A New Introduction to Islam

A New Introduction to Islam

by Daniel W. Brown, Daniel James Brown

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A New Introduction to Islam offers students a fresh account of the origins, major features and lasting impact of the Islamic tradition. The development of Muslim beliefs and practices is carefully explored against the background of social and cultural contexts that extend from North Africa to South and Southeast Asia, providing a new and illuminating perspective.

This thought-provoking book:

  • Introduces students to the history and development of Islamic studies as a discipline, showing how it has shaped our understanding of Islam
  • Examines how the vibrant religious culture of the Near East produced a unique and brilliant intellectual and religious tradition spanning the fields of Islamic law, theology, philosophy and mysticism
  • Surveys the ways in which Islamic tradition has enriched the world and in turn been enriched by interaction with other civilizations, from the Mongols to the modern West
  • Considers the opportunities and challenges facing Muslims today.

Useful student features include detailed chronologies and tables summarizing key information, as well as maps and diagrams. It provides the ideal introductory textbook to the fascinating practice, history and beliefs of Islamic tradition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780631216049
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/15/2003
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.65(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Daniel Brown has lived in Egypt and in Pakistan where he was born and spent his first eighteen years. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, the Institute of Islamic Culture in Lahore and Cairo University, and has taught Islamic Studies at Mount Holyoke, Amherst and Smith Colleges. He is the author of Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought.

Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of Maps.

Introduction: The Problem of Defining Islam.

Part I: Islamic Origins:.

1. The Conquests:.

Psychological Impact.

Archaeological Data: The “Invisible” Conquests.

Resources for Further Study.

2. Arabia:.

Pre-Islamic Poetry.

The Book of Idols.

Mecca and the Quraysh.

The Gifts of the Arabs.

Resources for Further Study.

3. The Pre-Islamic Near East:.

Christianity in the Near East.

Religion in the Sâsânian Empire.

The Place of the Arabs in the Near East.

Resources for Further Study.

4. Religion of Empire:.

Arab Colonial Policy.

The Problem of Conversion.

The Nature of Leadership.

The Dome of the Rock.

The Constitution of Medina.

Resources for Further Study.

Part II: The Formation of the Islamic Tradition:.

5. The Qur’ân:.

The History of the Text.

The Qur’ân in Muslim Piety.

Interpreting The Qur’ân.

Resources for Further Study.

6. The Life of Muhammad:.

Prologue and Setting.

Birth and Childhood.

Early Adulthood.

The Beginning of Revelation.


The Night Journey and Ascent to Heaven.

The Hijra.

Victory and Defeat.

The Peace of Al-Hudaybiyya and the Farewell Pilgrimage.

Resources for Further Study.

7. The Tradition Literature.

The Science of Hadîth.

The Exegetical Origins of Hadîth.

In Quest of the Historical Muhammad.

The Sîra and the Shaping of an Islamic World View.

Resources for Further Study.

Part III: Islamic Institutions:.

8. The Caliphate:.

The Shî‘î Vision.

Shî‘îsm and the ‘Abbâsid Revolution.


The Ismâ ‘îlîs.

The Nizârî “Assassins”.

The Khârijites.

The Sâsânian Revival.

Al-Mâwardî and the Sunnî Compromise.

Resources for Further Study.

9. Islamic Law:.

The Coffee Debate.

Revelation and Reason.


The Schools of Law.

Islamic Law and the State.


The Usûl Al-Fiqh.

The Substance of the Law.

Ritual Purity.

Acts of Worship.

The Origins of Islamic Law.

Resources for Further Study.

10. Islamic Theology & Philosophy:.

Freedom and Determinism.

God’s Attributes.

Faith and Works.


The Sunnî Consensus.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal.


al-Ash‘arî and Kalâm.

The Theological Environment.

The Challenge Of Philosophy.

Prophecy and Revelation in Islamic Philosophy.

Philosophy and Mysticism.

Resources for Further Study.

11. Sûfîsm:.

Stages on the Path.

The Spiritual Master.

Sûfî Brotherhoods.

Sûfî Ritual.

The Destination.

Sûfî Cosmology.

Sûfîsm in History: The Case of al-Hallâj.

Beginnings to the Tenth Century.

Classical Manuals and the Growth of Tarîqas.

The Pervasiveness of Sûfîsm.

Resources for Further Study.

Part IV: Crisis and Renewal in Islamic History:.

12. Turks, Crusaders and Mongols:.

The Saljûqs.

Al-Ghazâlî and the Sunnî Revival.

Slave Soldiers.

The Crusades.

The Mongols.

The Impact of the Mongol Invasions.

Resources for Further Study.

13. Encounter with the West:.

The Ottoman, Safâvid and Mughal Empires.

The Rise of European Power.

The Religious Environment.

The ‘Ulamâ’ and the Empires.

Trends in Sûfîsm.

The Wahhâbîs.

Jihâd Movements.


Sayyid Ahmad Khân and ‘Alîgarh.

Resources for Further Study.

14. Islam and Modernity:.

From Caliphate to Nation-State.

The Idea of the Islamic State.

From Sharî‘a to Secular Law and Back.

A New Kalâm?.

The Vitality of Sûfîsm.

Resources for Further Study.

Epilogue: Islam in a Postmodern World.



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