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21. Islam for Dummies
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22. The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation
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23. The Koran for Dummies
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24. Islam: A Concise Introduction
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25. The Meaning Of The Holy Quran
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26. Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet
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27. Social Justice in Islam
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28. Western Muslims and the Future
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29. Onward Muslim Soldiers
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30. Purification of the Heart: Signs,
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31. An English Interpretation of the
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32. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and
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33. Islam and Democracy in the Middle
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34. Islam: A Short History
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35. The Illuminated Rumi
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36. Approaching the Qur'an: The Early
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37. Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics
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38. The Sufi Path of Knowledge
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39. The Koran (Penguin Classics)
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40. Daughters of Another Path: Experiences

21. Islam for Dummies
by MalcolmClark
list price: $21.99
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 0764555030
Catlog: Book (2003-04-28)
Publisher: For Dummies
Sales Rank: 22355
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Many non-Muslims have no idea that Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews, and that Islam preaches compassion, charity, humility, and the brotherhood of man. And the similarities don’t end there. According to Islamic teaching, Muhammad founded Islam in 610 CE after the angel Gabriel appeared to him at Mecca and told him that God had entered him among the ranks of such great biblical prophets as Abraham, Moses, and Christ.

Whether you live or work alongside Muslims and want to relate to them better, or you simply want to gain a better understanding of the world’s second largest religion, Islam For Dummies can help you make sense of this religion and its appeal.  From the Qur’an to Ramadan, this friendly guide introduces you to the origins, practices and beliefs of Islam, including:

  • Muhammad, the man and the legend
  • The Five Pillars of Wisdom
  • The Five Essentials beliefs of Islam
  • The different branches of Islam and Islamic sects
  • The Qur’an and Islamic law
  • Islam throughout history and its impact around the world

Professor Malcolm Clark explores the roots of Islam, how it has developed over the centuries, and it’s long and complex relationship with Christianity. He helps puts Islam in perspective as a major cultural and geopolitical force. And he provided helpful insights into, among other things:

  • Muhammad, the Qur’an and the ethical teachings of Islam
  • Muslim worship, customs, and rituals surrounding birth, marriage, and death
  • Shi’ites, Sunnis, Sufis, Druze, and other important Muslim groups
  • Islam in relation to Judaism and Christianity

In these troubled times, it is important that we try to understand the belief systems of others, for through understanding comes peace. Islam For Dummies helps you build bridges of understanding between you and your neighbors in the global village. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Islam for all: Human Rights Perspective
Prof. Warren Malcolm Clark did an excent job in explaining many fundamental doctrines, ideas, and rituals of Islam. Recently I have authored a book entitled HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE MUSLIM WORLD and quite aware of how difficult is it to keep a balance in writing such a book. I have to say that Prof. Clark has created a unique approach to Islamic issues. He tried to avoid typical Western attitude toward Islam and Muslims. And he was quite successful in that. I am looking forward to meet him in person to congratulate him for his remarkable academic and popular contribution in an area of such a great importance. ... Read more

22. The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation & Commentary
by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
list price: $30.00
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Asin: 0940368323
Catlog: Book (1987-01-01)
Publisher: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an
Sales Rank: 83953
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Containing the full Arabic text of the Qur'an, an accompanying English translation, and extensive commentary, this is a compilation of the Muslim faith's Final Revelation from God to mankind through the last Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon Him. The Qur'an has a wealth of information--both worldly wisdom and intellectual concepts--providing a code of life for humankind generally and Muslims in particular. Indeed, the Qur'an's miracle lies in its ability to offer something to non-believers and everything to believers. This elegantly-packaged edition includes a ribbon marker and is fully indexed. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best translation by far.
The best method to study the Qur'an is of course to study the Arabic language since it is a complex language. However, reading Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation is a very good place to start. I have the translation of the Qur'an by other authors, none came close to the excellent work by this author.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation of the Qur'an comes with the Arabic text alongside with the English translation. It is faithful to the text, and the commentary accompanying the text is well written and balanced.

This translation is long regarded as the best book to consult by most Muslims.

4-0 out of 5 stars I'm Arabic and I'm Muslim
I'm Arabic and I'm Muslim, and the verse "Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them." do exist in the Holy Quran in (The Accessions -in Arabic: Al Anfal-):
[8.12] "When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them".

The verse [8.50] in Holy Quran says: "And had you seen when the angels take the souls of the disbelivers (at death), smiting their faces and their backs, and (saying): Taste the punishment of burning".

It is not "If thos couldst see, when the angels take the souls of the BELIVERS (at death), (How) they smite their faceds and their backs, (saying): "taste the penalty of the blazing fire".

And it is not "And had you seen when the angels WILL CAUSE TO DIE those who disbelieve, smiting their faces and their backs, and (saying): Taste the punishment of burning".

As the Holy Quran is the last god's book*, it covers the whole life. It covers the peace, the war, relations, worships, bidden and forbidden things, etc.

* We Muslims belive in all prophets and thier books: From the prophet Adam to prophet Mohammed, including the prophet Abraham, prophet David, prophet Jacob, prophet Moses, and the prohpet Jesus.

We Muslims condemned the attacks on september 11. As god said in the Holy Quran in (The Dinner Table -in Arabic: Al Ma'idah-):

[5.32] ".. if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people, and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people..".

3-0 out of 5 stars The meaning of "Al-Fitnah" - Qur'anic ethics Pt. 2
10-Point Rating: (4.5 - gets an extra point for its exquisite binding)
In my review of Dawood's translation (q.v.), my entire argument rested on the translation given for Al-Fitnah, "idolatry". Ysuf Ali's translation, however, renders the word as "tumult and oppression". Immediately it becomes clear that vastly different ethics would govern the injunction in 2:191 depending on the meaning given to the word "Al-Fitnah". Researching the issue, I discovered that translations of the word may be divided in general into two groups: a) passive interpretation and b) active interpretation, typified by the Dawood and Ali translations respectively. In the passive interpretation, "Al-Fitnah" denotes a state of being or ontological worldview, which corresponds to an outlook at odds with Islam, typified by the pre-Islamic paganism of Muhammad's era. It is called passive because "Al-Fitnah" denotes only the mindset of those to whom it refers. By contrast, the active interpretation sees the word as indicating a further stance toward Muslims which is hostile and threatening. In this case, any action taken against such individuals would be self-defense only, to preserve Islam and the umma from external attack or civil unrest from within.
These two interpretations present ethical analyses which are as different as ethnic cleansing is from the punishment of crime. So how are we to proceed? A clue is given two verses later, when the removal of "Al-Fitnah" is described as "Justice and Faith in God" (2:193). That is, both interpretations are intended simultaneously, and this is what we should expect. Islamic Law applies to every facet of both societal and individual expression. Both outward and inward expression are required to be in submission (islam) to the will of God. Underlying the ethical significance of this group of verses (2:190-95) is the total-submission concept which lies at the heart of Islam. In this respect, the Qur'an and Islam are being brutally consistent in their beliefs in objective truth and the reality of the God of the Qur'an. It is the same sense of divine mandate which drove the medieval Catholic Church to commit its share of ghastly deeds in the name of instituting such a "City of God". The difference, though, is that whereas the Catholic Church acted in direct defiance of the commands of their Savior, militant Islam is acting in direct harmony with the overall message of the Qur'an.
In summary, we must always judge the parts in light of the whole which they form. In this respect, the ethical significance of the "jihad verses" (2:190-95) must be established in relation to the overall outlook of the Qur'an and Islam concerning the nature of man and what is permissable in a rightly guided society. Read the Qur'an yourself, and see if you can identify an overall TONE. Would you describe it as optimistic or pessimistic? Positive or negative? Peaceful or aggressive? Uplifting or threatening? I'm only asking the questions, each of us must find our own answers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Qur'an: Text, Translation
I give this book 4 stars because I believe that the author did a great job for translating the Quran from the Arabic text. I disagree with some other reviewer saying that the translation cannot be perfect and the Quran lose its beauty if we try to write it in any other language rather than Arabic. After all, if we assume that the Quran is the words of mighty God. Is that making any sense if we say that God only wants to communicate with the Arabic people only through his words? God create the whole universe and all the people inhibited on it, with all the languages spoken. If the Quran is the words of god it should not lose any beauty or meaning if it translated to any language, after all it is a message of God to all the people whom created by him. Or maybe the problem is not in the translation itself.

2-0 out of 5 stars Better translations available
The Quran is a beautiful text. The verses show complicated rhyming schemes, meters, consonance, and alliteration. When read in Arabic, the text has an undeniable flow that lets you anticipate the next verse based on what you are currently hearing. Verses are structured to contrast against one another through simple word replacements. I find myself pausing in awe at times when reciting the Arabic.

What makes the Ali translation so unfortunate is more than his questionable interpretations (every translation inevitably cannot convey the full meaning of the arabic), rather its his stubborn attempt at trying to mimic the Bible.

Ali convulutes the text by injecting olde english phrases and needless subrodinate clauses to try to replicate the feel you get when reading the New Testament.

So instead of getting a smooth reading text, you are left with individual verses that don't mesh together and stand alone. Technically his verses convey the meaning of the Quran, but with none of the grace and style of the original.

The Arabic Quran's style is an asset. Ali's english Quran's style is a liability. Other Quran's dispense with the Bible mimicry and give a straight translation. Of those I recommend the Ozek version (Translation committee)< ... Read more

23. The Koran for Dummies
by Sohaib Sultan
list price: $21.99
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Asin: 0764555812
Catlog: Book (2004-05-24)
Publisher: For Dummies
Sales Rank: 49027
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With the current turmoil in the Middle East, there is a growing interest about Islam—the world’s second largest religion and one of the fastest growing—and its holy book, the Koran (or Qur’an). Now, with this easy-to-follow, plain-English guide, you can explore the history, structure, and basic tenets of Islam’s sacred scripture.

The Koran For Dummies is for non-Muslims interested in the Koran as well as Muslims looking to deepen their understanding. Islamic scholar Sohaib Sultan provides a clear road map, revealing:

  • The meaning of Koran and its basic message
  • The Koran’s place in history and in Islamic spiritual life
  • Explanations of its language, structure, and narrative style
  • How to live by the Koran’s teachings
  • The Koran’s role in key global issues, such as Jihad vs. terrorism
  • Different interpretations of the Koran

No other book provides such a straightforward look at what the Koran says, how it says it, and how believers live according to its guidance. From how the Koran was received by Mohammed and how it was compiled to how it’s interpreted by Islam’s two main branches, you’ll see how to put the Islamic faith in perspective.

Plus, you’ll discover:

  • What the Koran really says about women and civil law
  • How Islam relates to Judaism and Christianity
  • The Koran’s view of God, prophets, mankind, and the self
  • How its teachings are lived and recited every day by devout Muslims
  • Common misconceptions of the Koran
  • How to raise a family the Koranic way

Complete with lists of important passages, Koranic terminology, famous quotes, and further reading resources, The Koran For Dummies makes it easy and enjoyable for you to grasp the teachings and significance of Islam's holy book. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Creating a book that is accessible to a Western audience and at the same time does not dilute traditional/classical Islamic studies, is not an easy feat. The author navigates this balancing act with aplomb. Western readers will find many of their questions about Islam answered here. Recomended.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Useful Books Related to the Qur'an
I just bought the book and flipped through it. I consider it to be a great reference book that I would be consulting in the years to come. Well done Sohaib!

Liaquat Ali ... Read more

24. Islam: A Concise Introduction
by Huston Smith
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
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Asin: 0060095571
Catlog: Book (2001-12)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 131694
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Drawn from his masterful presentation of Islam in the bestselling book The World's Religions (over two million copies sold), Huston Smith offers a revealing look into the heart of a tradition with more than one billion adherents worldwide. Dispelling narrow and distorted notions about the nature of Islam and featuring a new introduction by the author, this book compellingly conveys the profound appeal of Islam, while addressing such timely issues as the true meaning of jihad, the role of women in Islamic societies, and the remarkable growth of Islam in America.

