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What Do Muslims Believe?: The Roots and Realities of Modern Islam
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What Do Muslims Believe?: The Roots and Realities of Modern Islam

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A fascinating and concise primer on one of the world's most widespread religions.

Islam is one of the great monotheistic religions of the world. Its teachings emphasize unity, humility, forgiveness, and love of God. The Qur'an sings the virtues of knowledge and rationality. The life of Muhammad demonstrates the importance of tolerance, social justice and brotherhood. So why
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Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Walker & Company (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 146)
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Walt
Easy to absorb survey of the origins and beliefs within the many states of Islam. Provides very good descriptions of what the fundamentalist Muslims latched onto, and the background to Muslim political states. The author is optimistic about the future, visualizing a harmony with other religions - let's hope this comes to pass. (According to him, that was what Muhammed asked of his followers.)
 TheGriffinReads
I was familiar with Christianity but have only had limited contact with Islam. Sardar's commentary surprised me despite popular comments. Islam, in contrast to Christianity, depends on factual evidence as a basis for belief. Where Christianity requires the acceptance on faith of Jesus Christ as the son of God, Islam asks followers to discover the will of Allah through the record of the life and actions of the Prophet Mohammed and to continually question the evidence!
Sardar also continually asser
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Trey Mustian
This book provides a very good introduction to the fundamentals of Islam. It explores the history of Islam and ends with a practical analysis of the role of Islam in the world today. Importantly, for an American reader with little knowledge of Islam, the book points out that terrorists who use Islam as a basis for their actions are really acting outside the precepts of the faith. Finally, the book discusses the modern struggles within the faith, especially as women are asserting a greater role i ...more
Jamie
This book is short and packed with information. I liked the question and answer format of the chapters. There was a lot of history packed in that was really informative, but I have to confess, all the Arabic names were hard to keep straight. I could have used some pictures to help me differentiate them. This book had a very positive spin about the future Islam. I would like to compare with other peoples opinions by reading more books on the topic
Bill
This is another good "survey" book, taking you through the history of Islam, in a concise and readable way. Highly recommended (though not as well-organized and written as the "What Do Jews Believe?")
Chris
I read this very slowly, about 10 pages at a time. There is a lot of info and I know nothing about Islam. I think this was a good way to start.
Andrew
I'd read bits and pieces of Ziauddin Sardar's work for a while, but I think this was the wrong choice for an introduction to his full-length works. It was available at the library, that's why I read it. Turned out to be a part of a series of introductions to the major religions of the world. So it's great if you want an introduction to Islam... and I learned some new things about the roots of Islam from it, but the book doesn't tackle many great intellectual debates.
Thompson
The book has some good info, but the info is, understandably, spun to favor the author's point of view on Islam. What kept the book from being good is that the book was almost totally devoid of documentation. There were many many times when this reader wanted to check on the author's assertions, but, because of the lack of documentation, was unable to do so. If there has been supporting documentation, this would be a good and informative read.
Scott Lewis
An outstanding introduction to Islam, that is both objective and informative. In just over 100 pages Sardar provides an astounding amount of valuable information to help non-Muslims understand the theology, culture and history of the world's second largest religion.
Marjanne
Feb 20, 2008 Marjanne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in religion
This was a good overview of what Muslims believe, who they are, etc. I though the author did a good job of introducing the religion and explaining some of its major tenets. He also discussed the diversity of beliefs and practices. This is a good starting place.
Laurel
Interesting...I'd like to read someone else's take on Islam for balance's sake. I needed a little refresher on the history side of the religion. It's a quick read, but a little defensive (understandable).
Catherine
A short straightforward history of Islam, where it is today and what needs to be changed. Very helpful for anyone seeking a clearer understanding of this religion.
Mahin
Sardar is confused and his goal is to confuse the reader. Completely disheveled, no order. Claims to be critical, but has his own Modernist bias.
Deep
Good introduction to the uncontroversial, mundane basics of Islam. The author lacks guts to delve into the real issues.
Kate
Jan 20, 2010 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: faith
If you're looking for a basic, concise, easy-to-read introduction to Islam, look no further.
Farida
Nov 22, 2010 Farida added it
Great book, need to read more from this Author. he tells it how it is.
Meghna
Awesome, especially to understand the basics of Islam.
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Ziauddin Sardar has written or edited 45 books over a period of 30 years, many with his long-time co-author Merryl Wyn Davies. Recent titles include Balti Britain: a Journey Through the British Asian Experience (Granta, 2008); and How Do You Know: Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations (Pluto, 2006). The first volume of his memoirs is Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journey ...more
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