Editor's Note

This singular introduction to Islam in the English language presents, in one easily accessible volume, a coherent overview of the structures and practices of the faith of Islam. Informed by a profound level of Islamic scholarship, it answers many commonly asked questions of this much maligned faith.

It is the fruit of incessant questions 'Why?', that the almost unbelievably patient, kind, generous and knowledgeable Ayatollah Milani was prepared to give of his time to answer.

A quest to acquire knowledge of the faith, like any journey of discovery, is fraught with sometimes seemingly unsurpassable difficulty. Those who have not studied Islam and Islamic history in some depth find many mundane and profound issues difficult to access. For example: What was the cultural context in which Islam developed? What are the faith's core beliefs?

What is sacred to Muslims? What social behavior does Islam teach? What is the position of women in Islam? What are its main groupings? And, most importantly, how can one best worship Allah?

Allah willing, later volumes will provide greater detail on both scholarly and spiritual aspects of the faith.

Amar Hegedus