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Islam: An Introduction

3.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0791413289
ISBN-10: 0791413284
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Editorial Reviews

Review

It is a splendid introduction carefully researched and comprehensive, yet readable. It corrects many popular and erroneous notions about Islam that prevail in non-Muslim societies. For the general reader there are many profound insights of great consequence, for example, the passages on women, marriage, and inheritance, or the section on jihad, nearly always completely misunderstood in the press.
The topic is becoming more significant because Islam is the most rapidly growing religion in the world. This book provides a thorough and sophisticated, but at the same time clear-headed and reliable, overview. Kevin Lacey, State University of New York, Binghamton
This survey represents and distills a lifetime of scholarship devoted to the Islamic tradition. In the Introduction, Schimmel remarks that the book follows the traditional view of Islamic history without venturing into the vast field of sociological or political approaches. In practice, this translates into a traditional view of Islam as experienced by Muslims. It is difficult to imagine a book that would better represent how most Muslims conceive their own religion. It is likely that Muslims will be most eager to read and quote from this book since it faithfully presents a perspective with which they can identify. Carl W. Ernst, Pomona College"

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (May 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791413284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791413289
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a Muslim and consider myself reasonably educated about Islam, but I hadnt realized the true diversity in Islam until I read this book. Truly magnificent snapshot of Islam, its Founder the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), its beliefs and practices and the history of Islam, its various movements, its flavors....
The book is very easy reading, and in my oppinion, to a westerner, this book is perhaps as good an introduction to Islam as can be.
Professor Schimmel is most well versed and experienced in the topic that she address in this book. Her credentials regarding the subject are very high indeed.
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Format: Paperback
In a field where textbooks are often beyond the comprehension of the general reading public, where the by-word of academic rigor often results in books that even undergraduates cannot fathom, often the only alternative is the "pulp journalism" characteristic of "international" correspondents who base their credibility on a few trips to the Near and Middle East. They generally do not know the languages of the areas in question, and come to conclusions that tell us more about their ignorance than they do about the religion and society they are supposedly so well informed about. Schimmel, however, is not characterized by any of these shortcomings. She is an established academic, the doyenne of Islamic studies (especially Islamic mysticism); yet she writes with a clarity and purposefulness which virtually anyone can understand. She brings a sympathetic and yet not uncritical eye to her subject matter. The only seeming difficulty she displays is the understandable desire to include as much as possible in her "Introduction". This gives her work something of the feel of a "Review" as well as being introductory. No matter; this can only serve to enhance the ultimate value of the book.
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Format: Paperback
This is a simple, highly readable and quick introduction on Islam: a multi-dimensional and dynamic religion that is growing very rapidly in all parts of the world. Professor Schimmel has done an excellent job of introducing this great religion as it has been practiced since centuries. I highly recommend this book to journalists and people who are related to media to get a clearer and true understanding of this religion. This book does its part of justice to clarify some of the misconceptions about Islam in media. I also recommend this book to readers who already have an understanding of this religion; Professor Schimmel besides introducing Islam (both its form and essence) also provide her views from the understanding of vast body of Islamic literature, history and culture. I would like to specially point to the last section of this book in which Professor Schimmel discusses the future of Islam in today's currents of modernism. She has provided some of her most summed up thoughts about this topic, which I am sure, will make sense to most of young Muslim readers like me. I also highly recommend her book on the topic of the "Mystical Dimensions of Islam."
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Format: Paperback
Schimmel is a trustworthy guide for those unfamiliar with Islam. She has devoted a life-time of study to it and condenses her considerable learning into this short and clear book. She is a refreshingly sober starting point given these overheated times. For those thirsting for a bit more in the way of an extended introductory survey of Islam, I would recommend 'Visions of Islam' by Chittick & Murata.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for people interested in the basics

of Islam, along with a brief history of Islam.

Ms. Schimmel writes with a clarity and unbiasedness not common

amongst many Western writers. She objectively analyses Islam

and "Islamic culture" from a fair point-of-view.

Even Muslims who know about Islam can learn some things from

this book.
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By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ms. Schimmel's Islam: An Intoduction, is an excellent concise introduction to the Islamic faith. The book is used as a textbook in my Intro to Islam class.
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Format: Paperback
Good overview of Islam. A segment on Islam in the Sub Continent- the author is a respected authority in this area. Included are details that would be of interest to readers of many faiths eg what can I expect to see in a mosque? Offers a select bibliography.
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Format: Paperback
Well, I thought I would get a good introduction here.. Yes there are flooding details, names, dates, etc... Without any knowledge of islam or world religions in general, you will be VERY lost with this book. I am a master's student, and have studied arabic as well... this book just was all over the place. I did get some good facts and knowledge out of it, but it seems just very distant. I hope there are some clearer and less assuming books out there. This one just spills facts and assumes a lot from readers. It's hard to read and understand if you're not taking a class with it!
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