This book presented a profile of Muslim culture, when this aspect of Islamic history was neglected. V.V.Bartold, with exemplary clarity and organization of the topic which is reader-friendly, brings out all the ethnic varieties of Muslim culture, from the advent of Islam to the era when cultural leadership passed to the West. This pioneering work still retains its relevance and validity and has been the precursor of many learned monographs. The author's Russian domicile gave him a perception of culture in Central Asia, an aspect not given prominence by scholars who were differently situated. The translation is by Shahid Suhrawrdy and the Foreword has been written by Sir Hassan Suhrawardy , then Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University.