Part 1 reveals the many sacred aspects of nature and society. The inherent symbolism of the many interpretations and metaphors found in the natural and society aspects are reviewed. The symbols and interpretations are often conflicting, even contradictory, as the aspects are seen from different viewpoints depending on the culture dominant in the area prior to the advance of Islam. Regional variation even leads to a given aspect or symbol being viewed quite favourably in one region but viewed negatively in another.
Part 2 considers the characteristics and symbolism inherent to aspects of sacred time and space. The author details the importance and role of locations, from caves and their historical and legendary importance to rugs and the authority drawn from position in relation to the rugs in a household.
Part 3 addresses sacred actions and details the symbolism of rituals, traditions and habits. The meaning of gestures and looks is discussed, including the evil eye and the ways to ward it off. Other rites and traditions described include those pertaining to weddings, treatment of guests, gift giving, and purifications for important moments and prayers.
Part 4 is a lengthy section and focuses on many important elements of the words and scripts sacred to Islam. The chapter begins by an analysis of the musical and poetical traditions associated with recitations of the Koran as well as poems and songs in honour of the Koran and Islamic saints. The importance of Arabic as the only language of the Koran is detailed. The Koran, as well as quotes attributed to the Prophet that are not included in the Koran, are evaluated for their place in interpreting God’s will for individuals.
Part 5 looks at the individual and the society, their roles towards each other, and considers symbolism and interpretation of each. The roles of servant and master, for example, permeate through all aspects of life, from the view of a relationship between an individual and his God to the relationships between individuals.
Part 6 addresses God and his creation. It begins by looking at the various names for God and how they relate to his nature, despite man’s inability to grasp the nature of God. His qualities, which are often viewed as somewhat contradictory due to man’s inability to comprehend them, are also detailed.
Part 7 is a short chapter addressing how to approach Islam in context of the modern world. Questions regarding language and technology are discussed regarding how they relate to the faith and what questions they can and cannot solve. The need or practicality of reform is addressed, including the idea that Islam needs a parallel to the Christian Martin Luther if it is to survive.
Finally, the divergent views that can be taken when describing Islam are detailed, including the seeming dichotomy between prophetic and mystical stances with their tendencies toward exclusion and inclusion, nemos and eros, sobriety and ecstasy and seriousness and joy.