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.
History is never written without being written from someone's perspective. I appreciated Mr. Aslan's in depth historical treatment of his subject as well his personal story of the return to his birth country and seeing current attempts to form a stable government based on Islam. I also valued his asking questions we all ask about this major religion. "Historically is it peaceful or violent and is it possible to form stable democratic government based on it's principles?" I think I will listen to his other book also.
Non Fiction Reader
At times I had a hard time following the books logic. He posits Iran as the harbinger of the future advocating plurality and human values etc. Then, later, refers to it as a fascist theocracy. He mentions "equality" but doesn't address the historical plight of women, apostates or slaves...who do not receive religious protection. Forget any mention of their ideas on homosexuality or adultry. Shias whipping themselves, the author maintains, is about "freedom" and there is no pain. He mentions Western imperialism but refuses to describe Muslim conquests the same way. Slaughters by Westerners are bad, but he justifies the same actions by Muslims. He likes absolves Muslims of any act by maintaining that Christians and Jews are just as "bad." I believe the author had an aim in mind to make Islam appear to be a pleasant form of worship and that anyone reading the book does not read a newspaper. He barely mentions how Muslim countries interact in the modern world (9/11 is mentioned but not deiscussed) or the reasons for their economic backwardness. (Bernard Lewis is a better read in these areas.) I found his description of Sufism hard to follow; it may have been easier in the written word.
No God but God ranks somewhere around the middle of all the audiobooks I have listened to so far. Generally, it is a pretty informative, objective account of the growth of Islam from the Prophet's message to its expansion into empires and various sects. While the book successfully covers what it set out to cover, I am personally not so interested in Muslim empire or the many sects that resulted out of power struggles, infighting, and theological hair-splitting. I think that I would be more interested in a book that just deals with the prophet and his revelations.
For general historical information on the entirety of the religion, I would highly recommend this book to friends.
I have not listened to any of Kurup's other performances, but am interested in what else he has presented.
this is a very great effort by the author to summarize and simplify 1500 years of very complicated history into a mere 12 hours! I congratulate the author on such much needed analysis.
on the other hand, the book involves a lot of inaccurate historic events and fraud methodology. the listener could clearly see the influence of authors Iranian origins in interpreting events and commentary. the author also showed some factual and contextual ignorance when it comes to Sufism. finally, the author failed to highlight a great deal of Islamic history when turmoil and civil war wasn't the case a period of great scientific and political advancements. perhaps it's also important to add that the listener will sometimes get the impression that the books events are taking place on vacuum with no influence of other factors/states/powers/religions/interests.
over all, the analysis entails a great deal of details and effort and it is a much needed book that I'd recommend to other readers.
the audio performance is superb!
Agree or not with Reza. That's the whole point. Reform, debate and rational is what the writer is looking to achieve from this book and there can't be a better time. I feel the writer has avoided many topics and might have summed up quickly, but if anything this is a good start to much needed deep thoughts.
This book is brilliantly written. It laid an excellent foundation for my understanding of Islam.
As a huge Sam Harris fan, I'd written Reza Aslan off after seeing him sound dumb in some of their back-and-forth's. I'll have to give him a second look, because this book was great.
I feel so much more confident understanding what's going on in the world after reading about the origins of Islam, and some of the background of how we got to the point we're at today.
This is just the start of my learning about Islam, but I feel great about the point I'm out thanks to this book.
this book has only gained relavance over the past decade. the lessons taught in it are invaluable to any political mind of the modern era, especially those seeking to understand the most pressing issues of international relations.