Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world today. An understanding of its beliefs and practices has become essential knowledge not only for religious and political leaders but also for ordinary citizens who increasingly interact with Muslims as neighbors, coworkers, and schoolmates.
This book is designed to offer the general public a concise overview of the origins, basic beliefs, and common practices of Islam, as well as the reasons for its dramatic resurgence in recent times. Emory Bogle details the life mission of the prophet Muhammad and describes the spread of Islam after his death. He accounts for the rise and contemporary influence of Shi'i Islam, a topic of particular interest to Western readers. Bogle also explains the basic beliefs ("The Five Pillars") of Islam, as well as the role played by the Qur'an (Islam's scriptures), the hadith (the words and behavior of Muhammad), and the shari'a (Islamic law).