Customer Reviews for

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Informative, intriguing, and eminently readable!

Up to now frustrated trying to understand Islam, Reza Aslan's work has solved my problem. He has respected me as a reader with an expository writing style that serves up the history, theology, philosophy, and sociology of the development, spread, and potential of this i...
Up to now frustrated trying to understand Islam, Reza Aslan's work has solved my problem. He has respected me as a reader with an expository writing style that serves up the history, theology, philosophy, and sociology of the development, spread, and potential of this important faith by means of a complete and fascinating stringing together of myriad mini-epics and sub dramas spiced with awe, humor, honesty, and literary pinache. I feared undertaking the reading of this book but looked on it as the duty of an informed citizen of the planet. Unexpectedly, I was sucked into a master story teller's beguiling trap. Informative and well researched, I no longer viewed the book as an educational 'must do'. Rather, it is an amazing mystery / epic tale which I could not put down. I appreciated the author's clearly identified personal interpretations of the past and speculations on the probable trajectory of as yet unwritten chapters to come. He has a stake in that future now.

posted by Anonymous on October 21, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Well written and full of lies

There is no shortage of Islam apologists who use perfumed pleasantries to cover the ugly truth of the world's most intolerant religion, but they aren't as intelligent, affable and widely read as Aslan. On pages 64-65 he makes the wild and totally unsubstantiated clai...
There is no shortage of Islam apologists who use perfumed pleasantries to cover the ugly truth of the world's most intolerant religion, but they aren't as intelligent, affable and widely read as Aslan. On pages 64-65 he makes the wild and totally unsubstantiated claim that Muhammad was only betrothed to his child bride, Aisha, when she was nine, but consummated with her after she hit puberty. Unfortunately for Aslan, every Muslim source says clearly that they were married when she was six and consummated when she was nine. Either Aslan has not read Sahih Bukhari or Sahih Muslim, or he's baldly lying. Since he doesn't cite his sources, we must assume the latter. Likewise he soft peddles life in the dhimma on pages 94-95. He gives the definition of dhimmi as 'protected' but conveniently leaves out that it simultaneously means 'guilty,' then goes on to suggest that dhimmitude is not an example of Islamic subjugation of other faiths, but is in fact an example of Islam's high degree of tolerance! He excuses out of hand the wholesale slaughter and mass beheading of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe by saying it was not at all unusual for the time and offers as proof the fact that no other local Jewish tribes complained about it. This is a terrible book, with no citations for wild and fictional claims. But look at the reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, London Independent, and so on: 'wise, passionate, insightful' -- with vetting like that, readers would be forgiven for not knowing they are being lied to. Beware.

posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2006

    Well written and full of lies

    There is no shortage of Islam apologists who use perfumed pleasantries to cover the ugly truth of the world's most intolerant religion, but they aren't as intelligent, affable and widely read as Aslan. On pages 64-65 he makes the wild and totally unsubstantiated claim that Muhammad was only betrothed to his child bride, Aisha, when she was nine, but consummated with her after she hit puberty. Unfortunately for Aslan, every Muslim source says clearly that they were married when she was six and consummated when she was nine. Either Aslan has not read Sahih Bukhari or Sahih Muslim, or he's baldly lying. Since he doesn't cite his sources, we must assume the latter. Likewise he soft peddles life in the dhimma on pages 94-95. He gives the definition of dhimmi as 'protected' but conveniently leaves out that it simultaneously means 'guilty,' then goes on to suggest that dhimmitude is not an example of Islamic subjugation of other faiths, but is in fact an example of Islam's high degree of tolerance! He excuses out of hand the wholesale slaughter and mass beheading of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe by saying it was not at all unusual for the time and offers as proof the fact that no other local Jewish tribes complained about it. This is a terrible book, with no citations for wild and fictional claims. But look at the reviews from the NY Times, LA Times, London Independent, and so on: 'wise, passionate, insightful' -- with vetting like that, readers would be forgiven for not knowing they are being lied to. Beware.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2006

    Informative, intriguing, and eminently readable!

