By Robert Hoyland

This ebook bargains a brand new method of the vexing query of ways 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 heart East and argues that via lessening the divide among those traditions, which has mostly been erected by means of sleek scholarship, we will be able to come to a greater appreciation of this significant interval. the second one half provides an in depth survey of resources 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 advised within the first half and with the cloth provided within the moment half, how one may well write the heritage of this time. The fourth half takes the shape of excurses on numerous themes, equivalent to the method of Islamization, the phenomenon of conversion to Islam, the advance of suggestions for picking the course of prayer, and the conquest of Egypt.

Because this paintings perspectives Islamic historical past due to non-Muslim texts and assesses the latter within the mild of Muslim writings, it will likely be crucial studying for historians of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Zoroastrianism--indeed, for all people with an curiosity in cultures of the jap Mediterranean in its conventional section from overdue Antiquity to medieval times.

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