Islam: An Illustrated Journey
By Farhad Daftary and Zulfikar Hirji.
2018, Azimuth Editions in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 978-1-89859-235-8, $44.95 hb.
Reviewed by Lee Lawrence on March 15, 2019
The choice of images in this beautifully illustrated historical overview speaks volumes about the multifaceted Islamic world, as does the layout design with double-paged asides of short, themed essays (e.g., on women, the importance of a particular site or how Islam traveled to China). The main narrative is equally compelling. The authors, whose combined expertise covers cultural, social, economic and Islamic history, discuss the influences of cultures on Islamic thought and practice; the role interpretation has played since Islam’s earliest times; and the motivations of individual actors as they have pursued aspirations and responded to changing historical circumstances. One closes the book with a deeper understanding of Islam and an appreciation for the complexities of its journey.