The nature of Islam remains an area of intense and topical interest. In this brief but absorbing volume, Tamara Sonn offers a lively history of Islam, which is accessible without being simplistic. The book divides Islamic history into four periods starting with the life of Muhammad and the birth of Islamic ideals, through Islam's phenomenal geographical expansion and cultural development, right up to the creation of modern states and the current situation in Islamic societies. This accessible structure allows the reader to clearly grasp the fascinating and inter-related cultural, political, and ideological developments of this powerful global force. Throughout the book, representative events, characters and movements have been chosen to highlight the key issues and involve the reader. The book concludes with vignettes of Islamic life that represent current challenges facing Islamic societies. Written by a leading figure in Islamic studies, this lively book offers a brief history of this major world religion.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations.List of Maps.Foreword.Preface.1. Many Paths to One God: Establishing the Ideals.2. The Pursuit of Knowledge in the Service of God and Humanity: The Golden Age.3. Division and Reorganization.4. Colonialism and Reform.5. Obstacles and Prospects for Islamic Reform.Notes.Further Reading.Index.
Tamara Sonn is the William R. Kenan Professor of Humanities at the College of William & Mary. Her most recent works include Interpreting Islam and, with Jacob Neusner, Comparing Religions Through Law.