Franklin &  Marshall College Library

RST 376: Holy Men and Holy Women

Secondary sources - Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and bibliographies

Secondary sources are informational resources written by individuals who were not the actual participants in the topic at hand. They may be of value to your research since they often provide greater objectivity and different perspectives as a result of the passage of time. Common secondary sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographies.
Historical Dictionary of Prophets in Islam and Judaism
Ref Room BM645 .P67N64 2002
This subject dictionary focuses upon prophets, texts, scholarship on same, and recurring themes such as prophecy, ritual, law, ethics, mysticism, angelogy and demonology. Contains bibliography and index.
Dictionary of Islam
Ref Room BP40 .H8 1996
This encyclopedic dictionary, which was originally published in the late 19th century, remains valuable because of its detailed, scholarly entries, some of which are illustrated. While somewhat difficult to use (for example, terms and names are transliterated rather than translated, it can often provide more extensive information on secondary and tertiary subject matter than readily available elsewhere.
Oxford History of Islam
Ref Room BP50 .O95 1999
This work is comprised of brief essays on religion, law, art, architecture, and science and technology written for the general reader. Includes illustrations. Contains a bibliography and subject index.
Classical Islam
Ref Room BP89 .C56 2003
This single volume work is a collection of extracts of primary source material and brief commentaries. Its stated goal is to "provide a comprehensive overview of Islam in terms of doctrine [within] the genres of literature in which the development of the doctrines [took place.] Contains a combined glossary and index.
Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an
Ref Room BP133 .E53 2001
The central English-language reference work for Qur'anic studies. The focus rests on the Qur'an itself rather than the history of interpretation, though references to interpretation occur throughout the text. Entry words are in English rather than transliterated Arabic.
Concordance of the Qur'an
Ref Room BP133 .K37 1983
A convenient resource for the non-Arabic student. Each division has vocabulary pertaining to Allah, and then other words. Besides the concordance entries in transliterated Arabic, there is an index in English.
Qur'an: an Encyclopedia
Ref Room BP133 .Q87 2006
This single-volume encyclopedia is designed to fill the gap between more general introductions and more technical, substantive works. Entries are of a serious and academic nature and contain useful bibliographies for those interested in probing a particular subject in greater depth. The work includes an index of Qur'anic passages, a subject index and an index of proper names.
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World
Ref Room DS35.53 .095 1995
This four volume encyclopedia contains over 750 articles dealing with all aspects of the Islamic world. There are bibliographies at each chapter's end, some of which are annotated. Articles are cross referenced, if appropriate, to other articles of related interest. Contains a detailed index.
Encyclopedia of Islam
Ref Room DS37 .E523
The most academically prestigious, scholarly and comprehensive single reference source on Islam published in the English language, this prodigious work's main corpus was finally completed in 2000 after forty years of production in small fascules (parts) bound together into twelve volumes. It covers biography, history, geography, religion, and social institutions and customs. Entry words are in transliterated Arabic so this resource is somewhat awkward to use. Contains bibliographies and an index of subjects. is in a separate volume.
Oxford Dictionary of Islam
An online resource, this dictionary focuses on 19th and 20th century topics.

How to find books

  • Select "Library Catalog" from the Library home page. To find books for this class use keyword search term strings such as "(saint? OR saint$) AND Islam, or a subject such as "Muslim saint?."
  • Look at the subject headings for a book that meets your needs. Select those subject headings to find other books that are described the same way and might also be useful.
  • Go to the call number locations of those books both in the stacks and the reference room. Similar books will be nearby. Use indices to further mine their contents

How to find and locate journal articles

Look under "A - Z List of Resources" on the Library homepage. Scroll down to find the selections that may be the most helpful for your topic, some of which are...

A collection of full text articles in .pdf format from the back files of over 200 scholarly journals, many dating from the nineteenth-century to within the last 4 or 5 years.

Historical Abstracts
The most comprehensive indexing service in the field of non-U.S. and Canadian history from 1450 to the present. Covers materials published from 1955 to the present.

ATLA Religion Index
Comprehensive database in religious and theological scholarship. Covers materials published from 1949 to the present.

Once you have a specific journal title, go to "Journals at F&M" from the library homepage and type in the title of a journal you hope to find.

How to find information on the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information but because it is an unmediated matrix it is advisable to start one's exploration of it at bona fide sites.

Islam and Islamic Studies Resources
A gateway to links for Islamic study resources on the Web, including Qur'an, hadith, the Sunnah, Shi'ism, Sufism, Islam in the modern world, militant Islam, jihad, Islamist or extremist Muslims, terrorism, Islam in Iraq, Muslim women, Islamic art, architecture, music, Islamic history, theology, philosophy, and Arabic and other Islamic languages such as Persian.
Biographies of Scholars and Saints (
This As-Sunnah Foundation of America resource provides biograpahical material, albeit perhaps somewhat slanted, on historic "pious" figures in Islam.
Islam in Comparative Context
Hosted by the International and Area Studies Program of the University of California, Berkeley, this site is a gateway to reliable information sources on the web.
IRFI - Islamic Research Foundation International
This site is a example of a stable resource, albeit with a "set agenda", that can be used with some degree of confidence in researching information on the topics germane to this course.

How to...

Last updated: 8/20/07 mg. contact Marty Gordon for further assistance