The Oxford History of Islam

The Oxford History of Islam[PDF] ✅ The Oxford History of Islam ✈ John L. Esposito – Lavishly illustrated with over 300 pictures including than 200 in full color The Oxford History of Islam offers the most wide ranging and authoritative account available of the second largest and fast Lavishly illustrated with over History of eBook ´ pictures including than in full color The Oxford History of Islam offers the most wide ranging and authoritative account available of the second largest and fastest growing religion in the world John L Esposito Editor in Chief of the four volume Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World has gathered together sixteen leading scholars both Muslim and non Muslim to examine the origins and historical development of Islam its faith community institutions sciences and arts The Oxford PDF/EPUB ² Beginning in the pre Islamic Arab world the chapters range from the story of Muhammad and his Companions to the development of Islamic religion and culture and the empires that grew from it to the influence that Islam has on today's world The book covers a wide array of subjects casting light on topics such as the historical encounter of Islam and Christianity the role of Islam in the Mughal and Ottoman empires the growth of Islam in Southeast Asia China and Oxford History of MOBI ð Africa the political economic and religious challenges of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and Islamic communities in the modern Western world In addition the book offers excellent articles on Islamic religion art and architecture and sciences as well as bibliographies Events in the contemporary world have led to an explosion of interest and scholarly work on Islam Written for the general reader but also appealing to specialists The Oxford History of Islam offers the best of that recent scholarship presented in a readable style and complemented by a rich variety of illustrations. This book is the best introduction to Islam that I am aware of It is beautifully illustrated Being very long it covers all topics in considerable depth culture literature theology military arts science architecture and paintingThe focus of the book is on what is good and admirable in the Islamic world The approach is similar to that of a Western Civilization book that urges you to admire Mozart Michelangelo Imago Jones Shakespeare Isaac Newton and Jean Jacues Rousseau simultaneouslyThis is the only approach to take Too many books on Islam view it as problem to be solved or eradicated if necessary I know that the Americans practiced slavery massacred Indians stole territory from the Mexicans dropped Atomic bombs on the Japan and sprayed Napalm all over Viet Nam However to truly understand America you need understand that it is the country that created the first Modern democratic state and then exported it all over the world America has also given us great writers like Louisa May Alcott James Feni Cooper Henry James and many others It has produced architects like Louis Sullivan and William Jenney Amerian scientists have won numerous Nobel Prizes The Islamic world deserves the same treatment Look and understand its greatness before you try to fix it The Oxford History of Islam tells the magnificent story of the wonderful achievements of this culture Although I would rate Marshall Hodgson's The Venture of Islam series the best overall history of the Islamicate world of the books I've read I think The Oxford History of Islam does an excellent job and I would say it is the best overall history of the Islamicate world for those without much previous knowledge andor non students or scholars of Islam The Oxford History of Islam covers all or most the important basics of the Islamicate world from a variety of top notch scholars It provides a good historical grounding that goes beyond the traditional Arab and Middle Eastern bias of many histories of the Islamicate world and it does a good job explaining the issues facing the modern Islamicate world Again while not the best overall book for scholars it has an advatntage over many scholarly books in that it is in a much easier to read format including color photos I read ALL 700 pages and I think I learned A LOT about Islam Having said thatlike all Oxford Histor ies this book is a collection of works by a very mixed bag of academics some know exactly what they should provide to their audience and how the chapters on ancient and modern Islam and some utterly clueless sight seekers the chapter on Islamic art filled with illustrations from fancy books As a totality it left me as a reader feeling both enlightened and guilty of orientalismHey at the end of the day I feel less clueless about the world around me Hard to call that a bad thing Obviously didn't read the whole thing Focused on the chapters covering theology philosophy and the development of Shariah Really interesting and just reading those chapters give you an idea for how complex and multifacted Islam actually is I'll likely return to this to read other chapters down the road Huge book Serves as a reference that one can keeping coming back to I enjoyed it did not get bored reading it because of the many authors sources involved in each chapter Great work This is probably the most thorough and comprehensive treatment of the history of Islam that I have so far encountered It covers areas about which I had previously not read at all including the history and nature of Islam in West Africa and China and the reform and renewal efforts of Islamic thinkers and ideologues in the last two centuries The interactions of Muslim immigrants with their host countries are also examined The book is divided into a series of thematic sections written by specialists who seem to know their material and to take a neutral stance Unfortunately it is generally rather dry and as an Oxford history left me spluttering with outrage into my Earl Grey over its use of American spelling I am getting flecks of cucumber sandwich on the screen even as I typeThe treatment of the origins predisposing conditions and earliest history of Islam struck me as perhaps a little brief It has long been my conviction that one can hardly understand Islam without reading the biography of Muhammad and understanding how that biography is framed in Muslim terms as his life is both the source of the Hadith and the explicit examplar of the perfect Muslim life As this book attempts to synthesise a vast amount of material concerning than half the world over 1400 odd years there is only so much space that one can devote to any given period Still I feel that this period is so key to understanding Islam and so well documented that it could have been given a deeper treatmentThis work exploded a few beliefs that I had managed to retain even after about 25 years of reading about Islam Key among these was the position regarding representative art which had been puzzling me for a while as I have seen artwork in other works which seems to conflict with this supposed proscription In fact as the book demonstrates representative