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Islam: Religion, History, and Civilization Paperback – December 24, 2002
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“[A] classical and timeless text....that manages to be sweeping in scope yet accessible in style.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[A] deep, thoughtful, sympathetic introduction to the diversity and history of Islamic faith and practice.” (Booklist)
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Top Customer Reviews
The negative review from "AtheistWorld.Com Book Review" is actually posted by Solomon Tulbure, as you will find by doing a simple Yahoo! search. That is truly sad.
Unlike Bernard Lewis in his superb book "What Went Wrong? The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (pg. 96-116)," Nasr does not always explain clearly to his (non-Islamic) readers why Islam, unlike Christianity, has not experienced the need to separate the spiritual from the temporal (pg. 26-28, 110-113, 173-177). Nasr rightly reminds his readers of the unique contribution that Islamic science made to the development of Western science (pg. XXI - XXII, 121, 126). Regularly, this immensely important contribution of Islamic scientists through their own observations, experiments and ideas, is ignored. For example, in his otherwise excellent book, "The Essential Drucker," Peter F. Drucker mentions the contribution of China, but not that of Islam, to the development of the West's technological lead by the end of the Middle Age (pg. 338). Unlike China, Islam at its apex created a world civilization: poly-ethnic, multiracial and intercontinental as Lewis states (pg. 6).
Nasr does a good job at illustrating the rich interdependence that exists among the Qur'an, the art of calligraphy and architecture (pg. XIX, 40, 121 and 126). Nasr clearly explains which relationship the Prophet had with Allah and his human nature and how the Qur'an came to life through Divine guidance given to its Messenger (pg. 37-43, 62-64).Read more ›
Now for the less positive side. For one thing, this book is written from the perspective of religious fundamentalism. By that I mean the author is in no doubt whatever about the truth of Islam and the inerrancy of the Quran. He also clearly states twice that biological evolution must be false, since the human being was made directly by God. Nasr also rejects any of the critical historical scholarship on the Islamic tradition. Scholars have for example long held that the “Hadith,” the collection of purported oral sayings of Mohammed, is full of sayings of dubious authenticity used to support a particular belief or policy. Nasr rejects this out of hand, claiming (uncharitably and inaccurately) that this “so-called historical criticism” merely reflects a bias against Islam. He also writes that these arguments “have been negated by the discovery of recent historical evidence.” He does not however tell us what this evidence is (not even in a footnote) or say how it supports the entire Hadith tradition. This does not exactly inspire confidence in the objectivity of his methods.
Moreover, the author goes to such great efforts to portray Islam in a positive light, that the book ends up being close to a whitewashing of the religion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rip off. Not sure what happened here but the cover is on a book that is completely different. Take a look at the pictures I have attached.Published 10 months ago by apofan92
a lover of Islam who can find no fault, twists the bad to make it look good. He is describing a mythogical Islam. Read morePublished on August 17, 2014 by Paul H. Rogers
Definitely recommend this book to everyone who is interested in learning more about the history of Islam, the prophet, and the Muslim community.Published on June 5, 2014 by oury
War is deceit !
For the truth, please read the book "The Story of Mohammed" by Harry Richardson, or the book
"Understanding Muhammad and Muslims" by... Read more
Memorable . Good size to hold . Nice .
Got it for $11 in fall 2004 . I am not sure it is not registered clearly to me because I do not have enough background or the book... Read more
Well explained, easy to understand and very enlightened for those who want to understand this religion / civilization without entering into too deep explanations and or... Read morePublished on May 30, 2013 by Jethel M Fiallo P
This book came recommended by a Muslim friend of mine. I thought the first half was a very good introduction to Islam. Read morePublished on April 7, 2012 by AvidAllen