Introducing Islam By William Shepard (Oxon, RN: Routledge, 2009. 333 pages.)

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Tauseef Ahmad Parray

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Abstract

Introducing Islam is the result of the author’s more than thirty years of teaching
and research about Islam within the context of religious studies. This
comprehensive and concise textbook is an ideal introduction to Islam that
seeks to present it and its culture, as found within different Muslim countries,
in a sympathetic way.
From its early environment and origins in the life and career of
Muhammad (pbuh), it traces the history of Islam through its classical
expressions and up to its contemporary interactions with the West. Devoting
a chapter to each important topic (e.g., the Qur’an, Islamic law, Islamic theology
and philosophy, and Sufism) and to studies of Islam in individual
countries (e.g., Turkey, Iran, Egypt, and Indonesia), it explores Islamic
civilization through discussions of Islamic art and culture as well as community
rituals. Consisting of a preface, an introduction, and three parts
(divided into nineteen chapters [2-20]), the book is illustrated with ten maps
and twenty-eight figures, text boxes, summary charts (key points), a glossary
of key Arabic terms, and a list of further reading to aid students/readers’
understanding ...

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