Author: Edward Sell
Publisher: Mittal Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Islam or the religion of the flowers of prophet Muhammad is one of the living faiths of the world. Its is held by the Muslims that their Prophet did not propound the religion, but propagated the true religion what he received through revelations from God, which are now recorded in the Quran. The adherents of Islam also believe that their religion is not merely a creed or a mode of worship, but the way to a full-fledged ideal life. Islam, both as a religion and as an organization, was the spirit behind the unification of the Arabs and the expansion of their power over vast areas of two continents. In the middle ages, Islam served as the bridge between the East and the West in science and philosophy. It is, even today, a power to reckon with, being the only religion professed by the oil-rich countries of the Middle East, which are at times the deciding factors in the rivalry among the superpowers.
It is, therefore, in the fitness of things that people interested in human history and culture, in the art and architecture of the orient, in comparative religion and also in the international political developments today should know the basic tenets and practices of Islam and the ways of thinking of its flowers, all over the world.
The sacred books of Islam being in the classical Arabic language, and enormous in bulk, are not easily accessible to average readers. The present work, written in excellent English and authenticated with profuse citations from the original sources in dependable translations, well serves the purpose of the interested readers.
The author, a Christian missionary as he is, has been able to keep him self aloof from the prejudice on one hand and overestimation on the other. It is, an important study of the religious system which has grown out of the Prophet’s teachings, and of its effects on the individual and the community. The author ascertained from his contemporary witnesses that the principles existing in Islam are really at work even now and are as potent as in any previous period. He has, however, shown how the simple creed of Islam-There is no god but God and Muhammad is the apostle of God-could become very dogmatic. The readers may not always agree with all his conclusions but they cannot but appreciate his approach and scholarship.
The author has dealt with, in well organized chapters topics like the foundations of the faith, the composition of the sacred literature and its interpretations the creeds, religious duties enjoined on the faithful, and fasts and feasts.
A full chapter has been devoted to the origin and development of various sects of Islam and the points of difference among them have been carefully analysed. The work may serve as a guide for further research.