Best historical middle east biographies according to redditors

We found 399 Reddit comments discussing the best historical middle east biographies. We ranked the 130 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Historical Middle East Biographies:

u/WhiteRastaJ · 79 pointsr/religion

Firstly, a caveat. I am not, nor have I ever been, a Muslim. I have, however, studied Islam at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

That being said, let me point out just a few huge blunders in this article:

>Mohammed was in Mecca preaching to any who would listen that he alone was the Divine Prophet of the One God, Allah

False. Mohammad claimed to be one in a line of many prophets. Islam also accepts Jesus, Moses, Adam, Noah and other as prophets.

>traveled to the Jewish city of Medina

Medina wasn't called Medina then. It was known as Yathrib. There were Jews living there, from the Jewish tribes of the Banu Nadir, Banu Qurayza and Banu Qaynuqah. But Arabs lived there as well. The name Medina is a contraction of the Arabic Medinat-ul-Nabi ( مدينة النبي ), meaning 'City of the Prophet'. It acquired this name only after Muhammad migrated there.

The author writes that, "Mohammed sneaked out of Mecca..." but also "Mohammed was consumed with rage over his being booted out of Mecca". Which is it? Did he sneak out or was he booted out? A serious contradiction.

>Even the Jews of Medina, who had shown him such kindness, were eventually driven from their homes while Mohammed's Muslim band pillaged the city

The three Jewish tribes I mentioned above were eventually driven out. This is usually based on betrayals of the conditions laid out in the Constitution of Medina, to which those tribes had agreed.

>In 630 A.D. Mohammed marched triumphantly into Mecca with 40,000 followers. His revenge was complete, but the horrors of Islam had only begun.

Inane. There were skirmishes between the Meccans and the Ummah (Muslim community) that culminated in the Battle of Badr, fought on March 13, 624 AD, when the Meccans attacked Medina. The Muslims won. A year later, in 625 AD, the Meccans attacked the Ummah in the Battle of Uhud, which the Muslims lost. In 627 AD the Meccans, allied with some of the Jewish tribes mentioned above, again attacked the Ummah in The Battle of the Trench. Ultimately the Muslims won the day and Mecca surrendered. To say all of this was 'revenge' for being driven out is simplistic, ignores the context of the event and shows no real understanding of the events leading up to the conquest of Mecca.

>In all, Mohammed had eleven wives, nine of them simultaneously, with the youngest being only ten years old. Eye-witness accounts claim that Aisha brought her toys with her when she was delivered to the Prophet of Allah.

Again, overly simplistic. Blood and family ties were--and are--central to Arab culture. We are familiar with marriage alliances in Europe, and in Arabia it was the same. Many of Muhammad's marriages were undertaken to cement alliances between tribes. Simply put, through this and other maneuvers, Muhammad united the Arabian peninsula in peace for the first time in its history. Yes, he married Aisha when she was young, but there is no real evidence to support sexual activity between them until she had reached the culturally-appropriate age for such according to Arab culture (this remains hotly debated...a debate beyond the scope of this post).

>Mohammed regarded women as nothing more than sexual toys and servants

Patently false. The Qur'an gives women rights they did not have before Islam. These included the right to initiate divorce; to inherit property; and to have their say in the governance of the Ummah. Additionally, the Qur'an forbade female infanticide, which was a common occurrence before Muhammad's prophetic career.

This entire article is full of invective, a lack of historical knowledge, and blatant fabrications designed to support an anti-Islamic agenda. It is fear and hate-mongering of the worst sort. It smacks of the kind of Bush-era paranoia and Islamophobia that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq.

You can find out more by following the links above. Also, the following books might be of interest:

Muhammad: his Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings

A History of Islamic Societies by Ira Lapidus

A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani

Islam: A Short History by Karen Armstrong.

Hope this helps.

u/MadPat · 52 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

..An added comment about Britain in Israel....

Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, was a brilliant chemist who figured out a new way to produce acetone. This greatly helped Britain's artillery shells during the First World War. This gave him, a strong supporter of Zionism, entrance to some of the corridors of power during the war.

Furthermore, Britain was fighting on the side of the notably anti-semitic tsarist government of Russia. This did not make them very popular in Jewish circles.

In order to increase Jewish support for the Allied side in the War, Britain released the Balfour Declaration which put them on record as supporting a Jewish homeland.

This declaration is what gave rise to Jewish people moving to Israel in the years after the war.

Source: Lawrence in Arabia Terrific book by the way.

u/autumnflower · 48 pointsr/islam

I would recommend reading a biography of the prophet (sawa). I think reading about the prophet's life is one of the best ways to understand Islam.

As a note, if the Qur'an translation you have is proving difficult to get through, try a different one. Not all translations are the same. You can go to to compare some translations or search this sub for some recommendations.

What about Islam's beliefs do you find difficult?

"Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous." 2:177

Jesus (as) is a revered, respected and beloved prophet in Islam. He is mentioned a lot in the Qur'an, particularly in chapters 3 (Ali 'Imran) and 19 (Maryam).

On the off chance there is a mosque somewhere near you, try getting in touch or going to a visit just to check it out, ask some questions, etc.

Last but not least: Ask God for guidance. At night before you sleep, face the qiblah if you wish (north east), and ask God with a sincere intention to guide you to truth, to peace, to what is right and better for you, whatever it may be.

u/The_Late_Greats · 41 pointsr/worldnews

I highly recommend reading Lawrence in Arabia. True story behind TE Lawrence, written by a journalist who's spent time reporting on the modern conflicts in the Middle East, with a lot of insight on how Middle Eastern policy back then resonates today

u/coughcough · 30 pointsr/pics
u/browneyedgrowl · 26 pointsr/todayilearned

I thought it was a great book, though I can see why a lot of people dislike it. (She goes through an insane journey and decides that Islam=evil.) If you're looking for a more moderate view of Islam, I recommend "Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism" by Maajid Nawaz. He talks about how he went from being a British thug to an Islamic extremist and then how he came around to realizing that extremism is crazy.

u/skeit078 · 21 pointsr/changemyview

You've overlooked some important facts in your analysis.

  • Saddam Hussein's regime was falling apart in 2003, it was slowly crumbling under it's own sadism and corruption. Had the US and Britain not intervened Al Qaeda would have been free to feed on the corpse of Iraq and cause a catastrophe similar to the civil war we're now seeing in Syria. The Iraqi's were spared the brunt of this fallout because of the security provided by American and British troops. Despite this Abu Musab al-Zarqawi successfully blew up the Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra because it's a very holy site for Shiite Muslims, and his plan was to instigate a civil war between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraq. It worked. This violence is just a taste of what would have overtook the entire country without American and British assistance.

  • After the invasion the Libyan dictator Gaddafi gave up his stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction to the US because he realized the US meant business. The invasion also lead to the discovery of the A.Q. Khan criminal network that was selling nuclear secrets to shady characters all over the world.

  • One more point on anti-proliferation: Dr. Madhi Obeidi willingly and happily gave up what was left of Saddam's nuclear weapons program to the US, including a centrifuge for enriching Uranium and the blueprints to rebuild the program from scratch. We prevented that technology and information from getting in the hands of Al Qaeda and their allies.

  • The people of Afghanistan are free (for now) from the barbaric regime of the Taliban. When Afghanistan was invaded in 2001 many international terrorists fled to Iraq and were personally sheltered by Saddam (i.e. the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are two sides of the same coin).

  • The Arab Spring was brought about by regime change in Iraq. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein's despotism invigorated democracy movements in the entire Arab world.

    So, now Iraq is a federal democracy with minority rights, elections, redistribution of it's oil wealth among all it's citizens (it was previously the personal property of Saddam and his mafia). Yes many lives were lost in the process and the war could have been prosecuted more competently than it was, but we do not live in a fairy tale world. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were justified, and if they hadn't taken place the Middle East would be a much more dangerous place.
u/SomethingInThatVein · 20 pointsr/worldnews

Objectively speaking, there is more evidence of Saddam's attempted nuclear ambitions than of al-Assad's chemical warfare.

u/WearingAVegetable · 18 pointsr/AskHistorians

Short answer: no.

Slightly longer answer: The radicalization of Islam in the Middle East ties into the division of the region by the western powers after WWI, and further during the Cold War, when the U.S. (not only, but in particular) supported the rise to power of radical religious figures in opposition to communist/leftist parties & figures who might be sympathetic to the Soviet Union, and therefore potentially threaten U.S./U.K. access to oil in the region. This included aiding in the over-throwing of democratically elected governments in favor of autocratic but U.S./U.K.-favored leaders - most notably the U.S.-led 1953 coup d'etat in Iran, when Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown. The 1978 Iranian Revolution began as a popular uprising against the Shah who replaced him.

For more extensive reading on the subject:

Inventing Iraq by Toby Dodge (I have some major issues with Dodge's conclusions post 9/11, but the historical analysis that makes up the majority of the book is solid)

Spies in Arabia by Priya Satia, and Lawrence in Arabia are good histories of imperial ambition during the WWI period and its after-effects

Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan for the political maneuvering of the Western powers

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin

I also recommend Edward Said, if you're looking for cultural analysis as well as history

u/BasedWife · 18 pointsr/The_Donald

Ummm, no, they pretty much enslave their own women too.

Here a book I read many years ago that's pretty insightful, detailing the true story of a Saudi Arabian Princess and her fight toward freedom. Every woman who is 'sporting' a burka should read it, so they can see how deranged the feminist movement has become.

u/fdeckert · 18 pointsr/Hijabis

I didn't say it was a comic book, but it is.

Many of the books on iran are popular not because they're accurate but because they correspond to and verify a pre-existing preferred narrative, and Not Without My Daughter was the maximalist version.

So Persepolis is pushing her own agenda and making false claims ie: "virgins" have to be raped prior to execution in iran because "Islam prevents them from going to heaven" -- which is total rubbish and atrocity propaganda.


read more:

Other books that didnt' get as much attention

u/Elliot_Loudermilk · 18 pointsr/islam

Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Ling |
| Audiobook Part 1

The Sealed Nectar by Safi-ur-Rhaman Al-Mubarakpuri

Lings book reads like a story, and it's pretty good.

The Sealed Nectar won 1st place in an international competition held by the Muslim World League in 1979 for best biography of the Prophet pbuh.

u/TechnicalHovercraft · 16 pointsr/islam

I suggest finding out about the Prophet Muhammad because he is the best living example of Islam.

Karen Armstrong's biography is a very engaging read:

In terms of visiting a mosque, its best to go to the biggest one in your area because they'll have the most resources to welcome you and answer any questions you have. You can just turn up, but there might not be anyone available to meet you. If you call ahead most mosques will make sure someone is there to greet you, make you feel comfortable and answer any questions you might have.

u/Barrilete_Cosmico · 16 pointsr/MapPorn

I highly recommend Scott Anderson's Lawrence in Arabia where he goes in depth about how TE Lawrence predicted the Sykes-Picot agreement would lead to a huge amount of conflict in the region.

u/SuccessfulOperation · 13 pointsr/samharris

Nawaz literally joined a terrorist organization.

Ilhan Omar had the unfortunate experience of questioning Israel's funding of American politics...AND criticizing Saudi Arabia... AND the war in Yemen?!

