An Introduction to Islam for Jews

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-05-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr
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Helping Jews understand Islam--a reasoned and candid view Muslim-Jewish relations in the United States, Israel, and Europe are tenuous. Jews and Muslims struggle to understand one another and know little about each other's traditions and beliefs. Firestone explains the remarkable similarities and profound differences between Judaism and Islam, the complex history of Jihad, the legal and religious positions of Jews in the world of Islam, how various expressions of Islam (Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, Salafi, etc.) regard Jews, the range of Muslim views about Israel, and much more. He addresses these issues and others with candor and integrity, and he writes with language, symbols, and ideas that make sense to Jews. Exploring these subjects in today's vexed political climate is a delicate undertaking. Firestone draws on the research and writings of generations of Muslim, Jewish, and other scholars, as well as his own considerable expertise in this field. The book's tone is neither disparaging, apologetic, nor triumphal. Firestone provides many original sources in translation, as well as an appendix of additional key sources in context. Most importantly, this book is readable and reasoned, presenting to readers for the first time the complexity of Islam and its relationship toward Jews and Judaism.

Author Biography

Reuven Firestone is professor of Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xvi
A Survey of Islamic History
Why an Introduction to Islam Specifically for Jews?p. 3
Arabs and Israelitesp. 5
Pre-Islamic Originsp. 10
The Emergence of Islamp. 17
Muhammad and the Jews of Medinap. 33
The Death of the Prophet and the Expansion of the Communityp. 43
The Conquestsp. 52
The Caliphal Dynastiesp. 60
The Decline of the Muslim Worldp. 70
God, The Qur'an, and Islamic Law
Godp. 79
The Five Doctrines or "Pillars of Faith"p. 85
The Evolution of a Formal Theologyp. 92
The Qur'anp. 100
The Interpretive Traditionp. 114
The Prophetic Recordp. 124
Islamic Lawp. 134
The Workings of Shari'ap. 142
The Umma: Islam in Practice
The Umma and The Caliphatep. 149
The Five Pillars of Islamp. 157
A Sixth Pillar? Jihadp. 176
The Range of Practice among Muslimsp. 184
Sufismp. 191
The Shi'ap. 199
Mosque and Clergyp. 202
The Calendarp. 205
The Muslim Life-Cyclep. 210
Personal Observancep. 225
Epiloguep. 235
Endnotesp. 240
Islam and Judaism: Some Related Religious Terminologyp. 253
Glossaryp. 254
Bibliographyp. 269
Scriptural Index: Verses from the Qur'an and the Biblep. 273
Subject Indexp. 282
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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