    Up to now frustrated trying to understand Islam, Reza Aslan's work has solved my problem. He has respected me as a reader with an expository writing style that serves up the history, theology, philosophy, and sociology of the development, spread, and potential of this important faith by means of a complete and fascinating stringing together of myriad mini-epics and sub dramas spiced with awe, humor, honesty, and literary pinache. I feared undertaking the reading of this book but looked on it as the duty of an informed citizen of the planet. Unexpectedly, I was sucked into a master story teller's beguiling trap. Informative and well researched, I no longer viewed the book as an educational 'must do'. Rather, it is an amazing mystery / epic tale which I could not put down. I appreciated the author's clearly identified personal interpretations of the past and speculations on the probable trajectory of as yet unwritten chapters to come. He has a stake in that future now.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent

    An informative history of Islam. Starting in the beginning to modern times, it protrays both the good and dark periods of Islamic History. It is a much more honest assessment of religous history than most Christian books portray.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    People that pick up this book are making the first step toward having an open mind. It shows they actually want to understand why there is so much controversy surrounding one particular religion. Even still, people are ignorant enough to make wild accusations because of what someone else told them or what they believe should be correct. I am majoring in International Affairs with a minor in Arabic studies and I like the way Aslan broke every word down to the most minute detail. Its very well written, researched, and explained.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2006

    Great, understandable book

    After reading the newspapers about what's happening in the in Middle East, I wanted to be aware of what Islam really is, without the shroud of the terrorist organizations justifying the violence they've caused on their religion. This book makes the complexity of Islam very understandable, and really is a page-turner. Highly recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2007

    Islam is a pagan religion

    Islam is a pagan religion-state system which reflects a pagan Arabic culture of Arabia of the seventh century. The author of the Book is not an Arab but an Iranian. His ancestor land was an ancient empire that was concord by the Islamic and Arabic tribes. The roots of Islam are from pagan Arabic religions mixed with some artificial barrowing from Jewish tradition and oracles. It¿s ¿interpretation¿ of Christianity is totally off mark. He did not got Jesus¿s name right (Isa which is a mocking Jewish name used by the Jewish tribes of this area) nor he understood the concept of the Christian trinity. Mohamed and Allah thought that the god of the Christians was ¿Father¿ marrying ¿Mary or Miram¿ and begot ¿Isa, the Son¿. The problem with Islam is not the religion such as in its rituals which was borrowed straight from Pagan worships in Mekka, but from its totalitarianism governmental ¿Shari¿ laws which forbids its people from questioning the founder of the faith. You might ask, if Mohamed was ¿more¿ than a prophet by being a political leader, does any one have the right to argue his style of governing?. The answer to that question is the key predictor of the future of Islam and humanity. If Muslims could not answer that question, then the world has to do that for them. And the world that rejected previous totalitarianism systems such as Communism and Nazism of the past should also reject that system of government too

    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2006

    One of the Best

    This book is one of the best that I have had the chance to read. As an outsider to the Muslim faith there was much that I did not know or understand. While simply written, this book should be a must read for any college student with an interest in history or current affairs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2006

    Highly Recommended

    I highly highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those people who see no good in Islam at all. Mr. Aslan brings up some very valid and thought provoking ideas, and better still, makes sense of them consistently. As a Muslim, I appreciate his honest and unapologetic presentation of my faith and beliefs. As an American college student, I applaud his scholarly analysis, reflective approach, and attempt to be unbiased and fair. This is a great introductory piece for anyone who is curious, unsure, or misinformed about Islam. The book puts Islam into a historical, social, political, and cultural context wonderfully. Suprisingly, the language is easy to read as well, and not put-off ish at all. Pick it up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2010

    Poise and fair

    a fair historical account of the religion's development.

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  • Posted December 6, 2009

    Very informative

    Very informative book. Its help to understand history of Islam.

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    Posted January 4, 2010

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    Posted April 8, 2011

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    Posted January 23, 2011

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    Posted May 21, 2011

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    Posted November 5, 2011

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    Posted January 19, 2011

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    Posted November 24, 2011

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    Posted September 2, 2010

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    Posted March 5, 2011

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    Posted January 14, 2011

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