When Islam first appeared in 1961, the New York Times Book Review praised it for "conveying to the reader not only the fundamental elements which ... Show synopsis When Islam first appeared in 1961, the New York Times Book Review praised it for "conveying to the reader not only the fundamental elements which together make up the thought and society of Islam" but also for transmitting "something of the simple faith and beauty inherent to the Muslim religious experience." This new edition, revised and with a new introduction, presents one of the world's most vital religions and the defining force of the cultures of many peoples and nations. This new edition appears at a time when Islam is at the center of world events and when it has become commonplace to note how misunderstood it is. An attempt to clarify its many misrepresentations and to present the immense richness and power of this religion, Islam relies on primary sources, presenting an extensive selection of the most important writings of its scriptures and prophets, and of its legalists, the ologians, and mystics. John Alden Williams, the editor, provides an overall introduction and briefer, introductory notes on each selection, explaining its importance and relevance to the life of the religion. These primary sources reveal Islam's central teachings, its mythologies, doctrinal development, methods of ritual and worship, as well as its religious organiziation, and its social, political, and cultural attitudes. A comprehensive introduction to a religion at the center of world attention, Islam is an essential text for anyone looking for deeper understanding of one of humanity's greatest religions.