The flowering of the 'Abbasid caliphate between 750 and 1258 CE is often considered the classical age of Islamic civilization. In the preceding 120 years the Arabs had conquered much of the known world of antiquity and established a vast empire stretching from Spain to China. But was this empire really so very different, as has sometimes been claimed, from what it superseded? The Great Caliphs creatively explores the immense achievements of the 'Abbasid age through the lens of Mediterranean history. When the Umayyad caliphs were replaced by the 'Abbasids in 750, and the Arab capital moved to Baghdad, Iraq quickly became the centre not only of an imperium but also of a culture built on the foundations of the great civilizations of antiquity: Greece, Rome, Byzantium and Persia. Debunking popular misconceptions about the Arab conquests, Amira Bennison shows that, far from seeing themselves as purging the 'occidental' culture of the ancient world with a 'pure' and 'oriental' Islamic doctrine, the 'Abbasids perceived themselves to be as much within the tradition of Mediterranean and Near Eastern empire as any of their predecessors.Like other outsiders who inherited the Roman Empire, the Arabs had as much interest in preserving as in destroying, even while they were challenged by the paganism of the past. Indebted to that past while building creatively on its foundations, the 'Abbasids and their rulers inculcated and nurtured precisely the 'civilized' values which western civilization so often claims to represent.
The first four caliphs of Islam—Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with all of them, are known as ‘the rightly guided caliphs.’ These pious caliphs were among the closest Sahabah (Companions) of the Prophet Muhammad. Their lives are a source of inspiration and motivation for believers of all time. These caliphs, though the successive heads of a large empire, lived very simple lives, like ordinary men. Their exemplary conduct and high moral character are a shining example for us. We are hugely indebted to them for their sacrifice and dedication, which helped in the preservation of the Quran and the spread of Islam throughout the world. Of the Sahabah, the Prophet once said, “My Companions are like stars. If you follow any of them, you will be guided to the right path.” In the light of this saying of the Prophet, the stories of the Sahabah act as guidance and a source of spiritual uplift for all of us. We should draw lessons from their lives, so that we may be guided to the right path—the path that pleases the Almighty Allah.
A comprehensive account of two of the most important empires in medieval North AfricaThis is the first book in English to provide a comprehensive account of the rise and fall of the Almoravids and the Almohads, the two most important Berber dynasties of the medieval Islamic west, an area that encompassed southern Spain and Portugal, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The a'anhAja Almoravids emerged from the Sahara in the 1050s to conquer vast territories and halt the Christian advance in Iberia. They were replaced a century later by their rivals, the Almohads, supported by the Maa'GBPmAda Berbers of the High Atlas. Although both have often been seen as uncouth, religiously intolerant tribesmen who undermined the high culture of al-Andalus, this book argues that the eleventh to thirteenth centuries were crucial to the Islamisation of the Maghrib, its integration into the Islamic cultural sphere, and its emergence as a key player in the western Mediterranean, and that much of this was due to these oft-neglected Berber empires.Key featuresThe first work in English to give a full account of the Almoravids and AlmohadsFeatures numerous translated quotes and anecdotes from Arabic primary sourcesProvides an intimate portrait of the daily lives and material culture of people living within the empires, as well as delivering a clear dynastic historyUses maps, genealogical tables, illustrations and a chronology
Embarking on a world tour in the 1920s, famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke cuts her ambitious stunt short when she, receiving a recent photograph of her late husband Gabriel, tracks the photo to the ancient City of Jasmine, Damascus where danger, passion and the truth await. Original.
In its entirety the story told here spans all of recorded history. It is a story of momentous events and mighty nations, of the birth of great religions and of foreign conquests, of longing and renewal. The scholars who have produced this work have woven an engrossing, continuous narrative out of the historical materials, presenting a rich array of peoples and cultures, from the ancient Hebrews and their neighbors down to the time of Jesus and the Roman wars and then on through the Arab and Crusader conquests, the Mameluk domination, the long period of Turkish rule, British Mandate, and the rebirth of Israel. An integral part of the story is the magnificent selection of photographs illustrating the land, its sites, its ruins, and its treasures. This expanded millennium edition of A History of Israel and the Holy Land takes the story into the twenty-first century with a new and comprehensive survey of the State of Israel from its establishment to the present day. The new material includes a review of political, economic, and social developments in Israel and summaries of the country's wars and the peace process.>
In a narrative that is at once thoughtful and passionate, an award-winning historian reveals the history of peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews over the course of fourteen centuries until the present day. The harsh reality of religious conflict is daily news, and the rising tensions between the West and Islam show no signs of abating. However, the relationship between Muslims, Christians, and Jews has not always been marked with animosity; there is also a deep and nuanced history of peace. From the court of caliphs in ancient Baghdad, where scholars engaged in spirited debate, to present-day Dubai, where members of each faith work side by side, Karabell traces the forgotten legacy of tolerance and cooperation these three monotheistic religions have enjoyed—a legacy that will be vital in any attempt to find common ground and reestablish peace.