Part of a cluster of religion titles in the Very Short Introductions series. Also available: Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Theology, The Bible, The Koran, The Buddha, Paul, Augustine
Islam, in its most militant versions, features regularly in the news - this book offers insights into the structure and beliefs of this major world religion
Of interest to a wide variety of students, from those of comparative religions to those studying international relations or Asian history
Appeals to experts as well as novice by offering fresh insights and new arguments, e.g. on women, and on modern Islam
'answers the urgent need for an introduction to Islam ... guides the reader through urgent debates about fundamentalism' Michale Gilsenan, New York University
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 contains essential insights into issues such as why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shi'ites, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and the central importance of the Shar'ia (Islamic law) in Islamic life. It also offers fresh perspectives on contemporary questions: Why is the greatest 'Jihad' (holy war) now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil? Can women find fulfilment in Islamic societies? How must Islam adapt as it confronts the modern world?
Readership: Anyone interested in the influences of Islam in an international, contemporary, or political context; students of comparative religions, international relations, Islamic history.
Malise Ruthven, Lecturer in Comparative Religion, University of Aberdeen