The reference literature for Islam has long consisted of either a densely academic, multivolume encyclopedia or several, often specialized, single-volume works with brief definitions. Happily, there is now a reference work falling between these two extremes. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World is a scholarly work “about Islamic cultures, religion, history, politics, and the like as well as the people who have identified with Islam over the past fourteen centuries.”
A team of international scholars is responsible for the 515 entries, which are arranged alphabetically and range from 200 to 5,000 words in length. Many include some sort of illustration and end with helpful see also references and excellent supplemental bibliographies. A useful index completes the set. Coverage includes the religious dimensions of Islam as well as the development of the tradition in various parts of the world (e.g., Africa, South Asia, U.S.). Cultural issues of importance to the history of Islam (e.g., architecture, calligraphy, language) are also treated. Entries such as Political organization and Political thought demonstrate the historical completeness for which the encyclopedia strives, tracing developments from the life of the Prophet to the present day. Even topics of contemporary interest include a historical perspective. The entry for Jihad describes the many meanings of the term, including its contemporary association with violence, and how the concept has developed historically. The treatment of secularization in the Muslim world includes a comparison to historical events in the West, thereby helping the reader to understand that it cannot be understood solely from a Western perspective. Finally, the biographical entries include important figures from the religious, cultural, and political history of the Muslim world.
The Iranian production depicting the life of Mary mother of Jesus from classical Islamic readings. A two-hour long movie originally in Persian and dubbed into English by the Wilayah Network. It is the story of the life of Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ – a prophet in Islamic tradition. Along with the character of Saint Mary, this film also presents the Righteous character of Prophet Zacharias, the guardian of Saint Mary.
“Quranflash” had started in February 2007 as a simple microsite displaying the Holy Quran (Medina layout), in a very interactive way. The project had taken approximately 2 months of work to be accomplished by a few volunteers. The idea behind Quranflash came from a project developed and managed by the same members, Flash-eBook.com. Flash-eBook is an online service which digitizes books and displays them in a very attractive and easily interactive way, using flash technology. Quranflash was initially a demo for large scale applications using Flash-eBook.
However, Quranflash had opened people’s hearts and became a popular method of reading Quran, receiving unexpected numbers of over 10 thousand visitors daily. Therefore a decision was made to renovate the website design-wise as well as function-wise, especially incorporating the option of selecting among different Quran books to read. It is worth noting here to our fellow non-Muslims that there is only one version of the Quran, but the different books here represent different styles of writing to enhance the reading, understanding, and/or memorization process. This renovation has taken approximately 4 months, and through Allah’s will, was completed by the end of August 2007.