Azimuth Editions in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies
Beginning in the world of late antiquity and the pre-Islamic period, the book takes the reader through Islam's formative era and early development in the Arabian Peninsula, the rise and decline of major Muslim dynasties and finally into its place in the modern world. Lavishly illustrated and written in an accessible style, Islam: An Illustrated Journey tells the story of Islam, a faith that is today practised by more than a billion people and is the fastest growing religion in the world. The book contains a multitude of images, graphics, maps and charts, features many of the masterpieces of art, architecture and literature produced by Muslims along with a detailed bibliography, and will appeal to both general audiences and enthusiasts of Islamic societies and cultures and world civilizations.
In Abraham’s Footsteps (4th century BCE–7th century CE)
God’s Messenger (ca. 570–632)
God’s Revelation (7th century–present)
Succession and the Early Caliphates (630–750)
Rivals and Revolutionaries (750–945)
Muslim Renaissance (945–1250)
Introspection and Invasion (1200–1800)
Last Empires (1500–1800)
Modern Muslims (1800–present)
‘The book’s strength lies in both its description of the central aspects of Islam’s development and in the way this history is so lavishly illustrated – not only in its images but also through a large number of helpful maps and historical timelines . . . It is the stunning images, page after page, showcasing the variety, craftsmanship and sheer beauty of Islamic civilization that stand out – a rich and incomparable material culture that makes this book so special.’
– Martin O'Kane, Professor of Biblical Studies at University of Wales, Trinity Saint David,Journal of Religious History, Literature & Culture
'This is a really beautiful book . . . a treasure trove for Muslim and non-Muslim readers alike, at a time when better understanding of Islam and its civilisation is greatly needed, in a fractured world.’
– Michael Wood, Historian and Broadcaster
'The choice of images in this beautifully illustrated historical overview speaks volumes about the multifaceted Islamic world, as does the layout design with double-paged spreads of short themed essays (e.g., on women, the importance of a particular site or how Islam traveled to China). The main narrative is equally compelling. The authors, whose combined expertise covers cultural, social, economic and Islamic history, discuss the influences of cultures on lslamic thought and practice; the role interpretation has played since Islam's earliest times; and the motivations of individual actors as they have pursued aspirations and responded to changing historical circumstances. One closes the book with a deeper understanding of Islam and an appreciation for the complexities of its journey.'
– Lee Lawrence
Farhad Daftary is co-director and head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications at the Institute of Ismaili Studies. An authority in Shi‘i studies, with special reference to its Ismaili tradition, Dr. Daftary has published and lectured widely in the field of Islamic studies.
Zulfikar Hirji is an Anthropologist and Social Historian of Muslim Societies and Cultures. He is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology at York University, Toronto.