... Read more

Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Fiction
1- The assertion that the apparent incoherence of the Koran is due to the assumption that the pouring of the heavenly Koran (The uncreated Koran) into the earthly Koran represented by the Arabic language was like pushing a thousand Truths into dozens of alphabets and had to result in such incoherence and anachronism, is not only laughable to the secular mind but also offensive to the orthodox scholar Muslims. Hey perhaps the immense Energy-Momentum Tensor associated with the huge satellite transmition resulted in Riemann-Christoffle tensor that caused such space time warp
2-The saying that Islam resulted in science movement is rather a historical mistake. At the time of Caliph Ummar when Egypt was conquered, he ordered his appointed governor to burn the Library of Alexandria on the ground that it was either contradicting the book of Allah { Koran ) or superflous to it. And As the historian Well noted (in his book short history of the world), it was only until the notion of the self-sufficiency in the Koran was set aside that Science started to flourish in the Arab empire. Indeed it was the caliph Maamoon who adopte the view that the Koran is just words any Arab can write the like thereof. Maamoon put obnoxious fundamenal shieks - insisting that Koran un created - in jails. Mammon enocurage Sience gave the jewish translators gold in weigh of what they translated from Greek to Arabic. Al-Khwarizmi,who gave Algebra its name, was a close friend to Maamon.
3- About the right of Women in Islam, that is also another misleading in the book. Of all the enemy and critic of Islam write, there is an incident no one - up to my kwoledge - has yet written about. Here is it: If man accuse another man or a woman of adultery and cannot bring another three acceptable 3 men witnesses , he must be lashed 80 times. However a husband can accuse his wife of adultery even if he cannot produce another three acceptable men witnesses. He just has to swear five times that she commited the act. Now she either addmit and face punishments or deny and swear five times that she didn't and he is lying :
"And for those who launch a charge against their wives, and have (in support) no evidence but their own,- let one of them testify four times by Allah that he is of those who speak the truth; "And the fifth (oath) (should be) that he solemnly invoke the curse of Allah on himself if he tell a lie. But it would avert the punishment from the wife, if she bears witness four times (with an oath) By Allah, that (her husband) is telling a lie. And the fifth (oath) should be that she solemnly invokes the wrath of Allah on herself if (her accuser) is telling the truth." 24:6-9 Koran Yousef Ali translation. The drama does not end here. after the divorce the man can go and get marriage. The woman NOT. According to the Islamic legislation, she must wait until Alah shows a sigen that her huband was lying. The sigen could be as a disease that hits him...etc. Of course that doesn't happen in islamic society today.
4- The author also try to accomodate that the Koran and the Bible are both right. If two things are contradicting, only two conclusion are possible: 1-) One is false 2-) Both are false. An Arab poet, Al-Maary, who was 300 years after Muhammad, once said:
Corruption is people's first nature
And in hallucination all religions are equal

5-0 out of 5 stars Islam 101: A course in Islamic Studies.
This book, although short in terms of number of pages, is nevertheless extremely rich and amazingly eloquent in its presentation and explanations of Islam, from the life of Muhammad, to the Quran, to Islamic teachings and philosophy, and ending with a brief introduction to Sufism (Mysticism).

This book highly builds on the chapter that was dedicated to Islam in Huston Smith's The World's Religions. But Mr. Smith, after extracting that chapter and making a separate book out of it, adds to its contents discussions that relate to current world events such as the New York and Washington events in September 2001. He also adds many useful discussions regarding misconceptions about Islamic teachings like the issue of Women, Jihad, Polygamy, and many other issues that should highly interest any reader who seeks basic - but strong - foundations in Islamic Theology and Philosophy.

The bibliography and the "suggestions for further reading" part at the end of book is extremely helpful for anyone who persues an academic background in Islamic Studies.

This book will no doubt start to appear in college courses that cover the issue of Islam as a required reading assignment.

All in all, an excellent and a highly recommended book that is considered a masterpiece in the field of Comparative Religion Scholarship.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Muslim perspective ... Thank you Huston
As an American Christian who diligently studied Islam, lived with Muslims abroad, and then became Muslim himself, I found this book a positive introduction to Islam for the modern, Western mind.

Huston Smith has described Islam in a respectful and fair manner in a way that is difficult to find among nonMuslim authors. In my study of Islam I found that even many life long Muslim writers from outside the Western cultures are not able to describe Islam with such effectiveness.

Islam is often viewed only in negative ways, or in detail of its physical forms alone. Huston Smith is able to see beyond the ignorant sterotypes and begin to express the emotional depth and value of Islam's spiritual wisdom.

The book is intended as an introduction, and is exactly that. It only takes about ninety minutes to read, but sheds much light on a complex subject. Hopefully it is enough to inspire readers to learn more about Islam through even more effective and thorough channels, such as speaking with Muslims at a local mosque. The best source is always the direct source.

So I thank Huston Smith, and recommend this book to all those interested in beginning to understand the true nature of Islam.

3-0 out of 5 stars Reminds Me of Something Spinal Tap Once Said...
"...There's such a fine line between stupid and clever."

This book is a maddeningly inconsistent little work that still manages to deliver on the promise of its subtitle: "A Consise Introduction". As such, it is best read and then forgotten.

Throughout the text, Smith delivers splendid insights, written in a beautiful prose, but every once in a while he topples over into sheer stupidity. Sometimes he does both on the same page. Let's turn to pages 38-39 for an example where Smith explicates the Koranic concepts of Creation and Gratitude:

"It [the cosmos] was created by a deliberate act of Allah's will: 'He has created the heavens and the earth' (16:3). This fact carries two important consequences. First, the world of matter is both real and important. Herein lies one of the sources of Islamic science, which during Europe's Dark Ages flourished as nowhere else on earth."

As a matter of fact, this account explains nothing, because Christianity teaches precisely the same thing concerning creation. Therefore, Islamic science must have flourished during the Dark Ages for reasons other than Koranic doctrine. Furthermore, Islamic contributions to science have been lacking over the past several centuries--does this then mean that the Koran's message has somehow been corrupted or that Muslims are now less devout than during the Dark Ages? Clearly, the implication is absurd. Whatever success "Islamic science" has achieved is not due solely to the Koran.

Smith immediately follows this howler with a finely-wrought interpretation of the term "infidel" (page 39):

"With life acknowledged as a gift from its Creator, we can turn to its obligations, which are two. The first of these is gratitude for the life that has been received. The Arabic word 'infidel' is actually shaded more toward 'one who lacks thankfulness' than one who disbelieves. The more gratitude that one feels, the more natural it feels to let the bounty that has entered flow through one's life and on to others, for to hoard it would be as unnatural as trying to dam a waterfall. The ingrate, the Koran tells us, 'covers' or 'hides' God's blessings and thereby fails to enjoy the link with the Creator that every moment provides."

Noble and poetic words, beautifully put. I hope that is indeed what the Koran teaches.

Back to the other side of the fine line. In discussing the status of women within Islam, Smith states:

"To the adherents of a religion in which the punishment for adultery is death by stoning and social dancing is proscribed, Western indictments of Islam as a lascivious religion sound ill-directed." (page 63)

I see: Islam can't be lascivious because it's barbaric. Probably not the best defense, counsel.

My overall problem with this book is that Smith confuses an empathetic understanding of Islam with cultural pandering. He tries too hard to make Islam safe for his intended audience, to explain away teachings that might seem unpalatable to a liberal western reader. This sort of lazy, implicit condescension does no favor to the truth or to its seekers. As a result, there is an almost complete absence of critical analysis in this book.

And yet, his powers of description (not analysis) do enable him to convey something valuable in a short amount of time and space. Hence a three star rating. ... Read more

25. The Meaning Of The Holy Quran
by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 1590080254
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Amana Publications
Sales Rank: 122555
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is a new 11th edition of the best-seller translation of the Meaning of The Holy Qur'an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, published by Amana Publications. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Translation
I found this translation to be the best in content, presentation and understanding for those who are of the Islamic Faith and those who are studying Islam. Being written in English on one side and Arabic on the other side of each page, it is easy to follow the structure with clarity. It is written in clear, consise, and lovely letterings and includes a vast amount of knowledge in the footnotes etc. The book presents itself beautifully as a spiritual submission to society as a whole and exudes a certain devotion that the writer must have had when completing this labor of love.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Work
If you are looking for a translation of the Holy Qur'an, then Abdullah Yusuf Ali's work is the right choice.

First, each translator faces a daunting task. He must convey the content of the message along with a sense of the majesty of the original language - if you will the sound and spirit. A simple word for word translation generally does not accomplish this: the translator has to put a bit of himself and his talents into the translation. Mr. Ali has grounded himself in sacred commentary on the Qur'an - both that focused on the religious content as well as that based on philological/grammatical studies. The latter is very important to pick up the nuances of meaning embedded in grammatical constructions and individual words. Mr. Ali supplements his own choice of translation in the main text through footnotes which discuss the nuances/wider meanings of words. For example, he notes that the Arabic word "sabr" which is generally translated as "patient" means as well "steadfast", "unwilling to be defeated" etc. In different verses then he will translate the same Arabic word in different ways to convey the required meaning. In other cases where there are variant readings resulting from the way a sentence may be split he provides an explanatory footnote which provides both his version, the alternative reading and his rationale for his choice.

Second, the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) over the course of years. Often in relation to specific events which took place. Some verses of the Qur'an were therefore later superceded by others. Mr. Ali provides a guide to this as well as highlighting the context in which a particular verse or verses were revealed. As well, he begins each Surah with a commentary to explain the theological key points/issues discussed within. This is extremely valuable as an aid to the reader's understanding. In this same vein, he provides religious commentary on particular verses through the deft use of footnotes. This provision of a context is what distinguishes this work from other translations which provide only a translation.

Of course, as the translator takes this additional step, it is important for the reader to understand what predispositions the translator brought with him to his work. Mr. Ali outlines his approach to the translation, his methodology and sources. By some accounts he had a strong mystic ("Sufi") strain. There are glimmers here and there in the text of such an orientation, though I believe that his commentary (which apparently has been edited) is sufficiently mainstream at least in the Sunni tradition of Islam.

The Amana edition, which is well made and the version I would recommend, also contains a detailed comprehensive index so the reader can easily browse through the Qur'an on a particular topic.

The Qur'an has much wisdom for all of us - non-Muslims and Muslims. Mr. Ali's work helps open the door to this message of mercy and peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Revised Translation of the Quran
The Amana Publications edition of the classic Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran is a great work and a must to have for both muslims and non muslims. Althought it is written in a 16th century english format, its easily understood and has enough commentary and a good index to thoroughly explain the verses. With that being said, No translation of the Quran is considered the Quran, for the Quran was revealed in the Arabic language and no translation can fully explain the Arabic. This book allows readers to know the approximate meanings to this Holy book and to appreciate it at a basic level.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quran with commentary
In the name of Allah the Father, the Most Gracious Son, the Most Merciful Holy Spirit.
This Quran is a keeper. It has the English translation next to the Arabic words. Underneath is the explanation of the verses in Arabic. It also has a good index in the back. My version is pocket size (ISBN 0-915957-77-9, size 4x6x1.3)but supposed to be the same in content.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Excellent translation especially compared to Saudi's Noble Quran, this is more lucid and sane, while hte other is confusing and ...more confusing. ... Read more

26. Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet
by Karen Armstrong
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062508865
Catlog: Book (1993-09-10)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 8375
Average Customer Review: 3.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This vivid and detailed biography strips away centuries of distortion and myth and presents a balanced view of the man whose religion continues to dramatically affect the course of history.

... Read more

Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for THIS Purpose
As a High School Teacher of Seniors enrolled in a History of the Middle East Course, this book is perfect for placing the life and messages of Muhammad in a real-life historical perspective including influencial 6th century political and economic forces. Students reported that Armstrong cleared up numerous misconceptions, questions, and outright historical inaccuracies. The casual reader may find some passages regarding the 6th century clan conflicts & intrique dry, but they can skim that and still reap the well supported points Armstrong brings forth - including the history of seclusion/veil, the 5 pillars of Islam, the significance of Jerusalem for Muslims, and centuries of conflict bewteen Christiandom the Muslim world. She explains the controversy surrounding the "Satanic Verses" as well as the evolution of the religious concepts pertaining to "al-Llah." In short she weaves the ancient to make sense of the modern.

2-0 out of 5 stars Accessible Bias
My title says it all, although 'prejudice' might be a better term....

