Unfolding Islam


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  • Author: P.J. STEWART
  • ISBN: 9781859642139

If you are looking for a worthwhile and richly rewarding history of Islam, you need look no further than this book. Stewart answers the basic questions (What is the difference between Shiite and Sunni Muslims? What are the five pillars? What is the origin of the term 'jihad'?) but he doesn't needlessly simplify what is a complicated story.P.P.O. Kane (read the review)

Thoroughly revised in the light of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent climate of fear and hostility towards Muslims, this new edition of the acclaimed Unfolding Islam sets out to present Islam to non-Muslim readers, and to describe for the general reader - whether Muslim or not - how Islam has unfolded over the course of time, and how it continues to do so.

Set in the context of the geography and history of what may be called the super-continent of Afro-Eurasia, the book centres on the Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, showing how later developments are rooted there, right down to questions of contemporary relevance such as the difference between Sunni Muslims and Shiites, Sufis and literalists, reformists and 'fundamentalists'. Though the book is written with the non-specialist in mind, specialists will find new contributions to such topics as the first writing down of the Koran, jihad (holy war) and Islamic attitudes to our environment.

Seen as a whole, the story of the unfolding of Islam shows how it has achieved its special balance of constancy and flexibility. The controlling position of the Prophet, the unique authority of the Koran and the strength of the Muslim family give the religion its enduring central core.