smail K. Poonawala is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught from 1974 to 2012. He has also taught at McGill and Harvard universities. A specialist in early intellectual history of Islam, he is the author, critical editor of Arabic texts and translator of more than a dozen books. “The Pillars of Islam” is one of his eminent books. He has also written numerous articles in refereed journals and contributed to various encyclopaedias, such as the Encyclopaedia of Islam, Encyclopaedia Iranica, Encyclopaedia of Religion, Encyclopaedia of Islamic Jurisprudence (in Persian), and the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (in Persian). His research area is Arabic and Persian language and literature, the history of Islam, and Greek and Islamic philosophy.