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Decoding the Past - Secrets of the Koran (History Channel) (2006)

 NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Decoding the Past - Secrets of the Koran (History Channel) + Empires - Islam: Empire of Faith + The Message (30th Anniversary Edition)
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FOQ03W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,516 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Bonus A&E Biography episode "Muhammad"

Editorial Reviews

The Koran is one of the most important works ever written. For almost one billion people worldwide, it is the Holy Scripture, the word of God and his prophet. For others, it is a historical artifact that has left an indelible imprint on the world. DECODING THE PAST: SECRETS OF THE KORAN probes the heart of the work that many outside Islam find mysterious. This feature-length program examines the history of the verses and their implications for modern times, as wel as the striking similarities and differences between the Koran and the Bible. Trace the influence of the Koran from the Golden Age of Islam to the modern rise of jihadism, and hear from top Islamic scholars and holy men as they share their insights into the work that lies at the foundation of one of the world’s great religions. THE HISTORY CHANNEL provides the perfect guide to understanding the fundamental work that has shaped the Muslim faith for over 1,400 years, and will long continue to influence modern history. DVD Features: "Muhammad" Episode of the Award-Winning A&E Series BIOGRAPHY; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
(18)
3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introductions to the message and Messenger of Islam January 31, 2007
I'm very pleased with this DVD, which actually contains two programs: "Secrets of the Koran" and, as a bonus feature, "Muhammad" from A&E's "Biography" series. I've used excerpts from both of these programs in teaching world religions in college and high school. Both programs honor the Muslim tradition of not depicting Muhammad or members of his immediate family.

"SECRETS OF THE KORAN" (91 min.) is an excellent documentary on the history of the Koran and its interpretation. Topics include the religious and social milieu into which Muhammad was born; the life of Muhammad and the revelation of the verses of the Koran; the early Muslim community; the compilation of the Koran; the Koran's relationship to Jewish and Christian revelations; the Muslim understanding of the apocalypse and judgment; difficulties in the interpretation of the Koran; jihad; the Koran's emphasis on the value of knowledge; the golden age of Islam; the Crusades; Islamic fundamentalism; and violent vs. peaceful understandings of the message of the Koran.

"MUHAMMAD" (42 min.) isn't a biography precisely. Rather, it's a presentation of the traditional story of the life of Muhammad, with commentary by scholars who are Muslim or sympathetic to Islam (including two of the usual suspects, Karen Armstrong and John Esposito). This program does a good job of bringing the story of Muhammad to life, and because it's so concise, it may be more useful in my teaching than "The Message" (a three-hour movie about the life of Muhammad), which is also good.

Some other good videos on Islam:
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting December 1, 2006
This program is from History Channel and has two parts: Origin (revelation) of the Koran and Jihad (i.e. moral "struggle" in English) and how Muslims interpret the Koran. There is a bonus section of Prophet Muhammad's biography. Don't expect you'll see actors to perform as Pro. Muhammad and his immediate family as it is against the Muslims' beliefs. DVD quality is better than most HC's historical documentaries.

Minus one star because there's no mention of Five Pillars of Islam (the profession of faith, five prayers a day, charity, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to Mecca).
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating January 18, 2007
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Having watched it when it aired on television, I had decided I had to own this. This helped me to better understand the Koran. It is one thing to have read the Koran, it is another to have it explained (such as it were) by Muslims and scholars. All in all, this was a very informative, well presented look into the Koran and Islam; where it came from and where it may go in the future.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic Overview April 19, 2007
By S.
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"Decoding The Past: Secrets Of The Koran" is a good documentary covering all the basics of the Holy book of Islam. Additionally, a biography of prophet Muhammad is included as a special feature, which I thought was a welcome bonus.

The Secrets Of The Koran is a well done, well researched DVD, covering most of the questions a typical Westerner might have about Islam's interpretation of this holy text. One thing I found appealing is the fact that the program addresses extremism in Islam, and explains how the fundamentalists take the verses of the Koran out of context by reading incomplete verses that suit the extremists' purposes.

The biography of Muhammad was much more tame, and exceptionally politically correct. The biography itself was rather short and covered the basics of the prophet's life, also concentrating on Islam as a whole, and reverting back to the Koran. I expected the program to be more about the prophet himself, as the original Secrets Of The Koran already covered other aspects.

I do recommend this DVD as a starting point for anyone who has no knowledge of the Koran or prophet Muhammed. Very educational and to the point, it leaves one with many questions to be answered through further research.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it. February 24, 2008
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Well researched. Very informative. The first disk is basically about how Islam began and how the Quran was written, and the second disk talks about some of the passages in the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent April 13, 2014
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this is one of the greatest DVD made about the Quran caution some mistakes that tell you that the production is a novice to islam. i used to teach islamic classes with this video
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Wonderful DVD. It arrived right on time and I enjoy the music as well as the program. I reccomend it to others
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative DVD December 28, 2012
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This DVD was helpful in understanding Islamic culture and faith. My Bible Study group is endeavoring to expand our understanding of different faith traditions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It was beyond my expectation
This DVD is very informative. I learned a lot about the Quran. It is useful for muslims and non muslims. Read more
Published 21 months ago by oumar diaby
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much credibility given to Muslim "scholars".
Muslim "scholars'" priority number one is to keep Islam so complicated a maze that it seems far more substantive and profound than it is. Read more
Published on July 27, 2012 by prophet joe
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst
It is the worst movie that I have ever seen about Islam. It has nothing to do with the "Secrets" of the Coran as the title, but a lot of political issues. Read more
Published on December 29, 2011 by Lector
5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets of the Koran
We ordered this DVD to supplement a book we were reading for a study group at church in recognition of the 10th Anniversery of 9/11. Read more
Published on October 31, 2011 by Sharon M. Perry
1.0 out of 5 stars No Violence, no koran
This film whitewash the bloody history of Islam and avoid talking about its violent and exclusive ideology. Read more
Published on August 3, 2011 by Johnny
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey, it's only a TV show...
This DVD is an interesting introduction to the Koran and it's history. It's not a deep scholarly study--it's made for television and produced to be accessible to a mass audience... Read more
Published on October 1, 2009 by Great Caesar's Ghost
5.0 out of 5 stars was noty what I thought it would be
I ended up giving this video away, was not what I thought it was. My mistake
Published on August 2, 2009 by Deborah Kay Kabela Rogness
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit too shallow
The video is a poor attempt to explain the immerging and effect of the Holy Book of Quraan
It didn't touch base on major aspects of the book that is full of miracles amzing... Read more
Published on May 5, 2009 by Osama El Hatil
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Superficial and Slanted
I was disappointed by this DVD set. I couldn't help but think that the producers just about turned back-flips to white-wash some of the less pleasant aspects of Islamic history... Read more
Published on December 15, 2008 by maskirovka
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