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141. The Distinguished Jurist's Primer
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142. The Secret of Secrets (Golden
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143. The Quest for the Historical Muhammad
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144. Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the
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145. Learning How to Learn: Psychology
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146. Islam : A Guide for Jews and Christians
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147. Commanding Right and Forbidding
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148. The Koran: With a Parallel Arabic
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150. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage
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151. Roman Catholics and Shi'i Muslims:
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156. The Last Barrier: A Journey into
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160. The Bible, the Qu'ran and Science:

141. The Distinguished Jurist's Primer Volume I
by Ibn Rushd
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 1859641385
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Ithaca
Sales Rank: 123853
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Reference
This work is helpful in understanding the diverse spectrum of legal opinion in the Sunni tradition. Ibn Rushd cites the most interesting differences between the scholars. One can spend hours just reviewing the minute of difference between the schools of the various issues he addresses.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Resource
For admirers of the juristic tradition in Islam, and for academics interested in the classic ruling of the schools of law in Islamic tradition, I can think of no book greater than this. You must get both volumes. They are so concrete and cohesive that I found myself reading the whole two volumes (it took a long time). It was written by the revered jurist Ibn Rushd, as a manual for starting jurists in their field. It was written to combat the stagnation of extravagant taqlid, or the blind adherence to legal positions. This work is filled with the various positions from the various madhhabs regarding everything from the prayer to the laws of Jihad. Though one must keep in mind that Muslims today are not bound by these medieval rulings, it is imperative that Muslims investigate the development of the discourse which led to those rulings in order to understand not only the ethics of the process, but also and more importantly, to operate from within the legal tradition itself. I would also like to extend my gratitude to those insightful gentlemen who made this work available in the English language, for people who get stuck on Arabic (like me).

5-0 out of 5 stars Most valuable resource
Even if you have several books of Islamic law, this book is extremely valuable for two main reasons. First, it outlines the positions of the major schools and the sources and reasoning they use to arrive at those positions. Second, and more importantly, Ibn Rushd (Averroes to most of his European admirers) explains the divergence of views among the schools on the basis of the different methodologies they employ on a particular issue; or the different weight they might give to two apparently conflicting verses or hadith; or their different judgements about abrogation or the relative authority of Qur'an and Sunnah.

Because of this, both Muslims and students of Islam are able to grasp how Muslim law is not simply reducible to a code but remains an ongoing conversation (even an argument) about how God wants us to act.

The translation is excellent and the production of the book is of very good quality. The work is available in two volumes or one. One volume is obviously cheaper, but I would recommend the two-volume version because of the size.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect book for comperative risalat
I would like to thank all individuals who financially and intellectually contributed into the translation and publication of this book for the benefit of those who does not know Arabic. Ibn Rushd in this book basically goes over various laws of the Sunni Schools, ie risalat of major imams, Imam Shafii, Imam Maliki, Imam Hanbali and some more. Their differed opinions on some issues or any combination of them. It is not just the difference but most importantly he clarifies why they differed on certain issues and what was their reasonings. Some time he inserts his own opinion. In this book you see how an imam's mind works with the principals of Qura'an, tradition and logic. Perfect book to ponder about. I hope second volume will follow soon.Recommend to all persons who are interested in the Islamic Legal history. ... Read more

142. The Secret of Secrets (Golden Palm Series)
by Tosun Bayrak, Hadrat'Abd A. Al-Jilani, Hadrat Abdul-Qadir Al-Jilani, Shaykh Tosun Bayrak
list price: $34.95
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Asin: 0946621292
Catlog: Book (1992-01)
Publisher: Islamic Text Society
Sales Rank: 524320
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An interpretative translation by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak of Sirr al-Asrar by Hadrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (1077-1166), considered by many to be one of the greatest saints of Islam and the eponymous founder of the Qadiriyya order. This book, appearing in English for the first time, contains the very essence of Sufism, giving a Sufi explanation of how the outward practises of Islam - prayer, fasting, almsgiving and pilgrimage - contain a wealth of inner dimension which must be discovered and enjoyed if external actions are to be performed in a manner pleasing to God. When this is achieved the soul finds true peace and the spiritual life becomes complete. The book forms a bridge between two of the author's more famous works, Wealth for the Seekers and his Opening of the Unseen. It is said that unless one has discovered the Secret, one may not be able to absorb the impact of Openings. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awe-inspiring. Enlightening & wonderful book full of Truths.
This is one of those rare books which, no matter how many superlatives one uses, one cannot fathom its reality. The language is wonderfully lucid, clear and yet still poetic and enchanting. Indeed, Shaykh Abd al Qadir al Jilani, who by concensus is regarded as THE greatest Saint in Islam amongst the latter generations (i.e. exluding the Prophet's generation and the two generations after him), and whose honorific title is "Al-Ghawth al 'Azam" (The Greatest Helper) to reflect his unparalleled rank in the spiritual heirarchy of Saints, is THE Perfect Guide to all those on the Sufi path or those interested in the mystical way. This book is unique in that anyone at any level can read it and he or she will no doubt benefit but in reality it is a book which contains in it the secrets of Existence itself except that one has to be on a high spiritual station oneself to truly understand the great wisdoms and oceans of spiritual knowledge contained herein. Each chapter is short and succint yet contains an ocean of hidden meanings. Each person takes from it according to his level. Though I cannot say how accurate this intepretation is to the original as I dont know Arabic, I can voachsafe that for all English speaking Muslims (and non-Muslims interested in Islamic mysticism or in the Way to God) this book is a must-have and truly unique and the English language employed is wonderful to read. (It will be interesting to compare it to Muhtar Holland's translation of the same work by Al-Baz Publications). This is poetic prose if you will containing hidden secrets!

The lengthy and beautiful introduction by Shaykh Tosun is a brilliant synopsis of the life and works of His Excelleny Shaykh of Shaykhs, Shaykh Abd al Qadir al Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him and with us for his sake!) and a great introduction to this greatest of Muslim Saints. It gives a glimpse of the exalted status and spirituality of this amazing human being.

A must read!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Window to a Different World
This book is a great introduction to the mystical thought of Ash-Sheikh Aj-Jilani. Anyone who has any interest in finding the true, simple meaning of life, or seeks self purification should start with this book. Keep in mind, if you haven't read about mysticism/sufism before, you need to keep an open mind as to his wording and his actions. He does mention things in a way that the average person would deem, arrogant or self centered, but this man was beyond anything even closely related to that. This translation is better than others found, however the English, in terms of grammar and usage, can be unusual. But I find it a more closer translation in terms of Arabic usage. I hope anyone who reads this will be as enlightened as I was. ... Read more

143. The Quest for the Historical Muhammad
by Ibn Warraq
list price: $37.00
our price: $24.42
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Asin: 1573927872
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Sales Rank: 52891
Average Customer Review: 3.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ibn Warraq presents this important anthology of the best critical studies of Muhammad and early Islam ranging from the very beginnings of Islamic Studies in the nineteenth century to contemporary research.Both in his selection of essays and in his introduction, Warraq makes it clear that some very serious scholarly and scientific controversies lie at the heart of Islam.First, the Koran itself, the Muslim sacred scripture and the foundation of Islamic culture, is called into question as the basis for objective historical knowledge of Muhammad.Some scholars have also questioned the reliability of most of the other early Arabic documents that supposedly attest to events in the life of Muhammad and his followers.Was the Koran dictated by Muhammad at all?Was it actually compiled earlier than a hundred years after the Prophet's death?How much of Muslim sacred tradition, in the light of objective historical analysis, must be dismissed as unreliable hearsay?! ! Were the motives of the first Muslim conquerors during the Jihad truly religious in nature or largely mercenary?These disturbing questions, long suppressed throughout the history of Islamic scholarship, are here raised in these erudite and thoroughly researched essays by noted scholars. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars who was Muhammad?
Who was the Prophet Muhammad?

