No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-01-30 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 74 user ratings

"I absolutely loved the book. Dr. Aslan did a great job using a very comprehensive unbiased language going through the history of one of the most talked and controversial religion of all time, Islam. The book was going through the Arabic peninsula’s geographical location, cultural norms, and traditions that made up the birth place of the last messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad. Then it goes on to explain the reaction of people toward the new introduced religion and then how Islam perceived in today’s world and how it expected to look in the future.

The Prophet was described as a seemingly ordinary person with limited resources yet very sophisticated both personally and professionally being able to obtain his community’s trust and respect. There was no doubt that Prophet Muhammad was chosen by God from the very beginning, but his position in life both economically and socially was no better or in a higher position to make his life easier or more relaxed. So from the very beginning he had to face many life challenges and overcome them with his own intelligence and strength.

I liked the fact that every intention of the Prophet from being married to the woman almost twice as his age first and later having multiple wives to being scared of when the first revelation sent to him and to his decision of migration to Medina was brought up and explained fully in the book with no hesitation.

I also liked that all important subjects that form Islam’s core value were opened and fully discussed. Two of these subjects specially that has made Islam the front face and most attacked religion of all are Hijab and Jihad. The former viewed as a compulsory limitation for Muslim women and the latter as a global terror for those who believe Muslims’ goal is eventually to remove non-Muslims in the world!!

Although it is hard to convince today’s world of Islam as a soft, kind and loving religion considering barbaric actions of those under the flag of faith, Aslan has done a great job explaining the true meaning of each of Islam’s elements and how it meant to be implemented and how it was altered throughout the century’s by selfish people in power.

It was comforting to know that what Islam meant was for people to care and respect each other and make the world a more livable and peaceful place for each other yet it was very heart aching to realize how the great faith was altered by powerful evil individuals who wanted nothing but to hold power and control others for their own benefits.

There is no doubt that the world today is becoming more and more Islamophobia just because of those on power who abuse people under the name of this great faith. I am not even sure the Islam today is the Islam that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad and the Islam that meant to be as the greatest religion of all. This book is a very good read though for those who know nothing about Islam and judge it only based on these altercation and terrorist action that has been done under the name of the God. It is even a good quick read for those who were born Muslims but are fed up with the remarks that they get for the religion that they feel they had no option to choose.

As Aslan says in one of his speeches: one either has faith or not. Faith is one unexplained feeling that we have inside us and religion is only a language to explain this feeling. Whether one choose to have a religion or not, it is best to be studied and research rather than blindly followed. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing Islam better and those who feel that Islam is a bias discriminatory religion. The book is a comforting surprise to those who like to know more:)
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" A very well written treatment of Islamic history from pre-Islamic Arabia through to present times. The author unpacks the history against the backdrop of a comprehensive canvas [economic, political, social, religious and tribal realities of the age]. This multi-dimensional approach leaves the reader with a more nuanced understanding when compared to the more myopic understanding achieved when the subject is understood from a purely religious lens. " said.

" Fantastic introduction to Islam and its diverse history. But my deeply ingrained atheism made me question a good majority of the writer's conclusions and remedies for solving the problem of Islamic Fundamentalism. " said.

" Si estáis interesados en conocer más sobre el origen del Islam y sobre cómo ha llegado a ser hoy lo que es, Solo hay un Dios es el libro que estabais buscando para empezar, pues os dará una idea general y os facilitará la lectura de otros libros más detallados. Y si no estáis interesados en conocer más sobre el Islam…, deberíais estarlo. Reseña completa: " said.

"Just finished reading this book. I cannot recommend it enough! I've seen lots of clips and a few presentations by Reza Aslan and always been very impressed by his intelligence, knowledge and eloquence but this is the first time I have read a book he has authored.
He ultimately relays the history of Islam from the context in which it was first revealed, through to its current state in flux. He's very academic but keeps the language accessible and fluid. He tackles events and instances from the life of the Prophet (SAW) which have often been used by opponents of Islam to claim anti-Jewish sentiments as being inherent to the religion, or misogyny as inherent to Islam and completely dismantled such argumentation and not for one moment does he sound like an apologist. Bravo Mr Aslan! I found a lot of consolation in this book and am now looking forward to reading his book How To Win a Cosmic War for my local Bookclub. However I will concede, it isn't a book for the dogmatic.
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"5/5 stars for No God But God by Reza Aslan.

No God But God begins with the journey of the author to Marrakech where he encountered an altercation between a Muslim and a Christian, who was a missionary. Apparently, the Muslim kept on hovering the Christian just because he is a Christian. From here, he talked about the clash of monotheism concept - which apparently is the major conflict between religions in our world today.

This book is written in chronological style which makes it easy to comprehend and follow - It started from Jahiliyyah period, the birth of Muhammad, the Quran revelations, the Khulafa Rasyidin period, the various sects in Islam and current controversies within the Ummah.

This book is richly informative and wondefully told. It provides an informative look at the origins, evolution and future of Islam. I loved how the author analyzes the history and tenets of Islam without getting preachy and apologetic. I learned a lot from this book, and it inspired me to seek out and read more on Islam, as there is so much I embarrassingly don't know.

I think I need to read it like 50 more times because it is SO SO SO good.

Highly recommended for everyone - yes, non-Muslims included.
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"This is a highly readable book, not because it simplifies a huge and complex subject - Islam - but because it is so well written. Aslan brings more than 1500 years of history to life like an investigative reporter, using the techniques of a first-rate journalist. While himself a Muslim, he is able to communicate to Western readers both articulately and compellingly, dismantling a good many misconceptions about his religion, fiercely held in his opinion by many, including members of his own faith.

