100 Best Islamic History Books of All Time

We've researched and ranked the best islamic history books in the world, based on recommendations from world experts, sales data, and millions of reader ratings. Learn more

Featuring recommendations from Daymond John, Mark Zuckerberg, Ben Horowitz, and 41 other experts.
1
We in the west share a common narrative of world history. But our story largely omits a whole civilization whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years.In Destiny Disrupted, Tamim Ansary tells the rich story of world history as the Islamic world saw it, from the time of Mohammed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. He clarifies why our civilizations grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe—a place it long perceived as primitive and... more

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2
Islam has been one of the most powerful religious, social and political forces in history. Over the last 1400 years, from origins in Arabia, a succession of Muslim polities and later empires expanded to control territories and peoples that ultimately stretched from southern France to East Africa and South East Asia.
Yet many of the contributions of Muslim thinkers, scientists and theologians, not to mention rulers, statesmen and soldiers, have been occluded. This book rescues from oblivion and neglect some of these personalities and institutions while offering the reader a new narrative...
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3
Martin Lings’ biography of Muhammad is an internationally acclaimed, comprehensive, and authoritative account of the life of the prophet. Based on the sira, the eighth- and ninth-century Arabic biographies that recount numerous events in the prophet’s life, it contains original English translations of many important passages that reveal the words of men and women who heard Muhammad speak and witnessed the events of his life.

Scrupulous and exhaustive in its fidelity to its sources, Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources is presented in a narrative style that is easily...
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4

The Qur'an

One of the most influential books in the history of literature, recognized as the greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, the Qur'an is the supreme authority and living source of all Islamic teaching, the sacred text that sets out the creed, rituals, ethics, and laws of Islam. Yet despite the growing interest in Islamic teachings and culture, there has never been a truly satisfactory English translation of the Qur'an, until now.
This superb new translation of the Qur'an is written in contemporary language that remains faithful to the meaning and spirit of the original, making the text...
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Ayaan Hirsi AliThe Koran is supposed to be the words of God and the Hadith are the sayings and deeds of the prophet. The Koran has the basic commands; the Hadith or the Sunna, is a sort of manual. It is supposed to be a guideline of how to understand the Koran, because people say that it’s not explicit enough. The Hadith is a compilation of six volumes and they are called the Sahith Sitta – Sitta just means six... (Source)

Naeem Ul HaqueThe judiciary must not forget that far far above our constitution is the ultimate book of principles and that is the wholly Quran. Every judge in the country must keep a copy of Quran with translation on his/ her desk so that the judge can realise that the Law of God is Supreme. (Source)

Ahmad ThomsonWhen I accepted Islam I’d done it on the basis of meeting Shaykh Abdalqadir and the people around him, and I realised that I knew nothing about it really. So obviously one of the first things was to learn the basics – and I thought I’d better read the Qur’an because that’s the book of the Muslims! At the time I had the Arberry translation which is accurate, and which in some measure conveys the... (Source)

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5

The Muqaddimah

An Introduction to History - Abridged Edition



"The Muqaddimah," often translated as "Introduction" or "Prolegomenon," is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by the great fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), this monumental work established the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including the philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics. The first complete English translation, by the eminent Islamicist and interpreter of Arabic literature Franz Rosenthal, was published in three volumes in 1958 as part of the Bollingen Series and received immediate...
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Mark ZuckerbergIt's a history of the world written by an intellectual who lived in the 1300s. It focuses on how society and culture flow, including the creation of cities, politics, commerce and science. While much of what was believed then is now disproven after 700 more years of progress, it's still very interesting to see what was understood at this time and the overall worldview when it's all considered... (Source)

Robert IrwinHe spends about two and a half years writing the first draught of the Muqaddimah, which he will work on for the rest of his life. It’s one hell of a great work. It’s intended as a prolegomenon – an introduction to what he is going to write – and the complexity starts there, really, because he started out with one idea of what he was going to write about…. And then he broadens and broadens (Source)

Thomas BarfieldIbn Khaldun began writing the book in 1375 so it’s certainly the oldest on my list. It is also a unique work from that period in its attempt to analyse the context of history by understanding how societies organise themselves and how different modes of organisation can affect the interactions amongst people. (Source)

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6
A fascinating, accessible introduction to Islam from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Zealot

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • A finalist for the Guardian First Book Award


In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for...
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Recommended by David Cortright, and 1 others.

David CortrightFor me, this is the best introduction to Islam. I think all of us in the West are trying to learn more about Islamic culture and religion. Aslan writes so beautifully about what Islam represents – its theological, cultural and economic dimensions. It’s the most eye-opening and illuminating book I’ve read on the subject. It gave me a sense of respect for Islamic culture and the great scientific... (Source)

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7
The name Genghis Khan often conjures the image of a relentless, bloodthirsty barbarian on horseback leading a ruthless band of nomadic warriors in the looting of the civilized world. But the surprising truth is that Genghis Khan was a visionary leader whose conquests joined backward Europe with the flourishing cultures of Asia to trigger a global awakening, an unprecedented explosion of technologies, trade, and ideas. In Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, Jack Weatherford, the only Western scholar ever to be allowed into the Mongols’ “Great Taboo”—Genghis Khan’s homeland... more

Ben HorowitzUnexpectedly the most interesting book on the topic of how you think about inclusion. (Source)

Daymond John[Daymond John said this is one of his most-recommended books.] (Source)

Lisa LingGenghis Khan was a great democratizer. His Mongol Empire conquered more territory in 25 years than the Romans did in 200. (Source)

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8

The Essential Rumi

This revised and expanded edition of The Essential Rumi includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks and more than 80 never-before-published poems.

Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever.

The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of all Rumi books, and the definitive selection of his beautiful, mystical poetry.
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Adam Robinson[The author]’s gotten me in touch with the mystical, and the mysterious, and the magical in life. (Source)

Adam Robinson[The author]’s gotten me in touch with the mystical, and the mysterious, and the magical in life. (Source)

Zainab SalbiIn the evolution of my journey I learned that the way that we can transform women’s lives and our lives generally is not necessarily only through the warrior’s ways. I do not deny the warrior’s ways. I have ridden the horse and carried the armour! But as I evolve in my own growth I have learnt that the way we can truly achieve transformation and change is through our own inner peace. It is... (Source)

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9
1001 Inventions: The Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization takes readers on a journey through years of forgotten Islamic history to discover one thousand fascinating scientific and technological inventions still being used throughout the world today. Take a look at all of the discoveries that led to the great technological advances of our time; engineering, early medicinal practices, and the origins of cartography are just a few of the areas explored in this book.

