Contents at a Glance

Part 1: Introducing Islam 1
1 Why Has Islam Become So Important? 3
Get to know who Muslims are and why there has been
such a misperception about them.
2 Food for the Soul 17
Learn who Allah is, what Islam teaches about Him, and
what Islam says about genies and magic.
3 Looking at Life the Islamic Way 27
Discover how Islam views human nature and what hap
pens to people who were good or evil in this life according
to Islam.
4 All About Allah 37
Compare Islam’s understanding of God with Judaism and
Part 2: The Spiritual World in Islam 47
5 The Four Stages of Life in Islam 49
Learn about the four stages of life in Islam and what
Islam says about the sanctity of life in the womb.
6 Islam on Heaven and Hell 63
Learn what will happen on Judgment Day, why everyone
must pass over a bridge to get to Heaven, and why Hell is
not forever for everybody.
7 In the Beginning … An Islamic Perspective 75
Read about the Qur’an’s version of “In the beginning ….”
8 The Measurement of Life 89
Learn why Muslims are not taught to be fatalistic, despite
popular stereotypes.
9From Adam to Armageddon 99
Discover how Islam explains the spread of humanity all
over the Earth and what Muslims believe about
Armageddon and the return of Jesus.
Part 3: The Five Pillars of Islam 111
10 Declaring Faith in Islam 113
Become acquainted with the five pillars of Islam and what
they mean in the daily life of a Muslim.
11 Understanding Muslim Prayers 123
Discover what’s actually going on in the ritualistic Muslim
prayers and what Muslims are praying for.

12 Elevating the Soul 139

Discover why charity and fasting are an integral part of

the Islamic method for self-improvement.

13 Gathering in Mecca 151

Follow Muslims on their annual pilgrimage to the desert

city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

14 Uncovering the Real Story About Jihad 165 Learn why jihad is so misunderstood among Muslims and non-Muslims.

Part 4: Islam and Other Religions 177

15 It’s All in the Prophets 179

Discover the way in which Islam promotes religious toler

ance all over the world.

16 Jews in Islam 191

Learn about the history of Jewish-Muslim relations and

how Islam protected the Jews for over a thousand years.

17 Christianity and Islam 201

Rediscover Jesus—from the viewpoint of Islam.

Part 5: Regulating Life Within the Laws of Islam 215

18 Exploring the Sources of Islam 217

Read more about the Qur’an and the other sources of

Islamic teachings that Muslims consult.

19 Living Islam 233

Find out how Islam strives to build an ordered society that

is beneficial to all people in the community.

20 Looking at Women in Islam 249

Discover the role of women in an Islamic society and how Islam has been one of the most progressive systems for promoting women’s equality.

Part 6: The History of Islam 267

21 Muhammad in Mecca 269

Discover the man who would alter human history forever

with the cry that there is no god but God.

22 The Victory of Islam 279

Learn how (and why) Islam transformed traditional Arab


23 The Rightly Guided Successors 287

Find out why Islam was able to expand so rapidly from Arabia into the Middle East. Learn about the first Muslim civil war and why it occurred.

24 Islamic Civilization: The Dynastic Period 297

Explore the wonders of Islamic history and the great achievements that were produced in the arts, literature, and philosophy.

25 Islam in America 309

Find out how Europe came to dominate the entire Muslim world in only 300 years and how the legacy of Coloni-alism has shaped current world events for Muslims.

Part 7: The Legacy of Islam 319

26 Discover the Influences of Islam 321

Discover how Islam has touched your life in ways you

never would have expected.

27 Meet the Islamic Sectarian Movements 331

Meet the different sects currently flourishing in the

Muslim world.

28 Islam in World Affairs Today 343

Learn about the misuse of Islam by political factions and

how to read what’s really going on.


A The Islamic Calendar 355

B Common Prophets in the Qur’an 357

C Further Reading 359

D Glossary 365

Index 373