VOICES OF ISLAM
(Five Volumes Set)
Despite frequent and extensive publications on Islam, very few Americans, indeed very few non-Muslims, truly understand the faith or the more than one billion adherents who live it. This set presents the diversity and richness of Islam, filling in the blanks and expanding our knowledge and understanding. Portraying Muslims in all their humanity and diversity balances the images that have bombarded society and presents the reader with a fuller and more accurate picture of the Islamic faith and what it means to live as a Muslim— in Muslim communities, and as part of a broader tapestry of pluralism in the nations of the world.
What does it mean to share MuSlim concerns? To experience Muslim spirituality? What is the difference between Sunni and Shiite sects? Why do Muslims pray so frequently? What is the reality of Muslim marriage and gender relations? What is the meaning of jihad and martyrdom to a practicing Muslim? ,What role do the arts and humanities play in modem Muslim life? How are Islamic children raised? These questions and others are answered in these volumes, which bring together Muslim voices from around the world, including men and women, scholars and laypersons, fundamentalists and progressives, and others from various cultural, political, and Islamic backgrounds. Personal experiences and poetry are induded to illustrate the many different expressions of Islam.
Because non-Muslims do not share a personal commitment to the Islamic faith, they are not in the best position to convey a sense of what it means to be a Muslim on the inside— to live a Muslim life, to share Muslim values and concerns, and to experience Islam spiritually. In the final analysis, only Muslims can fully bear witness to their own traditions from within.
The five-volume set of Voices of Islam is an attempt to meet this need. By bringing together the voices of nearly fifty prominent Muslims from around the world, it aims to present an accurate, comprehensive, and accessible account of Islamic doctrines, practices, and worldviews for a general reader at the senior high school and university undergraduate level. The subjects of the volumes— Voices of Tradition; Voices of the Spirit; Voices of Life: Family, Home, and Society, Voices of Art, Beauty, and Science; and Voices of Change were selected to provide as wide a depiction as possible of Muslim experiences and ways of knowledge. Taken collectively, the chapters in these volumes provide bridges between formal religion and culture, the present and the past, tradition and change, and spiritual and outward action that can be crossed by readers, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, many times and in a variety of ways.