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Introduction

The publishers of An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam may safely claim that this encyclopedia is the first of its kind in the literary world. In its presentation of the true historical picture of Islam, and in the lasting influence that it leaves on its readers, the encyclopedia is the perfect gift for friends, relatives and clients alike.

In its essence, An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam covers the religious dimensions of Islam and its development in various parts of the world. Cultural issues which are of significance within the historical canvass of Islam like calligraphy and language have also been made the subject of study. Entries on Muslim revivalists of the last century and earlier and their contribution to Islamic thought give the reader an idea of the historical context which the encyclopedia strives to place before him, all the while tracing developments from the life of the Prophet to the present day. It is not too surprising, therefore, that even subjects of contemporary interest generate a historical perspective. An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam seeks to contextualize contemporary Islam within Islam’s larger history. As such, it can easily serve as a standard reference source with its scholarly, yet highly readable, content.

Content and Authenticity

One particular quality of An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam is the almost palpable stress on authenticity of material used in its many hundred entries. Drawing upon trusted sources in the Arabic language, and translated into English, every sentence in the encyclopedia has been cross-checked for its correctness and authenticity. A proper list of references and bibliography cited at the end further enhances the value of the work.

Style & Diction

One distinguishing feature of An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam is the lively, engaging style of its discourse in all topics simple or sophisticated. The use of simple language has contributed greatly to this unique feature of the encyclopedia, allowing the young generation, thereby, to browse through the pages not only with ease but also sustained interest. In the making of each entry, the most important elements have been arrayed together, not in a dry, scholarly, matter-of-fact fashion, but in the aforementioned lively style. Much care has been taken to see to it that only such entries are included that are of common interest and, at the same time, have educational value. Quite apart from its trademark departure from the style of every other Islamic encyclopedia available, including the mammoth work of the Orientalists’ – The Brill Encyclopedia of Islam – the material presented is thorough-going. For instance, the articles on `Arsh, Ants, Fig, Fly, al-Kursiyy, Khadir, Allah’s Attributes, the Qur'anic literary challenge, introduction to Hadith Literature, or even lives of the renowned men of Islam may be compared with the same articles in any other encyclopedia to feel the difference between the content, spirit and method of presentation.

Presentation

The two volume set of 1300 pages comes in eye-catching colors and designs, not to mention the beautiful frames modified to suit the subject(s) that the respective pages deal with. Thus, every section of 50-100 pages is presented with a difference in design, background and color, thereby, aiding the reader in recollecting where certain information is located in the encyclopedia.

Illustrations: Attractive and relevant illustrations and photographs placed intelligently within the text of their respective entries, speak out eloquently on the achievements of the past generations of Muslims in a way that can scarce be expressed in any number of words. Every page is printed in high quality multi-colour layout: a feature which further enhances the visibility and appeal of the beautiful illustrations used throughout the encyclopedia.
Epigrams: The whole work has been strategically interspersed – within its pages – with anecdotes, sayings, events, and epigrams of such interest that one can sit down and read through these highlighted portions alone to end up feeling elated and educated.
Maps: One distinguishing feature of the presentation made in An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam is the use of fifty full-scale and unique multi-colour maps painstakingly developed complete with three-dimensional topographical features. Every one of these maps – whether of the Prophet’s Hijrah route from Makkah to Madinah or of the famous Battle of Yarmuk or of the journeys of the great Muhadditheen – attracts the eye and leaves the sight glued to it for minutes. Depicted with the right kind of details, the four dozen and more maps are a valuable possession in themselves, not to mention the excellent teaching tool that they represent for the young and old, especially among school and college teachers.
Charts: A variety of charts like the one showing the battles commanded by the prophet, and the comparative ratio which shows the numbers killed during these battles and the wars of modern times, help in understanding various aspects of Islam and leave clear images in the mind, deeply stirring the soul and affecting the psyche of the reader.
Externals: 220 x 290 mm, two unequal volumes of 1300 pages with jacket on each volume and encased in a beautiful slipcase.