Saturday, February 19, 2011

Islamic encyclopedia released in Bangalore

Bangalore based East West Educational Tools has brought out a two-volume Islamic Encyclopedia. It is edited by Syed Iqbal Zaheer and runs into 1300 pages. It covers the religious dimensions of Islam and its developments over the centuries.

Elegantly produced and aesthetically designed, the encyclopedia covers a wide range of subjects like definitions of Islamic terms, life of Prophet Muhammad (praise be upon him), social and political movements in Islam and the Islamic world, Muslim scientists and scholars of the past, Islamic law, Muslim minorities, Islamic history, etc.

The inaugural copy of the encyclopedia was unveiled and released by Justice Mohammad Anwar, judge of the Karnataka High Court.

Speaking at the occasion, Syed Iqbal Zaheer said the monumental effort took 15 years for the entire team of East West Educational Tools to complete.  He said most of the encyclopedic efforts on Islam and Muslims has been done in the West and provides a distorted picture of Islam. He said Brille's was the most exhaustive work - in 12 volumes - so far but portrays Islam in an extremely poor light thereby carrying forward the agenda of the Orientalists.

An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam has nearly 50 large multi-color maps and diagrams of historical sites, battles and voyages undertaken by explorers and scholars. Presentation in lucid styles is interspersed with anecdotes and relevant details. The hard-bound volumes come in an attractive slipcase and make an effective coffee table piece.

The emphasis of the work has been on drawing material from the original sources. As editor Syed Iqbal writes in the preface, the content has undergone translation and editing, initially from Arabic to Urdu and thence to English. Refinement and abridgement at each stage has lent the content precision. In short, to expect a work like this to emanate from Bangalore might have been unimaginable.

"The encyclopedia fills a very important void as heretofore most such reference material stemmed from the West whose biases and prejudices colored the content," Syed Iqbal said in a press release.
The encyclopedia is priced at $150 for the Gulf countries.
From M A Siraj's report in Arab News. More Here.

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