As an aspiring sociologist, I loved Martyr Mutahari’s book on sociology of the Quran and couldn’t bear it until I finished reading both volumes. The exceptional way in which he combined the modern study of sociology with the themes of Quran was priceless.
That’s why, upon finishing the book, I decided to search for more books that merge different aspects and levels of sociology with the teachings of Islam and came upon the booklet, Islam And the Modern Age by Allama Tabatabaee on one of the free e-libraries of Muslims books.
I must say, I was not disappointed at all.
Subject & Theme
The main question that this book answered was, “In this era of rapid modernization, should we be kept in the past by a religion like Islam?”
While this question was tackled ingeniously with the help of science, logic and reasoning coupled with historical, political and judicial references, perhaps what I loved the most about this book was the brilliant clarifications of several misconceptions regarding Islam, including:
- · ‘The olden ideas of Islam keep us behind in the fields of science and discovery,’
- · ‘The societies that do not follow Islam enjoy complete freedom without any religious restrictions,’
- · ‘Islam cannot be the backbone of a social system,’
- · ‘Islam’s laws are permanent for every society and era, which is against the ever-changing spirit of nature and the natural man,’
Progress & Pace
Unfortunately, I’ve encountered many Islamic texts where it seems that the author goes on and on about irrelevant issues, lengthening the document without any necessity. Alhamdullilah this book was not one of them.
Consisting of only 13 tiny chapters, it was shocking how many aspects this book dealt with in such a limited number of pages. That is not to say that the book was an info-dump, in any case. Enough space was dedicated to the explanation of each concept, question and misconception, complete with real-life examples and references for a better understanding.
Tone & Readability
When people do not judge a book by its cover, they judge it by the readability. If somebody would ask me, “Is this book readable or just a presentation of stiff vocabulary words?” I’d say it depends.
The tone of this book was completely academic. If you’re looking for a casual read, I would not recommend it. But if you’re genuinely interested in studying what this book tries to teach, then yes, this book is definitely readable.
The translation job of the edition I read was excellent. The translator, Mahliqa Qara’i has truly done a nice job. As far as I remember, I didn’t spot any awkward phrases and metaphors that would’ve made sense in the original language but sounded like pure mumbo-jumbo post-translation.
This book was written by the same man who wrote the twenty-seven volume work of Quranic interpretation, Tafsir al-Mizan. Muhammad Hussein Tabataba’i was one of the most prominent thinkers, scholars, clerics and philosophers of modern Shia Islam.
Almost all the Islamic answers were derived directly from the Quran itself, so there’s that.
Would I Recommend It?
Totally! If you yourself are the victim of doubts, or are living in a Western country where you know you could be confronted about the eligibility of your religion, you need to be equipped with this arsenal of knowledge. Here’s where you can get it online.
I rate it 5/5.