How dare she?!

u/redjenny12 · 11 pointsr/iran

You do realize that Iran is about the size of Germany, Spain, France and the UK combined, right?

Iran is home to a few million Afghans, some registered officially as refugees, some not.

The Iranian govt would not be happy about you searching for people without their authorization and knowledge. Who are these people, why are you searching for them, what authority do you represent etc. etc.

If you show up as a tourist and start doing that, authorities will be concerned about what you're really up to. Under the times of international suspicion and intrigue this would seem very strange to them and will be viewed negatively if you try to go behind their backs, espcially because of the prevalence of drug trafficking and other crimes and instability along the Iran-Afghan border. If you get kidnapped or something there, it makes the Iranians look bad.

If these people you seek are registered, then the first step may simply be to ask the Iranian govt -- like at your local embassy. Or the UNHCR. You can't just show up and start asking random people.

Also, Afghans have cellphones, find a relative or acquaintance's phone number and start calling.

But here is a good book to read: Searching for Hassan

Note that Hassan was an Iranian

u/sanjeetsuhag · 11 pointsr/bestof

While that is exciting, to me, the epitome of the fighter pilot is the Wild Weasel role. As a Weasel, here's what you do. You go up into enemy territory and bait the Surface to Air Missile (SAM) systems into turning on their radar. When their radar comes on, you fire your HARM (High-Speed Anti Radiation Missile) that tracks that radar and goes down to destroy. Meanwhile, you are on the lookout for SAM launches and then defeating all the missiles that are launched on you. Now, imagine expending all your missiles, going back landing, rearming and then going back up into enemy air and doing the same thing.

If you find this interesting, I'd highly recommend reading these books :

  1. Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat
  2. Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm. The Elimination of Iraq's Air Defence
  3. The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War
u/Maglgooglarf · 10 pointsr/islam

As others have mentioned, a prophetic biography is one of the best places to start. I prefer Karen Armstrong's book on the prophet Muhammed as the starting point for pretty much everyone, but especially those from a nonMuslim perspective.

I unfortunately don't have good reading recommendations about daily routines and their association with belief. If you feel comfortable doing so, that may be something you can get from your local mosque. They tend to be well-equipped, at least where I have lived in the US, to be able to deal with people who have questions about Islam.

The one thing I'll note here is that I think a lot of people are surprised by the level of diversity within the religion and the way that practice changes from one culture to the next. While there are many core shared elements, Islam definitely means different things to different people when you look across the totality of belief and practice across the whole world.

u/gharmonica · 10 pointsr/arabs

Hey, so I'll try to give you my point of view, that is somewhat aligned with the view of the majority of secular people opposing Assad.

> What was Syria before war?

It was a dictatorship, with the apparent stability, the rooted corruption, and lack of freedom of speech that usually characterize one. The 30 years of Hafez al Assad ruling was an iron fist type of dictatorship, banning of parties, news papers and media, imprisonment of opposition, praising of the eternal leader. despite the seemingly peaceful era, Assad the father's rule faced several external challenges and was involved in several regional wars (October War aka. Yom Kippur War, Lebanese Civil War, and The Gulf war I&II, as well as internal challenges (Muslim brotherhood uprising that resulted in 1982 Hama massacre, and a coup attempt by his brother Refaat in 1984, and the death of his eldest son Bassel that he was preparing to be his successor).

When Bashar al Assad assumed power in the early 2000s he tried to lessen up the iron fist by opening up the market (did I mention that the market was pure socialist before?), introducing the internet to Syria, and giving permission for new newspapers, in a prior called Damascus Spring. But what seemed as an attempt of a soft transitioning to democracy was soon revealed to be just an aesthetic make-over, with an new wave of prosecution of the opposition after what is called Damascus Deceleration, the assassination of Rafic al Hariri the prime minister of Lebanon, the following Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, that resulted in kicking out the Syrian army from Lebanon (that's another long story), and the 2004 Qamishli riots

> Why did Syrians started revolution against Assad?

The short answer: To follow the steps of the rest of the Arab world, hoping for reforms, transition of power, and more freedom of speech.

The long answer: With the transition to an open market system, and almost no reforms to the judicial system, the corruption that Assad the father kept under control by holding all the strings, exploded. And since Assad the son tried to appeal to the public by getting the old guards out of the picture, he lost control over many of the corrupted personals that his father kept in place. Add to that the drought that hit Syria around 2006 forcing millions of people to leave there rural areas and move to the cities. All of this widened the gap between the classes of the Syrian population practically eliminating the middle class.

> What would you tell them?

Since Assad took power he persecuted, imprisoned, and exiled every possible alternative, and presented himself as the only option.
During the uprising he continued persecuting and targeting any opposing voice including secular activists, journalists, and aid workers.
He actively helped turn the uprising into an Islamic one, by releasing some of his radical prisoners from Sednaya prison like Zahran Alloush who went to become the commander of Jaysh al-Islam.
The civilian death toll of the government force continues to be by far the highest among all other factions.
So I can't seem to understand how will Assad secure and rebuild the country when he's been actively destroying it for the past almost 7 years.

> By your flair, I see you support Syrian Opposition. As I mentioned earlier, they are often described as religious extremists. What is your opinion?

I do not support the opposition, for the same reason I don't support Assad, they are corrupted, power thirsty assholes who don't present a solution for Syria. This flag was the Syrian flag after the independence, not the opposition flag, most Islamist factions has their own flags and most of them ban the use of this flag in areas under their control.

> Are you a refugee? Where do you live now?

I'm living in Lebanon, I'm not a refugee.

> What do Syrians think about Assad?

If there was one answer to this question there wouldn't be a civil war right now, a lot of them oppose him for various reasons, and a lot of them support him also for various reasons.

> Could you recommend me some books about Syria, Arabs, religion or whole region of ME to better understand your point of view? I am mostly interested in history books, but fiction is also welcomed.

I'd say Patrick Seale's Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East (1989) is a good read to understand Hafez al Assad's period, it will give you a glimpse into the structure of the regime and helps you build a foundation for further readings.

Hope that wasn't too long (it was), and you didn't get bored half way through, if you have some more time and would like to read more about the Syrian civil war and what caused it the wiki page on the subject is fairly good.
Also if you have any more questions I'd be happy to answer.


u/electric33l · 10 pointsr/syriancivilwar

If you want an actual answer to this question, it is not enough to examine Assad's (and the regime's) conduct since the beginning of the uprising in 2011. You can only get the full picture if you understand the composition and the statecraft of the regime since Assad pere wrested power from his intra-regime opponents in 1970. Some books worth reading are Hinnebusch's excellent primer on the rise of the Ba'ath Party (and later, the Assad clan) to power (Syria: Revolution From Above), Hanna Batatu's classic examination of [Syria's Peasantry, the Descendants of Its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics]
(, Lisa Wedeen on the cultural and ideological methods the regime uses to maintain power (Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria), and Patrick Seale's highly readable book on Hafez al-Assad and his Struggle for the Middle East. A more recent work dealing with the economic underpinnings of the regime (Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience) is also worth your time.

In short, take a good look at the nature of the regime and its policies over the last four decades and decide for yourself whether it is incapable of committing the war crimes it is accused of. You could also go through the many detailed reports human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch have put together alleging regime crimes, most recently their report on the Khan Sheikhoun nerve gas attack and the regime's ongoing use of chemical weapons.

u/bcostlow · 9 pointsr/Documentaries

Highly recommend this as a very approachable "for-the-layperson" history of TE and the region during the same era that Seven Pillars covers.

u/monk123 · 9 pointsr/islam

My advice is to pray to God to guide you to the truth. Then read a translation of the Quran and a biography of Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). I recommend this biography.

u/jewiscool · 8 pointsr/islam

I recommend these books:

u/thelasian · 8 pointsr/TheWayWeWere

You's enjoy this book about an American who grew up in Iran and went back to look for childhood friends

u/dakh7 · 8 pointsr/islam

Martin Lings "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" is constantly recommended to me by friends.

u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/islam

Wa `alaykum,

I'll let others recommend websites. In terms of books, there's a lot of material in English available, but it can be tough to find stuff that's well-written. I've found many books to unfortunately be written in very dry and unengaging language due to the challenges of translations.

That being said, here are a few gems that I've come across:

  • Suzanne Haneef's book What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims serves as an excellent primer on Islam. The author is a female convert, and I think she offers a unique perspective female readers will appreciate.
  • Martin Ling's Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources is an excellent English biography of the Prophet (s.). The book reads like a story as opposed to a dull recitation of dates and incidents. You'll encounter many names as the book progresses, but don't get overwhelmed. Lastly, the author made some mistakes that have been corrected by respected Islamic scholars (feel free to ask or PM if interested and I'll post/forward a link for more info) but for the most part I think it represents an excellent resource for the English reader.
  • I have not read the translation in full myself, but I have heard a lot of praise for M.A.S. Abdel Haleem's translation of the Qur'an from Muslims involved in introducing non-Muslims to Islam.

    Hope this helps!
u/Spscho · 7 pointsr/geopolitics

Ok so let me boil down your questions.

I did my dissertation a little while ago back in 2012, I put together a portfolio of analytical tools for identifying and analysing risks around nuclear terrorism (including a full critical path from idea to detonation, which I wouldn't want to publish!)

  1. What does the world look like if Iran gets nuclear weapons?

    There is a question over whether Iran is a rational actor. Personally I think that whilst there may be individuals who are not rational, that the regime as a whole is a rational actor, and that most if not all policy makers who matter don't think that mutually assured destruction is a great idea.

    I'm concerned for Israel - whatever people think of it it's the only properly functioning democracy in the region and whatever people think of Netanyahu he's about the only leader in the region that the people can get rid of when they've had enough. I don't at the moment think that Iran with nukes would go for a first strike on Jerusalem, but it's hard to take that off the table given their actions and rhetoric. The bigger risk is the impact on the regime's wider behaviour - bearing in mind what Tehran is like now, are they going to be a better neighbour with a nuclear weapon? I think not, and I think this will embolden them to ramp up the conventional aggression.

    The other risk as you allude Rufus is that other countries will follow suit. Iran is squared off against Saudi in a Sunni-Shiah conflict, so if Iran gets nukes, Saudi will want them. Qatar is in a stand off with the GCC - maybe they then seek nukes to break the deadlock. Egypt likes to think of itself as the leader of the Sunni Arab world - maybe it decides to keep up with the Joneses and proliferate and so on and so on. I don't buy into Kenneth Waltz's 'nuclear dance partners' theory, I think allowing cascading proliferation is just stoking the powder keg. We know that Iran's nuclear programme so far wouldn't have been possible without help from the AQ Khan network, which had at least partial Pakistani state knowledge, permission, and facilitation, if not full blown cooperation. We also know that Iran has transferred numerous arms to Hezbollah. So far to our knowledge Islamabad hasn't been reckless enough to transfer nukes to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba or similar, and they've taken countermeasures such as storing weapons de-mated in order to head off that risk. All the same, taking the above into account means there is at the very least a risk of Iran transferring nuclear technology to non-state actors or other allied governments (Syria? Qatar? Iraq?) - a risk not currently present which I'd like to keep the way!

