Informationen zum Buch:
by Walter M. Weiss (texts and picture editor)
published 2001 by Barron`s / Crash Course Series, New York (Second & Third Edition, 2002)
Format 16,5 x 24,5 cm
ISBN 0-7641-1335-6
Price: US-$ 13,95
192 pages, 250 full colour illustr.


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An illustrated historical overview

- The history of Islam, from the revelation of the Koran to the present, from the Prophet Muhammad
- to the Ayatollah Khomeini, and from Saladin to Anwar el-Sadat.
- Explains the fundamental principles of Muslim belief, including justice, ethics, and mysticism, ideas
- about Allâh and prayer, Imâns, qâdî, muftî, human rights, and the role of women.
- Offers insight into everyday life, customs, festivals, art, philosophy, scholarly achievements,
- madrasahs, and mosques, past and present, ranging from the Maghreb to Arabia, from southeast
- Asia and Africa to the diaspora in Europe and the United States.
- Includes a listing of Islamic museums around the world, a chronology, a bibliography, and an extensiv
- glossary.
- An introduction to the world of Islam, with the clarity of an encyclopedia, the readibility of a novel,
- and the appeal of a picture book.

To portray a religion as complex as Islam definitively within the span of two hundred pages is not only a challenge, but to some extent also an impossibility. Islam today has far more than a billon adherents - about one-fifth of the world`s population - and the prescribed brevity of this volume necessitates rigorous selectivity, leading to an inevitable neglect of important aspects. As a result, this work makes no claim to being a comprehensive study. Instead, it offers a readable introduction to the world of Islam and a practical survey of a religious movement whose influence on world affairs has been steadily increasing in recent years - a religion which, especially since the fall of Communism, has often been misunderstood and designated as a new ideological threat by the post-Enlightenment, liberal West.
From its beginnings, the history of Islam has been inextricably intertwined with Arabian culture and history. Whether as warlike crusaders or peaceable tradesmen, Arabs carried their new religion to the shores of the Atlantic and the China Sea and into the inner recesses of Africa and Asia. In the course of this expansion, Islam was naturally enough adopted by many non-Arab peoples, sometimes by choice, sometimes by coercion. Accordingly, this book addresses both the common principles of the Islamic faith as well as the numerous regional forms that arose in response to various cultural contacts through the ages.
Unity and diversity - by means of systematic adherence to these two only seemingly contradictory phenomena that characterize Islam, this book traces the large patterns in the historical development of Islam and the political developments intimately connected to them. Parallel to this chronological depiction, we will also deal in depth with the roots of the religion (the Koran, the sharîah, the prophetic tradition, etc.) as well as the most important aspects of daily life, such as the rituals marking the progress of the year and the stages of human life. In addition, such controversial and much-debated issues as the status of women and the pervasive trend to re-Islamization will be addressed.
At root, this volume embodies the author`s deep-seated desire to counter the simplifications and prejudices to which Western media too often falls victim. In addition, this work hopes to mediate between the religious and spiritual worlds of East and West, between two realms that have again and again been polarized into far too antithetical categories during the course of almost 1.400 years of common history, even into the present day.
Walter M. Weiss

The Beginnings of Islam
- A Geopolitical Overview
- Pre-Islamic Arabia
- The Youth and Calling of the Prophet
- After the Hijrah: From Preacher to Politician
- Political Triumph
- The Age of the „Rightly Guided“ Caliphs
- The Koran

Tenets of the Faith
- Allâh, Angels, and Paradise
- Significance of the Prophets
- The Five Pillars
- The Shahâdah
- Prayer (salâh)
- Alms Tax (zakâh)
- Fastin (sawm)
- Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj)
- Tradition and Islamic Law

Islamic Life
- Ethics and Laws
- Profit and Interest
- Food, Colors, Clothing
- The Vexed Question of the Veil
- The Status of Women
- "Those who must be protected" (ahl adh-dhimma)
- The Calendar
- Celebrations Through the Year
- Rituals and Ceremonies in the
- Course of Life
- The Mosque

The Shîah Tradition
- Origin of the Schism
- Salvation and Martyrdom
- Twelver, Fiver and Sevener Shîism
- Assassins, Druzes, Alavites, Khârijites
- Islamic Ranks and Titles

The Early Kingdoms
- The Second Great Wave of Conquests
- Second and Third Civil Wars
- The Golden Age of the Abbasids
- Erosion and Decline of the Empire
- Political Fragmentation
- Al-Andalus and the Great Berber Realm
- Arabic Names

The Flowering of Arabic-Islamic Culture
- Philosophy and Science
- Literature and Music
- Fine Arts

The Traditional Arabian City
- Social Organization and Status
- Contrasts in Property and Wealth
- Dependence on the Central Power
- Spheres of Life
- The Institution of the Bazaar
- The Crusades

The Mongol and Ottoman Eras
- The Seljûks and Their Successors
- Jenghiz Khân, Hülägü, and Timur
- The Mamlûks in Egypt
- The Rise of the Ottomans
- The Flowering of the Realm
- The Decline of the Ottomans
- Iran: The Safavids
- India: The Moghuls
- Sufis and Mystics

The Islamic World in Flux
- Egypt - Napoleon and the British Occupation
- The Exotic Charms of the Orient
- Egypts Modernizes under Muhammad Ali
- Therapy for the "Sick Man on the Bosporus"
- The First World War in the Near East
- The Maghreb States
- Central Asia and the
- Caucasus
- Pakistan and Bangladesh
- Border Regions of Asia and Africa
- Wahhâbis and the Saudi State
- The Sanûsi and
- Ahmadi

Recent Decades
- Pan-Arabism: The Baath and Nasser
- The Politics of Oil
- Re-Islamization and Fundamentalism
- Current Developments and Critical Points
- The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Glossar - Chronology - Museums and Collections of Islamic Art - Bibliography - Note on Phonetic
Transcriptions and Pronunciation

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