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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
What Would a Muslim Say? Conversations, Questions, and Answers about Islam by scientist and author Ahmed Lotfy Rashed is a compilation of questions and answers shared by email between visitors to the WhyIslam.org website and Rashed, who was a volunteer with the organization. Questions posed by the visitors range from the general to the very specific, and cover a broad spectrum of topic areas. These include details of Islamic worship; laws related to women, chastity and marriage; and Islam’s role in the modern world. Rashed provides these email transcripts with the stated hope that they will lead to better understanding and harmony between people. In the process, he shares many references and links which the reader can pursue to deepen their knowledge. The email exchanges are arranged chronologically with the topic area noted in the table of contents.
For readers who know little about Islam, but see or watch the news and social media and have some questions, What Would a Muslim Say? is a useful introduction to the topics. Rashed’s responses are intelligent, detailed, thorough, and scholarly, but offered in a respectful, understandable, and friendly tone. He is like a skilled educator who encourages dialog, rather than simply answering a question. The topic areas are broad enough and Rashed goes into them deeply enough so that the reader not only learns new facts about Islam, but finds that they have new questions about it as well. One topic can lead to another as the conversation continues, and we find ourselves coming to know each other better as people in the process.