  2. How do we prepare for the 10 year sunset clause in the Iran Deal?

    Firstly we need to settle down regional players who may seek to rush to proliferate when that window closes, we need to be putting that work in now to offer assurances and build confidence. Personally I wonder if there is value in Israel abandoning its nuclear opacity and bringing Saudi and Egypt under its own nuclear umbrella - an idea which would have seemed unthinkable not that long ago.

    Personally I disagreed with the lifting of sanctions as part of the deal, but since we have lifted them I think we need to push hard on this, really open up Iran commercially. This will give Iran something to lose (we need to have credible threats of reinstating embargos and sanctions on the table should they pursue a bomb after the sunset clause) and it would also show them that they do better for themselves by working with the international community than against it.

    I suspect Iran actually 'only' has a breakout capacity in mind, rather than a full bomb, as this offers all the power and clout of a nuclear arsenal, without quite putting a bullseye on Tehran. This will be for three concurrent and equally valid reasons - firstly it shields their current aggression with an in-house nuclear umbrella, allowing them to continue with their vassalisation of neighbours and projection of power into the region. Secondly it brings Iran into the nuclear club - the Persians, like the Russians are a proud people who feel they are undervalued and currently want the world (esp the West) to give them recognition and status, which they are largely doing through aggression, rather than trade or diplomacy. Thirdly there is an abiding insecurity - the regime has felt its powerbase domestically erode, its economy shrink, and its opponents flex their muscles. Whilst I would argue this is mostly self-inflicted by the brutality of the regime and its refusal to work with regional and global partners, this insecurity is nevertheless a fact.

    With all that in mind, the best way to maintain stability, short of regime change, which I think we can all agree isn't possible, and might not even be desirable, is to establish a balance of power. Iran has partnerships and relationships with Pakistan, Syria, Hezbollah, China, Russia, Turkey, Bahrain, Iraq, and others. Whilst this doesn't amount to a coherent axis - in fact many of these compete with each other - there is a broad alignment here. In order to maintain this balance of power there needs to be an opposing coalition. At the moment this opposing nebulous alignment consists of Israel, India, Saudi, the bulk of the GCC (except obviously Qatar), Egypt, Jordan, the Kurds, with piecemeal help from the West. This needs to be fleshed out into a proper strategy.

  3. What strategies seem to have worked to prevent nuclear proliferation?

    There are a few examples of where nuclear proliferation has been prevented or reversed.

    Firstly is South Africa - the only nuclear country so far to willing give up its own nuclear weapons. I'm no expert on this particular issue, but I recommend reading this enlightening piece in the Atlantic (a favourite publication of mine, besides Encyclopedia Geopolitica, which I hear is a very good blog ran by very handsome and intelligent people)

    Israel has been very successful thus far in avoiding allowing its neighbours to proliferate nuclear weapons. It bombed Iraq's nascent nuclear reactor at Osirak in Operation Opera, and Syria's alleged site in Deir-ez-Zour in Operation Orchard. These bombing raids were the result of excellent intelligence fieldcraft. Thus far, despite both having extensive biological and chemical programmes, neither Syria nor Iraq have developed nukes so this is a success. Slightly controversially, I'd remind readers that despite no nuclear weapons being found after the Invasion of Iraq - in fact all they found were degraded Sarin reserves - that there was a nuclear centrifuge dug up in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam's top nuclear scientist. Obeidi claims that Saddam had given him instructions to reconstitute a nuclear programme once Hans Blix completed his investigation, which of course he never got the chance to do - would recommend you read his book here:

    Israel has obviously tried to play Iran using the Iraq and Syria playbook, using magnetic bombs to blow up scientists' cars, and unleashing (with the likely assistance of the US) the Stuxnet, Flame, Wiper, and other pieces of malware in order to spy on Iran and sabotage their programme. This has only been met with limited success because Iran's conventional defences are stronger, and they have built numerous facilities underground, such as at Natanz and Fordow.

    There is also the interesting case of Libya, who failed to proliferate, despite paying the AQ Khan network for a bespoke nuclear programme. Whilst the situation isn't quite so straight forward (what is?) as X action caused Y outcome, a large part of Libya's disarmament was Qaddafi's desire to normalise relations with the US and the West. There have been speculated reasons why - after 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm sure Qaddafi didn't want Libya to be on that list, and the Libyan economy had been hit very hard by Western sanctions (Libya is arguably the best case study for sanctions being successful - albeit over a very very long period of time). For further reading I massively recommend Unclear Physics - Why Iraq and Libya Failed to Get Nuclear Weapons by Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer. He outline his basic ideas on a blog post for War on the Rocks here.

    Happy to discuss any and all of this further!
u/NotFooledbyFools · 7 pointsr/politics

> What does telling them they are bad do?

I know right. We shouldn't have condemned South Africa for their apartheid either.

>Also, this resolution may make the US defund the UN or threaten to pull out altogether.


I seriously suggest reading up on the history of the region, I recommend The Lemon Tree.

u/MrHappyMan · 6 pointsr/worldnews

The Muslim world treats it's minorities like shit, what's new?

Try reading Princess. It shows up Saudi Arabia for the sick, depraved piece of shit country that it is and the way the ramblings of a 7th century medieval camel herder turned prophet of god are applied in the 21st century.

u/counterplex · 6 pointsr/islam

Sorry, I'm fresh out of brickbats but here's some advice:

  • Study the Qur'an but try to do it with a commentary. It's heavy reading at times so to balance it out you can...
  • Study the life of Muhammad and see how he demonstrated Islam to the world. Try Martin Ling's "Muhammad - His Life Based on the Earliest Sources." While you're studying this material remember that...
  • When you have questions - as you doubtless will - you should turn to physical people preferably knowledgeable imams. Imams are like doctors - get a second opinion if you find yourself talking to someone who doesn't quite answer your question or doesn't seem to understand the nuances in your query. The imams you meet might tell you that...
  • Ramadan is coming up in 3 months - go visit your local mosque around sunset when everyone is breaking their fast. Introduce yourself and get to know Ramadan. If you've never had a date before, don't forget to...
  • Pick a date that's plump and moist and eat it. Make sure you open it up with your hands (or mouth) and take out the pit or you might end up with broken teeth. Finally, with summer almost upon us, don't forget to...
  • Wear sunscreen.
u/zaccus · 5 pointsr/HistoryPorn

I highly recommend Lawrence In Arabia to anyone who is interested in the subject. It's one hell of a story.

u/dextroz · 5 pointsr/

well, in most cases these are honor killings, where the husbad/son turns the wife/woman in the house over to the 'mullahs' for passing these cruel sentences. In one, it was the father that gladly tied a stone around her (~10 yrs) neck and threw her into his own family pool!

Get the book:

u/twiddling_my_thumbs · 5 pointsr/worldnews

Thanks so much. Here's a U.S. link to the book.

u/SlothMold · 4 pointsr/booksuggestions

Persepolis and Maus seem to be safe choices, even for people who don't normally read or those who usually skip graphic novels.

u/NomaanMalick · 4 pointsr/islam

Check out this YouTube playlist. It's quite comprehensive.

Seerah of Prophet Muhammed (S)

In terms of books, you could read Martin Lings , or Tariq Ramadan , or Meraj Mohiuddin

Also, you could watch this as a primer on Islam.

u/Atheizm · 4 pointsr/exmuslim

On top of Twenty-Three Years and Life of Muhammad, I also suggest

u/ohamid345 · 3 pointsr/islam

>Inshallah I want to read about the life of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh), but it's hard to trust random online sites from Muslims, who will naturally praise him, and sites from Christians/atheists who only want to slander him. I honestly don't know what to believe.

Karen Armstrong is not a Muslim and has written a biography of the Prophet ﷺ, see: Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. We do not need her to praise the Prophet ﷺ in order for it to be the case however.

>Was he truly the final prophet of God? This question has been bothering so much that I can't sleep a night. The past few night I've been up till the sun came up researching.

Rest assured, the Prophet ﷺ was the final prophet. Here is a helpful video on the matter: The Prophetic Truth: Proving Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ Prophethood.

>I've briefly read about the supposed miracles he did, but how do we know these are true? Please help me!

The miracles took place in the past, so we can't see them happen in front of us right now, we can trust the sources which tell us he did do them, however. But the miracle which is still here today is the Quran: God’s Testimony: The Divine Authorship of the Quran.

u/gamegyro56 · 3 pointsr/islamicleft

As far as Islam goes I'd recommend Karen Armstrong's Islam or Muhammad, or Reza Aslan's No God but God. Slightly more academic is Carl Ernst's How to Read the Qur'an, Michael Sells' Approaching the Qur'an, and Fazlur Rahman's Major Themes of the Qur'an.

u/onepath · 3 pointsr/islam

Please, please, as an introduction to the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), do not read sealed nectar. It's more of a compilations of facts, which deters the reader from the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Even though I'm Muslim, I got lost in all the names and lineages... something better would be Karen Armstrong's biography of the Prophet.

link to the amazon page

u/the_saddest_trombone · 3 pointsr/worldnews

eh. I actually was just reading this section in Lawrence in Arabia last night. Yes, US oil had something to do with Saudi Arabia's success but the creation of the country, the blind eye to Wahabbism, the promotion of their leadership above other concerns falls pretty squarely on Britain. Which, in a round about way, is also on France since they insisted on making such a complete clusterfuck of the Middle East during WW1 that Britain had few other options but to make that sort of deal.

SoCo and the US government's involvement wasn't particularly important until later. I mean, the region was oil rich, it was going to be powerful one way or another, but handing it to extremists (or rather a family backed by extremists) was a mistake very much on the European allies.

u/reddit-MT · 3 pointsr/history

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

u/ill_mango · 3 pointsr/dune

That's gold! I've heard the movie is amazing, but which book are you talking about? A cursory google search turns up this guy:

But somehow that doesn't strike me as the book you mean.

u/vote_for_peter · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

Lawrence in Arabia

It's more about the modern Middle East region taking shape during WWI than it is a biography of T.E. Lawrence. It's very interesting and I highly recommend it.

u/picklesandvodka · 3 pointsr/MilitaryGfys

And one of T.E. Lawrence's regrets as well. He had argued that Gallipoli was a destined failure -- instead suggesting Alexandretta.

Intelligence indicated that Alexandretta locals and military were sympathetic to Entente (later shown that they were), meaning the beachhead could be made easily.

Unfortunately for the soldiers, the Alexandretta plan was scrapped due to diplomatic pressures from France. See Alexandretta is right near Syria, a region in which the French had staked a claim earlier in the War (see Sykes-Picot Agreement).

When pressured to land in Syria, the French insisted that any invading force be, by majority, French. However, the French could not spare the troops to perform the invasion... thus Alexandretta was abandoned and Gallipoli was chosen (note how there's only 1 French unit in the GIF).

What's crazy is that the British Intelligence and T.E. Lawrence attempted to sell this plan THREE times... and the French shot it down every time. It is insane to think how the tide of the war would have turned if the Triple Entente had invaded near Alexandretta. It's possible that the invasion could have saved at least some of the Armenians being killed by the Ottoman's.

Source: Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson

u/petermal67 · 3 pointsr/atheism

I'm not trying to be a smart ass but I suggest you do some more reading and research. I hope that doesn't come across as being arrogant. Let me explain.

