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The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,459 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
As the specter of religious extremism has become a fact of life today, the temptation is great to allow the evil actions and perspectives of a minority to represent an entire tradition. In the case of Islam, there has been much recent confusion in the Western world centered on distorted portrayals of its core values. Born of ignorance, such confusion feeds the very problem ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 17th 2004 by HarperOne (first published 2002)
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Jun 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islam, non-fiction
This book aims to educate the general Western public about the "authentic Islam," but at times I wondered whether the author had remembered this objective. Some of the chapters were esoteric and some delved deep into the very basic tenets of Islam. Some, on the other hand, were used to make snarky remarks about "secularism" and the West.

Throughout the book, the author kept repeating that Islamic extremism was mainly caused by Western imperialism. This is a common apologetic claim by jihadist sym
Mohammad reza khorasanizadeh
کتابی جالب در معرفی اسلام به غیر مسلمانان
این کتاب پس از حوادث 11 سپتامبر و بعد از آن موج های گسترده ضد اسلام نوشته شد تا اسلام واقعی را بشناساند و با تقریب خوبی، این کار را انجام داده!
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
In the introduction the author states this book was “written with express purpose of explaining certain basic aspects of Islam and widely discussed issues in a manner acceptable to mainstream Islamic thought and comprehensible to the general western public.” He does an excellent job in achieving his purpose. In some respects the work is similar to Khaled Abou El Fadl’s excellent book, "The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists." Both have injected history into their discourse and both ...more
Aziza Aouhassi
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book gives insights about many facts related to the history, the geography, the demography, the pillars of Islam / Islamic world. It is explained well for those who wish to learn about Islam and those Muslims who aim to review it and think about what it seems obvious and well known.
I think it's worth reading
Mohammed Irfan
Jan 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
definitely does not worth reading. maybe it will be good for someone who knows nothing about Islam. but if you are born in the Middle East, there is pretty much nothing new for you. I thought it will be a thoughtful book with deep ideas. so disappointed. meh.
Mohammed Hichem
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
الكتاب للبروفيسور سيد حسين نصر .. عدد صفحات الكتاب 351 صفحة .. ويتكوّن من 7 فصول

الفصل الأول (وحدة الخالق و تعدد الأنبياء) : تكلم عن وحدة الحقيقة وكثرة الوحي

الفصل الثاني دائرة الإسلام ونطاقه (التّسنن . التشيع . والتصوف) : يتطرّق إلى القراءات التقليدية (للحداثيين والأصوليين) في الإسلام المعاصر
تحدث كذلك عن التشيّع والتسنّن و شعبهما كما خصّ بالذكر الأئمة الأربعة ثم خصّص جزءًا من هذا الفصل للحديث عن فرقة الإسماعيلية .. كما ركّز في حديثه عن التنوع الفكري والكلامي .

الفصل الثالث (الشرائع الإلهية وال
Dec 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Nasr's book may have a lot to offer for someone who knows almost nothing about Islam.He tries to give a simple clear-cut picture of Islam to fight off ingrained prejudice which is imprinted on individuals,inculcated in the bosom of some Western societies which are swayed by the mainstream media.But if you are an educated person who actually knows something about Islam, the book does not have much to offer you. What's more if you are a Muslim, the book has nothing to offer. That's why I regret pa ...more
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very clear insightful look at Islam. There are sections that feel a bit like they repeat themselves, but for the most part it reads very well. I don't think I would recommend this one as a good introduction to Islam simply because it delves into so many things that it might be a bit much for a first blush into the religion. But if you are already familiar and you want to learn more this is a very good book.
Joseph Lumbard
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Time and again I have found this to be one of the best books for introducing people to Islam in a way that will help them actually understand it. Although it is not as systematic as his "Ideals and Realities of Islam," it nonetheless has a far more approachable tone and deals more directly with issues that are of immediate concern to the modern reader.
Feroz Hameed
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"A ray of sunshine in the chaotic world of Islamophobia "...Brilliant masterpiece on the core spiritual and social value of Islam and what it offers to humanity in the present modern world who seeks absolute truth.God.
4 stars. Enlightening, illuminating, and a great review.
Aaminah Shakur
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the most valuable books to understanding Islam.
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review to come.
Apr 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
i heart dr. this excellent read for both muslims and nonmuslims alike...
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Katie by: Sallama Shaker
Shelves: class-readings
An apologist book on Islam. Will most likely not need to reference it for anything, nor am I interested in rereading it.
Alexander aJax
Jul 05, 2018 is currently reading it
I need to let it sit for a few years and then come back to it, but I was not impressed with the first read.

His scholarship was disappointing. He misunderstands Judaism and Christianity (though he has some intriguing critiques), and he gives sparse references—I’m sorry, zero references—to where he gets some of these ideas.

Before starting the book, I knew I carried the biases of my upbringing into the study, so I tried to be objective as possible. I had to put the book down for other reasons, so
Ashfaq Farooqui
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
The books aims to present Islam to the general public; and it surely does a great job, as noted by others on this forum too, by maintaining a balance between the tenets of Islam and Practical Islam as it is followed today in the world.