Like Mrs. Armstrong, I am a voracious bookworm with regards to the three Momotheistic Abrahamic Faiths, and although I am a strong Christian, I thoroughly enjoy and find my faith enrichened and strengthened by reading about the 'other' monotheistic faiths. I agree with those who take the position that there are some deep seated misunderstandings regarding Islam in the West, and I agree with those who make all efforts to take (and live) a more Christ-like attitude toward those of other faiths (including those with whom we strongly disagree). I also am one who is not opposed to taking a deep hard look at my own self (and culture) and seeing the abundant ugliness therein...

That said, in light of the admitted predjudice and ignorance that exists in the west toward Muhammad and Islam, I think Mrs. Armstrong tried way too hard to swing the pendulum in the other direction to the point of coming off as so entirely biased as to render the book (and any of her books) unworthy of recommendation.

After reading her book (especially the new introduction and the first chapter: 'Muhammad the Enemy', I was amazed at the complete lack of objectivity to the point that it seemed to be deliberate... might I even venture so far as to say 'propaganda'...

I am afraid that the type of people who Mrs. Armstrong is trying to reach who read this book will be no less ignorant and prejudiced than before, except in the other direction...

Her anti-Christian, anti-western bias jump out of every paragraph. Her whitewashing of Muhammad (an admittedly versatile character; at times wise, kind and emulable, and at times cruel, treacherous and entirely inhumane) is also taken to a length that many Muslim apologists will not even go. The problem with Mrs. Armstrong is the problem with the western (and Eastern, read: Al-Jazeera) media at large. Claiming (and acting to be) objective while clearly being a fervent partisan. No, I am not a conspiracy theorist, but for the well-read and informed reader, this book has a stronger bias than most. One example might be the same old tired and mindless comparisons between some 'Christians' somewhere in the world who committed acts of violence with the daily bombardment of news stories that we all get of Islamic violence in (name that country), thus attempting to effectively nuetralize anyone who might dare make a moral judgement regarding such acts (carried out, might I add, in the name of Islam as opposed to in the name of say... Barry or Tom). Another example is the highly innaccurate claim that any verses in the Qur'an (or Haddith or genuine Sirat literture, or statements made by credible scholars and representatives of Islam) which we westerners read as promoting violence or bigotry or sexism, or you name it, are all misinterpreted based on our all-pervasive western ignorance. We are not that dumb Mrs. Armstrong. In presenting historical facts, she is consistantly biased to the point of distortion, but only in one direction. For example, in just the introduction, I was struck by the zinger (there are dozens in just the introduction) toward Christianity with reference to the distingishing mark on clothing that Muslims and Jews were forced to wear while under Christian rule in the Dark Ages of Europe. Shamefully, the claim is true. (Intolerant Westerners! - Poor persecuted Muslims.) But what Mrs. Armstrong fails to mention is that the practice of wearing a distinguishing mark on the clothing clearly originated hundreds of years earlier with Islam, prior to any such utilization by the intolerant and bigoted Western European Christians. In 807, the Abbassid caliph Haroun al- Rashid legislated that Jews were required to wear a tall, conical yellow cap and a yellow belt. In eleventh century Baghadad, Jewish women had to wear one black shoe and one red shoe as well as a small brass bell around their necks. (Clearly, a fashion 'no no' even in eleveth century Baghdad!) This practice was all part of the deliberate humiliation of the dhimminis (unbelievers) under Muslim rule. Men were forced to kneal in the town square as Muslims would whack them on the back of the head in a symbolic gesture of domination prior to collecting from the humiliated the 'Jizya' tax for all non-Muslims. Up until their departure in 1948 in Yemen all Jews were forced to dress like beggars in keeping with their lowly status as dhimminis.

In any case, I'm sure this book will continue to be used by Universities because of it's 'accessibility' but all I can say is, if you want a fully rounded perpective, read Ibn Warraq's (a former Muslim intellectual) book about Muhammad as well. Or Ali Dashti's Twenty three years. It wil take at least two books like this to help swing the pendulum to a more balanced position regarding Muhammad.

And regarding the transparent disdain for Christianity and the West, prejudice and bigotry are not excusable in any quarter. Readers looking for an objective read will not find one here.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good intentions, but ...
I am a history buff so I have attempted to read many of original texts that Karen Armstrong refers to once in a while but I have a feeling that she hasn't really read them directly but probably quotes passages from other western authors. It is also clear that she doesn't have some the basic knowledge of Islam and Arabic. It becomes obvious when she is referring to mahr(dowry) as mahl and so forth.

I nevertheless found the book to be sympathetic in trying to understand and explain about Muhammad in the context of history, religion and our modern secular approach to everything. But here again her sources seem to be mostly western, materialistic, secularists or missionary types. These types of scholars haven't always done a good job of keeping their biases in check.

The plus for this book is that it is not meant for the converted who would prefer Martin Lings. It is also not too polemical like Haykal and it is much easier to read than the original sources like Ibn Ishaq. So I would recommend it for someone who wants an easy introduction to Muhammad's life. The serious student of history should go read the original sources.

I appreciate Karen Armstrong for trying but some serious scholar needs to do a better job of presenting Muhammad to an English speaking Westrerner who is truly open to learning with an open mind.

3-0 out of 5 stars This book is better called ¿Western perception of Muhammad¿.
The book looks at the development of Western knowledge of the Prophet and how this relates to the image of Islam as a religion. It is predominantly based on secondary production of material written in English and therefore suffers from the inherent bias it has tried hard to correct.

This has led to some obvious errors, such as the number of daily Muslem prayers, which is five rather than three. Likewise the prophet was the final messenger from God delivering the final revelations to all mankind, rather than to the Arabs alone. Similarly, Pilgrimage is not an Arab ritual, but a requirement by God (Allaah) started by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Prophet Ismail (Ishmael) before the Arabs even existed. Prophet Muhammad was ordered to restore this act of worship back to being pure to Allaah (God) alone, after pagans filled the Kabaa with idols.

More seriously, the author tried to explain the Prophet actions as thoughtful and planned sequence, which fails to relate to him being a Prophet. Rather than a successful leader or social reformer, the Prophet was simply Allaah's (God's) final messenger who passed the final guidance to mankind, upholding and correcting previous messages. What is great about this Prophet is that he went through the hurdles he faced to fulfil his duty, which is passing the message completely and accurately.

The beauty of the message and the wisdom of the sequence are credit to Allaah (God) alone. There is no point therefore in implying that the Prophet wanted to imitate the Jews by instructing Muslems to pray. He had no intention of his own and the lessons learnt in various parts of his life are those from God (Allaah). Every thing he said or did was the direct order from God (Allaah), from fighting to making peace. Daily prayer is a requirement by God (Allaah) rather than an imitation of Jews.

This pattern, of implied intentions, is repeated throughout the book and is totally untrue.

The book is close to a university dissertation, which makes it a complicated reading for an average reader who may not know much about the Prophet.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Prophet is an opressor of women
According to Fatima Mernissi in Beyond the Veil, the Prophet robbed women of their freedom. Mernissi is a Moslem author who is very honest about the founder of the Islamic faith.

According to Mernissi, Mohamed was a polygamist who married a dozen women. He was also a pedophile. His wife Aisha was 9 years old. He permitted Moslem men to marry four women simultaneously, even though he admitted that it is impossible to be fair to more than one woman.

Also, according to the Koran, and to Moslem Scholars today, a man has the right to beat his wife under some circumstances. I heard it from the mouth of the head of the Department of Fiqh or Jurrisprudence on Al Jazzera.

Like Mernissi, I am a Moslem woman too. There is no doubt that Mohamed was a disaster of historical proportion, if only because his followers are so attached to him today. ... Read more

27. Social Justice in Islam
by Sayyid Qutb, Hamid Algar
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 1889999113
Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
Publisher: Islamic Publications International
Sales Rank: 73150
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Social Justice in Islam" is perhaps the best known work of Sayyib Qutb, a leading figure in the Muslim Brethen of Egypt who was executed by the regime of 'Abd al-Nasr in 1966. Despite the years that have passed since Sayyid Qutb's death, the imprint of his thought on the contemporary Islamic movements of the Arab world remains profound. The Arabic original of "Social Justice in Islam" was first published in 1949, but this book in particular retains its relevance in many respects: the persistence of gross socio-economic inequality in most Muslim societies; the need for viewing Islam as a totality, imperatively demanding comprehensive implementation; and the depiction of the West as a neo-Crusading force. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Extreme Intolerance & Poor Scholarship
Qutb's book is a study in cultural chauvinism, filled with denigration of foreign cultures and religions. In a clash between tradition and modern, Qutb seeks refuge in reactionary rejection of the present and fantasies of some Golden Age that probably never was. He retreats to radical interpretations of the Quran, which he claims are the "original" ones, but which contradict the Quran itself. The Quran calls Jews and Christians, "People of the book". Qutb calls the 'jahili', barbarians. The Quran has five pillars: daily statement, daily prayer, Hajj, Ramadan, charity. Qutb replaces these with his favoirte, "jihad". Mohammed himself calls battle jihad "the small jihad", and prefers the "big jihad" of overcoming ones self. Qutb ignores this totally. So essentially, Qutb replaces the Quran with his own distorted reading of it, based on culture shock and bigotry, and has the audacity to call his own extremists views the "true" Islam. ... Read more

28. Western Muslims and the Future of Islam
by Tariq Ramadan
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 019517111X
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 98427
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers?With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe's leading thinkers and one of Islam's most innovative and important voices. As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslim becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West. While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context. French, English, German, and American Muslims--women as well as men--are reshaping their religion into one that is faithful to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies. Ramadan's goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West. He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western societies. He then shows how these principles can be put to practical use. Ramadan contends that Muslims can-indeed must-be faithful to their principles while participating fully in the civic life of Western secular societies. Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam offers a striking vision of a new Muslim identity, one which rejects once and for all the idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I believe this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It was the first time a scholar elaborates on what it really means to be both Western and Muslim. He tackles just about every issue facing Muslims in the West - and while obvously not everyone will agree with him - he is the first one to really discuss these issues as far as I know.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Advice From a Western Muslim Scholar
Tariq Ramadan offers some practical advice for Muslims living in the West. He begins his discussion by explaining Islamic principles, shariah, and the desire for social justice and the common good. He explains how the old paradigms such as Darul-Islam (the abode of Islam) are no longer workable and states the need for contemporary Muslims to return to the authentic sources (the Qur'an and Hadeeth) in order to build practical models to meet today's environment, rather than to try to patch old, broken models developed by medieval scholars. He addresses many facets of daily life such as education, politics, and economics.

Ramadan's presentation offers Muslims some useful tools in order to begin this effort, but ultimately leaves concrete solutions for individuals and community leaders, leaving the door open to take into account the circumstances unique to each situation.

This is a worth-while read for the contemporary Muslim and non-Muslim alike. ... Read more

29. Onward Muslim Soldiers
by Robert Spencer
list price: $27.95
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Asin: 0895261006
Catlog: Book (2003-09-03)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 21983
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this book the author uncovers the cause of global violence that the established media would rather you ignore. He reveals why the threat of violent jihad is growing daily, despite our recent victory in Iraq. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Militant Islam Exposed
In this book Robert Spencer argues that violence and terrorism are not necessarily out of place for a Muslim. The Koran, Islamic law (Sharia), the example of Muhammad and Islamic history all provide support for these sorts of activities. With a wealth of documentation, the author shows that the concept of jihad (holy war) and dhimmitude (the subjugation of non-Muslim minorities), continues to strongly influence many Muslims today.

Consider the doctrine of jihad. Just what does it mean and involve? Because there is no ultimate central authority in Islam, argues Spencer, disagreement exists as to interpreting the Koran, the weight of tradition (Hadith), and the example of Muhammad. But the Koran (Sura 9:29), Islamic history and jurisprudence all hold that there are three choices for the non-Muslim in a Muslim land: conversion to Islam, dhimmitude, or death. "The goal of jihad is thus the incorporation of non-Muslims into Muslim society, either by conversion or submission."

Koranic injunctions to fight are numerous, as they are in the various collections of Hadith. And Muhammad himself set the example of violent conquest. The idea of complete submission to Islam, even to the point of death, argues Spencer, "remains a vital part of Islamic theology". Thus jihad is very much concerned with the concept of holy war, and even terrorism.

Hand in hand with jihad is the notion of dhimmitude. Non-Muslims in Muslim countries are considered dhimmis, or protected peoples. Such protection however often results in second-class citizenship (and worse) for the minority groups. Various social, political and religious restrictions, along with the mandatory payment of a poll-tax (jizya) effectively spells the gradual liquidation of the minority groups.

