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Ahmed Hafeez (Karachi, Sindh Pakistan)

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Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
Islam: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
by Karen Armstrong
Edition: Paperback

30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A balanced approach, 8 Nov. 2003
One of the greatest barriers for Muslims, like myself, in reading books such as these, is that they have been written by a non-muslim. This is largely because, in many conservative Islamic societies, reverence is ingrained to such an extent from childhood that the one hesitates to question - in fear of potentially weakening faith. As a result, most of what I have read and heard has been largely from Islamic sources, whose own devotion to the faith has sometimes meant an approach where they have chosen to overlook or omit historical facts, which may be unpalatable from a western standpoint - since there is awareness that Muslim readers are increasingly exposed to western education as well.
I therefore picked up armstrong's book with some reservation, but only to overcome it in the first few pages. The author's approach is disciplined in the acamedic sense and yet takes ample care in use of language so as not to offend (this is especially evident in the description of revelations to the Prophet). The general Arab context within which the religon and it's beginnings are described is amazingly well written.
I would rate this book highly and recommend it to people of all faiths. It is an excellent resource for a short overview of the history of Islam and tackles the spiritual aspect incredibly well, with the result that it is neither a sermon, nor a rejection - it is a well balanced view and description of history.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2014 4:34 PM BST

by Caroline Davis
Edition: Cards

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging learning game, 23 Oct. 2001
This review is from: Phonics (Cards)
The title is a bit of a misnomer - these are really "Gamecards" (as indeed it says on the box). They are divided into sets of six colour coded cards each, with increasing levels of difficulty. Each set is put face down, and the child is asked to start by overturning the one that says "START" - all others have words written on them. The START card has a picture of say a boat and then the child looks for a card amoung the rest of the 5 that has a word rhyming with boat. That card is overturned and it reveals another clue and so on.
The sets increase in levels of difficulty in that the first two sets have short vowel sounds; the second two have consonant blends and the last two have long vowel sounds. One of the ideas behind flash cards is recognition of words that are otherwise difficult to explain with logic to a child and this set works quite well.
My 4 year old had little difficulty with the first two sets and some difficulty with the last one. However, the principal attraction of these cards is the element of a game. My child wanted to play it over and over again, with the result that word recognition was achieved with the child himself pushing to do it! Most people with a 4 year old at home will know that they really want to play games with cards that they see adults playing and this was just fantastic. I wish there were more of these around!

Happy Family (Read with Ladybird)
Happy Family (Read with Ladybird)
by Shirley Jackson
Edition: Hardcover

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of an excellent series, 14 Oct. 2001
Exceptionally well thought out series. This book contains 3 stories and 2 rhymes which are "self contained" - easy to read, new words are introduced with care and after reading the first story, my child was delighted that he had read his first! This was interesting, because it is the stated intention of the series. We went on to read the other stories and the same thing happened - the chikd was not concentrating entirely on being able to pronounce individual words (as happens with some of the other books I picked up), but instead is led to read a story and make understands the linkage. Overall, excellent enough for me have placed an order for the rest of the series!

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