>1) "Slobodan Milosevic tried to annex Bosnia into Serbia." -- What? Bosnia and Serbia were part of Yugoslavia. There was no need to annex anything. Yugoslavia was in a war to prevent the nation from breaking apart. Now, we get to enjoy the brewing Islamic extremism coming from Bosnia.

Hitchens is right. See here:

> 2) "Saddam was going to build 'the bomb' before or after he invated Kuwait." Patently false. Just absolutely wrong. There were ZERO efforts uncovered by all forms of UN and NATO intelligence that pointed to Saddam making any nuclear weapons.

That's wrong. Read The Bomb in my Garden.

Dr. Mahdi Obeidi hid a nuclear centrifuge in his garden. Hitchens talked about this at length. He wrote about it as well. Here's his commentary on it:

u/loliamhigh · 3 pointsr/conspiratard

I've just sent you a link that there were ample reasons to go to Iraq way before 9/11.

About WMDs:

On your second point, Saddam did sponsor international terrorism, but his connections to al.qaeda aren't well established, as far as I know.

u/cg_roseen · 3 pointsr/syriancivilwar

It all depends on what kind of angle you're looking for.

Here is by no means an exhaustive list. I must say I haven't read all of these but have come across them in research and from previous recommendations on here, but here goes:

Background/Social & Historical contexts/Other relevant stuff

Patrick Seale - Assad (rather old, good for history)

Tarek Osman - Islamism (2016, broad coverage of Islamism in theory and practice, good context)

John Robertson - Iraq (2016)

John McHugo - Syria (2015)

Sami Moubayed - Syria & The USA (2013)

Sami Moubayed - Damascus Between Democracy and Dictatorship (2000, very good for Syrian history and experience with democracy)

Perceived pro-original opposition bias

Diana Darke - My House in Damascus (new version came out 2015)

Michael Weiss & Hassan Hassan - ISIS (2015)

Charles Lister - The Syrian Jihad (2016)

Perceived pro-government bias

Patrick Cockburn - Rise of the Islamic State (2015, this might not be as detailed as you'd want it to be)


Michael Knapp, Ercan Ayboga & Anja Flach - Revolution Rojava (2016, the detail in this is beyond insane)

u/AndTheEgyptianSmiled · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

Some suggestions:

  • Martin Lings (yes, the Shakesperean scholar) magnum opus, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources. Considered by some the best historical account in a European language.

  • Ibn Kathir's classic, Al Bidaya wal Nihaya aka The Beginning & The End, which covers all of monotheistic (read Islamic) history from Adam up until 1373. You'd be interest in select volumes that start from the story of Abraham, which is really where the story of Muhammad starts.

u/sulaymanf · 3 pointsr/pics

Where to start? Why don't you read a good book by a non-Muslim historian, such as Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings.

Since you're likely a lazy redditor, go read the Charter of Medina that Muhammad drew up that was its constitution. Or go watch the Hollywood movie The Message, which is old enough that the whole movie is on YouTube. He was actually a decent guy himself, like Jesus, who had his name smeared by people thousands of years later who did awful things in his name.

u/SaberViper · 3 pointsr/pics

I think this is the book. The part I'm thinking of wasn't the focus of the stories it was about something one of her daughters saw. As for the other one I really don't recall, it was a long time ago and the book was really depressing, because it wasn't about the girl getting away, it was just pointing out that it happened.

u/le_fuque · 3 pointsr/UnresolvedMysteries

This. I remember my mom was obsessed with this series when I was young.

u/kixiron · 3 pointsr/history

It's hard to find such a biography of Muhammad, but I hope this one can be of help: Leslie Hazleton's The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad

Edit: If you really wanna dig deeper, I'd suggest the Alfred Guillaume translation of Ibn Ishaq's The Life of Muhammad. This translation puts back some of the "cuts" made by the later editors of the biography (this being the quasi-official Sira). Caveat lector: this is difficult reading.

u/Mac8v2 · 3 pointsr/unexpectedjihad

I am Catholic and learned most of what I know about Islam though university classes and independent research. I can give you a list of books I have read about Islam that will get you started.

Oxford English Koran
Obviously the primary text is important to have and the book is pretty small. Much smaller compared to the bible.

Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV

Half of Islamic law is derived from the Koran and the other half from the Hadith. The Hadith is the collection of events, and quotes by Mohammad and his followers. This book is huge and you shouldn't try to read the whole since it is just list quotes and who they are by. But it is a good reference source and something to page through.

Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources
Biography of Mohammad using historical sources. Good reference.

Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes

Brief 350 page run of Islamic history until now as told by a Muslim. I felt the book was a bit preachy and accusatory towards the end but I read it 6 years ago so my memory might be hazy. Still a good read if you want to try to understand how mainstream moderate Muslim scholars see things. It has a good bibliography too.

There are probably a bunch of other ones I am forgetting. Take a look through Amazon and see what else they have. I would only buy books from university presses or published by academics though. They can be dense and difficult but they are peer reviewed which is important since there is so much anti-Islam, pro-Islam publishing out there.

u/ApprovalNet · 3 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

> They wrote that 'only an idiot' would think Saddam didn't have WMDs.

They weren't wrong. Iraqi General Georges Sada explained in excruciating detail how they transported their chemical weapons across the border to Syria once they knew the impending attack from the US was coming. Then we act surprised at how the Syrians were able to get their hands on chemical weapons to gas the rebels a few years ago. Where could they possibly have come from...hmmmm.

u/caroline_reynolds · 3 pointsr/pics

In high school I read The Lemon Tree , a nonfiction novel that told the story of a Palestinian family that was forcibly removed from their home, and the Israeli family that moved into it. The adult children of the families meet, and both see this house as their childhood home, and have difficulties understanding the perspectives of the other.

The book incorporates a lot of history to give the reader backstory and context, and I felt reasonably well-informed when I finished it.

The author takes great measures to appear neutral on the conflict, but simple analysis of the facts of history offered by this book put me solidly in support of the Palestinians.

u/john_stuart_kill · 3 pointsr/Pathfinder_RPG

> The player simply stated that she did not see it as murder, but instead as mercy because the woman was crying over an irreparable loss.

There's no real reason to think that murders cannot be merciful, so this is a bit of a false dichotomy...but at the same time, I don't think that's really the issue here. There are all kinds of reasons why murder is wrong, i.e. in what wrongness consists (and not everyone agrees about it)...but certainly among them is the removing from an autonomous being any possibility of future goods. The player's actions in this case only even begin to make sense if you know that the woman's loss is indeed "irreparable," and that there is no reasonable possibility that her life could improve in any significant way. This is the kind of thing, broadly speaking, that we never know, and to believe that we do, and then act drastically in accordance with that belief, is the very height of hubris.

Those who demonstrate such moral hubris (and with such vehemence!) tend to a) be responsible for the most unjustifiable harm, or b) have the deepest and most significant character flaws, or c) both a) and b). How you read the details there is going to depend significantly on your views about normative ethics and metaethics...but in either case, the shorthand we tend to use is "evil."

People who behave that way are evil (or at least "doing evil"). That they are able to offer some post-hoc rationalization is a big part of the difference between realistic, banal, human evil and cartoonish supervillainy; think Eichmann in Jerusalem. But have no doubts: that is evil.

> Morality is really the essential piece to this puzzle because what is considered to be fine in one persons mind is so completely different in another's.

This may be true about people's beliefs...but morality is not a matter of belief or opinion. Virtually all moral philosophers who have spent much time on the question come to the conclusion (by various arguments and via varied evidence) that whatever morality might be, it is objective; in short, there are very good reasons for this view. Perhaps there is such a thing as morality; perhaps there is not. But whatever the case may be, it has nothing to do with anyone's opinions on the matter.

u/Espryon · 2 pointsr/history

I read "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes" in College, that was a pretty good book. I can also recommend: "Muhammad, a prophet of our time" I read this also in college.

u/kilroy1944 · 2 pointsr/syriancivilwar

He also wrote the Lion of Damascus - Al Assad from Yale Press, 2005. I haven't read it yet, but it is in the mail as I enjoyed his latest book.

u/durpdurpdurpdurpdurp · 2 pointsr/worldnews

This guy thought Assad was the tops, interviewed him all the time, respected his ideas on reform and modernization. At the time I thought it was utter garbage:

Then this same guy continued to follow the situation and changed his mind:

>A widely respected Middle East scholar and consultant, Lesch came to know the president better than anyone in the West, in part through a remarkable series of meetings with Assad between 2004 and 2009. Yet for Lesch, like millions of others, Assad was destined to disappoint. In this timely book, the author explores Assad's failed leadership, his transformation from bearer of hope to reactionary tyrant, and his regime's violent response to the uprising of his people in the wake of the Arab Spring.

There aren't many examples of sane, well-adjusted, authoritarian fellows. They tend to turn out wicked regardless of their background or previous moral stances. Going to western university doesn't mean you become a sensible rational thinker, and leading a dictatorship or supporting your family even in its time of ultimate struggle is more fun than being a western professional (See: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi).

u/Blarfk · 2 pointsr/worldnews

I am being 100% sincere and as non-insulting as I can when I say this - do yourself a favor, and check out some books about the history of the Middle East, because you have some wild misconceptions.

Lawrence in Arabia is a really good one to get started -

And I also enjoyed The Great War for Civilisation, though it's a bit dense -

u/kopoc · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

I'm not huge on nonfiction, but I loved Lawrence in Arabia.
Reading about influential people/events is really fun and feels more productive than reading fantasy (but man, do I love fantasy).

u/nzmn · 2 pointsr/politics

Edit. Nevermind! I read WW2 not WW1. There is a great book called Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East ( if you want to read more about Standard Oil and WW1

> My grandad wrote in his diary during WWI: 'Off I go again. Wherever in the world you find the US military, you will find Standard Oil.' We have been global fascists for a long ass time.

WW2 was a little different than the banana wars that the US had previously fought in though - the Axis powers WERE an existential threat to Europe and potentially even America. Standard Oil may have benefited from the post war environment but the US was fighting for a lot more than just economic advantage. for those not familiar with the term.

u/Ratertheman · 2 pointsr/worldnews

> In fact a common criticism of the allies is that they didn't keep their promise to their Arab allies who lead the revolt against the Ottomans (see the Hussein-McMahon correspondence).

Lawrence was so mad he refused to accept a Knighthood personally from the King.

This is a really interesting book on the subject.

u/00BeardedTerror · 2 pointsr/Documentaries

I read a pretty interesting book about Lawrence called "Lawrence In Arabia" by Scott Anderson. It offers an interesting view of the man.

u/kinkykusco · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

If you're looking for something substantial, I would recommend "A concise History of the Middle East" by Goldschmidt and Davidson. At 500 pages they're clearly trolling by calling it concise, but it's an excellent one-stop reference for Middle Eastern History (starting like I did with Muhammad). I will forewarn you that this isn't light reading., but if you're interested in serious Middle Eastern scholarship this is a great place to start.

Other than that my personal education was from college lectures and primary sources. You shouldn't necessarily avoid all unbiased sources, rather attempt to recognize biases as you come across them, and potentially seek out an alternate opinion.

