Aspects of Islamic Cultures

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The Foundations of Islam

Prof. Z.I. Ansari
Prof. I.I. Nawwab


The first volume is a presentation of the fundamental ideas that have inspired Muslims and shaped their outlook and moral values. Attention is drawn to the role of worship in Muslim life, the Muslim approach to God, and the Islamic view of man as a composite of divine and earthly elements, having a unique position on earth as the bearer of God’s trust. The meaning and significance of the Revelation and prophethood in Islamic tradition is explained. Muslims believe that God has intervened regularly in human affairs, through various prophets and messengers, a divine guidance which culminated in the coming of Prophet Muhammad. The two texts which contain teachings of Islam, the Koran and the Sunna, are discussed, as are the continual processes of interpretation and application of the original texts. It is shown that Islam is just as relevant today as it was in the seventh century.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Unity and Universality
Z.I.Ansari & I.I.Nawwab

I. The World View

1. Islam and Other Religious Traditions
M.H. Siddiqui

2. Islamic Approach to God
Nomanul Haq

3. Islamic View of Man
Mona Abul Fadl

4. This World and the Hereafter
M.A. Ghazali

5. Islamic View of the Universe

II. Revelation and Prophethood

1. Revelation and the Prophetic Tradition
Z.I. Ansari

2. The Prophet Muhammad: The Meccan Period

3. The Prophet Muhammad: The Madinan Period

4. The Message and its Impact
Ahmad Dallal

III. Sources

A. The Qur'an: the Prime Source

1. The Qur'anic Text

2. The Growth of Exegesis (Tafsir)

3. Major Themes and Characteristics of the Qur'an

B. The Sunnah

4. The Concept of Sunnah

5. The Sunnah as Application of the Qur'an

6. Early History and Methodology of the Hadith

7. The Hadith: Major Themes and Characteristics

C. Other Sources

8. Ijma Kamali

9. Qiyas Masud

IV. Islamic Life

1. Faith: the Shahadah
Marcia Hermansen

2. Worship: Prayer, Zakah, Fasting and Pilgrimage

3. Fiqh and Schools of Jurisprudence

4. Ethics
Z.I. Ansari

5. The Inner, Experiential Dimension

V Epilogue
Z.I. Ansari & I.I.Nawwab