This book helps to deepen our understanding of the varieties of contemporary Islam and the issues that are of most concern to Muslims today. Oliver Leaman explores some of the controversies and debates that exist within Islam and between Islam and other religions. He considers how the religion can be defined by looking at the contrast between competing sets of beliefs, and arguments amongst Muslims themselves over the nature of the faith. Areas covered include: Qur’anic interpretation, gender, finance, education, and nationalism. Examples are taken from a range of contexts and illustrate the diversity of approaches to Islam that exists today.
"Leaman has written a highly readable and informative work that assumes at the outset what many introductory textbooks only raise in passing: that traditions take shape and evolve as a result of difference and debate, that religious identity owes as much to what believers have rejected as to what they came to assert. A very useful addition to the literature." - Jeffrey T. Kenney, DePauw University, USA
"This fascinating work raises a series of challenging questions about the Islamic world and the Islamic faith and provides answers that are always provocative and insightful. Leaman’s analysis of aspects of Islam that are controversial for both Muslims and non-Muslims in both popular and scholarly discussions is marked by engaged and lucid debate; in every aspect, from belief in God to the value of yoga, no pretense is made that there are any easy answers. Readers will be rewarded with thought-provoking material for further discussion and consideration." - Andrew Rippin, University of Victoria, Canada
"A good overview of Islamic issues ranging from economics to education to morality. Summing Up: Recommended." -- G. M Smith, Delaware County Community College
Introduction 1. Islam and leadership of the community 2. Islam and the Qur’an 3. Islam and God 4. Islamic design 5. Islam and nationalism 6. Islam and equality 7. Islamic economics 8. Islam and morality 9. Islam and law 10. Islamic education 11. Islam and the Other 12. Islam and belief 13. Islam and Sufism 14. Islam and entertainment. Glossary. Bibliography. Index of Qur’anic passages.