The Oxford History of Islam

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Oxford University Press, USA, 1999 - History - 749 pages
Lavishly illustrated with over 300 pictures, including more than 200 in full color, The Oxford History of Islam offers the most wide-ranging and authoritative account available of the second largest--and fastest growing--religion in the world.John L. Esposito, Editor-in-Chief of the four-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, has gathered together sixteen leading scholars, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to examine the origins and historical development of Islam--its faith, community, institutions, sciences, and arts. Beginning in the pre-Islamic Arab world, the chapters range from the story of Muhammad and his Companions, to the development of Islamic religion and culture and the empires that grew from it, to the influence that Islam has on today's world. The book covers a wide array of subjects, casting light on topics such as the historical encounter of Islam and Christianity, the role of Islam in the Mughal and Ottoman empires, the growth of Islam in Southeast Asia, China, and Africa, the political, economic, and religious challenges of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Islamic communities in the modern Western world. In addition, the book offers excellent articles on Islamic religion, art and architecture, and sciences as well as bibliographies.Events in the contemporary world have led to an explosion of interest and scholarly work on Islam. Written for the general reader but also appealing to specialists, The Oxford History of Islam offers the best of that recent scholarship, presented in a readable style and complemented by a rich variety of illustrations.

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The Oxford history of Islam

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This universally appealing book, written for the general reader, offers an excellent survey of recent Islamic scholarship. Esposito, editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, has ... Read full review

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When this encyclopedia came out for the first time, I was living in Falls Church, Virginia, and I bought a copy of it. It is very interesting, informative and versatile. Since I am the first person ever to translate the economist, theologian and thinker Imam Muhammed-Baqir al-Sadr, I turned pages of the four volumes I bought to read what the author said about this great man. To my surprise and dismay, I noticed that he indicated that the birthplace of this genius was Najaf, Iraq, which is wrong. I wrote Esposito's Washington, DC office a letter to correct this mistake, notifying the said office that the birthplace of this man, whom Saddam Hussein killed in his own hands in 1980, is actually al-Kadhimiyya, which is located northwest of Baghdad. I never received any answer from Esposito's office. Presently, I am far from the U.S. and I do not have a copy of this encyclopedia; therefore, I request its readers to verify whether Esposito has corrected this mistake or not. If not, I request other intellectuals who are familiar with the great legacy left us by al-Sadr to contact the office of John L. Esposito in Washington, D.C. and register their protest. We all make mistakes, but the worst mistake of all is not admitting that we are humans and, thus, are liable to err... By the way, you can read some of my translations of books written by martyr Muhammed-Baqir Haider al-Sadr which I have posted on my web page the Link for which is: where you can review and/or copy 49 of my full-length books and essays. And if you wish to receive my list of 79 works, just send me an email; my name is Yasin T. al-Jibouri and my email is and I will be glad to send it to you in PDF format. 


Muhammad and the Caliphate
Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
Law and Society
Science Medicine and Technology
Art and Architecture
Philosophy and Theology
Islam and Christendom
Sultanates and Gunpowder Empires
Foundations for Renewal and Reform
European Colonialism and the Emergence of Modern Muslim States
The Globalization of Islam
Contemporary Islam
Select Bibliography
Image Sources

The Eastward Journey of Muslim Kingship
Central Asia and China
Islam in Africa to 1800

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About the author (1999)

John L. Esposito is Professor of Religion and International Affairs and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. A past president of the Middle East Studies Association, he is the author of numerous books on the Muslim world, including Islam: The Straight Path and The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? (both OUP). He lives in Washington, D.C.

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