By Robert G. Hoyland
This booklet bargains a brand new method of the vexing query of the way to write down the early background of Islam. the 1st half discusses the character of the Muslim and non-Muslim resource fabric for the 7th- and eighth-century center East and argues that by means of lessening the divide among those traditions, which has principally been erected via sleek scholarship, we will come to a greater appreciation of this significant interval. the second one half provides an in depth survey of assets and an research of a few one hundred twenty non-Muslim texts, all of which offer information regarding the 1st century and a 1/2 Islam (roughly A.D. 620-780). The 3rd half furnishes examples, in response to the process recommended within the first half and with the cloth provided within the moment half, how one may perhaps write the historical past of this time. The fourth half takes the shape of excurses on quite a few issues, reminiscent of the method of Islamization, the phenomenon of conversion to Islam, the advance of options for picking out the path of prayer, and the conquest of Egypt. simply because this paintings perspectives Islamic historical past because of non-Muslim texts and assesses the latter within the mild of Muslim writings, it will likely be crucial interpreting for historians of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Zoroastrianism--indeed, for all people with an curiosity in cultures of the jap Mediterranean in its conventional part from overdue Antiquity to medieval instances.
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