This book is filled with both historical information and contemporary relevance, but Aslan somehow manages to convey it all with brevity, depth, depth, and sincerity. He avoids the pitfalls of dogmatism or sounding preachy on the one hand while unapologetically remaining faithful to the spirit and intention of Islam on the other. I would recommend it highly to anyone with even a passing interest in Islam. I would especially recommend it to the opponents of Islam, or to anyone politically-minded, as it presents what I believe to be an accurate, measured account of the history of one of the world's great religions and sheds light on so many of the current conflicts in which our world is embroiled.
No, but Kurup's reading is excellent.
We are not so different after all.
An attempt using select lines from the Koran, "unique" interpretations of other lines, and flat out lines, reza manages to polish the image of Muhammad without giving fair critique or ever deal with the moral issues plaguing the worlds most popular religion.
I had been looking for a book that would explain the development of Islam, especially it's interplay with the other Abrahamic religions of the region. This book kept my attention for the full duration for 3 reasons: it was well-written, well-researched, and beautifully and precisely articulated by the narrator. Don't worry about keeping track of all of the Arabic words, historical figures, and Middle Eastern scholars, they are beside the point and only included, at least as far as the scholars are concerned, to give academic credit where it is due. The message is clear (but I won't spoil it), and if more people were interested in learning about this history, it would go a long way to improving western relationships with the Islamic world.
Overall I enjoyed the book tremendously. I think any reader should be aware of Reza's background and how he speaks from a Shiite - then Christian - then Sufi background. No doubt others in the Muslim world would tell some of the stories very differently. That said, I think he tries to be as impartial as possible and delivers a great telling of the stories. I really enjoyed the broad overview of both the history and theology of Islam also wrapped with his own calls for reform. I highly recommend the book and hope it serves to bridge understanding within Muslim communities as well as with those outside of Islam.
I will listen to this book again, It lays out a good line of events of how we have the Islam we know today. The claims of Muhammad being a divine prophet are baseless and unevidenced (as with any Divinity claim ever). But other than that it's a good book that attempts to humanize Muslims to the fearful and sheds light into the never ending internal strife within Islam Itself.
I had to stop the recording several times and repeat what I was hearing. But found it very informative and it gave me a better understanding about the history of Islam.
The title of this book intriqued me and I wanted to know more about Islam from a different perspective. And indeed, I was in for a treat! There were many 'shocking' moments and new views that was totally something I wasn't expecting. Dare I say, some parts I listened with my jaw dropped and asked myself, 'Is that so?' It was more than a week of listening as each chapter took about an hour or more and it was difficult for me to do work and listened at the same time as I wanted the precious readings to be fully appreciated. it was an insightful read indeed starting from Muhammad(pbuh)'s birth to the 9-11 act of terrorism. I felt that I was given a grand tour of Islam with an ending that leaves much to my imagination what the next era of Islam will be like.
I enjoyed this book and learned new things about my own religion. It's real encompassing. My only concern was the quick jumps to conclusions on critical issues in early sacred Islamic history but maybe it's too much to talk about in one book. I disagree with the author ideas that prophet Muhammad chose what to reveal in the quraan. It was Gods will and revaluation from A to Z.