A History of Islamic Societies by Ira M. Lapidus

By Ira M. Lapidus

Lengthy thought of a vintage, A historical past of Islamic Societies is now that rather more helpful a reference for basic readers and students alike. broadly praised for its balanced and finished account, Ira Lapidus' paintings has been absolutely revised in its insurance of every kingdom and quarter of the Muslim international via 2001. It accommodates the origins and evolution of Islamic societies and brings into concentration the ancient approaches that gave form to the manifold types of modern Islam. The concluding chapters survey the growing to be effect of the Islamist routine inside nationwide states and of their transnational or worldwide dimensions, together with the Islamic revival, Islamist politics and terrorism. An up to date dialogue of the jobs of ladies in Islamic societies is additional, with new sections approximately Afghanistan and Muslims in Europe, the United States, and the Philippines. Ira M. Lapidus is Professor Emeritus of historical past on the collage of California at Berkeley. His many books and articles comprise Islam, Politics and Social pursuits (University of California Press, 1988) and Muslim towns within the Later center a long time (Cambridge, 1984).

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When one looks at the character of the argument between al-S¯ır¯af¯ı and Matt¯a, and arguments between theologians and philosophers in medieval Islam as a whole, one often finds yet another strain of contention emerging. This is a suspicion that philosophy is an essentially alien way of thinking. Muslim intellectuals were, and indeed still are, sometimes wary about dealing with pre-Islamic and non-Islamic themes which have become incorporated in Islam. For example, some of the customs and rituals of Islam are assumed to have a non-Islamic origin, being reflections of older and pagan traditions, yet accepting that such practices have pagan precedents has seemed to some Muslims impious and unworthy of the considerable religious respect in which those practices are held by the community.

When one looks at the character of the argument between al-S¯ır¯af¯ı and Matt¯a, and arguments between theologians and philosophers in medieval Islam as a whole, one often finds yet another strain of contention emerging. This is a suspicion that philosophy is an essentially alien way of thinking. Muslim intellectuals were, and indeed still are, sometimes wary about dealing with pre-Islamic and non-Islamic themes which have become incorporated in Islam. For example, some of the customs and rituals of Islam are assumed to have a non-Islamic origin, being reflections of older and pagan traditions, yet accepting that such practices have pagan precedents has seemed to some Muslims impious and unworthy of the considerable religious respect in which those practices are held by the community.

As we have seen, they were obliged to study their works in translation and with the accretion of some Neoplatonic texts passing as Aristotelian. In addition, the philosophical curriculum which was passed on to them came from a wide variety of different and conflicting sources, with an approach to the interpretation of Aristotle very different from that which exists today. Some commentators   Especially in his The correct balance, trans. R. McCarthy, Freedom and fulfillment, pp. –. y¯a’ ‘ul¯um al-d¯ın (The renaissance of the sciences of religion), ed.

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