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37 Reviews
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A balanced approach
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...
Published on 8 Nov 2003 by Ahmed Hafeez

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From the Prophet Muhammed to the Taliban in 2000
Ms. Karen Armstrong has covered an amazing amount of ground in this brief look at the history of Islam's beliefs and practices since 610 when the Prophet Muhammed's revelations began that we know today as the Quran (usually spelled Koran in English). She has supplied a generous number of maps, a detailed chronology, and constantly interprets each ruler, regime, and sect...
Published on 6 May 2004 by Donald Mitchell


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative and Unemotional Book About Islam, 10 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Islam: A Short History (UNIVERSAL HISTORY) (Paperback)
I recommend this book to those who wish to have a good basic understanding of Islam without all the emotional baggage. Karen Armstrong does a balanced job with presenting information with a minimum of opinion.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual and political history, 23 Jun 2013
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This is a brief spiritual and political history of Islam from the earliest times to the present day. It manages to pack in an enormous amount of information, but without being a dry catalogue of facts.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Islam, 22 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Islam: A Short History (UNIVERSAL HISTORY) (Paperback)
I found this book very interesting re. Karen Armstrong's perspective on this subject. Without prejudice she gives the reader plenty to ponder on.
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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start to learning about Islam, 27 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This is a very good book even if at times it does feel like a history textbook. If you want a learn about the origins of Islam than this is an excellent book to start with.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tried to keep everybody happy, 19 May 2011
This review is from: Islam: A Short History (UNIVERSAL HISTORY) (Paperback)
Along with creating awareness of the history of Islam, it also propagates certain wrong notions about the religion like 'Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never asked the Jews or the Christians to accept Islam', instead, the prophet had asked them but not forced them. He had even written letters to the kings of the neighbouring regions including Caesar. Having read this book, it seems that Karen Armstrong has tried to keep everybody happy in bits and pieces and has failed to reflect the true nature of history and the spirit of Islam by not focusing on the truth. Therefore, not a very good book to get acquainted with the history of Islam.
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12 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, but not completely useless, 7 Oct 2007
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P. Mills - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Islam: A Short History (UNIVERSAL HISTORY) (Paperback)
This book is useful only as a short book with some general historical factual information, dates and the like. The analysis of historical and religions events and developements says more about the writer and her post-christian liberalism than it does about Islam. The writer shows some knowledge of the Qur'an but shows litle understanding of the Sunnah and Hadith which are critical to the developement of Islamic thought and practice.
Do NOT rely on what you read in this book. If you are interested in understanding Islam from a western perspective try books by Bernard Lewis instead - they are a harder read but what you read is of more value.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars history islam, 2 Jun 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Islam: A Short History (UNIVERSAL HISTORY) (Paperback)
after reading the koran and having read the jewish history i wanted to know a bit more about history.
I am against religion and don't believe in it as this god is just but an invention dreamt up by Abraham, nothing more.
2 more dreams created more religions and all it caused is death during all of history and it is still going on.
When does mankind wake up and see it for what it is.
Darwin and nature is what we have and live like it the best we can.
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Islam: A Short History (UNIVERSAL HISTORY)
Islam: A Short History (UNIVERSAL HISTORY) by Karen Armstrong (Paperback - 3 Dec 2001)
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