A New Introduction to Islam

Edition: 3rd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2017-04-24
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Covering the origins, key features, and legacy of the Islamic tradition, the third edition of A New Introduction to Islam includes new material on Islam in the 21st century and discussions of the impact of historical ideas, literature, and movements on contemporary trends.

  • Includes updated and rewritten chapters on the Qur’an and hadith literature that covers important new academic research
  • Compares the practice of Islam in different Islamic countries, as well as acknowledging the differences within Islam as practiced in Europe
  • Features study questions for each chapter and more illustrative material, charts, and excerpts from primary sources

Author Biography

Daniel Brown is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Religion in the Middle East (ISRME) and the author of Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought (1999). His interests include modern Muslim intellectual history, Hadith studies, and Muslim-Christian relations. He is the editor of the forthcoming Wiley Blackwell Companion to the Hadith.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Preface to the Third Edition xv

Source Acknowledgments xvii

Part I The Formation of the Islamic Tradition 1

1 Islam in Global Perspective 3

The Problem of Defining Islam 3

Mapping the Islamic World 5

Arabs and Non-Arabs 9

Sunnis and Shiʿites 10

Islamic Ritual 11

What to Expect from This Book 14

Essential Resources for the Study of Islam 16

Questions for Study and Discussion 17

2 Arabia 19

Geography 19

Pre-Islamic Poetry 21

Arab Religion 25

Women in Pre-Islamic Arabia 27

Mecca and the Quraysh 28

The Gifts of the Arabs 31

Resources for Further Study 34

Questions for Study and Discussion 35

3 The Pre-Islamic Near East 37

Christianity in the Near East 39

Saints and Relics 45

Zoroastrianism 46

Judaism 47

Manichaeism 49

Mazdak 49

The Place of the Arabs in the Near East 50

Chronology of the Near East of Late Antiquity 52

Resources for Further Study 53

Questions for Study and Discussion 54

4 The Life of Muhammad 55

Prologue and Setting 56

Birth and Childhood 57

Early Adulthood 59

The Beginning of Revelation 61

Opposition 63

The Night Journey and Ascent to Heaven 65

The Hijra 66

The Battle of Badr 68

Confrontation with the Jews of Medina 69

The Battle of Uh. ud 70

The Peace of al-H. udaybiya and the Farewell Pilgrimage 72

Evaluation 73

Resources for Further Study 74

Questions for Study and Discussion 75

5 The Qurʾan 77

The Qurʾan in Modern Imagination 77

The History of the Text 79

The Language of the Qurʾan 84

The Context of the Qurʾan 87

Jesus in the Qurʾan 88

The Qurʾan in Muslim Piety 90

The Eternity of the Qurʾan 91

The Inimitability of the Qurʾan 93

Interpreting the Qurʾan 94

Central Themes 95

Qurʾanic Narratives 96

Qurʾanic Law and the Problem of Abrogation 97

Women and Gender in the Qurʾan 98

Qurʾan, S¯ýra, and Hadith 99

Resources for Further Study 99

Questions for Study and Discussion 100

6 The Tradition Literature 103

The Science of Hadith 104

The Origins of the Hadith 108

In Quest of the Historical Muhammad 111

The S¯ýra and the Shaping of an Islamic Worldview 115

Resources for Further Study 119

Questions for Study and Discussion 120

Part II The Expansion of Islam 121

7 The Conquests 123

Psychological Impact 127

Archeological Data: The “Invisible” Conquests 129

Resources for Further Study 131

Questions for Study and Discussion 132

8 Religion of Empire 133

Early Arab Administration 134

Conversion to Islam 137

Leadership 138

The First Civil War 139

The Martyrdom ofH. usayn 140

The Deputy of God 141

