Ignaz Goldziher was a pre-eminent scholar of Islam during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This book encapsulates his own lifetime of work and provides something of an historical commentary on his epoch in the Western academic study of Islam. One of its strengths is that Goldziher’s investigation of historical development probes into underlying religious motivations and allied theological issues. The book quickly became a classic of its day. It remains a classic that, in our day, is well worth re-visiting as it can still inform our understanding of contemporary Islam, whose roots lie in all that Goldziher covers.