As a reformer, he calls for a return to the foundations of Islam in the divinely inspired populist social experiment of the Prophet's first followers in Medina - in particular the egalitarianism that included all, regardless of gender, tribe, or social status, and encouraged generosity of heart and spirit, while calling for direct and unmediated devotion to a single loving God. His book, a history of Islam, illustrates centuries of struggles between those who attempted to preserve this initial vitality that accounted for its rapid growth into a world religion and those who attempted to suppress it or subvert it to their own ends, while it splintered into various factions - some political, some not - ranging across centuries of divisions between Shiites, Sunnis, Sufis, and puritanical reformers of many stripes including the modern-day Taliban and al-Queda.

Christian readers, if they know their own history, will be struck by the close similarities and the vast differences between their own religion and Islam. Aslan himself draws his central argument from an analogy to the 15th century reformers in the Christian church, and in his final chapter - more a manifesto than a convincingly reasoned argument - he asserts that the real war in the post-9/11 world is within Islam itself, and that the West is not more than an implicated bystander. As Aslan lays out his subject historically it seems that only history, and a lot of it, will reveal the outcome of the struggle he describes.

The extensive bibliography and end notes give credibility to this provocative book that it might not have otherwise. Highly recommended for readers who already have some knowledge of the subject. A paradigm-shifter for those who don't.
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" Prisipažinkim – kuomet išgirstam žodį „islamas“, daugumai mūsų į galvas šauna tikrai ne mintys apie dorą religiją. Prieš akis iškyla ekstremalių įvykių vaizdiniai, pasaulį kamuojantis teroras ir baimė. Nors aš suvokiu, jog religija su šiais iškreiptais dalykais nei kiek nesisieja – nori nenori asociacijos atsiranda. Niekada per ne lyg tuo nesidomėjau. Neskirdavau daug laiko gilesniems apmąstymams kaip ir kodėl islamo religija tapo siaubą sėjančiu pranašu žmonių pasąmonėje. Tačiau pradėjau apie tai vis daugiau mąstyti knygynų lentynose pamačius Reza Aslan knygą „Jokio kito dievo, tik Dievas“. Vis norėdavau ją perskaityti, mat minčių paskaičius anotaciją kilo begalės. Tarsi išgirdusi mano norą, leidykla „Kitos knygos“ man ją atsiuntė. Ir netgi kai ją atsiuntė, vis nedrįsau kibti į tuos atsakymų pilnus puslapius. Kažkaip bijojau, jog knyga bus sunkiai skaitoma, apkrauta sausa ir publicistine informaciją, kurią man bus sunku įsisavinti. O siaube, kaip aš klydau. Vos pradėjusi knygą negalėjau atsitraukti ir perskaičiau per ne pilnas dvi dienas.

Tai tikrai nėra knyga „pilanti“ faktus ir datas vienus po kita, čia įvykiai nėra raportuojami. Tai itin sklandus islamo istorijos pasakojimas perpintas mitais, legendomis, bei įdomiais faktais. Knyga prasideda nuo pačios islamo religijos pradžios – pranašo Muchmado. Pasakojama apie jo gyvenimą prieš apsireiškiant Dievui ir viską kas vyko po to. Muchmadas aprašomas kaip paprastas žmogus, aprašoma jo kasdienybė, šeima, žmona. Toks literatūriškas istorijos aprašymas labai supaprastina knygos skaitymą – įsivaizduoji didžius žmones kaip paprastus veikėjus ir visus reikšmingiausius istorinius įvykius lengviau įsisavini ir prisimeni. Žinoma, šioje knygoje yra ne tik įdomūs svarbių asmenybių gyvenimai. Čia glaudžiai ir vaizdingai atkuriama visas islamo istorija, asmenybių gyvenimai, apsireiškimai, karai, kovos. Pasakojama apie tradicijas ir papročius, religinius ritualus. Galbūt tai skambu jums kaip istorijos vadovėlio pristatymas, bet galiu jus užtikrinti, jog ši knyga yra nepalyginamai daugiau. Ją papildo ir be galo įdomios Reza įžvalgos, nuomonės, statistiniai duomenys, kuriuos jis pasitelkia. Visa istorija plėtojama iki pat šių dienų. Autorius pasitelkdamas savo žinias, patirtis ir mokslą bando atsakyti į pagrindinį klausimą – kas ir kaip islamą pavertė baimę sėjančia religija? Kaip visas tas radikalumas atsirado?

Nors čia nei romanas, nei detektyvas –„Jokio kito dievo, tik Dievas“ knygą perskaičiau per porą dienų. „Užsikabinau“ už jos ir pačiai tapo svarbu – ogi tikrai, kaip čia viskas atsitiko? Itin paprastas ir aiškus Aslan rašymo stilius padėjo man perprasti krūvas naujų dalykų, supažindino tiek su gražiąja islamo puse tiek ir su visais nukrypimais/iškrypimais. Mėgavausi šia knyga ir kaip įdomia istorine literatūra ir kaip šių dienų aktualijų analizavimo leidiniu. Stipriai rekomenduoju šią knygą visiems norintiems artimiau pažinti mums svetimą, tačiau itin turtingą kultūrą, bei sužinoti visus visą pasaulį jaudinančios religijos aspektus. Ši knyga puikiai tinka ir akiračiui praplėsti. Tikiu, jog visi istorinės literatūros mėgėjai man tik pritars.
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March 2018 New Book:

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