The Muslim Almanac: A Reference Work on Muslims Worldwide

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9780810389243: The Muslim Almanac: A Reference Work on Muslims Worldwide
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A collection of articles covers Islam from its beginnings in the seventh century to the present in all parts of the world.

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Not really an almanac (it has few tables or charts), this collection of articles covers Islam from its beginnings in the seventh century to the present in all parts of the world. The topically arranged signed articles range from 5 to 15 pages and were written by scholars from the U.S. and Islamic countries. Each article concludes with a bibliography, and the volume is illustrated with rather dark black-and-white photographs. A chronology of Islam and a gazetteer of nations giving the size of each's Muslim population precede the articles. A lengthy bibliography at the end of the volume is followed by a detailed index. It will be necessary to use the index to find any specific piece of information in the lengthy entries.

The four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World [RBB My 1 95] is truly an encyclopedia; one can look up specific topics such as Afterlife and Puberty Rites. It stresses the last two centuries and covers some topics not found in the almanac, such as economics (Banks and Banking). Oxford also contains biographies. Generally, though, the scope of the two works is much the same; the almanac covers the arts, science, law, the relationship of Islam with other world religions, and most other topics found in Oxford, though in broad articles, not specific entries, and with less detail. Libraries that own the Oxford Encyclopedia won't find The Muslim Almanac an essential purchase, though its articles are interesting and the book might find use in the circulating collection. Small academic libraries and public libraries that didn't buy the Oxford Encyclopedia will find the The Muslim Almanac a useful overview of this world religion, but it is not suitable for ready reference. Sandy Whiteley

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