Its History, Teaching, and Practices
Publication Year: 2004
This compact introduction to Islam describes the essential aspects of Islam as a living religion and social force. The book is organized around seven topics: the life of Muhammad; Islamic political development and territorial expansion; the important groupings of Islamic believers (Sunni, Shi'ite, and Sufi); the Qur'an (the Holy Book of Islam); Sunnah, Hadith (the record of the Prophet's actions and sayings), and Shari'ah (the compilation of Islamic law); the five Articles of Faith and the so-called Five Pillars of Islam that govern faith and action; and other binding religious observances and festivals. The presentation of these seven aspects of Islam strikes a balance between fact, tradition, current interpretation, and commentary.
S. A. Nigosian underscores two fundamental points: that to understand Islam properly, it is necessary to see it as a major faith tradition, with Muhammad as the last of a series of messengers sent by God; and that to grasp the spirit of Islam, one must recognize its emphasis on an uncompromising monotheism, with strict adherence to certain social, political, and religious practices, as taught by the Prophet and elaborated by tradition.
Published by: Indiana University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
List of Maps and Illustrations
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This edition of Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices differs from my previous edition Islam: The Way of Submission (1987) in several respects. The subject matter has been recast and appropriate modi¤cations and additions have been made. But its basic character—to outline the essential aspects of Islam as a living force, not a systematic exposition of its history or philosophy...
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Islam is the second largest world religion after Christianity. Its followers today extend f rom Morocco to the Philippines, and it includes among its adherents different races and peoples of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and the Americas. In fact, more than three-quarters of the total Muslim population...
1. Muhammad, Messenger of God
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Western scholars have always been fascinated by the lives of the world’s religious leaders who created the faiths that have endured for centuries. Such individuals, commonly known as founders of religion, possess a unique, uncommon, or rare¤ed quality of the mind. They see and hear in the “mind’s eye and ear” that which is hidden from the sight...
2. Islam in History
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Serious differences arose within the Islamic community immediately after Muhammad’s death in 632. The critical issue was the designation of a political successor only, since a religious successor to Muhammad, the “seal” of the prophets, was unthinkable...
3. Muslim Groups
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Like all other religions, Islam is split into many different groups, and this subdivision of Islam is similar to other religions in two ways. First, Muslims form one religious community and their differences do not impair their basic sense of solidarity as adherents of Islam. In fact, Muslims tend to regard different Islamic groups as making a positive contribution...
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The Quran (also written Koran, meaning “Recitation”) is, for Muslims, the ¤nal revelation of God (Allah) and as such contains his divine message to humanity as revealed to his prophet Muhammad,,,
5. Sunnah, Hadith, and Shari"ah
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From the very beginning up to the present day, the words and actions (sunnah, trodden path) of the prophet Muhammad have served as the ideal model for all Muslim believers to emulate. In other words, the actions, decisions, and practices that Muhammad approved...
6. Faith and Action
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The elaboration of Islamic faith (iman) was greatly accelerated by Islamic political and social history. For instance, Muslims became acquainted with Greek thought, particularly with Greek philosophy, through early Christians and through the conversion to Islam of people who...
7. Observances and Festivals
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In addition to the rules of conduct, there are a number of social customs that are as binding upon Muslims as religious duties are. Four of the most important ones are associated with birth, circumcision, marriage, and death...
Appendix 1. Key Dates
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Appendix 2. Muslim Dynasties
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Appendix 3. The Ninety-Nine Names of God
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Page Count: 200
Illustrations: 11 b&w photos, 3 figures, 2 maps, 1 bibliog., 1 index
Publication Year: 2004