This series of volumes on the manifold facets of Islamic culture is intended to acquaint a very wide public with such matters as: the theological bases of the faith and principles that constitute the bedrock of the overall structure; the status of the individual and of society in the Islamic world; the expansion of Islam since the Revelation: the Arab, Asian, African and European spheres espousing the new faith and the way in which the rights of converted peoples have been upheld; the vital contribution of Islamic civilization to the adventure of human knowledge in science and technology; the educational and cultural manifestations of Islamic civilization in literature, the visual arts and architecture; finally, Islam today between loyalty to its past and the inescapable conquest of modernity.
This volume aspires to cast light on some of the cultural manifestations of Islam in the spheres of language and literature, philosophy and mysticism, human sciences and art. For this task, UNESCO has chosen scholars and experts from all over the world, East and West, who belong to widely divergent cultural and religious backgrounds. The choice of authors reflects the amplitude and universality of the concept of knowledge in Islam. The diversity of the cultural expressions found in one single culture reflects the binding spirit and unifying soul behind them, the unity behind the multiplicity.