By Daniel Pipes The Jerusalem Post Friday, May 12 2000

In a well-known and oft-repeated statement, the French scholar Ernest Renan wrote in 1851 that, unlike the other founders of major religions, the Prophet Muhammad "was born in the full light of history." Indeed, look up Muhammad in any reference book and the outlines of his life are confidently on display: birth in CE 570 in Mecca, career as a successful merchant, first revelation in 610, flight to Medina in 622, triumphant return to Mecca in 630, death in 632. Better yet, read the 610-page standard account of Muhammad's life in English, by W. Montgomery Watt, and find a richly detailed biography. There are, however, two major problems with this standard biography, as explained in a fascinating new study, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, edited by Ibn Warraq (Prometheus Books). First, the massive documentation about Muhammad derives in every instance from Arabic written sources - biographies, collections of the prophet's sayings and doings, and so on - the earliest of which date from a century and a half after his death. Not only does this long lapse of time cast doubt on their accuracy, but internal evidence strongly suggests the Arabic sources were composed in the context of intense partisan quarrels over the prophet's life. To draw an American analogy: It's as though the first accounts of the US Constitutional Convention of 1787 were only recently written down, and this in the context of polemical debates over interpretation of the Constitution. Second, the earlier sources on the prophet's life that do survive dramatically contradict the standard biography. In part, these are literary sources in languages other than Arabic (such as Armenian, Greek, or Syriac); in part, they are material remains (such as papyri, inscriptions, and coins). Although the unreliability of the Arabic literary sources has been understood for a century, only recently have scholars begun to explore its full implications, thanks largely to the ground-breaking work of the British academic John Wansbrough. In the spirit of "interesting if true," they look skeptically at the Arabic written sources and conclude that these are a form of "salvation history" - self-serving, unreliable accounts by the faithful. The huge body of detail, revisionist scholars find, is almost completely spurious. So unreliable do the revisionists find the traditional account, Patricia Crone has memorably written, that "one could, were one so inclined, rewrite most of Montgomery Watt's biography of Muhammad in reverse." For example, an inscription and a Greek account leads Lawrence Conrad to fix Muhammad's birth in 552, not 570. Crone finds that Muhammad's career took place not in Mecca but hundreds of kilometers to the north. Yehuda Nevo and Judith Koren find that the classical Arabic language was developed not in today's Saudi Arabia but in the Levant, and that it reached Arabia only through the colonizing efforts of one of the early caliphs. Startling conclusions follow from this. The Arab tribesmen who conquered great swathes of territory in the seventh century were not Moslems, perhaps they were pagans. The Koran is a not "a product of Muhammad or even of Arabia," but a collection of earlier Judeo-Christian liturgical materials stitched together to meet the needs of a later age. Most broadly, "there was no Islam as we know it" until two or three hundred years after the traditional version has it (more like CE 830 than 630); it developed not in the distant deserts of Arabia but through the interaction of Arab conquerors and their more civilized subject peoples. A few scholars go even further, doubting even the existence of Muhammad. Though undertaken in a purely scholarly quest, the research made available in Quest for the Historical Muhammad raises basic questions for Moslems concerning the prophet's role as a moral paragon; the sources of Islamic law; and the God-given nature of the Koran. Still, it comes as little surprise to learn that pious Moslems prefer to avoid these issues. Their main strategy until now has been one of neglect - hoping that revisionism, like a toothache, will just go away . But toothaches don't spontaneously disappear, and neither will revisionism. Moslems one day are likely to be consumed by efforts to respond to its challenges, just as happened to Jews and Christians in the nineteenth century, when they faced comparable scholarly inquiries. Those two faiths survived the experience - though they changed profoundly in the process - and so will Islam.

(The writer is director of the Philadelphia Middle East Forum and wrote his first book on early Islamic history.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unveiling the weakness of Islamic salvation history
Of Warraq's first three books with Prometheus, this is by far the finest of the lot. "Why I Am Not a Muslim" served as a basic introduction for those who seek to criticize Islam, and "Origins of the Koran" was a slight step up in the level of difficulty (dare I say, "intermediate kufr"?). This book would have to be considered advanced level scholarship as far as Prometheus' Islamic studies section goes.

Warraq's introduction gets into the world of the ahadith and sira literature, the only information on the "historical" Muhammad. This makes for a great information on the problems with the reliability of these sources, such as the fact that many of the more respective compilations came about centuries after the time Muhammad allegedly lived. The second chapter of the book is an essay by Ibn al-Rawandi, it is a brilliant and sharped-tongued attack on Islamic historical sources that compliments the book perfectly.

The rest of the book, like Origins of the Koran, is a compilation of scholarly essays from other sources. Some of it is rather old, but the more recent works are highly entertaining. The best of the essays, in my opinion, is Lawrence Conrad's Abraha and Muhammad, which exposes the weakness of the Islamic calendar, causing many events measured by it to also come into question.

1-0 out of 5 stars Systematically Misleading
Here is a review which was published in a real journal. The review is by an acomplished Professor of Early Islamic History who actually has the competence to speak on this topic(unlike some of the other reviewers here).

Book Review of Ibn Warraq's "The Quest for the Historical Muhammad", NY: 2000
Fred M. Donner
Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Volume 35, Number 1, Summer 2001, Cambridge University Press, ISSN 0026-3184, p. 75

The study of Islam's origins, including the life of Muhammad, is a notoriously contentious undertaking. Scholars with admirable training differ sharply among themselves on how to understand it. The appearance of a volume that claims to provide "sufficient background to put the current debates, between revisionists and traditionalists about the origins of Islam, in their intellectual context" (p. 9) is thus sure to attract notice.

Unfortunately, the compiler, identified only by the pseudonym "Ibn Warraq", who also wrote the volume's long introductory essay, is triply unqualified to serve as our guide in this field. "Ibn Warraq" like the equally mysterious author of the second essay, on the sources, "Ibn Rawandi" (perhaps one and the same individual?) lacks the rigorous specialist training in Arabic studies that alone could qualify him (her?) to evaluate independently the different schools of interpretation in this field. This inadequacy is revealed by, for example, inconsistent handling of Arabic materials, and by the fact that neither "Ibn Warraq" nor "Ibn Rawandi" contributes any original arguments to this debate.

More serious still is the compiler's heavy-handed favoritism for certain revisionist theories (particularly those of John Wansbrough), resulting in a thoroughly one-sided selection of articles and translations that constitute the bulk of the volume. These include works, mostly well-known, by Ernest Renan, Henri Lammens (including a complete translation of his monograph "Fatima and the Daughters of Muhammad"), C. H. Becker, Arthur Jeffery, Joseph Schacht, Lawrence I. Conrad, Andrew Rippin, J. Koren and Y. D. Nevo, F. E. Peters, Herbert Berg, and G. R. Hawting. Most of these were landmark contributions to the lengthy debate on the origins of Islam, by scholars who had (have) strong opinions about it and were possessed of full mastery of the primary languages (especially Arabic) and sources.

"Ibn Warraq's" bias, however, causes him to omit fine contributions that pose challenges for some revisionist ideas by H. Motzki, U. Rubin, and many others. This lopsided character makes The Quest for the Historical Muhammad a book that is likely to mislead many an unwary general reader.

Most problematic of all, however, is the compiler's agenda, which is not scholarship, but anti-Islam polemic. The author of an earlier book entitled Why I Am Not a Muslim (1995), "Ibn Warraq" and his co-conspirator "Ibn al-Rawandi" detest anything that, to them, smacks of apologetic; for this reason they criticize harshly several noted authors for their 'bad faith' or 'moral ambiguity.'

Yet this book is itself a monument to duplicity. The compiler never has the honesty or courage to divulge his identity, even though a list of contributors (pp. 551-54) gives a biographical sketch of all the other contributors who, unlike "Ibn Warraq" and "Ibn al-Rawandi", are already well-known.

Far more serious is the fact that this book is religious polemic attempting to masquerade as scholarship. It is a collection of basically sound articles, framed by a seriously flawed introduction, and put in the service of anti-Islamic polemic dedicated to the proposition that Islam is a sham and that honest scholarship on Islam requires gratuitous rudeness to Muslim sensibilities.

By associating these articles with "Ibn Warraq's" polemical agenda, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad will raise suspicions among some Muslims that all revisionist scholarship is motivated by such intolerance.

This is likely to make the future progress of sound historical scholarship on Islam's origins harder, rather than easier. The publication of The Quest for the Historical Muhammad is, therefore, a most unfortunate event.

Fred M. Donner,Professor at University of Chicago.

5-0 out of 5 stars Choose Your History: Heroic, Antiquarian, or Critical
"A religion for example which, under the rule of pure justice, is to be transformed into historical knowledge, a religion which is to be known in a scientific way, will at the end of this path also be annihilated. The reason is that the historical audit always brings to light so much that is false, crude, inhuman, absurd, violent, that the attitude of pious illusion, in which alone all that wants to live can live, is necessarily dispelled: only with love, however, only surrounded by the shadow of the illusion of love, can man create, that is, only with an unconditional faith in something perfect and righteous. Each man who is forced no longer to love unconditionally has had the root of his strength cut off: he must wither, that is, become dishonest."
--Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life

Muslims who reject critical thinking about Islam's origins and the Quest for the Historical Muhammad know this in their bones.

Ibn Warraq is a brave and honest man.

1-0 out of 5 stars Another Angle
See this subject from another angle.