In middle eastern history the best example of this is the Israeli - Palestinian conflict; its impossible to learn about this and not come out with an opinion. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to learn about it at all, just try to sort out fact from conjecture from opinion from fiction. This is what serious history scholarship is about anyway. History is messy and making sense out of it is what most historians find enjoyable.

Edit - If you would like something to read that's Middle Eastern history related but not nearly as dry as a textbook I would recommend Parsepolis. It's a graphic novel, and it's in the first person so it definitely has bias, but it's an excellent look into Iran through the eyes of an Iranian child, and it's a fun read even if you have no interest in history.

u/cloudcult · 2 pointsr/comicbooks

Here's a list of my personal favorites:

u/winter_mute · 2 pointsr/unitedkingdom

> Killing your own population is frowned upon, but it does not invalidate your claim to statehood in the UN

Genocide, plus transnational crime and terrorism can invalidate statehood in the UN's eyes, it's certainly enough to make you a rogue state.

>Saddam was a very nasty man but there are plenty of others around.

Hell of an understatement, but yes. And morally, if we're in a position to make the other tyrants and maniacs lives' difficult, we should. This doesn't invalidate the reasons for ousting Saddam, or repudiate the progress that has been made since in any way. It's just a wake-up call that democracies should be doing more on the world stage with regards to this sort of thing.

>The problem is that from 2001 Bush was looking for a way to link Iraq with 9/11 or to show they were a clear and present danger. Of course, there was no link, but he could still use WMD and a linkage to Al Quaeda

Whatever the reasons Blair and Bush gave, the end of the means is clear; Iraq is better than it was under Saddam.

>(Forgetting Middle East 101, the one thing that Sunnis hate more than Israelis are Shia Muslims and secularists.

And the one thing they hate more than each other is Western progressive democracy. Whether or not you can explicitly link Saddam to Al Qaedea - you can link him to international crime, terrorism and gangsterism. He was trying to buy chemical weapons and nuclear materials off the shelf from North Korea for one example.

>Says who?

Scientists involved in the program. Whether or not he was actually ready to deploy nuclear weapons or not seems irrelevant to me. He was going after them, eventually he would have developed them, or bought them off the shelf.

>The truth didn't matter, he believed and at least 100K Iraqis died

How many died in Halabjah? How many Marsh Arabs? How many people for expressing dissenting opinions? How many when he annexed Kuwait? How many more from other countries when he felt ready to be the aggressor in the region again? Would an internal Iraqi civil war have killed any less?

>The truth didn't matter, he believed...because of his and GWB's unwavering beliefs.

It's not their beliefs I support; it's the end result of the war - democracy in a place once blighted by tyranny and oppression. It's progress however you cut it.

u/orwellsocietyguy · 2 pointsr/ukpolitics

Actually most of it has come out of the schools. There's plenty of books on it detailing how radical islam has infiltrated British education here's one example:

u/jeffanie96 · 2 pointsr/AskSocialScience

this book

I'm having trouble finding online sources. Maybe check the citations on Wikipedia.

u/MirzaJan · 2 pointsr/iranian

>He left, doesn't follow organized religion, etc.

I don't know, if he follows or no. Recently he has written a book on Prophet of Islam.

>That still doesn't make it any different than any other religion :)

Baha'ism is not a religion like any other religion. Come to our community (/r/exbahai) and ask a question, you will get some very enlightening replies :)

u/basara · 2 pointsr/france

On sent bien que t'es un expert du Coran. Lis un livre ca t'aidera

L'Islam est une religion comme une autre, avec des messages de paix, mais aussi des messages liés aux problemes geopolitiques de son epoque (l'ancien testament en est lui aussi truffé)

C'est bien au contraire les messages des petits fafs dans ton genre qui nuisent a la paix sociale en essayant de faire passer l'Islam pour la pire des religions monotheistes.... Elles se valent toutes, et peuvent toutes etres defigurées par des extremistes.

"Of the 100 million or so people I estimate were wiped out by political violence in the twentieth century, the vast majority of them were killed by secular nationalists, Communists and Fascists. People of Muslim heritage probably killed 2 million or so, mainly in three episodes–the Armenian Genocide, the Iran-Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War. The genocide was committed by secular Young Turks enamored of Voltaire. The Iran-Iraq War was started by the Iraqi Baath Party, a secular Socialist party that foregrounded Arab nationalism and was founded by Christians, and which rejected a proposal to make Islam the religion of state. The Islamic Republic of Iran fought a defensive war against these secular invaders. The Afghanistan War that began in 1979 was provoked by a Communist coup and then the military occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, which pursued a dirty war of extermination and ethnic cleansing of villages that resisted the Red Army. Of the 7 guerrilla groups that tried to fight back against Soviet aggression, the majority were tribal and not religious in character.

Mais bon faut se renseigner dans des vraies sources pour ce genre d'infos, c'est un peu plus dur que tf1 et fb

u/mybahaiusername · 2 pointsr/islam

There are so many great books, but I try to focus on ones the cite the earliest sources. For English speakers I found the combination of Martin Lings book along with Haleem's Qur'an translation to be the best two sources.

u/bvr5 · 2 pointsr/PropagandaPosters
u/bipolargraph · 2 pointsr/islam

This is an excellent, but pretty long source, by Yasir Qadhi. You can use it to look up whatever controversy, or topic (for example, muslim wars), to see their context in detail.

This is a well praised book, yet I didn't read it to be honest:

u/AlbanianDad · 2 pointsr/news

>Religion is a creation of mankind to keep people in line and to explain things that over time science has been able to explain over and over again.

This is an unfounded claim. If you read about Muhammad's life (peace be upon him) you will see that your theory does hold apply at all. That was not his motivation for "inventing" Islam (as you might call it) whatsoever. Rather, his actions testify that he truly believed he was a messenger of God. Nobody who would lie about such a thing would go through the trials and tribulations (him and/or his followers getting boycotted, murdered, kidnapped, ridiculed constantly, exhiled, etc) that he did for no worldly gain.

u/KASKAx · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Yes, I do!

The 3 best ones that I have ever seen are:

The Sealed Nectar

Muhammad: His Life Based On The Earliest Sources

In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad

The last one is by Tariq Ramadan. It would probably be the easiest one to digest/read for someone not too familiar with Islam or Muhammad peace be upon him.

u/zilozi · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Let me start with the basic. We love all of our Prophet's like you love Jesus Christ, but we do have a special place in our heart for Muhammad. He was a man who was deeply worried about peoples soul. He told people to avoid the temptation of Satan and to worship the god of Abraham. No one can be a Muslim and reject Jesus Christ at the same time. So when Jews become a Muslim they accepted Jesus. He was very compassionate and caring

I had a Funny conversation with a christian once. He came up to me and we talked about religion. He then concluded that I didn't worship his God. I replied thank goodness.. Because I worship the lord who created the heaven and the earth and everything in between and then I asked him who he worshiped ( BTW the conversation ended with him telling me who I worship, because he refused to let me worship ' The one true God, God ' )?

Start with lectures to actually see what Muslims lecturer teach their general population (

u/Zendani · 2 pointsr/islam

Are you contending that Muhammad never existed? Simply because you can't find historians who are not Muslim that mention him? Maybe you should read this book. It's by Martin Lings, who was the curator for oriental manuscripts and printed books at the British Museum and at Cambridge.

edit: He did convert to Islam by they way. If that matters to you.

u/Harybutts · 2 pointsr/islam

Where are you getting your sources from?

Here are a few book suggestions:

Martin Lings - Amazon Books

The Sealed Nectar - Amazon Books

Karen Armstrong - Amazon Books

If you are interesting in some audio, here is a detailed breakdown of the Shama'il of Imam Tirmidhi (which describes mannerisms and characteristics of the Prophet) by Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar (a well know Islamic scholar and well known medical doctor)

u/middleamerica86 · 2 pointsr/PropagandaPosters

George Sada was a general in the Iraqi air Force and outlines how they smuggled the WMD's out of the country to Syria and among other things that took place in the regime. Here's the link to book read reviews of people who read the book very informative.
Remember it was months to build up to the war and He had a crazy amount of time to prepare.

u/darkazanli · 2 pointsr/arabs

I really like the idea of book club and encourage people to read more often. i'm always reading at least one book but i always read in english. im really slow and shitty with arabic and dont really understand fus7a or complicated words

anyone down to have an english book club?

i got a great suggestion The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew and the Heart of the Middle East its like 13 buck on Amazon


its the true story of Bashir Khairi and Dalia Ashkanazi and it tells the stories of both families, the ashkanazis in bulgaria and the khairis in ramleh, palestine. it is also filled with political details on both struggles (more on palestine.)

it gives you both perspectives objectively

u/TheLibertarianThomas · 2 pointsr/gamegrumps

Not to stray away from Jon, but there is a great book that gives a nice unbiased approach on the whole Israeli-Palestinian conflict called The Lemon Tree. If you have the chance, give it a read.

u/maybetoday · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

A standard history of the region is important, as well as info about the colonizers who defined Palestine's borders, and then Israel's. Here are just some initial thoughts, but definitely keep searching.

A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (read this years ago; assuming it's been updated?)

The Lemon Tree (good book that really humanizes the conflict)

u/lolmonger · 2 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

In no particular order:

As a non-Muslim, non-Jew, non-Arab, non-Semite, American, and having read these (yay strict immigrant parents!) and some other histories, as well as having had the attacks of 9/11 give me a neurosis about following the news in the Middle East/Central/South Asia as regards potential US involvement and issues:

A lot feels familiar to me, some of it even seems like stuff I know a good deal about, and a few things about "The Middle East" which is a massively rich and complex sociopolitical place and slice of humanity are things I'd consider myself very well read on.

And I don't know shit.

I can tell you as a native born American and US voter what I think my country's policies (in a limited, broad strokes sense) should be - - - but beyond that, there's very little I've ever seen as conclusive and firm coming from anyone who by dint of identity didn't have 'skin in the game' .

u/Aesir1 · 1 pointr/atheism

You may want to try Karen Armstrong's Muhammad: A Prophet for our Time. It is not without its biases, however. Although Armstrong isn't quite fawning, she's certainly sympathetic and apologetic, as is her wont. It is quite well researched and written, though.

u/Onyxkross · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

So, how would you know if Quran is authentic without even reading it or without Knowing about Muhammad(pbuh)? You have already negated the Historical evidence i posted in my 2nd post.

Why would you think that Muhammad (pbuh) himself wrote Quran and then attributed to Allah?, Because if he was really that devious then he would have taken all the money, power and comfort offered from Quraish when they asked him to stop preaching.

Quran is regarded as highest work of arabic, so if a person was to write it, why would he give this credit away.

If wordly gains was Muhammad's (pbuh) desire then he was doing a poor job at it, leaving a comfortable noble life with a rich wife.

Now when i try to prove it to you with historical context, you state that the historians plagiarized the events and can't be trusted, when you have overwhelming evidence of Muhammad's(pbuh) life in great detail, from various accounts. I think you have already made up your mind to not believe anything about islamic history written by muslims.

Perhaps you would trust a non-muslims, islamic view?

