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Aug 20, Tariq Mahmood rated it it was amazing Shelves: islam , iran. Absolute masterpiece, must read for every Muslim wanting to retain some level of sanity intact when approaching Islamic mythology. Dashti clears the fog and rationalises Islamic folklore which is a must if Islam has to r Absolute masterpiece, must read for every Muslim wanting to retain some level of sanity intact when approaching Islamic mythology.
Dashti clears the fog and rationalises Islamic folklore which is a must if Islam has to remain relevant in this day and age. I still think that Islam can retain its brand value if more rationalising is allowed and accepted by the mainstream incredulous Muslims, otherwise it may whither into obscurity like its sister religions Jewism and Christianity.
I think Dashti knew that his rationalistic narrative may stand a chance after his death, therefore made sure that his work be translated only after his death, not before. Dashti has produced a critical piece of study on the genesis of Islam, its strong propensity for 'end justifying the means' in the quest of power which suddenly explains the actions of fundamentalist movements like the Taliban very clearly.
The following questions were raised in me as I went through the book How long will we pious Muslims and their erstwhile apologists let our prejudices blind us? How many more clever justifications will we require to defend logical discrepancies in the Quran? Isn't it time really present a rational commentary of the Quran before it too joins the ranks of the obscurity like old and new Testaments? Or maybe it is too late already? When a community has succumbed to fever, it cannot be claimed with words and proofs.
Dashti But then again on reflection afterwards, I could not help wonder of the great achievements Islamic based cultures did manage to achieve.
Regardless of of the alleged subjectiveness of the Quran, it remains a fact that Islamic folklore based culture did grow and glow, managing to carry the torch of knowledge and development during the dark ages in Europe. This was only broken convincingly by the indomitable Chengez Khan who obliterated the great culture of Baghdad.
Maybe this is the fear which Dashti is alluding to which stops the Muslims from rationalising? I think as far as Islamic studies go, this is a good book.
Very fair in presentation, quite revealing for those leery of the topic, probably inflammatory to the devout muslim in parts. It is well understood that one cannot understand the nature of the Quran without an understanding of the prophet, this will bring you up to speed.
View 1 comment. Jun 07, Adnan Khan rated it it was amazing. Amazing book that every rational Muslim should read. Jun 25, Ali rated it it was amazing. One of the best critics about Islam, it's prophet Mohammad, with abundant examples from the Quran itself, showing why it's unqualified for being the words of God, and it's many inconsistencies.
Hands down, one of the best books ever written by a Persian author. The book is a study of some of the key incidents that took place in the first 13 Mecca then last 10 Medina years of the Prophets life PBUH as a Prophet as well as what happened immediately after it.
One of the books key messages is that the Prophet was human and not superhuman as some Muslims make out. This fact makes what he managed to achieve in such a short space of time, in that location, with such meagre means, with those people and such an incredible array of challenges to overcome both internally with himself and his party and externally to his group, such an incredible feat.
The book also raised some very challenging questions such as why in the Quran does it say that marriage for men is limited to 4 wives and yet the Prophet PBUH had circa 8 at one point at the same time? How and why the timbre and feel of the prophecies the Prophet received in Mecca differed from the ones he received in Medina? The former revealing a Christ like spirituality and the latter being more statesmanlike with specific goals to advance the religion he had in mind.
The book also describes the three different ways the first three caliphs of Islam were chosen one after the other and the seeds of contention that were sown amongst various groups who wanted to propel their representatives into that all important position.
The book was certainly challenging but definitely worth a read overall. Prophet Muhammad is one of the most divisive figures in history, mostly owing to atrocities carried out in the name of the religion he helped to engender. Due to the cloak of fundamentalism covering Islam an objective analysis of Muhammad's life and mission is hard to come by from the Islamic world. Those who dared to do so were routinely silenced by forces of fundamentalism. On the other hand Western and non Islamic scholarship on Quran and Mohammad are mostly polemical and tainted by innate mo Prophet Muhammad is one of the most divisive figures in history, mostly owing to atrocities carried out in the name of the religion he helped to engender.