Try this web site. ... Read more

144. Al-Ghazali on Disciplining the Soul and on Breaking the Two Desires: Books Xxii and Xxiii of the Revival of the Religious Sciences (Islamic Texts Society)
by Nakamura, Toby J. Winter
list price: $39.95
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Asin: 0946621438
Catlog: Book (1995-05-01)
Publisher: Islamic Text Society
Sales Rank: 553320
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The spiritual life in Islam begins with riyadat al-nafs, the inner warfare against the ego. Distracted and polluted by worldliness, the lower self has a tendency to drag the human creature down into arrogance and vice. Only by a powerful effort of will can the sincere worshipper achieve the purity of soul which enables him to attain God's proximity. This translation of two sections from The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din) detail the sophisticated spiritual techniques adopted by classical Islam. In the first step, On Disciplining the Soul, which cites copious anecdotes from the Islamic scriptures and biographies of the saints, Ghazali explainshow to acquire good character traits, and goes on to describe how the sickness of the heart may be cured. In the second part, Breaking the Two Desires, he focusses on the question of gluttony and sexual desire, concluding, in the words of the Prophet , that 'the best of all matters is the middle way'. The translatorhas added an introduction and notes which explore Ghazali's ability to make use of Greek as well as Islamic ethics. The work will prove of special interest to those interested in Sufi mysticism, comparative ethics, and the question of sexuality in Islam. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
Remarkable! This text has made its way to our hands in order to use the timeless widsom of this Grand Master. Easy to read, heavy to reflect upon, the sickness of the heart, concerning greed and envy, ect.. have all been carefully mastered into a text that is easy to grasp.

Some may say he has gone off the far end, perhaps reaching deeply for ultimate abstainance from this life, perhaps, he may, but the lessons he teaches can be taken in 2 ways. 1) That the people of his time may have been so "off", Islamicly speaking towards implementing Sharia, that he needed to write this text in order to level out the boundries. Therefore, his society may have been to one extreme of leaving Sharia. and this book is from another extreme implementing Sharia to the upmost respect. ... Read more

145. Learning How to Learn: Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way (Arkana S.)
by Idries Shah
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0140195130
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 178109
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Learning How to Learn" contains the authentic material from the Sufi standpoint, written in response to more than 70,000 questions prompted by Shah's books, his university lectures and radio and television programs. He answers government leaders, housewives, philosophy professors and factory workers around the world, on the subjects of how traditional psychology can illuminate current human, social and spiritual problems.

The lively question-answer format provides readers a direct experience of a Sufi learning situation. More than a hundred tales and extracts - ranging from Eastern parables of Jesus, the ancient Sufi classics such as Omar Khayyam, the Mulla Nasrudin teaching-figure, to today's newspapers and contemporary encounters with teachers and students - are woven into Shah's narratives of how and why the Sufis learn, what they learn, and how spiritual understanding develops and deteriorates in all societies.

Many of the concepts which Shah has introduced - including the vital role of the right time, place and company of higher studies, the very concept of 'learning how to learn' and the instrumental, specialized function of ordinarily automatically performed exercises and rituals - have recently been widely copied by serious psychologists and gurus alike. This book contains the authentic material, however, on these and dozens of other subjects. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Way of Learning
With this book Shah stressed the concept that for meaningful learning to take place certain preconditions must exist. Just having the desire to learn alone does not lead to real understanding. He makes the reader examine their own learning processes to see what you are actually capable of learning. The desire for attention, self gratification and reinforcement are some of the barriers to understanding which are explored in the book. The fact that we sometimes are seeking confirmation of our views instead of answers to questions is also brought to light. It is a challenging book, but for the person who rises to the challenge the rewards are great. Although many of the concepts may be unfamiliar, the language used in the book makes them extremely accessible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Information
We in the West tend to have a sort of "Minifest Destiny" attitude toward spirituality. "All that's required is to spend the time, make the effort, and all my goals will be achieved". In Learning How to Learn Idries Shah shows how unproductive such an attitude can be. On the Sufi path, as well as many aspects of ordinary life, certain prerequisites are required before learning can take place. The book, also subtitled Beginning to Begin, provides essential information that allows the reader to arrive at a place where higher learning can begin. An essential book and key to the Shah corpus.

5-0 out of 5 stars compassionate conspiracy of awakening for somnambulists
no need to repeat other reviewers...and no need to listen to the nay-sayers who cry charlatan...(?)(how odd)...(what would they think of bob dobbs?)...anyways, i suggest someone read and or take further the thesis whispered in the Octagon Press release (early 1980's) of The People of the Secret. one last note: sufism, like wicca, does no missionary work exactly: it works by deed, action. watch. then watch yourself. sufism transcends and weaves. it is wonderful within Islam. and it is just as bright if not brighter outside of the hadith-fundamentalist limitations of Islam...i dare suggest one can read Shah along with Hakim Bey/Peter L. Wilson as well as Starhawk...various, creative "Directorate" bubblings on the surface of current poly-culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revealing much about our 'self'
"If you are uninterested in what I say, there's an end to it.
If you like what I say, please try to understand which previous influences have made you like it.
If you like some of the things I say, and dislike others, you could try to understand why.
If you dislike all I say, why not try to find out what formed your attitude?" - The Late Idries Shah.

IMO, genuine seekers after Truth needn't be swayed by these (negative/positive) appeals to colorization of the Shah Corpus. Sometimes the glowing reviews of Shah's work are as completely off the mark as the dimming ones.

According to an old saying "Those who taste know." I'd really suggest you read this title to find out for yourself, and should you find the need, please reserve your judgements until you've managed to discuss your assesments with a living, authentic Sufi teacher.

As for my own assesment: This title kindly exemplifies how unexamined assumptions, and unbalanced interpretations, lead toward unhealthy attitudes and cognitive disabilities that so many people are actually "self-inflicting". And, as with many of Sufi writings, I discovered many topics making better sense at later times, when the notions "get unpacked" under different circumstances.

3-0 out of 5 stars Charlatanism at it's best
Anyone who is serious about facing the riddles of life very soon faces the realization that little if any of our preconceived certainties have any truly convincing basis at all. This is an inescapable and totally valid experience, but it is also prime fodder for a host of "teachers" such as Idries Shah who prey on that experience of utter doubt. You see, they KNOW, whereas we, as can only be too easily demonstrated, do not. But for the price of our adherence to their cause, they promise that when the time is right, the secret WILL BE REVEALED to us. But of course, since we are mere uncertain cretins, it is not for us to question when that time should be. It may be tomorrow, or it may be half a lifetime from now.
It's the perfect con game. Idries Shah ratchets this all up even one more notch. He doesn't even promise that he will offer us the way to find what we're looking for. He offers us the way to find what we NEED. Of course, once again, because we are such pitiful, uncertain specimens, it is not ours to know or judge what we need. We have to trust the great sage. Don't try to get a money-back guarantee on this one. You're not even entitled to know what it is you're being offered. If it happens to be an old sock, then it is only a sign of your own immaturity if you are not appreciative. THE TEACHER KNOWS BEST.
Shah's skill is in wrapping up his message in an apparently reasonable, and often good humored veneer. ... Read more

146. Islam : A Guide for Jews and Christians
by F. E. Peters
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
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Asin: 0691115532
Catlog: Book (2003-03-24)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 498760
Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Quran is a sacred book with profound, and familiar, Old and New Testament resonances. And the message it promulgated, Islam, came of age during an extraordinarily rich era of interaction among monotheists. Jews, Christians, and Muslims not only worshipped the same God, but shared aspirations, operated in the same social and economic environment, and sometimes lived side by side, indistinguishable by language, costume, or manners. Today, of course, little of this commonality is apparent, and Islam is poorly understood by most non-Muslims. Entering Islam through the same biblical door Muhammad did, this book introduces readers with Christian or Jewish backgrounds to one of the world's largest, most active, and--in the West--least understood religions.

Frank Peters, one of the world's leading authorities on the monotheistic religions, starts with the central feature of Muslim faith and life: the Quran. Across its pages move Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. The Quran contains remarkably familiar accounts of Genesis, the Flood, Exodus, the Virgin Birth, and other biblical events. But Peters also highlights Muhammad's very different use of Scripture and explains those elements of the Quran most alien to Western readers, from its didactic passages to its remarkable poetry.

Peters goes on to cogently explain Islam's defining features--including the significance of Mecca, the manner of Muhammad's revelations, and the creation of the unique community of Muslims, all in relation to the Judeo-Christian tradition. He compares Jesus and Muhammad, describes Islamic commandments and rituals, details the structures of Sunni and Shi'ite communities, and lays out central Islamic beliefs on war, women, mysticism, and martyrdom.

