By Carla Power

PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • nationwide ebook AWARD FINALIST • Named A most sensible booklet of the 12 months through The Washington publish and The Denver Post • Praised by means of Fareed Zakaria as “intelligent, compassionate, and revealing,” a strong trip to assist bridge one of many maximum divides shaping our global today.

If the Oceans have been Ink is Carla Power's eye-opening tale of ways she and her longtime good friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi came across how to confront grotesque stereotypes and chronic misperceptions that have been cleaving their groups. Their friendship-between a mundane American and a madrasa-trained sheikh-had continually appeared not likely, yet now they have been pissed off and bewildered by way of the battles being fought of their names. either knew shut examine the Quran might display a religion that preached peace and never mass homicide; recognize for ladies and never oppression. and they launched into a yearlong trip in the course of the debatable text.

A journalist who grew up within the Midwest and the center East, strength deals her detailed vantage aspect at the Quran's such a lot provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafes, kin gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations packed with either solid humor and strong insights. Their tale takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage websites in Mecca, as they stumble upon politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative students. Armed with a brand new knowing of every other's worldviews, energy and Akram provide eye-opening views, break long-held myths, and demonstrate startling connections among worlds that experience appeared hopelessly divided for a lot too long.

Praise for If the Oceans have been Ink

“A bright story of a friendship.... If the Oceans have been Ink is a welcome and nuanced examine Islam [and] is going far towards fighting the dehumanizing stereotypes of Muslims which are all too common…. If the Oceans have been Ink will be necessary studying for the fifty two percentage of usa citizens who admit not to realizing adequate approximately Muslims.”―The Washington Post

“Journalist energy writes approximately her 12 months learning the Quran with a Muslim student she befriended whereas operating at a imagine tank in London. For a few, this may be a robust advent to Islam. To others, it truly is fodder for dialogue at the Sheikh's perspectives, how Westerners (such as energy) interpret these perspectives and the interaction of tradition and religion.” The Denver publish

“For all those that ask yourself what Islam says approximately warfare and peace, women and men, Jews and gentiles, this can be the publication to learn. it's a dialog between well-meaning friends―intelligent, compassionate, and revealing―the style that should be occurring round the world.”―Fareed Zakaria, writer of The Post-American World

“Carla Power’s intimate portrait of the Quran, informed with nuance and nice attractiveness, captures the intense, dwelling debate over the Muslim holy book’s very essence. A lively, compelling read.”―Azadeh Moaveni, writer of Lipstick Jihad

“An inspiring tale of 2 [people] from various worlds who refuse to permit spiritual and cultural ameliorations, prejudice, and lack of understanding get in the way in which in their friendship, If the Oceans have been Ink is as thought-provoking because it is elegantly written. It takes a tricky, hugely charged subject and places it into phrases that aren't merely comprehensible and eye-opening, yet beautiful.”―Bustle (11 superbly Written Memoirs by way of Women)

“Unique, masterful, and deeply attractive. Carla strength takes the reader on a rare trip in interfaith realizing as she debates and discovers the Quran’s message, which means, and values on peace and violence, gender and veiling, non secular pluralism and tolerance.”―John L. Esposito, collage Professor and Professor of Islamic stories, Georgetown college, and writer of The way forward for Islam

“A considerate, provocative, clever book.”―Diana Abu-Jaber, writer of Birds Of Paradise and The Language of Baklava

With a journalist’s brain for the tale, a born traveler’s center for the journey of crossing borders, and a seeker’s yen for the poetry and mysticism of trust, energy creates a very good checklist of a undying quest.”―Merritt Tierce, a countrywide e-book starting place “5 below 35” honoree and writer of Love Me Back

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Sample text

Adab, like truth, is a casualty of war. The reading for the day was short but powerful: “AlFatiha,” or “The Opening,” the Quran’s first sura. It’s been called Umm al-Quran—the Mother of the Quran—since the key themes of the Quran are packed into its twenty-five Arabic words. Some non-Muslims have likened it to the Lord’s Prayer, but it is more than that, so tightly knotted are its words into the fabric of Muslim life. Pious Muslims recite it seventeen times a day: twice during dawn prayers, three times while praying at sunset, and four times apiece in the three other prayers.

The bus lurched into London and let me out at my stop, sadder and less certain than when I’d boarded it that morning. Standing on the pavement, I hiked my backpack on my shoulder and glumly wondered what Hans would say. The next day, with grim determination, I made straight for Bloomsbury. When I was a graduate student, I used to shake off Oxford’s straight-backed sobriety by going to work in the library of the far hipper School of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of London. Just studying there felt liberating.

There. It was ultimately about belief in God, and being good. A flood of relief. That I could do. I regained my faith in Islam as being a force for harmony between faiths. 2 An American in the East For my father, taking his family to live for years overseas was a salve for both his chronic discontent with American society and his clinical depression. He was a law professor in Missouri, but he felt far more fulfilled in foreign places, all the more so if they had the “grapes, melons, and olive trees” he deemed necessary for civilization.

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