Apologists for Islam often claim that these practices may have been true in the past, but are no longer so prevalent. But Spencer amply documents how both jihad and dhimmitude are alive and well in most Muslim nations today.

September 11 was, to a great degree, a logical outcome of the concept of jihad. Some however argue that as the ultimate suicide bombing, Sept. 11 cannot be reconciled with Islam, since suicide is sinful in Islam. But many Muslims defend suicide bombing, arguing that it is not really suicide but martyrdom for Allah, something much praised in the Koran. They insist that the bombers simply use their bodies to kill others, not themselves. And those who are killed while fighting for Allah are promised a one-way ticket to Paradise. Interestingly, in Islam, no other action guarantees one's eternal destiny in Paradise.

A good part of this book documents how radical Islam is at war against not only the West, but moderate Muslims as well. He offers detailed, referenced accounts of how militant Muslims are at work in the West, and how many Western sympathisers have been duped by their words of peace and tolerance. Yes, the Koran does speak of these ideas, but it also contains many verses devoted to violent intolerance.

He documents how Western leftists have been silent on Muslim atrocities, presumably because only America is capable of evil. He details how leftist apologists for radical Islam in the West have distorted the evidence and closed their ears to the facts of history. This attempt to blame America first and justify Muslim jihad are having serious repercussions in the West, says Spencer.

And the truth is, he argues, for the radical Muslim, Islam is at war with the world, and until all the earth is brought under Dar al-Islam (the house, or rule, of Islam), terror, fighting and suicide bombings will continue. That is why the West needs to be ever vigilant, and needs to continue to encourage moderate Islam to gets its own house in order, and disassociate itself entirely from the extremist elements.

While we must do all we can to encourage Muslim moderation, we dare not ignore Muslim extremism. This books helps us to do both, and deserves a wide reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars How Jihad Threatens America and the West
Thank G-d Spencer avoided Middle East Studies Departments. Spencer whose degree is in Religious Studies approaches the problem of Islam from a religious angle, and tries to examine the theology of jihad on the Muslims' own terms. His book is blessedly free of academese and it is not only well-written but a well-organized look at how jihad threatens the West. (Contrary to what reviewer Seth Franzman thinks, Nigeria is neither part of America nor the West).
Daniel Pipes who is a professor of Mid East Studies (but a good guy nonetheless) writes on the book's cover, "To understand the ideological sources of the terrorist enemy, read Robert Spencer's succinct, knowledgeable, and important book, Onward Muslim Soldiers. His systematic survey of such vital topics as radical Islam's aspirations, its unlikely alliance with the far left, and the need to encourage a moderate Islamic alternative are all valuable. But Spencer's signal contribution is his focus on the 'global threat to the West' that so many Western analysts and policymakers persistently refuse to see: jihad, or sacred war for Islam. There is no more important topic for citizens to comprehend."
Anyone who reads both Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer will understand both the politics (Pipes) and the theology (Spencer) of the jihad terrorists who threaten us all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful book
I can't overemphasize how important this book it.

Most people in the USA are so pro-Palestinian that they are oblivious to the dangers of Islam.

What they don't realize, is that after they are done with Israel, the militant Muslims will come after the infidels of the USA.

The biggest secret is that Islam hates the USA.

Read this book and see why.

4-0 out of 5 stars Onward worried readers, finding out the truth
Please look at the person to your left. Now look at the person to your right. And finally, please look in a mirror. All three of you have only three choices. You may convert to Islam, right now please. You may agree to live under the rule of Muslims, with proper infidel penalties. Or you can be killed. Conversion, dhimmitude, or death. Under Islamic Sharia law, the law of the Koran and the Hadiths, those are the only three choices allowed. You may not opt out. This is the central topic of Onward Muslim Soldiers, Robert Spencer's latest study of Islamic history and belief. The topic is jihad.

Spencer's latest work is strong, albeit imperfect in many ways. This is a focused book on jihad, an often-misunderstood word, sometimes deliberately so. It goes to the central question of how well the Islamic world gets along with its neighbors. The verdict of history is grim. Jihad is, whatever else the apologists might say, generally accepted as a struggle against other human beings. There is a concept of greater (or higher) jihad and lesser jihad, with lesser being the warfare and greater being the internal personal struggle. Lately the greater jihad has been stressed by apologists trying to fend off suspicion and anger towards Islam from the West. But historically, it is the lesser jihad that is usually referred to in Muslim writings. Jihad refers to battle against unbelievers, a struggle by Dar al-Islam against Dar-ul-Harb (house of Islam, house of war). Under proper, Koranic theology, these two terms neatly partition the entire world. Westerners did not invent these terms, we learned them. Spencer goes into considerable detail over how, when, and why Muslims have interpreted these ideas over the centuries. The results are not universally bad. There are many Muslims throughout history and today who do not consider it their duty to wage war against unbelievers. But if you'd like to read many accounts of when they have, pick up Onward Muslim Soldiers.

This leads me into some of the problems. Like Spencer's earlier Islam Unveiled, Onward Muslim Soldiers is highly anecdotal, even more so than the earlier work. Particularly in part one we get almost a listing of specific incidents in history (contemporary and older), speeches, and writings covering acts of unneighborliness. But the connecting narrative I found to be weak. It comes off sounding like Spencer is too eager to tell as many horror stories as possible in limited space. However many stories one collects, we're talking about a fourteen hundred year history of now close to one billion believers. A list of events is not sufficient to establish the thesis. Not that I dispute Spencer's main point, far from it. But as a book, this one suffers from a lack (although not total absence) of connecting material. It jumps too fast through topics, and this is really a startling problem considering how narrow the focus of the book is. There's really no new insight to be gained here, only new evidence. As an aside, I'll point out that Spencer includes the seemingly obligatory chapter ranting about Liberalism. Personally I think Liberalism is the natural enemy of Islam, but I'm getting tired of writing about this in every book review on Islam. Suffice to say, Spencer doesn't fail to go off on this subject towards the end.

So while I doubt Spencer will change minds here, he can no doubt reinforce the convictions of people who have bothered to notice the problem. Spencer does point out that if we would just listen to what a great many Muslims, particular religious leaders, are saying then we might realize that there is some pretty serious animosity towards the West emanating from that part of the world. And it is based on religious conviction. I repeat, religious conviction. Islam, with its fundamental and built in concept of jihad, makes it at best very easy and at worst mandatory for Muslims to hate our civilization for being non-Islamic. The root problem is not poverty - if it was then we would expect some more global non-Islamic terrorism. It is not that Islam has been hijacked by frauds. Lacking any central authority, it is true that multiple interpretations of Islam are possible. But, as Spencer has pointed out, the writings and speeches of countless Islamists (a term Spencer avoids, but I'll use it here) over many decades of the Twentieth Century (and earlier ones too) show a consistent use of Islamic religious motivations for jihad (again, meaning warfare) against the West. Spencer's best line: "Khomeini, al-Banna, Qutb, Maududi, Azzam, and other Islamic leaders call on Muslims to subdue all people, by violence if necessary, to obey Allah; and they couch this call in terms that are entirely religious. It is condescending, ethnocentric, and ultimately baseless to insist that this religious motivation is really a cover for something else." (p. 262)

Although, as I've pointed out, Spencer's lack of cohesion make it impossible to say in this book that this interpretation of jihad is universal, or even predominant, the problem clearly does exist in a sizeable portion of the world's Islamic community. And history has shown that Muslims have a hard time getting along with neighboring non-Islamic lands. It again boils down to the three choices. Conversion, submission, or death. Bury your head in the sand about this if you must, but don't expect everyone else to do the same. Jihad is real, and it's a genuine problem. And if you think it's not, I dare you to read even a few chapters here. You might learn something very important about our world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful and honest
Most American's think that Muslim's hate America due to its support of Israel. That could not be farther from the truth. Even if America were not pro-Israel, they still would have the USA.

American's are non-believers and for that, they are infidels. Being an infidel is one of the worst things in Islam.

This is a horrifying book since it is so close to home.
The facts are real.
The Arabs don't deny it.
15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, and they don't even apologize.

Every American should read this book, and then write their congressman to take action against the dangers of Islam. ... Read more

30. Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart
by Hamza Yusuf
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 1929694156
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: Starlatch Press
Sales Rank: 25225
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This exploration of Islamic spirituality delves into the psychological diseases and cures of the heart. Diseases examined include miserliness, envy, hatred, treachery, rancor, malice, ostentation, arrogance, covetousness, lust, and other afflictions that assail people and often control them. The causes and practical cures of these diseases are discussed, offering a penetrating glimpse into how Islam deals with spiritual and psychological problems and demonstrating how all people can benefit from these teachings. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars I can't think of an interesting title.
Sheikh Hamza Yusuf did a 24 tape lecture back in 1999, based on the original work of Sheikh <> called "Purification of the Heart". At the time he promised to provide the translation of the original work, and it seems that this is it.

The work is a compilation of the finite diseases of the heart, and the methods used to cure those diseases. The information is awesome for such short book, and useful for everyone. I would recommend people listen to the audio tapes also, but it is not required.

From my understanding, the book "Prophetic Invocations" is a companion book to this one. ... Read more

31. An English Interpretation of the Holy Quran With Full Arabic Text
by A. Ali Yusuf, A. Yusuf Ali
list price: $19.95
our price: $16.96
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Asin: 9694320003
Catlog: Book (1995-11-08)
Publisher: Lushena Books
Sales Rank: 81440
Average Customer Review: 4.14 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

every endeavour has been made and steps have been taken, as far as humanly possible, to avoid any error in this Holy Quran. In spite of this, there is the likelihood of errors, havig inadvertently been overlooked, to err is human ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars muslima
Peace be upon you.

I would like to share with you my understanding that out of all the translations of the Qur'an into English, Yusuf Ali's is considered the best by not only muslims at large but also those who have very carefully studied the Qur'an (in Arabic of course), and have taught it for years and years. It is taught of being the most straight forward and clear one so far.

I've also read Asad's translation. He is a smart man, no doubt and in fact initially I was very impressed by his translation due to its intellectual approach. However, later I found that he makes certain mistakes regarding the aqida (the basic belief system) e.g., denying the existence of the jinn, and at times he seems to fit the translation of the words of God to the only way he understands them.

In any case, we should keep in mind that an unveiled access to the words of God is only possible by reading the Qur'an, and not its translation (i.e, by reading it in its original Arabic).

Peace be upon you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful translation ....
After the events of September 11th, 2001, I became very interested as a seminary student in learning as much as I could about Islam, since there seemed to be so many untrue rumours about it floating around after these tragic events. First on the list of items that I wanted to purchase was a Qu'ran, to go right to the primary source. I looked at many different traslations to see which would be the most helpful for me as I started to read this important work, and of all the ones I looked at, this one by A. Ali Yusuf was the best.

I cannot comment on the quality of the tranlsation per se because I do not speak Arabic, but I will say that the way this translation is laid out, with the English and Arabic right next to each other, makes for very relaxed and focused reading; just the visual asthetics of Arabic is breathtaking, and the English is organized and simple to work through. A reading plan at the beginning of the text explains the way in which the Qu'ran is usually read over time: a pronunciation guide is also available in front of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
Yusuf Ali's translation of the holy Quran is well received andaccepted by all mainstream Muslims.

In 1997 Amana published a newversion of "The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an" by AbdullahYusuf Ali...

The new edition features Arabic Madinah script facingEnglish text in a newly compiled comprehensive index with revisedcommentary. It is easy to use and I strongly recommend it for allreaders, students, laymen, and scholars.

3-0 out of 5 stars The New American Standard Version for a new age
This version is more accurately the New American Standard Version, analogous to the new versions of the Bible where "man" has been changed to "people", etc. It has been rewritten to suit a newer, gentler version of Islam, and can be used to gain many recruits who are not familiar with the more violent aspects of the beginnings of the faith.

This was a devious move, since the more accurate translations are quite unpalatable in the USA. On the one hand, women will benefit greatly from this new version. On the other hand, the author has not been completely honest about what he has done here. So it is a "mixed bag."

But it's a good strategy because sites like use the more accurate translations in their questioning of the faith, and has caused a lot of doubts within the community. This version will give us a good way to move away from that problem. Some say it's almost like admitting that the Prophet and his earliest followers were wrong about what they thought the Quran said, about killing infidels and troublemakers, but most Americans are not knowledgeable about this anyway.