The result is a crucial and extremely accomplished book that offers Western readers a professional yet highly accessible understanding of Islam, and at a time when we need it most. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
F. E. Peters should be respected as a writer and thinker willing to journey across perilous ground. He has spent most of his life and career writing and teaching about the three great Middle Eastern religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Trying to be objective about three religions that often have been locked in mortal rivalry is hardly a safe route to the destination of political correctness. Perhaps the most valuable thing about Peters' book is that it is essentially non-polemical: it does not appear to reflect any particular religious point of view. Certainly, it is very well researched. Peters sheds a wealth of light on conflicts that are central to the events unfolding on the world stage, although he focuses more on historical development than on contemporary issues. While the degree to which objective analysis can accurately or successfully explain the conflicting passions of contrasting religious faiths remains questionable, Peters deserves credit for this impressive achievement. In part due to the critical nature of the issues that he addresses, we give his work a high recommendation.

4-0 out of 5 stars An unbiased, scholarly look at Islam.
For some time I had been trying to find an unbiased treatment of Islam, seeking answers to my many questions regarding the teaching of the Prophet and the history of Islam. Mr. Peters, a Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Religion at the University of New York, has in this volume answered many of my questions and allowed me to develop an understanding of Islamic faith, teaching and history.

Mr. Peters introduces Islam to the Western reader through discussions of it's major facets. In writing of the Quran Peters points out the many similarities with Christian scripture, such as the Genesis story, the Flood, the Virgin Birth, etc. as well as major differences. He then goes on to discuss the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the importance of Mecca and the political history of Islam including the differences between Shiite and Sunni communities. Mr. Peters discusses each of these features of Islam in relation to the traditions of Judaism and Christianity, thus providing an easy context for Western readers.

While my research of Islam will continue in an effort to better understand the differences between followers of Islam and my own religion, Mr. Peters has gone a long way to helping dispell my ignorance. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in studying religion or the Middle East.

1-0 out of 5 stars F E Peters gives a very biased view and wrong impression
FE Peters Islam a guide for jews and Christian is a very wrong book for the first time reaeders about Islam. Peters' views are not very different from Rev. Pat Roberston about Islam but when you hear about Islam from Pat atleast you can expect what you will hear whereas Peters is deceiving and trying to present his book as a scholarly comparison of Islam, Judaism and Christianity where in fact is he trying his best best to put down Islam and create doubts about Prophet Mohammed and his followers . Peters is obviously anti Islam and his knowledge seems to be very pedantic. Peters has even attempted to say that probably Mohammed was was not a decendendant of Ishmail (and thus Prophet Mohammedd cannot be related to Abraham). Peters knowledge about different sects of Ismlam seems to be very superficial. Peters Starts his book by saying that only one way to approach Islam is to open and read the pages from Quran. Dear Mr. Peters you are only partially correct. Quran is a cryptic book it is beyond the comprehension of an ordinary human mind. One of the sects of Islam beleives that the best way to interpret and understand Quran is to follow the life of Prophet Mohammed and his progeny.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
F. E. Peters should be respected as a writer and thinker willing to journey across perilous ground. He has spent most of his life and career writing and teaching about the three great Middle Eastern religions: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Trying to be objective about three religions that often have been locked in mortal rivalry is hardly a safe route to the destination of political correctness. Perhaps the most valuable thing about Peters' book is that it is essentially non-polemical: it does not appear to reflect any particular religious point of view. Certainly, it is very well researched. Peters sheds a wealth of light on conflicts that are central to the events unfolding on the world stage, although he focuses more on historical development than on contemporary issues. While the degree to which objective analysis can accurately or successfully explain the conflicting passions of contrasting religious faiths remains questionable, Peters deserves credit for this impressive achievement. In part due to the critical nature of the issues that he addresses, we give his work a high recommendation.

3-0 out of 5 stars Clinic review of Islam
This is not a bad book about Islam. However, it describes Islam in a very clinical fashion. There is no passion. Reading books about religion that have no passion makes it difficult to understand the beliefs of the religion as viewed from the believers. Having read the book I have a better understanding of the basic tenants; but, it was like reading a clinical review of love. Something was missing. ... Read more

147. Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought
by Michael Cook
list price: $100.00
our price: $87.00
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Asin: 0521661749
Catlog: Book (2001-01-25)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 440943
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What duty do we have to stop others from doing wrong? The question is intelligible in almost any culture, but few seek to answer it in a rigorous fashion. The most striking exception is found in the Islamic tradition where "commanding right and forbidding wrong" is a central moral tenet. Michael Cook's comprehensive and compelling analysis represents the first sustained attempt to chart the history of Islamic reflection on this obligation and to explain its relevance for politics and ideology in the contemporary Islamic world. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong
Aside from Michael Cooks dabbling in deconstructionist and revisionist theories (Hagarism), I have found this book to be exhaustive and fair in its treatment of the subject. This title is, for the most part, a historical study into the development of the legal and ethical discourse pertaining to the Qur'anic tenet, "command what is right and forbid what is wrong." A very informative and entertaining study. I received a lot of clarity on this issue just by reviewing the positions held by the jurists of the legal culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Monumental Work
Cook has achieved something special in this work. He demonstrates that he is a rare and gifted scholar with an awesome ability to intregrate vast seas of thought into one coherent whole. This work covers "Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong" from its origins in the Koran up until modern times, though he focuses upon the classical period throughout the vast majority of his book. All sects with a significant body of material are represented. Why this topic?-- Basically, this doctrine has historically proved to be the major foundation of any Islamic social ethic; therefore, how it is concieved usually predetermines how one thinks justice ought to be established in this word or by whom it should be established. Cook possesses a talent for giving seemingly distant and irrelevant doctrines a timely relation to today insofar as his studies illuminates how two different cultures approach moral actions in their respective societies. Parts of this book are vast and copiously detailed; however, it was exhaustively documented and extremely efficiently organized throughout. Thus, it is enormously accessible and immensely useful for reference as well. The high price is unfortunate, but it is without a doubt worth the money for anyone interested in Islamics. ... Read more

148. The Koran: With a Parallel Arabic Text (Penguin Classics)
by N. J. Dawood, N.J. Dawood
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
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Asin: 0140445420
Catlog: Book (2000-07-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 46671
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

N.J. Dawood did a humble job in translating this version of "The Koran". It is a very good effort.
The fact that he included a parallel Arabic text (on every page) authenticated his accuracy and intention. Translations are hardly perfect, but this one really came close.
First published in 1956, subsequent editions (and reprints) of this Koran have maintained its tradition of using simple language. Any English speaker who want to know what Muslims believe in should read this book. It is very easy to understand.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst Translation Out There
I have six translations of the Qur'an, and this is by far the worst. Yes, it's easy to read, but it's not the Qur'an. Dawood not only leaves out a lot, he distorts the meaning. Sometimes the verses are unrecognizable, so much so that I have to wonder if the distortion was deliberate (for example, in one verse, the exact same Arabic phrase is translated differently when it refers to men than when it refers to women). He doesn't come close to capturing the poetic quality of the Qur'an (whatever your beliefs, in terms of literature it is an astounding work of poetry), and he doesn't even convey the meaning.

The best translation of the Qur'an is Muhammad Asad's "The Message of the Qur'an." It has really clear, understandable footnotes, and he spent years with the Bedouin Arabs to learn their language because it's the closest to the Qur'anic Arabic of 1400 years ago. (Asad was a Jewish journalist who spent time in the Middle East and then converted to Islam.)

Another good book to start with is John Williams' "The Word of Islam" in which he uses verses of the Qur'an and intersperses them with his own explanatory commentary.

Whatever you do, don't get this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars love
religion and love and marriag

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand translation without archaic words.
I think translating Quran is no easy task. But this is a good translation in my view as it is easy to understand without the use of archaic English words such as thou or dost etc.

It conveys the sublime beauty of the verses even though a translation takes a lot away from the Arabic original. But that is not the point of reading the translation. Quran is meant to be guidance for all mankind, not just Arabic speaking people. And this translation does a very good job of disseminating the verses of the holy Quran in English, which can be easily understood by a Western reader. One has to read it to believe it.