I can refer to you some books:

  1. The 100 by Michael H.Hart

  2. On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History, by Thomas Carlyle

  3. Islam Her Moral and Spiritual Value, by Major Arthur Glyn Leonard

  4. Muhammad by Karen Armstrong

  5. Islam by Alfred Guillaume

  6. The life of Muhammad by William Muir

    All these are studies of non muslims about prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Islam.
u/neverlandishome · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

I will obviously defer to people who study this part of history full time, but as a person interested in studying the historical foundations of Islam more casually, I found Karen Armstrong's Muhammad:A Prophet For Our Time to be compelling, unbiased, and well researched.

u/katulsomin · 1 pointr/islam

Sorry for the late response! I had a very busy week at work.

> Devils may be swift but it is not reasonable that they possess the ability to be all-seeing and all-present. Those can only be attributed to God. If a devil did to the sun what appeared to happen, this would have been a phenomenon reported all over the globe and would have had measurable impact on temperature, gravity, tides, etc. That did not happen. If it was a devil that worked via the mind, then this would have to have been done to everyone there. Such a feat is less credible than it happening to a single person or a small group of persons because of the finite number of devils available. So I'm not saying it is impossible but if we take the expected value of a situation, the situation with vastly larger numbers becomes more believable, ruling out delusion and making less credible the possibility of a devil.
> > And we haven't even consider what if there's multiple demon working together.

> This is possible but in the history of humanity, I'm not aware of any recorded demonic activity on this level. I am aware of many such cases with one or a small number of individuals.

The scenario I'm imagining is more like a magic trick, the real sun behind a curtain while a demon conjures a sun like disk and perform the show. So it still only need a single apparition. If the sun really did dance, it would've been observed everywhere, not just from a specific location. I actually even think that for a mere human, with a enough funds, those things are achievable with our current level of technology.

> Well we can add to the list that they lack a corporal body. Really, we should brainstorm this list. I'd also include that the devil hates God. If you have any input on this, let's have it. It seems relevant to the question of if Mohammed was under influence of a devil.

I don't agree that they lack a corporal body, actually. They main essence maybe non corporeal, but they seem to have the ability to shapeshift into a corporeal form. Off the top of my head, doesn't the Devil appear in the garden as a snake in the book of genesis?

I don't have much else to brainstorm.. sorry! If you want to read more of the Islamic view, see the wikipedia articles for Devil in Islam and Jinn (demons are basically an evil jinn). Likewise, I'll use Demon in Christian for reference. Unless you have a better source, which then please share.

> The devil wants you in hell. I think he will attempt to get a person there any way he finds possible. I once was told a sermon about a man who used sorcery to conger the devil. He asked the devil, "Are the 10 commandments true?" The devil replied, "Yes, every one except the 6th." This was enough for the man to fall into sin and build a wall around his heart.

> If what Christianity teaches about Jesus is true, then the message of Mohammed would be enough to ruin a vast number of souls. If the devil says, worship one God and do not steal or kill, but that Jesus is not God, then the devil has a small victory. There are also differences in teaching about what constitutes a moral family life (or sins related to family relationships) between the two religions -- and I think we could both agree that the devil would desire to seek the ruin of man through an attack on the family.

> Likewise, if Islam is true, then Christianity may be a tool of the devil (or corrupt men) to ruin souls. Or it could be that they are both false and the truth eludes us both.

OK, I'll try to go along with you on these 3 possibilities. No, actually lets ignore the possibility that they're both false, that won't go anywhere. Christian or Islam, I think we can agree that either is a tool of the devil as possible.

My argument for Islam's validity would be that Islam theologically is the most consistent with the previous revelations(eg. Judaism). All the previous prophets before Jesus preach about the absolute oneness of God. Given that Trinity is the central belief of Christianity, I would expect that such an important concept would be covered by the previous messengers of God. I know Jesus technically isn't born yet, but the Holy Spirit should still be mentioned as God. The Trinity tenet itself isn't officially adopted until the Council of Nicaea 3 centuries later, right?

My premise is that since God has revealed a string of revelations from various prophets, a corrupted one most likely be one that deviates the most of the others. The Muslims believe that actually Jesus is a prophet, born of virgin that preaches the absolute oneness of God too. But over time, his message got corrupted. So then God sends down another revelation by another prophet, Muhammad PBUH to straighten it. Some even claim that Muhammad PBUH coming was foretold in the bible

Please tell me and forgive for any factual errors btw, especially regarding the Christian ones. I'm not a scholar, just a guy that sometimes read stuff on the internet :)

> If Islam has any possibility of moving me, it needs to address the question of angel Gabriel to Mohammed as being delusion, devil, or true and then it needs to establish for me why God cannot be said to be humble (unless Muslims who've told me this is false were wrong).

For the question of Gabriel -> Muhammad PBUH, I'm having trouble finding an argument that would 100% convince you. We know that the event is, like most other prophets, occurs in relative isolation and personal fashion, with no outside witnesses. That's just how it's done. The people then judge the message authenticity by the contents and the messenger's character.

I would suggest to just read the Al Qu'ran, and a biography about the prophet so you can get a better understanding of his life to make a conclusion. His life are fairly well documented, and not just the rosy bits, some of his mistakes are even recorded in the Al Qu'ran! The most popular ones are The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Noble Prophet by Safi and Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings, or if you prefer a secular author you can checkout Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time by Karen Armstrong

For the "Prove that God is not humble".. well actually I don't even know until now that Christianity teaches that God is humbling himself to us. Please give me a source about this, I want to know more.

In Islam, as far as I know, God is not humble, but pride. And it is actually sinful for us to be prideful of things cause everything we have(wealth, knowledge, even our own virtues), it is all thanks to God and He can give or take it away at any time if He wills. He is the only one worthy of pride.

He gave us free will, but what we do that God let it happen doesn't mean that He submits to our will, He just let it and gave us the time for now. But everything that we've done would be held accountable at judgement day.

> Thank you for your writings so far. You have shown to be reasonable and not emotionally reactive. I find that conversations like this sometimes get nowhere because an adherent finds a question of theological principles to be also a personal attack, which it is not, but some have a hard time distinguishing. So thank you.

Thank you too! I also try to question your principles but so far you're level headed and doesn't get too emotional. It's great that we can have a civilized discussion on the internet. The other users in this subreddit are actually also pretty cool too! Some of them are actually much more knowledgeable than me. They just doesn't seem to want to engage in a discussion that at first glance, would go nowhere. This sub are riddled by trolls on a regular basis, and a tendency of trolls is to dwell stubbornly on a single point so I'm afraid some may mistaken you for one. Sorry!

u/Nrussg · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

This is a very large expanse of time in which many events took place and I unfortunately don't have time right now to cover the whole thing (nor the proper expertise) but if you have perhaps a more specific question I can likely give an informed and sourced answer (i.e. the rise of the Baathist party specifically or the Assad family within the Baathist party.)

In terms of some good sources to check out, David Lesch has written a ton about Syrian history, specifically in his twin books The New Lion of Damascus and The Fall of the House Assad between the two you should get a good glimpse of Syrian history under the Assads (with a definite focus on Bashar.) Just a word of caution, Lesch had a lot of personal interaction with Bashar (which is partially what makes him so informed) but this also leads to a bias towards Bashar in the first book which he is in a way trying to rectify in his second book.

Hopefully this helps, sorry I couldn't answer more completely.

u/too_many_puppies · 1 pointr/PoliticalDiscussion
I am about 3/4 of the way done with this book. I am loving it so far and have learned quite a bit. It is pretty easy to read.

u/platypocalypse · 1 pointr/worldnews
u/maximus9966 · 1 pointr/history

No, I mean Lawrence In Arabia which has much to do with Iran, Persia, and gives a very detailed account of how the Middle East has been shaped to what we see today.

If OP was looking for Persian history going back to the 1st century, then the book wont be of any importance, but if OP wanted more modern/current historical context, then Scott Anderson's book on T.E. Lawrence is as good as it gets for understanding much of what we see going on today.

u/Neon-Knight · 1 pointr/Documentaries

Hmm, perhaps what is needed is a Netflix mini-series?

Seriously, it would be an awesome watch.

This guy was the original Indiana Jones before all his famous exploits during WWI. He also came up with the idea of the PT boat after the war.

I also highly recommend another excellent book, Lawrence in Arabia, an excellent companion to the Korda book and Seven Pillars of course.

u/mrmackdaddy · 1 pointr/truegaming

While I said that war is normally a part of my strategy, I usually don't end up going for Conquest or Domination victories if I can help it. Normally I'll go for one of the peaceful victories because conquering the world can get kind of tedious. The reason I go to war is just to make my empire more powerful/secure. Like conquering my entire continent or an enemy "wonder city". I play Civ with friends occasionally and when I say that I am usually a peaceful player, they always point out that I am the most warlike player of our group. Maybe there are some real world parallels there.

The book is called Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson. It follows Lawrence of Arabia and a few other lesser known individuals and how they affected the war in the middle east in WW1. It doesn't really read like history and it's pretty easy to follow.

u/thomasGK · 1 pointr/pics

There are plenty of books about the subject. I'm reading this one now: Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

u/thenuke777 · 1 pointr/PresidentialRaceMemes

>I’m not meaning to attack you, but the literal mad scientist/super villain trope is that bad things need to happen so that good can happen afterwards. I’ve only been voting since Obama, but have voted blue in basically every election, and do vote for the more progressive candidate (generally) in primaries. I say that I want as little bad to happen as possible, because people’s lives are more important than whatever lesson or message I think I’m teaching or sending.

I know you are going about this in good faith. I don't get offended easily and I know you weren't painting me as a James Bond villain. My basic principle is this: Failing to act will cause damage to people's lives. I.e. electing Joe Biden, who will fail to solve problems is a propagation of failing policies that cause stagnation and pain.

>If you think having George Bush/Bob Dole as president with the Norquist-inspired, Gingrich-led Republican Congress of the 90s wouldn’t have gutted welfare or passed a more extreme crime bill, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. If you think the differences between Dole/Bush and Clinton were meaningless, idk - we’re at an impasse.

First of all, Reagan did not pass those policies. Because Clinton was a Democrat, he was able to avoid criticisms that would have been leveled at him if he was a Republican. If welfare is a too involved example take the execution of Ricky Ray Rector. If you don't know about that example I highly recommend you read up on it. But yes, because Clinton was a Democrat, he was able to silence his Democratic Party from criticize his decision to purge the welfare roles. I should also point out that even if the Republicans had purged the welfare roles, at least the Democrats could have led an opposition to stop them or, if it had passed, to reenact them on coming back to power.

>There’s sadistic regimes all throughout the world.

Other than North Korea, none of them even come close to Hussein.

>Should we have gone into Rwanda? Iran? North Korea? Pakistan? Syra? Libya? On and on.

Each one of those is situational. I would say to each of those, yes, no, maybe (if it was a long time ago), no, no, and yes.

>Saddam was not making progress on making nuclear weapons/WMDs (the only thing we found was expired sarin gas more than a decade old) because the sanctions were working.

He was planning to develop fissile material as well as trying to buy nuclear weapons from North Korea.

>So, after telling me how important Kurdish independence is, you’re telling me you’d vote against joe Biden (who, waaay back when, proposed splitting Iraq up into three zones and giving the Kurds one of them) and by virtue of sitting out/whatever help re-elect Trump who totally just fucked them over? Smh, could you be any more confused???

