The African and Middle Eastern World, 600-1500

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Oxford University Press, USA, Aug 25, 2005 - History - 176 pages
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The history of the African and Middle Eastern world is, to a large extent, the story of a religion-Islam-and how it claimed millions of followers across empires and kingdoms. First proclaimed by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century, Islam quickly spread, through trade and conquest, from the Arabian Peninsula to vast sections of Asia and Africa and even to parts of Europe. The cast of characters in this story is fascinating: from the Prophet himself to Abu Bakr Muhammad ar-Razi, a Persian physician who compiled a multivolume medical encyclopedia; Mehmed II, an Ottomon sultan who conquered Constantinople and brought the Byzantine Empire to an end; Mansa Musa, a West African emperor who distributed gifts of gold all along the route to Mecca; and Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan Berber whose travels through the Islamic world in the 14th century covered 75,000 miles.The pages of The African and Middle Eastern World tell not only about these figures and many others but also about Islamic principles and laws, the religion's different branches (including the Sunnis and Shiites), and the widely varied geography and cultural practices of this world. Also covered are people like the Shona of Southern Africa, who remained outside of Islam's long reach. Numerous primary sources-including excerpts from an eighth-century biography of Muhammad, "The Tale of King Sinbad and the Falcon" from The Thousand and One Nights, and a story about leadership from the West African oral tradition-further illuminate this history.

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Contents

A Hi marks a primary sourcea piece of writing that speaks to us from the past
8
The Arabian Peninsula Around 600
15
Muhammad and the Beginning of Islam
24
Copyright

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Randall L. Pouwels is a Professor of History at the University of Central Arkansas. His books include World Civilizations Volume I and II and History of Islam in Africa.

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