- Hardcover: 1000 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan Reference USA (December 2, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0028656032
- ISBN-13: 978-0028656038
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.8 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,151,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Encyclopedia of Islam & the Muslim World
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The reference literature for Islam has long consisted of either a densely academic, multivolume encyclopedia or several, often specialized, single-volume works with brief definitions. Happily, there is now a reference work falling between these two extremes. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World is a scholarly work "about Islamic cultures, religion, history, politics, and the like as well as the people who have identified with Islam over the past fourteen centuries."
A team of international scholars is responsible for the 515 entries, which are arranged alphabetically and range from 200 to 5,000 words in length. Many include some sort of illustration and end with helpful see also references and excellent supplemental bibliographies. A useful index completes the set. Coverage includes the religious dimensions of Islam as well as the development of the tradition in various parts of the world (e.g., Africa, South Asia, U.S.). Cultural issues of importance to the history of Islam (e.g., architecture, calligraphy, language) are also treated. Entries such as Political organization and Political thought demonstrate the historical completeness for which the encyclopedia strives, tracing developments from the life of the Prophet to the present day. Even topics of contemporary interest include a historical perspective. The entry for Jihad describes the many meanings of the term, including its contemporary association with violence, and how the concept has developed historically. The treatment of secularization in the Muslim world includes a comparison to historical events in the West, thereby helping the reader to understand that it cannot be understood solely from a Western perspective. Finally, the biographical entries include important figures from the religious, cultural, and political history of the Muslim world.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (1995) is close in spirit and size (four volumes) to this new work, but its coverage includes far less of historical figures and events. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, on the other hand, "seeks to contextualize contemporary Islam within the longer history of Islam." As such, it can easily serve as a standard reference source with its scholarly, yet accessible, content. Highly recommend for academic and large public libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"This set is recommended for all public libraries." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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There is also a "Synoptic Outline of Entries" including articles listed under biography, culture[5 headings], geography, history, politics, religion,etc. The index is quite helpful since the actual articles are in easy to notice bold number-type. Some articles are much longer than a long essay,e.g.: The Abbasid Empire[4 pages], Allah, al-Andulus[Islamic Spain], Muhammad, Holy Cities, Caliphate, Ottoman Empire, Baghdad, India's Mogul or Mughal Empire& its great ruler Akbar.
There are some tricky features:"Philosophy" is a six page article which the index "redirects" you to under its Arabic name "Falsafa". The short article on theology is under "Kalam",but see also the long article on "Law"[obviously not an Arabic word]. Related to these topics is a seven page article "Tasawwuf"[variously used for "mysticism" and "Sufism"].
The perhaps greatest Muslim thinker,champion of the Qur'an[Koran],al-Ghazali,1059-1111 A.D.[under "G",a rare exception to the index-rule of listing the "al-s" under "A"]---gets a one page essay,1500 words.[Note that his & others Arabic calendar years life spans are not given.] Ghazali is also important,as he should be,in the "Falsafa" article. Also Ghazali is in the "Tasawwuf" article. Too bad Europe had no Ghazali-type Bible champion vs Aristotle;Europeans,lacking a Forward to one of Ghazali's books,even thought Ghazali to be a champion of Aristotle!
I am disappointed to find no discussion of the "Meccan" universal suras in the Qur'an[Koran] vs the "Medina" ethnocentered suras. [The earlier,Mecca suras are short and are,therefore,in the back of the Qur'an.]
No book can be "complete",thus the Sufi Rumi has a thousand words but the "other" al-Ghazali brother,a major Sufi,is not even mentioned. You CAN find a "Taliban" article as well as one on Qutb who lived in the US and went back to Egypt to essentially found militant jihadism. Also a thousand words on the historian Ibn Khaldun.
In short this is a rather large guide to most of the important aspects of the greater[larger] cultures and religious beliefs and habits held by nearly one and a half billion people today[4X the U.S. population] in traditions extending back, up to 1400 years. Islam is the majority faith from Indonesia to Morocco and Kazakstan to coastal Tanzania.