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House of Islam: A Global History

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  220 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A fascinating and revelatory exploration of the intricacies of Islam and the inner psyche of the Muslim world from the bestselling author of The Islamist

'Islam began as a stranger,' said the Prophet Mohammed, 'and one day, it will again return to being a stranger.'

The gulf between Islam and the West is widening. A faith rich with strong values and traditions, observed by n
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 17th 2018 by Bloomsbury
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4.21  · 
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Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was brought up Catholic but other religions have always intrigued me. Living in a cosmopolitan place like London, I feel lucky to have friends with different religious beliefs including Islam and I'm proud that in 2016 London has become the first major European city with a Muslim mayor. In the last two decades, Islam in the West has been judged, condemned and often portrayed as something to fear. Islam is largely misunderstood mainly due to the western stigma surrounding Islam associated with ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I am not a religious person, I am intrigued by the intricacies of all of the religions. Islam fascinates me the most, and not only because of the events of past few years and decades. There has been a lot of focus on the terrorist attacks around the globe, where the perpetrators have been overwhelmingly Muslim. These attacks have substantially been carried out against Western countries. The reason given by those perpetrators who are still alive, is the bombing of Syria. But is there a d ...more
Joseph Spuckler
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
House of Islam: A Global History by Ed Husain is a history and explanation of Islam by an educated Western Moslem. Husain is a writer, adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and a former senior advisor at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. He is the author of The Islamist, a book about political Islamism and an account of his five years as an Islamist activist. Husain cofounded, with Maajid Nawaz, the counter-extremism organization the Qui ...more
Lee Peckover
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely outstanding and fascinating look at Islam which has given me a huge amount of insight I could not have accessed otherwise.

As an outsider looking in, Islam and much of what formed the core of the belief system around it can seem a little confusing and difficult to access. I have previously made attempts at better understanding Islam without much success. I have worked in schools in which 90% of the children I taught were Muslim, I have visited Mosques, and I have read The Qu
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The House of Islam: A Global History by Ed Husain was a truly fascinating read and very insightful.

I am a Muslim but I was born and raised in Australia. I found a lot of the issues that Husain discussed very foreign to me. I was raised by my immediate family and extended family that promoted eduction, equality, respect, follow the law and to learn for ourselves. As a girl, teenager and now young woman I was never told what I have to wear, where to go, what to do, when to do it, who can and cann
Vidhya Thakkar
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The house of Islam tells about the different aspect of Islamic Culture. This book is divided into four parts, a millennium of power, the rise of anger, the rise of the west and the loss of Muslim confidence and Islams global staying power. Each part describes the depth of Islamic culture.  What is Islam, who is Muslim, Their culture, their history, their struggle, everything is described by the author in a crisp way.  This book has detailed information, facts about Islamic culture, their situati
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Review to follow...
Suraj Kumar
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
*Originally published on *

The House of Islam by Ed Husain is a remarkable book that clears several misconceptions surrounding Islam. In this book, he accounts for the present situation of Islam, that is for the negative spotlight in which it is viewed in the present time. He does so first by explaining what Islam truly is and then goes on to trace the course of Islam after the Prophet’s death which eventually led Islam to where it is standing presently.

The book
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful look at Islam and the historical journey of 'modern' muslims. It captures the political/economic struggles between religion and the West and even the layered intricacies of Arab vs non-Arab muslims.

The author also has a way of shining a light on things that you may have already known but he frames them in a very pragmatic and articulate way. For instance the passages on the Enlightenment era - many of us know that some of the 'great' philosophers came up with some interesting and
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
Non-fiction has never been my game. It's too full of facts, too dry, too realistic with lengthy sentences. I find reading fictionalized accounts of real events much more enjoyable and relatable rather than reading about the event itself. The House of Islam changed that.

