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  • 9/27/2003

1-The Oxford History of Islam

John L. Esposito (Editor)


The entire history of Islamic civilization is, of course, too much to cover in a single volume, but John Esposito comes close. In a book topping 700 pages and containing over 300 photographs, Esposito brings together experts in fields such as early Islamic history, art and architecture, science and medicine, Islam in Africa and Southeast Asia, and contemporary Islam. Beginners will be swimming in new discoveries, while old hands will find connections and facts they never suspected. Majid Fakhry, for instance, shows not only the influence of philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes) on European intellectuals but also unveils the claims and counterclaims within Islamic philosophy over time. Dru Gladney takes us on an eye-opening journey through Islamic Central Asia and evenChina, where the Muslim Hui people are recognized as the country's third-largest minority nationality. And have you ever seen an exquisite mosque with towering spires made entirely of mud-brick, like there are inWest Africa? Unfortunately, Esposito apparently couldn't find room here for separate sections on Sufism or Islamic literature, but there are more than enough mosques, paintings, historical maps, and tapestries throughout to keep you turning pages and learning with fascination.--Brian Bruya

From Publishers Weekly

A good introduction to Islamic history is hard to find, and readers interested in the world's second-largest religion can rejoice at finding this one. Esposito, professor of religious studies atGeorgetownUniversity, has brought together a fine cadre of scholars for this anthology. Fifteen articles cover almost every subject that might interest a novice in the field: philosophy, science, art, architecture and histories of Islamic empires and civilizations. The art (100 b&w photos and 200 four-color illustrations) comes fast and thick, adding a great deal to the text. A particular virtue of the book is its extension of Islamic history into the present day, with articles focusing on colonialism, American and European Muslims and 20th-century Islamic revivalism. The book is not perfect, of course, and some of its faults are serious. Only one contribution is dedicated to religious belief and practice as such, and it is one of the weaker articles in the collection. Also, although Sufism is of paramount importance in Islamic history, there is no essay dedicated to the mystical branch of Islam, and the activities of Sufi orders form only a part of several of the historical articles. That said, this valuable and near-comprehensive tome would be a welcome addition to many libraries' shelves.

Book Description

Lavishly illustrated with over 300 pictures, including more than 200 in full color, The Oxford History of Islam offers the most wide-ranging and authoritative account available of the second largest--and fastest growing--religion in the world. John L. Esposito, Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, has gathered together sixteen leading scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to examine the origins and historical development of Islam--its faith, community, institutions, sciences, and arts. Beginning in the pre-Islamic Arab world, the chapters range from the story of Muhammad and his Companions, to the development of Islamic religion and culture and the empires that grew from it, to the influence that Islam has on today's world. The book covers a wide array of subjects, casting light on topics such as the historical encounter of Islam and Christianity, the role of Islam in the Mughal and Ottoman empires, the growth of Islam in Southeast Asia, China, and Africa, the political, economic, and religious challenges of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Islamic communities in the modern Western world. In addition, the book offers excellent articles on Islamic religion, art and architecture, and sciences as well as bibliographies. Events in the contemporary world have led to an explosion of interest and scholarly work on Islam. Written for the general reader but also appealing to specialists, The Oxford History of Islam offers the best of that recent scholarship, presented in a readable style and complemented by a rich variety of illustrations.

2-Social Justice in Islam
Sayyid Qutb

 Binding: Paperback
Published: 01 January, 2000

Book Description

"Social Justice in Islam" is perhaps the best known work of Sayyib Qutb, a leading figure in the Muslim Brethen of Egypt who was executed by the regime of 'Abd al-Nasr in 1966. Despite the years that have passed since Sayyid Qutb's death, the imprint of his thought on the contemporary Islamic movements of the Arab world remains profound. The Arabic original of "Social Justice in Islam" was first published in 1949, but this book in particular retains its relevance in many respects: the persistence of gross socio-economic inequality in most Muslim societies; the need for viewing Islam as a totality, imperatively demanding comprehensive implementation; and the depiction of the West as a neo-Crusading force.

About the Author

John B. Hardie's English translation, first published in 1953 and reprinted several times without modification, has been thoroughly revised and corrected for the present edition by Hamid Algar, Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, who has also contributed an introduction analyzing the work and the life of its author.


Approaching the Qur'an:
The Early Revelations

Michael Sells

Binding: Paperback
Published: 15 November, 1999

  From Library Journal

Despite the rapid growth of Islam in this country, its precepts and scripture remain inaccessible to many readers. It is difficult; too, that many of its believers assert that the Qur'an cannot be translated. This groundbreaking work byHaverfordCollege professor Sells goes a very long way to bridging the gap that separates the non-Islamic reader from the Qur'an; he translates and extensively annotates a careful selection of the earliest "surahs" (revelations), setting them in their cultural context. Further chapters discuss sound and gender in the meaning of the Qur'an, and the book includes an hour-long CD of extraordinary field recordings of male and female Qur'anic reciters. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Karen Armstrong, author of the bestselling A History of God

"Michael Sells has performed an invaluable service in making the beauty, spiritual energy, and compelling power of the Qur'an accessible to a Western audience for the first time."

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