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Islam: History, Religion, and Politics, 3rd Edition

Islam: History, Religion, and Politics, 3rd Edition

Tamara Sonn

ISBN: 978-1-118-97231-1

Oct 2015, Wiley-Blackwell

224 pages



Now available in a fully-revised and updated third edition, Islam: History, Religion and Politics, provides a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the core teachings, historical development, and contemporary public struggles of Islam.

  • Features a new chapter on the Arab Spring and the ongoing struggles for representative governance throughout the Muslim world
  • Includes up-to-date analysis of the civil wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, including the rise of terrorist groups like Boko Haram and ISIS
  • Spans Islamic history from the life of Muhammad and the birth of Islamic ideals, through Islam’s phenomenal geographical expansion and cultural development, to the creation of modern states and its role in today’s global society
  • Written by a leading scholar of Islamic studies

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Foreword ix

Preface xi

Maps xiii

1 Many Paths to One God: Establishing the Ideals 1

The Quran 1

The Quran and Other Scriptures 7

Themes of the Quran 12

The Exemplary Life of Muhammad, Prophet of Islam:

The Sunna 21

The Early Muslim Community and the Pillars of Islam 24

The Successors (“Caliphs”) 27

Early Communal Disputes 29

Conclusion 31

2 The Pursuit of Knowledge in the Service of God and Humanity: The Golden Age 34

Institutions 35

Law 36

Political Structure 43

Cultural Achievements 45

Spirituality and the Mystical Tradition: Sufism 54

Conclusion 68

3 Division and Reorganization 71

The Crusades and Other Disasters 71

The Decline of the Abbasids and Rise of the Ottomans 77

Persia: The Safavid Empire 84

India and the Rise of the Mughals 87

Understanding Developments in Islamic History 95

Conclusion 99

4 Colonialism and Reform 101

Colonialism 101

The Outcome of World War I 110

The Effects of Colonialism and Themes of Islamic Reform 117

Modern Iterations of Islamic Reform and New Challenges 125

Islamist Approaches to Reform 129

Conclusion: Mainstream Islamists and Radicals 135

5 Contemporary Islam: The Challenges of Democratization and Complications of Global Politics 139

Turkey 141

Iran 144

Pakistan, Afghanistan, and al]Qaeda 154

Indonesia 166

Tunisia and the Arab Spring 168

What about Terrorism? ISIS, Boko Haram, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah 173

Conclusion: Asking the Right Questions 185

Further Reading 195

Index 000