3-0 out of 5 stars How to write a one-line summary of an eternal religious text
This isn't the best translation of the Koran. I'd go for a different one. Also, if you've never read the Koran before or don't have a backround on Mohammed's life, better get a companion book too as it may seem like rhetoric from a western eye. ... Read more

149. Sacred Space And Holy War: The Politics, Culture and History of Shi'ite Islam
by Juan Cole
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 1860647367
Catlog: Book (2002-10-04)
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
Sales Rank: 239516
Average Customer Review: 2.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Juan Cole examines Shi'i Islam as a world religion that has faced modernity on its own terms. He explores the little known history of Shi'i communities as far afield as Bahrain and India, giving attention as well to important centers such as Lebanon , Iraq, and Iran. He demonstrates the way in which the Shi'is have sought to define space and time as sacred, and to defend those spaces from encroachment by the Other, whether that other be Sunni Arab, Hindu, or European Christian.
... Read more

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars This man is an apologist for al qaeda
and should be investigated for further committments to terrorist groups.

1-0 out of 5 stars Deceptive Advertising
This poorly edited and abysmally proofread book is nothing more than a compilation of unrelated articles on obscure elements of the history of one Shia sect. There is no unifying theme, and the book fails utterly to live up to its promise. I bought it after being impressed by interview with the author on NPR's "Fresh Air" program. Clearly the interviewer made the running.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exellent book but not a primer on Shia
This book is an excellent exploration of a subject not well studied by Western scholars. While this book is well written, I would suggest reading a primer on middle-eastern or Islamic history first. The book is aimed at people who have a general understanding of the subject but are looking to add real depth to what they know. You will find few people who know the subject better than Cole. I suggesting listening to his recent interview on NPR ("Fresh Air with Terry Gross") which can be heard on-line. I can only hope that people in government who have to make critical choice based on their knowledge of the Middle-East will read books like this.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
The book appears to be a collection of disparate lectures or essays loosely tied together to take advantage of the spike in Islamic interest due to terrorism. The book title is deceptive, as it is actually the title of a single chapter in the book, which refers to the 1855 battle over the Ayodha mosque site in India. Although the book does shed light on Bahraini, Saudi and Indian Shi'ite communities (only the Twelver sect, however) it never provides a strong sense of Shia "politics, culture and history" as implied in the title. There is some relevant information on Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese Shi'ites, but not the level of detail I expected. You will learn something if you read this book, just understand going in that you will have to read another book if you want an understanding of modern Shi'ism. There has got to be a better organized, more focused and concise resource available. ... Read more

150. Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Mecca (Volume 1)
by Richard F. Burton
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0486212173
Catlog: Book (1964-06-01)
Publisher: Dover Publications
Sales Rank: 83773
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Volume 1 (ISBN 0486212173) and Volume 2 (ISBN 0486212181) are sold separately. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sir Richard Burton - a man not of his time
Excellent writing about an arduous journey to meccah. While not the first European to enter the holy city, he was the first to pace off dimensions and publish an extensive survey of the area, the city and the muslims' sacred meterorite. Very interesting subject material particularly in the 21st century.

5-0 out of 5 stars bibliography & note
Goa, and the Blue Mountains, 1851
Scinde,or, The Unhappy Valley, 1851
Sindh, and the Races that inhabit the Valley of the Indus, 1852
Falconry in the Valley of the Indus, 1852
A Complete System of bayonet Exercise, 1853
Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Mecca, 1855
First Footsteps in Africa: or an exploration of Harar, 1856
The Lake Regions of Central Africa: A Picture of Exploration, 1860
The Lake Regions of Central Equatorial Africa with Notices of the Lunar Mountains and the sources of the White Nile...1860
The City of the Saints and across the Rocky Mountains, 1861
The Prairie traveler, 1863
Abeokuta and the Cameroon mountians, 1863
Wanderings in West Africa, 1863
A Mission to Gelele, King of the Dahomes,... , 1864
The Nile Basin, 1864
Wit and Wisdom from West Africa, 1865
The Guide Book: A Pictorial Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, 1865
The Highlands of Brazil, 1869
Vikram and the Vampires, or Tales of Hindu Devilry, 1870
Letters from the Battlefields of Paraguay, 1870
Unexplored Syria, 1872
Zanzibar, 1872
The Lands of Canzembe, Lacerds's Journey to Cazembe in 1798, 1873
The Captivity of Hans Stade of Hesse, 1874
Ultima Thule; or, A Summer in Iceland, 1875
Etruscan Bologna, 1876
A New System of Sword Exercise for Infantry, 1876
Two Trips to Gorilla Land, Congo, 1876
Scind Revisited: With Notices of the Anglo-Indian Army; Railroads; Past, Present, and Future, 1877
The Gold Mines of Midian, 1878
The Land of Midian, 1879
The Kasidah, 1880
Os, Lusiads, 1880
Camoens:His Life and His Lusiads, 1881
A Glance at the "Passion Play", 1881
To the Gold Coast for Gold, 1883
Kama Sutra, 1883
The Book of the Sword, 1884
Perfumed Garden, 1886
1001 Nights, 1886-1888
Iracema, 1886
Priapea, 1890
Marocco and the Moors, 1891
Il Pentamerone, 1893
The Carmina of Caius Valerius Catallus, 1894
The Jew and the Gypsy, 1898
Wanderings in Three Continents, 1901

Its my opinion that though he wrote an amazing number of books none of them are really 5 star classics though there are some flawed masterpieces in there. He just wrote too fast to care about polishing his works.
As for racism, a charge that could be brought up against all Imperial Englishman, he is no doubt as guilty as his fellows. Not to excuse him for it but though writing within an anglo tradition and to a strictly anglo public he perhaps overstates his own anglo bias just to assure his readers he has not gone native, a charge which would be ruinous to any career, military or literary. I won't try to convince you one way or the other but any man who learns another mans language and his religion and his literature and pays so much mind to him that he can even drink a glass of water using his exact manner is paying that man and his culture some kind of compliment. I won't pretend to understand what exactly Burtons motives were from one moment to the next and one adventure to the next but his relation to all these cultures certainly cannot be reduced to a one word description. Burton is a man of immense learning , his enthusiasms are infectious and his appetites as well as his humor are outrageous. With Burton you always get more than you bargained for, you get the country he is in and all manner of localised detail but also you get Burton, his way of writing, his manners, and his customs.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Riot
It's hard to take Richard Burton seriously nowadays. His sardonic humor and his hilarious deadpan observations about Middle Eastern life sound more like a satire on Victorian attitudes than an actual travel story. And yet, underneath the veneer one sometimes catches a glimpse of sympathy and actual respect for the people he writes about.

Under the veneer, too, there is a hard core layer of reality, and a surprising number of his observations are true even today. The thing that gets me is that he was able to pull off the pilgrimage at all! As a sometime traveler and student of languages, I have been in situations where I have tried to pass for a native, and regardless of where you go it is a difficult act to pull off for more than five minutes. How Burton got all the way to Mecca without being stoned to death is beyond me.

Which makes it a good adventure story as well as good travel literature. One of the most enjoyable books I have ever read. I recommend it highly.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great finish to an exciting journey
Here Burton finds Mecca and the long-sought Ka'abah. Along with descriptions of the Badawin of "Al-Hijaz," the "Bedouins" to us who "haunt" the normal caravan routes, Burton describes the people of Mecca and the religious observances and practices of the "Haji's" first appearance (and subsequent appearances) at the Bayt Ullah, the House of God.

While Burton keeps his condescension and moral superiority (if not sublimity) in check, he will occasionally weary the reader and try their patience with such observations as "the pigeons of Mecca resemble those of Venice" -- and who is to say that differences exist in those that seasonally appear in downtown Cleveland?

Altogether, along with the first volume, an enjoyable read and an intriguing catalog of relevant observations, historical detail, biblical anecdotes and legends, and at the end of the volume, excerpts from earlier European "Hajis" (a "Gentleman of Rome" in 1503 and a semi-educated English youngster in 1680).

A first-rate travelogue, peppered at times with overbearing detail.

3-0 out of 5 stars Best of Burton
Richard Burton, the reader will remark, is perhaps the most painstakingly observant traveler who ever set his thoughts to print. Unfortunately, this frequently adds an unpalatable heaviness to his writings. At times -- and here only at times -- does his penchant for every detail add oppressive weight to his narrative.

In every Burton book, he describes in hideous detail all the foibles, deficiencies or vices of his traveling companions, frequently porters or guides on hire. In the Narrative, this tendency exists, but to a much lesser extent. Here, thankfully to the reader, Burton softens his powers of running down his entourage to no purpose.

This book is otherwise an excellent story of obtaining license to leave Cairo, to travel through Suez and Yambu, and to join the pilgrimage trail up through Medina (in this first volume). His descriptions of the Prophet's Mosque and tomb are enjoyable, and the details along the route are lively and captivating. Burton does not reach the Holy City of Mecca until the second volume.

