This book was the designated book for a class I was taking as part of the HeadStart program at uOttawa. This is not the greatest book for teaching theThis book was the designated book for a class I was taking as part of the HeadStart program at uOttawa. This is not the greatest book for teaching the language in my opinion. Granted this is designed for complete beginners (which I am not), but it seems to miss quite a bit of the nuances of the language. For the most part it disregards such things as dual, plural, past, future tenses, most of the grammar of the language, and doesn't really have any verbs. If you've got a terrible teacher for the course, you're not going to enjoy it. My prof for this course (Afifa Haddad) was one of the two funniest of my teachers this semester (although my English prof was pretty cool too). Another peeve was the narration on the included DVD. This was a bit hit-and-miss with a few of the speakers being wonderful, and a few of them completely unintelligible, even for someone who has at the very least a passing (if not greater) familiarity with spoken Arabic. All in all unless this is a mandatory part of your course I would skip it. It costs quite a pretty penny too, weighing in at approximately $90 Canadian, brand new. Even buying it secondhand I payed $45 Canadian. Not exactly the cheapest book out there....more
I actually read this sometime in 2003, but the image is still in my head (God how I hate penmanship lessons). At any rate this book provides an insighI actually read this sometime in 2003, but the image is still in my head (God how I hate penmanship lessons). At any rate this book provides an insightful look into the thought process of how the American mind looks at both itself and the world....more
Having recently started the month of Ramadan ( Arabic: رمضان) I wanted to familiarize myself with what non-Muslim authors and scholars were saying aboHaving recently started the month of Ramadan ( Arabic: رمضان) I wanted to familiarize myself with what non-Muslim authors and scholars were saying about Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم and Islam in general. So with this topic in mind I picked up Karen Armstrong's book "Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time". So, to begin: NOTE: All of Ms. Armstrong's direct quotes will be in quotation marks ("). My sarcastic or emphasized comments (To find which is which try to understand the context) will be in single quotes ('). First I applaud Ms. Armstrong for attempting to portray the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم in a more human light. This is something the West (yes I am part of that 'West') seems to need to understand history. A pull-at-the-heartstrings story. However in doing this Ms. Armstrong takes away what it means for the Messenger to be a Messenger. That reverence that his followers felt, the honor that was given to him. At times in Ms. Armstrong's quest to provide a more "accessible account"1 the love and respect his companions (Arabic: صحاﺑﺔ) showed him becomes at best hard to see for the informed and at worst implying that at times they were almost going to overthrow him in a rebellion of sorts. This is one of the greatest complaints I have against this book.
Second Ms. Armstrong uses very few sources, chief among them a certain Muhammad ibn Is'haq. Now to be fair she does use other books and works to make her point, but I felt that while reading the book she rarely (if ever) attempted to bring an opposing opinion and disprove it. Again not really that big a deal, yet it still brought my estimate of her book down.
Third, and I would say most important factor in my irritation, is that she never uses the original Arabic for the Qur'an. It is always a translation. Now most of you would be correct, but as even Ms. Armstrong says in her book: "It is difficult for a non-Arabic to appreciate the beauty of the Qur'an, because this is rarely conveyed in translation."2 This also applies to other uses of transliteration such as when Ms. Armstrong talks about the Bani Qaynuqa'3 (Arabic : بني قينقاع) which both looks and sounds ridiculous. To the average person reading this book the Arabic would be useless, and to some even irritating and distracting (which is not really an excuse; that's what glossaries and indexes are for).
In conclusion I would most certainly never use this book to introduce a person to either Islam or the Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم , but as a tertiary source for someone researching him.
Quotes: 1: Page 6, line 14 of paragraph 3 2: Page 46, line 5 of paragraph 2 3: Page 91, line 11 of paragraph 1 Note: The paragraph starts from the top of the page regardless if it is just one word from the previous page or not....more
Another "book" that had me wondering what is taking goodreads so long to invent negative reviews. Firstly Mr. Joel Richardson has, while trying to selAnother "book" that had me wondering what is taking goodreads so long to invent negative reviews. Firstly Mr. Joel Richardson has, while trying to sell his point twisted, misquoted, and even lied about the Qur'an and the sayings (hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh. In fact I literally threw this book across the room against the wall, something I never do.After tossing this extreme waste of paper I did not finish it. To Mr. Richardson I would recommend research, followed by the truth would prove your point to the (I was gonna say blinded, but that's rude) Christian masses....more