1001 Inventions provides unique insight into a significant time period in Muslim history that has been...
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10

In this gripping narrative history, Lesley Hazleton tells the tragic story at the heart of the ongoing rivalry between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, a rift that dominates the news now more than ever.
 
Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, beginning a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder's controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s ideal of unity.

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Recommended by Aydogan Vatandas, and 1 others.

Aydogan VatandasWhat I am reading now. Great book on such a complicated topic.. https://t.co/vnmxdEDLpT (Source)

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Don't have time to read the top Islamic History books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.
11

Stories of the Prophets

قصص الأنبياء في القرآن الكريم هي قصص لصفوة الخلق وخيرتهم على الإطلاق، فهم هداة العالمين ورحمة الله للناس أجمعين، وما كان الله قص ما قص من قصص في قرآن الكريم للتسلية والتلهي، وإنما جاء عظة وعبرة لأولي الألباب، وجاء يثير في النفس التأمل والتفكر في سنن الحياة وقواعد الاجتماع البشري وسيرة الناس عبر الزمان والمكان. وإن كان ربنا، تبارك وتعالى، أنعم علينا بنعمة قصص طائفة من حكايات الأنبياء وأقوامهم فإنه يلفت النظر إلى أن المهم في تاريخ هؤلاء العظماء أ نقف عند حد العظة والعبرة. ولقد تمثل المفسر الحافظ ابن كثير منهجاً علمياً بديعاً في عرض هذا القصص القرآني، حاول فيه الابتعاد عن خرافات الإسرائيليات... more

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12
A complete authoritative book on the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by Sheikh Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarkpuri. The Sealed Nectar (Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum) Biography of the Noble Prophet (SAW) was awarded First Prize at the worldwide competition on the biography of the Prophet (SAW) held at Makkah Mukarramah in 1979 by the Muslim World League. Whoever wants to know the whole life style of the Prophet in detail must read this book. less
Recommended by Faisal Javed Khan, and 1 others.

Faisal Javed Khan"The Sealed Nectar" Such an amazing book on the life of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) Also available in Urdu Translation titled "Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum" https://t.co/TSs4QSm67S (Source)

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13
The Crusades is an authoritative, accessible single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. Thomas Asbridge—a renowned historian who writes with “maximum vividness” (Joan Acocella, The New Yorker)—covers the years 1095 to 1291 in this  big, ambitious, readable account of one of the most fascinating periods in history. From Richard the Lionheart to the mighty Saladin, from the emperors of Byzantium to the Knights Templar, Asbridge’s book is a magnificent epic of Holy War between the Christian and Islamic worlds, full of adventure, intrigue,... more

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14
An American Coup & the Roots of Middle East Terror
Half a century ago, the United States overthrew a Middle Eastern government for the first time. The victim was Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran. Although the coup seemed a success at first, today it serves as a chilling lesson about the dangers of foreign intervention.In this book, veteran New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer gives the first full account of this fateful operation. His account is centered around an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the events of August 1953, and concludes with...
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Recommended by Demetri Sevastopulo, Chris Abbott, and 2 others.

Demetri SevastopuloOn a totally different topic, this book by @stephenkinzer is a great look at US & UK relations with #Iran before the revolution. Lots of interesting similarities with the situation today. https://t.co/rlv8Ip0Kjn https://t.co/gz7InQkMk4 (Source)

Chris AbbottKinzer gives a good and quick introduction to Iranian history and its relationships with America and Britain. (Source)

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15

الأندلس من الفتح إلى السقوط

يعتبر تاريخ الأندلس من أهم الفترات في التاريخ الإسلامي؛ حيث حكَمَ المُسلِمون الأندلس أكثر من ثمانية قرونٍ، ازدهَرَ فيها المُسلِمون ازدِهارًا كبيرًا، وتقدَّموا في جميع مناحِي الحياة تقدُّمًا أذهلَ العالم كلَّه، وحقَّقوا انتِصارات كثيرة على أعدائِهم، حتى وقعَت الانقسامات والانشقاقات بين صفوف المسلمين، حتى استعانَ بعضُهم بالأعداء على إخوانِهم المُسلمين، ثم دبَّت الهزيمة النفسية، وبدأ الأعداء في التغلُّب على أكثر بلاد الأندلس، حتى كان آخر معقِل من معاقِل المُسلمين سقوطًا «غرناطة»، ثم وقعَت المآسِي بعد ذلك للمُسلمين لما حكَمَ الإسبان الأندلس وسامُوا أهلَها سوءَ العذاب، ثم تحوَّلَت البلادُ... more

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16

The Crusades Through Arab Eyes

The author has combed the works of contemporary Arab chronicles of the Crusades, eyewitnesses, and often participants. He retells their story and offers insights into the historical forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today. less

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17

Islam

A Short History

El Islam es, probablemente, la religión más incomprendida y malinterpretada de la modernidad. Una curiosa ignorancia prevalece en Occidentes desde las cruzadas, cuando empezó a cultivarse una visión distorsionada del Islam como una religión violenta e intolerante. Sin embargo, los imperios islámicos llegaron a ser los más g randes y mejor situados de la tierra hasta que fueron reemplazados por las naciones europeas en el siglo XIX.Karen Armstrong explica los acontecimientos centrales en la historia de esta religión -la división entre musulmanes chiítas y sunnitas. La aparición del misticismo... more

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18

Stories of the Prophets

In this book, the stories of the prophets have been compiled from 'Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah' (The Beginning and the End) which is a great work of the famous Muslim exegete and historian Ibn Kathir and has a prominent place in the Islamic literature. The stories of the prophets and all the events in their lives have been supported by the Qur'anic Verses and the Sunnah (traditions) of the Prophet (S). Wherever it was necessary, other sources have also been reported for the sake of historical accounts, but on such places a comparative study has been made to prove the authenticity of the sources.... more

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19

A History of the Arab Peoples

Encyclopedic and panoramic in its scope, this fascinating work chronicles the rich spiritual, political, and cultural institutions of Arab history through 13 centuries.