Burton, as the other reviewer pointed out, is an acquired taste, or distaste, as the reader must debate for himself. If you could not stomach another Burton, you'll still probably enjoy this one. If you enjoyed this one, savor it. The second volume delights just as well. ... Read more

151. Roman Catholics and Shi'i Muslims: Prayer, Passion, and Politics
by James A. Bill, John Alden Williams
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 0807826898
Catlog: Book (2002-03-18)
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Sales Rank: 592655
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Book Description

This timely work explores two influential religious traditions that might seem to have little in common: Twelver Shi'i Islam and Roman Catholicism. With the worldwide rise of religious fundamentalism, it is imperative that religious movements such as Christianity and Islam begin working harder to understand one another's history and beliefs. Myths and misunderstandings continue to prevail, and observers tend to focus on the differences between the two faith systems.

Without denying these differences, the authors of this book reveal a number of interesting linkages between Roman Catholicism and Twelver Shi'ism. They compare the histories of the two faiths, consider parallels between important figures in each, and highlight the doctrinal, structural, and sociopolitical similarities they share. Balanced in tone and carefully researched, the book helps explain the essence of both traditions while enriching our understanding of each.

There are an estimated 140 million Twelver Shi'is in the world today. The highest percentages live in Persian Gulf countries, including Iran and Iraq, and in Azerbaijan, Lebanon, and Afghanistan. Sizable numbers also inhabit Pakistan, India, and Turkey. The largest Christian denomination, Roman Catholicism is present across the globe, though its population of more than one billion people is concentrated in North and South America and in Europe. ... Read more

152. The Prophet & the Messiah : An Arab Christian's Perspective on Islam & Christianity
by C. G. Moucarry, Chawkat Moucarry
list price: $14.00
our price: $11.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0830823158
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Sales Rank: 149307
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In an age of media distortion and widespread stereotypes, Christians and Muslims both need a greater understanding of each other's faith. What do Christians believe about the Bible? What do Muslims believe about the Qur'an? And what do both Christianity and Islam have to say about Jesus and Muhammad?

In this evenhanded and conciliatory book Chawkat Moucarry calls Christians and Muslims to engage in genuine dialogue, urging them to relate to each other with true humility and respect. In a straightforward fashion he describes and compares the central doctrines of both Christianity and Islam, explaining key beliefs and debunking common misconceptions.

Christians who read this book will learn much about Islam. Likewise, Muslims who read it will discover why Christians are convinced of the truth of Christianity. Sure to provide grist for informed discussions, this rare book is one that both Muslims and Christians can fruitfully study together.

"Writing out of a rich experience of interfaith dialogue in both Arabic and European cultures, Chawkat Moucarry issues a stirring challenge to Christians and Muslims to move beyond mutual ignorance and caricature. His book is itself an example of sensitive, humble yet bold engagement with Islamic beliefs, and should be pondered by Muslims and Christians alike." Vinoth Ramachandra, author of Faiths in Conflict?

"Chawkat Moucarry shows courage in arriving at clear answers to difficult questions through meticulous and rational argumentation, while striving to demonstrate the greatest sensitivity and respect for those who would reach alternative answers. This important work will serve as a valuable new resource for Christian-Muslim interaction. Adherents of both faiths should read it and use it as a key reference point in diverse contexts of interfaith dialogue." Peter Riddell, Centre for Islamic Studies, London Bible College ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Friendly Approach To Two Tension Gapped WorldViews!!!
The Prophet and the Messiah: An Arab Christian's Perspective on Islam and Christianity, by Chawkat Moucarry, presents a contrast and comparison between Muslim beliefs and Christian beliefs. Moucarry appeals to the audience that the best way in which to witness is through friendship and everyday dialogue.
Author's Perspective
The author himself is of Arab/Muslim ancestry and Christian heritage. Moucarry states his primary thesis on p. 15, "This book attempts to examine the claims of both Christianity and Islam....what I am seeking, I suppose, is to build a bridge between the Christian and Muslim communities." Moucarry himself has lived in both of these types of communities throughout his life and realizes that there is a surmounting tension growing that must be resolved. He feels that the best way to do such is plainly through simple dialogue. He has seen that in the book market there are many books that are full of harsh criticisms between these communities, thus he decided to write a book in which would as positively as possible shine the light of God into both of these "religions." After having lived as both, he felt that the best possible way to approach each would be to mirror them through contrast and comparison.

Presentation of Material
Dr. Moucarry divided his book up into five sections:
1. The Scriptures (Moucarry gives a detailed account of both the Christian bible and the Muslim Qur'an. He addresses the issue of why Muslim theologians have said that Christians/Jews have falsified the Bible and then ends this section by carefully showing that there could not have been any falsification.)
2. The Key Doctrines (Moucarry now turns to many of the specifics that hold these two worlds together and how there are through discrepancies among the Muslims beliefs.)
3. The View of Jesus Christ (Moucarry now begins the largest section of his book. He opens through direct quoting of what both the Bible and the Qur'an specifically state about Jesus and which would be more accurate.)
4. The View of Muhammad (Moucarry opens the view of Muhammad as seen through the Qur'an and the Hadith. Muslims believe that the Bible (and the alleged Gospel of Barnabas) clearly teaches the forthcoming of this great Prophet-of which Moucarry carefully exegetes the Christian Bible and shows to whom were really foreseen.)
5. Contemporary Issue (Moucarry ends his book by addressing somewhat of the "missions" focus as to how these two worldviews can begin a careful and proper assimilation under the Lordship of the true God Jesus Christ.)
Prominent Features
There are several areas as to where I find this book a tremendous aid. The first area is the extent to which he has researched and written. Moucarry has not just written a basic apologetic as to why "Christianity Stands True," but he has written in such a diverse and expansive way as to shine light into many of the untouched areas of both views. To present the message, he has allowed the two texts to become transparent and to show its true colors. Thus by doing so, he has in the end revealed that the Bible is Theological and Spiritually superior to that which the supposed Great Prophet has written. I believe that what aids his writing is the fact that he has lived both lives and is able to write as such.
I think that the second area to which is most beneficial is his superior use of direct quoting. He does not merely say, "So and so said this and that." No, he directly quotes many Islamic theologians and many, many passages from the Qur'an. What further aided this is that he did the same with the Christian Scripture.
The last area to which is helpful is that this book could most definitely witness (through the Spirit) to a Muslim reading it. He has created this book to be a dialogue for these two perspectives, thus laying a paved road to enter into friendly discourse and not harmful, driving tension.
Personal Insights
I think that the greatest insight (that is as coming from the Christian perspective) is that Satan will stop at nothing to malign the True Word of God. Probably one of the most fascinating peeks at Satan's trickery I have seen while reading this book came from p. 46:
The Qur'an urges the 'People of the Book', that is, Jews and Christians, to receive the
final revelation God had entrusted to Muhammad (2:41 ; 4:47 ). This call is based on the assumption that the Qur'an is God's revelation in Arabic confirming the preceding revelations, that is, the Torah and the Gospel.

This just shows that there is not always going to be this huge bombardment attack from the Evil One-of which most are very subtle. We must be ready to always defend the attacks (whether great or small) of the Prince of this world. We must stand guard and be prepared "in season and out of season." Go and befriend a Muslim because they are just as we are-created in the image of God!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great introduciton
Like the other reviewer, I also enjoyed "The Prophet and the Messiah". He is highly educated in the filed of Islamic studies and is a well-known spokesman for the educated interaction of the two faiths. From my own limited knowledge of the literature, this has been the most useful of the books on the subject owing to its organization and content. It is not polemical, although Moucarry is clearly a Christian.

One little observation is that many books of this sort approach Islam from the Protestant theological tradition. In some ways this seems to be useful since the majority of Protestants and all true Muslims hold a "Quranic" notion of the Book. That is, it is literal and intact as given. In Christian terms, this means that functionally most Protestants have zero conception of how the New Testament was formed from the liturgical heart of the Church, and not vice versa. So in this way the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura (bible alone) has a false bond with Islam on a textual level. It should be noted, however, that when speaking with Moslems it needs to be remembered that their equivalent to Jesus Christ incarnate of Mary as God is not Muhammad, but the Qur'ân. We have an incarnated God, they have an "inscripturated" God. There is much to learn from the ancient Churches of the Near and Middle East in this regard.

Other useful books in this regard are Cragg's "Muhammad and the Christian", "Paths to the Heart" edited by Cutsinger is very useful if you have an interest in Sufism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Bell's "The Origin of Islam in Its Christian Environment", Daniel Sahas' "John of Damascus on Islam: The Heresy of the Ishmaelites", and Stockle's "The Doctrine of Islam and Christian Belief".

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye opening and helpful
Recently popular Christian writer Don Richardson published a book called "The Secrets of the Koran" in which the author chronicles passages in the Koran that he finds offensive and he wants to bring to the attention of Christian leaders (and all leaders for that matter).

