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What Do Muslims Believe? (What Do We Believe) [Paperback]

Ziauddin Sardar
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Book Description

3 April 2006 What Do We Believe
'The world is green and beautiful; and God has appointed you as His trustee over it.'- he Prophet Muhammad. Islam is one of the great monotheistic religions of the world. It produced a magnificent civilisation, envied for its science and learning, spanning over a thousand years. The teachings of Islam emphasise unity, humility, forgiveness and love of God. The Qur'an sings the virtues of knowledge and rationality. The life of Muhammad demonstrates the importance of tolerance, social justice and brotherhood. In Sufism, Islam presents a mystical system based on love and devotion. So, why is Islam associated with hatred, violence, obstinacy and bigotry? Ziauddin Sardar examines the true teachings of Islam and explores the reality of the Muslim world today. Emphasising the diversity of Islam and its ideals, he assesses the role Islam plays in the lives of ordinary Muslims and how Islamic beliefs and practices help Muslims understand the modern world.

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What Do Muslims Believe? (What Do We Believe) + Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim + Muhammad: All That Matters
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Product details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (3 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862078343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862078345
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


‘An excellent series of short books on beliefs in the modern world’ -- The Bookseller

From the Publisher

What Do We Believe - a new series from Granta, introduces different beliefs from across the world in lively, accessible, and intelligent short books

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'What does it mean to be a Muslim?' Read the first page
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For buying & receiving goods bought, I love it! 30 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent & very prompt service for buying different goods to your recommendation address to deliver your goods! I would recommend to my family & friends!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise Summary of Islam 24 Oct 2010
By Ray - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great reading for a very concise summary of Islam from a native scholar of the Middle East. Very clear and very easy light reading.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good starting point for learning about Islam 1 Aug 2010
By elmakr - Published on Amazon.com
In this short and very readable introduction, Sardar covers all the well-known traditions of the Muslim faith (praying, fasting, etc) but also offers an overview of more complex issues like Islamic philosophy, Islamic attitudes to science, and the origins of fundamentalism. This book would be a great starting point to a general reader who just wants to see what islam and Muslims are all about-- and the book especially shines in its discussion of key concepts like khalifa (guardianship of the earth) and the driving force of social justice and fairness that lie behind many Muslim practices. (For example, who knew that early Muslims established zoning laws in their cities to protect the environment?)

But Muslims have often failed Muslim values, and Sardar is not afraid to admit it. It sounds ironic at best to talk of fairness and social justice when we see images of jailed dissidents in Iran, or of the Taliban's gruesome tactics in Afghanistan. But, Sardar argues, the faith itself is not at fault, nor are those images representative of Islam as a whole. He points to a liberal Muslim network in Indonesia or to the work of female Muslim theologians who are able to reread the holy texts in a different light. And really he'd only need to point to the vast Muslim majority, who might be more or less orthodox, but who only want to live in peace. Muslims now are asking critical questions, Sardar argues, and breaking with some of the fossilized traditions to create a way of living that's more in tune with how Islam was originally intended: "Liberal humanism is not a Western invention; rather it has deep roots in Islamic history."

At barely 120 pages, you can't expect this book to go too deeply into the complex issues it discusses. I understand that. Still, no matter how much I liked Sardar's message, I felt frustrated at times by the lack of source material: no footnotes, no sources cited, nothing except a very short suggested-reading list at the end of the book. This seems like a shortcoming to me, and it means that if you really want to learn about any of the topics he discusses, you'll have to do some further study. But maybe that's the point of a short introduction like this: to give just a little bit of background and then encourage the reader to look deeper.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Do Muslim's Believe 5 Sep 2010
By Alan Krug - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has to be a book many more Americans need to read. While a faithful Muslim, Sardar gives a very enlightened view of his faith and points out that in a sense Islam is not much different from Jewish and Christian faiths. I have always been told that the Koran is violent and preaches violence. Having read The Bible and The Koran, one might make the same argument for the Old Testament.

The three faiths have the same founder, Abraham, yet went off in different directions...but at heart never leaving behind their belief in God, someone greater than themselves and that it is the duty of all followers to help their fellow man. Read this book. Hopefully he and others that believe like him will lead the faith to a Renaissance of new thought. Not one based on revenge but on one that tries to help the condition of all men (and women) and achieve what we all want in this world - peace and a modicum of prosperity.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise overview of Islam 16 Feb 2008
By James M. Porter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very good introduction to Islam. This book, or another on Islam, should be required reading for all high school students. Clears up many misconceptions of what Muslims believe.
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