No region in the world today is more important than the Middle East: no people more misunderstood than the Arabs. In this definitive masterwork, distinguished Oxford historian Albert Hourani offers the most lucid, enlightening history ever written on the subject. From the rise of Islam to the Palestinian issue, from the Prophet Mohammed to Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. A History of the Arab Peoples chronicles the rich...
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Recommended by Eugene Rogan, Tarek Osman, and 2 others.

Eugene RoganHourani picked up on Khaldun’s cyclical notion of the rise and fall of Arab empires, and these almost Weberian notions of loyalty, as the key themes with which to weave a history of the Arab peoples. (Source)

Tarek OsmanThe key illuminating point is how the culture that has emerged in that part of the world has gathered those people and really united them by a common thread. (Source)

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Don't have time to read the top Islamic History books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.
21
Now in trade paperback, a gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history, and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's readable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current jihad between the West and the Middle East. less

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22

The World's Religions

The World’s Religions, by beloved author and pioneering professor Huston Smith (Tales of Wonder), is the definitive classic for introducing the essential elements and teachings of the world's predominant faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as regional native traditions.

This revised and updated edition provides sympathetic descriptions of the various traditions, explaining how they work “from the inside,” which is a big reason why this cherished classic has sold more than two million copies since it...
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23
The critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling account of how the modern Middle East came into being after World War I, and why it is in upheaval today

In our time the Middle East has proven a battleground of rival religions, ideologies, nationalisms, and dynasties. All of these conflicts, including the hostilities between Arabs and Israelis that have flared yet again, come down, in a sense, to the extent to which the Middle East will continue to live with its political inheritance: the arrangements, unities, and divisions imposed upon the region by the Allies after the...
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24
Few things provoke controversy in the modern world like the religion brought by Muhammad. Modern media are replete with alarm over jihad, underage marriage and the threat of amputation or stoning under Shariah law. Sometimes rumor, sometimes based in fact and often misunderstood, the tenets of Islamic law and dogma were not set in the religion’s founding moments. They were developed over centuries by the clerical class of Muslim scholars.

Misquoting Muhammad takes the reader back in time through Islamic civilization and traces how and why such controversies developed, offering an...
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25
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an unusual and rich work. It encompasses an account of the Arab Revolt against the Turks during the First World War alongside general Middle Eastern and military history, politics, adventure and drama. It is also a memoir of the soldier known as 'Lawrence of Arabia'.Lawrence is a fascinating and controversial figure and his talent as a vivid and imaginative writer shines through on every page of this, his masterpiece. Seven Pillars of Wisdom provides a unique portrait of this extraordinary man and an insight into the birth of the Arab nation. less
Recommended by Wade Davis, Dan Choi, and 2 others.

Wade DavisSomeone once asked me, if a fire burnt down my house what would be the one thing I would walk out with? And it’s a first-edition, leather-bound copy of this incredible book signed by my grandfather. My grandfather was himself a surgeon at a casualty clearing station on the Western Front. (Source)

Dan ChoiYes, it’s a book about Lawrence’s experiences during World War I, when he was stationed in North African and the Middle East. He writes about some of the lessons that he learnt from the military leaders from the Allies, and the Bedouin and tribal leaders. The book was influential to me because I can see his contribution as an Arabist. (Source)

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26
A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstone

This kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, rather than the advent of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith begins his narrative more than a thousand years before Muhammad and focuses on how Arabic, both spoken and written, has functioned...
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27
The Jannah Jewels land in the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali. Suddenly, they are caught in the middle of a mystery. Someone has stolen a priceless manuscript! While following clues, they find the Grand Mosque and discover the Treasure King. Who exactly is the Treasure King and can the Jannah Jewels restore the missing manuscript into a Golden Clock before time runs out? less

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29

Muhammad Messenger of Allah

يتناول الكتاب سيرة النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم حيث شملت تلك السيرة كل ما يتعلق به من صفات خَلْقية وخُلقية، وأفعال وأقوال إلى جانب ما جاء ذكره في القرآن الكريم من خلال مخاطبته عز وجل نبيه الكريم والذي يلقي الضوء أكثر وأكثر على شخصية الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم فما يتيح للمسلم والقارئ فهم شخصية الرسول القائد والسراج المنير فيعرف دستوره من خلال دراسته للسيرة العطرة. إلى جانب هذا الهدف فإن السيرة تضع أمام المسلم الأحداث الإسلامية الكبرى التي من خلالها يمكن تفهم العقيدة والأخلاق السوية المقربة إلى الله عز وجل وقد قام المحقق بترجمة بعض الأعلام وخرّج الآيات القرآنية والأحاديث النبوية، بالإضافة إلى... more
Recommended by Ahmad Thomson, and 1 others.

Ahmad ThomsonFive Books aims to keep its book recommendations and interviews up to date. If you are the interviewee and would like to update your choice of books (or even just what you say about them) please email us at [email protected] (Source)

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30
The news-breaking book that has sent shockwaves through the Bush White House, Ghost Wars is the most accurate and revealing account yet of the CIA's secret involvement in al-Qaeda's evolution. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005.

Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll has spent years reporting from the Middle East, accessed previously classified government files and interviewed senior US officials and foreign spymasters. Here he gives the full inside story of the CIA's covert funding of an Islamic jihad against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, explores how this sowed the seeds of...
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Don't have time to read the top Islamic History books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.
31
Undoing the familiar notion of the Middle Ages as a period of religious persecution and intellectual stagnation, María Menocal now brings us a portrait of a medieval culture where literature, science, and tolerance flourished for 500 years.The story begins as a young prince in exile—the last heir to an Islamic dynasty—founds a new kingdom on the Iberian peninsula: al-Andalus. Combining the best of what Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures had to offer, al-Andalus and its successors influenced the rest of Europe in dramatic ways, from the death of liturgical Latin and the spread of secular... more
Recommended by David Marquand, and 1 others.

David MarquandThis had a huge influence on me when I was researching my latest book. I think the biggest threat to the values of pluralist democracy in present day Europe is Islamophobia. There is a very serious danger that this will be to the 21st century what anti-semitism was to the last century. I don’t think it has done so yet, but it could. I found the Rosa Menocal book quite inspiring because of what it... (Source)

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32
A Commentary on Imam al-Tirmidhi's Shama'il Muhammadiyyah, the most famous and widely accepted work on the description of the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa sallam).

