Before examining any given phenomenon, we must first ask ourselves what the object of our examination will be. In our case, we need to provide a definition-tentative as it may be-of the phenomenon called “Islam.” Our ability to furnish such a definition implies that we have at least a general notion of what belongs to this category and what should be excluded from it. For instance, we may ask ourselves whether it is appropriate to talk about “Islamic feminism” as an integral part of modern Islam or dismiss it as a Western product arbitrarily grafted onto it from outside. A similar question arises in regard to some modern religious movements that have emerged out of Islam, for example, the Baha’iyya (Baha’ism) and the Ahmadiyya, whose relationship with mainstream Islam, either Sunni or Shi‘ite, remains a hotly disputed issue. Excluding or including these and other groups or intellectual trends inevitably compels us to draw on our personal understanding of what is or is not Islam. In other words, as investigators of the phenomenon called “Islam” we are consciously or unconsciously constructing our subject by selecting and emphasizing some of its aspects, while neglecting, deemphasizing, or even deliberately excluding others. As a result, any portrayal of Islam, including ours, is inevitably selective, incomplete, and potentially biased to boot.