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The Faith of Islam   By: (1839-1932)

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In "The Faith of Islam" by Edward Sell, readers are introduced to an enlightening exploration of the principles and teachings of Islam. As a renowned scholar, Sell provides a comprehensive and objective analysis of the religion, its origins, and its essential beliefs.

One of the book's main strengths is its accessible language, making it suitable for both students and general readers with limited prior knowledge of Islam. Sell breaks down complex concepts into digestible pieces, allowing readers to grasp the nuances of Islamic theology without feeling overwhelmed. The author's ability to present multifaceted ideas in a straightforward manner is commendable.

Sell's book offers a fascinating historical account of the life of Prophet Muhammad, contextualizing the birth of Islam within the sociopolitical landscape of 7th-century Arabia. This approach helps readers understand the religious and cultural factors that contributed to the development of Islam. Historical references are neatly woven into the narrative, enhancing the reader's comprehension of the subject matter.

Moreover, the author strives to dispel common misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam. Sell addresses key themes such as the concept of jihad, the treatment of women, and the relationship between Islam and other religions. Through a meticulous examination of Islamic texts and teachings, he illustrates the diversity within the faith and highlights its core values of peace, justice, and equality.

"The Faith of Islam" also delves into the various branches and sects within Islam, elucidating the differences between Sunni, Shia, and Sufi practices. Here, Sell's objective and unbiased tone allows readers to see the diversity of beliefs within the religion, fostering a deeper understanding and respect for the Islamic faith as a whole.

Although the book provides a wealth of information, it occasionally falls into the trap of excessive detail, overwhelming readers with a barrage of names, dates, and terminologies. A more concise approach in certain sections might have helped sustain readers' interest and prevent information from becoming overly burdensome.

Despite this minor drawback, Edward Sell's "The Faith of Islam" is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking an insightful introduction to the Islamic faith. Sell's straightforward style, comprehensive analysis, and commitment to dispelling misconceptions make this book a valuable addition to the study of world religions. Whether for academic purposes, interfaith dialogue, or personal edification, this text serves as a valuable starting point for engaging with Islam's beliefs, history, and impact on society.

First Page:

Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they are listed at the end of the text. Original page numbers are shown as {99}.






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The following pages embody a study of Islám during a residence of fifteen years in India, the greater part of which time I have been in daily intercourse with Musalmáns. I have given in the footnotes the authorities from which I quote. I was not able to procure in Madras a copy of the Arabic edition of Ibn Khaldoun's great work, but the French translation by Baron M. de Slane, to which I so frequently refer, is thoroughly reliable. The quotations from the Qurán are made from Rodwell's translation. The original has been consulted when necessary.

A few slight and occasional errors in transliteration have occurred, such as Sulát for Salát, Munkar for Munkir, &c., but in no case is the meaning affected.

In some words, such as Khalíf, Khalífate, and Omar, I have retained the anglicised form instead of using the more correct terms, Khalífa, Khiláfat, 'Umr... Continue reading book >>

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