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No god but God Audiobook

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

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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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Marc 07-25-17
    Marc 07-25-17
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    "Fair, exciting, inspiring - worth the time"
    Any additional comments?

    I have had some contacts to members of various "flavors" of Islamic faith in the last couple of years (helping refugees) and was getting more and more interested in the obviously complex, diverse and in no way homogenous directions this religion has taken.

    This (audio) book has opened a door for me to at least get a glimpse both at the historical development of a religion that has always understood itself as more than "just" a religion AND some grain of sand in beginning to grasp what all the war, terror, unbridgeable perspectives and philosophies are about. Why women want to or have to wear those various types of "costumes", why that specific "Islamic State" (not to be confused with those that have existed before and still try to come close to a positive, humane, even modern understanding of the term) destroys relics, cities and lifes - and what the USA, England and the "Western World" have to do with the creation, rise and enforcement of all those evil forces from the Muslim world.

    There seem to be more parallels between Christian (and other religious) histories and the story of Islam than many seem to realize - Christian history is full of "convincing others by swords and words" and I am *not* talking about those few crusades. But the Islamic world itself is so full of varities, so torn and, yes, in dire need of healing, reformation, focus on what being human is about (instead of what God is about), that I will now spend quite some time trying to dive deeper into some of the tracks this book laid out.

    Being agnostic myself, I have always wondered how a belief in some kind of "God" is even possible (except, maybe, for the vague, more emotional than realized "spirits of nature", where there is no personalization into a single, individual "human-shaped God"). It was - and is - a concept that I don't get, neither mentally nor emotionally. With the history of Christian religion and some Eastern philosophies that I read/heard more than a few hours of lectures on, I always thought that it must have been about "he who pays the piper calls a tune" (where the German term makes a lot more sense, I think: he whose bread I eat sets the tune, meaning: The landlord defines my official religious belief).
    This book was different in that it showed the bridge from tribal traditions over to an evolving, developing monotheistic "system" where the "belief" as such did not seem to be at the core of things, but the focus on a single, well laid out social order with a central authority that was "backed up" by some - excuse the phrase - maybe even arbitrary god. But I am probably putting this wrong, this is something for long evenings with tea and bread and salt to discuss.

    My thanks go to the author for NOT being a missionary. Contrary to many Christian scholars who pretend they don't let their personal believes interfer with their teaching but in fact are constantly, aggressively putting Christanity over every other philosophy or mindset, Reza Aslan managed to treat different religions with actual PROFESSIONAL respect.
    I would debate some of his statements on European history (e.g. about the "30 years war", where I think he got some things not quite right or at least put the whole thing into a way too simple context), but that's excusable, I think, because in those chapters he is trying to make a point and may have been over-simplifying to keep the focus.

    This book has made me curious. I want to learn more - I really do. I won't be persuaded to believe in a personified God, but finally I got at least a shimmer of an understanding how a religion can become a world-wide "success" and tie in millions of followers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BobMGre GA 07-10-17
    BobMGre GA 07-10-17 Member Since 2016

    Bobbi G

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    "Everyone should hear this information."

    Though long, it is an excellent explanation of religious history from Adam & Eve to the present.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-09-17
    07-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "7/10"

    This book gives the reader a great over all perspective on Islam from its establishment and birth until this very day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Tampa, FL 02-20-17
    Brian Tampa, FL 02-20-17 Member Since 2017
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    "First half really enjoyable"
    Where does No god but God rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Middle of the pack


    What other book might you compare No god but God to and why?

    Can't think of any right now


    What three words best describe Shishir Kurup’s voice?

    Calming, deep, clear


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    First half and last hour or so were really good. Had to force myself for the latter half of book though. Would have like to hear more on Bangladesh's part during separation of India after British rule. It does have a lot of Muslims in it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-28-16
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    "annoyed a lot"

    good edifying book, with an interesting background. except for the part about Shism, a little bit redundant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scorpion! 12-11-16
    scorpion! 12-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "great effort despite inaccuracies"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louay 11-21-16
    Louay 11-21-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Must needed book"


    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan 08-08-16
    Bryan 08-08-16
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    "Phenomenally Enlightening"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 07-27-16
    Brian 07-27-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Very Interesting"

    Very interesting and informative on a subject most are not too familiar with. The reader does a nice job as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "taught me Islam and Arabic culture are very differ"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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