A University of Chicago professor in Near Eastern history, Donner (Narratives of Islamic Origins) presents the intriguing view that the early Islamic movement, as presided over by Muhammad, actively included Jews and Christians in the flock as part of a general monotheistic community. It was only later, after Muhammad's death, that a new generation of Muslims began ritualizing Islam with its own distinctive practices, such as the hajj (pilgrimage) and the five daily prayers. Though Donner isn't entirely persuasive (and surely many Muslims would be stunned by some of his assertions), he raises many original points, gleaning evidence from everything from coinage to original source documents. Questioning longstanding stereotypes, he argues (and proves) that Muslims are not, by nature, anti-Jewish and also that, based on archeological evidence, Muslims did not routinely tear down churches. The early Muslims, though brutal in war, created a sophisticated and organized civil system. For those curious about Islam's beginnings, no book is as original and as evenhanded as this succinct read.
ergone a process of sub-categorization into numerous denominations. As such, nearly all translators have belonged to one school of thought or another, allowing the influence of such denomination(s) to come across in their interpretation of specific words or verses, and how they choose to translate them. The Qur'an: A Monotheist Translation is an attempt to be free from the influences of sectarianism, and gives the reader a genuine and honest viewpoint of Monotheism's Holy Book by translating it the way it always deserved to be translated. The Qur'an: A Monotheist Translation is the result of a group effort by people who do not belong to any denomination, and for the first time in many centuries, are simply proud to call themselves 'Muslims' as God had named us centuries ago. The Qur'an: A Monotheist Translation is unique in the fact that it uses neither footnotes nor author comments, letting the text speak for itself and delivering to the reader as close a rendition of the pure message of the Qur'an as physically possible