The Handy Islam Answer Book is clearly and eloquently written by John Renard, Ph.D., a scholar of Islam with more than 40 years of research and teaching experience. He provides detailed descriptions of the history, beliefs, symbols, rituals, observations, customs, leaders and organisation of the world's second largest religion. Renard explains the significance of the Five Pillars, Muhammad, various sects, the Qur'an, Islamic law and much more.
John Renard, Ph.D. received his doctorate in Islamic studies from Harvard University's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in 1973. He teaches courses in Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, religion and the arts, and comparative theology in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University. He has written extensively on Islam. His most recent books include Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood (2008), Tales of God's Friends: Islamic Hagiography in Translation (2009), and Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective (2011), all for University of California Press. He also authored Visible Ink Press's popular comparative religion primer, The Handy Religion Answer Book.