art was never actually forbidden in Islam Muhammad cleansed the Ka'aba of idols and Muslims immediately adopted the convention of banning images from mosues as a possible focus of idolatry However the distaste for representation generally developed over many centuries and has never become universalThe treatment of Islamic science is illuminating and covers material of which I was also hitherto unaware Far from merely being transmitters of Greek and Hindu concepts of science Mediaeval Islam engaged in a dynamic and active study of physics medicine and philosophy and achieved many uniue achievements of their own not least the concepts of algebra Their medical tradition was firmly Galenic and based on the now discredited doctrine of the Four Humours but they made concrete gains all the same Interest in astronomy was intense as the fixing of astronomical events and the stellar orientation of the ibla is central to Islamic belief In later times reformers have advanced the idea that secular science must be accepted and ur'anic cosmology be viewed as allegorical albeit against stiff resistance The interesting uestion once again springs to mind as to why neither Islam nor India nor the Greek speaking Byzantines reached the critical mass to initiate a scientific revolution as arose in EuropeIslam and its relationships with other cultures are a subject of intense interest all over the world today Tens of millions of Muslims live as minorities in non Islamic host cultures and both sides are locked in debate as to how to deal with this The Muslim countries themselves are often based on borders and governed by institutions imposed by European colonial rulers sometimes still subject to violent interventions and mosues in the USA have been subjected to terrorist attacks since the 1980s while revolutions in the Middle East boil over onto European streets The Islamic world splits about evenly between Parliamentary democracies with varying degrees of participation like Pakistan Malaysia and Turkey and outright autocracies like the Gulf states Ironically the Iranian Republic with an elected President and Prime Minister and the rights both to vote and to take elected office guaranteed for women has received perhaps the most opprobrium from Western states allegedly supporting precisely these principles One of the most repressive regimes on Earth and the source of the 9 11 team Saudi Arabia on the other hand seems to be able to do no wrongOutside of North Africa where universal Islamisation was enforced by Sunni fundamentalists Muslim countries themselves are ethnic and confessional patchworks having often retained substantial non Muslim populations even after a millennium of Muslim rule The Islamic empire expanded with explosive speed as a state appeared on the bridge linking Europe Asia and Africa just as the two empires which it separated were nearing exhaustion As such the new state acuired territory to govern long before it showed any interest in conversion which was in any case discouraged by the interests arising from Islamic taxation Missionary activity was associated as much with trading along the Silk Roads and the Indian Ocean rim as with military conuest All this leads to both a highly complex and now pressingly vital uestion of coexistence to which the book devotes the last few chapters We seem to have stumbled into a World War and explaining how we failed to see it coming is not entirely easyThis compendium acts as a welcome antidote to much of the simplistic and prejudicial rhetoric to be heard from all sides in recent years Whenever I get interested in a topic I like to go all the way and devour what material I can to better inform myself Such was my intent in taking up this massive tome I don't consider myself religious by any means but the subject of religion is interesting to me Islam in particular has become a huge point of contention no matter what side you consider yourself to be on And in reading this book I found Islam to be diverse and nuanced than any mass media or politician would probably admit Does that mean I up and convert? No but understanding something is better than wholesale rejection and demonization As far as the book itself is concerned I'm pretty sure this would make a good textbook for an Islamic Studies course if it already isn't somewhere after all it IS an Oxford History In telling the history of Islam it is divided into 15 chapters really extended essays that take a loosely chronological approach but is also topical The most valuable chapters to me were those on the earliest history of Muhammad Islam's philosophical underpinnings Shariah theology and what was then currentmodern Islam I also found the chapters on Islamic science art and architecture to be uite interesting further evidence of its cultural value The chapters dealing with the rise and fall of the different Islamic empires was also valuable but of a World History refresher and a bit dry at times There's also a detailed chronology and selective bibliography for those who want to read further on the plethora of topics that the book addresses I also appreciated explanation of the many Arabic terms that are central to an understanding of Islam and which is reinforced by some overlap in the various chapters However if there's any one thing I took away from the book it's that as a religion Islam is as diverse and multi faceted as its Judeo Christian counterparts It's just that nowadays fundamentalists seem to have hijacked for lack of a better word the conversation and all of the media attention reinforcing stereotypes and prejudices held by all sides If there's one area where this book is lacking but through no fault of its own is the recent developments of Al aeda and ISIL as further neorevivalistneomodernist movements But as a pre 911 examination of Islam I doubt you'd find a better concise introduction to it than this I'd like to close with a uote from the book's last chapter Like believers in their sister traditions Judaism and Christianity the critical uestion is the relationship of faith and tradition to change in a rapidly changing and pluralistic world As I read through the book I couldn't help but mentally draw parallels between Islam and Christianity as experienced here in the US Hopefully the various religions realize that they share a common struggle even if the particular beliefs differ and learn to coexist peacefully Highly recommended for the serious and open minded reader or student of religion This is a VERY interesting book It is a text book from my daughter's university course of a few years back I didn't read every chapter but learned so much from the history chapters at the front Islamic history of religion science art literature A very good introcution to Islamic history I can't claim to have read this whole book it really isn't meant to be read that way I think this is the best reference I have on the Islamic world

The Oxford History of Islam eBook ë The Oxford
  • Hardcover
  • 768 pages
  • The Oxford History of Islam
  • John L. Esposito
  • English
  • 27 May 2016
  • 9780195107999