What is the extraordinary text that is the Quran - and how does it relate to the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad? How did a legacy so richly varied in faith, law and civilization emerge from the message of the Revelation that came to be called 'Islam' (or submission to God's will)? This immaculately researched yet thoroughly accessible book offers a journey into the full range of experience - past and present, secular and sacred - of the diverse people and cultures of the Muslim world. Threads of continuity and change are woven through each chapter to make a coherent narrative covering a broad variety of themes and topics. Poets, cities and the architecture of mosques are as much a part of the exploration as multiple aspects of scripture, the status of women in the faith, and the emergence of a 'digital community' of believers. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, understanding what Islam is about and what Muslims believe is a vital concern across all frontiers. "A Companion to the Muslim World" is an attractive venture by distinguished scholars to contribute toward this urgent process of comprehension.