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An Introduction to Islam
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Book description

This wide-ranging account of the history and theology of one of the world's most dynamic religions tells the story of Islamic beliefs and practices as they developed from the earliest times down to the present day. For this revised and updated second edition, David Waines has added a long section tackling head-on the issues arising from Islam's place in the changing world order at the turn of the new millennium. The wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Israel, and the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, have raised global awareness of Islam at a superficial level - but little has been written which considers Islamic political and military extremism in relation to mainstream Muslim history and theology. Coming at the end of a book which has explored the ideas and traditions of Islam in depth, this new section offers thought-provoking reflections on the place of religion in the current conflicts.


‘Reviewers do not always agree with writers of blurbs, but in this case the reviewer must … the book really is essential reading for all those interested in Islamic history and culture.’

Geoffrey Lewis Source: Asian Affairs

‘The merits of this book are several: it is a scholarly work, it is well-researched and clearly presented … it is surprisingly comprehensive for an introductory text.’

Source: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

‘David Waines has surely written what will deservedly be the standard introduction to Islam for some time.’

Oliver Leaman Source: Expository Times

‘… an elegantly written work as useful to the new student daunted by the complexity of Islamic discourse as to the more experienced Muslim who sometimes wonders about the difference between shari’a and fiqh … Highly recommended.’

Source: Periodica Islamica

‘Fluent, thoughtful and open-minded.’

Source: Aramco World

"Waines writes clearly, eloquently and with style and precision."

Andrew Rippon Source: Der Islam

"Western businessmen would be advised that 'You can't afford to leave on your next trip to a Muslim country without placing this book on your list of essentials to take along.'"

Source: Middle East Library Association Notes

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