Description:

The Shama’il of Imām al-Tirmidhī is one of the most extensive and celebrated works on the description and attributes of the Messenger of Allah (s). The 415 narrations were carefully selected by the great muhaddith to craft a vivid depiction of the Prophet (s). Through this, a portrait of his blessed physical appearance, habits, worship, daily routine, spirituality and much more is painted by...
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33

The Life of the Prophet Muhammad

This children's book on the life of the Prophet Muhammad is taken from traditional Muslim biographical literature, including hadith. Passages from the Qur'an are used throughout to reinforce the stories. The material is authentic and the style lively and attractive. Although the book has been written for children of 10 to 15 years of age, it can be usefully read by anyone as an introduction because of its completeness and clarity. There are 32 colour illustrations although there has been no attempt to portray either the Prophet or his Companions. The illustrations are representative of... more

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34
A fresh, evenhanded biography of the founder of Islam by the author of "A History of God." "Portrays Muhammad as a passionate, complex, fallible human being."-- "Publishers Weekly" less

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35
Celebrated in a film featuring Omar Sharif in his final role, meet the scientist known as the "Father of Optics," Ibn al-Haytham!

During the golden age of science, knowledge, and invention in Muslim civilization -- also known as the "Dark Ages" in Western Europe -- this incredible scholar discovered how we see and set the stage for the methods we now know as the scientific process. Packed with beautiful and engaging photos, kids will learn all about this fascinating scientist. 

The Level 3 text provides accessible, yet wide-ranging, information for independent...
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36
In the spring of 1839 British forces invaded Afghanistan for the first time, re-establishing Shah Shuja on the throne, in reality as their puppet, and ushering in a period of conflict over the territory still unresolved today. In 1842, the Afghan people rose in answer to the call for jihad against the foreign occupiers, and the country exploded into violent rebellion. In what is arguably the greatest military humiliation ever suffered by the West in the East, more than eighteen thousand cold and hungry British troops, Indian sepoys and camp followers retreated through the icy mountain passes,... more

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37
In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran... more

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38
The acclaimed author of Rubicon and other superb works of popular history now produces a thrillingly panoramic (and incredibly timely) account of the rise of Islam.
 
No less significant than the collapse of the Roman Republic or the Persian invasion of Greece, the evolution of the Arab empire is one of the supreme narratives of ancient history, a story dazzlingly rich in drama, character, and achievement.  Just like the Romans, the Arabs came from nowhere to carve out a stupefyingly vast dominion—except that they achieved their conquests not over the course of...
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39
Are Islamic societies inherently oppressive to women? Is the trend among Islamic women to appear once again in veils and other traditional clothing a symbol of regression or an effort to return to a “pure” Islam that was just and fair to both sexes? In this book Leila Ahmed adds a new perspective to the current debate about women and Islam by exploring its historical roots, tracing the developments in Islamic discourses on women and gender from the ancient world to the present.

In order to distinguish what was distinctive about the earliest Islamic doctrine on women, Ahmed first...
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Recommended by Murtaza Mohammad Hussain, and 1 others.

Murtaza Mohammad Hussain@gypsy_heart6 Great book (Source)

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40

Quran Made Easy

Arabic lessons to help in understanding the Koranic text. less

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Don't have time to read the top Islamic History books of all time? Read Shortform summaries.

Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by:

  • Being comprehensive: you learn the most important points in the book
  • Cutting out the fluff: you focus your time on what's important to know
  • Interactive exercises: apply the book's ideas to your own life with our educators' guidance.
42
In Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Jim al-Khalili celebrates the forgotten pioneers who helped shape our understanding of the world.

For over 700 years the international language of science was Arabic. Surveying the golden age of Arabic science, Jim Al-Khalili reintroduces such figures as the Iraqi physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who practised the modern scientific method over half a century before Bacon; al-Khwarizmi, the greatest mathematician of the medieval world; and Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, a Persian polymath to rival Leonardo da Vinci.

'Jim...
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Recommended by Andrew Lawrence, and 1 others.

Andrew LawrenceThis is a history book, but about the history of science. It was an eye opener to me because I thought I knew about Arabic science and I didn’t. The story that most scientists will tell you is, “First there were the Greeks who did these wonderful things, and then later on there was the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution. In between the Arabs and Islam held the torch.” The picture you get... (Source)

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43

The Travels of Ibn Battutah

Ibn Battutah was just 21 when he set out in 1325 from his native Tangier on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He did not return to Morocco for another 29 years, traveling instead through more than 40 countries on the modern map, covering 75,000 miles and getting as far north as the Volga, as far east as China, and as far south as Tanzania. He wrote of his travels, and comes across as a superb ethnographer, biographer, anecdotal historian, and occasional botanist and gastronome. With this edition by Mackintosh-Smith, Battuta's Travels takes its place alongside other indestructible masterpieces of... more

Tim Mackintosh-SmithIf you read this book, it seems quite chaotic, but there is an underlying structure to it. I think there are two elements to this structure. (Source)

Ziauddin SardarTravel is both a physical and a mental exercise – it is about immersing yourself in another culture. Travelling is the process of letting go of yourself and immersing yourself into different ways of knowing and seeing. If you cannot do this, you haven’t travelled. It’s certainly not a holiday – travelling is not staying in five-star hotels.   (Source)

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45
With a New Afterword

As a prizewinning foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Geraldine Brooks spent six years covering the Middle East through wars, insurrections, and the volcanic upheaval of resurgent fundamentalism. Yet for her, headline events were only the backdrop to a less obvious but more enduring drama: the daily life of Muslim women. Nine Parts of Desire is the story of Brooks' intrepid journey toward an understanding of the women behind the veils, and of the often contradictory political, religious, and cultural forces that shape...
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46
Correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban—the world’s most extreme & radical Islamic organization—into sharp focus in this enormously insightful book. He offers the only authoritative account of the Taliban available to English-language readers, explaining the Taliban’s rise to power, its impact on Afghanistan & the region, its role in oil & gas company decisions, & the effects of changing American attitudes toward the Taliban. He also describes the new face of Islamic fundamentalism & explains why Afghanistan has become the world center for... more
Recommended by Jonathan Powell, and 1 others.

Jonathan Powell9/11 was a big shock. When the first plane hit I thought it was an accident. When I was told of a second plane, I assumed it was a loop on the film. Once I knew the truth, I spent the rest of the day dealing with the consequences and trying to make sure the UK wasn’t under attack. (Source)

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47
The extraordinary life of the man who founded Islam, and the world he inhabited—and remade.

Look out for Lesley Hazleton's new book, Agnostic: A Spirited Manifesto, coming in February 2016.


