Top critical review
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Interesting theology on Muhammad and Islam.
on 13 March 2012
Having studied Islam at university, I bought a number of books about Islam and Islamic thought and culture, and this is one of the books I bought. Some of the books have been negative in nature, often by Muslim and Arab writers, but this book by Mr Ramadan is a positive book about Muhammad and what he means to Islam, and perhaps to the wider world.
It isn't so much the history of Muhammad but more the understanding of Muhammad's life and teachings and the theology and meanings that come from Muhammad's life, teachings and experience. However, I enjoyed reading it and I think it would be valuable for non-Muslims like myself as well as Muslims. I do get a little tired of the constant stream of bad press Islam gets and feel that even if there are negative aspects to Islamic culture and society, we need someone to look at it positively, for balance. Not every Muslim is a terrorist anymore than any Christian or Buddhist or Orthodox Jew.
As a Christian, I don't have to believe in Islam or Judaism or Buddhism, or anything other than Christianity; I am a Christian after all. However, I think I can respect another person's belief and their right to be whatever they want to be and whatever they want to believe in; if I respect a Muslim, he or she might respect me as a Christian. If we want to live in a world of tolerance, we have to learn to be tolerant. Religion should be summed up in four letters: L O V E!
If I have one criticism of the book, it is that it is often uncritical of certain things that are purported to have happened in the development of Islam, and Islamic theology and Islamic culture. No culture is perfect, West or East, Islamic or Christian; there are warmongers and extremists on all sides. Perhaps the moderates, the true believers in a merciful and compassionate and loving God, who truly wants the best for all of us, can claim back some of the territory we so often cede to the haters? I pray for it.