Muhammad and the Believers At the Origins of Islam

ISBN-10: 0674064143
ISBN-13: 9780674064140
Edition: 2010
Authors: Fred M. Donner
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 5/7/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

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 Muhammad—a movement of religious reform emphasizing strict monotheism and righteous behavior in conformity with God's revealed law. The Believers' movement thus included righteous Christians and Jews in its early years, because like the Qur'anic Believers, Christians and Jews were monotheists and agreed to live righteously in obedience to their revealed law. The conviction that Muslims constituted a separate religious community, utterly distinct from Christians and Jews, emerged a century later, when the leaders of the Believers' movement decided that only those who saw the Qur'an as the final revelation of the One God and Muhammad as the final prophet, qualified as Believers. This separated them decisively from monotheists who adhered to the Gospels or Torah.

List of Maps
Preface
Acknowledgments
A Note on Conventions
The Near East on the Eve of Islam
The Empires of the Late Antique Near East
Arabia between the Great Powers
Mecca and Yathrib (Medina)
Muhammad and the Believers' Movement
The Traditional Biography of Muhammad the Prophet
The Problem of Sources
The Character of the Early Believers' Movement
The Expansion of the Community of Believers
Sources
The Community in the Last Years of Muhammad's Life
Succession to Muhammad and the Ridda Wars
The Character of the Believers' Early Expansion
The Course and Scope of the Early Expansion
Consolidation and Institutions of the Early Expansion Era
The Struggle for Leadership of the Community, 34-73/655-692
Background of the First Civil War
The Course of the First Civil War (35-40/656-661)
Between Civil Wars (40-60/661-680)
The Second Civil War (60-73 /680-692)
Reflections on the Civil Wars
The Emergence of Islam
The Umayyad Restoration and Return to the Imperial Agenda
The Redefinition of Key Terms
Emphasis on Muhammad and the Qur�an
The Problem of the Trinity
Elaboration of Islamic Cultic Practices
Elaboration of the Islamic Origins Story
The Coalescence of an "Arab" Political Identity
Official vs. Popular Change
The umma Document
Inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Notes and Guide to Further Reading
Glossary
Illustration Credits
Index

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