Muhammad’s was a life of almost unparalleled historical importance; yet for all the iconic power of his name, the intensely dramatic story of the prophet of Islam is not well known. In The First Muslim, Lesley Hazleton brings him vibrantly to life. Drawing on early eyewitness sources and on history, politics, religion, and psychology, she renders him as a man in...
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48
One of the most controversial episodes in the life of the Prophet Muhammad concerns an incident in which he allegedly mistook words suggested by Satan as divine revelation. Known as the Satanic verses, these praises to the pagan deities contradict the Islamic belief that Allah is one and absolute. Muslims today--of all sects--deny that the incident of the Satanic verses took place. But as Shahab Ahmed explains, Muslims did not always hold this view.

Before Orthodoxy wrestles with the question of how religions establish truth--especially religions such as Islam that lack a...
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49
In an era when the relationship between Islam and the West seems mainly defined by mistrust and misunderstanding, we often forget that for centuries Muslim civilization was the envy of the world. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the major role played by the early Muslim world in influencing modern society, Lost History fills an important void. Written by an award-winning author and former diplomat with extensive experience in the Muslim world, it provides new insight not only into Islam's historic achievements but also the ancient resentments that fuel today's bitter... more

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50
From the Iranian hostage crisis through the Gulf War and the bombing of the World Trade Center, the American news media have portrayed "Islam" as a monolithic entity, synonymous with terrorism and religious hysteria. In this classic work, now updated, the author of Culture and Imperialism reveals the hidden agendas and distortions of fact that underlie even the most "objective" coverage of the Islamic world. less
Recommended by Lorraine Adams, Issandr El Amrani, and 2 others.

Lorraine AdamsHe insisted that news is partial and dependent on official interpretation that may serve a private interest rather than a national interest. (Source)

Issandr El AmraniThis book, although less intellectually challenging than Orientalism, is very important as well. In a sense it is even more important. (Source)

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51

The Sufis

When it first appeared in 1964, The Sufis was welcomed as the decisive work on the subject of Sufi Thought. Rich in scope, author Idries Shah explained clearly the traditions and philosophy of the Sufis to a Western audience for the first time. In the five decades since its release, the book has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and has found a wide readership in both East and West. Containing detailed information on the major Sufi thinkers, and literary characters, such as Nasrudin, it is regarded as a key work on both Sufism and Eastern Philosophy. A text in scores of... more

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52
A sweeping history of the often-violent conflict between Islam and the West, shedding a revealing light on current hostilities

The West and Islam--the sword and the scimitar--have clashed since the mid-seventh century, when, according to Muslim tradition, the Byzantine emperor rejected Prophet Muhammad's order to abandon Christianity and convert to Islam, unleashing a centuries-long jihad on Christendom.

Sword and Scimitar chronicles the significant battles that arose from this ages-old Islamic jihad, beginning with the first major Islamic attack on...
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53

Al-Muhaddithat

The Women Scholars in Islam

This book is an adaptation in English of the prefatory volume of a 40-volume biographical dictionary (in Arabic) of women scholars of the Prophet s hadith. Learned women enjoyed high public standing and authority in the formative years of Islam. For centuries thereafter, women travelled intensively for religious knowledge and routinely attended the most prestigious mosques and madrasas across the Islamic world. Typical documents (like class registers and ijazahs from women authorizing men to teach) and the glowing testimonies about their women teachers from the most revered ulema are cited in... more

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54
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a pioneering community of Christian scholars laid the groundwork for the modern Western understanding of Islamic civilization. These men produced the first accurate translation of the Qur’an into a European language, mapped the branches of the Islamic arts and sciences, and wrote Muslim history using Arabic sources. The Republic of Arabic Letters reconstructs this process, revealing the influence of Catholic and Protestant intellectuals on the secular Enlightenment understanding of Islam and its written traditions.

Drawing on Arabic,...
more
Recommended by Peter Frankopan, Joshua Landis, and 2 others.

Peter FrankopanTerrific book - great to see it out in p/back @ABevilacqua7 👏👏👏 https://t.co/GWYKe8t80e (Source)

Joshua LandisHow Islam Shaped the Enlightenment - By JACOB SOLL review of ISLAM AND THE EUROPEAN ENLIGHTENMENT by Alexander Bevilacqua A new book recovers the work of scholars who helped establish greater understanding between religions. Great review. https://t.co/x2kpa77S6o (Source)

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55

The House Of Wisdom

The remarkable story of how medieval Arab scholars made dazzling advances in science and philosophy—and of the itinerant Europeans who brought this knowledge back to the West.

For centuries following the fall of Rome, western Europe was a benighted backwater, a world of subsistence farming, minimal literacy, and violent conflict. Meanwhile Arab culture was thriving, dazzling those Europeans fortunate enough to catch even a glimpse of the scientific advances coming from Baghdad, Antioch, or the cities of Persia, Central Asia, and Muslim Spain. T here,...
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56
This is a pioneering study of how traditional towns and cities were conceived, organized, and developed over long periods of time following simple rules that were based on the society's norms and ethical values. Sources were used that date back to the fourteenth century and earlier. Although the study is embedded in the Arab-Islamic culture of North Africa and the Middle East, its implications are universal particularly in light of scientific discoveries of natural processes and the underlying principles of complexity theory and the processes that bring about emergence. Generative processes... more

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57
This book offers a new approach to the vexing question of how to write the early history of Islam. The first part discusses the nature of the Muslim and non-Muslim source material for the seventh- and eighth-century Middle East and argues that by lessening the divide between these two traditions, which has largely been erected by modern scholarship, we can come to a better appreciation of this crucial period. The second part gives a detailed survey of sources and an analysis of some 120 non-Muslim texts, all of which provide information about the first century and a half of Islam (roughly... more

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58

Umar Bin Abdul Aziz

This book describes, among other things, the principles based upon which 'Umar ibn Abd Al-Aziz governed the Muslims during his caliphate: among those principles were mutual consultation, justice, equality among people, and honoring of freedoms.
With the turn of every page, the reader will come to appreciate the fact that 'Umar was exceptional in his Faith, distinguished in his knowledge, profoundly wise in his thinking, remarkable in his eloquence, noble in his manners and great in the contribution he made to this Nation.
English readers have long been deprived of the life story...
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60
"The courageous Robert Spencer busts myths and tells truths about jihadists that no one else will tell."  MICHELLE MALKIN 

While many choose to simply blame the West for provoking  terrorists, Robert Spencer’s new book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) reveals why it is time to ignore political correctness and identify the enemy -  if we hope to ever defeat them.

