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Friday, July 1, 2011

Islam: The Religion and the People by Bernard Lewis


Bernard Lewis
Islam: The Religion and the People is, without a doubt, the single best academic introduction to Islam that I have seen. It covers just about every facet of the religion for the non-expert, from what happens in a mosque on Fridays to the split between the Shiites and the Sunnis to how the Muslim world deals with not being able to charge interest to rules concerning food and the question of jihad.

This volume is short, well-written and thorough. It includes a glossary of terms mentioned in the book with more explanation (so the text does not bog down). Sidebars are included throughout the text with humourous notes that further illustrate the issues that are being discussed.

I have not encountered a better book to introduce Islam to the curious Westerner. I highly recommend this one to anyone heading off to a Muslim country, who works with Muslims or who is just curious about this popular, controversial and influential faith.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Islam: The Religion and the People.

Reviewed on November 9, 2008.

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