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By Huston Smith

I received Huston Smith's "Islam" for a church research crew. The ebook have been urged by means of one of many research workforce pariticpants and by way of a professor acquaintance who makes use of Smith's e-book in a survey of global religions. either gave it first-class stories. And so do I. The creation is principally key to realizing why all who're strange with Islam--or those that recognize in simple terms what they have gleaned from the media because Sep 11 may still know about it. Smith's Prologue explains why Islam is so vital a component of the Judeo-Christian traditions within the West. Smith makes use of cogent citations from numerous resources to underscore his statement and knowing of Islam. The subtitle, "A concise advent" is to be taken heavily; each be aware during this ebook counts. A fantastic thing about this ebook is that Smith provides a religion that we within the West think about unique and international, but is born of Abraham as are Judaism and Christianity. anything I discovered that made this brief booklet so necessary for me is that he explains basically why the Koran is so frequently misunderstood and why translations appear to be a litter of chopped up sentences that appear to not carry jointly. It nearly makes one are looking to study Arabic to be able to absolutely have fun with Islam as a religion and lifestyle. No, no, i've got no goal of changing, yet Smith's publication has helped me comprehend my very own Christian religion way more basically.

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Extra resources for Islam: A Concise Introduction

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In spite of their importance, however, the Koran is “a book which emphasizes deed rather than idea” (Muhammad Iqbal). It is to these deeds that we turn in the next two chapters. —6— The Five Pillars f a Muslim were asked to summarize the way Islam counsels people to live, the answer might be: It teaches them to walk the straight path. The phrase comes from the opening surah of the Koran, which is repeated many times in the Muslim’s five daily prayers. I In the Name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate: Praise be to Allah, Creator of the worlds, The Merciful, the Compassionate, Ruler of the day of Judgment.

Belief in the Koran occupies the decisive place it does 36 Islam because it is the analogue to a mountaineer’s assessment of Mount Everest: Its majesty is evident, but so are the dangers it presents. Mistakes could be disastrous. Koranic images of heaven and hell are pressed into full service here; but once we come to terms with the fear that life’s inbuilt precariousness inspires, other lesser fears subside. The second, supporting root of the word islam is peace. It is important to remember this last point, because the holy dread that Allah inspires led early Western students of the Koran to think that it outstrips God’s mercy.

The koranic word for human nature in Basic Theological Concepts 39 its God-established original is fitra, and it has been stained by no catastrophic fall. The closest Islam comes to the Christian doctrine of original sin is in its concept of ghaflah, or forgetting. People do forget their divine origin, and this mistake needs repeatedly to be corrected. But their fundamental nature is unalterably good, so they are entitled to self-respect and a healthy self-image. With life acknowledged as a gift from its Creator, we can turn to its obligations, which are two.

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