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Unveiling Islam (Islamic Texts Society) [Paperback]

Roger Du Pasquier , T.J. Winter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Dec 1992 Islamic Texts Society
Alone among the world's religions, Islam is not just surviving but flourishing. Yet many people know little about Islam and regard its continuing attraction as something of a mystery. In this book, Du Pasquier, an award-winning Swiss journalist, provides a thorough introduction to Muslim belief, history and culture. He deals not only with topical issues, such as 'fundamentalism' and the status of Muslim women, but provides an overview of the Qur'an, the Prophet, Islamic history, and the nature of Muslim art and literature. Unbiased yet passionate, the book offers an 'unveiling' which must be heeded if the present mutual incomprehension between East and West is to be overcome.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: The Islamic Texts Society; Reissue edition (31 Dec 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946621322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946621323
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'In this excellent translation by T. J. Winter from the French original, the principal tenets of Islamic faith are presented elegantly and succinctly...Recommended to both non-Muslims who want to learn more...and to Muslims who find their commitment wavering, and are in need of intellectual reinforcement.' -- Islamica

'This book offers an exceptionally lucid and concise introduction to Islam specially intended for those with little prior knowledge or understanding of it...The author is endowed with a pronounced gift for thoroughly explaining complex issues or ideas in only a very few words.' Maryam Jameelah -- Muslim World Book Review

From the Publisher

‘This book offers an exceptionally lucid and concise introduction to Islam specially intended for those with little prior knowledge or understanding of it...The author is endowed with a pronounced gift for thoroughly explaining complex issues or ideas in only a very few words.’ Maryam Jameelah (Muslim World Book Review)

‘In this excellent translation by T. J. Winter from the French original, the principal tenets of Islamic faith are presented elegantly and succinctly...Recommended to both non-Muslims who want to learn more...and to Muslims who find their commitment wavering, and are in need of intellectual reinforcement.’ Islamica


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 25 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very good introductory text on Islam, concise yet comprehensive, enunciating not only the basic precepts and principles upon which the faith rests, but also containing quite detailed chapters on the civilisation and culture which stemmed from the historical inception of the faith. I would recommend this book especially for people born and living in the West, or who have had significant contact with the now dominant Western mode of living, as the author - himself having been born and lived in the West - writes in a way which acts as a bridge, connecting and establishing a bond of understanding over the gulf which presently separates the two cultures. A non-Muslim reader will gain a real insight into the mind and heart of a true Muslim - someone who really believes - becoming familiar not only with how he thinks and what he feels, but also with what motivates him and how he acts. The quality of the translation from the original French into English is superlative: lucid, accurate and easily comprehensible. All-in-all, this is one of the best introductory texts on Islam I have come across in the English language, and, on a more personal level, I would say that this book is an essential step which needs to be taken, in allowing sincere, thinking people anywhere to forge an understanding of the world and existence in a viable and tenable manner, at once congruous with modern knowledge and discoveries, and yet, at the same time, consistent with ancient wisdom and truths.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have been studying Islam for many years and only wish that I had come across this gem earlier. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who wishes to have a fair and balanced understanding of Islam; its culture; its history; its beliefs, practices and teachings. Not least because it discusses all these issues succinctly and profoundly, with erudition, deep insight and sensitivity, and in a manner which the western mind can easily comprehend. In the preface, the author himself states that the aim of the book is "to explain the message of Islam in a form accessible to readers of European background or education."

The author, the late Roger du Pasquier, was a distinguished Swiss journalist who was awarded the coveted French Writers' Association prize in 1988. In this bijou book he consistently demonstrates his rare gifts of appreciating the other; of sifting through centuries of misinformation and stereotypes and giving a true picture of a faith that is often misunderstood; and of articulating complex issues in lucid and simple terms. He achieves this remarkable feat in a mere 157 pages of riveting reading. I found the book simply unputdownable. I think this book deserves to be on the bookshelf of everyone who is even remotely interested in Islam.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and well written 28 April 2006
By C. C
Format:Paperback
An excellent introduction to Islam. Concise, accurate and clear. The book is superb introduction to the history and practice of islam - a must for Moslems and non-Moslems. Easy to read and is explains how the religion is actaully practiced. A must read.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, borrow it, READ it 18 Jun 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Absolutely excellent in every respect and is suitable for non-Muslims as well as Muslims. Totally excellent dawah material. Beautifully written, encapsulates Islam with breathtaking brevity and insight.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Decent book pity about the title 16 April 2007
By Gogol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I always find odd people who read religious books and then become outraged when they find the book is in defence of religion (seems that previous reviewer didnt get past page 10 though so never mind)

Then we have the equally odd review by Alyassa equally outraged that this book should be published by the Islamic Text Society whose goal is to "Convert the infidel" I can only assume he has never read a book published by a Catholic, Prodistant or any other religions domination book publisher because his odd reviews seem to have the opinion that Muslim book publishers are the only people on the planet engaged in trying to convert others to their faith (obviously nonsense)

Equally odd are his book recomendations seeing as the 2 he has mentioned are darlings of the author of 'Politically incorect guide to Islam' (a book compiled by an author with zero qualifications in Middle East studies but a favorite with the insane, the cranks and the foaming at the mouth madmen (see the reviews of his books for proof of this)) But then this is from the camp of people like Pipes (the man who seems to think Muhammad didnt exist! (See his review of 'Why I am not a Muslim') So I think it would be safe to say that the writers he has recomended are hardly the most useful never mind trustworthy.

