"The faith of a billion Muslims today, developed over fourteen centuries, is sympathetically and skillfully presented in this marvelous introduction. Hewer's extensive knowledge and contextually sensitive presentation yield an exceptionally rich and faithful account, presupposing no prior knowledge of the traditions, without orientalist, Western, or Christian biases. Includes diagrams, glossary, and easy to follow references to the Qur'an."
What others say about this book:
"Understanding Islam is a model in the genre. --Yahya Michot, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford UniversityUnderstanding Islam by Dr. Chris Hewer, Fortress Press (2006, fourth impression: 2010), 244 pages.
"This is a clearly written and well-organized book that is a fine introduction to Islam. The author ably shows how the rich heritage of Islam is celebrated and expressed in the faith lives of Muslims." --John Kaltner, Rhodes College, author of Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know.
Written by a Fellow in Christian-Muslim Relations (St. Ethelburga's Centre, London) with twenty years' experience, Understanding Islam is an introduction to Islamic theology, customs, philosophy, worldview, culture, scholarship, and history, accessible to lay readers of all backgrounds and featuring a fair amount of black-and-white photographs. ... Understanding Islam is as unbiased as humanly possible in its straightforward presentation. Enthusiastically recommended particularly for public libraries, and also as a detailed primer for anyone from lay people to scholars seeking to educate themselves about Islam and the people who practice it. - By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)[source: Amazon.com]
C. T. R. Hewer, Understanding Islam: An Introduction
Presence & Engagement Network: Understanding Islam Course: A ten-week course offered free throughout Greater London
Review by Burkhard Weitz, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Wntr, 2008
More reviews, here
Chapter One: The wider picture: creation from a Muslim perspective
Chapter Two: Muhammad, the last in the chain of Prophets
Chapter Three: The Qur’an, the Revealed Word of God
Chapter Four: An overview of Islamic history
Chapter Five: The central beliefs of Islam
Chapter Six: The principal practices of Islam
Chapter Seven: A Muslim life
Chapter Eight: Living constantly remembering God
Chapter Nine: Islam and other faiths
Chapter Ten: Muslims in Britain and Western Europe
Each salat (the five times each day ritual prayer) is made up of number of cycles of prayer, called rak'at.
... Each rak'a comprises recitation of the Qur'an, bodily postures and prayers, said aloud or silently (p. 102).
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