Chapter 4: History of Islam
Religions of a Single God - A Critical Introduction to Monotheisms from Judaism to Baha'i - Zeba A. Crook
Zeba A. Crook [+]
Islamic history begins, arguably, in Medina with the establishment of a religio-political charter and a discrete community. From there, we can trace the expansion and spread of the movement to form, eventually, the Islamicate. But establishing an empire and leading an empire are different enterprises, so much of this chapter focuses on the challenges Muslims faced when it came to leadership. The history of the Islamicate reveals little agreement concerning the nature and qualifications for leadership. Although some Arab features will likely always remain in Islam because of its Arab origins, we will see that Islamic history (and in a later chapter, Islamic culture) have been shaped even more profoundly by Persians, Berbers, and Turks, but also by interactions with Jews, Christians, and Hindus.