Muslim Women's Book Club discussion

The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
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The Crusades Through Arab Eyes

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message 1: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra | 17 comments We decided to start reading 'The Crusades Through Arab Eyes' by Amin Maalouf as part of the on-line book club here. Insha'Allah we are starting today (May 6, 2014). Currently I've set the tentative date for finishing as May 31. If we need to we can make the end date just before Ramadan starts. Otherwise we could maybe fit in another read before Ramadan. If you need to purchase a kindle version of the book here is the Amazon link

Feel free to post any comments about the book at anytime through out your reading. You can comment by chapter if you'd like or if you find something interesting or surprising feel free to share that too. It will make for more dialogue than just summarizing at the end of the reading.

message 2: by Lamya (new)

Lamya (lamyalmas) | 9 comments With finals here, i would rather that we set the end date for before Ramadan if that is okay with everybody. I am up to my earw with work :(

message 3: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra | 17 comments Sure Lamya, we can always extend the end date.

message 4: by Lamya (new)

Lamya (lamyalmas) | 9 comments Jazakum Allah Khayr :)

message 5: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra | 17 comments Anyone start reading yet? Any thoughts or comments about it(it's okay to comment by chapter you don't have to finish before commenting)?

message 6: by Lamya (new)

Lamya (lamyalmas) | 9 comments I am going to start it in June In sha' Allah :)

message 7: by Goodreads_2021 (new)

Goodreads_2021 Yes Cassandra, I finished the book a few days ago :) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very informative, describes the horrors and barbaric behaviour of the Franks. I'm so glad we chose this book, all muslims should be aware of such a crucial time in the history of the muslim world. The Crusades has surely affected the psyche of the muslims of the Arab world, and explains why any kind of western presence is detested in the Arab world.

message 8: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra | 17 comments I agree I am really enjoying this book and as a history lover I suppose I could be biased but I also feel knowing our history as Muslims or even just general human beings is extremely important. I haven't finished it just yet but I very much like it so far. As a westerner who converted to Islam I grew up pretty much only hearing the Western narrative of the crusades and it wasn't until later in my life that I began to learn about other perspectives. I really enjoy reading the Arab/Muslim narrative that this brings.

Fatima did you find anything surprising or particularly interesting in the book? Like/Dislike anything about the writing style?

If you liked this book you might also enjoy Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary. It tells history from the Arab/Muslim point of view starting around the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). That's another favorite of mine and I think it explains a lot of history in an accessible way especially to Westerners but, also to Arab/Muslims who aren't that familiar with their own history.

message 9: by Goodreads_2021 (new)

Goodreads_2021 I myself am not so much of a hitory buff :) Having been educated in Africa, I don't recall having learnt about "The Crusades" in history class, so this really was the first account I've read. Some thoughts:
- would have been good if the author talked a bit about the lives of the common men and women. He seems to have mainly concentrated on the top leaders and their achievements and failures. I thought the book gives a pretty balanced view of the subject, is insightful and fair, not biased.
- interesting to see how developed and how far ahead the Arab muslim world was with regards culture, science and medicine compared to the Europeans in those times.
- it was interesting to read how the Arabs were shattered by divisions, disputes and disunity even then as they are today and this no doubt allowed the crusaders to gain a strong foothold in the region.

BTW, thank you for recommending the other book as well, will add it to my list :)

message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Lameche | 18 comments Salaams and whoops I didn't realise a book had been chosen. I don't seem to be getting alerts from here? I'm not sure if I will manage to start it in time as I'm already enjoining 'the veil and the male elite' and don't even seen to have time to get through that. I can also recommend 'Islam within extremes' by Mustafa Akyol. If you enjoyed Destiny Disrupted then you should enjoy this also.

message 11: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra | 17 comments I'll have to check out Islam within Extremes I've not heard of that one before. I read The Veil and the Male Elite many years ago. Mernissi is one of my favorite authors. I don't think we'll be able to squeeze it in before Ramadan comes but if you want to talk about it maybe others would be interested in reading it after Ramadan and discussing. The last time I read it was before I converted to Islam so it would be interesting to see how my perception of that book has changed since converting and growing my knowledge of Islam and history.

message 12: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra | 17 comments How's everyone's reading coming? We've got just less than a week before Ramadan will be here and our allotted time for this read will be done. Had anyone else finished reading? Any further thoughts about the book?

message 13: by Cassandra (new) - added it

Cassandra | 17 comments Since Ramadan has started today I'm sure we will all be busy with reading Qur'an but insha'Allah if anyone else has any thing to add to this discussion your welcome to do so even though we've "officially" finished this selection.

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