Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Adam J. Silverstein

By Adam J. Silverstein

Commencing with a lucid assessment of the increase and unfold of Islam, from the 7th to the twenty-first century, this Very brief creation introduces the tale of Islamic heritage, charting the evolution of what was once initially a small, localized neighborhood of believers into a global faith with over a thousand million adherents. The publication examines how Islam rose from the obscurity of seventh-century Arabia to the vanguard of contemporary worldwide matters, and it highlights how we all know what we declare to grasp approximately Islam's upward push and improvement. Historian Adam J. Silverstein additionally discusses the peoples--Arabs, Persians, and Turks--who formed Islamic background, and sheds mild on 3 consultant institutions--the mosque, jihad, and the caliphate--that spotlight Islam's variety over the years. ultimately, the booklet analyzes the jobs that Islamic historical past has performed in either spiritual and political contexts, whereas stressing the original prestige that background enjoys between Muslims, particularly in comparison to its lowly position in Western societies the place heritage is usually obvious as little greater than anything that isn't to be repeated.

Reviews:

"Silverstein is short and brilliant...This brief ebook has fabulous cultural-historical insights [on] each page--and by surprise Islamic heritage turns into, good, fairly fascinating, comprehensible, on the topic of Western history--and the current that rather more explicable. The ebook is apparent, witty, clever, and wonderful--read it." --School Library magazine on-line

"Silverstein merits compliment for his profitable attempt in providing a readable and concise Islamic background. will probably be instructive to curious scholars of any religion. His e-book is a credits to the phenomenal Oxford sequence of 'Very brief Introductions.'" --Saudi Gazette

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The foundations of this achievement are strikingly similar to those that are credited with the emergence of the modern West. But instead of a printing revolution, the Islamic world in this period experienced a paper revolution, whereby more expensive and elitist methods of writing (on papyrus and parchment, for example) were replaced by this more affordable medium. Literacy is thought to have increased dramatically, creating new readerships that consumed (and, in a circular way, generated) new genres of literature.

That it looks the way it does now is largely due to events in the 800–1100 one. And just as camels represented the first period, caravans can be said to represent the second one. A caravan consists of many camels (or other pack animals) led together by a group of travellers, which reflects one of the major differences between the Umayyads and the early Abbasids: the former created a somewhat exclusive, ‘Arab’ empire whereas the latter were consciously cosmopolitan and inclusive, empowering nonArabs (mainly those who were culturally Persian – appropriately, ‘caravan’ is a Persian word) and absorbing them into Islam.

813–33) attempted to assert his office’s religious authority by subjecting the ‘ulama’ to an ‘inquisition’ (mihna), in which the caliph’s position Islamic History on a question of theology was forced on all scholars, with regular investigations into the views of individual ‘ulama’. This mihna remained caliphal policy until al-Mutawakkil abandoned it in 848, at which point it was clear that the caliphs had lost both the battle and the war; surprisingly soon thereafter they supported the ‘ulama’, usually through generous patronage.

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