One of the most interesting and most useful books of the year. If you ever wanted to know a little more about Islamic culture, then this is the book to learn it with. It is the most comprehensive list of Islamic Culture known to humanity. Great as a conversation starter or to do research, it will look great on a library shelf or coffee table. Toth has assembled a comprehensive list about Islamic Lands:
The historical scope is from prehistoric-Islamic times to the end of the Ottoman Empire. This includes dynasties, personalities and events. The geographical parameters are the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to Indonesia. This includes nations with a Muslim population over 50%:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Western Sahara and Yemen. Also covered are several areas with less than 50% Muslim population because of their location and history: Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau and Israel.
The ethnographic present is represented with material culture, languages, many settlements, tribes, archeological sites and other places of interest. Some contemporary Orientalists, artists, writers and scholars are included as well. Settlements are village (<10000), town (<50000, >10000), city (>50000). Cities of Indonesia and Bangladesh are represented if they exceed 100,000 because of the population density. Towns and villages are named only if they are referred to in literature. Non-Muslim cultures are also addressed.
The system used for alphabetizing is letter-by-letter rather than word-by-word. A space is regarded as a letter which occurs before the following vowel or consonant. Languages, people and location often have alternate names and different spellings. They may be included a description but not cross referenced. Since research focus was on mid-20th century sources the use of O rather than U, K rather than Q is frequent in this list. Thus, Moslem replaces Mulsim, Koran replaces Quran, etc. Some terms are entered using both systems resulting in multiple entries. Al-, El-, Ad-, At-, are not disregarded also resulting in some duplicate entries.