Crusade and Jihad: Origins, History, Aftermath by Malcolm Lambert

By Malcolm Lambert

Malcolm Lambert investigates the histories of Christianity and Islam to track the origins and improvement of campaign and jihad. In a story that brims with greater than lifestyles characters - between them, Richard Lionheart, Nur al-Din, Saladin, Baybars and Ghengiz Khan - he describes the fiercely fought struggles to manage the sacred locations of the center East among the 7th and 13th centuries. campaign and jihad are usually reckoned aspects of an identical coin yet this easy competition, the writer indicates, conceals an important adjustments and similarities. From the outset jihad mirrored tensions inside of up to outdoors Islam. Jihad additionally defined the fight among stable and evil within the souls of believers. demands campaign and jihad disguised pursuits for energy and plunder, yet in addition they both encouraged acts of chivalry and heroism. Malcolm Lambert then strikes to the newer historical past of jihad and campaign. In nineteenth-century France he unearths imperialism configured as a campaign to enlighten the barbarians. in the meantime in Britain one of many crusading orders remodeled itself into the St John Ambulance Brigade. extra lately within the united states campaign has been evoked within the struggle on terror whereas jihad is now the rallying cry for Islamic extremists around the global. but, Dr Lambert notes, it nonetheless keeps its peaceable non secular size. campaign and Jihad is a bright, balanced account of 2 of the main robust forces of historical past.

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Still, the disparity between the numbers was overwhelming and Umar set about mitigating its dangers by a policy of establishing garrison towns and sending out scouts to choose suitable sites. Such a strongpoint should have good communications to Medina, be well watered and have sufficient agriculture but should also lie on the edge of desert territory, where the core of Muslim armies with their camels were at home. Kufa, on the banks of the Euphrates close to Hira, fitted these requirements and was formally laid out with roads and adequate space, but with the proviso that no house should have more than three apartments and none should be too high.

Bedouin were accustomed to live hard and accept a low diet and in consequence early armies did not need a supply train and acquired an extraordinary mobility. They were consoled in death by the rewards of paradise and in success by rich booty. Caliphs were open-minded about promoting outsiders as generals: Khalid, the former opponent of Muhammad at the battle of Uhud, who won the victory at Yarmuk; the slave’s son Musa ibn Nusayr, the conqueror of al-Andalus; the youthful Thagafi Muhammad ibn Qasim, with his precocious military and diplomatic skills.

He was a martyr in a sense familiar to Christians: a passive, suffering victim of persecution. In his view Caliph Yazid I was taking Islam back to the cruelties and arbitrary behaviour of the Arabian desert in the jahiliyya, the time of ignorance before the Prophet. Political and military action alone would not do, for they would only end in toleration of a corrupt and debased caliphate. So al-Husayn gave himself, his devoted followers and his family up to a sacrificial death. A defenceless idealist had been done to death and reaction to his end stimulated opposition to the caliphate as a flawed institution.

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