The birth of Islam in the 7th century and its subsequent outward expansion from the Arab world has been one of the most influential occurrences in world history. During its first few decades, the new faith inspired conquests from Spain to northern India. In this illuminating study, the author tracks the rise of Islam from it 7th century beginnings with the life of the Prophet Muhammad to the collapse of the Islamic empire in the early 10th century. He demonstrates how a sophisticated, new religion and society emerged to become one of the world's most vital and sustained cultures. The opening chapter provides an outline of the history of early Islamic society over a period of roughly three centuries, from the early 7th to the early 10th centuries, concentrating on pre-Islamic Arab countries and the life of the Prophet. Subsequent chapters treat Arab-Islamic conquests; the early Islamic empire; and society and religion, particularly in the early Abbasid period (750-925 C.E.). The spread of urbanization throughout the early Islamic world is highlighted.
Fifteen brief biographies of key figures such as Qur'an commentators, empire-building caliphs, scholars, and military leaders help to add a personal human element to the data, and 15 translated primary documents ranging from key Qur'annic passages to contemporary accounts of military campaigns bring the history to life. A glossary of terms, a timeline, and selected bibliography aid student research. The work is fully indexed.
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 496 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 14 mm
Edition: Annotated edition
"Add this book to the list of good introductions to the origins of Islam for upper-level high school social science or first-year college humanities courses. What sets this text apart from many others is its focus on the socioeconomic, political, and cultural milieu in which a new religious movement was born and has thrived; its discussion of the origins of Islamic law, spirituality and theology, mysticism, philosophy, and culture; and an appendix of individual page-length biographies of important figures. Also included is a helpful glossary ofterms, a photo essay, selections from primary sources, and an annotated bibliography....Matthew S. Gordon's discussion of the sociocultural origins and authority of the Qur'an is very good. He also highlights an area of Islamic studies often ignored in general introduction, the role of urbanization in the development of Islamic civilization worldwide....[thhis is a very useful and informative general introduction." - The Historian
"The Rise of Islam is a concise, edifying and entertaining monograph....[I] would recommend The Rise of Islam to both those who have a casual interest in the development of Islam and also to students, who have begun studying Islamic history and want to read a work that presents the history in a flowing, colourful fashion." - Studies in Religion
"This introductory and brief survey of the first few centuries of the Islamic era covers the spread of Muslim rule from Arabia to North Africa and Europe as well as its Eastern march towards Persia and Central Asia. The author has attempted to chronicle the religious and social life of the world's most vital and sustained culture." - The Muslim World Book Review
"[A] strong addition to the series covering the birth of Islam in the 7th century and its expansion from the Arab world to the collapse of the Islamic empire in the early 10th century. The focus on how the new religion merged with social goals to become a worldwide influence is particularly intriguing." - MBR Internet Bookwatch/Library Bookwatch
"[G]ordon introduces high-school and undergraduate students to the early history of Islam, from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad to the collapse of the Islamic Empire in the early 10th century. In a mixture of narrative and analysis of particular topics, he emphasizes the social and political aspects, and generally refers readers to fuller accounts for the teachings and practice of Islam." - Reference & Research Book News