I am obviously glad Biden did vote yes on the Iraq War, but I don't see how that would help my objectives now. As far as I know his foreign policy objectives don't align with mine and I am not really all that in favor of starting a war now anyway. The goals at the top of my mind in terms of conflicts are aiding Rojava (which many candidates support), stopping the genocide in Burma, and the oppression of Chinese Uyghurs. I don't think any candidates care about the last two so I don't care either. Plus there are other considerations besides foreign policy.

u/christoforever · 1 pointr/atheism

Just coming onto this now by chance. His views of WMD's in Iraq are largely due to the information eventually released in "The Bomb in my garden". He, and others, have talked about this and why the administration never paraded this all over the media.

u/palsh7 · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Radical is a book by a muslim man who was beaten by neo-Nazis and later jailed as a political prisoner in Egypt. Really interesting life and perspective.

u/SomeRandomMax · 1 pointr/atheism

I'm a strong atheist who thinks the world would be far better off if we got rid of all religion, but I wholeheartedly oppose banning any religion.

Banning the religion only makes its followers outlaws. Most Muslims do not support Islamism today, but if you banned it, that number would skyrocket.

For those who don't necessarily understand the difference, Islamists are Muslims who want a Muslim state. Isis is the most prominent such group, but they are not the only one. Not all Islamists necessarily are violent, but they all are radical.

To answer your question... I don't know. Personally, I am a free speech advocate, so I genuinely don't believe that banning islamism is the answer. I think banning ideas will fail. I think it takes education and tolerance.

That doesn't mean don't be critical of Islam, but we need to avoid lumping everyone in together.

If you haven't read it, I recommend Maajid Nawaz excellent book Radical. He doesn't offer any magic bullet solutions, but reading his story helps you understand how a well off kid raised in a liberal Muslim household can end up a Islamist, and how we can change the dialogue to discourage it in the future.

He also did a short book with Sam Harris, Islam and the Future of Tolerance that goes into more detail on his views. Both books are very good.

u/TrueLazuli · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

If you're interested in the experience of "home-grown" Western radicals, check out Maajid Nawaz's book Radical.

The experience he describes is very similar to the one /u/EvilTuxedo described just here. Nawaz had some pretty vicious experiences of racism and xenophobia in his young life as a second-generation immigrant in the UK, and says that Islamism provided a comprehensive explanation of (A) who We are, (B) how this was done to Us, and by whom, (C) why We have every right to fight back tooth and nail, and (D) how We're going to do that.

u/thunderfalcon561 · 1 pointr/islam

If you don't want to read the Qur'an and you want to a book that is easy to read and understand. I would recommend Muhummad: His Life Based On the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings.

It's a well written biography of the prophet Muhammad. Besides the Arabic names I think it's a very easy and quick read. It gives context and is quite thorough.

u/missdingdong · 1 pointr/news

The House of Saud has made things worse for some of its victims after people tried to help them. In any case it doesn't do much good. For example there's the case of Rizana Nafeek who was beheaded even after Prince Charles, the King of Sri Lanka and others tried to help. Foreign workers are denied exit from that nation and imported prostitutes are sometimes enslaved. Foreign maids are charged with witchcraft and face possible execution. That's the mentality of the Saudi Royal Family, and to enforce the insanity there's the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. They keep witchcraft and other forms of misbehavior in check....

A very good book to read about what life is like for Saudi Princesses is Princess written by Jean Sasson (published 2001) as told to her by a female member of the House of Saud named Sultana. Their life can be a nightmare.

u/tiersy · 1 pointr/IAmA

For anyone interested in finding out more about some of the shit that goes down in Saudi might want to read this

I read it and it's nuts.

u/IranRPCV · 1 pointr/iran

I just thought of another excellent book from the perspective of an American family that returned to Iran for a visit after living there during the McCarthy blacklist era.

It is called Searching for Hassan, a journey to the heart of Iran, by Terrance Ward.

u/Georgy_K_Zhukov · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

Thank you very much for joining us today for the AMA. This is just a general reminder for anyone looking to post a question here. We of course welcome any and all inquiries relevant Dr. Cole's book and research but do ask that anyone looking to ask a question keep the basic subreddit rules in mind! Principally here we expect that questions be asked politely, in good faith, and without bigoted or otherwise offensive wording towards Muslims or any other group. Users who violate these basic guidelines can expect to receive an immediate ban.

The Mods

u/beingreddit · 1 pointr/religion

You are correct. Of course Sunnis follow Abu Bakr because they believe Prophet chose him to be the successor. What I am suggesting above, is a distinction between the type of needs the earliest Muslims had in their expectations of the leadership.

I have shared a reference to a scholarly book which sheds complete insight into this matter. For a quick and easier read, Donner[1] and Hazleton[2] have also written on the same subject. Madelung's[3] is concise and indepth.




Edit: If you are not a Muslim yourself (or you may be a convert) then you are better off reading external scholarly sources instead of reading from Muslims themselves.

u/yolakalemowa · 1 pointr/dataisbeautiful

Please read more from the sources that MUSLIMS claim to be authentic. Read Muhammad by Martin Lings.

Get to know him and his family and companions. This is the most rigorously and authentically documented and biographized life of a human being in history. We know how he drank, ate, dressed, we know how many white hairs he had by the end of his life. We know how he recited the Qur'an to the level of how he moved his tongue...

We know he preferred to sit when he drinks, and when he'd drink he'd do it with his right hand, on 3 separate phases, not all at once, so as not to shock the body. We know he entered (what is the equivalent of bathroom at the time) with his right foot and exited with his left. We know how he cleaned his teeth and how he flossed, how he cleaned himself to the very detail. How he moved his index finger in prayer, where he placed his eyes. What he said when he saw the moon, in its different stages.

We know what he did when it rained. He'd go outside, expose his shoulders to it, welcoming "A most recent companion of its Lord".

I can go on forever ¯_(ツ)_/¯.


Let me know if you have any questions or sources :) ʾinshāʾAllāh I can help!

Thank you for giving me opportunity to write this. I benefitted from it a lot!


u/shakuntala_d · 1 pointr/islam

I'd suggest this book!

It's great for beginners and easy to read.

u/REDPlLL · 1 pointr/exmuslim

Well i gave you a dictionary definition of lying. If you define "lie" to mean something else, then go ahead. But Islam does not permit lying according to the definition i gave ("saying something incorrect"). So if someone were to ask me if i was a Muslim and i don't respond, then that's not a lie using the definition i gave.

The problem with your definition is that it leads to interpretive problems (which i think you hate). If i assume your a Christian this whole time, and you are an atheist, then i can claim that you lied to me. You deceived me by not being open to me about your lack of faith. You could claim that you weren't trying to act Christian, but i could claim the opposite and there is no objective measure that we both could agree on to always determine who in fact is right here.

> Can you recommend some? From what I've seen, most of Islamic history is an expansion of conquest and subjugation that makes the British Empire look like the Salvation Army.

More like the opposite. Here's a highly recommended biography:

u/pravoslavie · 1 pointr/Christianity

A complete defense of the character of the Prophet is a bit of a tall order for a reddit comment, and I'm much too underqualified to provide it given that I myself am a recent convert still learning the seerah.

If you'd like, you could bring up specific claims and I could do my best to point you to answers, but frankly, though I know relatively little about the life of the Prophet, his family, and his companions, what I do know about him couldn't be further from the barbaric, power-hungry sexual deviant that people might try to portray him as.

In 1928, Mohandas Gandhi is recorded as saying the following of the Prophet in Young India:

>I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet and the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.

As far as I can tell, this is the best English language resource on his life. I think all serious thinking people owe it to themselves to honestly investigate why this man is held dear by almost two billion people. Instead of dismissing his followers as poor souls misled by malevolent forces, he should be approached without the biases of a religious agenda.

u/thelectrician · 1 pointr/pics

As a Muslim I sincerely believe the same God had sent the New Testamentm but it was distorted throughout time. 'Klansmen' could misinterpret the testament in a wrong way similar to ISIS guys. Interpretation is an important issue. I suggest you not to drown yourself in ISIS interpretation of Quran, but to learn from the verily source.

But it is just a suggestion. I am not a preacher, not a great debater, or something like that. I am just a regular muslim, who wants to live peacefully, and wants others to live in peace.

Thank you for your kind answers.

u/crockrox · 1 pointr/islam

You can start with biography of the prophet .

And then perhaps the Quran.

Good luck.

P.S. Personal opinion. Not an expert.

u/convertproblem134 · 1 pointr/islam

I would recommend reading the biography done by Martin Lings.

u/bass85 · 1 pointr/islam

This should be sufficient:

Muhammad by Martin Lings is a biography of the prophet. Very well written, authentic and clears alot of misconceptions. I would advice you to read it as well, I promise you'll enjoy it yourself and learn alot about Islam.

u/shikatozi · 1 pointr/islam

Salaam Sbadiglio. Thanks, but the important thing to remember is that there are other Muslims just like me all around the world, and I'm not even that good. I'm not a shiek/imam, and I do sin, whether I know it or not. However, I do ask Allah for forgiveness for the sin I do. Alhamduallah Allah knows best.

Are there sins so great that could get someone beyond redemption? The most dangerous sin is shirk, that is idolatry or polytheism. It is important to emphasize that in Islam, there is no God but Allah. Can shirk/murder/fornication/etc be forgiven? It is up to Allah. However, it is important for Muslims to quickly recognize that if they are sinning to quickly stop doing the sin and ask forgiveness and to prevent themselves from sinning again. Intention is also important; what is in your heart is the true intention.

are you free to read it and take "lessons" from it by yourself or is there only one way for everyone? A couple of things: 1) Translated versions of the Quran are not the Quran. The Quran is only the Quran if it is in Arabic. In addition, the Quran is an -immensely- complex and logical book. True scholars in Islam do not just read the Quran, they read the hadiths (stories of the Prophet Muhammed peace and blessings to him) associated with the sura (chapter), they study for years and years the scholars before themselves, they spend incredible amount of time, wisdom, and energy deriving lessons from the Quran. But you might ask yourself, if the book is so complex, then how is it supposed to be a manual for humanity? Well, at the same time, the Quran lays out simple laws for the common man to obey. Do not cheat on your wife, do no injustice to your fellow man, do not oppress, eat halal and spend your money on charity, pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan. These are simple laws that everyone can follow. So, in essence, yes you can read the Quran, but -understanding- it is a different thing. To understand the Quran, I highly recommend going to a mosque, watching Islamic videos (the good, authentic ones with sources), taking classes, talking to fellow Muslims, reading Islamic books and really diving into the history of Islam. I really recommend you read this book. It is about the Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings upon him. It's a good first step.

do you think that muslim face discrimination in the world nowdays? No doubt about it. Somewhere around the world, there are people being discriminated for their race, belief, ideas, religion, etc. One of the worst sins is oppression. Oppressing others/not treating them fairly is very bad. We must be mindful and proactive about stopping this discrimination/oppression. If you see a child treating another child unfairly, we must teach them the right way to treat one another.

Yes, well media is media, they have their own agenda and their own intention. But alhamduallah there is no greater force than Allah, and I would rather be a bum who is a devout Muslim than the King of the finite world
who is not Muslim. It is this inner serenity, this peace that Islam has that cannot be brought or challenged.