In a fast-paced, politically incorrect tour of Islamic teachings and Crusades history, Spencer reveals the roots of...
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61

Ibn Fadlān and the Land of Darkness

Arab Travellers in the Far North

In 922 AD, an Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River. In his subsequent report on his mission he gave a meticulous and astonishingly objective description of Viking customs, dress, table manners, religion and sexual practices, as well as the only eyewitness account ever written of a Viking ship cremation.

Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab travellers such as Ibn Fadlan journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan and...
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Recommended by Peter Frankopan, and 1 others.

Peter FrankopanIn the early 10th century, Ibn Fadlan is sent on a mission to Vulgar Bulgaria, which is a long way into the north of Russia. He reports on all the different peoples he meets on the way. (Source)

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62

The Fall of Constantinople 1453

This classic account shows how the fall of Constantinople in May 1453, after a siege of several weeks, came as a bitter shock to Western Christendom. The city's plight had been neglected, and negligible help was sent in this crisis. To the Turks, victory not only brought a new imperial capital, but guaranteed that their empire would last. To the Greeks, the conquest meant the end of the civilisation of Byzantium, and led to the exodus of scholars stimulating the tremendous expansion of Greek studies in the European Renaissance.

"... an excellent tale, full of suspense and pathos......
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63
In 1914 the Ottoman Empire was depleted of men and resources after years of war against Balkan nationalist and Italian forces. But in the aftermath of the assassination in Sarajevo, the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and not even the Middle East could escape the vast and enduring consequences of one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. The Great War spelled the end of the Ottomans, unleashing powerful forces that would forever change the face of the Middle East.

In The Fall of the Ottomans, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the...
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64
Myanmar's Buddhist-Muslim Crisis is a probing search into the reasons and rationalizations behind the violence occurring in Myanmar, especially the oppressive military campaigns waged against Rohingya Muslims by the army in 2016 and 2017. Over more than three years John Holt traveled around Myanmar engaging in sustained conversations with prominent and articulate participants and observers. What emerges from his peregrinations is a series of compelling portraits revealing both deep insights and entrenched misunderstandings.

To understand the conflict, Holt must first accurately...
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65

The World of Late Antiquity 150-750

This remarkable study in social and cultural change explains how and why the Late Antique world, between c. 150 and c. 750, came to differ from "Classical civilization."

These centuries, as the author demonstrates, were the era in which the most deeply rooted of ancient institutions disappeared for all time. By 476 the Roman empire had vanished from western Europe; by 655 the Persian empire had vanished from the Near East.

Peter Brown, Professor of History at Princeton University, examines these changes and men's reactions to them, but his account shows that the period...
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Recommended by Robin Lane Fox, Judith Herrin, and 2 others.

Robin Lane FoxWhat I like about this book is that it is focused on cultural, religious and philosophical changes, particularly in the Greek-speaking world where they were strongest. (Source)

Judith HerrinReally, Late Antiquity wasn’t much of a concept before that book came out. In very few words he managed to sketch out a whole new geography. (Source)

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66
Europe was in the long slumber of the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire was in tatters, and the Greek language was all but forgotten, until a group of twelfth-century scholars rediscovered and translated the works of Aristotle. His ideas spread like wildfire across Europe, offering the scientific view that the natural world, including the soul of man, was a proper subject of study. The rediscovery of these ancient ideas sparked riots and heresy trials, caused major upheavals in the Catholic Church, and also set the stage for today's rift between reason and religion.

In Aristotle's...
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Recommended by Edith Hall, and 1 others.

Edith HallI really enjoyed this book. I learnt a huge amount from it, and I found it fun to read, but also because its author has an agenda which goes beyond telling the story of Aristotle. (Source)

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67
The Venture of Islam has been honored as a magisterial work of the mind since its publication in early 1975. In this three-volume study, illustrated with charts and maps, Hodgson traces and interprets the historical development of Islamic civilization from before the birth of Muhammad to the middle of the twentieth century. This work grew out of the famous course on Islamic civilization that Hodgson created and taught for many years at the University of Chicago.

In this concluding volume of The Venture of Islam, Hodgson describes the second flowering of Islam: the...
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68

ثلاثية غرناطة

ثلاثية غرناطة هي ثلاثية روائية تتكون من ثلاث روايات للكاتبة المصرية رضوى عاشور و هم على التوالي: غرناطة - مريمة - الرحيل.

وتدور الأحداث في مملكة غرناطة بعد سقوط جميع الممالك الإسلامية في الأندلس، و تبدأ أحداث الثلاثية في عام 1491م، وهو العام الذي سقطت فيه غرناطة بإعلان المعاهدة التي تنازل بمقتضاها (أبو عبد الله محمد الصغير) آخر ملوك غرناطة عن ملكه لملكي قشتالة وأراجون، وتنتهى بمخالفة آخر أبطالها الأحياء (عليّ) لقرار ترحيل المسلمين حينما يكتشف أن الموت في الرحيل عن الأندلس و ليس في البقاء.
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69
Contrary to popular opinion, the bulk of Islamic law does not come from the Qur'an but rather from hadith, first-hand reports of the prophet Muhammad's words and deeds, passed from generation to generation. However, with varying accounts often only committed to paper a century after the death of Muhammad, Islamic scholars, past and present, have been faced with complex questions of historical authenticity. Informative and accessible, this wide-ranging introduction provides a detailed exploration of the collection and criticism of hadith and examines the controversy surrounding its role in... more

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70

عبقرية الإمام علي

نبذة موقع النيل والفرات:
يدور على صفحات هذا الكتاب حديث عن الإمام علي بن أبي طالب، هذا الحديث له صلة بالنفس الإنسانية في كل مناصيها، وفي سيرته ملتقى بالعواطف الجياشة، والأحاسيس المتطلعة إلى الرحمة والإكبار، لأنه الشهيد أبو الشهداء... وملتقى بالخيال، حيث دار حول شجاعته منزع الحقيقة ومنزع التخيل... وملتقى بالفكر، فهو صاحب آراء لم تسبق في التصرف والشريعة والأخلاق، ويعتبر صاحب مذهب حكيم بين حكماء العصور. أوتي من الذكاء ما هو أشبه بذكاء الباحثين المنقبين منه بذكاء الساسة المتغلبين، وملتقى مع الذوق الأدبي أو الفني، تراه في منهجه البلاغي والأدبي، وملتقى مع الشكوى والتمرد، أو الرغبة في التجديد...
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71
In "The Siege of Mecca," acclaimed journalist Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world.On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN... more

