This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Taqwacores by Michael Muhammad Knight

The Taqwacores (2004)

by Michael Muhammad Knight

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
182897,686 (4.03)9

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 9 mentions

English (7)  Italian (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
A powerful, unsettling novel. I don't know enough about formal islamic practice to put all of this into perspective but clearly there is considerable sting in Knight's prose. In my view his protagonists' quest settles into an exploration of the classic tension between a mystic tradition and an authoritarian view of religious practice played out in punk surroundings. Well worth reading even if it leaves almost all questions answered - which I guess at some level is his point... ( )
  TomMcGreevy | Mar 17, 2016 |
Muslim-American Punks in Buffalo, New York. Real wild stuff. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Nenne fünf Worte, die dir zu dem Begriff Islam einfallen!
Wetten, dass darunter garantiert nicht Punk, Haschisch, Oralsex, Alkohol oder ähnliches nicht als halal (erlaubt) Definiertes auftauchen? Dafür aber in diesem Buch.
Der Autor, selbst zum Islam konvertiert, beschreibt das Leben in einer WG, die ausschließlich von Muslimen bewohnt wird, darunter Punks, eine Burka tragende Feministin und auch völlig 'normale' Bewohner wie der Ich-Erzähler Yusef. Alle ringen damit, auf ihre Art den richtigen Glauben zu leben obwohl sie aus der Sicht der rechtgläubigen Muslime ständig gegen alle Gebote verstoßen. Doch statt wie die meisten Mitglieder der Umma (weltweite islamische Gemeinschaft) nur streng die islamischen Gesetze und Vorgaben zu befolgen, hinterfragen die WG-Bewohner alles, was sich nicht mit ihrer Lebensauffassung scheinbar vereinbaren lässt und kommen immer wieder zu erstaunlichen Erkenntnissen. Gespräch zwischen den jungen Männern: "..Plötzlich sind alle deine schmutzigen Gedanken ihre (die der Mädchen) Schuld, weil sie hätten wissen müssen, wie schwach du bist, und das nicht hätten ausnutzen dürfen....Wenn die schmutzigen Gedanken der Männer das Problem sind, warum stehen wir dann nicht hinter der Trennwand (in der Moschee)?"
Es sind größtenteils recht durchgeknallte Gestalten, um die man im realen Leben vermutlich einen großen Bogen machen würde. Doch je mehr man von ihnen liest, desto symphatischer werden sie. Obwohl sie einen so unkonventionellen Lebensstil pflegen, leben sie ihren Glauben wahrscheinlich aufrichtiger als so viele Andere. Ich schätze, Allah hätte seine Freude an ihnen :-)
Was mir die Lesefreude allerdings etwas verringert hat, ist das Fehlen einer richtigen Geschichte. Letzten Endes sind es 300 Seiten Beschreibung eines (für mich) ungewöhnlichen Alltages, an den ich mich allerdings spätestens nach ca. der Hälfte gewöhnt hatte. Und da doch ein nicht unwesentlicher Teil der Gespräche in der Art verläuft "Hej, cool!", "Scheiße", "Wow", wird es zeitweise doch etwas zäh. Dennoch: Für diese Einblicke, die man in den Islam erhält, kann man darüber hinwegsehen. ( )
  Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
This book takes place in and around a student house in Buffalo. All the house's residents (and sofa-crashers) are American Muslims, but that's about the only resemblance. They come from different ethnic and social backgrounds, and while they pray together and read the Qur'an, they each set different boundaries to their religion - and their musical tastes are equally important to their identity. Dope-smoking Fasiq is a punk, Rude Dawud likes ska, Umar is straightedge - which should mesh well with Islam except for all the tattoos (which, it turns out, are haram). Rebeya is a feminist and riot grrrl who wears a full burqa but takes her turn leading Friday prayers along with the rest of the house - then sings Stooges covers at the Friday night parties. Our narrator, Yusef Ali, isn't quite sure where he fits in. Before he moved to Buffalo for university, he says, he had at least a clear concept of what Islam was, even if he didn't always live up to it. Now, he sees a much wider range of options, but this is also confusing. He loves all his housemates, enjoys the parties and the hanging out with the cool kids, but himself doesn't drink and is periodically tormented with thoughts that everything the house stands for is wrong.

If Friday afternoons meant jumaa, Friday nights meant my home would play host to stupid wasted kids from all walks of life. Everyone in the house would unload their CDs by the stereo and fight for turns at DJ. Besides his beloved taqwacore bands that varied in style and sound, Jehangir Tabari liked the '77 working-class heroic drinking-buddy songs. Rude Dawud played his Desmond Dekker and Specials and Skatalites. Umar put on the expected Minor Threat and Youth of Today though he never got into the straightedge taqwacore bands that Jehangir talked about, as though he were unsure whether someone could really be Muslim and Punk simultaneously. In way that he reminded me of my father, who when I was growing up would buy nearly every animated Disney video but then say that for me to draw living things was haram.

I really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read, and thought-provoking. It's very good for a first novel, with only the odd clunky moment when Yusef turns from the party scene in front of him to consider his soul. The characters are vividly conveyed, and feel like real people rather than people who are there to express a particular point of view. They do spend a lot of time talking about what it means to be an American Muslim and how to deal with the unpleasant aspects of the religion. But they don't want to leave it behind.

Punk rock means deliberately bad music, deliberately bad clothing, deliberately bad language and deliberately bad behaviour. Means shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to every expectation society will ever have for you but still standing tall about it, loving who you are and somehow forging a shared community with all the other fuck-ups.
Taqwacore is the application of this virtue to Islam. I was surrounded by deliberately bad Muslims but they loved Allah with a gonzo kind of passion that escaped sleepy brainless ritualism and the dumb fantasy-camp Islams claiming that our deen had some inherent moral superiority making the world rightfully ours.
( )
1 vote wandering_star | Apr 14, 2012 |
The most important thing to say about The Taqwacores is that Michael Muhammad Knight has filled the book with a group of young engaging characters. They don’t do much, and nothing much happens, but I liked the characters so much I didn’t care. A house full of young American muslims struggles to reconcile their religion with their personal values. Mostly not very devout, the youth are into the punk scene. One of them regales his housemates with tales of taqwacore bands from his days on the west coast as he tries to set up a giant punk show played by the legendary taqwacores. The punk ethos collides with islamic tradition and theology.

(Full review at my blog) ( )
  KingRat | Apr 23, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
for Mom first, Allah second
First words
Bismillahir, Rahmanir and so on --
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Publisher description: A Muslim punk house in Buffalo, New York, inhabited by burqa-wearing riot girls, mohawked Sufis, straightedge Sunnis, Shi'a skinheads, Indonesian skaters, Sudanese rude boys, gay Muslims, drunk Muslims, and feminists. Their living room hosts parties and prayers, with a hole smashed in the wall to indicate the direction of Mecca. Their life together mixes sex, dope, and religion in roughly equal amounts, expressed in devotion to an Islamo-punk subculture, "taqwacore, " named for taqwa, an Arabic term for consciousness of the divine. Originally self-published on photocopiers and spiral-bound by hand, The Taqwacores has since been published in foreign translations, become the basis for two films, and is taught in various colleges and universities as a "Catcher in the Rye for young Muslims."… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.03)
1 1
2 2
3 3
3.5 3
4 13
4.5 1
5 12

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,759,439 books! | Top bar: Always visible