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

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  22 reviews
In this invaluable introduction to a faith that for much of the West remains shrouded in ignorance and fear, Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed scholar of comparative religion, examines Islam: its rituals and traditions, the revelation of Muhammad as Prophet and the subsequent uprising against him, and the emergence of his successors. Aslan's comprehensive text explo ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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A clear and well-written introduction to Islam for young readers. The sections describing Muhammad's life and family and the history of the faith are particularly strong. I had a couple of quibbles: after a lovely story illustrating Muhammad's reverence for Jesus and Mary, Aslan explains, "What the Quran does not accept, however, is the belief of Orthodox Trinitarians who argued that Jesus was *himself* God". (page 120). This is confusing. Is Islam inimical to Christianity, or isn't it? To say, ...more
Dima the Driven
Of coarse Reza Aslan is an apologist. couldnt be more obvious from the beginning. Marrying 9 year old girls is okay as long as you don't consamate the marriage till shes 13. Having something like 9 wives for the sole purpose of uniting different clans and religions is okay too.

Then to top it all off, he attacks the religion of my family, Greek Orthodox pretty much saying that Muhammad would have hated them because they were not "people of the book", because of the belief in the Holy Trinity. To
Somehow I ended up with the young adult version of this book because it was the only one in my library's ebook collection. But no matter... It was probably a good thing anyway because it gave me a (presumably) condensed, easy-to-understand introduction to Islam, something about which I didn't realize how ignorant I was. I learned many, many things I didn't know before, both about the Prophet Muhammad and the subsequent history of Islam. I'm interested in reading the Quran now, simply because fro ...more
This book is a simply display of Prophet Muhammad's biography. if you are a non-Muslim with no knowledge of the faith what-so-ever, this could be a great start, you'll know the basic foundation of the faith, the early history and some understanding of the major divide in the Islamic Nation between Shit'aa and Sunna..

Raza did a great job in displaying the course of the message and how it became confusing to non-Muslims regarding the root of violence. it is an easy read, with simple language and
Tara Jafari
'No God But God' is a great book as an introduction to Islam which is written more similar to a story book than a history book. Aslan is good in keeping the reader interested and pulling back the layers of prejudice very eloquently. Aslan has written this beautifully and really kept things succinct which was also quite refreshing for a 'history' book. However my only criticism would be that it falls short from a historical perspective and really breezes through many areas which I believe would h ...more
I absolutely love Reza Aslan as did my students when I was teaching Islamic Studies. His writing is approachable and straightforward and he narrates history in an interesting and digestible way.

I would recommend this book to any young adult and also to anyone interested in Islamic Studies and wants to ease into reading academic work. I've read the adult version of this book and love it. I enjoy the complexities of history that details offer and appreciate the perspective.

I also like how Aslan
Resa Aslan's No god but God is a good book for what it is: in essence, a primer on the historical development of the religion of Islam. (Note: though I ordered the original hardcover version from an online used bookseller, I was sent the simplified, slimmed down version originally aimed at younger readers, which is what I am reviewing here. Suffice it to say that the experience has been so positive that I will be going back and reading the longer original version soon.) In its 140 pages, it cove ...more
Dwan Tape
I found this to be the most precise, unspun history of Islam I've read to date. It is marketed by the publisher as a young adult read, but the language and form of this short book make me think it belongs more with a young college reader than much younger than that. The bibliography is extensive and evocative of the clear and precise understanding Aslan brings to his book. In short, while I didn't know what to expect from this book, I was quite impressed by it and would recommend it.
Nov 22, 2013 Jennifer rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Jack
Shelves: 2013
Reza Aslan is a very good writer, there's no doubt about that. And the first half of the book -- the history of how the Prophet and Islam came to be known -- was well done. But the second half of the book deals with the tenants of Islam that tend to be the most controversial; namely women and Muslim law.

I found myself wanting to engage Mr. Aslan in dialogue during most of the second half of the book. For example, when he says that thousands of people follow a man is representing Sharia without
Thankfully I accidentally ended up with the teen version. It was densely written, with many complex ideas that required real work to understand. I don't know if I would have made it through a longer version, to be honest.
That said, I'm delighted with the material and the insights presented. Extremely helpful information to understand.
I liked this book quite a bit. But I have to say that I feel a little cheated not by the author but by the Book Depository, I didn't know that I was getting the shorter teen version.
Personally I am an atheist, but I still an interested in all religions, I'm hoping to read books about all other religions soon too.
This book is really well written and enjoyable even though all of the book is pretty much factual with little of Reza's opinions, the hardest thing about the book for me was all of the n
A good and brief introduction to Islam.
This is an interesting an accessible history of Islam. Aslan talks about the original society that Muhammad lived in and the effects that society had on the development of the Islamic religion. The original intend of Muhammad was corrupted by later leaders of the faith, and Aslan deals with some of the more controversial points of Islamic belief, such as the role of women and the concept of jihad. Well worth reading for anyone interested in learning more about one of the largest faiths in the wo ...more
Derek Emerson
This youth oriented version of Alsan's larger work is excellent at providing a quick, clear overview of Islam. Not only will youth (high school) enjoy it, but adults looking for a quick introduction will find it to be a good starting place. Alsan clearly intends this for a Western audience and in addition to the history, addresses jihad and women's rights in separate chapters.
This felt a little like a SparkNotes outline/study guide on the history of Islam. All and all pretty interesting stuff. I'm thinking of picking up the adult version to read in the near future.
A great introduction into the beginnings of Islam and multiple topics that modern Muslims face today and ahead.
This book explained a lot of the history of Islam that I didn't know. The author is definitely progressive.
I really enjoyed reading about the religions in the Arab World prior to Islam. Facinating...
An amazing read. Very comprehensive and understandable.
Katharine Holden
Lots of detail, well presented and written.
Sep 28, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-new
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Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is author most recently of Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.

He is the founder of, an online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world, and co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and abou

More about Reza Aslan...
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization

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