By John Joseph Saunders
Are not the phrases "Medieval Islam" a redundancy? while has Islam ever no longer been "Medieval"? for instance, a good way to examine the historical past of the "Dark Ages", you may learn eighth and ninth century Europe, otherwise you may examine any Arab kingdom at the present time that is guided via Islamic rules.
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Additional info for A History of Medieval Islam
The people of Mecca claimed descent from a common ancestor Kuraish (Quraysh), and the government of the city was vested in a mala’ or council, comprising the heads of the leading families. Regular caravans travelled 22 THE PROPHET northwards to Damascus and Gaza carrying not only Arabian products like incense but silks from China, spices from India, and slaves and ivory from Africa. If modern interpretations are correct, rising prosperity was producing a social crisis within the town. The big fortunes made by merchants and bankers roused resentment among the small men, the artisans, craftsmen and poorer shopkeepers, and the old ties of tribal group loyalty were being weakened by the growth of a narrow and selfish individualism.
The second consists of an enormous mass of sayings and stories attributed to the Prophet, and guaranteed by an isnad, or chain of witnesses, framed on the pattern: ‘I heard from A, who heard from B, who heard from C, that the Prophet said…’ But memory is 19 THE PROPHET 20 THE PROPHET 21 THE PROPHET fallible, and isnads may be forged, and the desire of parties or groups in later years to justify their particular beliefs or practices by citing the authority of Muhammad for them undoubtedly produced an alarming amount of falsification.
Without Muhammad, there would have been no Arab Empire; yet in a different age and situation, the Prophet of Islam might have 36 THE PROPHET lived and died in impotent obscurity. Had he been born a century earlier, the powerful empire of Justinian would have opposed an impenetrable barrier to the onrush of the Arab hordes: had he flourished a century later, Arabia might have already accepted the Christain faith and the realms of Caesar and Khusrau might have recovered from the effects of their mutual antagonism.
A History of Medieval Islam by John Joseph Saunders