Islam (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Jul 8, 2008 - Religion - 112 pages
6 Reviews

The world's premier authority on religious traditions presents a concise and timely guide to the history, teachings, and practice of Islam.

Drawn from his masterful presentation of Islam in the bestselling book The World's Religions (over two million copies sold), Huston Smith offers a revealing look into the heart of a tradition with more than one billion adherents worldwide. Dispelling narrow and distorted notions about the nature of Islam and featuring a new introduction by the author, this book compellingly conveys the profound appeal of Islam, while addressing such timely issues as the true meaning of jihad, the role of women in Islamic societies, and the remarkable growth of Islam in America.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Islam: A Concise Introduction

User Review  - Dennis - Goodreads

In a quest to better understand the religion of Islam, this book was recommended to me. It is, as the title says, a concise overview. The author does his best to present the religion in an easy to ... Read full review

Review: Islam: A Concise Introduction

User Review  - Goodreads

I love Huston Smith's work at explaining the world's religions, and those whose faith drawn to them. He is honest, willing to deal with both the uplifting and disturbing, without being judgmental. His book The World's Religion is a great resource. Read full review


Islamic Background
The Seal of the Prophets
The Migration That Led to Victory
The Standing Miracle
Basic Theological Concepts
The Five Pillars
Social Teachings
Whither Islam?

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 27 - The harmony and copiousness of style will not reach, in a version, the European infidel: he will peruse with impatience the endless incoherent rhapsody of fable, and precept, and declamation, which seldom excites a sentiment or an idea, which sometimes crawls in the dust, and is sometimes lost in the clouds.
Page 27 - No people in the world, perhaps, manifest such enthusiastic admiration for literary expression and are so moved by the word, spoken or written, as the Arabs. Hardly any language seems capable of exercising over the minds of its users such irresistible influence as Arabic.
Page 40 - For when all is said and done, we are in the end absolutely dependent on the universe; and into sacrifices and surrenders of some sort, deliberately looked at and accepted, we are drawn and pressed as into our only permanent positions of repose. Now in those states of mind which fall short of religion, the surrender is submitted to as an imposition of necessity, and the sacrifice is undergone at the very best without complaint. In the religious life, on the contrary, surrender and sacrifice are positively...
Page 89 - By hurtling in your own accustomed way you cannot get across. You will either disappear or become a marsh. You must allow the wind to carry you over, to your destination.
Page 27 - I must say, it is as toilsome reading as I ever undertook. A wearisome confused jumble, crude, incondite; endless iterations, long-windedness, entanglement; most crude, incondite insupportable stupidity, in short! Nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran.
Page 36 - Almighty, the Allwise, is also the King, the Holy, the Peaceful, the Faithful, the Guardian over His servants, the Shelterer of the orphan, the Guide of the erring, the Deliverer from every affliction, the Friend of the bereaved, the Consoler of the afflicted ; in His hand is good, and He is the generous Lord, the Gracious, the Hearer, the Near-at-Hand, the Compassionate, the Merciful...
Page 88 - A stream, from its source in far-off mountains, passing through every kind and description of countryside, at last reached the sands of the desert. Just as it had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one, but it found that as fast as it ran into the sand, its waters disappeared. It was convinced, however, that its destiny was to cross this desert, and yet there was no way. Now a hidden voice, coming from the desert itself, whispered: "The Wind crosses the desert, and so can...
Page 42 - When the sun shall be folded up, and the stars shall fall, and when the mountains shall be set in motion...
Page 47 - Thee (alone) do we worship, and of Thee (alone) do we ask Aid. "Guide us to the Path that is straight "The Path of those for whom thy Love is great, not those on whom is Hate, nor they that deviate. "Amen!

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2008)

Huston Smith is internationally known and revered as the premier teacher of world religions. He is the focus of a five-part PBS television series with Bill Moyers and has taught at Washington University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and the University of California at Berkeley. The recipient of twelve honorary degrees, Smith's fifteen books include his bestselling The World's Religions, Why Religion Matters, and his autobiography, Tales of Wonder.

Bibliographic information