The book talks about a topic that is centuries old and yet so relevant in the modern world. It talks about the origins of Islam, the nature of its people, their struggle into acceptance into society and how despite all that they d
Murtaza Kuwarawala
I have so many reviews pending at this moment and have been procrastinating for quite a while on when to post the same. A lot of contemplation and I finally decided to take charge and go ahead on doing what is right which is helping people around chose good book. It has been a pretty long time since I picked up a Non-fiction book and this book turned out to be the perfect contender with everything that goes around the world. Read ahead to know my take on the book.


'Islam began as a stranger
Vidur Kapur
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well-written, informative, scholarly work from Ed Husain. House of Islam is a fascinating look at the history of Islam, but also a sombre reflection on how Islam has mutated over the centuries. For hundreds of years, its followers created relatively pluralistic and tolerant societies, confident enough to be open to new ideas from Greece, India and elsewhere. Yet, with the rise of Wahhabism in the 18th Century, the deadly alliance of this puritanical form of Islam with the Saudi regime, and the ...more
Susan Steed
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is attempting to do a *lot* of things. First, it is trying to explain key concepts of Islam, secondly to chart out key historical events in Islam, Third apply all this to current challenges within Islam and the rise of ISIS, as well as set out the authors personal political viewpoints.

I found this stuff on Islam through history most interesting, and feel I understand now why attitudes within Islam, e.g. like drinking wine, are so varied in different regions. Although this is about the
Diyali Bhattacharya
In a world where there are shootings in schools, countries going up in smokes, hatred and meaningless killings, all in the name of holy religion, The House of Islam becomes an important book. It strives to return faith in a religion that has faced scrutiny since time immemorial. It provides a birds-eye-view of Islam as a religion and informs the ignorant about its various nuances.

Being a British-Muslim, the author's viewpoint acts as the perfect juxtaposition of both the Eastern and Western ideo
Uday Singh
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell for the book as soon as I saw the beautiful cover and as I started to read it I was adoring the writing style which was so subtle and interesting that it made me read the first of the four parts of it in a single day. And as I moved forward, the book dealt with the whole understanding of Islam as a religion, a culture and a historical heritage, which is so diverse and rich in itself that I wasn't sure if I'll be able to take it all in at once, but thanks to the author's creativeness, the ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Follow my blog for more posts: hjbookblog
House of Islam is a fascinating book that explores Islam from the very start . It tries to give us an engaging introduction to the religion from Mohammad, through the struggles, to the modern times. And does an impeccable job at that. The book is very well researched and the facts stated are so very informative, insightful and intriguing. The writing is also very easy to follow and thus keeps even a layman invested in the book.

It separates the original Is
Shahiron Sahari
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, enlightening and very readable work by a former extremist who is now working as a bridge between East and West on Islamic issues, especially on the scourge of the Salafi-Wahhabi school - ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram etc - whom he argues are descendants of the original Kharijites from Mohamed's time and are really considered 'outside the religion'.
The problem is that, with funding from Saudi Arabia, these groups are having an outsize influence on the world and on other adherents to th
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2018
Everyone should read this book; incredibly informative about Islam, it's origins, aims and divisions. I learnt a lot about Islam that I never realised. This book aims to educate the general public about Islam, in a way different to the often sensationalist news we read. Husain gives some very interesting points about the growing problem of extremism can be conquered.
Maureen Macartney
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ponderous yet insightful book.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has been - by far - the best educative book on religion I’ve ever read - and as a law and political science student I have read a great deal of those. I will keep my review short as there are not many words necessary to tell anybody why.

First off, the current political climate in Western countries has created an environment in which most Muslims feel (and are) unwelcome. If you live in one of those countries, please trust me when I say that all the news you hear off does not do any justice
A book that left me largely disappointed.

