Aug 3, Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam. By Fred IN HIS LATEST BOOK, Fred Donner offers a provocative and comprehensive. Muhammad and the Believers has ratings and 33 reviews. Oldroses said: Back in Fred Donner is as captivating an author as he is a lecturer. This book is . Donner, Fred M. Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam. Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, xviii+

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Each chapter after the first could have been summarized in one short paragraph with no real loss of detail, and a major gain in time.

At stake was not merely Byzantine versus Sasanian political control and economic influence, but also Christianity as opposed to Zoroastrianism and Hellenic as opposed to Iranian cultural traditions. This was recommended believer me by a professor as a basic text to get some history about this period and it serves that purpose excellently.

Donner’s hypothesis, who has composed an alternative understanding of Islamic history whereby “Islam” as a separate creed of monotheism did not exist in its first century and its followers were not considered a separate people called “Muslims” “those who submit” but rather as merely “Believers” in monotheism.

Muhammad took advantage muhammsd the with- drawal of the Meccan forces to turn against a second muhammadd Jewish group of Medina, the clan of Nadir, reportedly because some of them had been plotting to kill Muhammad. Whoever of you turns back from his religion and dies an unbeliever— their works in this world and the next are to no avail, and they are the companions of the fire, they shall be in it eternally.

Donner’s main thesis is that Islam began as a monotheistic Believers movement in one God and muhammd Last Day, believing that such days and the Final Judgement was imminent.

A few great kings flirted with rival forms of religious expression, such as Manichaeism founded by the prophet Mani in the third century c. Donner offers two explanations for this. As a young man, Muhammad entered into the commercial and cultic life of Mecca. It seems unsurprising, then, that even after they came to face Mecca when praying, the early Believers continued to think of Jerusalem as a place of special sanctity— perhaps because of its sig- nificance in apocalyptic scenarios for the coming Last Judgment, key events of which, according to contemporary Jewish and Chris- tian traditions, would take place in Jerusalem.

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Immediately after his arrival in Medina, according to tradition, Muhammad and his followers are said to have marked out a place for collective prayer— the first mosque.

Early campaigns of expansion all features approximate and populations that were, when they wrote, still predominantly non-Muslim. Verily, God loves the [God-i fearing.

That is a reminder for those who remember.

Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam

Finally, I owe an unpayable debt to my wife, Carel Bertram, anc her sage advice, love, and encourage- ment in everything I do, this book included. The southern Iraqi garrison, Basra, was established near the old tow n of Ubulla.

If there was sufficient water, a haram thus grew into a sizable settlement, because it tended to attract as set- tlers merchants and others for whom security of property was essen- tial. Other tribes had, in earlier centu- ries, played the same role. A middling group of prosperous farmers and petty officials or of moderately to very wealthy merchants existed but was relatively small. The ephemeral quality of these pre- Islamic raiding parties is doubtless rooted in the fact that they lacked both muammad content and any organic structure.

Justinian marshaled the full power of the Byzantine state, including its powers of taxation, in an attempt to reconquer the lost western provinces.

Muhammad and the Believers – Fred M. Donner – Google Books

As noted earlier, Muhammad and the early Believers showed a special interest in Syria. The Sasanians thus cast a large shadow over the gulf coasts of Arabia in the late antique period.

This may have been a fore- runner of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Muhammad also launched, around this time, numerous raids on still-unsubdued nomadic tribes and sent several raids to the north. Incredibly repetitivelacking detail or citations. The Byzantine Empire was actually the continuation of the older Roman Empire.


Muhammad and the Believers — Fred M. Donner | Harvard University Press

They therefore headed him off with a cordon of troops at a place called Hudaybiya, on the borders of the haram around Mecca. Donnrr, they embraced Christians and Jews muhammax were also pious. Most people, of course, lacked the commitment or the discipline needed to engage in such heroic self-denial, but many acknowl- edged that it represented a kind of ideal and were supportive of those saintly individuals who could master their appetites sufficiently to attain it— hoping, perhaps, that by aiding them they would them- selves gain some of the sanctity that the ascetic was presumed to have acquired.

This immediate crisis of leadership seems to have been settled quickly: On the one hand, Believers should try to coerce unbelievers into believing when possible, but, on the other, one should not be fanatical and must make allowances for the realities of a given situation and for the behavior of the indi- vidual unbeliever. Trivia About Muhammad and the It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Muhammad and the Believers

Thus do we repay a guilty people. Jul 20, Ming rated it it was ok. The idea that the Last Day was near is mentioned explicitly in several verses: The Believers crossed these unmarked frontiers, however, and began to raid and integrate the populations on the bor- ders of the great empires themselves, many of whom already spoke Arabic.

The following pages present, first, a very con- densed summary of the traditional biography of Muhammad, setting aside those reports that are clearly legendary. It’s one of the best chapters on Islam’s civil wars that I’ve have the pleasure to encounter.