Concerning the book, it is a short introduction to Islam. Similar to Islam and the destiny of man but in less detail. It covers the basic fundamentals of the religion and how they are undertood by its followers. It seems it was intended as an introduction to Islam for non Muslims rather than a book intended for Muslim and it would probably be worth a read if one was intending to travel to a predominant Muslim country or had dealings with a large Muslim community in his/her own area and wanted a book that would give then a brief but clear idea of how Muslims live their lives.

One negative though has to be the title. Considering since early orientalism to this present day their has been an obsession with the veil (far more than in the Muslim world itself where it is hardly discussed) and 'lifting the veil' 'beyond the veil' 'under the veil' uncovering the veil' (would seem some writers have more of an interest in staring at 'exotic' eastern women than actually studying the Middle East) It is such a pity that this book should continue the trend with such a silly title.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 25 Jan 2003
By Mr Tea-Mole - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a very good introductory text on Islam, concise yet comprehensive, enunciating not only the basic precepts and principles upon which the faith rests, but also containing quite detailed chapters on the civilisation and culture which stemmed from the historical inception of the faith. I would recommend this book especially for people born and living in the West, or who have had significant contact with the now dominant Western mode of living, as the author - himself having been born and lived in the West - writes in a way which acts as a bridge, connecting and establishing a bond of understanding over the gulf which presently separates the two cultures. A non-Muslim reader will gain a real insight into the mind and heart of a true Muslim - someone who really believes - becoming familiar not only with how he thinks and what he feels, but also with what motivates him and how he acts. The quality of the translation from the original French into English is superlative: lucid, accurate and easily comprehensible. All-in-all, this is one of the best introductory texts on Islam I have come across in the English language, and, on a more personal level, I would say that this book is an essential step which needs to be taken, in allowing sincere, thinking people anywhere to forge an understanding of the world and existence in a viable and tenable manner, at once congruous with modern knowledge and discoveries, and yet, at the same time, consistent with ancient wisdom and truths.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Intro.... 20 Aug 2006
By Naza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was very pleased to have been recommended this book by a friend and I understood why once I started. It portrays a brief, succinct, well written journey through the essential elements of the Islamic faith and a fascinating look at the history of this great religion as it spread with an unprecidented pace effectivelly changing the nature of history and the geography of the then known world forever. Bringing a people out of darkness to the heights of civilisation, scientific discovery, knowledge, social values and personal freedom....This is Islam! GREAT BOOK
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and to the point! 16 Aug 2001
By Javed A. Mohammed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A very concise and thought-provoking book. The author is one of a new category of what I assume are non-Muslim, but present Islam in a very unbiased way. It's perhaps not as easy a read as some other books I've come across, but those who want some "food for thought" as well as a comprehensive look on Islam should take a read.
1.0 out of 5 stars Rank apologetics 5 Jan 2005
By Alyssa A. Lappen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Make no mistake, this book is written solely with the purpose of converting readers to Islam. For that reason, the seven chapters herein chiefly set out to present Islam as unrivaled in its purity, and to outline of demands for an Islamic life. Apart from belief in one god, this requires acceptance of the "unity" of the Muslim community and a belief that Islam is, to quote from the Koran (Sura 3: 199) "the best community to have been raised up for mankind."

This would explain why the book was published by the Islamic Texts Society, whose purpose is to extend Islamic evangelism, or Da'wa, to all non-Muslims. In classic Islamic form, the reader is "invited to discover a world," in other words, invited to convert to Islam.

Thus Chapter 4, entitled "A miracle and its progression in history," makes the ridiculous claim (through quotation from Francesco Gabrieli's Muhammad and the Arab Conquest) that "No one was converted by the sword." Still more absurd (and unsubstantiated) is the claim that "Arabs never presented the people they had conquered with the choice between death and the acceptance of their faith."

On the contrary, the historical record makes precisely this pattern clear in land after land, and region after region, as denoted in such scholars as Bat Ye'or (The Decline of Eastern Christianity and Islam and Dhimitude), K.S. Lal and others.

If you buy this book, do so only with the understanding that it in no way purports to be impartial or balanced. The sole purpose of this text, stated clearly at the outset, is to convert infidels and kafirs to Islam, nothing less. Moreover, misrepresenting history is part and parcel of that process.

--Alyssa A. Lappen
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