A Living Faith: My Quest for Peace, Harmony and Social Change - An Autobiography of Asghar Ali Engineer
Dr Asghar Ali Engineer
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

For most of the seventy-one years of his life, Asghar Ali Engineer has been a tireless soldier to the cause of national integration and communal harmony. Well-known today as a reformist, an activist and Islamic scholar, Asghar Ali Engineer received the Right Livelihood, or the ‘Alternative Nobel’, award in 2004 ‘. . . for promoting over many years in South Asia the values of religious and communal co-existence, tolerance and mutual understanding’.[]

Written with the simplicity that perhaps describes the man himself, is an extensive autobiographical account of Asghar Ali Engineer’s commitment to building an inclusive society and his inter-pretation of Islam as a modernist. It chronicles the personal, social and political events that shaped his life and views, his struggle against the orthodox Bohra priesthood and his rise as a leader of social and religious reform. It also documents his interactions with religious and political leaders of various hues across the world in the attempt to create a society that embraces all faiths.

Through the reminiscences of a life that has been lived for truth, depicts a journey—from violence to peace, from prejudice to acceptance, from politics of power and religion to the power of humanity—one that continues unheeded, against all odds.

Dr Asghar Ali Engineer is a well-known reformist, writer and activist. Internationally known for his work on liberation theology in Islam, he leads the progressive Dawoodi Bohra reform movement. He is currently Chairperson, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai, and Director, Institute of Islamic Studies, Mumbai.

Foreword by Mushirul Hasan

PART I My Life, My Struggle
One: My Growing-up Years
Two: Understanding the Divide: Within and Outside
Three: Towards the Truth: My Struggle Begins...
Four: The Bohra Reform Movement
Five: The Communal Challenge continues: Amidst Politics, Power and the People

PART II Beyond Boundaries: My Travels Abroad
Six: The United Kingdom
Seven: The Indian Sub-Continent
Eight: Africa
Nine: Asia
Ten: The Americas
Eleven: Middle-East and Central Asia
Twelve: Europe
Thirteen: Australia

PART III The Journey So Far...
Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Release Date: 20-07-2011 Venue: IIC Annexe, New Delhi

‘Asghar Ali Engineer has given us a hard-hitting account of his exemplary life, marked by pursuit of equality and human rights, unrelenting exposure of the forces behind so-called communal riots, courageous confrontation with forces who have several times sought to take his life and have administered grievous harm to his body, but never to his spirit. On the contrary, he has written what could stand as the very summary of his character as well as a moral lesson for others: “How can one give up?’

- Paul R Brass, University of Washington, Seattle

‘Asghar Ali is a gutsy man, a reformer par excellence. His autobiography is well worth reading. It chronicles the life of a brave and courageous man. It is insightful for its analysis of our contemporary dilemmas.’

- Mushirul Hasan, Director-General, National Archives of India

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