Bangura, A. K. (ed.). An Introduction to Islam." A Sociological Perspective. Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 2005. 181 pp.
An Introduction to Islam: A sociological perspective is an attempt in bringing the fundamental ideas of Islam found in the Qur'an (1) the Hadith, (2) and, the Shari'a (3) to an English speaking student audience. Islam, an ancient prescribed model of behavior is intertwined with an overarching history, politics, culture, law, theology, science, architecture, art, literature, and the foundation of many contemporary psychological theories. Islam has also been connected to harsh contemporary realities much of it centered around the West's historical desire to possess the Middle East.
Unrelenting in the form of the Medieval European crusade, the desire to conquer continued via widespread European colonization, by the establishment of the British mandate in Palestine and finally the military transformation of Palestine into Israel. This last occupation impacted and decided the various directions that the Middle East was to take in response to this reverberating loss, and the role that Islam was to play in these directions. Yet, despite the violence that has resulted from this loss, and despite continued Western military and economic designs on the Middle East, the daily application of Islam by millions of adherents continues. Edited by Abdul Karim Bangura, this volume is composed of 23 chapters, divided into three parts-Social Framework and Organizations; Social Institutions; and Social Stratification and Change. The latter includes social movements, change, and war. Each chapter begins with relevant sociological theories followed by an analysis based on Islamic doctrine and tradition. A synthesis of the discussion closes each chapter.
The volume begins with an introduction to the foundation of Islam, embodied in the Five Pillars, Iman or Faith, Salat or Prayer, Sawn or Fasting, Zakat or Almsgiving, and Hajj or Pilgrimage. It describes how each fits into the life of the individual and community and includes the moral and virtuous behavior advised in the Qur'an for both sexes. As the doctrines of Islam impact every aspect of life, the role of the woman as child, daughter, mother, wife, community member and self, is dispersed throughout three specified chapters, Sexuality; Family; and Gender Relations.
Because the role of the woman in Islam is often seen in the West as one of subjugation and oppression, because this...