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Islam The Straight Path Analysis

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Summary
Today, when many in the West think of the Islamic religion, the immediate thought that follows is terrorism. There are several reasons for this, none the least the amount of media attention that circulates in the evening news. These show Muslims hijacking planes or trains, committing suicide bomb attacks, capturing yet another prisoner who dared question their authority, or pledging war against Israel or fellow Muslims who do not believe after they do. In Islam: The Straight Path, John Esposito attempts to address many common misconceptions that those looking from the outside have regarding this great world religion that counts more than one billion people as its followers.
Esposito begins by tracing the historical development of Islam from its humble beginnings with Muhammad and his revelation of the Quran. He describes the basic tenets of belief that are found in the Quran, along with its development through the Golden Age of Islam expansion during the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates. He continues looking at its growth and enlargement up to the modern period, where the “neorevivalists” attempted to harmonize the basic principles of Islam with the ever-growing thoughts of the enlightened and western-dominated contemporary life. Through it all, though there were changes that occurred as was necessary with the passing of time, Islam was able to keep its core beliefs relatively intact and this has led to a stronger commitment and foundation for their belief and practice.
Esposito then proceeds to elaborate on the basic tenets of Islam. He describes Islam’s basic theology, and with that, the historical development of Islamic Law, including its sources, reasonings, and of course, the differing interpretations regarding it. I...

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...second-largest religion.
Today, Islam is alive and vibrant. The future looks promising, though there are challenges it must conquer if it wishes to persist. The internal challenges include divisions and factions rising up either through power struggles or to justify a strong held belief. The external challenges include misinterpretations about its beliefs and practices; scare because of its extremist followers; or outright hate for the Islamic religion. If history were to be give us a hint, however, there need not be anything to be concerned about. As in the past, Islam will survive and thrive in any environment. If Christians want to be part of a world that could very well soon be one with more Muslims than Christians, they need to begin to understand their beliefs and practices and work alongside each other for the good of humanity. Only then will they flourish.
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