This invaluable book offers a profound understanding of the history of Muslims and their faith, from the life of Muhammad to the religion practised by 1.6 billion people around the world today.
Each of its eleven chapters explains a core aspect of the faith in historical perspective, allowing readers to gain a sensitive understanding of the essential tenets of the religion and of the many ways in which the present is shaped by the past. This is an ideal introductory text for courses in Middle Eastern studies, in religious studies, or on Islam and its history.
Winner of the 2016 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding
'What Carole Hillenbrand has achieved in her magnificent new book is breathtaking. The book is brilliantly organized and written with compelling clarity, which will make it the indispensable introduction to the subject for a long time to come'
Dr Richard Holloway, author of Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt
'I cannot remember the last time I so much enjoyed reading a text on Islam. It is extremely well researched and the flowing writing style makes you want to finish it in one sitting'
H.R.H. Wijdan (Ali Al-Hashemi, Ph.D, diplomat and founder of the Jordan National Gallery
'This book is well argued and well structured. It is balanced, judicious, and based on a wealth of erudition and astute observations'
Youssef Choueiri, University of Manchester