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Faith and HistoryMahmoud M. Ayoub

Book: Casebound | 256 pages | ISBN 1-85168-348-8 | Jan 2005

Combining the scholarly with the personal, this innovative introduction by an internationally renowned Islamicist gives the reader an insight into the history, traditions and beliefs of Islam.

Taking his own spiritual journey as a starting point, Mahmoud M. Ayoub explores all aspects of Islam: from its earliest beginnings to the challenges of the 21st century; from the Qur’an and Islamic law to the epic poetry of the Sufis; from the spread of Islam worldwide to reform movements in the US and Europe.

Mahmoud M. Ayoub is Professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion at Temple University, Philadelphia, U.S.A. He has lectured around the world on Islamic History and related topics, and is the author of over ten books and numerous articles and papers.

“Ayoub's work is remarkable in the sense that he speaks from the very heart of the Islamic tradition. His coverage of the Qur'an, early Islamic history, etc. is superb. His book stands out by its more thoughtful engagement with issues of Islam and modernity, and a global focus on Islam that stretches from China and SE Asia to Europe and North America. Highly recommended.”Omid Safi, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Colgate University, and author of Oneworld’s best-selling Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender and Pluralism.


Prologue. Islam: A Personal Faith?

1. Origins and Early History
Islam: Name and Concept
Arabia before Islam
The City of Makkah
Muhammad the Prophet: His Life and Mission

2. Prophethood, Revelation and the Qur’an
Prophethood and History
Messengers of God
The Qur’an: Its History, Teachings and Role in the Community

3. Faith and Worship
Faith and Action
The Five Pillars of Islam

4. The Formative Period of Muslim History
The Crisis of Authority and the Caliphate (632–661)

5. The Age of the Caliphs
The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)
The ‘Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258)

6. The Spread of Islam
Islam in North Africa and Spain
Islam in other Parts of Africa
Islam in Central Asia
Islam in China
Islam in South Asia
Islam in Southeast Asia

7. The Religious Sciences
The Foundations of Law and Morality
Teachings of the Qur’an
The Sunnah of the Prophet
Early Developments of Jurisprudence
The Six Canonical Hadith Collections
The Nature and Scope of Islamic Law
The End of Ijtihad and the Valorization of the Sunni Legal Schools
The Shi‘i Tradition

8. Sufism: The Mystical Tradition
Origins of Sufism
Early Asceticism
Formative History
The Crystallization of Sufism
Stations and States
Theosophical Sufism
Ibn ‘Arabi, the Great Shaykh
Epic Poetry
Sufi Brotherhoods
Veneration of the Awliya’
Devotional Practices
Sufi Orders and the Decline of Sufism

9. Theology and Philosophy
Theology: Scope and Sources

10. Women and Men
The Status of Women in Pre-Islamic Arabia
Types of Marriage
Wa’d – Female Infanticide
The Muslim Family
Men and Women in the Modern World

11. Islam and Modernity
Pre-modernist Reform Movements
Islamic Revivalist Movements in the Nineteenth Century
Modernist Reformers
Twentieth-Century Modernism and Secularism
Contemporary Revivalist Movements
State Islam and the Islamic Revolution
Islam in Western Europe
Islam in North America

Epilogue: The Muslim Ummah and the Modern World
Suggestions for Further Reading

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