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Friday, February 18, 2011

Understanding Islam: The First Ten Steps - Reading now

About the book:
"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 University

"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:]
Related links:
  • 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
  • Understanding Islam by Dr. Chris Hewer, Fortress Press (2006, fourth impression: 2010), 244 pages.

    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
    Further reading
    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).
    Previous posts on the same shelf:
  • Reading now: Do I Kneel or Do I Bow?
  • Did the Jews pray as Muslims do ?!
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