This illustrated introduction to the history of the Islamic world offers a fresh approach to the subject. Told in six chapters, arranged both chronologically and thematically, and richly enhanced with outstanding images, it sheds light on Islamic culture from West Africa to Southeast Asia through art and artefacts, people and places, from its origins to the present day. From pre-Islamic works that provided a foundation for the arts of Islam, to masterpieces produced under the great empires, and objects that continue to be made today, this expansive survey traces the development of civilizations at the forefront of philosophical and scientific ideas, artistic and literary developments, and technological innovations, exploring a wealth of cultural treasures along the way. Accessible and engaging texts are accompanied by a wide variety of objects, including architectural decoration, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, calligraphy, textiles, musical instruments, coins, illustrated manuscripts, and modern and contemporary art, all of which shed new light on the Islamic world both past and present. This book will inspire and inform anyone interested in one of the most influential and diverse cultures of the world.