Daily Life in the Medieval Islamic World

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - History - 299 pages
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From the time of its birth in Mecca in the 7th century C.E., Islam and the Islamic world rapidly expanded outward, extending to Spain and West Africa in the west, and to Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent in the east. An examination of the daily life in these Islamic regions provides insight into a civilized, powerful, and economically stable culture, where large metropolitan centers such as Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo thrived in many areas, including intellectual and scientific inquiry. In contrast with medieval Europe, there is little common knowledge in the West of the culture and history of this vibrant world, as different from our own in terms of the political, religious, and social values it possessed, as it is similar in terms of the underlying human situation that supports such values. This book provides an intimate look into the daily life of the medieval Islamic world, and is thus an invaluable resource for students and general readers alike interested in understanding this world, so different, and yet so connected, to our own.

Chapters include discussions of: the major themes of medieval Islamic history; Arabia, the world of Islamic origins; warfare and politics; the major cities of Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo; religious rituals and worship; and a section on curious and entertaining information. Author James E. Lindsay further provides a focused look at the daily lives of urban Muslims during this time period, and of their interactions with Jews, Christians and other Muslims. Timelines, tables (including a calendar conversion to align the Islamic lunar and the Christian solar dates, and a dynastic table highlighting the major genealogies of the ancient ruling families), a bibliography, and a glossary of important dates and technical terms are also provided to assist the reader.

 

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Contents

Major Themes in Medieval Islamic History
1
Problems Faced by Modern Historians of Early Islamic History
5
The Life of Muhammad ca 570632
8
The Early Islamic Conquests 632750
10
Ethnicity
12
Geography and Environment
15
The Political Character of Medieval Islamic Societies
16
Fragmentation of the Caliphate and PersoIslamic Kingship
17
Travel and Transportation
109
Money and Markets
111
Jews and Christians Ahl alKitab People of the Book
116
Housing
122
Food and Water
128
Ritual And Worship
139
ShahadaStatement of Faith
140
SalatPrayer
142

Islamic Law Sharia
21
Islamic Mysticism Sufism Tasawwuf
25
Arabia
33
Geography and Environment
35
Camels and Trade
37
Housing
43
Kinship
45
Warfare and Politics
57
Jihad
58
Warfare in Early Islamic History
60
Weapons and Tactics in Early Islamic History
62
Women and Warfare in Early Islamic History
65
Military SlaveryThe Mamluk Institution
70
Seljukids and Mamluks on the Eve of the Crusades
74
Warfare in the Era of the Crusades
76
Saladin Shajar AlDurr and the Mamluk Sultanate
79
Cities
87
Sources
88
Syria and Damascus
90
Iraq and Baghdad
97
Egypt and Cairo
103
ZakatThe Giving of Alms
149
SawmFasting
150
HajjPilgrimage
153
Shii Pilgrimage
160
Other Pilgrimage
166
Curious and Entertaining Information
173
Women and Men in the Family and Society
178
Children and Childhood
187
Circumcision
188
Clothing and Modesty
191
Education
194
Entertainments
199
Death and Afterlife
201
Suggestions For Further Reading
209
Glossary
227
Recipes
241
Genealogical and Dynastic Tables
245
Christian and Islamic Calendars with Conversion Table
253
Citations
281
Index
283
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About the author (2005)

JAMES E. LINDSAY is Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

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