Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam Paperback – International Edition, September 1, 2011

13 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, International Edition
"Please retry"
$9.70 $11.66

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Beautiful [and] fascinating" Metro "Truly illuminating" -- AS Byatt The Guardian "A revelation" Yasmin Alibhai-Brown "Aslan is a superb narrator, bringing each century to life with vivid details and present tense narration that makes popular history so enthralling... A terrific read" Glasgow Herald "Outstandingly useful ... always balanced, vivid and readable" The Independent

About the Author

Reza Aslan is a comparative religions scholar from Harvard, who is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. At Harvard, he was elected president of Harvard's chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a UN organisation committed to global understanding. Currently teaching an introductory course on Islam at Iowa, Aslan is also at work on a novel.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099564327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099564324
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,010,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Reza Aslan's bachelor's degree is in religious studies, with an emphasis on scripture and traditions (which at Santa Clara University means the New Testament). His minor was in biblical Greek. He has a master of theological studies degree from Harvard University, in world religions, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the sociology of religions. UCSB's doctoral program is an interdisciplinary one that draws from religion, history, philosophy, and sociology, among other fields. Aslan's doctorate in the sociology of religions encompasses expertise in the history of religion. Reza also has a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Aslan is currently professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, with a joint appointment in the department of religion, and he teaches in both disciplines. He was previously Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Drew University, where he taught from 2012 to 2013, and assistant visiting professor of religion at the University of Iowa, where he taught from 2000 to 2003. He has written three books on religion.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)
#69 in Books > History
#69 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nino Correa on August 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings about Reza Aslan's 'No God But God'. I would say this is an easy-to-read account of the origins, evolution and prospects of Islam written from a confessional perspective. (Perhaps for this very reason) Although written by a scholar, it is not particularly scholarly. The author, after making a general caveat in the first pages of the book as to the distinction between reality and mythology, only exceptionally attempts to discern what may be true or false historically in the story of Muhammad, discarding such debates as ultimately "irrelevant". Also, don't expect to find here any critical objective analysis of the Quran. The author obviously considers it to be God's unaltered revelation and makes little attempt to point at its possible inaccuracies, incoherences or contradictions. Interestingly, he shows remarkably less reverence towards Biblical and especially Christian sacred texts.

The book is described not as another book on Islamic history but a book "for a popular audience about Islam as a religion". This description is misleading. This book is essentially about the history of Islam. If you're interested in a book about material issues concerning Islam as a religion (beliefs, practices, morality), look elsewhere.

Faced with the usual criticisms levelled against Islam (violence, women's oppression), quickly labeled as 'stereotypes' or 'clichés', the author would have none and basically puts the blame on Western misinterpretations.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on October 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In his introduction, Reza Aslan defines religion as the "story of faith". By this definition, his book "No God but God" is the story of a story, and that is a good description. Mr. Aslan does a wonderful job of covering the history of the faith, both the mythological one and the historical one. He starts with the history of the region prior to the creation, and the conditions which helped shape Muhammad and the culture. I have read a couple histories of Islam and the Middle East before, but this one was much more accessible than the others, because Mr. Aslan is able to tell the story in a way which brings the story alive.

Another large section of the book is dedicated to talking about the different sects of Islam and what their differences are. This goes along with a history of the regions in which they developed and where they were adopted. This for me was probably the most important section of the book, because it is tremendously useful in understanding the mindset of the Sunni and Shi'ites, Sufis, and Wahhabi. This section is supported with many modern day examples which really help the reader to understand the differences.

There is also a section of the book which talks about what Islam really is. There is a lot of confusion these days over what is a part of the faith and what is not, and that confusion is certainly understandable after reading this book. It is also central to understanding how there can be such diverse interpretations even among Muslims of the same sect. The book closes with Mr. Aslan discussing the difference between secularism and pluralism. He shows how an Islamic state should by its very nature be pluralistic and could easily be a democracy founded on Islamic principals.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Kerin on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most interesting. I have been favorably impressed by Muslims that I have worked with, but, am ashamed to admit, remained basically ignorant of the basic tenants of their faith. This is helpful. I am especially impressed by his efforts to make it easy to grasp by people, like me, who aren't especially well educated.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Umesh Vyas on April 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great introduction to Islam, from its beginnings to the current stage of evolution. Most of it is very readable, very well written. A fairly balanced view, a great historical perspective and highly thought provoking.
Recommended for people who wish to understand Islam as well get a perspective on evolution of religions, particularly Islam.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I saw Mr Alan on tv and her struck me as considered and measured in his manner and words. As i have long been curious about Islam, I bought the book to learn about it in lay terms. It was an interesting read and it fulfilled my needs. I didn't finish it because it was the history I sought. The future is currently way too uncertain to predict, even for a scholar such as Mr Aslan.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The important aspect to keep in mind, is that this work, while comprehensively detailed, is still a summary of 1400 years of history, politics, sociology, and religion.

As a base, it will aid the reader in understanding the fundamentals of Islam, but the duty is still on the reader to flesh out their own knowledge.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
seems to be written by a thoughtful person who has modern sensibilities and a balanced world view. A good starter for anybody who wants to know the background of the current conflicts in places like egypt, syria, israel and iraque.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again