Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature at the University of Chicago, Dr. von Grunebaum is an authoritative and informed voice in this field. This book is deeply rooted in scholarship, and presents for the interested reader the celebrations and ceremonies of Muslim life. he finds in the pagan Arab festival of Spring, the pilgrimage to Mecca, close historical links to the Jewish Passover observance; in the fast of Ramadan, to the Christian's Lent. The worship of Husain, the passion plays, the orthodoxy of Summism, the fanaticism of Shi-ism -- these are less derivative, perhaps, and more wholly rooted in Muhammadanism itself, though as an offshoot of what is basically an arid and physically exacting liturgy. Despite the wealth of material to draw upon, the drama its very differences suggest, the Muhammadan festivals as described here lack utterly any fire or life or inspiration. A dull and pedantic presentation.