What do Muslims believe? Why do they pray five times a day, and what do these prayers mean? Are the conflicts between the Middle East and West truly reflective of a holy war? Christians are only beginning to understand Islam and the people who practice it. The media is full of images of fundamentalist extremists, violence and war, constantly blurring political and historical situations with religious identity. But the very word Islam is based on a root (s-l-m) related to the Hebrew word shalom, meaning peace. Allah is the Arabic name for the God of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. In diverse cultural contexts, Muslims pray and worship God and attempt to follow the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, just as Jews and Christians attempt to follow their Scriptures. Islam Considered: A Christian View gives an overview of the history, beliefs, and practices of Islam and explains some of the sources of tension between the Middle East and the West. In this lively and readable book, Patterson points out the common roots and shared values of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and assists Christians in identifying the connections between all three of the great monotheistic religions.
Margot Patterson is a journalist on the staff of the National Catholic Reporter.
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