This comprehensive, accessible, and authenticated guide to Islam is essential to understanding the world's fastest-growing religion. This essential guide to Islam covers every aspect of the Muslim faith and its history - from the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the teachings of the Koran to Islam in the 21st century. Celebrating the scientific, literary, and artistic achievements of the Islamic Golden Age and the ideas of philosophers and theologians across the centuries, it opens a window on the Islamic world. Clear factual writing offers insight into terms like Sharia law, the Caliphate, and jihad; Sunni and Shia divisions; and Sufi poetry and music. Images of Islamic art, architecture, calligraphy, and historical artifacts illustrate the articles while the Big Ideas' trademark infographics and flowcharts explore and explain the central tenets of Islam, such as prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage. Modern issues such as fundamentalism are discussed in context alongside the work of peaceful traditionalists, modernizers, and women's rights campaigners, among others. Packed with inspiring quotations and bold illustrations, this book is an invaluable source of information both for members of one of the world's major religions and readers looking for a clear unbiased guide to the meaning of this faith.