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Ideals and Realities of Islam

A revised and updated edition of the best-selling introduction to Islam written by one of the foremost scholars in the field. Ideals and Realities of Islam seeks to answer criticism brought against Islam by presenting the point of view of Islam. In six chapters dealing with the universal and the particular aspects of Islam, the Quran, the Prophet and the Prophetic tradition, the Shariah, Sufism, and Shiism, Seyyed Hossein Nasr outlines the essential aspects of the Islamic beliefs, making frequent references to other religions in general and Christianity in particular. Drawing mainly on the Quran and the hadith, but also on the works of some contemporary Western scholars, the author presents the Islamic spiritual and intellectual tradition in the light of contemporary modern thought. This edition includes a new introduction by the author and an updated annotated bibliography.
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Table of Contents

Preface by Titus Burckhardt; Foreword by Huston Smith; Introduction to the First Edition; Introduction to the New Edition; 1. Islam-the Last Religion and the Primordial Religion-its Universal and Particular Traits; 2. The Qur'an-the Word of God, the Source of Knowledge and Action; 3. The Prophet and Prophetic Tradition-the Last Prophet and Universal Man; 4. The 'Shari'a'-Divine Law-Social and Human Norm; 5. The 'Tariqa'-The Spiritual Path and its Qur'anic Roots; 6. Sunnism and Shi'ism-Twelve-Imam Shi'ism and Isma'ilism; Glossary of Technical Terms; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Seyyed Hossein Nasr was born in Tehran to a family of traditional scholars and physicians. After receiving his early education in Iran he went to America where he studied physics, and the history of science and philosophy at M.I.T. and Harvard, where he received his doctorate. Nasr was Professor at Tehran University and founder and first president of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He is currently Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University and author of numerous books including: 'Islam and the Plight of Modern Man', 'A Young Muslim's Guide to the Modern World' and 'Science and Civilization in Islam', all published by the Islamic Texts Society.


'Seyyed Hossein Nasr dominates his subject ... he unites in his person an Islamic structure which encompassed two points of view: that of religious law and contemplation, and a supreme knowledge of modern scientific methods.' From the Preface by Titus Burckhardt.

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