Explains the attraction of Muslims to their faith, and discusses the challenges contemporary Islam confronts, and how we might imagine an Islamic theology and identity ready to face tomorrow
Islam is often associated with and limited to the worst of the world—extremism, obscurantism, misogyny, bigotry. So why would so many people associate with such a fundamentalist faith? Two Billion Caliphs advocates for a way of being Muslim in the world, ready for today and prepared for tomorrow. Unlike stale summaries, which restrict themselves to facts and figures, Haroon Moghul presents a deeply Muslim perspective on the world, providing Islamic answers to universal questions: Who are we? What are we doing here? What happens to us when we die? And from description, Moghul moves to prescription, aspiring to something outrageous and audacious. Two Billion Caliphs describes what Islam has been and what it is, who its heroes are, what its big ideas are, but not only to tell you about the past or the present, but to speak to the future.
Two Billion Caliphs finds that Islam was a religion of intimacy, a faith rooted in and reaching for love, and that it could be and should be again. Fulfilling that destiny depends on the efforts of Muslims to reclaim their faith, rebuild their strength, and reimagine their future, on their own terms. Two Billion Caliphs offers Muslim thoughts for the age ahead, to create an interpretation Islam of and for days to come, the kind of religion the world’s Muslims deserve, with echoes of the confident faith Muslims once had. The destiny of Islam, then, is not, as so many prefer to argue, a reformation. It is a counter-reformation. A restoration of what once was.
About the Author
Haroon Moghul is a thought leader, professor, public speaker, and Friday preacher, whose work explores the intersections of pop culture, philosophy, futurism, and faith. A one-time stand-up comic in New York City (literally, just that one time) and award-winning writer, his essays have been featured by the New York Times, NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the Guardian, among many others. Not long after publishing his most recent book, How To Be A Muslim: An American Story, he moved to suburban Cincinnati, where he’s become an enthusiastic soccer dad.
“[A] forthright and entertaining treatise . . . Moghul’s candid mix of devotional and memoir make this a solid primer on Islam.” —Publishers Weekly
“This is a book that only Haroon Moghul could write. It is honest and hopeful, beautiful and painful, visionary and personal. It is at once a history of Islam and a guidebook to your soul. There are paragraphs so perfect, I read them aloud to family and friends.” —Eboo Patel, author of We Need to Build
“In his stunning new Two Billion Caliphs, Haroon Moghul describes the Hagar of sacred text as representing ‘a kind of ambling Islam.’ In that same spirit, Moghul’s work ambles and careens across time, space, theology, and intimate self-discovery, to locate a new take on Islam. Moghul’s vision of a collective, personal, loving, and meaningful faith—born of his own frailty, curiosity, and longing—requires nothing less than the opening of a spiritual vein. What emerges is honest and transformational and desperately needed, in all of our conversations around religion.” —Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor, Slate
“In this touching, moving, and thought-provoking book, Haroon Moghul boldly proclaims, and elegantly articulates, the big paradigm shift desperately needed in Islamic thinking: Muslims should let go of the political ‘caliphate,’ with all its religious rigidity, fury, and oppressiveness. Instead, they should revive the original Quranic ‘caliphate’: the wisdom and moral agency within the heart of every human being. I cannot applaud him more.” —Mustafa Akyol, senior fellow on Islam and modernity at the Cato Institute, author of Reopening Muslim Minds: A Return to Reason, Freedom, and Tolerance
“Two billion caliphs as in 2 billion Muslims in the world today. A deeply introspective book of Haroon's spiritual journey in exploring his faith, his relationship to his faith, why he became a sufi, why he is no longer a sufi. But it is much more than that: he presents his vision of where Muslims can and should go from here, and its not an easy path, but we have the capacity to achieve it. I am motivated.” —Sabeeha Rehman, author and public speaker