In this invaluable introduction to a faith that for much of the West remains shrouded in ignorance and fear, Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed scholar of comparative religion, examines Islam: its rituals and traditions, the revelation of Muhammad as Prophet and the subsequent uprising against him, and the emergence of his successors. Aslan's comprehensive text explores the complex history of the fastest-growing religion in the world.
No god but God is an engaging, accessible, and thought-provoking book for young people that is sure to stimulate discussion and encourage understanding of the Islamic faith and the people who follow it.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam|
|Release Date: 02-08-2011|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
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No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam
Religion in Pre-Islamic Arabia
A Brief Word on Prophets and Religion
Prophets do not create religions. Because all religions are bound to the social, spiritual, and cultural landscapes from which they arose and in which they developed, prophets must be understood as reformers who redefine and reinterpret the existing beliefs and practices of their communities. Indeed, it is most often the prophet's successors who take upon themselves the responsibility of fashioning their master's words and deeds into unified, easily comprehensible religious systems.
Like so many prophets before him, the Prophet Muhammad never claimed to have invented a new religion. On the contrary, by Muhammad's own admission, his message was an attempt to reform the existing religious beliefs and cultural practices of pre-Islamic Arabia so as to bring the God of the Jews and Christians to the Arab peoples. "[God] has established for you [the Arabs] the same religion enjoined on Noah, on Abraham, on Moses, and on Jesus," the Quran says (42:13). It should not be surprising, therefore, that Muhammad would have been influenced as a young man by the religious landscape of pre-Islamic Arabia. As unique and divinely inspired as the Islamic movement may have been, its origins are undoubtedly linked to the multiethnic, multireligious society that fed the Prophet's imagination as a young man and allowed him to craft his revolutionary message in a language that would have been easily recognizable to the pagan Arabs he was so desperately trying to reach. For whatever else Muhammad may have been, he was, without question, a man of his time. And so, to truly understand the nature and meaning of Muhammad's message, we must tra...