Islam: Origin, Religious And Political Growth And Its Present State
This is a fascinating study of the origin and the religious and political development of Islam. The aggressive manner in which young Islam put itself in opposition to the rest of the world had the natural consequence of awakening an interest which was far from being of a friendly nature. Few religions, consequently, have been more culminated than Islam. The muslims of yore going through the world with Quran in one hand and sword in the other, going unbelievers the choice between conversion or death is a creation of legendary fancy. The present work earnestly attempts an extensive historico-critical investigation to the principles and progress of Islam without any preconceived opinions. It begins with a critical overview of the major attempts of European scholarship in the field of Islamic studies. This is followed by a detailed examination of the socio-political conditions under which Islam had its origin and expounds its important tenets highlighting the features which have given Islam its specific character. Not having burdened with sacrament and consequently with no priests to administer it, Islam has always been a layman?s religion par excellence. The author shows that though Jewish ritual and Christian religious rites strongly influenced its evolution, these adopted practices, rites and doctrines were submitted to a peculiarly Islamic treatment before they were made an integral part of the Islamic tradition. Since in the early days of Islam, the spiritual and the temporal functions were exercised by the same authority, the political development is of great importance for the understanding of its religious growth. The book provides an excellent survey of this development which witnessed in its course the increasingly rapid extension of Islam over a considerable part of the civilized world. The challenges posed by modern thought to the tenets and practices of Islam and the way in which it attempts to respond to them have been discussed in detail. Scholarly, critical and broadly sympathetic, Hurgronje?s Islam ranks high among the best treaties on Islam in recent rimes.
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