22 Ramadhan 1436
Read Tariq Ramadan's The Quest for Meaning: Developing a Philosophy of Pluralism in the earliest days of fasting. Can't say I really got the point, though I enjoyed the genuine engagement with a wide range of human thought from various traditions and the sincerity of the attempt to synthesise some wisdom from it all. Unfortunately it all struck me as being overly abstract and generalised in an emptily theoretical sort of way. Lots of assertions without much identifiable foundation. I kept nodding along to it but never felt entirely convinced, though wanting to be.
This is all very different from his fine little book on the Prophet (peace be upon him), The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad. That one grew from distinctly concrete experience; something deeply real.
Mind you, having said that when I got to the end of The Quest for Meaning and the final chapter on how the whole thing had been structured I realised that I'd been completely clueless with regard to the linking of ideas and the overall pattern of the work. So I suppose I'd better go back again some time in the future and see what I might have missed.
(Still can't over the fact that the writer was actually banned from entering the U.S. at one point, and I'm pretty sure anyone reading his work would feel the same way. Do the American authorities dealing with this sort of thing read at all?)