Salaam friend!

u/senditthru · 1 pointr/islam

Maybe you should learn a little bit about our Prophet's life before you spout Christian missionary invectives upon him.

Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources

u/TheCannon · 1 pointr/changemyview


Sources abound for each of your requests. Here are but a few for each that should keep you busy for a while if you actually choose to read them:

Caravan Raids:

Ibn Ishaq - Life of Muhammad Search "Caravan"

Ibn Kathir - The Life of the Prophet Muhammad, Vol. 2 Search "Caravan"

Quranic reference justifying caravan attacks during the holy months:

>They ask you about the sacred month - about fighting therein. Say, "Fighting therein is great [sin], but averting [people] from the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and [preventing access to] al-Masjid al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah . And fitnah is greater than killing." And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever - for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally

  • Qur'an 2:217

    The slaughter and enslavement of the Banu Qurayza:

    Ibn Ishaq Search "Qurayza"

    Martin Lings, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources Unfortunately not available in PDF or TXT files

    Encyclopedia Judiaica - Non-Islamic historical source

    Watt, Encyclopedia of Islam

    See also Al-Tabari Vol 8, Sunan Abu Dawud 38:4390, Sahih Bukhari 5:58:148, Tafsir Ibn Kathir - The Campaign against Banu Qurayzah*, etc

    Quranic reference:

    >(26) And He brought down those who supported them among the People of the Scripture from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts [so that] a party you killed, and you took captive a party. (27) And He caused you to inherit their land and their homes and their properties and a land which you have not trodden. And ever is Allah, over all things, competent.

  • Qur'an 33:26-27

    Started Wars:

    *See Caravan Raids above, the robberies that forced military response from the victims of the raids, the Quraysh, leading to the battles of Badr, Uhud, the Trench, etc.

    Torture people in pursuit of wealth:**

    >Kinana b. al-Rabi', who had the custody of the treasure of the B. al-Nadir, was brought to the apostle who asked him about it. He denied that he knew where it was. A Jew came (Tabari says "was brought") to the apostle and said that he had seen Kinana going round a certain ruin every morning early. When the apostle said to Kinana, 'Do you know that if we find you have it I shall kill you?' he said Yes. The apostle gave orders that the ruin was to be excavated and some of the treasure was found. When he asked him about the rest he refused to produce it, so the apostle gave ordrs to al-Zubayr b. al-'Awwam, 'Torture him until you extract what he has,' so he kindled a fire with flint and steel on his chest until he was nearly dead. Then the apostle delivered him to Muhammad b. Maslama and he struck off his head in revenge for his brother Mahmud.

  • Ishaq - The Life of Muhammad (Link above, search "Kinana")

    >Kinanah b. al-Rabi b. al-Huqyaq who had the treasure of B. Nadir was brought to the Messenger of God, who questioned him; but he denied knowing where it was. Then the messenger of God was brought a Jew who said to him, “I have seen Kinanah walk around this ruin every morning.” The Messenger of God said to Kinanah: “What do you say? If we find it in your possession, I will kill you.” “All right,” he answered. The Messenger of God commanded that the ruin should be dug up, and some of the treasure was extracted from it. Then he asked him for the rest of it. Kinanah refused to surrender it; so the Messenger of God gave orders concerning him to al-Zubayr b. al-‘Awwam, saying, “torture him until you root out what he has.” Al-Zubayr kept twirling his firestick in his breast until Kinanah almost expired; then the Messenger of God gave him to Muhammad b. Maslamah, who beheaded him to avenge his brother Mahmud b. Maslamah.”

  • Tabari Vol 8


    Killed Poets:

    List of those slaughtered with references, including a mother of five:

    >Then (occurred) the sariyyah of Umayr ibnAdi Ibn Kharashah al-Khatmi against Asma' Bint Marwan, of Banu Umayyah Ibn Zayd, when five nights had remained from the month of Ramadan, in the beginning of the nineteenth month from the hijrah of the apostle of Allah.Asma' was the wife of Yazid Ibn Zayd Ibn Hisn al-Khatmi. She used to revile Islam, offend the prophet and instigate the (people) against him. She composed verses. Umayr Ibn Adi came to her in the night and entered her house. Her children were sleeping around her. There was one whom she was suckling. He searched her with his hand because he was blind, and separated the child from her. He thrust his sword in her chest till it pierced up to her back. Then he offered the morning prayers with the prophet at al-Medina. The apostle of Allah said to him: "Have you slain the daughter of Marwan?" He said: "Yes. Is there something more for me to do?" He [Muhammad] said: "No. Two goats will butt together about her. This was the word that was first heard from the apostle of Allah. The apostle of Allah called him `Umayr, "basir" (the seeing).

  • Ibn Sa'd
u/Patton937 · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I have not seen confirmation of this from other sources. I read Mr. Sada's book and found the information interesting.

u/LegendReborn · 1 pointr/pics
u/nated0ge · 1 pointr/hoggit

Surprised I haven't seen it here:

Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm.

Its not quite on par with Viper Pilot, but I think it's a close second. An excellent narrative of the the transition between the Vietnam and Gulf War (also includes the Gulf War).

Very enlightening stuff, would read before Viper for a better chronological order.

u/Jim_E_Hat · 1 pointr/news

The US was involved in the middle east since it was partitioned after WWI. You can't look at single instances without considering the history of the region. Have a look at "Lawrence in Arabia".

u/soxy · 1 pointr/history

I just read Lawrence in Arabia and that was really not going to happen, American oil interests were already in the Empire snapping up land rights to drill with smoke and mirror promises to the Ottomans before WWI. If they had actually made it through it's very likely they would have been screwed out of a lot of the profits before they fully realized what was happening.

u/mistral7 · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East. Over 1,000 reviews on Amazon and a composite 4.25 rating. should provide some insight as to other's opinions. Really one of the best works I've read in nearly 70 years. T.E. Lawrence was an enigmatic figure and the other characters were equally fascinating.

u/kbk · 0 pointsr/

Yellowcake procurement intelligence is not false. It wasn't a 'reason' for war because most people believed the physical procurement could not be made. It was just further evidence.

Have you read "The Bomb in My Garden"? That is the reason for war. Oil had nothing to do with it, despite the allegations by Moore, etc.

The 911 commission said there was no connection between Saddam and 911. And the administration never claimed there was. However, there was clearly cooperation between Al Qaeda and Iraq before the war, and the details of that cooperation are becoming increasingly clear. Also, you may recollect that Saddam paid bonuses to the families of terrorists? And that he maintained facilities to train terrorists, including a jet fuselage for practicing takeovers? That he generally supported terrorism? That Zarkawi moved to Iraq before the war? That Abu Nidal was sheltered in Iraq?

I'll give you the aluminum tubes. The implication was that they were to be used for centerfuges. I don't know enough about the design of those things to form an opinion, but Powell's remarks to the UN seemed weak to me at the time. Note, though, that Powell had vetted his information carefully with the CIA and was pretty aggravated when it proved flimsy.

So I suppose the Whitehouse could remove the paragraph on the aluminum tubes, but I'd rather they didn't edit the material they post. Since most of the document is correct, it should stand as is.

u/Logical1ty · 0 pointsr/islam

> You're smart enough to know the distinction between atheism and antitheism.

In terms of beliefs they are one and the same to me. Antitheism as I've understood it refers to atheists who deliberately push an anti-theistic agenda in the political and social domain.

If you're talking about Agnosticism, that's something else. Theologians have had varying ideas about what happens to those.

> Most people are more forgiving. It baffles me how Allah can be so angered at his creation for refusing to accept the word of one man over the billions that have preceded and succeeded him. Clearly He has the power to communicate directly with humans, so why doesn't He do it? Why does He insist on communicating through illiterate human proxies, being angered when large groups believe one set of proxies instead of another (e.g. Hindusim)?

I've made an attempt to paraphrase the basics of Islamic theology in some posts before, here's a copy/paste of those attempts: (Open in WordPad)

> Because as we're all aware, people back then were beyond historical revisionism. It's not like he's been lionized or anything. We even have [1] pristine copies of the first biographies, written by those closest to him. These offer a lot of highly [2] accurate information about him, right?

Your knowledge of Islam is lacking. If you had read those links fully, you'd understand better.

There are three sources of knowledge on the life of the prophet.

  1. Qur'an

  2. Hadith

  3. Seerah

    The Qur'an isn't specific, but does contain some valuable insight.

    The Seerah is historical (like a biography) but is unauthenticated.

    The Hadith are painstakingly verified narrations of the Prophet's words and deeds. These make up the bulk of what we know of him and how. It's not organized into a story form at all. It's organized by legal subject and spread across collections.

    Modern day biographies (a decent one in English is by Martin Lings) combine all three.

    > A (literate?) merchant/shepherd deserts his wife to spend 15 years as a recluse, meditating and whatnot in some nearby cave. Upon finally coming back to civilization, he starts spouting some rubbish about [3] hearing voices in his head. Apparently he's been talking to an imaginary angel for the better part of his self-imposed exile.

    He was illiterate and he never abandoned his wife for 15 years. I've never heard that before.

    If you're going to attempt to criticize Islam, it's a good idea to have a rudimentary understanding of it. I'd strongly recommend picking this book up because it unites the three sources. Other biographies utilize only one source.

    > If this scenario were to play out today, he would be hauled away to a mental institution, and for good reason. But apparently he was sane back then, huh?

    Alphonse Lamartine on the Prophet (saw):

    > Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman: to subvert superstitions which had been interposed between man and his creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design no other instrument than himself, and no other aid, except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia, Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean, Spain, and a part of Gaul.
    > If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the true criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls.
    > On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race. He has left us as the indelible characteristic of this Muslim nationality the hatred of false gods and the passion for the One and Immaterial God. This avenging patriotism against the profanation of Heaven formed the virtue of the followers of Muhammad; the conquest of one-third of the earth to his dogma was his miracle; or rather it was not the miracle of a man but that of reason.
    > The idea of the Unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of fabulous theogonies, was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient temples of idols and set on fire one-third of the world. His life, his meditations, his heroic revilings against the superstitions of his country, and his boldness in defying the furies of idolatry, his firmness in enduring them for fifteen years at Mecca, his acceptance of the role of public scorn and almost of being a victim of his fellow countrymen: all these and, finally, his flight, his incessant preaching, his wars against odds, his faith in his success and his superhuman security in misfortune, his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death: all these attest not to an imposture but to affirm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God: the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words.
    > Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he? -- Paris 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276- 277
u/Whatsername868 · 0 pointsr/worldnews

Also, for anyone interested in reading about the treatment of women in Middle Eastern cultures, Princess is about one of the hardest books I've ever read just because how sick and angry it made me feel.

u/tanzilshafique · 0 pointsr/JordanPeterson

oh btw, some important text (by non-muslims ;) .. just to keep it fair )


by David Levering Lewis

God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215


by Lesley Hazleton

The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad


by Carla Power

If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran


u/pras · -2 pointsr/worldnews yes and, yes and no...its not great, but its not the third circle of hell, its only that the punishment for falling in love is being locked in solitary confinement for life, for sex is drowning in the family swimming pool. That's not too bad, its not great, but its not the third circle of hell yes and, yes and no....