Table of Contents

Foreword

Over the centuries, introductory books on Islam have tended to focus on the rituals of mosques and specific Islamic occasions. Little or no emphasis has been given to Islam's moral values or to its holistic view in which each individual's well-being is regarded as essential for the health and harmony of society.

Texts that present Islam from a historical viewpoint often ignore its intellectual and spiritual contributions to focus solely on territorial wars waged by caliphs and, in consequence, advance a view that Islam was spread by the sword.

Orientals texts, restricted to detailed investigation of specific aspects of Islam, largely ignore everything not directly related to the focus of their attention. However, it is no easier to comprehend the faith from a concentrated study of the minutiae of a specific matter, than it is to comprehend the lifestyle of an organism from a detailed study of its mitochondria.

Muslim youth often find it difficult to reconcile information from the above sources with what they have been taught by their parents. Faced with myriad ambiguities and mystifying reports, many are confused about their own identity, about how Muslims are expected to behave, and unable to distinguish between the core of Islam and the carapace of misconception that surrounds it.

The aim of this work is to replace bewilderment with the clarity that comes from profound study of the primary sources of Islamic thought - the Holy Qur’an and ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad (S) and error-free Imams of his progeny. Thus, it examines contemporary issues, fundamentalism, extremism, radicalism, etc., through researched insights into Muslim personality, moral behavior and Islamic teachings of justice and fairness.

Dr. Sayyid Fadhel Hosseini Milani