I give it only 3 stars because Ali has done a foolish thing by including the Arabic text, which contradicts his translation in some places, and also shows some grammatical errors in the original.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great version
Many Muslims have complained that this version does not translate the true meaning of the original Arabic, and softens it for Western ears. Yusuf Ali's misrendering of verses on spuosal discipline is hard to accept, I agree totally. Some even call it blasphemy.

But Friends, be patient. Think. There is a reason for this to be done. If you feed a camel 100 tons of water, he will kick you, but if you give him a small cup of water at a time he will befriend you. In some countries we cannot yet implement "some" verses in Sura 9 (and indeed there are many of those who call themselves Muslims who ignore such) and until then we feed them 2:256, and Ali's version.

Truly, Ali has accomplished in this version what he set out to accomplish, for reasons you will understand later. In time you will see that his departures from the true words were needed for our success. ... Read more

32. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
by Ahmed Rashid
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0300089023
Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
Publisher: Yale Nota Bene
Sales Rank: 54563
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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This is the single best book available on the Taliban, the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Afghanistan responsible for harboring the terrorist Osama bin Laden. Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist who has spent most of his career reporting on the region--he has personally met and interviewed many of the Taliban's shadowy leaders. Taliban was written and published before the massacres of September 11, 2001, yet it is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand the aftermath of that black day. It includes details on how and why the Taliban came to power, the government's oppression of ordinary citizens (especially women), the heroin trade, oil intrigue, and--in a vitally relevant chapter--bin Laden's sinister rise to power. These pages contain stories of mass slaughter, beheadings, and the Taliban's crushing war against freedom: under Mullah Omar, it has banned everything from kite flying to singing and dancing at weddings. Rashid is for the most part an objective reporter, though his rage sometimes (and understandably) comes to the surface: "The Taliban were right, their interpretation of Islam was right, and everything else was wrong and an expression of human weakness and a lack of piety," he notes with sarcasm. He has produced a compelling portrait of modern evil. --John Miller ... Read more

Reviews (120)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Understanding The 911 Devastation
Ahmed Rashid spent over 20 years as a reporter in Pakistan/Afghanistan. He has written a 216 page book filled with facts concerning the history, politics and culture of the Taliban, Terroism and American Oil Companies. Mr Rashid reports in a clear and organized style about events between 1978-1999 in this part of the world in the context of the history of the Middle East. His insights and reporting are both surprising and informative. He covers religious and political groups and factions and sects as only someone who has lived in this part of the world could do. It is amazing how he is able to present a straight-forward and intelligble account of so complex a situation. He deals with international intrigue by American Oil Companies, about the treatment of women, about Pakistan's and Saudi Arabia's support of the Taliban. Each and every chapter of this book contains valuable information to anyone interest in understanding how a small, unknown and uneducated group of religious Islamic extremist could assist in the destruction of the WTC on 911 and threathen the financial security of many Western economies. Turn off CNN, put down the Times and sit down to read a book which will provide an important framework for dealing with the problems we face today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive background to recent events
Anyone who wades through the detail-laden and sometimes turgid prose that comprises *Taliban* will end up far more knowledgeable about Afghanistan and southern Asian politics generally than could possibly result from mere exposure to the usual, highly filtered news sources upon which we usually depend. What's most interesting about *Taliban* is that it is written from a non-Western, and especially non-American point of view. Consequently, the author makes apparent that although the United States has blundered in its policies toward southern Asia, most of the principal causes of the problems in the region have to do with autonomous dynamics and conflicts with lengthy histories that have little or nothing to do with U.S. actions.

Rashid first covers the history and trajectory of the Taliban movement up through 1999 or so, and then circles back to discuss various particular themes related to the rise and reign of this peculiar and in many ways frightening religious movement. These include their draconian and inhumanly strict social agenda (particularly their horrendous treatment of women), the role of the drug trade and smuggling generally in Afghani (and Pakistani) society, the roles of various religious and ethnic factions within the conflicts afflicting the region, the wider set of geopolitical conflicts involving Afghanistan's neighboring nations plus the larger powers such as Russia and the U.S., and the important (and in the context of the post-September 11 war, suspicious) role of oil and gas-related intrigue in the dynamics of the region.

All of these topics are treated carefully and analytically by Rashid, who offers thoughtful criticism of just about all parties involved in the current mess. Being Pakastini himself, he has perhaps the harshest words for his own government(s), who clearly were responsible for the rise of the Taliban beginning in 1994. Rashid places Pakistani support for the Taliban within a broader campaign to increase Pakistan's influence in the region. Unfortunately, as the author points out, the Taliban has ultimately exerted more influence and control over Pakistan's domestic situation than the Pakistanis have been able to exert over Mullah Omar and the rest of the Taliban.

The United States certainly is shown to share in the blame for the current problems afflicting Afghanistan. It is well-known that the anti-Soviet war that began in 1979 was largely supported by the U.S. in proxy fashion through the Pakistani ISI intelligence agency. After the Soviets left in 1989, however, the Americans simply lost interest in the Afghani situation and when civil war and chaos emerged the Americans did virtually nothing to help ameliorate Afghanistan's woes. When the Taliban emerged in 1994 as a "stabilizing influence" for a war-torn nation, the Americans first considered supporting them, partly because it was believed the Taliban might be amenable to overtures by Unocal to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. Only when the Taliban clearly showed its misogynist, barbaric character did the Clinton administration finally begin to condemn them. By that time these "religious students" were already harboring Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda henchmen, thus setting the stage for the events of September 11 and since.

Overall, *Taliban* is a fascinating but certainly depressing tale
of international and interethnic politics at its real-life worst. What emerges is a picture in which every nation, every religious denomination, every economic faction, and every ethnic group apparently acts purely out of short-term self-interest, with virtually no one exhibiting a willingness to respect the bigger, longer term picture or the "greater good." The American bombing campaign to drive the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan may seem heavy-handed and brutal, but within the context of the broader historical picture as portrayed by Rashid, it's apparently merely the latest version of "business as usual" in south Asian politics.

5-0 out of 5 stars How to understand a new enemy....
Taliban I have to say is one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time. Ahmed tells us the history of Afghanistan and how the Taliban came into power through bloody war. Also he tells us how the Taliban came together through the war with the Soviet's, and how they think. The Taliban ran Afghanistan until the U.S. led invasion threw them out of power in that country and established a provisional government ran by President Harmid Karzi. Of course this book came out in 2000 before they were thrown out of power, but the Taliban leaders banned sports, kite-flying, music, they destroyed women's rights forcing them to wear the buqura and not allowing them to attend school, to work, and they put some harsh rules which they go by the Shaiah rule. They wanted to bring back the time where the Prophet Muhammed was still alive; meaning that they wanted to bring Afghanistan back to the 7th century. Now when we look at the Taliban through this book, we wonder 'why would these men do something like this to women and be so damn strict?'. During the time of Muhammed, things were different in the 7th century, but things have changed and they didnt like what they saw in the world with women going to school, working, and being in society.
Women during the time of the Taliban were forced to stay inside the house and could not go out unless they were with a man of blood or their husband. It's sad that these men were so extreme, but under Islam, this is not the way that the prophet Muhammed wanted; he wanted peace and unity with the world, it was the Taliban who wanted to bring back the world to the 7th century, and am I glad we got rid of the Taliban? Yes, but still in Afghanistan; beyond Kabul, women are still treated like crap because of warlords that have rules like the Taliban. Is this book worth reading? Of course, but try to read it with a open mind and understand how these men think.

1-0 out of 5 stars A sleeping pill
Here we have a fascinating subject made dull by bad writing and the Yale Press distaste for copyediting. As with Tim Judah's "The Serbs," a clumsy, academic style overwhelms the text, turning recent history into routine textbook mush. Shame. Like a mediocre grad student, Ahmed Rashid depends on rote listing of names and dates as a means of conveying expertise. Bad move. Anyone with access to Google and a word processor can cut-&-paste the facts. Taking this approach also assumes that readers have an encyclopedic knowledge of Afghanistan. Another mistake. You'll have to excuse my ignorance and audacity, but credible reporters fill in the blanks with more than minute details about the career trajectory of a particular tribe's onetime third-in-command and eventual exile. Detail upon detail is hurled at the reader in this manner without regard for context or relevance to later events. This is painful reading. Do not be fooled by the good reviews. The author needs to go back to school and learn that he inclusion of every imaginable detail does not indicate solid journalism or scholarship, but overcompensation or a small mind's thirst for tenure. Let me make myself absolutely clear-this book represents the worst of historical scholarship and journalism. The author subordinates the reporting of actual events to tedious listing of defunct military cells and which of their members belong to the Taliban. Lengthy quotes from Taliban members reiterating this narrative are employed, AP style, demonstrating the author's wholesale lack of genuine technique yet solid grasp of journalistic padding. Some chapters read like a gossip sheet for terrorists--a Taliban Enquirer, if you will. Feel free to skip around this book as you would any bloated article in The Economist. You can sniff out the relevant information and feel satisfied that only a sucker would suffer through the rest. On a final note, over 100 other people have reviewed this book and most are enthusiastic. My guess is in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 readers wanted info about the Taliban from a more thorough and knowledgeable source than CNN or Fox News. Now that the scare is over, you can restore your critical faculties and call this book what it is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of Afghanistan and the Taliban
This is a great book for anyone hoping to learn about Afghanistan or the Taliban. Starting with a thorough summary of Afghanistan's history and the people who inhabit it, he goes all the way up to the current day and age and gives the reader a very good idea of the main players in the Taliban, where they came from, and what they want.
Ahmed Rashid knows his stuff, he has personal experience with the nation and with many of the people he writes about. I doubt you'll find anyone else with his perspective writing books.
It's a very well written and engaging book. From a purely entertainment standpoint the book also does well, you'll enjoy it.
A lot of misinformation can be found about Afghanistan, the Taliban, and the role of other nations, mainly the US, in their creation, reading this will give you a much better and much more accurate picture. ... Read more

33. Islam and Democracy in the Middle East (Journal of Democracy Book)
by Larry Jay Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, Daniel Brumberg
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
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Asin: 0801878489
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Sales Rank: 223239
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Book Description

Islam and Democracy in the Middle East provides a comprehensive assessment of the origins and staying power of Middle East autocracies, as well as a sober account of the struggles of state reformers and opposition forces to promote civil liberties, competitive elections, and a pluralistic vision of Islam. Drawing on the insights of some twenty-five leading Western and Middle Eastern scholars, the book highlights the dualistic and often contradictory nature of political liberalization. As the case studies of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and Yemen suggest, political liberalization—as managed by the state—not only opens new spaces for debate and criticism, but is also used as a deliberate tactic to avoid genuine democratization. In several chapters on Iran, the authors analyze the benefits and costs of limited reform. There, the electoral successes of President Mohammad Khatami and his reformist allies inspired a new generation but have not as yet undermined the clerical establishment's power. By contrast, in Turkey a party with Islamist roots is moving a discredited system beyond decades of conflict and paralysis, following a stunning election victory in 2002.

Turkey's experience highlights the critical role of political Islam as a force for change. While acknowledging the enduring attraction of radical Islam throughout the Arab world, the concluding chapters carefully assess the recent efforts of Muslim civil society activists and intellectuals to promote a liberal Islamic alternative. Their struggles to affirm the compatibility of Islam and pluralistic democracy face daunting challenges, not least of which is the persistent efforts of many Arab rulers to limit the influence of all advocates of democracy, secular or religious.