Personal Piety 142

The Dome of the Rock 144

The Constitution of Medina 149

Resources for Further Study 151

Questions for Study and Discussion 151

9 The Caliphate 153

Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ 153

The Shiʿite Vision 156

The ʿAbbasids 158

Twelvers 159

Ism¯aʿ¯ýl¯ýs 160

Niz¯ ar¯ý “Assassins” 161

Kharijites 163

The Sasanian Revival 164

Al-M¯award¯ý and the Sunni Compromise 166

Resources for Further Study 169

Questions for Study and Discussion 170

Part III Islamic Institutions 171

10 Islamic Law 173

The Coffee Debate 173

Revelation and Reason 175

Qiy¯ as 176

The Schools of Law 177

Islamic Law and the State 179

Ijm¯aʿ 180

The U.su¯ l al-Fiqh 181

The Substance of the Law 183

Ritual Purity 184

Acts of Worship 185

Marriage and Divorce 186

The Origins of Islamic Law 189

Al-Sh¯afiʿ¯ý and Islamic Legal Theory 189

Resources for Further Study 192

Questions for Study and Discussion 193

11 Islamic Theology and Philosophy 195

Freedom and Determinism 196

God’s Attributes 198

Anthropomorphism 200

Faith and Works 200

Leadership 203

The Sunni Consensus 203

Ah. mad ibnH. anbal 204

Al-Ashʿar¯ý 205

Kal¯am 206

Al-M¯ atur¯ýd¯ý and other Alternatives to Ashʿarite Kal¯am 208

Jewish and Christian Influences 209

The Challenge of Philosophy 210

Prophecy and Revelation in Islamic Philosophy 212

Philosophy and Mysticism 215

Resources for Further Study 216

Questions for Study and Discussion 217

12 Sufism 219

The Parliament of Birds 219

Stages on the Path 221

The Spiritual Master 223

Sufi Brotherhoods 224

Sufi Ritual 226

The Destination 229

Sufi Cosmology 230

Sufism in History: The Case of al-H. all ¯ aj 233

Beginnings to the Tenth Century 237

Classical Manuals and the Growth ofT. ar¯ýqas 239

Resources for Further Study 241

Questions for Study and Discussion 242

Part IV Crisis and Renewal in Islamic History 243

13 Turks, Crusaders, and Mongols 245

The Salju¯ qs 245

Al-Ghaz¯ al¯ý and the Sunni Revival 246

Slave Soldiers 248

The Crusades 250

The Mongols 254

The Impact of the Mongol Invasions 257

Resources for Further Study 261

Questions for Study and Discussion 262

14 Revival and Reform 263

The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires 263

The Rise of European Power 266

The Religious Environment 267

The ʿUlam¯aʾ 267

Sufi Reformers 269

The Wahhabi Movement 274

Resources for Further Study 277

Questions for Study and Discussion 278

15 Islam and the West 279

Napoleon’s Invasion of Egypt 279

The Birth of Orientalism 282

Jihad Movements 284

Al-Afgh¯an¯ý 285

Sayyid Ahmad Khan and Aligarh 287

Resources for Further Study 289

Questions for Study and Discussion 289

16 The Turbulent Twentieth Century 291

The Abolition of the Caliphate 291

Nationalism 293

Secularism 295

Rash¯ýd Rid. ¯a and al-Man¯ ar 298

The Muslim Brotherhood 299

Jihad and Martyrdom 300

From Shariʿa to Secular Law and Back 302

Modern Qurʾan Interpretation 304

The Problem of Sunna 305

Ijtih ¯ad and Ijm¯aʿ 306

A New Kal¯am? 307

Muhammad ʿAbdu¯h 307

Muhammad Iqbal 309

Sufism and Modernity 311

The Modernist Moment 314

Resources for Further Study 315

Questions for Study and Discussion 315

17 Salafism 317

Café Salafis 317

Salafi Doctrine 319

The Ibn Taymiyya Connection 320

The Albanian Watchmaker’s Son 322

Salafi Apocalypse 324

Salafi Spring? 329

The Appeal of Salafism 331

Salafis and Sufis 332

Resources for Further Study 334

Questions for Study and Discussion 334

18 Islam in the Twenty-First Century 335

The Challenge of Pluralism 336

Islamic Liberalism 340

Islam in the West 342

Islamic Feminism 346

The Challenge of Islam 350

Questions for Study and Discussion 351

Glossary 353

Bibliography 367

Index 391

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