Joseph Kenny, O.P.

Published by AECAWA, Accra, 2000
© Association of Episcopal Conferences of English Speaking West Africa


   Foreword (below)
  1. General Introduction
  2. Middle Eastern politics and religion
  3. The young Muhammad
  4. The first prophetic experiences
  5. Physical and intellectual defence
  6. The hijra
  7. Jihad
  8. Failure of persuasion
  9. Triumph
  10. Mecca & Arabia
  11. Death and subsequent history
  12. Independence and modern trends
  13. The Qur'ān
  14. Hadīth
  15. Sharī`a
  16. Basic beliefs
  17. Prayer
  18. Fasting and zakāt
  19. Pilgrimage
  20. Marriage
  21. The development of Sufism
  22. Sufic dhikr and spiritual power
  23. The coming of Islam to Egypt
  24. The coming of Islam to the Maghrib
  25. Islam across the Sahara to West Africa
  26. Ghāna and contemporary societies
  27. The Murābits (Almoravids)
  28. Mali and Songhay
  29. The jamā`a period and the beginning of jihāds
  30. Jihād states
  31. Islam under colonial rule
  32. Islam in the independent period
  33. Religious liberty
  34. Salvation of non-Christians/ Muslims
  35. Common values in Islam
  36. Special attractions of Islam
  37. Special attractions of Christianity
  38. Arguments for Islam and replies
  39. Answers to arguments against Christianity, I
  40. Answers to arguments against Christianity, II
  41. Dialogue and mission
  42. Unacceptable approaches of some Christians
  43. Practical approaches
  44. Explaining Christian mysteries to Muslims
  45. Hope for the future


Peace, understanding and friendship between Christians and Muslims were among the goals of the Second Vatican Council. Popes Paul VI and John-Paul II have relentlessly appealed to the two communities of believers to improve good relations and overcome the problems they encounter.

How can they do so? The Popes have urged two ways: dialogue and prayer. Progress has been made by countless international and regional dialogue meetings. Moreover, Pope John-Paul II from time to time gathers at Assisi representatives of other religions, including Islam, for prayer together, each in his own way, stressing the power of prayer in solving problems.

The Association of Episcopal Conferences of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA) in 1986 established a Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue. The Commission has held annual study sessions on themes relating to Islam and African Traditional Religion and has considered the needs of Christians in relating to these religions. To provide for courses on these religions mandated for all seminaries in the region, for similar courses for catechists, religious and interested laity, as well as for general readership, the Commission saw the need for a book to provide Christians with basic information on Islam, showing what Islam and Christianity have in common, how they differ, and how Christians can face problems that arise in relating with Muslims.

The author, Fr. Joseph Kenny, O.P., is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Ibadan. He is a specialist in Arabic and Islamic Studies and has extensive experience in teaching, research and Christian-Muslim dialogue.

I present this book to readers with the hope that they come to learn Islam not simply as a different religion that falls short of Christianity, but as it leads millions of people to a knowledge of God and inspires them to generous self-sacrifice in serving Him and in practising justice and kindness to others.

May this book both confirm Christians in their faith and make them respectful towards Islam and Muslims.

Most Rev. E. S. Obot

Bishop of Idah and Chairman of AECAWA IRDC