Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes Paperback – Apr 27 2010
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“Reading [Tom] Friedman, I was motivated to learn more about the Muslim view of world history. I found a remarkable guide in Tamim Ansary’s Destiny Disrupted.”
Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
“Ansary has written an informative and thoroughly engaging look at the past, present and future of Islam. With his seamless and charming prose, he challenges conventional wisdom and appeals for a fuller understanding of how Islam and the world at large have shaped each other. And that makes this book, in this uneasy, contentious post 9/11 world, a must-read.”
Dave Eggers, TheRumpus.net
“I’m in the middle of Tamim Ansary’s Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes, and it’s incredibly illuminating. Ansary pretty much covers the entire history of Islam in an incredibly readable and lucid way. I’ve been recommending this book to everyone I know. Especially when people are looking for a comprehensive-but-approachable way to look at world history through the lens of Islam, there’s no better book.”
San Francisco Chronicle
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
David Frum’s FrumForum, August 16, 2010
“An amusing and anecdotal survey of Islamic history”
San Francisco Chronicle, January 4, 2011
“[The fire] was roaring nicely, and I was seated not far from it, reading "Destiny Disrupted" by Tamim Ansary, which is the perfect book for someone who knows hardly anything about the history of the Muslim world and feels that, really, what with things the way they are, a little more attention to detail would be useful. It's one of those "fascinating new fact every paragraph" books. Would you like to know how the Shiite-Sunni schism happened? It's all here. Rumi the poet? He's here. Empires, sultanates, wars, atrocities, cities of great beauty now lost forever, the whole deal. Even the chapters on theology are enjoyable, and I'm not big on the minutiae of belief systems.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Keep this in mind while reading the book. He tells a great story, with a knack for distilling the important meaning from complex historical events. Is the story true? Simplification can’t help but distort the truth. In one area I know reasonably well, the Crusades, I found at least two errors. But even there he gets the story essentially right. I guess the idea is follow the story, but don’t sweat the details.
The author was born in Afghanistan with a self-described secular outlook before moving to the United States. He was well integrated into Western culture before he became more interested in Islam. Perhaps this gives him an ideal perspective. His book explores the core values of Islam based on its history. Individual Muslims may interpret their religion in many different ways, but the “true”, meaning fundamentalist, version based on these core values has a way of constantly reasserting itself. For example, Muslims immigrate to the West looking for a peaceful place to raise their family, then their children run off and join the Islamic State.
The Destiny That Was Disrupted
The destiny that was disrupted is, of course, was Islam’s constant expansion. Reminders of that are frequent and explicit, for example:
“Movements to revive Islam could not be extricated from the need to resurrect Muslim power. Reformers could not merely offer proposals for achieving more authentic religious experiences.Read more ›
Also the terror of Naseredin Shah was instigated by Jamaludin Asadabadi, and was carried out by Mirzai Kermani
The story of the Muslim world was one that I was only very dimly aware of. The story of the Middle World from the time of Mohammed until the present is a very complex one. Ansary manages not only to untangle all the threads, but to do it in a way that is as compelling as novel.
It was very interesting to see what I thought I knew European history reinterpreted from an Islamic perspective.
Most recent customer reviews
A Great Read for understanding the Central narrative of Islam. Read it once to get the flavor and appreciate Islam. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Richard
This is a well-written book which broadens the perspective of those of us who have grown up immersed in world history as taught from the Western perspective. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ted Thiessen