Islam is a powerful force today, with Muslims representing around a quarter of the global population, some 1.4 billion people. It is one of the world?s younger faiths, yet in its 1400-year history its impact has been astonishing and immense. The purpose of this book is to provide a refreshing and detailed guide to and insight into the beliefs and religious practices of the Islamic faith. The volume begins by exploring the theological beliefs and the ritual worship practices of Islam, such as the six articles of belief and the five pillars of faith, and the importance of the mosque as a proud place of gathering. The life of a Muslim is then described, from the dietary requirements and social interaction between people to the rules of dress for men and women. The book continues by addressing the issues of morality and ethics and law, as well as more controversial topics, such as medical bioethics and Jihad ?just war?. The final chapter reviews the unity and division amongst the worldwide Muslim community, for while all Muslims claim to be part of the global community, there are many points of difference, notably between Sunni and Shia. Each chapter also includes special themed spreads, highlighting particular issues, people and places of importance to Islam. Lavishly illustrated with over 300 photographs and fine-art paintings, this superb book offers a factual account of Islamic beliefs and rituals, and provides a greater understanding of Islam and its teachings.