The Vision of Islam

Product Description
Covering the four dimensions of Islam as outlined in the Hadith of Gabriel–practice, faith, spirituality, and the Islamic view of history–The Vision of Islam draws on the Koran, the sayings of the Prophet and the great authorities of the tradition. This clearly written book introduces the essentials of each dimension and then shows how each has been embodied in Islamic institutions throughout history.

The Vision of Islam

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5 Comments

  1. I am not sure how to judge this book. Being from India, everything that I know about Islam contradicts this book. Is it another WMD lie but this time by a scholar rather than a government? As I was getting ready to write my comments about this book, I came across another suicide bombing in Iraq leaving over 60 civilians dead. The images of victims, in my opinion, stand a witness that this book is a well intentioned deception. I think seeing is still believing, and what we see today, as well as what history shows us, is that this book is a lie. If this is indeed true Islam, then Islam is best kept secret even to Moslems.

    Of course, I must say that most of our experiences have been with what we know as Sunni Islam. I did not know anything about Shia version of Islam. Is this book portraying Shia version or Sunni version? I must say, that I am amazed at the self restraint that Shia is demonstrating in face of their brutal Sunni counter part. If Moslems in India pulled the kind of crap they are pulling in Iraq against the majority, you better believe it there will be massacre in the streets. Imagine if a minority such as Mormons, or Moslems in the US were killing people the way Sunnis are killing Shia in Iraq, I wonder what the response would be from the majority. Do you think we would respond in the same manner as Shia in Iraq? I don’t think so. Most probably majority would eradicate this savage population or gather them up all in a camp of some sort. These Shia in Iraq are putting even the most pacifist Buddhists to shame.

    So if this book is about Sunni Islam, I am not sure if I can buy the claims, too good to be true. Neither the history of Islam confirms this picture nor what we see today on a day to day basis and I am sure the author knows this fact all darn too well. However if it portrays Shia Islam then maybe it is true I do not know much about Shia version of Islam but from what I see in Iraq they are either too stupid or much too peaceful.

    At any rate, read this book with suspicion as the available data indicates it is another weapons of mass deception.

