Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing” as Want to Read:
Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  87 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
If Tripping with Allah is a road book, it’s a road book in the tradition of 2001: A Space Odyssey, rather than On the Road. Amazonian shamanism meets Christianity meets West African religion meets Islam in this work of reflection and inward adventure. Knight, the “Hunter S. Thompson of Islamic literature” seeks reconciliation between his Muslim identity and his drinking of ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Soft Skull Press (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tripping with Allah, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tripping with Allah

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 323)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 07, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m fascinated by Knight not so much from the detailed descriptions of his drug trips and other adventures as from his ability to put into writing his very human wrestling with what it means to be a Muslim. He’s the eccentric who can look at the system and point out the bullshit not as an outsider but as someone who identifies with and loves it in his own way. He calls it being a part of the underground (in Islam) and compares it to those underground people in America who are just as American as ...more
John Krajewski
Aug 24, 2015 John Krajewski rated it really liked it
Really intense, hilarious, multilayered book. As someone up on here said, it was nothing like what I was expecting. I don't know really know what kind of person could/would expect something like this. I'm not really sure what "this" is. I don't really think Knight does either as he spends most of the book grappling with what the book is. As he says he set out to write "the great islamic drug book" or something like that. What it turns into is a really bizarre, self-referential kind of awkward jo ...more
Apr 14, 2014 5 rated it it was amazing
This wasn't quite what I was hoping for, which was a non-western perspective on psychotropics.

But it is awesome.

I picked this up knowing nothing at all about the author & it didn't occur to me to find out who he was until halfway through the book. He's something else. If you DO know who he is, I suggest you try not to let that influence your perspective on this one way or another. Do your best just to read it for what it is.

Which is:

A prolonged exploration of set & setting. One unusual m
Joey Gamble
Nov 21, 2013 Joey Gamble rated it did not like it
"The Hunter S. Thompson of Islam"? More like the Tucker Max of Islam. Except that associating him with Islam does a disservice to the myriad Muslim writers who are actually good.
Apr 22, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: nypl
Reminded me early and often of the book report song from "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown"
Jan 09, 2015 Charles rated it it was ok
I find this author irritating the way some people find Vanilla Ice irritating. He wants the recognition of being something other, but on his own terms. Michael Knight gives no indication he ever sold crack or got shot, but he wants the adulation associated with being the accessible crossover between unbearably white and street smart negro (Arab). Someone else did the work while he reaps the rewards.

I find him irritating because of all people he latches onto Wallace Fard Muhammad, founder of the
Emily Lewis
Dec 03, 2013 Emily Lewis rated it did not like it
Shelves: school
Where do I even start? This book is painfully self-obsessed and self-indulgent. The author literally just wanders through whatever he wants to talk about and prove his knowledge in for a given section. There doesn't seem to be any kind of real thread beyond vaguely relating everything to "drugs", which here includes everything from hallucinogens to coffee to body-building and masturbation. References to 80s cartoons and science fiction are as numerous as references to Islam, and professional wre ...more
Oct 25, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it
So far, this book is really, really funny. Harvard student Michael Knight examines his own identity while tripping out on ayahuasca. Favorite quote thus far (on page 3, by Jove): "Not even my Muslim friends who do coke want to join me for ayahuasca, but they're not doing coke for the sake of spiritual growth. Coke is fun, and ayahuasca is anti-fun. Coke is for people who like to party, and ayahuasca is for people who like throwing up and shitting themselves and seeing Muhammad flying through spa ...more
Mar 01, 2014 afra rated it liked it
Weird, weird book. The beginning reads like an adventure story, the middle reads like a random assortment of excerpts from history textbooks, and the end of the book is exactly the drug-saturated hallucinogenic climax one would expect from the title... except about 9 times scarier. I have to confess that I skipped the entire middle of the book because I was unable to muck through 140 pages of rantings about obscure elements of Islamic history and politics. Was still a fun read, and the ending, t ...more
John Melvin
Jul 16, 2016 John Melvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Useful Trip

Knight's drug journey uniquely takes us not only to a flip-out but also to an insight to the foundations of religious life.
Ellen Johnson
Jun 28, 2016 Ellen Johnson rated it liked it
i don't know what to say. arrogant self-absorbed hipster or astute observer of cultural history? I was ready for him to just get on with the ayahuasca trip, already but I forgave him stringing us along when I found that , as typical for mystical experriences, he didn't have much to say afterward because he saw that words are bullshit, especially theology, I might add. some truly amazing sentences.
Feb 28, 2015 Maryam rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this.
Aug 04, 2013 Moose rated it it was ok
i am a sufi muslim and have been working with ayahuasca in peru for over a year now. while that does not qualify me as an expert, i can say that hands-down, knight's book is mostly fluff with little substance. he spends the vast majority of the book on bullshit and only gets to his experience with the medicine at the very end.

