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Introducing Islam: A Graphic Guide (Introducing...) [Kindle Edition]

Ziauddin Sardar , Zafar Abbas Malik
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Islamic culture has produced some of the finest achievements of humanity. "Introducing Islam" is a fascinating look into a sometimes misunderstood faith.

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About the Author

Ziauddin Sardar is a columnist, TV presenter and much more besides. His latest books are Balti Britain (Granta, 2008) and, with Merryl Wyn Davies, Will America Change? (Icon, 2008). Zafar Abbas Malik is the art director of Arts and the Islamic World.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Introduction! 19 Feb. 2011
I found this book a highly delightful introduction into the Islamic Religion. The book is loaded with cheerful graphics and beautiful Islamic patterns. It is a light-hearted read on the subject and contained many interesting facts about Islam of which i did not know before, and has now compelled me to read more on the subject!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good basic introduction. 16 July 2006
This is a great introduction to this religion. I feel it is especially important to read about this faith after the negative press in recent years and after reading this book you are left with a deep appreciation of this faith and what it has offered the world and still offers. This book is clear and interesting and written in the usual 'Introducing...' format, i.e lots of pictures and asides to clarify points. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to all who are interested in learning more about Islam.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Islam 21 Aug. 2003
This is a very informative and fascinating introduction to a subject which has gained a lot of interest recently. The author has already written a similar book which focussed on Muhammad but this is more general in its scope. It follows a mainly chronological approach, charting the rise of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, the split between the two main branches of Sumnni and Shi’ite, and its eventual spread around the world.
It also explains the main beliefs and tenets of Islam in a non-judgmental way leaving it up to the reader to decide what they think. The text includes very clear definitions of key terms and information on the main characters in Islam. The author uses various quotes from the Koran to highlight the teaching of Islam.
In other books in the ‘Introducing...’series the illustrations can sometimes draw away from the text. However, here the restrictions on representing people and animals have meant that the illustrations complement the text well, but don’t overwhelm it. It also includes some beautiful examples of calligraphy and the geometrical styles used in art and architecture.
For Christians and Jews it may come as a surprise that Muslims also see Jesus, Abraham and other biblical figures as being prophets and that in fact there is a lot that unites them. Understanding this, Muslims have always considered Christians and Jews to be ‘people of the book’ and have protected their rights, as long as they did not clash with Islam. When the Spanish persecuted Christians and Jews in the 14th century they fled to the then Muslim city of Cordoba, where they felt safe. Muslims see their faith as being the last of a serious of revelations from God which therefore supersedes the older faiths.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not that unbiased or balanced 10 Feb. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wanted this book to read as an unbiased account of Islam as I'm interested in the history, the spiritual beliefs and the cultural sides of the faith. I will continue to read it but be very aware that night from the start, from the first page it is stated that ' Muhammad is the most influential man in history'. Of course this is not true unless you are a confirmed follower of Islam already. These types of statements put people off ........so be careful if you're after a balanced view.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An unreliable guide to Islam 3 Feb. 2008
If you know nothing about Islam then you will pick up some basic facts from this book. Unfortunately it is written in such a transparently partisan style and with so many incorrect statements and wild generalisations that it is impossible for a beginner to know what is fact and what is not.

A few examples (there are many more):
1. Page 20. Muhammad's constitution for the city of Madian was "the first in the world".
This staggeringly incorrect. The Ancient world from Mesopotamia to Greece and Rome has a rich history of written constitutions.
2. Page 30. The life of Muhammad "was lived in the full light of history".
The earliest Life of Muhammad that remains to us (Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah) was written a hundred years after his death. Much of it is based on who said what to whom who then said it to someone else .... Hardly the full light of history.
3. Page 39 On the Qur'an: "Efforts to compile a single, unified written text started immediately after the death of the prophet."
On page 38 we are told that "the whole text existed in written form" in the prophet's lifetime. We are asked to believe that the direct word of God was written down here and there on bits of leather and bone etc but that no one thought it important to keep it all together and in order. I am a pretty untidy person but I think that if God ever communicates with me directly and repeatedly I will be careful to keep the stuff in order and in one place. This is all especially strange because the book claims that Muhammad was followed around by a team of scribes writing down all his thoughts. Surely one of them could have kept things in order!
4. Page 48.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic but good. 15 Nov. 2010
This is 80% image and 20% words, is highly accessable and is effective for skimming the surface of one of the worlds great religions. More on dogma and less on history would have been good.
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