This groundbreaking volume explores the epochal transformations and unexpected continuities in the Byzantine Empire from the seventh to the ninth century. As the period opened, the Empire's southern provinces?the vibrant, diverse areas of North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean?were at the crossroads of trade routes reaching from Spain to China. These regions experienced historic upheavals when their Christian and Jewish communities encountered the emerging Islamic world, and by the ninth century, an unprecedented cross-fertilization of cultures had taken place. This extraordinary age is brought vividly to life by leading international scholars, their writings accompanied by sumptuous illustrations of the period's most notable arts and artifacts. Resplendent images of authority, religion, and trade?embodied in precious metals, brilliant textiles, fine ivories, elaborate mosaics, manuscripts, and icons, many of them never before published?highlight the dynamic dialogue between the rich array of Byzantine styles and the evolving Islamic aesthetic. With its masterful exploration of two centuries that would shape the emerging medieval world, Byzantium and Islam provides a revelatory interpretation of a period with profound ramifications for the modern era.]]>
This definitive sourcebook presents more than fifty authoritative new translations of key Islamic texts. Edited and translated by three leading specialists and clearly contextualized for introductory-level students, it illustrates the growth of Islamic thought from its seventh-century origins, through to the end of the medieval period. Eight thematically-organized sections cover the Qur'an and its interpretation, the life of Muhammad, hadith, law, ritual, mysticism, and Islamic history. Among the selections are Ibn 'Abbas's account of the heavenly journey; al-Taftazani on the uncreatedness of the Qur'an as God's speech; al-Farabi on the faculties of the soul; and extracts from Rumi's Mathnawi. Classical Islam includes a glossary, extensive bibliography and explanatory prefaces for each text. With many extracts translated here for the first time into English, this is an essential resource for the study of early and medieval Islam and its legacy.
The contributors analyse the mutual impact of colonial and postcolonial governance on the development, organisation and mobilisation of Islam paying special attention to the ongoing battles over the codification of Islamic education, religious authority, law and practice while outlining the similarities and differences, the continuities and ruptures in British, French and Portuguese colonial rule in Islamic regions. Using a shared conceptual framework they examine the nature of regulation and its outcomes in different historical periods in selected African, Middle Eastern, Asian and European countries. This authoritative study opens up new vistas for research in Islamic studies.
Iran is a land of contradictions. It is an Islamic republic, but one in which only 1.4 percent of the population attend Friday prayers. Iran’s religious culture encompasses the most censorious and dogmatic Shi’a Muslim clerics in the world, and yet its poetry insistently dwells on the joys of life-wine, beauty, sex. Iranian women are subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, but make up nearly 60 percent of the university student population. In A History of Iran, a leading expert on Iran chronicles the rich history of this complex nation from the Achaemenid Empire of sixth century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In accessible prose, Michael Axworthy explains the military, political, religious, and cultural forces that have shaped one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Concluding with an assessment of the immense changes the nation has undergone since the revolution in 1979, A History of Iran offers general readers an essential point of entry into a troubled region.
This book tells a story of a Yemeni hereditary elite that was overthrown in the 1962 revolution in North Yemen, after enjoying exclusive rights to the leadership of the Imamate, the religiously sanctioned state for over a millennium. Rather than concentrating on recent political history, this book highlights the personal predicament of those targeted by the revolution. What is their sense of "past" and "self" in a transformed political setting where in some respects the mark of distinctionhas become a mark of disrepute? Focusing on the cultural politics of memory, the book explores how--in making sense of their current lives and formulating responses to adversity--members of the elite remember.
"This book will work out well for my Modern Islam course. With excellent textbooks such as this one and Professor Esposito's Voices of Resurgent Islam, I hope to be able to offer this course more often."--Alford T. Welch, Michigan State University. This sourcebook of fifty-seven modern Islamic writings show the tensions inherent in the struggle of Muslims to maintain their religious identity in the modern world. Here Muslims speak for themselves, revealing the diversity of Islamic thought.
While there exists no evidence to date that the indigenous inhabitants of Arabia knew of holy war prior to Islam, holy war ideas and behaviors appear already among Muslims during the first generation. This book focuses on why and how such a seemingly radical development took place. Basing hishypothesis on evidence from the Qur'an and early Islamic literary sources, Firestone locates the origin of Islamic holy war and traces its evolution as a response to the changes affecting the new community of Muslims in its transition from ancient Arabian culture to the religious civilization ofIslam.
Over the past three decades, scholars, government analysts and terrorism experts have examined the relationship between Islam and politics. But specialists have tended to limit their analysis to a specific country or focus. Few works have provided a geographically comprehensive, in-depthanalysis. Since 9/11, another wave of literature on political Islam and global terrorism has appeared, much of it superficial and sensationalist. This situation underscores the need for a comprehensive, analytical, and in-depth examination of Islam and politics in the post-9/11 era and in anincreasingly globalizing world.The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, with contributions from prominent scholars and specialists, provides a comprehensive analysis of what we know and where we are in the study of political Islam. It enables scholars, students, and policymakers to understand the interaction of Islam andpolitics and the multiple and diverse roles of Islamic movements, as well as issues of authoritarianism and democratization, religious extremism and terrorism regionally and globally.