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What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, Second Edition

John L. Esposito

This accessible, yet authoritative work is the first place to look for information on the faith, customs, and political beliefs of the one billion people who call themselves Muslims. Esposito presents in question-and-answer format the information that most people want to know. The content includes succinct, accessible, sensitive, and even-handed answers to questions that range from the general—"What do Muslims believe?" and "Who was Muhammad?"—to more specific—"Is Islam compatible with modernization, capitalism and democracy?" "How do Muslims view Judaism and Christianity?" "Are women second-class citizens in Islam?" "What is jihad?" "Does the Quran condone terrorism?" "What does Islam say about homosexuality, birth control, abortion, and slavery?"

Published by Oxford University Press, 2011.


Why do we need to know about Islam?
Are all Muslims the same?
How many Muslims are there, and where do they live?


What do Muslims believe?
Why do Muslims say they are descended from Abraham?
How did Islam originate?
What is the Muslim scripture?
Why is Arabic so important in Islam?
What role does Muhammad play in Muslim life?
Was Muhammad a prophet like the prophets in the Bible?
Why is so much known about Muhammad's life?
Why do Muslims object to images of Muhammad?
Did Muhammad have multiple wives?
What do Muslims believe about a worldwide Muslim community (ummah)?
What are the core beliefs and practices that unite all Muslims?
What do Muslims do on the pilgrimage to Mecca?
What is the Kaaba?
What is the significance of Mecca?
How do Muslims pray?
Do Muslims believe in angels?
How do Muslimas view the Day of Judgment?
Do Muslims believe in heaven and hell?
What are Muslim women promised in the afterlife?
Do Muslims believe in saints?
Do Muslims believe in sin and repentance?
What do Muslims believe about Mary and Jesus?
Do Muslims have a Sabbath like Jews and Christians?
Do Muslims have a weekly worship service?
Do Muslims have religious holidays or holy days?
Does Islam have a clergy?
What is a mosque?
What is an Islamic center?
What is a madrasa?
Are there any divisions in Islam?
What is the difference between Sunni and Shii Muslims?
What are the divisions among Shii Muslims?
Who is the Aga Khan?
What is Wahhabi Islam?
What is Salafi Islam?
Is there a difference between Muslims and Black Muslims?
Who are the Sufis?
Who are these Islamic fundamentalists?
Is Islam medieval and against change?
Is Islam compatible with modernization?
Are there any modern Muslim thinkers or reformers?


Do Muslims believe Islam is the only true religion?
What about Muslim religious intolerance?
How is Islam similar to Christianity and Judaism?
How do Muslims view Judaism? Christianity?
Why do Muslims persecute Christians in Muslim countries?
Haven't Jews and Christians always been enemies of Islam?
Who won the Crusades?
Are Muslims involved in interfaith dialogue?


Why does Islam separate men and women?
Are women second-class citizens in Islam?
What do Muslims say about women's rights?
What kinds of roles did women play in early Islam?
Why do Muslim women wear veils and long garments?
Why do Muslim men wear turbans or caps?
Why do Muslim men wear beards?
Does Islam require circumcision?
Is the practice of Muslim arranged marriages changing?
Can Muslim men have more than one wife?
Can Muslims marry non-Muslims?
What does Islam have to say about domestic violence?
How does Islam treat divorce?
Why are Muslims reluctant to shake hands?
How do Muslims feel about pets, or petting animals?
What is Islam's attitude toward alcohol and pork?
Why are Muslims against dancing?
Why are some Muslims opposed to music?
What is Muslim hip hop?
How do Muslims greet each other and why?
Why do Muslims say "Peace be upon him?" What does PBUH mean?
How does Islam handle burial and cremation?
What does Islam say about the environment?


What is jihad?
Is there a global jihad today?
Is Islam a primary cause and driver of terrorism?
How can Islam be used to justify terrorism, hijackings, and hostage taking?
Does Islam permit suicide bombers?
Why are Muslims so violent?
Who are the "moderate" Muslims?
Why haven't Muslims denounced terrorism?
Do Muslims have a martyrdom complex?
Why do they hate us?
Why was Salman Rushdie condemned to death?


What is Islamic law?
Do Muslims today want Shariah law?
Will Muslims impose Shariah in the West?
What is the role of a fatwa?
What does Islamic law say about marriage, divorce, and inheritance?
What does Islam say about homosexuality?
What does Islam say about abortion?
What does Islam say about birth control?
What does Islam say about stem cell research?
What does Islam say about slavery?
Is honor killing sanctioned by Islam?
How does Islam view female genital mutilation?
Why are Islamic punishments for crimes so harsh?
Why don't Muslims practice a separation of church and state?
Why does religion play such a big role in Muslim politics?
What is Islamism?
Why do Muslims reject secularism?
Why is Jerusalem so important to Muslims?
Is Islam compatible with democracy?
Are Muslims in America more loyal to the Qur'an or the Constitution?
Why aren't Muslim countries more democratic?
Does Islam reject Western capitalism?
What does Islam have to say about poverty and social justice?
Are Muslim Americans engaged in community service?
What is Islamic finance and banking?
Are there Muslim televangelists-preachers?
What role does the Internet play in Islam today?
What are the major obstacles to Islamic reform?
Is there a clash of civilizations?
What contributions have Muslims made to world civilizations?


Who are the Muslims of America?
What kinds of problems do Muslims face in America?
Who and where are the Muslims of Europe?
What kinds of problems do Muslims in Europe face?
What is Islamophobia?

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