Contributors: Shaul Bakhash, George Mason University; Ladan Boroumand, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran; Roya Boroumand, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation; Jason Brownlee, Princeton University; Daniel Brumberg, Georgetown University; Abdelwahab El-Affendi, University of Westminster; Haleh Esfandiari, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Abdou Filali-Ansary, editor of Prologues: revue maghrébine du livre; Michael Herb, Georgia State University; Ramin Jahanbegloo, Aga Khan University, London; Mehrangiz Kar, lawyer, writer, and human rights activist; E. Fuat Keyman, Koç University, Istanbul; Laith Kubba, National Endowment for Democracy; Vickie Langohr, College of the Holy Cross; Bernard Lewis, Princeton University; Russell Lucas, Wake Forest University; Abdeslam Maghraoui, Princeton University; Radwan Masmoudi, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, Washington, D.C.; Ziya Önis; Koç University; Soli Ozel, Bilgi University, Istanbul; William Quandt, University of Virginia; Jillian Schwedler, University of Maryland, College Park; Jean-François Seznec, Columbia University and Georgetown University; Emmanuel Sivan, Hebrew University; Mohamed Talbi, independent scholar; Robin Wright, Los Angeles Times. ... Read more

34. Islam: A Short History
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0679640401
Catlog: Book (2000-08-22)
Publisher: Modern Library
Sales Rank: 36023
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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The picture of Islam as a violent, backward, and insular traditionshould be laid to rest, says Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of Muhammad and A History of God. Delving deepinto Islamic history, Armstrong sketches the arc of a story that begins with thestirring of revelation in an Arab businessman named Muhammad. His concern withthe poor who were being left behind in the blush of his society's new prosperitysets the tone for the tale of a culture that values community as a manifestationof God. Muhammad's ideas catch fire, quickly blossoming into a political empire.As the empire expands and the once fractured Arabs subdue and overtake the vastPersian domain, the story of a community becomes a panoramic drama. With greatdexterity, Armstrong narrates the Sunni-Shi'ite schism, the rise of Persianinfluence, the clashes with Western crusaders and Mongolian conquerors, and thespiritual explorations that traced the route to God. Armstrong brings us throughthe debacle of European colonialism right up to the present day, putting Islamicfundamentalism into context as part of a worldwide phenomenon. Islam: A ShortHistory, like Bruce Lawrence's Shattering the Myth and MarkHuband's Warriors of theProphet, introduces us to a faith that beckons like a minaret to thosewho dare to venture beyond the headlines. --Brian Bruya ... Read more

Reviews (92)

2-0 out of 5 stars I don't accept this apology
In the years soon following the death of Muhammad, the Islamic armies burst out of the Arabian peninsula, shattering most of the armies that stood against them, and soon held dominion over Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. And for what purpose? For the spreading of the holy word of Allah? As wars of forced conversion? No, silly westerner, these wars against non-Muslims were simply to promote community spirit. 'they wanted plunder and a common activity that would preserve the unity of the ummah.' It wasn't about Islam at all. This is the sort of defensive argument you will read about in Armstrong's Islam: A Short History.

Karen Armstrong is an apologist for Islam. Her tone of defensiveness fills the book with far more examples than I could cite here. Although she sometimes concedes that a few impure so-called Muslims occasionally misbehave, the reader gets the distinct impression that they never act in groups larger than three or four at a time. And since this is an apologist book, I will evaluate it as such. It fails.

The book opens with an account of the life of Muhammad. Although I will grant that many of the specific facts cited in the book (and there are a ton of them) are carefully researched, I had the distinct impression that the discussion in the beginning was not presented very critically. It sounds like something out of an Islamic equivalent of Sunday school. No doubt it is the way Muslims prefer to think of him, but is some historical analysis too much to ask for in a history book?

After a short account of his life and the years immediately following, we are treated to a fast paced recitation of leaders and dates and movements within the religion. A fair portion of the remaining book is done is this style. It is impossible, of course, to remember all the details on first reading, but it will present a basic outline of the course of Islamic theology for several centuries.

Periodically Armstrong takes a breathing break and does some editorializing. Thus, we read her extremely brief account of the Crusades with words like 'tragically', 'massacred', and 'aggressive Western intrusion'. Earlier, of course, we learn that though the Muslims were stopped by Charles Martel from invading France in 732 from their recent conquest in Spain, it turns out that they didn't really want Europe anyway because the weather was so bad. I guess they changed their minds when the Ottomans invaded the Balkans and went as far as Vienna, where I understand the sun shines three hundred days a year. And the jihad under Selim I (1467-1520) is called 'phenomenally successful', even though it was also directed at Syria and Egypt, just like the Crusades. Am I being petty? The book is full of these, some not so glaring, some worse, but this forum does have a word count limitation.

The last section is about contemporary times. As I expected by the time I reached it, it was a laundry list of denials about the Islamic world's hatred of the West. Sometimes she seems to be simultaneously saying that they don't hate us, and besides, they have good reason to so don't be so surprised. She cites the Soviet Union as an example of how enlightened societies are not always peaceful. Hello? Who called the USSR enlightened? She points out that the non-Islamist government of Iran in the twenties and thirties had soldiers rip veils off women and cut them up (the veils) with bayonets. She makes no mention of what Khomeini's rule was like, or how people suffered at the hands of the religious police, but reminds us only of how Khomeini deviated from 'true' Islam. In the end, one gets the impression that we should judge a religion only by the actions of a few thousand followers in the time of Muhammad and not by the billions that have followed. This seems to be a common attitude in many religions, and Armstrong is no exception.

I bought this book knowing full well that I would probably get an apologist's view of Islam. I really was hoping that she would make some sort of dispassionate argument that explained why Islam is seen so poorly in the West (if it is, but I'm not sure that's really the case). I deliberately read it before some of the harsher books I ordered to give it the full benefit of the doubt. It wasn't as bad as it might have been, but even if it is really her goal only to clear up misconceptions, she has failed. I give the book credit for apparently exhaustively researched facts and data, but in tone and omission I simply cannot recommend this book to anyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Goes down easy...
Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God, writes well. She has a gift with words and a style that eases the reader through very difficult material.

I was highly enthused when I first got hold of this book. Like her other books, it is easy to read and highly engaging. She summarizes a very complex history nicely and covers major points of this history in encapsulated prose. If you are looking for a good overview of their history this is a great place to start.

Now for the bad news. She, in attempting to make the book palatable and not bogged down in theology and the 'warts and all' of historical detail, only skims the surface. I was left wondering what went wrong with Islam. If the view of Islam presented here is the 'true' Islam, how do we grapple with what it has become (at least its presentation in the more popular Western media outlets)? This book does not seek to answer those questions. Some have accused her of 'whitewashing' Islam's history. I suppose we must look at her intent. I believe she has attempted to write a good entry-level book in order to engage the reader to the positives rather than the negatives (which are much too easy to find) in order to even desire to understand it rather than attack it outright. In this she has succeeded quite well.

If you wish to understand the deeper meanings and varied histories of Islam's history, you may start here but do not be fooled. This book only scratches the surface.

1-0 out of 5 stars A dishonest account
To see why the author is not truthful about Islam, read Irshad Manji, The Trouble with Islam. Manji is very honest about her faith, and is at the same time, loyal to the faith.

Manji admits that the Prophet of Islam is an opressor of women. She admits that the Koran has Antisemitic diatribes, and is full of contradictions. Unlike Armstrong, she is honest.

3-0 out of 5 stars Islam and democracy: an imposible goal?
Other reviewers have noticed, better than me, the flaws of the book, regarding the consistency of it - is not all only history -.

My point is the historical evolution of the arab political states. The review Ms. Armstrong makes shows that only in the XXth century arab nations tried democracy as a way of goverment, but, as Ms. Armstrong notes, the western countries create setbacks when the results of the elections don't please them (the sad example of France foreign policy and Algeria and Tunisia in the mid nineties).

I think that the future of the region and of their relations towards western countries will depend deeply on the acceptance, by the western leaders, that the region and their people need to follow their own history of mistakes and learning, and still they do that way, is right they have enough freedom to develop their very particular ways of political organization. The western modernization the region needs is the western modernization their people could accept, at their own pace. I have the feeling the besides all our kind manners and politically right words, the western political elites think like Mr. Belusconi,head of italian goverment: Our culture is superior. That systematic underestimation of a just different way of being and acting towards life and other people should produce only troubles. And it does.

Islam and democracy is a posible goal only if the western world respects more the arab world than before, at the same time they cooperate together as equal partners. Other ways - like imposing "our" standards, with no regard to the history of the countries and their colective values - produce the present that we live now and that we watch at TV news.

The western world is part of the problems of the arab world. And fortunately, an active part of their solutions too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Karen Armstrong has no hypocrisy
To the people who gave low stars on this great book, please read the following (not from Quran though):
"When you march up to attack a city, first offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to your terms of peace and opens its gates to you, all the people to be found in it shall serve you in forced labor. But if it refuses to make peace with you and instead offers you battle ... put every male in it to the sword. But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly destroy them; (Deuteronomy 20:10-17).

"The Lord said to Moses, "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people." So Moses said to the people, "Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the Lord's vengeance on them. They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. "Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. "They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the Lord in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the Lord's people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man....(Read the rest in Old Testament Numbers 31)

During the Bosnia war in 1992, the Christain Serbs did exactly the same to the Bosnian Muslims. Tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslim women were brutally raped (as young as six years old child to as old as 60 years old woman) and almost 200,000 people died. The Christian Serbs were following the bible word by word.

Those who think it was only Muslims who committed atrocities in the past, the following is a list for them to review:

1. Crusaders raped and murdered millions in the middle east for two centuries. They not only attacked the Muslims and the Jews, also the local Arab Christians. To them and their descendants even the Arab Christians are bad.

2. The Europeans brutally terrorized and colonized the whole world for the last five centuries- Africa, Asia, Latin America, and even America by decimating the native Indians (even by deliberately spreading germs). They committed untold atrocities in many parts. Ya! Muslims sould not have been in Europe at all!

3. Spanish inquisition left not even a single Muslims or Jews in Spain. Many were murdered, driven away to North Africa, and forcefully converted to Christianity. Have you guys heard of conversos, matamoros? How many Christians were living in Spain under the Moors? Ask your conscience.

4. 2,000 Muslim women and children were brutally gang-raped for seven days and later murdered by the Lebanese Christians which was permitted by then Israeli defense minister Ariel Sharon in Shattila Shabra refugee camp.

5. 1 million tutsis were brutally murdered by their Christian brethren in Rwanda in just a month!

The list will go on forever. Bottom line is getting rid of hypocrisy is very difficult process. It needs an open unbiased mind to start. ... Read more

35. The Illuminated Rumi
list price: $30.00
our price: $18.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767900022
Catlog: Book (1997-10-13)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 12123
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings...

In the mid-thirteenth century, in a dusty marketplace in Konya, Turkey, a city where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist travelers mingled, Jelaluddin Rumi, a popular philosopher and scholar, met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish.Their meeting forever altered the course of Rumi's life and influenced the mystical evolution of the planet.The bond they formed was everlasting--a powerful transcendent friendship that would flow through Rumi as some of the world's best-loved ecstatic poetry.

Rumi's passionate, playful poems find and celebrate sacred life in everyday existence.They speak across all traditions, to all peoples, and today his relevance and popularity continue to grow.In The Illuminated Rumi, Coleman Barks, widely regarded as the world's premier translator of Rumi's writings, presents some of his most brilliant work, including many new translations.To complement Rumi's universal vision, Michael Green has worked the ancient art of illumination into a new, visually stunning form that joins typography, original art, old masters, photographs, and prints with sacred images from around the world.

The Illuminated Rumi is a truly groundbreaking collaboration that interweaves word and image: a magnificent meeting of ancient tradition and modern interpretation that uniquely captures the spiritual wealth of Rumi's teachings.Coleman Barks's wise and witty commentary, together with Michael Green's art, makes this a classic guide to the life of the soul for a whole new generation of seekers. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sacred art for our time meets Greatest poet of all time
This is an incredible journey into the most humanly rendered exploration of what it means to be surrendered/searching/dancing with the great mystery. Rumi is--what?-- a fully enlightened mystical poet who somehow speaks through Coleman Barks right to our ragged twentieth century hearts; The wonderful art takes it into a realm beyond words. Are there prints available of his work? Should be.

5-0 out of 5 stars a wonderful book
This translation is better then other translations of Rumi that I have read. I have read this book several times and each time I discover something that I haven't seen befor. I would recomend this book highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book
This is a truly beautiful book - the artwork laid out with the poems is masterful. Its far more than just a book of terrific poetry - which it is by the way! I don't know how these poems read in their original language and forgive me but in this case that doesn't even matter - the writings represented here are beautifully written. I'm so glad I bought it. Its a real joy to read and contemplate.

5-0 out of 5 stars A doorway to erternity flickered open.And Rumi........
From beginning to end a true masterpiece. Always acurate and ever so gentle,pushing the boundaries of language and spirit. To slowly and gracfully unravell this oral poetry is the hardest of tasks. The translations in this book evolve with the silent tongue of the reader,eloquent,reading the reader. Rumi,shams,mean spirited roadhouses and the faint shimmer of a 13th century mystic pointing towards your spirit.Classic and captivating pictures interweave with prose effortlessly true. Thankyou.................

