Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 1.04 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

Malise Ruthven
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.40 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 24 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.12  
Paperback 5.59  
Trade In this Item for up to 1.04
Trade in Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 1.04, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

26 Jan 2012 Very Short Introductions
Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction contains essential insights into issues such as why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shi'ites, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and the central importance of the Shar'ia (Islamic law) in Islamic life. It also offers fresh perspectives on contemporary questions: Why is the greatest 'Jihad' (holy war) now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil? Can women find fulfilment in Islamic societies? How must Islam adapt as it confronts the modern world? In this new edition, Ruthven brings the text up-to-date by reflecting upon some of the most significant changes in the Muslim world in recent years; from the emergence of al-Qaeda and the attacks on New York and Washington on 9/11 and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. Ruthven includes new material surrounding the concept of a globalized Islam, bringing into question the effects of economic globalization, the effect of international events in Middle Eastern countries, the issues surrounding Islam and democracy, and the reception and perception of Islam in the West. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Frequently Bought Together

Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) + Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) + Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Price For All Three: 16.77

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (26 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199642877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199642878
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


Review from previous edition very readable RE Today 01/01/2002 excellent little book The Guardian

About the Author

Malise Ruthven was born in Dublin of Hiberno-Scottish parentage. A former scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic and World Services, he holds an MA in English Literature and a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University. He has taught Islamic studies, cultural history and comparative religion at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, Birkbeck College, University of London, the University of California, San Diego, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire and at the Colorado College, Colorado Springs. He is the author of Islam in the World (Oxford University Press 1984, 1991, 2006 ) a highly acclaimed overview of Islamic faith and history. His review essays and blogs appear regularly in the New York Review of Books and in 2004 London's Prospect magazine ranked him among the 100 top public intellectuals in Britain.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but difficult 21 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is very good as an introduction to Islam but I did find the early chapters slightly confusing - not because it is badly written (it isn't) but simply because the early history of Islam is very confusing - the early doctrinal shifts. In other words, I suppose I would have preferred it to be even shorter and simpler. But that is a reflection of me. I certainly finished the book with a clearer understanding of what is happening in the modern world - which is what I wanted - and I finished the book with an increased admiration for Islam - a much-misunderstood religion. The maps are excellent.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 22 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it is recommended for an OU course. I am not Moslem so I needed a fairly basic introduction. Some books I looked at are so basic that they would insult almost anyone's intelligence, while others are aimed at people who already have a sound knowledge. This book is pitched at exactly the right level for the intelligent beginner.
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basics of islam 19 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is a taster to the basics of islam. Simple terms used with little mixing of theology. For those who want an overveiw if islam I would recommend this book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing 16 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to give me a basic introduction to the faith, what was involved and why and what it said about salvation. In fact I found it more about current political issues in Islam. If that is what you are looking for that is fine but it did not do what I needed it to do for me.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the cover 6 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not a spiritual guide to Islam. It is a fairly dense but brief introduction to the history of Islam as a religion and a political ideology. I downloaded it because I wanted to have a better understanding of its origins, the rise of Islamic sectarianism, it's teachings and impact in the world theatre today, without having to wade through any translated religious texts or spending an undue amount of time on the exercise. Although, I felt at the outset this text was probably aimed at someone with at least a passing acquaintance with the topic, I found it pretty easy to get through and do feel better informed. Not sure how much wiser I am though! The author gives a pretty unbiased account although he does offer his own conclusions at the very end. Good Kindle copy and recommend for people who want that brief overview.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars good overview 5 May 2014
By Chris
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good little guide which gives all the information you need to understand Islam at a glance. Well written and informative
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category