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Book: Religions of a Single God

Chapter: Chapter 7: Islamic Theology and Theological Writings

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.36416


This chapter introduces the theological narrative of the origins of Islam and Islamic
beliefs about the life and figure of Muhammad, as well as the core positions that inform
much of Islamic theology, the six pillars of faith. Next, we learn about Islamic mysticism,
called Sufism, and the productive, though controversial, encounter between Greek philosophy
and Islam. In the second part of the chapter, we shall look at the foundational
texts that provide the basis of almost all of Islamic theology: the Qur’an, the incarnate
word of God for Muslims; the Hadiths, the sayings, stories, and example of a prophet
believed to be incapable of error in his knowledge of God’s will; and tafsir, or commentaries on the Qur’an. Muslims rarely agree on how to interpret these various texts, but they all agree that these are the key sources for their competing theologies.

Chapter Contributors

  • Zeba Crook ( - zcrook) 'Carleton University'