    Rating: 3 / 5

  2. What is the vision of Islam? That is a good question, I am not sure if anyone knows for sure. Depending on whom you talk to, you get a different answer. Taleban of Afghanistan has his version of Islam’s vision, Mr. Ben Laden would have his version of Islam’s vision, which is pretty much nothing other than “exploding” your way through life etc. The truth of the matter is that Islam, like any other religion, has no vision, never did, and never will. Quran is a source of confusion among Moslems and it has been from day one. Each group having their own interpretation and considering all others as false views. Even on simple matters such as music, after 1400 years, still Moslem scholars are in disagreement whether music is allowed or it is forbidden. There are contradicting views on matters such as nature of God, his names and what they signify, hell, heaven, can God be seen with normal human eyes or not, some say yes he will be seen by normal human eye and some say absolutely not, etc etc etc. There is rarely a topic of importance that the so-called scholars haven’t been disagreeing about and fighting each other for centuries. The sad thing is that all of them use Quran as their starting point, which indicates that Quran by its very nature is a confusing and confused book. Of course needless to say that the same is true for all other religious books as well. Even at the time of Muhammad himself there was disagreement on what Quran says and means. Muhammad himself was criticized in a number of occasions by his companions as not observing the command of God as is indicated in the Quran. In most cases however, during his lifetime Muhammad was the final authority as what the verses in the Quran meant, but after his death the confusion and fight began. The fact is that even if Quran had a transcendent and glorious meaning that would provide mankind guidelines till eternity, that meaning was buried with Muhammad himself and the wise thing would have been to burry Quran once and for all and save humanity from yet another source of confusion and self destruction which continues to this day. Just look at what peoplelike Taleban are doing to our countries. Some of my Moslem friends tell me in response “ but Taleban isn’t really true Islam” but the fact is how the heck do they know what “true” Islam is. Who are they to Judge and what authority do they have? Maybe it is Taleban that represents “true” Islam and not these guys. How do we know? Everyone in history of Islam has pointed finger at others accusing their opponents as” not being Islam” but on whose authority did they get their “true” Islam. The word “true” Islam is as meaningless as the claim that Quran is a clear book, a light in the darkness etc. All I have seen by studying the history is nothing but disagreement, confusion, contradictory theories about God-Man and just about everything else in between, wars and killings with no end at sight. As I said I don’t know what the vision of Islam is, but I do know what the accomplishment of Islam has been for past 14 centuries and what Islam is doing to our countries like Afghanistan, just as we know what other religions did to other nations like Europeans. I say if Islam had a vision for humanity, and that is a big if, that vision got buried with Muhammad and we will never know.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  3. This book is trying to pretty up 1400 years of ugliness by being poetic, but I am afraid it takes more than that. Before we get all glassy eyes by reading this book, make sure you take a close look at present day Islamic world as well as Islamic history to see what the fruits of Islam has been. As they say, actions speak louder than words. Quran, just as any other “divine” book, has brought nothing but confusion and darkness. It was supposed to bring us “Light” and “Clear” guidance but looking at the intellectual chaos for past 14 centuries, specially today, one can quickly come to conclusion that there is nothing “Light”ish or “Clear”ish about this book. Why do you think we have 4 schools of jurisprudences. Don’t go looking for a verse in the Quran ” And thou shall not have more than four school…” it is was a political and pragmatic decision made by a king trying to save his kingdom from religious civil war, pretty much the same way that Roman empire arbitrarily chose the 4 gospels as standards. This is because religion is inherently dark and confusing and because of this practical implications could be disastrous, as history shows us over and over again. In just about every topic, Moslem thinkers have been at each other. If you ask them how do you know and why should we believe you, they say ” But verses in the Quran say…” the problem with this” but Quran says…” argument is that their opponents also equally rely on Quran and they too in support of their argument say ” But Quran says……..”. The fact is that Quran or any other so called divine book can be interpreted almost in any way you desire, it means what you want it to mean. There is no “True” meaning about this book, the verses mean whatever it is you want it to mean and that is why it is so useless. No one knows what the “True” meaning of Quran is, maybe Prophet knew the True meaning but he is long gone and so should have been Quran. If you read the so called commentaries on Quran, and there a million of them around, you will see how confused these folks are, I specially love it when, after writing a few long paragraph about a certai verse, they end their discussion with ” …and God knows best” which is an indication that they don’t have much confidence in the truth of what they just preached. Well so much for being a Light and a Clear book, if this book is a Light and Clear book, it must be so for someone else and not for us. We can write all we want about Islam or any other religion for that matter and try to appeal to sentimentalism to attract people, but no matter what the history has the final say, words are cheap action is what matters and we have 1400 years of action for Islam just as we have 2000 years of action for Christianity etc.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  4. Dr. Chittic has done a fine job introducing Islam in this book, however there are a few shortcomings and ommisions. People ask me if Islam is as introduced in this book then why so much violence and terror manifested by the followers of this religion. The answer is that there are many versions of Islam, in fact there are as many versions of Islam as there are moslems living in this world…
    Rating: 3 / 5

  5. I truly belive that if Mohammad had a chance he would have been an advocate of christianity rather than starting a new religion. Quran admits the superiority of Jesus over Mohammad in a number of clear ways. For example, as the author mentiones in the begining of this book, Mohammad had doubts about his mission even after his encounter with, as moslems claim, Angel Gabriel. It was after talking to a chrisitan priets that he felt comfortable with the notion of having been contacted by an angel and not being possesed by a demon. Quran on the other hand tells us thet Jesus spoke of his mission while still in cradle and neither Jesus nor his mother had any doubt about who they were and what they were supposed to do. In other places of Quran Mohammad is criticized for showing rude behavior to a blind man who comes to him for guidance at a time when Mohammad was trying to attract some of the rich and influential opposition leadrs. This behavior clearly shows a lack of respect for his own followers and a desperate attitiude to gian recognition by those powerful. There are many other examples in the life of Mohammad which shows his weaknesses and lack of judgement and no need to go through them here but, for me, as an ex-moslem, these were enough to indicate that, according to Mohammad’s own admission in his book, Jesus was by far superior to him and hence more worthy to follow.
    Rating: 3 / 5

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