An Introduction to Islam, Fourth Edition, provides students with a thorough, unified and topical introduction to the global religious community of Islam. In addition, the author’s extensive field work, experience, and scholarship combined with his engaging writing style and passion for the subject also sets his text apart.
An Introduction to Islam, places Islam within a cultural, political, social, and religious context, and examines its connections with Judeo-Christian morals. Its integration of the doctrinal and devotional elements of Islam enables readers to see how Muslims think and live — engendering understanding and breaking down stereotypes.
This text also reviews pre-Islamic history so readers can see how Islam developed historically.
5 thoughts on “Introduction to Islam”
This text book is great for someone who wants to learn about Islamic doctrines. The author of the book is mostly discussing Sunni sect and at some point referes to Shi’ite Muslim in Iran.
Rating: 4 / 5
This is overall a very informative book, but it bogs down greatly with the inclusion of hundreds of Arabic terms and people that are not defined or explained. If you don’t have any knowledge of Arabic, or the historical people related with the Middle East, you might spend hours of additional time researching on the internet and in other books.
Rating: 3 / 5
Great seller. The book got to me ahead of schedule and I was ready for class!
Rating: 5 / 5
This text was one used in my grad-level course on Islam. I enrolled in this class because, as a Christian, I wanted a deeper understanding of Islam. In particular, I wanted to be able to speak intelligently within Christian circles about Islam, particularly because of the current political tension that has so many fearfully approaching the topic, often with a set of stereotypical, illogical ideas. My motives for reading this book are definitely the lens through which I write this review. I found this book full of tedious information but ultimately lacking practical synthesis. If you want a historical account of the roots, both political and philosophical, of Islam then this is a fine book, although his chapters are often organized in a rather confusing manner (my fellow students are in basic agreement on this point, each of us having to present on several chapters). If you want a book that will help the average person understand the basic tenants of Islam and assist the reader in understanding Islam as a movement; if you want to be able to feel like you really have a grasp on Islam, particularly in how it relates to the current global climate, then I would suggest you keep looking. Denny really doesn’t delve into modern relevance until the last portion of the book. I also felt that the author was unconvincing to some extent. He obviously is arguing in favor of Islam as a religion, and I am not critiquing this. But, he fails to offer some much needed critique of enculturated-Islam’s past, and when he does, he has a tendency to justify unethical historical/political choices by claiming that Christianity has behaved in even more unethical ways. Now, while I wouldn’t argue with his critique of enculturated-Christianity’s often unethical behavior as an institutionalized movement (think “the Inquisition!”), but this is a logical fallacy. It is an error to defend one wrong by demonstrating another (perhaps worse) wrong. Critique of religious movements is healthy and necessary for they often (being human-run) get “off-track” and a little more critique would have strengthened Denny’s argument in favor of Islam. All-in-all, I would suggest this book as a supplement to a library on Islam but not as a primary text to understand the movement.
Rating: 3 / 5
I read this book because of a desire to understand as much as I could about Islam – I was not disappointed when I finished this book. The author provided an answer to every question that I had before reading this book and has given me the desire to read more about certain aspects of this religion. For me, the most interesting chapters were those that detailed the basic beliefs and practices of Islam, Islamic life and the family, Islamic community life and finally the issues concerning Islam in the modern world. I more fully understand their beliefs, but maybe more importantly, the challenges the religion faces as “progressive” Muslims try to open free dialouge about their religion – and the obstacles they face in doing so.
Highly recommend – if at all intersted in Islam, you will not be disappointed in the knowledge you will gain.
Rating: 5 / 5