An Intro­duc­tion to Islam for Jews

  • Review
By – February 15, 2012
Since most non-Mus­lims know lit­tle about Islam, a book explain­ing the reli­gion is very help­ful. Reuven Fire­stone, a rab­bi with a Ph.D in Islam­ic stud­ies, has writ­ten a schol­ar­ly but acces­si­ble intro­duc­tion to Islam with sec­tions explain­ing the Mus­lim rela­tion­ship with Jews and Islam’s response to Jew­ish texts. Begin­ning with a sur­vey of Islam­ic his­to­ry, Rab­bi Fire­stone focus­es on the role of the Jews dur­ing Islam’s emer­gence. He then explains the reli­gious sys­tem, look­ing at the lit­er­a­ture, the­ol­o­gy, scrip­ture, tra­di­tions, and laws. By exam­in­ing the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences betwen Judaism and Islam, the author helps Jew­ish read­ers under­stand dif­fi­cult con­cepts such as Jihad and the Islam­ic view of Jews, Chris­tians, and oth­er peo­ple of the book.” His treat­ment of the mate­r­i­al is objec­tive and thought­ful. This won­der­ful resource includes notes, a glos­sary, and a bibliography.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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