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Eldar Matveyev
Eldar Matveyev

Masud ul Hasan's History of Islam: A Chronological and Thematic Approach


- Summary: What are the main themes and topics covered in the book? - Evaluation: How does the book contribute to the field of Islamic history and what are its strengths and weaknesses? H2: The Classical Period (571-1258 CE) - The Life and Mission of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) - The Expansion and Consolidation of the Islamic State - The Development of Islamic Law, Theology and Mysticism - The Rise and Fall of the Abbasid Caliphate - The Emergence of Regional Powers and Sectarian Movements H2: The Medieval Period (1258-1707 CE) - The Mongol Invasion and its Aftermath - The Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Empires - The Revival and Reform of Islamic Thought and Practice - The Encounter with Europe and the New World - The Decline and Disintegration of the Muslim World H2: The Modern Period (1707-1900 CE) - The Impact of Colonialism and Imperialism - The Rise of Nationalism and Secularism - The Reformist and Revivalist Movements - The Challenges of Modernity and Science - The Emergence of New Islamic Movements and Ideologies H1: Conclusion - Recapitulation: What are the main points and arguments of the book? - Implications: What are the implications and relevance of the book for contemporary Muslims and non-Muslims? - Recommendations: Who should read the book and what are some suggestions for further reading? H1: FAQs - What is the source and methodology of the book? - How accurate and reliable is the book? - How comprehensive and balanced is the book? - How accessible and engaging is the book? - How original and innovative is the book? # Article History of Islam by Masud ul Hasan: An Overview




If you are looking for a comprehensive, reliable and engaging history of Islam from its origins to the dawn of the 20th century, you might want to consider reading History of Islam by Masud ul Hasan. This book, published in two volumes in 1998 and 2000 in its second edition, covers the history of Islam from 571 to 1900 CE in a chronological and thematic manner. It is based on primary sources as well as secondary literature, written by a professor of Islamic studies who has taught at various universities in Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Canada. In this article, we will provide an overview of the book, summarizing its main themes and topics, evaluating its strengths and weaknesses, and highlighting its implications and relevance for today's readers.




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The Classical Period (571-1258 CE)




The first volume of the book deals with what the author calls the classical period of Islamic history, spanning from the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in 571 CE to the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols in 1258 CE. This period witnessed the emergence, expansion and consolidation of Islam as a religion, a state, a civilization and a culture. It also saw the development of various branches of Islamic thought and practice, such as law, theology, mysticism, philosophy, literature, art and science. It also witnessed the rise and fall of several dynasties and empires that ruled over different regions of the Muslim world.


The Life and Mission of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)




The author begins his history with a brief account of the pre-Islamic Arabia, the birth and early life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and his call to prophethood at the age of 40. He then narrates the main events and challenges of his prophetic mission in Mecca and Medina, such as the opposition and persecution of the Quraysh, the migration (hijra) to Medina, the establishment of the first Islamic community (umma), the battles with the Meccans and other tribes, the treaties and alliances with various groups, the conquest of Mecca, the farewell pilgrimage (hajj) and the death of the Prophet (pbuh) in 632 CE. He also describes the main features of his character, teachings, miracles and legacy.


The Expansion and Consolidation of the Islamic State




The author then moves on to discuss the expansion and consolidation of the Islamic state under the four rightly guided caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali) from 632 to 661 CE. He explains how they dealt with the issues of succession, apostasy, rebellion, civil war, administration, taxation, justice, defense and foreign policy. He also highlights their achievements and challenges in spreading Islam to various regions such as Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, North Africa and Spain. He also mentions some of the prominent companions (sahaba) and their contributions to Islam.


