This concise introduction to Islam offers a sophisticated and informative exploration of the history, beliefs, tenets, and practices of the second-largest religion in the world.
There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world today, yet Islam remains a misunderstood faith. In this day and age, when issues related to Islam are dominating current affairs, The Beliefnet® Guide to Islam takes readers into the heart of this global religion, describing its origins, its links to Judaism and Christianity, and its place and practices in the modern world.
In clear, unbiased language, the authors outline the core beliefs that shape the daily lives of practicing Muslims: faith, prayer, charity, fasting and self-purification (during the period of Ramadan), and the Hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca). They clarify the differences between the Sunni and the Shia, the two main branches of Islam, shedding light on a topic that has garnered attention during the current crises in Iraq and other parts of the Muslim world. Hassaballa and Helminski also look at the many misinterpretations of basic terms and beliefs that have had a serious impact on the relationship between Muslims and those who practice other religions, explaining such essentials as the meaning of jihad , Islamic teachings on the role of women in society, and much more.
From the premier source of information on religion and spirituality, the Beliefnet® Guides introduce you to the major traditions, leaders, and issues of faith in the world today.
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|Title of Religion eBook: The Beliefnet Guide to Islam|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
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The Beliefnet Guide to Islam
What Is This Religion Called Islam?
The religion we know as Islam began in Arabia in the sixth century when a man named Muhammad began to experience a series of "revelations," or communications from the Divine. He was a reluctant prophet at first, even fearing that his own sanity was in question, but his beloved wife, Khadija, said, "Muhammad, a man like you doesn't go crazy." Over a period of twenty-three years he would receive periodic guidance from this Divine Source, often in response to the particular needs of his growing community, in a language of great depth and beauty. This revelation is called the Qur'an and it is the foremost inspiration, reference point, and final authority of the religion of Islam. Here is some of what it says about itself:
God has sent down the best of teaching in a Book fully harmonious with itself, repeating the truth in manifold ways and often repeated in recitation; A Book that causes the skins of all who stand in awe of their Lord to shiver, but in the end their skins and their hearts soften at the remembrance of God. Such is God's guidance. (39:23)
And We have sent down to you, step by step, this Book, to make all matters clear, and as guidance and grace and good tidings unto all who have submitted themselves to God. God commands justice, the doing of good, and giving to one's relatives; and He forbids all that is shameful and runs counter to reason, in addition to aggression. He exhorts you so that you may bear this in mind. (16:90)
Surely it is a sublime Book. No falsehood can ever enter it from before nor behind; it is a bestowal from on high by the One who is All-Wise, ever due to