"Exploring the beliefs, history and politics of Islam, The Britannica Guide to the Islamic World is a clear and unbiased reference resource, compiled by experts in the field. It introduces the ideas as well as the places at the centre of one of the most important religions of our time. Founded in the seventh century by the prophet Mohammed, Islam has now spread across the world and every culture. Exploring Islamic history, beliefs and scriptures, it will be an invaluable and comprehensive guide to Muslim faith. In addition, the Guide reveals the role that Islam plays today including the conflict in the Middle East, the rise of Islamism, and the divisions between the Sunni and Shiite sects. As the Islamic World becomes the focus of politicians and the media, it is more important than ever to have a reliable and accurate introduction to this controversial topic.