ABSTRACT

Compared with the Jewish and Christian faiths, Islam’s formation as an organic body of beliefs and practices was swift in its essentials. It arose basically within and shortly after the lifetime of the Prophet (c.570-632 CE). Naturally in the fuller delineation of its rituals, its law, its theology and political organization, the faith took a while to settle into its principal early forms. Still, it was a revealed faith, and the main essence of the revelation was to be found in the Qur’an. As standing in succession to both Judaism and Christianity, though at variance with them in a number of important ways, it drew on some elements of the myths and values of these religions.