I have reviewed Thomas Hughes' Dictionary of Islam, and I have found that, despite being written by an Englishman clergyman over 100 years ago, it presents a fairly comprehensive view of the Islamic faith, based essentially on the orthodoxy of the Hanifite (madhab)-- School of Islam Law.
Most of the scriptural information contained therein come from traditional Islamic texts (such as Mishkat al Masabih, Hidaya, etc.), but several biographical sketches and translations of the Qur'anic Surahs are based on the works of Western orientalists, containing inherent biases. By and large, the traditions and rules are universal and not subject to polemics.
The lexicon undoubtedly contain vast amount of information that can only be found in other voluminous texts and encyclopedias, such as the New Encyclopedia of Islam, still under production.
This dictionary will be of great value to the lay Muslim (wanting to know more about Islam) as well as the serious student of the faith. It contains far more historic information than the Concise Encylopedia of Islam by Cyril Glass, even though I put the latter a step ahead because it prepared by a man of the faith and it is more up to date.
Nonetheless, this book would be a good addition to anyone's library. I use it all the time for quick references, especially on 'far out' topics or questions including those that may be considered 'esoteric.'
I have no hesitation in recommending this book, if only because there is no other out there (produced from Muslim sources) that is available in a comprehensive format to the lay Muslim, outside that of Cyril Glass'.
This book, written by a Christian Missionary wandering in the Indian Sub-continent in the 1800's is a very copmprehensive work on the Islamic doctrines, beliefs and practices. It practically has a definition for every Islamic term or concept that you ever wanted to know. Apart from these it also contains informative articles on the lifestyles of Muslims in the 1800's on ceremonies like marriage, birth, death and other festivals and rites. Its many illustrations and easy to read format will prove invaluable to any one who wants to learn about Islam and Muslims and will be a great gift for non-muslim friends.