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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great textbook for introducing Islam, both for students and inquisitive readers
Writing a textbook is a complicated process, and it usually comes at the end of a long process of teaching the subject matter and engaging in it through scholarship and teaching. Professor Knysh who teaches at one of USA best institutions for higher learning has spent his life researching and writing about Islam and Islamic civilization. He is also a wonderful teacher...
Published on October 31, 2012 by Walid Saleh

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Typical textbook. Heavily detailed. Good pictures of cultural significance. Recommended to serious students of Islam. Nice study questions for review.
Published 17 months ago by Mary Paulson


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great textbook for introducing Islam, both for students and inquisitive readers, October 31, 2012
This review is from: Islam in Historical Perspective (Paperback)
Writing a textbook is a complicated process, and it usually comes at the end of a long process of teaching the subject matter and engaging in it through scholarship and teaching. Professor Knysh who teaches at one of USA best institutions for higher learning has spent his life researching and writing about Islam and Islamic civilization. He is also a wonderful teacher. This book is the result of his teaching and research experience. The book is comprehensive, well written, and up to date on the latest scholarship. It is also supplied with extensive suggestions for further readings and the latest scholarship on each topic discussed. The coverage is from the beginning of Islam to the modern period, which makes this textbook an excellent reader for introductory courses on Islam or the history of Islamic civilization. I recommend it to every one who wants a survey of Islam and Islamic civilization.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Comprehensive Synopsis, December 17, 2012
By 
J. Miller (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Islam in Historical Perspective (Paperback)
This is the official text for an online class I took (History of Islamic Civilizations). The books manages to maintain a very neutral perspective which makes it a remarkable work in this field of study. The biggest problem I think that any historian faces in putting together a book like this is that there are so many pseudo-scholars and apologists such as Natana Delong-Bas and others coming from Saudi Petro-Dollar funded institutions (ala Georgetown, Duke or Yale) and many openly hostile polemics about the faith from those who have an ax to grind with the Muslims that it is difficult to get an honest historical account that doesn't varnish over the flaws or exaggerate them in a way that taints the narrative. Knysh's book is rare exception and unlike other textbooks I normally sell back at the end of the semester, this is one book that I will be holding on to for some time as a reference, particularly for its insights into the early civilizations, Caliphates, movements and biographical sketches.

The criticism I would make of this book it would be the attention given to reformers like Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and the Wahhab/Salafi movements which remains a significant driving force in the world today. I realize that such topics are controversial but the link between Wahhabism and deobandi, Taliban, and extremist fundamentalist movements which were fueled by the Afghan-Soviet war could be given greater scrutiny as well a a better overview of the history of Saudi Arabia itself. In addition, slightly more engaging profiles and summaries of the historical figures would make the information presented more memorable after a first-time reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, July 1, 2013
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This review is from: Islam in Historical Perspective (Paperback)
This is a very easy to read college textbook, can even be just an interesting book to read. Came in early and in fabulous shape.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, September 18, 2013
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This review is from: Islam in Historical Perspective (Paperback)
Typical textbook. Heavily detailed. Good pictures of cultural significance. Recommended to serious students of Islam. Nice study questions for review.
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3 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars it is a fantasy book far away from history and reality, January 11, 2012
This review is from: Islam in Historical Perspective (Paperback)
It's really hard these days to find somebody speaking the truth about Islam, the brave one is the one who said truth and then the Muslims because Islam is a peaceful religion they ask for his blood, so the author of this book decide to take the safe highway praising Muhammad and Islam and making money and lying and every work in this book, as an example she said and I quote "This book shows how Muslims have made sense of their life experiences by constantly interpreting and re-interpreting Islam's foundational ideas in accordance with ever-changing social and political conditions." The interpretation and reinterpretation part is proof that Islam is like a snake the change the meaning of the words of the book based on the location and time, as an example if you ask a Muslim about chapter 4 verse number 34 with saying the man he can beat his wife a Muslim live in the West he would say it saying "beat them lightly"if you ask a Muslim living Islamic country they will say there is nowhere the word like is exist in the horn and you can be done the way you want as long you don't break their bones as the prophet said in the hadith, another example about the verses of kidding a Muslim live in the West he will say those verses are made to defend ourselves not to fight others a Muslim living Islamic country was say those are verses need to fight the enemies wouldn't accept Islam, and don't take my words go read yourself chapter 9 verse number 29 I read interpretation of Ibn Kathir, if you read and learn about Islam the Muslims claim that you have to learn Arabic to understand Islam, and quran and hadith, so how the author who do not know one Arabic word and she is reading what Muslims translate to her she can get a really great understanding of Islam?. And she said that Muslims made sense of the life, I wonder why should not say Muslims made sense of the death, because one of Muslim he to commit suicide bombing hoping to go to heaven and get the 72 virgins, is that because their life make sense and their death make sense? The fact that there is a lot of Western who sold their honesty for the sake of dollars make a book praising Muhammad you make good money Muslims loves you your safe and nobody would kill you, I advice you to read a real book about Islam which is politically incorrect, made my Arabic speaking in a high educated person who is qualified with his degrees about Islam to be a judge in the Islamic low court, get the The Deception of Allah Volume 1 (study in depth of Islam, investigating Muhammad and Islam, volume 1) and see yourself why am it was near to get such a book have agreed to study of history of Muhammad his family and his tribe, the city of Mecca and many other things about Arabia in general, and how Muhammad became a prophet and what the target of Islam to be exist, who was Allah, for study about women rights in Islam and cold is coming with the proves and reference accepted by Muslims for the last 1400 years get the book and be the judge yourself.The Deception of Allah Volume 1 (study in depth of Islam, investigating Muhammad and Islam, volume 1)
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Islam in Historical Perspective
Islam in Historical Perspective by Alexander D. Knysh (Paperback - January 2, 2011)
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