Magic in Islam is a comprehensive examination of the role of magic and occult thought in Muslim history, beginning with Islam's earliest and most canonical sources, and showing how magic was defined, practiced, condemned and defended within Muslim traditions. Taking in topics such as magical texts, astrology, and Hermetic Sufism, the author emphasizes the cultural syncretism present at all stages of Muslim magical history. He shows how stereotypes of Islamic exoticism feed into orientalist discourses that, in condemning Islamic beliefs in magic, seek to justify the notion that Islamic cultures are essentially backward. Magic in Islam challenges the very way that conceptions of the Islamic world are created in the western hemisphere. For anyone interested in the history of magic in the Islamic world, this book is both a useful introduction and provides a thought-provoking challenge to the way magical history is understood.
New York: TarcherPerigee, 2016. Paperback, 246 pages. New.