Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction
Does history matter? This book argues not that history matters, but that Islamic history does. This Very Short Introduction introduces the story of Islamic history; the controversies surrounding its study; and the significance that it holds - for Muslims and for non-Muslims alike. Opening with a lucid overview of the rise and spread of Islam, from the seventh to twenty first century, the book charts the evolution of what was originally a small, localised community of believers into an international religion with over a billion adherents. Chapters are also dedicated to the peoples - Arabs, Persians, and Turks - who shaped Islamic history, and to three representative institutions - the mosque, jihad, and the caliphate - that highlight Islam's diversity over time. Finally, the roles that Islamic history has played in both religious and political contexts are analysed, while stressing the unique status that history enjoys amongst Muslims, especially compared to its lowly place in Western societies where history is often seen as little more than something that is not to be repeated. Some of the questions that will be answered are: · How did Islam arise from the obscurity of seventh century Arabia to the headlines of twenty first century media? · How do we know what we claim to know about Islam's rise and development? · Why does any of this matter, either to Muslims or to non-Muslims? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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List of illustrations
Chapter 1The story
Chapter 2Peoples and cultures
Chapter 4The sources
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9th century Abbasid caliph al-Tabari Ali’s amongst Anatolia answer Arabia Arabs argued Baghdad British Buyids Byzantine caliphal office Cambridge Central Asia Chapter Christians conquered conquests context created Crusaders culture defeated dynasty early Islamic history East Eastern Egypt empire European Fatimid Geniza God’s hadiths Hagarism historians history’s Hodgson Hussein Ibn Khaldun ideas imam India influence Iran Iran–Iraq war Iran’s Iranian Iraq Islamic civilization Islamic history Islamic lands Islamic world Islamists isnad Jews jihad Kharijites language literary literature Mamluk Marshall Hodgson Mecca Medina modern Muslim Modernists Mongol monotheism mosque Mughal Muhammad Muslim lands Muslim societies Muslim world non-Arab non-Muslims North Africa one’s Orientalists Ottoman period Persian political pre-Islamic Prophet Quran region religion religious authority rise of Islam rule rulers Safavids salaf Saljuqs Sasanid scholars Shiism Shiite significance Sira slave-soldiers sources spread Sufi sultans sunna Sunni Syria traditional Turkish Turks ulama Umayyad umma umma’s Wahhabi Wansborough West Western