Cover image for A history of the Islamic world
A history of the Islamic world
Hill, Fred James.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Hippocrene Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
221 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS35.63 .H55 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This concise depiction of the Islamic world features developments from the time of Muhammad and the rise of Islam in the seventh century to the complex political map of today. It clearly outlines and explains the major periods of Islam's phenomenal development and growth world-wide by focusing on the religious, cultural, and political achievements of the great Islamic Empires, including the golden age of the Abbasids in Baghdad, the Turkish Ottomans, and the Mughals of India. The book also features a chapter on medieval Muslim Spain. Special boxed sections provide informative snapshots of Islamic culture such as development of the Arabic language, architecture, and poetry. Included are more than 50 illustrations and maps.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

For more than 30 years the tiny Hippocrene publishing house has dished out the world in neat, no-frills volumes, ranging from dictionaries and phrasebooks in obscure languages, such as Beginner's Basque, to ethnic cookbooks and compact, illustrated histories. Their most recent offering is a brief historical examination of the Umma, or worldwide Islamic community, and, like similar Hippocrene titles, this one serves as a useful introduction to a complex and largely foreign subject. As a resource, the book is well organized; it spans the Muslim world's immensely diverse geography, from Spain to China to Indonesia, but is broken down into coherent and easy-to-search chapters that briskly move from the religion's origins to the September 11 attacks. To their credit, Hill and Awde find a tone that is measured and neutral. Much like a standard encyclopedia entry, each chapter eschews controversy for consensus, maintaining an even-handedness that quickly earns the reader's trust. If there is any hint of bias here, it is a positive one: the authors accept that the Islamic world has "had centuries-old disagreements" with the West, and they duly note where there have been flashpoints, but they reject the notion that a clash of civilizations is inevitable and, whenever there is an opportunity, they underscore "the parallel reality of peaceful and constructive co-existence." In light of this, one is bound to enjoy the numerous ironies of history-whether, for instance, it is the fact that the prophet Muhammad kept a Jewish concubine, or that a medieval Arab chronicler named Osama observed how some Christian Crusaders could respect, and even adopt, the ways of the Islam. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

In this readable and informative text, Hill (Egypt: An Illustrated History) and Awde (The Armenians: People, Culture, and History) introduce Islamic civilization, outlining developments from Islam's beginnings in seventh-century Arabia to the present day. Charting the course of a civilization in just over 200 pages is a daunting task, but Hill and Awde manage to include a remarkable amount of material on the cultural, political, and religious accomplishments of Islam. Covered are Islamic empires like the Abbasids in Baghdad and the Turkish Ottomans. Numerous sidebars illuminate in great depth selected subjects (e.g., Islamic art, architecture, and medicine), and more than 70 well-selected illustrations and maps add to the text. This survey succeeds in highlighting the diversity of the Islamic world and may well lead interested readers to further study. Both for students and general readers seeking basic information on the Islamic world, this complements the larger histories by Bernard Lewis and others. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 7
Introductionp. 11
The Rise of Islam
Cradle of Islamp. 19
The Arab Conquests and the Age of Empirep. 32
The Abbasids and the Rise of Baghdadp. 52
Al-Andalus--Islam in Spainp. 69
The Mysticism of the Sufisp. 83
The Crusadesp. 89
From Mongols to Mamluksp. 98
Islam on the Periphery--Travels in Africa and Asiap. 108
The Age of the Three Great Muslim Empires
The Ottomansp. 123
The Safavids and Shi'ism--Persia Reunifiedp. 147
The Mughals in Indiap. 153
Islam in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Creation of the Nation-Statesp. 165
Islam and the West--Facing Difficult Timesp. 190
Afterword--The Challenge of the Futurep. 204
Key Dates in Islamic Historyp. 207
Key Figures and Dynasties in Islamic Historyp. 210
Glossary of Islamic Termsp. 213
Indexp. 215