No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • A finalist for the Guardian First Book Award
In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of ...more
Reza Aslan - from The Guardian
Aslan has produced what should be required reading for anyone with an interest in things Islamic, whether that interest be religious or geopolitical. He makes clear that there are several types of Islam, and that fanatical, fundamentalist Wahabism is not the only brand on the market. I found the book eye-opening. The only reason I did not go for that 5th star is that the text can get quite dry, and in the early going was a sure cure for consciousness. But it was we ...more
Aslan makes a strong case for the Hijaz as a place of prelapsarian cultural intermingling for Jews, Christians, and Muslims; his po ...more
Various studies of religion over decades show a remarkably similar pattern of development that seems to be universal. The start of religious movement is most often sociological and economic. The deficiencies of the prevailing conditions are typically expressed in syncretistic religious terms borrowed from whatever spiritual traditions are available. These social/spiritual insights are progressively codified and formalised as doctrine with only an increasingly vague connection to ...more
This quote (from West Wing- yeahyeahyeah) kept coming to mind while I was reading this book. Reza Aslan has done this to absolutely brilliant effect. This book, which functions both as an introduction to the religion of Islam and a political statement on current affairs, frames Islam and its history in terms meant to make it sympathetic and understandable to an audience raised in Judeo-Christian based, secularized ...more
On the one hand:
There are multiple cases of seemingly intentional skews. One particular example is Aslan's analysis of the practice of stoning adulterers: He says it was instituted by Umar, the second successor of Muhammad. Umar apparently lied about it being a part of original Revelation that was somehow "accidentally" left out of the authorized text. Aslan then refers to the hadith collections of Muhammad al-Bukhari and Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj as t ...more
The author, Reza Aslan, clearly knows his history as a scholar of Islamic culture and a personal believer, himself. It makes sense that the book is at its best when Aslan focuses objectiv ...more
In the other I say for the sake of all that's holy Reza, will you stop banging on about how Islam is a liberal-democrat's wet dream religion? Because that doesn't sit very well with your endless claims that the Ulama comprises ...more
75% of the book is about Muhammad and the two centuries or more of unrest after his death. We’re given an in-depth description of the different factions that Islam has inspired from Sunni and Shi-ite Muslims to Sufism. I found all this really interesting but it was then unbalanced by what felt like a quick rush through the last 150 years or so. Amongst events and develop ...more
If there is anything I didn't like, it would have been Reza's retelling of the history of the first three Caliphs of Islam especially the third Caliph, Uthman bin Affan. In this book, Uthman comes off looking like an inept leader who practised nepotism and corruption. Did Reza take notes from historical sources that were anti-Uthman? There have been m ...more
However, I have to deduct one star because it ends with a t ...more
this was a book that mike recommended to me, and it just so happened that our local library had a copy.
i think most of us in the 'west', and certainly a good number of us christians, like to think we know a bit about islam. we hear about it in the news almost everyday, and we hear the rhetoric that comes from all sides. unfortunately, it is usually only sensationalist material that makes it to the news, and i have to admit that the sa ...more
No God But God begins with the journey of the author to Marrakech where he encountered an altercation between a Muslim and a Christian, who was a missionary. Apparently, the Muslim kept on hovering the Christian just because he is a Christian. From here, he talked about the clash of monotheism concept - which apparently is the major conflict between religions in our world today.
This book is written in chronological style which makes it easy to comprehen ...more
1) Islam is o ...more
This book is a great antidote to the kind of ridiculous rhetoric we see about "Islamofascism" (essentially a contradiction in terms, btw) as it explores the history of Islam, and how that history is the real subject of the current divide in the Islamic world. The author's central thesis is that the collected textual and extratextual traditions of Islam, like those of any other religion, can be assembled t ...more
Reza Aslan has undertaken a gigantic task. Not only with this book, but throughout his career, he has been advocating for a reform. He believes in necessity of a reformation which will make Islamic world naturally democratic. Democracy, he argues, is not a universally perfect system. It is result of adaptations, and as long as it is to spread to a region, it is bound to adapt to cultural norms there. He outright opposes orthodox Islam, Ulama, an ...more
This book however failed enormously in approaching islam as 'a faith'. By stripping it from all spiritual content, the author handled it as a merly socioeconomic revolution.
But the author's way of handling the topic of c ...more
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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 AslanMedia.com, 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