Islam: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1997 - Religion - 176 pages
21 Reviews
Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction offers an essential insight into issues such as why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shi'ites, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, why the Shar'ia (Islamic law) is such an important aspect of Islamic life, and why the greatest `Jihad' (holy war) is now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil. In addition he prompts further questioning into the ideas of `Islamic resurgence' as both an old and new concept, whether or not women can find fulfilment and equality within an Islamic framework, and the sort of problems facing Islam and its confrontation with the modern world. - ;Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam, both as ideology and religion. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction therefore offers an essential insight into issues such as the why the greatest `Jihad' (holy war) is now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil, why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shi'ites, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and how the Shar'ia (Islamic law) has become such an important aspect of Islamic life. In addition he prompts further questioning into the ideas of `Islamic resurgence' as both an old and new concept, whether or not women can find fulfilment and equality within an Islamic framework, and the sort of problems facing Islam and its confrontations with the modern world. -

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Review: Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

User Review  - Daniel Wright - Goodreads

Those of us who are young enough to have gained our understanding of the world after 9/11 would do well to realise, and everyone else would do well to remember, that suspicion that Islam is ... Read full review

Review: Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

User Review  - Ryan - Goodreads

Very clear and succinct overview. Extremely informative, and while there is a little editorializing in the last few chapters, I think it's very fairly done and somewhat inevitable when trying to tackle a topic this broad. Read full review

References to this book

Politics and Religion
Steve Bruce
No preview available - 2003
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About the author (1997)


Malise Ruthven is renowned as a commentator on Islam and the Arab world. A former scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic and World Services, his previous publications include Islam in the World and The Divine Supermarket: Shopping for God in America.

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