In "The Prophet and the Messiah" author Chawkat Moucarry takes a different approach. Moucarry looks at both the Bible and the Qur'an and examines places of connection between them. Quoting both the Qur'an and Islamic theologians, Morcarry finds places of dialog between Christians and Muslims that can lead to a better understanding of both religions and can move a Muslim into a better understanding of the true Christian message.

One of the main goals Moucarry has in his book is to create dialog between the Muslim believer and the Christian believer. In writing about his childhood in Syria, Moucarry comments:

Although Christians and Muslims have been living together for hundreds of years, they have always had a ghetto mentality, especially with regard to their faiths. Mutual ignorance, some would argue, was the price of trouble-free coexistence . . .This compromise proved quite unacceptable to the teenager I was at that time.

Moucarry's book then proceeds to chronicle important doctrines and beliefs of each faith looking at:
- the Holy books for both Muslims and Christians
- key doctrines for both faiths
- Jesus Christ and issues relating to Him
- Muhammad and issues relating to him.

Along the way Moucarry also looks at key problems between both faiths.

For example in Chapter 10 Moucarry looks at the Crucifixion. For many this subject is a place of disagreement between Christians and Muslim that seems irreconcilable. Moucarry helps us see what the Qur'an really says and how early Muslim interpreters did not see this verse as a problem. It was only later that this problem came up. (Read the book to find out more).

Moucarry does the same thing for many other key issues such as Jesus the Son of God, the Trinity, Mohammad's prophethood, and the Bible foretelling of Mohammad.

With each issue Moucarry looks at what the Qur'an says and what the Bible says and then at the writings of key theologians to help us understand how believers have dealt with this key issues. Along the way we gain deeper understanding of both faiths and, for the true seeker, we gain a greater ability to have dialog and to be able to seek truth together. ... Read more

153. Western Views of Islam in Medieval and Early Modern Europe : Perception of Other
list price: $69.95
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Asin: 0312218915
Catlog: Book (1999-12-10)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Sales Rank: 507801
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Book Description

This book considers the various attitudes of European religious and secular writers towards Islam during the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. Examining works from England, France, Italy, the Holy Lands, and Spain, the essays explore the reactions of Westerners to the culture and religion of Islam. Many of the works studied reveal the hostility toward Islam of Europeans and the creation of negative stereotypes of Muslims by Western writers.
... Read more

154. The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife: Kitab Dhikr Al-Mawt Wa-Ma Badahu Book Xl of the Revival of the Religious Sciences, Ihya Ulum Al-Din
by Ghazzali, J. J. Winter, Al-Ghazali
list price: $39.95
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Asin: 0946621136
Catlog: Book (1989-01)
Publisher: Islamic Text Society
Sales Rank: 584984
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the first English translation of a key section of Al-Ghazali's Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din), widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality. Its theme is of universal interest - death and the life to come. After expounding his Sufi philosophy of death and showing the importance of the contemplation of human mortality to the mystical way of self-purification, Ghazali takes his readers through the stages of the future life: the vision of the Angels of the Grave, the Resurrection, the Intercession of the Prophet, and finally, the torments of Hell, the delights of Paradise and - for the elect - the beatific vision of God's Countenance. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Winters Renders al-Ghazali Perfectly
I have read numerous translations of books from the Ihya and was absolutely amazed and pleased to come across TJ Winters English rendition of this classical work of Islamic philosophy. It is not easy endeavor to bring forth the essence of al-Ghazali's Arabic style into the European languages. But, this books has done it! Really protrays the message, tone, and intention of al-Ghazali for the English reader. A must have for all those interested in philosophy, especially Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Spiritual Reading
Imam Ghazzali (Algazel) wrote this book hundreds of years ago, but the morays and virtues expressed in this text provide guidance that is much needed today. Read this book and you will find out why some regard this man as one of the greatest scholars of Islam, and his works on spirituality affected the Western world so immensely.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent translation of a great book from a great mind
Ghazali is a master. Anyone who has read any of his works can appreciate the depth of his vision. This transalation does great justice to this particular chapter of his great work - the Iyha. Good translations of Ghazali's works are hard to find. This is an excellent translation and a remarkable find. Lucky is the reader who can find a copy. A sobering view of death and how the remembrance of death is something to be valued, not to be turned away from. Overall, very highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Winter is Ghazali's Best Translator
This is an excellent translation of the eleventh book of Ghazali's magnus opus, Reviving the Religious Sciences. Winter's work does justice to the literary merit of the original Arabic. The book is filled with informative footnotes, and a superb introduction situating Ghazali in his historical context. It also has a very useful biographical appendix which provides the reader information about the figures whose aphorisms and anecdotes Ghazali quotes. All in all, its a superb work of scholarship. ... Read more

155. The Muslims of America (Religion in America)
by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad
list price: $24.00
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Asin: 0195085590
Catlog: Book (1993-08-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 404694
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Book Description

This collection brings together sixteen previously unpublished essays about the history, organization, challenges, responses, outstanding thinkers, and future prospects of the Muslim community in the United States and Canada. Both Muslims and non-Muslims are represented among the contributors, who include such leading Islamic scholars as John Esposito, Frederick Denny, Jane Smith, and John Voll. Focusing on the manner in which American Muslims adapt their institutions as they become increasingly an indigenous part of America, the essays discuss American Muslim self-images, perceptions of Muslims by non-Muslim Americans, leading American Muslim intellectuals, political activity of Muslims in America, Muslims in American prisons, Islamic education, the status of Muslim women in America, and the impact of American foreign policy on Muslims in the United States. ... Read more

156. The Last Barrier: A Journey into the Essence of Sufi Teachings
by Reshad Feild, Coleman Barks, Hakki Bey
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
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Asin: 1584200073
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Lindisfarne Books
Sales Rank: 289917
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This classic work by Reshad Feild, one of today’s best-known Sufi teachers in the West, tells the compelling story of his journey into an ancient and powerful spiritual path. Starting as a London antique dealer, Feild comes into contact with the enigmatic Hamid, a Sufi teacher who leads him into a world of mystery, knowledge, and limitless love.

In this journey, which takes him to the mystical sites of Turkey, Feild is forced to confront his own inner weaknesses and falsehoods. Hamid and the events of his search take him again and again into confrontation with the limits of his own being, enabling him to shed the false conditioning that lies between himself and his true nature.

This hard-to-put-down adventure is a travelogue in more ways than one. It tells of Feild’s exhilarating explorations into mystical Turkey, a land of whirling dervishes and the tombs of great saints, but also a world that opens into the divine love that lies at the heart of all.

This twenty-fifth anniversary edition features a new foreword by Coleman Barks, the fore­most modern interpreter of the Sufi poet Rumi. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Conversations
Finding this book in print is like finding an insider's multi-million dollar stock tip in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, or an original Rembrandt etching at a yard sale. Such things aren't supposed to happen. But when they do, the finder is perversely negligent not to take advantage of them.
We all know that the way to learn an art or a skill is to apprentice to a master, and this is truest of all in the case of the ultimate art - the art of becoming fully human, becoming what Jesus and St. Paul called "perfect", "completed". However, though it's easy to find a fine surgeon or an expert carpenter, it's not so easy to locate a reliable teacher in the realm of the spirit. The field is full of frauds since so few of us are equipped to judge true quality. And instruction in this art is usually private and secret, for good and sufficient reasons. The fate of those who go public can be unhappy.
Here is the autobiographical record of a young British pop musician who went east on a spiritual journey. So far not unusual. He found a capable teacher who was not a fraud and was willling to talk: less usual. And he took notes! He took copious notes, and put the record of his experiential learning into a book, and this book is available on the internet.
Only in these strange times, when, as Jesus said, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing whispered in a private room that will not be shouted from the rooftops, could such a thing be possible.
Thank goodness that Reshad went looking, that Bulent was willing to teach, that Reshad took notes, and that Lindisfarne Press has brought the book out again. It contains instructions for learning to live, a skill most of us are still beginners at. ... Read more

157. An Introduction to Shi'I Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'Ism
by Moojan Momen
list price: $23.00
our price: $23.00
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Asin: 0300035314
Catlog: Book (1987-02-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 286415
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Concise History & Beliefs of Shi'e
This is a book that I recommend to everyone who is interested in understanding the history of Shi'e split from Sunni faction(s) in Islam. The book, however, goes much beyond that, and provides insight to developments of Islam at Mohammed's time, and immediately after his death, as well as a detailed follow on to present day. It is written with a style that keeps the reader glued to the book, unlike most books in similar subjects.