My only problem with the book was when the author used comparisons to bring out a point. These comparisons, while with the best of intentions, were not well explained or too short. Hence many a times it was hard to see if they delivered the point or just ended up
J.T.K. Gibbs
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another book to read and reread and consult. It is dense, at times overwhelming in the depth of its content, but well worth if one truly wants to understand Islam and its true goals.
Aug 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for a more in-depth study of the foundations of Islam, and for the most part, this book delivered. There were times when the philosophical stuff got just a little too in-depth for me, but I also expected a little of that. I was somewhat disappointed not to find anything really new in this, and since I don't know everything, it means I'm probably choosing the wrong books. It is a good choice for a tour through Islam in its pure form (without adding humans and politics into the mix).

Essam Qais
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
" The heart of Islam is the Islam of the heart"

Modern man lives in a media-saturated society, and media have become a source of knowledge to many people across the globe. Unfortunately, the Western media, especially in the United States, promulgates a plethora of misinformation, myths and even disinformation about Islam. For this reason, Naser's book is an endeavor to provide the Muslim as well as non-Muslim audience with authentic information about Islam as a religion, history and civilization
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
In this book, 'The Heart of Islam', Seyyed Hossein Nasr has eloquently written on the fundamentals and the framework of Islam. Although the book covers only the core tenets of Islam, Nasr has managed to touch upon wide range of topics from Jurisprudence to Human rights.

I find it well written and much more nuanced than any other introductory book on this subject. In today's world where Islam and it's followers are maligned, demonised and vilified quite commonly, this book will help us understand
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A book that should be read by not only Muslims, but all believers, who have the same core values that can bring back a more cohesive society - which is sorely needed in these dark times of hate and ignorance. For those that need insight into the actual beliefs and values off Islam, not those shown in the media our by extremists, this work will give you the clearest insight into the faith and it's core expectations from its practitioners.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Although Nasr tries to paper over the rough spots of Islam, he lets the cat out of the bag on numerous occasions. He can get very, um ... agitated at times. Among other things he is a fan of blasphemy laws, which destroys his credibility in my eyes. Weirdly, he thinks that textual analysis of the Qur'an is inherently anti-God. Given the contrast between *that* book and his siren song, I wouldn't want anyone reading it that closely if I were him either.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic induction into the heart -the ideal- of Islam. the author is an intelligent, and passionate, teacher who describes with great skill. The subject comes across as extremely close to his own heart, yet he navigates the narrow ledge that is the exploration of one religion to an outsider audience, who will inevitably sometimes follow a different religion, without much of the tension often present in such comparisons. I would highly recommend it.
Ahmad Aldabbagh
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In this book Dr. Nasr has given readers an introduction into Islam for both non Muslims and Muslims who wish to fully understand their religion from the majority moderate perspective. The explanation of the Sunni and Shia divide is most insightful and a stand point very different to most authors yet subconsciously shared by most Muslims. A must read as an introduction to both the faith and the author.
Haziq Hakimi
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As the esteemed Seyyed hossein nasr eloquently wrote in the ending, " The heart of any religion is none other than that single, universal Truth that resides at the heart of all religions, and that is itself the foundation of the religion of the heart."

Truly an amazing read.. recommended for all beloved fellow human beings to truly understand not only about Islam, but also about the spiritual dimensions of our souls. Wallahu alam..
Mustamin Al-mandary
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Versi bahasa Indonesia, terbitan Mizan.

Merged review:

Buku ini sudah diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Indonesia, diterbitkan oleh Mizan. Sebagaimana buku2 Nasr yang lain, buku ini kembali mendedah nilai2 kemanusiaan di dalam Islam. Ini mungkin menjadi penekanan Nasr ketika Islam menjadi agama yang ditakuti karena tidak dikenal.
Davoud Taghavi
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It keeps every type of reader(converts, born-muslims and non-muslims) engaged with some unbelievably beautiful commentaries on the inner and universal dimensions of Islam. 'The Heart of Islam' is an eruption from the heart of a realized sage. If you want to know what Islam means for a Sufi, give this book a try.
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Nasr presents a very intimate and appealing vision of the meaning of Islam. It covers all the basics of the religion, but also gives fantastic insight into what one Muslim scholar finds most compelling in its message. Not at all preachy, though.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, thorough treatise on traditional Islam, suited best for someone who is unfamiliar with the religion or related culture(s); far from a post-9/11 apologist, Nasr asserts the moral grounding of Islam and contrasts with the life pressed upon by Western modernity.
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Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born on April 7, 1933 (19 Farvadin 1312 A.H. solar) in Tehran into a family of distinguished scholars and physicians. His father, Seyyed Valiallah, a man of great learning and piety, was a physician to the Iranian royal family, as was his father before him. The name "Nasr" which means "victory" was conferred on Professor Nasr's grandfather by the King of Persia. Nasr also c ...more
“Muḥammad is a man, but not like other men. Rather, he is a ruby and other men are like stones.” 6 likes
“O Lord, have Mercy and Compassion, for if Thou dost not have Mercy, who will have mercy?” The heartfelt prayer of this simple pilgrim epitomizes the quintessential Islamic attitude toward God as the source of compassion and mercy. No matter what one has done in life, one should never lose hope in His Compassion and Mercy, for as the Quran states, “And who despaireth of the Mercy of his Lord save those who go astray” (15:56), and “Do not despair of God’s Mercy” (39:53).” 5 likes
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