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What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam Hardcover – July 13, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0199794133 ISBN-10: 0199794138 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (July 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199794138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199794133
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What Everyone Needs to Know

WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW About This Series

Who it's for:

Busy people with diverse interests, ranging from college students to professionals, who wish to inform themselves in a succinct yet authoritative manner about a particular topic.

What's inside:

An incisive approach to a complex and timely issue, laid out in a straight-forward, question-and-answer format.

Meet Our Authors

Top experts in their given fields, ranging from an Economist correspondent to a director at the Council on Foreign Relations, you can trust our authors’ expertise and guidance.

Popular Topics in the "What Everyone Needs to Know" Series

  • International Politics
  • Environmental Policies
  • World History
  • Sciences & Math
  • Religion & Spirituality

Review

To have a peaceful future demands a more inclusive sense of pluralism and tolerance built upon mutual respect and understanding. But this cannot be achieved without knowledge of what Islam teaches and what Muslims believe. This book is an excellent tool towards that knowledge. Dr. Joe Seferta, Renew

More About the Author


John L. Esposito is University Professor of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown University and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He is the editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam and The Oxford History of Islam, and author of Unholy War, What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, and many other acclaimed works.

Customer Reviews

I appreciate how straight forward the information was in this book.
Melissa Alvarez
Islam today reflects diversity of beliefs and views, but unfortunately Esposito's unilateral narrative fails to convey this diversity to those unfamiliar with Islam.
Afroze F. Zaidi-Jivraj
Third, in some points the author seems to move away from explaining Islam and instead seems to focus on defending Islam.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tracy on November 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this is ya very good book about the world of Islam. I really like the way it is set up in a question and answer format, it keeps the book interesting.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By lmr on October 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Professor Esposito is skilled with words. When I had the opportunity to take a single class under him, I went to the effort of getting this book, and looking it over. I found it extremely informative, easy to read, and a true eye-opener.

Sadly, too many Americans are ignorant about Islam and Muslims. It breeds fear, it breeds hate. If everyone went to an expert like Esposito and said "Teach me!" They could learn a lot more. However, the experts are a little busy. Luckily they write books, and this is the next-best thing to sitting down with the Professor himself.

Get it, read it. It can open your eyes, if you open your mind.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Siraj I. Mufti on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The question and answer format adopted in this book responds succinctly to what is often asked. And these were actually the questions posed to Professor Esposito at various locations during his appearances.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Afroze F. Zaidi-Jivraj on August 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The basic premise of this book is admirable, that is to inform non-Muslims about the essential features of Islam and Muslims of which they might otherwise be unaware. However, from a theological perspective, this approach would have been much more effective if the book was composed of contributions from a variety of specialists on the subject, rather than just being a reflection of Esposito's understanding of Islam. The novice reader will not pick up on the sectarian bias* (subtle as it may be) in Esposito's authorship. Furthermore, using a singular voice and sometimes rudimentary explanations to describe what are often complex religious beliefs or historical events can be a dangerous approach, the result of which is an essentialisation of Islam as a faith which might unwittingly achieve the opposite effect of what this book intends. Islam today reflects diversity of beliefs and views, but unfortunately Esposito's unilateral narrative fails to convey this diversity to those unfamiliar with Islam.

*E.g., Esposito's claim that Shii followed Ali because of a belief that successorship should be hereditary, when in fact the Shii have evidence in terms of ahadith (sayings) of the Prophet stating his decision to appoint Ali as successor, and the original followers of Ali based their allegiance on these ahadith over and above anything else. Moreover, far from having nepotistic origins, the right of Ali to lead is supported by evidence that he possessed greater qualities in terms of piety, good character and leadership than any other companion of the Prophet.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Esposito presents a clear and fact laden introduction to Islam. Lots of things a Western reader should know about the history and important beliefs of Islam. He does not gloss over the actions of extremists, but emphasizes their relatively small percentage of the muslim population. He is sympathetic with muslims and believes that the information in his book will make the reader more understanding and respectful than before.

The style is clear and understandable, but the Q&A structure of the book leads to a good bit of repetition: not entirely bad.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has fair and academic view about the religion of Islam. People of understanding need to read it and consider the information presented in it.
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