There are two points that I have minor criticism: the book contains numerous Arabic (and Farsi) names, perhaps too many names are given in the book. This practice, even though it provides credibility for the content, makes the reading of the book difficult for even those who can read Farsi and Arabic.

The second point is this: a few of dates provided in the text (such as birth, death, start or completion of events, etc.) appear inaccurate, even if one accepts the information detailed on the same page where the dates are recorded.

All in all, an excellent book for both the novice, as well as informed individuals. This book can also be used as a reference source; it has nearly 100 pages of bibliography, index, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars A rewarding way to become acquainted with Shi'I Islam
I was surprised to find that I could not put this book down. I figured this would be a dry subject and picked it up because I wanted to have a better understanding of Shi'I Islam. Dr. Momen's book was very detailed yet the subject matter read like a story rather than a series of facts strewn together. The succession of the Imams and the tribulations entwined within that history were especially riveting. At the same time I always felt Dr. Momen was treating the subject fairly, giving a detailed and balanced account, especially in areas where the history is a source of controversy between the two branches of Islam.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive book available about Shia Islam
I have read many books about the religious development and history of Shia Islam and have to say without any hesitation that this is the most detailed and objective book I have ever read on the subject. The author, Mr. Momen, has done a thorough job of accurately presenting its early history as well as it development up to present time. Very scholarly, with many footnotes and cross references. Based upon the information that I was already familar with, I recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining unbiasd information about the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is an incredible introduction to Shiah Islam.
The author has created a remarkable book on Shiah Islam which will undoubtedly will serve as valuable reference guide for students in Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies, Iranian history. The author covers a vast range of history and theology, up to and including the 1979 Iranian revolution. Biograhies of prominent Iranian figures and theologians make this book a valuable aide in the field of Iranian studies. Yet it is enjoyable to read, written in a pleasant academic style that is not dry. For those seekign to understand contemporary Iran today, this is a useful reference book. ... Read more

158. A Modern History of the Islamic World
by Reinhard Schulze
list price: $60.00
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Asin: 0814797768
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: New York University Press
Sales Rank: 819282
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Schulze's contribution is important to ongoing global political events.In sum, Schulze's work is interesting and highly relevant..comprehensive and convincing."--Journal of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas

The Islamic world--defined as those regions in which Islam is the dominant or single most important religion--covers territories as far apart as Morocco and Indonesia, Somalia, and Bosnia and includes an extraordinary range of societies and cultures. In A Modern History of the Islamic World, eminent scholar Reinhard Schulze charts the history of these societies in the twentieth century, revealing what they have in common as well as their equally profound differences.

Rather than stringing together individual studies of different countries, the book is structured chronologically, tracing political change in the context of culture and society. Schulze opens with a survey of the impact of colonialism and its attendant modernizing effects on the Islamic world. He then moves on to examine the rise of bourgeois nationalism in the 1920s and 1930s, the era of independence movements, the relationship between Islamic cultures and the "republican" political culture of the Third World, the reassertion of Islamic ideologies in the 1970s and 1980s and, finally, the issues surrounding the relationship between Islamic culture and civil society that dominated debate in the 1990s.

A Modern History of the Islamic World provides a clear overview of the ways in which twentieth century modernism affected the societies of the Islamic world and how modernism was developed from an Islamic perspective. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars History's lessons
I am not quite sure what to make of this book, but here goes. It is a historically rich narrative of the Islamic world over the past century, it is an objective and successful attempt at finding out how the Islamic world has changed and why and its relation to the rest of the world and other cultures. I should warn you, though, that it is not a light read and you may find yourself going back a couple of pages to re-orient yourself.

There is a special focus on the different political theories and ideologies and their influence on Muslims as they came into contact with them as a result of integration with the rest of the world, especially after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. It seems to be a fitting addition to the resource materials required for any serious political science/history class and it is a very deep analysis (he is a scholar). A very educating work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent History
This very good history of Islamic world of the last 100 years.The unlike most histories of the Islamic world, the author avoids Orientalism and as result is able to tell a coherent and compelling story.The book provides a historical supplement to Sayyid's A Fundamental Fear.I would recommend reading both of these together.Where Fundamenatal Fear provides a theoritical analysis, this book provides a historically rich description.

4-0 out of 5 stars finally translated
I hope the translation of Schulze's general work on the modern history of Islam will lead to the translation of some of his works, especially on Pan-Islamism.This book has its weaknesses throughout due to the very nature of the enterprise.It's all too easy to point out what such attempts to give comprehensive histories lack.Nonetheless, out of all the books out there, I recommend Schulze's book more than any other because it avoids sensationalism and the essentialization of Islamic history.Moreoever, it presents Islamic history in th idiom of political modenrity rather than in mediaeval throwbacks that are not sufficient for explaining polyvalent nature of modern Islamic history.The translation, however, was poorly edited even after coming out in paperback, which is a shame.Overall, this doesn't detract from the overall quality of the work. ... Read more

159. Ethico-Religious Concepts in the Quran
by Toshihiko Izutsu
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Asin: 0773524274
Catlog: Book (2002-06-01)
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Sales Rank: 378531
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160. The Bible, the Qu'ran and Science: The Holy Scriptures Examined in the Light of Modern Knowledge
by Maurice, Dr. Bucaille, Alastair D. Pannell
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.60
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Asin: 187940298X
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an
Sales Rank: 285213
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Bible, the Qur'an, and Science is an objective study of the Old Testament, the Gospels and the Qur'an. This book seeks to spiritually unite by highlighting similarities in the texts. It sheds new light and dispels many preconceived ideas in separating what belongs to Revelation from what is the product of error or human interpretation. ... Read more

Reviews (33)

WHat is honestly not fair, is people lowering their feedbacks more then neccesarly, on a book, simply because it is aginast their opinions, or they don't like that the book speaks praisingly about something they dislike. I own the original of this book, and i am honestly going to say: NO ONE CAN DENY this scientist, surgeon, and mathmtecian etc... did do RESERACH. You can't deny it, even if you wnat to give him negative stars. It's a clear cut easy read book, with many scientific facts compared to what the bible, the quran as well as some of the torah, has to say. there's an introduction to each religion's belif, not opinionated.

THIS man is a non-muslim! why would he lie about something and then take the time to write a book, had his observations been false? Being non-muslim, i half expected this book to be written in an answering-to tone of all the bible's "misconceptions".Unlike most books who merely state opinions and well... have no root of research, this man took time. Science is a big thing. you can't state your opinion without a theory, research, an experiment, and a conclusion. THat is exaclty what this author did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Faith Confirmation Using the Truth
This book is valuable in that it shows the difference between "Divinely Inspired" and "Divine Revelation." A distinction making clear why Al-Islam is important and should not be dismissed out of hand by the other two Abrahamic Religions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous! Unbiased and Objective!
Excellent Book! Excellent Work, Full of facts. It is out of this world. It is real eye opener. Basic facts are same, so there is no question of book being outdated.

It shows that how much a French can be unbiased and objective while analyzing the facts. This book is for you if you are lost reading atheist. The book shows that religion and science not only can co-exist but also they complement each other.

Finding a truth is more like rely race. You can go up to extent with the help of science and then you have to pass the stick to religion

Note: One need to read this book twice with objective mind to understand. If a person doesn't understand first time, before writing the comments the book should read again. Buying the original Koran will also help.

4-0 out of 5 stars brilliant comparative review, a bit outdated now (2002)
Bucaille does all honestly curious and thinking people a great service: puts the contents of these Holy Books into context with modern science. Quite a few "facts" which we have been tought are quite obviously manufactured consent. That the Qur'an is unadulterated is shown a dangerous supposition by latest research (refer to the syro-aramäic early Qur'an, found in 1971 during restauration of the main mosque of Saana, Jemen). Otherwise, 4 Stars and a comets tail!

5-0 out of 5 stars Truly the Word of GOD
If the scriptures are really from the heavens then they must conform completely and perfectly to scientific knowledge. They must not contain a single sentence or word that contradicts scientific knowledege or breakthrough. They must be perfect and without error. Although Maurice Baucille was a Christian when he wrote this book he has proven beyond doubt what we Muslims have known for over 1400 years that the Qur'an is perfect, errorless and completely conforms with scientific knowledge and discoveries. Science has only recently begun to prove what we Muslims were told in the Qur'an over 1400 years ago. The Qur'an is perfect and is the word of GOD becuase only the word of GOD can be perfect. If anybody has any doubts on the perfection on the Qur'an or would like to see the many inconsistencies in the Bible he should surely read this book. A must for scientist who believe in GOD or are seeking the truth. I am a physician by trade and it has only proven to me things I already knew from medical school. ... Read more

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