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By Amyn B. Sajoo

What precisely is the Qur'an? How does this remarkable record -- actually ""recitation"" -- relate to the lifestyles and occasions of the Prophet Muhammad? And why did the faith of the Prophet, which got here to be referred to as ""Islam"" (or submission to God's will), on the heart of which lies the Qur'an, supply start to a legacy so richly different in religion, legislations and civilization? This immaculately researched, yet while completely obtainable, booklet bargains a trip into the whole diversity of expertise -- prior and current, secular and sacred -- of the peoples and cultures that proportion in Islamic culture. the quantity examines a huge variety of topics and themes. Poets, towns and the structure of mosques are as a lot part of its exploration because the function of technology in trust, methods of examining scripture, the connection of ladies to the religion and the emergence of a ""digital community"" of believers. within the aftermath of 9-11, the so-called ""war on terror"" and a brand new worldwide geopolitics outlined via response and reaction to the perils of fundamentalism and extremism, it's important to appreciate -- throughout all its frontiers -- what Islam is set and what Muslims believe. A better half to the Muslim World includes an enticing and coherent try by way of special students to contibute in the direction of that important strategy of comprehension.

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To his small band of followers, Muhammad was the Prophet/Lawgiver who spoke with the authority of the one God. He had come to Yathrib to establish a new kind of socio-religious community, though how that community was to be organised, and who could be considered a member of it, was yet to be defined. IBT021 - A Companion to the Mulism World 32 10/6/09 16:41 Page 32 A Companion to the Muslim World It may be tempting to call the members of this new community Muslims, ‘those who submit’ to God. But there is no reason to believe that this term was used to designate a distinct religious movement until many years later, perhaps not until the end of Muhammad’s life.

These once-innovative institutions became ‘traditional’ when the lead in fostering ‘knowledge societies’ passed to the West. In many Muslim countries, education today lags on every score, from basic literacy to the quality of higher learning in the natural and social sciences, to a degree that is only partly explained by poverty. Khamis finds that some of the most creative solutions in bridging the gap, for females and males, aim to rehabilitate older institutions like the madrassa and make them into ‘hybrid’ schools that tackle all learning seriously.

Arkoun, Mohammed. Rethinking Islam: Common Questions, Uncommon Answers. tr. Robert D. Lee. Boulder, Colorado, 1994. Esack, Farid. On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today. Oxford, 1999. Hillenbrand, Robert. Islamic Art and Architecture. London, 1999. S. Rethinking World History: Essays on Europe, Islam, and World History. ed. Edmund Burke III. Cambridge 1993. Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. Ideals and Realities of Islam. Rev. , Chicago, 2000. Norris, Pippa and Ronald Inglehart. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide.

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