4-0 out of 5 stars Illuminated Rumi
I find some of the other rather pedantic reviews a bit troubling. I can, of course, appreciate that those who are more knowledgable about Sufism in general, and Rumi in specific, might be disappointed in what some obviously consider a lack of credentials on Mr. Barks part; however, as a relative newcomer to Sufism and the works of Rumi, I must say that this is an excellent place to start. No, perhaps the translation is not exact, but the combination of the magnificent illuminations, and the undeniable strengh and power of Rumi's poetry will move many newcomers like myself to do further, more in depth research and hopefully capture the true essence of the message. And isn't that the point? Start the neophytes slowly, so as not to overwhelm them; intrigue them, in order to guide them. Why else would I be here? ... Read more

36. Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations
by Michael Anthony Sells, Michael Sells
list price: $21.95
our price: $17.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883991269
Catlog: Book (1999-11-15)
Publisher: White Cloud Press
Sales Rank: 52018
Average Customer Review: 3.66 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Approaching the Qu'rn is a translation of the early suras-the short, hymnic chapters at the end of the book. A major event in religious publishing, this book captures the complexity, power and poetry of the early suras and the majesty and intimacy of the distinctive Qu'rnic voice.

These early revelations to Muhammad involve little of the political and legal detail found in the suras of his later career. Here they speak directly to every human being, regardless of religious confession or cultural background. Approaching the Qu'rn is also designed to be as accessible as possible, to offer the full lyric and literary experience to readers: Opposite each sura is a short commentary that explores some of the subtleties and context of the Qu'rnic passages; an annotated glossary explains key Qu'rnic concepts and Arabic terms with English translations; there is even a compact disc of recordings by renowned Qu'rnic reciters chanting the early suras. ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise
I bought this book because of the controversy surrounding it at the University of North Carolina. I did not expect to learn much since I was raised a Muslim and have read the Quran in Arabic and English. To my surprise, Michael Sells' "Approaching the Quran" has unveiled a very differnt way of understanding it. He included so much context and history to which I was oblivious. Things that I took for granted in Arabic has become so clear and gained deeper meaning with Sells' translation.

I defenitely recommend this book to any non-Arabic (and Arabic-speaking) person who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the main messages of the Quran and Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative & painstaking in his attempts to help readers
I didn't really know what I would think of this book given the controversy on both sides. Those against the book (& against this being "required" reading at Univ of NC), are vehement in their criticism. Those who seem to appreciate the content of this book gave good reasons why. I wanted to see for myself whether the criticism was valid.

The author is clearly trying to give readers the tools needed to understand the Qur'an, rather than preaching or analyzing the entire book. Just as with biblical studies, one book cannot explain an entire sacred scripture, but can only focus on certain aspects. (And just as with bible studies, the numerous verses discussing, even condoning and instructing, violence are not the central focus when learning about the bible.)
Those who have studied the holy scriptures of the 3 major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and who are not prejudiced against Islam will appreciate the commonality of the verses of love, peace and goodwill found in all the sacred texts.

This book is a good source to help people who truly want to understand how to read the Qur'an so they can see the same divine truths spoken of in each of those religions.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best way to be introduced to the Qur'an
So many non-Muslims have the idea that the Qur'an is just a dry book of laws, with little or no poetic value. But most of the time, that's because they're reading it backwards! The traditional ordering of the Qur'an puts the earlier, shorter and more spiritual chapters towards end (near chapter 114). If you read from the beginning, you see the long legalist chapters first, and the effect is similar to opening the Bible at Leviticus or Deuteronomy and reading through the old Israelite legal codes.

Michael Sells solves this problem by concentrating on the shorter, earlier revelations. Since these are the first ones any young Muslim would be exposed to, it successfully gives readers the closest thing possible to a "natural" acquaintance with the Muslim scripture.

5-0 out of 5 stars I highly recommend this book as your Quran primer.
I am not a Muslim but have been married to a Muslim for over twenty years. I have done a lot of reading on Islam and I found Michael Sells approach new and exciting and very valid in its attempt to teach the Quran more like the Muslim world learns it. I would like to thank him for opening my eyes to many different perspectives on the Quran.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb work
Michael Sells does a terrific job in giving context and meaning to some of the most poetic chapters of the Quran (early surahs). While some people are upset that he leaves out the later chapters, you have to realize that many of those later chapters are NOT poetic. The Quran is divided into two types of chapters. One set referring to historical events, the other set dealing with clear religious principles. Unfortunately many right wingers, and fanatical muslims alike look to the surahs that deal with historical events as somehow justifying terror. Michael Sells tries to give the reader some insight into why the literature of the Quran has such a strong resonance with both muslims and non-muslims alike. For him to center a book on this aspect of the Quran is truly an accomplishment, and will hopefully launch further studies into perhaps the strongest appeal of the Quran: its language. ... Read more

37. Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in a Modern Muslim Society
by Fatima Mernissi
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.95
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Asin: 0253204232
Catlog: Book (1987-04-01)
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Sales Rank: 59641
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very compelling, just a bit too academic
This book is like going through someone else's medicine cabinet. A fascinating look into the homes and bedrooms of the Middle East from a scholarly feminist perspective. The only problem is, it's a bit too scholarly to be a really quick and concise read. Still, Well worth buying.

5-0 out of 5 stars A much needed book
Excellent book on the female condition in many Muslim societies. ... More books like this need to be written to stimulate debate and hopefully change.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Study in Male-Female Relations in the MidEast
The topic of male-female dynamics in Muslim society is one of the main issues covered in the book, Beyond the Veil, by Fatima Mernissi. Mernissi covers a wide range of categories, all of which pertain to the female position in a Muslim society. Though much of the data comes from Moroccan society, the general subject matter attempts to describe all Muslim society. This book has two parts, one of which focuses on the traditional view of women, and the second, which focuses on a more modern and changing view of women¡¯s place in society. A fascinating look at women in Muslim society, this book pushes the reader to question previous biases, and take a look at women in a Muslim society from a Muslim perspective.
Beyond the Veil starts out by contrasting views on female sexuality. One view is that of Imman Ghazali, and the other view is that of Sigmund Freud. Ghazali claims that the female sexuality is active, and equal to the male sexuality. Therefore, females need to be restrained in order to prevent fitna (chaos) in the social order. Freud, on the other hand, sees female sexuality as passive, and therefore masochistic. Ironically, both theories attempt to prove the same point: that women, as uncontrollable beings, are destructive to the social order and need to be restrained.
Part two of the book starts out with interviews and data collection from Moroccan society. This information is mostly focused around sexual desegregation. Mernissi¡¯s conclusions basically say that the traditional/older generation is more sexually desegregated, while the more modernized/younger generation encourages desegregation. She also points out that rural societies are more sexually traditional than urban societies.
This book reveals much about Muslim society in a simplified manner. Mernissi draws her writings from various sources, including historical viewpoints, other writers on the topic, and interviews with Muslim women.
Beyond the Veil is not simply a one-dimensional view of male-female dynamics in Muslim society. The book covers all aspects of relationships between males and females, as well as the various positions women can take in a Muslim society. Mernissi allows for the reader to look three-dimensionally at the Muslim society, especially in regards to sexual space boundaries and desegregation, and form his or her personal opinion about the topic. Mernissi makes it somewhat simpler for the reader to understand the goals of the book by outlining the various dimensions as well as writing conclusions that draw from the section but also incorporate other ideas.
The objective of this book, explaining male-female dynamics in Muslim society, was quite clear and the writings of Mernissi certainly operationalized that objective. A non-fiction book that relied heavily on breakdowns of various interviews, Beyond the Veil, was more analytic than descriptive. However, this was an extremely effective way of scrutinizing the subject at hand. The information provided in the book would be particularly significant to those who are not familiar with Muslim society and wish to learn more about the ways in which males and females interact in this society.
Beyond the Veil explained many things to me, including the reasons behind female desegregation in Muslim society. Mernissi is thorough in her dissertation of male-female dynamics, and encourages the reader to form his or her own opinions about the topic. Beyond the Veil is a captivating look at the past, present, and future positions of women in a deeply complex Muslim society.

2-0 out of 5 stars Feminism against Islam
Book is in two parts . First section is women in Arabia before and after Islam, second part women in Morocco and some expantion into other muslim contries. Basically argument goes that women did not have any respect before and during Islam including during Prophet Mohammed (pbh) and only now they started to get some respect. I gues the argumet goes what is Islam and what is women's position in Islam. If you value women's position from Western standards that is a wrong stick to measure with. I was also dissapointed the way she was talking about Prophet Mohammed (pbh) with lack of respect.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sexuality within Islam
I thought this book was excellent and very informative concerning the issues Muslim women must deal with and the way in which their sexuality is viewed by themselves and other members of the Islamic community. ... Read more

38. The Sufi Path of Knowledge
by William C. Chittick
list price: $32.95
our price: $29.95
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Asin: 0887068855
Catlog: Book (1989-07-01)
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Sales Rank: 144591
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Work on Ibn Arabi's Non-Dualistic Cosmology to Date
Ibn Arabi is not easy reading. By far the best and most comprehensive book to date is this one -- perhaps Chittick's most important work yet. SPK is primarily a collection of translations from various sections of Ibn Arabi's greatest work, the Meccan Revelations, and is structured more as an anthology. Chittick puts in his own commentary here and there which helps decode the complexity of some of the passages. But for the most part, he allows Ibn Arabi to speak for himself.

Although the book is long, you don't have to read all of it. Chittick is not arguing a thesis, but presenting Ibn Arabi's view on a variety of subjects which are fundamentally rooted in a non-dualistic cosmology where only Allah 'is'. You can read just the introduction of the work (where Chittick gives a bare-bones sketch of the Shaikh's worldview) and then start plugging away from the various passages at your own convenience.

In my opinion, SPK is better than Chittick's more recent THE SELF DISCLOSURE OF GOD which is too technical and requires quite a bit of familiarity with Ibn Arabi in particular and sufism in general.

5-0 out of 5 stars An expository not a deconstructive work
Chittick allows Ibn Arabi to speak for himself without attemptiong to fit him within a philosophical paradigm like other authors (Nicholson, Affifi). This itself is a landmark step in oriental studies.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book to read
This is a great book for any one who is interested in true no nonsense spiritualism. Ibne Arabi as always proves himself a true master of this path. I would like to mention a couple of points which has left me confused as to the real position of this great master. He puts a great deal of emphasis on the fact that a true "traveler" is always mindful of the " Sacred Laws" of Islam and never for a moment undermines them. One might ask the question as to what is "Sacred Laws" and what are the sources of them. Quran rarely mentions anything about the Laws in a detailed fashion and those hadiths left from Prophet are uncertain , and more importantly there has never been much agreement about what the Sacred Laws are among the jurisprudence. Four canonical schools among the jurisprudence were established , at the expense of other schools, due to the fact that there was almost a chaos due to many schools of Law each with their own version of "Sacred Laws". So it seems that "Sacred Law" is more or less in the eye of the beholder and very much " relative". Moreover it is very confusing that Ibne Arabi should accept the very notion of " four cannonical" schools of law randomly picked by the ruler of the time. An indication that Ibne Arabi perhaps avoided any topic which would have brought him face to face with the political powers of his time. The second confusing aspect of Ibne Arabi is his almost total silence in regards to socio-political aspect of Islam and Islamic society. He never touches upon the early history of Islam and the shortcoming of the "Companions" of the Prophet as though he either sees no problem with that history at all or he is afraid of a backlash. It is unlikely that a man like Ibne Arabi would give a blank check and a money back guaranty entry to heaven to Mohammad's companions irrespective of their socio-political behavior. Why is it so important that we put the companions of the prophet under a microscope? It is because their behavior is particularly relevant to all moslems since according to a hadith attributed to Muhammad " my companion are like stars, any which one one follows is lead to truth". Does Ibne Arabi accept this hadith? How does he , or better yet Prophet Muhammad himself, justify the turmoil and killings and political injustice which was exercised by companions after Mohammed's death? Moslems rarely touch upon this aspect of their history and almost never discuss it and Ibne Arabi, unfortunatly, seems to fall under the same category.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best, yet difficult to grasp...
This book is one of the best I've ever come across. Subject matter is not at all easy to grasp even with background in Islamic studies. After all 17000 pages of "Meccan Openings" or as Ibn al-Arabi named it, "Futuhaat al-Makkiyah" cannot be condensed in a volume of 500 or so pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gives more answers to deep questions than any other book,
The author has written a number of balanced, penetrating books revealing the world of the religious masters of the Near East of 700 years ago. Willaim Chittick, Professor of Islamic Studys at SUNY Stoney Brook is unique in the English speaking world in his training in these topics; and in the synthesis and scope he provides. The Sufi Path of Knowledge is an expertly and lovingly considered condensation of a work that in it's Arabic original runs over 10,000 pages. Ibn Arabi, along with Al Ghazali and Rumi, was the greatest mystic of the Islamic religion. This book provides more insight on man's nature, the nature of his relationship to the world and his creator, the world of angels and dreams and deep awakening, and the nature of being than any other book I know. Overwhelming ... Read more

39. The Koran (Penguin Classics)
by N. J. Dawood
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
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Asin: 0140445587
Catlog: Book (2000-07-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 39078
Average Customer Review: 2.58 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Important Read
I had no real interest in Islam until 9/11, after which I picked up and read Islam: The Straigh Path by John Esposito. I then did an independent study of Sufism, which is what sparked my interest in Islam enough to read The Koran, its central text.

