ The book places Nursi’s movement in the context of modern world history, showing how Nursi is similar to Gandhi, Mandela, and King in his commitment to nonviolent activism and ideology.”

—John Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History, Georgetown University

“This remarkable book peels back the layers of the history and meaning of jihad in Islamic thought, and in contrast to militant understandings, it offers a nonviolent vision of jihad as a path of spiritual struggle and growth. . . . In a master stroke, Sayilgan places Nursi’s own life and thought in conversation with other visionaries of nonviolence like Ghandi and King. I highly recommend this book for people of all faiths as a means of broadening their understanding of Islam as a religion of peace and as way to deepen their own spirituality.”

—Larry Golemon, Executive Director of Washington Theological Consortium

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