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Hamza Yusuf’s recommended books, documentaries and other relevant media

To facilitate the acquisition of sound knowledge, Sandala is producing and distributing selected lectures, classes, and programs delivered by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. With topics ranging from Qur’anic exegeses to spirituality; from current affairs to commentaries on classical texts, these recordings address pertinent and practical topics offering insight and hope to those who are trying to grapple with tradition and modernity.

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Brothers Karamazov

If you haven’t read this, it’s well worth the haul. Dostoevsky deals with every major theme of the current crisis in the West. The people are real, the dialogue eavesdrops on real conversations, and the culprits are as complex as the heroes are simple.

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Sense and Sensibility

A beautiful study of two ways of being in the world. Marriane is the precursor to the modern, egocentric, fun-filled, tradition-scoffing “individual.” Elinor is the wonderful, dutiful, stoic, and giving caretaker of hearts. By the end of the novel, the two have discovered themselves and risen above the trials and torments of life on earth to enter into the bliss and joy of a Jane Austen ending.

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Notes from Underground

I would love to see this book rewritten with the title, “Posts from the Underground.” This is the most serious study ever done on the problem of modern man’s impotence in the light of an alienating society, vacuous and demeaning. The underground man fills our Internet with his anonymous posts filled with venom and resentment. He can do nothing, so he spends his life attacking those who can and do something with troll-like viciousness under the digital bridges humans have built to connect virtual lands. Nietzsche was convinced that Islam was free of what he termed, “ressentiment.” He felt Islam bred nobility and was inhabited by men of virtue. But the underground Muslim is alive and ill on the net, seething with his impotent rage, using pseudonyms and often foul language to attack all and sundry from his dark underground cavern of callowness.

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Forks Over Knives

While I would not completely recommend a “vegan” diet, I think the modern diet is a danger to our health, and this wonderful documentary can be a life changer for those of you who aren’t aware of just how harmful our Western diets are. (I include most modern Muslim diets in this, given the over-consumption of meat and the increasing corporatization of our means of production.)

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I Am

If you watch documentaries, this is the end-all. Tom Shadyac is a proof against all of us who cling to “stuff.” He discovered what’s wrong with the world (hint hint: in the title) and what we can do about it.