Although I cannot comment on the other reviewers' differing views on the accuracy of this translation, I can write that this translation does convey something of the thunderous power that Muhammad's earliest listeners must have heard and experienced when these suras (speeches - the Koran is a collection of 114 speeches given by Muhammad, which Muslims believe were revelations given to him by God) were first delivered.

There are a number of things that one could mention content-wise, as each sura deals with something slightly different. God, women, human relationships, one's relationship to the non-believing world, Judaism, Christianity, and Arabic paganism are all touched upon in the Koran (along with other topics). It reads much like the Bible at points, and many of the more familiar Biblical stories are here, along with extra-Biblical legends. The Koran really isn't a bizarre religious text, but very much belongs to the genealogy of monotheistic, prophetic writings.

One of the things that I really liked about this particular translation was the way that Dawood cross-referenced relevant Biblical texts from both the Tanak/Old Testament and the New Testament. The footnotes detailing Arabic pagan practice were also helpful, as were the footnotes giving basic historical information. One certainly gets a feel for where the Koran was coming from and who it was going to when it was first delivered.

In reading this, it is worth reflecting on how a passage can lend itself to multiple interpretations. There are very few passages in the Koran that make any mention of war, and far more passages that assert that one should leave judgment to God. Yet, in our own time, these passages on war seem to be used - in some circles, at least - far more often than the passages that counsel one to merely give warning and leave the rest to God.

I think that the Koran is worth reading, especially given the current socio-political climate and I found this particular translation to be helpful due to Dawood's many footnotes. Regardless of the translation you end up buying, at least check this one out as it will give you an important insight into the world of the early Muslims, which continues to shape our world today.

4-0 out of 5 stars More by way of introduction needed
I am not familiar with other translations. I read this translation twice; once some years ago, and again recently. Having done some other reading in the meantime, my reaction was different the second time.
One thing that strikes me is that, in the edition I've looked at, the order of the chapters is changed by the translator to appeal more to the literary tastes of western readers. My impression is that later edition(s) by Dawood may have the original order restored.
The introduction is very short, and deals very little with early Muslim history. A very short chronology of the prophet's life is included, but contains some surprizing entries, such as Dawood's statement that, in the massacre of one of the Jewish clans in Medina, only one man saved his life by converting. I cannot recall another historian who has suggested that the massacre was religious in nature. My understanding is that its origins were political, in the war between Mecca and Medina. (Most all western writers seem to agree on the deplorable nature of the event.) Dawood also states here that the Jews of Khaybar were put to the sword. J. J. Saunders, by contrast, suggests that these were treated with comparative moderation, allowed to work their former lands as tenants, but deprived of ownership thereof.
The expansion of Muslim military power in Arabia during the time of the Koran's composition (a period of over twenty years) was characterized by numerous battles with animist-led armies (those of Mecca and the desert). To a considerable extent, Muslims fought defensive battles at this time, but the precise extent to which the fighting was defensive is a matter of interpretation. See J. J. Saunder's History of Medieval Islam, Karen Armstrong's Islam, Desmond Stewart's early Islam, Cecil Roth's Short History of the Jewish People, and Chaim Potok's Wanderings for more details (though occasionally contradictory).
The Koran often refers to fighting with unbelievers, which I suspect may be a commentary on actual battles with animists, after the fact, rather than a call to attack, without provokation. The Koran states twice that a Muslim may not attack another who has not attacked him first. Its (far more frequent) references to fighting "unbelievers" may, I assume, be a reference to the fact that the overwheliming majority of Mohammed's enemies were animists rather than Christians and Jews. My bias is to interpret these matters as a liberal, and I am far from an understanding of them.
One of the most outstanding calls in the book is to revere the Torah and the Gospel. So great is this repeated praise, that it could easily sound like a counsel to read these books, though perhaps this is a false impression.
In short, I see a great need to approach this book with some historical background; this is not provided to as great an extent as it could have been by the translator.
Sopme readers may be surprized that Muslims do not regard this book as containing the teachings of Mohammed himself. These, they suggest, are contained in another book, called the Hadith, of which there are numerous versions.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not so great
Dawood's translation was ok, but as I continued studying the Quran more and more, comparing different translations of it, Dawood goes by the progressive translation. But alas, it finally dawned on me that many muslims of today do not follow the Quran, but mostly rely on Hadith and Sunnah to explain the book! That is why Islam is so misunderstood today. Their own innovations.. It is sad but true, and Dawood also has come to rely on these made-up rules by scholars to explain the Quran in his footnotes. I have stoppped reading his Quran and have gotten the best translated Quran that I know of, by Dr. Khalifa. And it doesn't hurt to continue comparing translations, there is much one can learn by doing so.

1-0 out of 5 stars horrible translation
i am a muslim myself. I have read the 'real' Koran several times and have much of it memorized. Muslims around the world take pride in the fact that the Koran can never be really translated, that its that unique. Well now i know they have a point. It's like a translation of a fine work of poetry. It simply can not capture the true beauty or depth of the Koran. I have read several other arabic books translated in english in both languages and i can assure you that those translations are fine, they manage to capture the beauty that is portrayed. The Koran is a magnificent holy book, unfortunately this translation gives it a poor image and does not understand what the Koran really says. I would love the rest of the world to read and understand the beauty of the Koran, but so far, the only way to do do is to read it in its original text.

5-0 out of 5 stars In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful
As an Albanian Kosovar, first of all I am an European then a Muslim so nothing like middle-east people - a fact that makes me think that we're more devoted to God then them because in comparison with them we don't do bad things in the name of God and then claim false excuses as some horrible so-called muslims do. I mean according to the Koran I've read people like those who we see in the news will swallow fires into their bellies because they are evil and they just want to justify their ugly deeds by the Holy Book Koran. That's such a crime and I wish people like that all get hugged by the long and unescapable arms of LAW in this life as in the other life they will surely belong to hell for their evil actions against a peaceful and civilised world.
The proof that Koran isn't what the terrorists claim is that since I've read it I've become a different person. I was empathic,peace loving person, good doer to anyone no matter rich or poor, ugly or beautiful - now I am more empathic, and a better person than I ever was and my love for people regardless their religion or beliefs is stronger than ever before. Before I was terrified by the thunder now after I've read the Koran I don't close the curtains and hide from the lightning. I praise God for that and I find a tremendous joy seeing it. Then, I used to get disguisted by almost everything, now I don't make funny faces when I see someone eating lemon like an apple. I have been blessed in so many ways since I've read the Koran.
The Koran is a book of God, so anyone who reads it and understands it as it is not as you would want it to be - will find an enormous joy in life just as I did.
Before I give you some sayings that I took from Koran, I'd like to say that the translation wasn't that bad as some people claimed. "Man are impatient" - says God so perhaps that was the reason why they were so fast with their judgements.
"God does not love evil doers" - 3:51
"Speak for Justice even if it affects your own kinsmen" 6:149
"Help one another in what is good and pious not in what is wicked and sinful" 5:1
"God desires no injustice in mankind" 3:109
Basically, Koran is filled with beautiful and extremely smart saying such as those that I have mentioned...therefore Koran is a delight to the people who feel they have gaps in their lives.
Enjoy ... Read more

40. Daughters of Another Path: Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam
by Carol L. Anway
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.86
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Asin: 0964716909
Catlog: Book (1995-12-01)
Publisher: Yawna Publications
Sales Rank: 91471
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Quite What I Expected...
When I purchased this book, I was surprised to find that it read more as a personal account of one woman's struggle to come to terms with her daughter's conversion to Islam from Christianity, then as a collection of essays by Islamic women about why they chose to convert. While this aspect of the book exists, I found the excerpted nature of the material, along with the author's piecemeal (and rather non-committal) commentary to leave me flat, wishing for more details about the individual Muslim women and their stories. This book is interesting, but not compelling, and I would recommend it more for people facing the same situation as the author -- committed Christians who are trying to come to terms with a loved one's conversion to the Islamic faith -- than I would to anyone striving to gain a deep understanding of what Islam means to those who have converted.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW
Oh, I loved this book so much. This was not shocking or filled with cruelity like many of the other ones about Islam by women writers are. Even though I LOVE books that are exciting and mysterious and filled with terror etc, this book was one I could believe in every word.

I am so glad you wrote this to show the calmer more beautiful side of ISLAM. I guess though that if Muslim women wrote stories about Christian Crusaders, murdering and plundering and there was no books to show the other side that people would believe only the bad.

Anyway all the Muslim books I have read either talks about Murders and Mayhem or Racial stuff. In this book, it talked about maybe the reality more than the shocking stuff.

Still although I love a bad ending, this book made me cry for the mom and for the daughter as they went through many trials that not only brought them closer but taught many valuable lessons about jumping to conclusions.

I love it! My little library of books about Islam and Muslims is finally getting some good ones in it too. LOL

I have to go. My time is up on this computer or I'd keep telling you more that I liked in this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A book I'd like to give my mom
One review called this book "SAD", another "INACCURATE" and I think what is truly sad and inaccurate is the attitude that these reviewers displayed. It is clear to me that the problem they have is not with this book but with the religion.

The point of this book is to show how families of women who converted to Islam have been affected by their daughters' choices. It is not meant to justify or criticize these choices - just to present them as food for thought and discussion. I think it is the author's hope that her book will open doors of understanding between those daughters and their families so that they can do what families do best - give each other unconditional love and support.

A particular strength of this book is that the women who responded to the survey represent a broad sample of women converts to Islam. I think this is an important contribution because it helps to break the stereotype that women converting to Islam do it only because of their husband's coercion or because they are "lost souls". The book shows that between the two extremes there are many intelligent and open-minded women who have independently chosen the path of Islam.

The only reason I did not give this book 5 stars is because I felt there could have been more input from Muslim women in the *analysis* of the responses. At times it felt like the book was kind of a cut and paste job, with the author's comments here and there.

I think it would also have been a better book had Anway gotten a broader range of input from Islamic scholars on the doctrinal information that she included. I felt that she presented Islam as having a rather narrow/definitive system of beliefs - and those familiar with Islam know that there is a great deal of variation among the scholars and the believers. In fact, the responses to her survey clearly show that the "other path" chosen by these women is not one path, but many paths going in the same direction.

1-0 out of 5 stars not accurate
Odd how this book doesnt tell the truth abotu Hajib and the restrictions put on women in islam. For instance nowhere in this book is it discussed that the Koran encoruages men to beat their wives and that women are not permitted in Mecca or permitted to leave the house without the permission of a man or to be alone with an unrelated man. This book is simply a false text simed at converting women by telling only the prettiest and best picture.

Seth J. Frantzman

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for the families of female Muslim converts
This is a great book for families that are dealing with the hardships of a relative converting to Islam. Because of misconceptions about Islam, the conversion process can be diffucult, especially for those who think that Islam in practice is like the film, Not Without My Daughter. It gives a glimpse into the lives of Muslim female converts who are rendered silent by the media. They speak for themselves and articulate the choice to make Islam a part of their lives. ... Read more

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