An Introduction to Islam in the 21st Century by Aminah Beverly McCloud

By Aminah Beverly McCloud

This enticing advent to Islam examines its lived reality,its all over the world presence, and the diversity of ideals and practicesencompassed via the faith. the worldwide point of view uniquelycaptures the variety of Islam expressed all through differentcountries at the moment. * A complete, multi-disciplinary, and international creation toIslam, overlaying its historical past in addition to present matters, experiences,and demanding situations * contains key new examine on Muslims from a spread ofcountries throughout Europe, Latin the USA, Indonesia, and MalaysiaCentral Asia * at once addresses arguable concerns, together with politicalviolence and terrorism , anti-western sentiments, andIslamophobia * Explores various responses from a variety of Islamic communitiesto globalizing tendencies * Highlights key styles inside Islamic historical past that shed lightupon the origins and evolution of present routine andthought

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The legacy of European colonialism has reshaped much of the world, particularly the Islamic world. On the one hand, exposure to the industrial civilization of Europe – and to the Enlightenment-derived norms that informed the West – forced societies throughout the world to re-evaluate their traditions in light of the modern era. The political boundaries of today’s nation-states were also defined during this period. In the Middle East, for example, these borders were a product of the SykesPicot agreement, which was negotiated between the British and the French.

However, to speak of Arabia without discussing the entire region to which it belongs is not to say much. Today, in the West, we refer to this region as the Middle East or the Near East. Situated at the center of the three major c­ ontinents of the so-called “Old World” – what we know as Africa, Asia, and Europe – the Near East was, and in many ways remains, the nexus of civilization. The peoples of this region have been witness to many civilizations of varying climes. But, of course, the region also produced what we consider to be the “first” ­civilizations.

A large part of its population was paying tribute to Medina, and a substantial part was under its direct rule. More to the point, the early Muslim community had made incursions to the north against the outposts of the Byzantine Empire in the desert. It is in this context that Abu Bakr succeeded the Prophet as the head of both the religious and the political community and came to be known as the first “caliph” (khalīfah, “successor”). There is much to be said about how Abu Bakr ­succeeded Muhammad, but for now we will focus our sights on the administration 17 18 Islam: Image and Reality of the Arabs under his rule.

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