Magic in Islam
"Islam's gonzo experimentalist" and one of today's freshest spiritual voices examines the boundaries between religion and magic in this richly learned historical journey through magic in Muslim traditions.
Magic in Islam offers a look at magical and occult technologies throughout Muslim history, starting with Islam's earliest and most canonical sources. In addition to providing a highly accessible introduction to magic as it is defined, practiced, condemned, and defended with Muslim traditions, Magic in Islam challenges common assumptions about organized religion.
Michael Muhammad Knight's provocative work fills a gap within existing literature on the place of magic in Islamic traditions and opens a new window on Islam for general readers and students of religion alike. In doing so, the book counters and complicates widespread perceptions of Islam, as well as of magic as it is conceptualized outside of European contexts.
Magic in Islam also challenges our view of "organized religions" as clearly defined systems that can be reduced to checklists of key doctrines, texts, and rules. As a result, Magic in Islam throws a monkey wrench into the conventions of the "intro to Islam" genre, threatening to flip popular notions of a religion's "center" and "margins."
MICHAEL MUHAMMAD KNIGHT became a Muslim at sixteen after reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. He is the author of ten previous books, including The Taqwacores, Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing, and Why I am a Five Percenter. He is presently a PhD candidate in religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.