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72

Muhammad

A Prophet for Our Time

No view of the modern world is complete without an understanding of Islam. To understand Islam, we must understand Muhammad- as a Prophet and Man

British author Karen Armstrong explains "western shallow understanding" of Muslims’ prophet Muhammad and presents a clear and solid account of His biography. She clears up a huge amount of western fallacies about the Prophet presenting credible justifications and rich referencing. ‘We must approach his life in a balanced way, in order to appreciate his considerable achievements’, says in her book’s...
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73

الموسوعة الميسرة في التاريخ الإسلامي, #1

74
In God’s Battalions, distinguished scholar Rodney Stark puts forth a controversial argument that the Crusades were a justified war waged against Muslim terror and aggression. Stark, the author of The Rise of Christianity, reviews the history of the seven major crusades from 1095-1291 in this fascinating work of religious revisionist history. less

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75

The Ottoman Centuries

The Ottoman Empire began in 1300 under the almost legendary Osman I, reached its apogee in the sixteenth century under Suleiman the Magnificent, whose forces threatened the gates of Vienna, and gradually diminished thereafter until Mehmed VI was sent into exile by Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk).

In this definitive history of the Ottoman Empire, Lord Kinross, painstaking historian and superb writer, never loses sight of the larger issues, economic, political, and social. At the same time he delineates his characters with obvious zest, displaying them in all their extravagance, audacity...
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76
Are jihadists dying for a fiction? Everything you thought you knew about Islam is about to change.
Did Muhammad exist?
It is a question that few have thought—or dared—to ask. Virtually everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, takes for granted that the prophet of Islam lived and led in seventh-century Arabia.
But this widely accepted story begins to crumble on close examination, as Robert Spencer shows in his eye-opening new book.
In his blockbuster bestseller The Truth about Muhammad, Spencer revealed the shocking contents of the earliest Islamic biographical...
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77
Despite the explosion in work on African American and religious history, little is known about Black Muslims who came to America as slaves. Most assume that what Muslim faith any Africans did bring with them was quickly absorbed into the new Christian milieu. But, surprisingly, as Sylviane Diouf shows in this new, meticulously researched volume, Islam flourished during slavery on a large scale.

Servants of Allah presents a history of African Muslim slaves, following them from Africa to the Americas. It details how, even while enslaved many Black Muslims managed to...
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78
The definitive history of the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and most influential empires in world history. Its reach extended to three continents and it survived for more than six centuries, but its history is too often colored by the memory of its bloody final throes on the battlefields of World War I. In this magisterial work-the first definitive account written for the general reader-renowned scholar and journalist Caroline Finkel lucidly recounts the epic story of the Ottoman Empire from its origins in the thirteenth century through its destruction...
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79
Since its inception, the study of ad th conducted by scholars trained in the Western academic tradition has been marked by sharp methodological debates. A focal issue is the origin and development of traditions on the advent of Islam. Scholars' verdicts on these traditions have ranged from late fabrications without any historical value for the time concerning which the narrations purport to give information to early, accurately transmitted texts that allow one to reconstruct Islamic origins . Starting from previous contributions to the debate, the studies collected in this volume show that,... more

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80
The origins of Islam have been the subject of increasing controversy in recent years. The traditional view, which presents Islam as a self-consciously distinct religion tied to the life and revelations of the prophet Muhammad in western Arabia, has since the 1970s been challenged by historians engaged in critical study of the Muslim sources.

In Muhammad and the Believers, the eminent historian Fred Donner offers a lucid and original vision of how Islam first evolved. He argues that the origins of Islam lie in what we may call the "Believers' movement" begun by the prophet...
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81
Dervish tales are more than fable, legend, or folklore. For centuries dervish masters have instructed their disciples by means of these teaching stories, which are said to increase perception and knowledge and provide a better understanding of man and the world. In wit, construction, and piquancy, they compare with the finest tales of any culture. Idries Shah spent many years traveling through three continents to collect and compare oral versions of these remarkable stories. This anthology, presented in the dervish manner, contains stories drawn from the repertories of dervish masters over a... more

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82

Mecca

The Sacred City

Mecca is, for many, the heart of Islam. It is the birthplace of Muhammad, the direction to which Muslims turn when they pray, and the site of pilgrimage that annually draws some three million Muslims from all corners of the world. Yet the significance of Mecca is more than purely religious. What happens in Mecca and how Muslims think about the political and cultural history of Mecca has had and continues to have a profound influence on world events to this day.

In this insighful book, Ziauddin Sardar unravels the meaning and significance of Mecca. Tracing its history, from its...
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83
Hailed by critics as an essential book, God's Crucible is a bold, new interpretation of Islamic Spain and the birth of Europe from one of our greatest historians. David Levering Lewis's narrative, filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished—a beacon of cooperation and tolerance—while proto-Europe floundered in opposition.At the beginning of the eighth century, the Arabs brought a momentous revolution in power, religion, and culture to Dark Ages Europe. David Levering Lewis's masterful history... more

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84
In just over a hundred years--from the death of Muhammad in 632 to the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate in 750--the followers of the Prophet swept across the whole of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Their armies threatened states as far flung as the Franks in Western Europe and the Tang Empire in China. The conquered territory was larger than the Roman Empire at its greatest expansion, and it was claimed for the Arabs in roughly half the time. How this collection of Arabian tribes was able to engulf so many empires, states, and armies in such a short period has perplexed... more

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85
Today’s Arab world was created at breathtaking speed. In just over 100 years following the death of Mohammed in 632, Arabs had subjugated a territory with an east-west expanse greater than the Roman Empire. They did it in about one-half the time. By the mid-8th century, Arab armies had conquered the 1000-year-old Persian Empire, reduced the Byzantine Empire to little more than a city-state based around Constantinople, and destroyed the Visigoth kingdom of Spain. The cultural and linguistic effects of this early Islamic expansion reverberate today. This is the first popular English-language... more