First the positive - despite the book being a global "history", it does not focus on being an exclusive history. It also deals with cultural matters, societal norms and contemporary developments. This multi-disciplinary approach is appreciated. There is much that the author gets right in the book - for instance, the view that Salafism-Wahhabism forms the epicenter of the challenges of terrorism; or the argument that the West (predominantly the U.S.) does
Nivedita Dhar
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Hello Bookworms what’s up! Well i just finished this book on Monday night and for the majority part of this book “The House Of Islam” i was like yeah ok, it’s good, and then suddenly i started to feel monotonous about author’s biased comments on Islamic countries and their rituals, but then i read those last few pages and that was like wow and made me bump up my ratings on this book from 3 to 4. I consider that this book has become one of my favourite book, and undoubtedly the ending part of thi
Nabila Shaikh
I have way too many thoughts on this book. Some may come off as controversial but I have to be honest.
First of all, the cover and the topic discussed in the book are two of the topmost reasons I wanted to read and review this book.
There is a lot of negativity surrounding Islam as a religion which is why I thought books like these are necessary.
I have no qualms about this book with the sole exception that I don’t agree with the author on some points.
Also, before I reveal the disagreement part I t
Dec 24, 2018 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Fatima Mernissi, Leila Ahmed and Amina Wadud
I received a free copy of this book from netgalley and bloomsbury publishing uk & anz in exchange for an honest review. all thanks to them for this wonderful experience!!

To begin, House of Islam is searingly insightful, brilliant and remarkable. I wish I'd read this book many, many years ago. A few things I didn't agree with, but I realise this is not a factual book. It's not a dry biography, a university textbook. It is Ed Husain's knowledge of Islam, his experience gifted to us, a multifac
Heba Youssry
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The House of Islam is by design, created for the Western eye, an attempt to introduce Islam to those who only witness it through the downcast gaze of media reports. As a resident of the House of Islam, going through it was an eye-opening experience. Ed Husain presents his readers with a tapestry that is created through the interwoven threads of historical and current elements that are impactful to the creation and maintenance of the Muslim community. In this exposition past events are resurrecte ...more
Graham McGhie
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly readable insight into Islam:
I have read many books on the Islamic faith: trying to understand the core beliefs and the faith's attraction to a rapidly increasing percentage of the world's population. "The House of Islam" offers a refreshingly different analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and future for Islam. It also provide those who know little of the fundamentals of Islam with a firm grounding in its basic tenets. The author, Ed Husain, is a firm believer in the Faith and it seeme
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Christian living in a country that has a lot of 'Christian' values (though these have been implemented by the secular government, not by the religious authorities) and there are increasing number of Muslims in the area (a mixture of those who have come to live and some who are refugees). My abiding memory of 2018 was a couple of Syrian children (here as refugees) going home from school and eating an ice cream without fear. This book has been very important to me to understand the world th ...more
Zoya Ejaz
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The word Islam shares the same root as the Arabic 'istislam' , or surrender, which also leads to another derivative, 'salam', or peace. Through surrender to God, therefore, the soul finds peace.

I should start this by clarifying that this post is not going to be a review.
It is going to be an appreciation post.

House of Islam is such an Important Book.
It aims to educate and inform.
It aims to clear the innumerable misconceptions that have clouded Islam.
It aims to lift the veil of allegations a
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. My first husband is from Iran and is a Shia Muslim. In 10 years of marriage, although it was not required of him, I learned a lot about Islam from him. I also studied Islam for a few years on my own. Although there are many things in that religion that I do like, I did decide that it was not the religion for me.
I do know and understand much about Islam because I lived with and among Muslims for 10 years. They are some of the best and kindest-hearted people I have ever
Afreen Aftab
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"The Quran’s main emphasis reflected the character and the call of the Prophet: to be kind and compassionate. The Quran declares of the Prophet (S.A.W.): ‘We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.’ (Quran: 21:107) In an age of warfare and tribal rancour, the Quran was a call to peace."

This was probably one of the most fascinating books I've read in a while. 'House of Islam' does a great job of covering many of the pivotal topics regarding the rich history, and the political and societa
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