By Adam J. Silverstein
Beginning with a lucid review of the increase and unfold of Islam, from the 7th to the twenty-first century, this Very brief Introduction introduces the tale of Islamic heritage, charting the evolution of what was once initially a small, localized group of believers into a global faith with over one billion adherents. The e-book examines how Islam rose from the obscurity of seventh-century Arabia to the leading edge of recent international issues, 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 heritage, and sheds mild on 3 consultant institutions--the mosque, jihad, and the caliphate--that spotlight Islam's range over the years. eventually, the publication analyzes the jobs that Islamic heritage has performed in either non secular and political contexts, whereas stressing the original prestige that background enjoys between Muslims, specifically in comparison to its lowly position in Western societies the place historical past is usually noticeable as little greater than anything that isn't to be repeated.
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Additional resources for Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction
In accordance with conventional assets, Muslims at first prayed dealing with Jerusalem, and it is just after 624 that the path of prayer (qibla) used to be replaced to Mecca. Early Arabic resources additionally carry that ‘Abd al-Malik equipped the Dome of the Rock in an try and divert the hajj from Mecca (where his leader political rival was once dependent) to Jerusalem, for which spiritual experts on the time are acknowledged to have under pressure Jerusalem’s equivalence with Mecca or even superiority to it. glossy students indicate that the conquest of Jerusalem a long time past had messianic overtones for modern Jews (and, in line with quite adventurous students, for Muslims too). That the Byzantines and, famously, the Crusaders tried with various levels of good fortune to retake Jerusalem and the Holy Land served to augment the significance of the zone and the necessity to ﬁght for it: the Crusades spawned a style of Muslim literature that extolled Jerusalem’s virtues, and underlined the umma’s accountability to guard it from inﬁdel aggression. Predictably, ancient victories over Palestine’s invaders were evoked via politicians trying to current themselves as renowned Muslim heroes: either the Syrian president Hafez al-Assad (r. 1971–2000) and the Iraqi president Saddam Hussein (r. 1979–2003) equipped monuments to Saladin of their capitals. Saddam, additionally, publicly in comparison himself to either Saladin and Nebuchadnezzar, the previous having been a fellow local of Tikrit (north of Baghdad), and well-known for evicting the Crusaders 124 17. Saddam Hussein and Nebuchadnezzar (r. 605–562 BCE) Political signiﬁcance 18. Statue of Saladin (Damascus, Syria) a hundred twenty five Islamic historical past from the Holy Land; the latter having been a fellow ruler of Iraq (or ‘Babylonia’), and recognized for evicting the Jews from the Holy Land in precedent days. Saddam’s element used to be transparent: he's the ruler who will come to the help of Muslims in Palestine through defeating the Jews and thereby restoring the land to Muslim rule. ‘The Jews’ for his or her half have as a result develop into ‘the Crusaders’ in political speeches, public debates, or even in children’s schoolbooks in a few elements of the Muslim global. hence, the Israeli siege of Beirut in 1982 was once in comparison in neighborhood media to the Crusaders’ siege of Acre in 1189–91: during this instance (which is yet one among many) it isn't simply that Muslims made the most obvious, superﬁcial comparability among glossy inﬁdel invaders of Palestine and medieval ones, yet fairly imprecise episode of medieval heritage was once casually adduced and deemed as a rule intelligible. the present Western preoccupation with the Israel–Palestine conﬂict (which principally ignores different, extra violent or expensive, conﬂicts) is mainly an acknowledgement of the issue’s significance to Muslims. The Iran–Iraq struggle Saddam Hussein positioned Islamic heritage to its such a lot vast political use in the course of the Iran–Iraq warfare, to which Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranians spoke back with background classes in their personal. each side considered Islamic heritage as a pointy propaganda software, by which army and well known help for his or her campaigns may be garnered, either inside Iran and Iraq, and among the umma at huge.