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Islam is one of the Semitic Religions thus one of the greatest religions of the world, and it is not easy to present a complete description of this religion in a Compact Survey, as this book is. It is also not easy to understand the practical life of the Muslims without some knowledge of their religious-social life. For that, one needs to have a complete understanding of the principal institution of Islam. A compact exposition of Muslim institutions covers at least important aspects of Arab-Muslim life. Keeping in mind these facts, I have tried to deal with the origin, background, and the rise of Islam; the dogmas and the superstitions of the faith; the sources and practice of Muslim law, the family life; and Sufism. It packs an immense amount of information even though there are still other aspect to be dealt with. Concerning the life of the Prophet, it is well-known that Muhammad b. 'Abdullah was born about 570 C.E. in Mecca (al-Makkah), the son of a Korashite family. Orphaned early, he grew up under the care of his nearest relatives. His father had already died so he was brought up by his nearest relatives—his grandfather aand his uncle. He was a shepherd during his boyhood age. It is also reported that unlike other boys, Muhammad was thoughtful, rather than playful. At the age of about twenty-five, he became the business adviser of a famed widow named Khadija, who was fifteen years his senior. Eventually he became her third husband. We do not know much about his early religious life. He seems, however, to have begun early to meditate on the values of life, and to have had an unusually nervous, “high-strung constitution.” At the age of forty, he started receiving the divine

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