Islam For Dummies (Google eBook)

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Mar 10, 2011 - Religion - 384 pages
13 Reviews
Many non-Muslims have no idea that Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews, and that Islam preaches compassion, charity, humility, and the brotherhood of man. And the similarities don’t end there. According to Islamic teaching, Muhammad founded Islam in 610 CE after the angel Gabriel appeared to him at Mecca and told him that God had entered him among the ranks of such great biblical prophets as Abraham, Moses, and Christ.

Whether you live or work alongside Muslims and want to relate to them better, or you simply want to gain a better understanding of the world’s second largest religion, Islam For Dummies can help you make sense of this religion and its appeal.  From the Qur’an to Ramadan, this friendly guide introduces you to the origins, practices and beliefs of Islam, including:

  • Muhammad, the man and the legend
  • The Five Pillars of Wisdom
  • The Five Essentials beliefs of Islam
  • The different branches of Islam and Islamic sects
  • The Qur’an and Islamic law
  • Islam throughout history and its impact around the world

Professor Malcolm Clark explores the roots of Islam, how it has developed over the centuries, and it’s long and complex relationship with Christianity. He helps puts Islam in perspective as a major cultural and geopolitical force. And he provided helpful insights into, among other things:

  • Muhammad, the Qur’an and the ethical teachings of Islam
  • Muslim worship, customs, and rituals surrounding birth, marriage, and death
  • Shi’ites, Sunnis, Sufis, Druze, and other important Muslim groups
  • Islam in relation to Judaism and Christianity

In these troubled times, it is important that we try to understand the belief systems of others, for through understanding comes peace. Islam For Dummies helps you build bridges of understanding between you and your neighbors in the global village.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Islam for Dummies: A Reference for the Rest of Us!

User Review  - Craig Patton - Goodreads

First, the author of this book was a college professor and this "dummies" book reads as if it was written for a college course. Second, the author does have a tendency to repeat himself in several ... Read full review

Review: Islam for Dummies: A Reference for the Rest of Us!

User Review  - Tamer - Goodreads

The write should first fix his own preconceived ideas about Islam before he tries to fix it for his readers. As a Muslim, it was very annoying to read even from page one! Read full review


Chapter 11
Reviewing the Starting Points for Islamic Ethics
Illustrative texts
Sources for ethical guidance
Dealing with sins major and minor
Understanding Sexual Ethics
Outlining Ethics Regarding Marriage and Family
The role of women

