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No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam | [Reza Aslan]

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

Though it is the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam remains shrouded by ignorance and fear. What is the essence of this ancient faith? Is it a religion of peace or war? How does Allah differ from the God of Jews and Christians? Can an Islamic state be founded on democratic values such as pluralism and human rights? A writer and scholar of comparative religions, Reza Aslan has earned international acclaim for the passion and clarity he has brought to these questions.
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Publisher's Summary

Though it is the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam remains shrouded by ignorance and fear. What is the essence of this ancient faith? Is it a religion of peace or war? How does Allah differ from the God of Jews and Christians? Can an Islamic state be founded on democratic values such as pluralism and human rights? A writer and scholar of comparative religions, Reza Aslan has earned international acclaim for the passion and clarity he has brought to these questions. In No god but God, challenging the "clash of civilizations" mentality that has distorted our view of Islam, Aslan explains this critical faith in all its complexity, beauty, and compassion.

Contrary to popular perception in the West, Islam is a religion firmly rooted in the prophetic traditions of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Aslan begins with a vivid account of the social and religious milieu in which the Prophet Muhammad lived. The revelations that Muhammad received in Mecca and Medina, which were recorded in the Quran, became the foundation for a radically more egalitarian community, the likes of which had never been seen before.

According to Reza Aslan, we are now living in the era of "the Islamic Reformation". No god but God is a persuasive and elegantly written account of the roots of this reformation and the future of Islamic faith.

©2006 Reza Aslan; (P)2009 Random House

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  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 10-14-13
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 10-14-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THE IMPENDING RE - FORMATION OF ISLAM"

    reza aslan was born in teheran, iran; he now lives in hollywood CA
    that's quite a scholarly transition to accomplish in one life time
    it gives him a unique perspective to relate islam's own impending transition

    islam began, in tribal desert isolation, about 600 years after christianity
    three of the first four islamic leaders, to follow mohammed, were assassinated
    even today, islam retains many of its' harsh, mercantile and feudal elements

    but, aslan persuasively argues, much of that history really doesn't matter
    the changes outside of islam are minor compared to the changes within islam
    the conflict and carnage we see from the outside, obscures an inner turmoil

    islam is desperately trying to come to grips with the modern world
    it's similar, aslan argues, to the catholic church's encounter with the reformation
    the problem is that islam lacks the enlightenment tools for the job

    of the 500 best universities on the globe not one is in the muslim world
    basic literacy in many arab countries approaches only 40 %
    illiterate, uneducated tribesmen make for a slow religious renaissance

    reza aslan has the almost impossible job of explaining islam to the west
    the task requires equal measures of bravery and scholarly insight
    we should applaud him for trying, many others will follow in his steps


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob WHEATON, IL, United States 03-01-13
    Bob WHEATON, IL, United States 03-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent Introduction to Islam"
    What made the experience of listening to No god but God the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Shishir Kurup’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but Kurup's reading is excellent.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    We are not so different after all.


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara crystal beach, FL, United States 11-29-10
    Barbara crystal beach, FL, United States 11-29-10
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    "a wonderful lesson on Islam"

    I enjoyed listening to the history if Islam by Reza Aslan. It was informative and answered many questions I had about this world religion.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris BELLEVUE, WA, United States 12-14-12
    Chris BELLEVUE, WA, United States 12-14-12
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    "Maybe would have enjoyed if I had more time."
    Any additional comments?

    I was assigned to read this book for a comparative religion book. I didn't end up having the time to listen to the whole audiobook. I got about a third of the way through and realized there was far too many chapters left to listen too. The teacher assigned three chapters a night, which for this book = hours of listening or reading. I might have enjoyed it more had I taken the opportunity to listen to it for fun. Though it seems like this book is for a scholar, not the curious student. It goes deep into all of the historical intricacies loosing my attention many times. There was also a rant that seems endless about how Muslims aren't racist, especially against Jews, seems a little desperate to convey the point. Not a terrible book but I would not recommend it unless studying Islam is your passion.

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Harris Sacramento,Ca 08-29-13
    Paul Harris Sacramento,Ca 08-29-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Good overview of Islam"

    This book is very well done and gives you a good overview of current world views in Islamic nations. You won't get this info from western media...they are too busy reporting on Miley Sirus and her dancing exhibitions!
    If you have an interest in Islam...start here.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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