so while the title is catchy and controversial the work inside is not. skip this one.
Sep 17, 2014 Bengt rated it really liked it
Let the minaret loudspeakers blare the sounds of weeping and vomiting men.
Apr 11, 2015 aj rated it it was amazing
This books is a trip of its own. While reading the more academic portion, I recommended it to all my friends who care about drugs or Islam. Then I got into the trip, and I became more cautious in my recommendations. Just like a drug-induced trip, it's good to prepare yourself mentally before the plunge.
Feb 28, 2013 Kyle rated it it was amazing
Mike's latest book [full disclosure: we hung out once, and he's a great guy] is sure to piss off the orthodox Muslims of all stripes; but reading it as an outsider, it strikes me a record of an earnest search for truth and meaning in a religious context. This is something I can relate to.
Nov 12, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
While his rants on history are a bit polemic and simplistic, it's digestible and his personal writing makes up for it.
Aug 05, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it
I guess I should start watching transformers.
Nov 12, 2013 Shane rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt review in the works...
Kyle marked it as to-read
Oct 13, 2016
Mj marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2016
Shafaq marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
Desmond marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
Morgan marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Petros marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2016
Javid Seyidov
Javid Seyidov marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2016
Djuna marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2016
Mi Mi
Mi Mi is currently reading it
Sep 05, 2016
Chris marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age
  • Illusion of Free Markets
  • Freud
  • The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World (Quarterly Essay #41)
  • Slim's Table: Race, Respectability, and Masculinity
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man
  • The Housing Boom and Bust
  • Food Justice
  • The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers
  • Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth about Washington Corruption from America's Most Notorious Lobbyist
  • Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East
  • LSD: Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research into Realms of the Human Unconscious
  • James Baldwin
  • The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind
  • The Misogyny Factor
  • A Rap on Race
  • Seeds of Terror: How Heroin Is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda
  • A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran
Michael Muhammad Knight (born 1977) is an American novelist, essayist, and journalist. His writings are popular among American Muslim youth. The San Francisco Chronicle described him as "one of the most necessary and, paradoxically enough, hopeful writers of Barack Obama's America," while The Guardian has described him as "the Hunter S. Thompson of Islamic literature," and his non-fiction work exe ...more
More about Michael Muhammad Knight...

Share This Book

“mixture produced the Islam that would need constant protection from mixture.” 0 likes
“The traumatic aspect of drinking ayahuasca is that in order to heal yourself, you must first confront the wound; by forcing you to deal with your own inner garbage, ayahuasca shows you things about yourself that you might not want to see. I wish that a whole country could drink ayahuasca—not merely every individual citizen of a country, but the country itself, the spirit of the country. I wish that a flag could drink ayahuasca, that we could just fold the Stars and Stripes into the shape of a cup, pour in the tea, and transport Uncle Sam into another dimension. He’d have to fight his way out of some nightmares, but he’d be cleansed. What would he find? William S. Burroughs wrote that when you drink ayahuasca, “The blood and substance of many races, Negro, Polynesian, Mountain Mongol, Desert Nomad, Polyglot Near East, Indian—new races as yet unconceived and unborn, combinations not yet realized—pass through your body.” When Burroughs drank, he actually saw himself transformed into both a black man and a black woman. What if some freedom-hating narcoterrorists snuck into the Fox News studios and put ayahuasca in Sean Hannity’s coffee, just before he went live? What would be the day’s fair and balanced news for America? If America drank ayahuasca and then withdrew into the filthy pit of its own heart, confronting all its fears and hate and finally purging itself of that negative energy, maybe America would come out Muslim: sucked through a black hole by the Black Mind, young Latter-Day Saint crackers with smooth cheeks, short-sleeved white shirts, and name tags confront nightmarish visions of getting swallowed whole by giant grotesque “Jolly Nigger” coin banks and then find themselves vomited back up as Nubian Islamic Hebrews in turbans and robes selling incense on the subways. The “God Hates Fags” pastor, eyes wild with a new passion for Allah, boards a helicopter to drop thousands of Qur’ans upon the small towns below. I want to see ayahuasca’s vine goddess clean out America’s poison. But what would happen if a religion could drink the vine? What if I poured ayahuasca into my Qur’an?” 0 likes
More quotes…