One of the world's foremost commentators on religious affairs on the history (and destiny) of the world's most misunderstood religion. In the public mind, Islam is a religion of extremes: it is the world's fastest growing faith; more than three-quarters of the world's refugees are Islamic; it has produced government by authoritarian monarchies in Saudi Arabia and ultra-republicans in Iran. Whether we are reading about civil war in Algeria or Afghanistan, the struggle for the soul of Turkey, or political turmoil in Pakistan or Malaysia, the Islamic context permeates all these situations. Karen Armstrong's elegant and concise book traces how Islam grew from the other religions of the book, Judaism and Christianity; introduces us to the character of Muhammed; and demonstrates that for much of its history, the religion has been a force for enlightenment that promoted liberties for women and allowed the arts and sciences to flourish. ISLAM shows how this progressive legacy is today often set aside as the faith struggles to come to terms with the economic and political weakness of most of its believers and with the forces of modernity itself.
islam a short history
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The purpose of this book is to provide the Western reader with a positivenderstanding of Islam, of its origins, its history and its beliefs; but its hoped that there may also be something of value in it for the Muslimeader. It is based on the belief that Muhammad was a prophet chosen by Godor a particular task, and also that God was behind the spread of Islamhroughout the world. At the same time, this book accepts the main principlesf the western intellectual outlook, including its historical criticism; andonsequently departs from some of the traditional ideas of Muslims about theistory of their religion. Contents include coverage of the beginnings ofslam, the political history of the Islamic world, the teachings of theur'an, Islamic theology and the role of Islam in the modern world.
Traces the history of Islam, from the flight of Muhammad and the founding of the first mosques to the development of the modern Muslim state, and examines its present beliefs and practices.
Reflecting recent global developments, the second edition of thisilluminating introduction to Islamic history expands its coverageof the Qur’an, Sufism, and Muslim views on human rights,including the rights of women. An expanded new edition of this concise, illuminatingintroduction to Islam, written by one of the field’s leadingscholars Spans Islamic history from the life of Muhammad and the birthof Islamic ideals, through Islam’s phenomenal geographicalexpansion and cultural development, to the creation of modernstates and its role in today’s global society Features expanded coverage of the Qur’an, Sufism, andMuslim views on human rights, including the rights of women Includes fascinating vignettes of Islamic life, representingmainstream Muslim viewpoints on issues of global concern Explores the complex interrelationships of cultural, political,and ideological developments woven throughout Islamic history,drawing on specific examples including current developments inPakistan
Islamic South Asia has become a focal point in academia. Where did Muslims come from? How did they fare in interacting with Hindu cultures? How did they negotiate identity as ruling and ruled minorities and majorities? Part I covers early Muslim expansion and the formative phase in context of initial cultural encounter (app. 700-1300). Part II views the establishment of Muslim empire, cultures oscillating between Islamic and Islamicate, centralised and regionalised power (app. 1300-1700). Part III is composed in the backdrop of regional centralisation, territoriality and colonial rule, displaying processes of integration and differentiation of Muslim cultures in colonial setting (app. 1700-1930). Tensions between Muslim pluralism and singularity evolving in public sphere make up the fourth cluster (app. 1930-2002).
What are myths? How have they evolved? And why do we still so desperately need them? A history of myth is a history of humanity, Karen Armstrong argues in this insightful and eloquent book: our stories and beliefs, our attempts to understand the world, link us to our ancestors and each other. This is a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense – from Palaeolithic times to the “Great Western Transformation” of the last 500 years – and why we dismiss it only at our peril. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An introduction to the development of Islam from its birth among the nomadic peoples of seventh-century Arabia to its present status as one of the world's great religions. The book includes a brief account of the life and teachings of Muhammad and the creation of the Arab nation.
This vivid and detailed biography strips away centuries of distortion and myth and presents a balanced view of the man whose religion continues to dramatically affect the course of history.
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.