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86

عبقرية محمد

نبذة المؤلف:
إنه لنافع لمن يقدرون محمداً، وليس بنافع لمحمد أن يقدروه؛ لأنه فى عظمته الخالدة لا يضار بإنكار، ولا ينال منه بغى الجهلاء، إلا كما نال منه بغى الكفار.. وإنه لنافع للمسلم أن يقدر محمداً بالشواهد والبينات التى يراها غير المسلم، فلا يسعه إلا أن يقدرها ويجرى على مجراه فيها.. لأن مسلماً يقدر محمداً على هذا النحو يحب محمداً مرتين: مرة بحكم دينه الذى لا يشاركه فيه غيره، ومرة بحكم الشمائل الإنسانية التى يشترك فيها جميع الناس. وحسبنا من "عبقرية محمد" أن نقيم البرهان على أن محمداً عظيم فى كل ميزان: عظيم فى ميزان الدين، وعظيم فى ميزان العلم، وعظيم فى ميزان الشعور، وعظيم عند من يختلفون فى...
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87
The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran exposes how the Koran incites hatred and violence and is anti-democratic, anti-freedom, and intolerant of any other ideology. Stripping out the obsolete debate, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran focuses on the decrees toward Jews and Christians, how they were viewed by Muhammad, what “the infidels” have done wrong and what the Koran has in store for them.

The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran is the essential primer to comprehending one of the most cryptic and misunderstood religious texts. Robert Spencer...
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88

Islamic Art and Architecture, 650-1250

This richly illustrated book provides an unsurpassed overview of Islamic art and architecture from the seventh to thirteenth centuries, a time of formation of a new artistic culture and its first, medieval, flowering in the vast area from the Atlantic to India. Inspired by Ettinghausen and Grabar's original text, this book has been completely rewritten and updated to take into account recent information and methodological advances. less

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89
In a convincing reinterpretation of early Islamic history, Wilferd Madelung examines the conflict that developed after the death of Muhammad for control of the Muslim community. He demonstrates how this conflict, which marked the demise of the first four caliphs, resulted in the lasting schism between Sunnite and Shi'ite Islam. In contrast to recent scholarly trends, the author takes up the Shi'i cause, arguing in defense of the succession of 'Ali. This book will make a major scholarly contribution to the debate over succession. less

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90
This reissue again makes available Hourani's comprehensive study of the roots of Arab nationalism in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It focuses on the movement of ideas in two countries, Egypt and Lebanon. The author has written a new preface that puts new emphasis on research and interpretation. less

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91
What is a caliphate? Who can be caliph? And how are contemporary ideologues such as ISIS reviving - and abusing - the term today?

In the first modern account of a subject of critical importance today, acclaimed historian Hugh Kennedy answers these questions by chronicling the rich history of the caliphate, from the death of Muhammad to the present. At its height, the caliphate stretched from Spain to China and was the most powerful political entity in western Eurasia. In an era when Paris and London boasted a few thousand inhabitants, Baghdad and Cairo were...
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92
From the middle of the eighth century to the tenth century, almost all non-literary and non-historical secular Greek books, including such diverse topics as astrology, alchemy, physics, botany and medicine, that were not available throughout the eastern Byzantine Empire and the Near East, were translated into Arabic.
Greek Thought, Arabic Culture explores the major social, political and ideological factors that occasioned the unprecedented translation movement from Greek into Arabic in Baghdad, the newly founded capital of the Arab dynasty of the 'Abbasids', during the first two...
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Recommended by Peter Adamson, Amira Bennison, and 2 others.

Peter AdamsonAbout an enormous movement when Greek works of science and philosophy were translated into Arabic. (Source)

Amira BennisonGutas is very keen to flag up the role of the caliphs as patrons committed to an intellectual project. (Source)

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93
A third edition of this book is now available. How have the crusades contributed to Islamist rage and terrorism today? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of modern jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. With a cry of "God wills it!" medieval knights ushered in a new era in European history. Across Europe a wave of pious enthusiasm led many thousands to leave their homes, family, and friends to march to distant lands in a great struggle for Christ. Yet the crusades were... more

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94

Classical Arabic Philosophy

An Anthology of Sources

This volume introduces the major classical Arabic philosophers through substantial selections from the key works (many of which appear in translation for the first time here) in each of the fields--including logic, philosophy of science, natural philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, and politics--to which they made significant contributions.

An extensive Introduction situating the works within their historical, cultural, and philosophical contexts offers support to students approaching the subject for the first time, as well as to instructors with little or no formal training in Arabic...
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95
Muhammad: a frank look at his influential (and violent) life and teachings
In The Truth about Muhammad, New York Times bestselling author and Islam expert Robert Spencer offers an honest and telling portrait of the founder of Islam-perhaps the first such portrait in half a century-unbounded by fear and political correctness, unflinching, and willing to face the hard facts about Muhammad's life that continue to affect our world today.

From Muhammad's first "revelation" from Allah (which filled him with terror that he was demonpossessed) to his deathbed (from which he called...
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98
According to tradition, the First Crusade began at the instigation of Pope Urban II and culminated in July 1099, when thousands of western European knights liberated Jerusalem from the rising menace of Islam. But what if the First Crusade's real catalyst lay far to the east of Rome? In this groundbreaking book, countering nearly a millennium of scholarship, Peter Frankopan reveals the untold history of the First Crusade.

Nearly all historians of the First Crusade focus on the papacy and its willing warriors in the West, along with innumerable popular tales of bravery, tragedy, and...
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99
Imam Mohammad Tawhidi is a third-generation Iranian-born Australian Muslim Imam and a publicly ordained Islamic authority who comes from a prominent Islamic lineage. His ancestors were the companions of Prophet Mohammad and played a significant role in the early Islamic conquests.

Imam Tawhidi ended his relationship with the Iranian regime and continued his studies in the Holy Cities in Iraq. In 2014, ISIS conquered large parts of Iraq's territory and murdered members of Tawhidi's family. In 2015, Imam Tawhidi began to gradually call for reform within Muslim societies. His views...
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100

The First Crusade

A New History

On the last Tuesday of November 1095, Pope Urban II delivered an electrifying speech that launched the First Crusade. His words set Christendom afire. Some 100,000 men, from knights to paupers, took up the call--the largest mobilization of manpower since the fall of the Roman Empire.
Now, in The First Crusade, Thomas Asbridge offers a gripping account of a titanic three-year adventure filled with miraculous victories, greedy princes and barbarity on a vast scale. Readers follow the crusaders from their mobilization in Europe (where great waves of anti-Semitism resulted in the...
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