Dividing into Branches
Locating Islam on the World Map
Chapter 2
The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs
Abu Bakr 632634
Umar 634644
Uthman 644656
Expanding the state
The Golden Age
Umayyad rule 661750
Abbasid rule 7501258
Bridging the Gap
Three Great Later Empires
The Turks
The Iranians
Islam in South Asia
Chapter 3
Allah Equals God
Testifying to Gods Supremacy
Defining the Attributes of God
Loving and Knowing God
Invoking the 99 Names of God
Dividing the names into categories
Chapter 4
Believing in God
Believing in Gods angels
Believing in Gods books and in Gods messengers
Believing in the last day and the resurrection from the tomb
Explaining the Faith to NonMuslims
Dealing with Difficult Faith Issues
Naming some theological issues
Relating faith to works
Created or eternal Quran
Chapter 5
Understanding Other Beings beyond God and Humans
Aladdins lamp and the jinn
The Devil made me do it
From Life to Death to Resurrection
The resurrection and the final judgment
Facing the unresolved issues
Envisioning Heaven and Hell
Heaven and its delights
Women and the houris in heaven and hell
Part II
Chapter 6
Arabia before Muhammad
Two key cities
The beduin
Telling the Story of Muhammad
Summoning the people of Mecca
Facing opposition
Establishing the community in Medina
A chronology from 622 to 630
Thinking about Muhammad Theologically
Living like the beautiful example
Respecting Muhammad as intercessor
Exalting Muhammad in poetry
Preserving the relics of Muhammad
NonMuslim biographies
Chapter 7
What is scripture?
Hearing the Quran
Treating the Quran with Respect
Pronouncing the Quran
The Muslim view
The view of nonMuslim scholars
A radical view
The Style of the Quran
The idiom of the Quran
The inimitability of the Quran ijaz
The problem of shifting perspectives in the Quran
Exoteric and esoteric interpretation
Using the Quran in Daily Life
The Fatiha
Chapter 8
Understanding the two parts of a hadith
Collecting the hadiths
Evaluating the hadiths
Using hadiths in more modern times
Rooting out the four roots of law usul alfiqh
The Schools of law madhhab
Making a decision
Reforming the law
Part III
Chapter 9
Getting Ready for Worship
Sources of impurity
Where do Muslims pray?
Calling to prayer adhan
Doing the first raka bowing
Adding additional rakas and voluntary prayers
Gathering for Friday congregational prayer
The mosque masjid
Helping the Needy
Reflecting and Fasting
Dawn to dust
The meaning of saum during Ramadan
Id alfitr feast of the breaking of the fast
The center of the earth
The days of pilgrimage
Making the side trip to Medina alziyarah
Chapter 10
Rituals Linked to the Yearly Calendar
Typical elements in the celebration of the maulid
Honoring the saints
Reviewing other rituals
Marking Lifes Transitions
Receiving a name
Circumcising khitan
Coming of age
Getting hitched
Knocking on deaths door
Observing Everyday Customs
Dressing the part
Minding your manners
Looking at Womens Rituals
Medical ethics
Social and economic justice
Political issues
Part IV
Chapter 12
Keeping the Faith in the Family
Designating Ali as Muhammads successor
Reviewing Two Foundational Events of Shiism
The march of the penitents
Iran becomes a Twelver Shiite state
Making pilgrimage to the imams tombs
The mullas
Shiite philosophers and theologians
Shiites Sufis and Sunnis
Shiites and Sunnis
Chapter 13
Searching for God
Textual and historical foundations
Believing in the Sufi Manner
Outstanding Individual Sufis
Organizing the Sufi Community
Acting in the Sufi Manner
Communal dhikr with sama
Establishing the Sufi Brotherhoods
Rejecting Sufism
Chapter 14
Ibadis the early Kharijites
Zaydis or Fiver Shiites
Mustali Tayyibis and Bohras are all the same almost
On the Fringes of Islam and Beyond
Alawis Nusayris
Chapter 15
Snapshot of American Muslims today
Calculating the numbers
Establishing national Islamic organizations
Reestablishing a Black Muslim Community
Noble Drew Ali
Elijah Muhammad
Warith Deen Mohammed
Reviving the Nation of Islam
Shiites in America
Facing the Future as Muslim Americans
External issues
Part V
Chapter 16
Worshipping the same God
Sharing the same book
Reading the Bible in the Quran
The Adam story
Abraham Lot Ishmael and Isaac
The Moses story
The death of Jesus
Muhammad in the Bible
Muslims Facing Other Religions
Moving Toward Religious Dialogue
Principles of dialogue
The future of interreligious relations
Chapter 17
Taking the pulse of the Muslim world
Listing Muslim complaints against the West and possible Western responses
Listing concerns of American Muslims
Hearing American Concerns Regarding Muslims
Facing the Major Issues
Human rights
Knowing Whats Needed from the Muslim Side
Chapter 18
Reclaiming Identity as an Islamic State
Three Islamist movements
Identifying what separates Islamist reformers from Islamist radicals
Forming a Shiite Islamic Republic
Taking Iran in a new direction
Facing the future
bin Laden and Afghanistan
Bin Laden and alQaeda
Part VI
Chapter 19
Algebra and Mathematics
Taj Mahal
Chapter 20
Wielding the Sword of Saladin
Ibn Rushd
Ibn Khaldun
Ali Shariati
Naguib Mahfouz
Chapter 21
Southeast Asia and the Pacific
The Balkan States
Kosovo and Albania
The Former Soviet Union
Part VII
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
The Quran
Video Resources
Islam on the Web
And Finally

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Professor Malcolm Clark taught in the Department of Religion at Butler University for 30 years.

Bibliographic information