Islam: A Short History

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Random House Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - History - 272 pages
7 Reviews
No religion in the modern world is as feared and misunderstood as Islam. It haunts the popular Western imagination as an extreme faith that promotes authoritarian government, female oppression, civil war, and terrorism. Karen Armstrong's short history offers a vital corrective to this narrow view. The distillation of years of thinking and writing about Islam, it demonstrates that the world's fastest-growing faith is a much richer and more complex phenomenon than its modern fundamentalist strain might suggest.

Islam: A Short History begins with the flight of Muhammad and his family from Medina in the seventh century and the subsequent founding of the first mosques. It recounts the origins of the split between Shii and Sunni Muslims, and the emergence of Sufi mysticism; the spread of Islam throughout North Africa, the Levant, and Asia; the shattering effect on the Muslim world of the Crusades; the flowering of imperial Islam in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries into the world's greatest and most sophisticated power; and the origins and impact of revolutionary Islam. It concludes with an assessment of Islam today and its challenges.

With this brilliant book, Karen Armstrong issues a forceful challenge to those who hold the view that the West and Islam are civilizations set on a collision course. It is also a model of authority, elegance, and economy.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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ISLAM: A Short History

User Review  - Kirkus

Would-be students of Islam will throw up their hands in despair at this tangled account of 14 centuries of battling Muslims.This is among the first original works commissioned by the Modern Library ... Read full review

Islam: a short history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Within the Muslim world, history and politics are inseparable vehicles of religious expression and cultural identity. A proper understanding of Islamic history is therefore essential if we are ever to ... Read full review

Contents

BEGINNING
23
DliELOP IENT
57
CULlllAllOl
77
Imperial Islam 15001700
113
The xrriial of the Vcst 1 7502000
156
Fundainentalisin
176
Epilogue
188
Key Figures in the History of Islam
206
Index
218
203
227
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About the author (2007)

Karen Armstrong is one of the world's foremost scholars on religious affairs. She is the author of several bestselling books, including The Battle for God, Jerusalem, The History of God, and Through the Narrow Gate, a memoir of her seven years as a nun. She lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.

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