Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | February 14, 2010

byAdam J. Silverstein

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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. This leads to provocative conclusionsconcerning the relationship between politics and religion in Muslim societies.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 thatis 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?

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From the Publisher

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...

Adam Silverstein has taught Islamic history at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. He is University Research Lecturer in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, and a Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford. He is also Fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and a member of The Magic Circle.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.02 inPublished:February 14, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199545723

ISBN - 13:9780199545728

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Table of Contents

1. The story of Islamic history2. Peoples and cultures3. Institutions4. The sources5. Competing approaches6. Religious significance7. Political significanceConclusionsFurther reading