Decoding the Past - Secrets of the Koran (History Channel)
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- Bonus A&E Biography episode "Muhammad"
Top Customer Reviews
"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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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).
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.
Of course, if you want to study the Koran and Islam in a serious fashion, you will probably look to books or classes and not rely on a television script.
By the way, if you are interested in the Islamic faith, be sure to look into Sufism as well. Sufism is a 'mystical' sect of Islam that is intentionally heart and art focused. Check out Meher Baba also.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent presentation and evidence the Quran isn't the problem.....it's man's inability to follow a teaching.Published 16 months ago by American Citizen
I am very pleased with the attention and consideration given to my issue and concern thank you!Published 22 months ago by halima
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 videoPublished on April 13, 2014 by fode diop
Wonderful DVD. It arrived right on time and I enjoy the music as well as the program. I reccomend it to othersPublished on March 19, 2014 by RT Hines
This DVD was helpful in understanding Islamic culture and faith. My Bible Study group is endeavoring to expand our understanding of different faith traditions.Published on December 28, 2012 by Patricia D. Mail
This DVD is very informative. I learned a lot about the Quran. It is useful for muslims and non muslims. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by oumar diaby
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 morePublished on July 27, 2012 by prophet joe