On the other hand Western and non Islamic scholarship on Quran and Mohammad are mostly polemical and tainted by innate modernist hostility towards conservative notions of Islam. Hence Iranian journalist and diplomat and MP, Ali Dashti's attempt at analyzing motivations, contours of the life and mission of Muhammad is elucidatory as well as objective.
It is also a very daring enterprise given the conservative society in which he lived in. Ali Dashti praises Prophet Mohammad as one of the greatest political leaders, statesmen and a social reformer far above emperors like Alexander. What he achieved within a short period while taming the savage, mercurial Arabs was nothing short of a miracle.
At the same time Ali Dashti highlights Muhammad's human frailties and how they were projected to a God Allah - Further he rationally analyzes how "Revelations" of Koran came about. How Muhammad himself changed suras and abrogated suras. And the reason for two different personalities , during his 13 years in Mecca as a peaceful prophet and after hijra to Medina an astute militant political leader.
Al Dashti further analyzes the real reasons behind spread of Islam and finally expounds the irrationality of a God with human frailties.
One of the most readable and thought provoking works I read in recent times- Highly recommended Love this book because of its fair rational analysis of Muhammad's biography.
It is neither written in an obsequious nor "islamophobic" manner. The author is a famous Muslim Iranian scholar and politician who was tortured and killed at 80 years old for writing this, by Iranian fundamentalists. The English translation was released after his death. This literary gem tracks how Muhammad, a self-made man, united warring Arab tribes into a political unit under the banner of Islam.
After his death, Isla Love this book because of its fair rational analysis of Muhammad's biography. After his death, Islamic scholars gradually mythicized him into an infallible, perfect person who's revelations from God's angel, Gabriel, cannot be questioned or reasoned. Thus, the call for ijtihad, a reinterpretation and reformation of the Quran, to solve the violent terrorist attacks in the name of Allah and the subjugation of women in Arab Muslim world, is very challenging today.
Mainly because the Islamic leaders have closed the re-interpretations of Quran centuries ago. This book has provided me with a better overview of the conditions of the Arab world that explains the violence in the Quran. Arab tribes were uncivilized, violent and barbaric in 7th century probably due to the harsh, barren, hot, arid environment. Most Arab tribes fought the holy war against other civilizations for loot and lust as their know-how of agriculture and industry were limited.
The two different lives Muhammad had in Mecca and Medina, first as a prophet preaching peace and second as a statesman, commander-in-chief and legislator are also described at a satisfactory pace. This book certainly added to my understanding of Islam and will definitely not be my last book in exploring the world of Islam.
I would recommend this book to everyone who thinks the religion Islam is all about being kind, helping others and praying to Allah. As a muslim child that had been the only definition to me. But as I grew up and wanted to follow my religion properly, I found that it is not as easy as I thought while growing up.
Few things about the religion seemed absurd to me. I am sure that this happens to most of the 'liberal' muslims. And this h I would recommend this book to everyone who thinks the religion Islam is all about being kind, helping others and praying to Allah. And this happens because most muslim never tried to read Quran with meaning or convinced themselves to live life as moderate muslims i.
This book gives us that ground. When the prophet no longer remains the hero in our eyes, we can easily understand how his preached religion falls apart! Make my life different. Fascinating book - one of the earliest I read on Mohammad from a secular point of view. Dispassionate instead of polemical - as good as a rationalist take can get. May 31, Mohammad Jalili rated it it was amazing Shelves: farsi , documentary.
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Statement by Five Religious Intellectuals
Dashti was also an Iranian senator. Ali Dashti received a traditional religious education. He studied Islamic theology, history, Arabic and Persian grammar, and classical literature in madrasas in Karbala and Najaf both in Iraq. He returned to Iran in and lived in Shiraz , Isfahan , and finally in Tehran , where he became involved in politics of the day.