I am honoured to be the first to review this excellent book about Islamic art & architecture.
So far it's title has been Islam; Art & Architecture , but I feel that title does not define the subject of Islam as properly as the title of Islamic art & architecture would , because that title would fit more the new edition of the book which should contain the same cover.
This book is so beautiful it makes you get the feeling that you actually go into or inside the Qu'aran , and that you relive everything Mohammad experienced more sucessfully than in any documentary I have seen on the life of Mohammad and the process of Islamic evolution so far.
I feel obliged to make a fair and sound criticism on this book , and I define criticism in two terms - positive , & negative.
Until that decision was made , the use of the concept of 'criticism'in the English language had commonly referred to negative criticism.
A negative criticism was a personal attack on behalf of it's author of his chosen subject.
But this book cannot possibly be sucessfully criticized negatively in my view , or in this review. But that is just my view. I love to go through the pages of this book in those bookstores where I have been fortunate enough to behold it and to desire to hold it in my hands and go through it's pages. It is truly a singularity , a real life time - machine of a kind that H.G.Wells would probably have used to compose a short science fiction story about time travel had he been given the opportunity to journey into modern times and witness their beauty , sadness , horrors and revelations and all other manners of expression , all the fantastic inventions , all the madness , all the glory , and all the deaths and births that took place then , of men and animals in vast numbers.
This book defines Islam in a manner that satisfies not only my desire to explore Islam further , but explains Islam thoroughly from the perspectives of even a fundamentalist moslem scholar.
In my opinion , until by the construction of this book on Islam , so far the history of Islam in it's various forms and interpretations had been relatively incomplete. After the new editions will be published and douptlessly other books on Islam , the interpretation of Islamic thought , philosophy & art will be or shall be , beyound complete. This book will be recited , hundreds of years from now as one of the few that would start the new renaissance of litterature & science and spirituality and philosophic thought that is currently reshaping our cultures.
For the first time , we have in our hands a vast documentary AND book , which explains Islam in a manner most Islamic scholars and practicioners would equate with the Oxford History of Islam and beyound.
This book was in fact so sucessful in it's interpretation of Islam that everyone who studied it had so far felt that somebody would come after them and criticize it's content , but that it would be a matter of perspective how that criticism would be expressed.
It is a universal appeal to Islamic philosophy and even mysticism , and it's multicultural development.
This book may be a gift , and even so , not one sent to us by the one they refer to as Allah or God , but by it's authors - who speak from the perspective of the truth , allowing all who approax this book to value it's content from their own perspective , whether moslem or non - moslem.
Yet again , western culture's current perception of Islamic art and architecture and beliefs changes completely , this time by the arrival of this monumental work of genius. May more books like this be published in the near and far future , and may this book be joyfully reprinted in a new edition as dear and dedicated and as honorable as this one.
And I sincerely hope that my criticism is not unfair , and that the speech of this review does not contain any flirtuous expression.