The Development of Islamic Law, Theology and Mysticism




The author then traces the development of Islamic law (fiqh), theology (kalam) and mysticism (tasawwuf) in this period. He explains how these disciplines emerged from the sources of Islam (Quran and Sunnah), the consensus of the scholars (ijma), the analogical reasoning (qiyas) and the personal opinion (ra'y). He also introduces some of the major schools of law (madhhab), such as Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali, and some of their founders and followers. He also discusses some of the theological debates and controversies that arose among Muslims over issues such as free will and predestination, faith and works, divine attributes and names, etc. He also mentions some of the early mystics and their experiences and teachings on love, knowledge and worship of God.


The Rise and Fall of the Abbasid Caliphate




The author then narrates the rise and fall of the Abbasid caliphate from 750 to 1258 CE. He describes how the Abbasids came to power by overthrowing the Umayyads with the help of various groups such as Shiites, Alids, Kharijites, Persians, etc. He also describes how they established their capital in Baghdad and built a magnificent civilization that was influenced by various cultures such as Persian, Greek, Indian, etc. He also describes how they fostered a golden age of Islamic learning and culture that produced many scholars, scientists, poets, artists, etc. He also describes how they faced various challenges and crises such as civil wars, rebellions, sectarian movements, foreign invasions, etc. He also mentions some of the notable caliphs such as Harun al-Rashid, al-Ma'mun, al-Mu'tasim, al-Mutawakkil, etc.


The Emergence of Regional Powers and Sectarian Movements




The author then discusses the emergence of regional powers and sectarian movements that challenged or supported the Abbasid caliphate in this period. He mentions some of the dynasties that ruled over different regions such as Tahirids in Khurasan, Samanids in Transoxiana, Saffarids in Sistan, Buyids in Iraq and Iran, Fatimids in Egypt, Seljuks in Anatolia, Ayyubids in Syria, Ghaznavids in Afghanistan, Ghurids in India, etc. He also mentions some of the sectarian movements that emerged among Muslims such as Shiites, Ismailis, Zaydis, Imamis, Nusayris, Druzes, Kharijites, Ibadis, Murji'ites, Mu'tazilites, Ash'arites, Maturidis, Jahmites, Karramites, etc.


The Medieval Period (1258-1707 CE)




The second volume of the book deals with what the author calls the medieval period of Islamic history, spanning from the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols in 1258 CE to the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 CE. This period witnessed the devastation and recovery of the Muslim world after the Mongol invasion and its aftermath. It also saw the rise and decline of three great empires that dominated the Muslim world: the Ottoman, the Safavid and the Mughal. It also witnessed the revival and reform of Islamic thought and practice in response to internal and external challenges. It also witnessed the encounter with Europe and the New World and their impact on the Muslim world. It also witnessed the decline and disintegration of the Muslim world due to political, economic, social and religious factors. The Mongol Invasion and its Aftermath




The author begins his history of this period with a description of the Mongol invasion and its aftermath. He explains how the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan and his successors, conquered most of Asia and Eastern Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries, destroying many cities, civilizations and cultures in their path. He also explains how some of the Mongols converted to Islam and established their own dynasties, such as the Ilkhanids in Iran and Iraq, the Golden Horde in Russia and Central Asia, and the Timurids in Transoxiana and India. He also explains how some of the Muslim states resisted or survived the Mongol onslaught, such as the Mamluks in Egypt and Syria, the Marinids in Morocco, and the Ottomans in Anatolia.


The Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Empires




The author then discusses the rise and decline of three great empires that dominated the Muslim world in this period: the Ottoman, the Safavid and the Mughal. He compares and contrasts their origins, expansion, administration, culture, religion and relations with each other and with other powers. He also highlights their achievements and challenges in various fields such as politics, economics, society, law, theology, mysticism, philosophy, literature, art, architecture, science and technology.


The Ottoman Empire (1299-1922) was founded by Osman I (1258-1326) and his successors who expanded their domains from a small principality in Anatolia to a vast empire that spanned three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. At its peak in the 16th century under Suleiman I (1494-1566), it encompassed most of Southeastern Europe, Anatolia, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, North Africa and parts of the Caucasus and Iran. It was the longest-lasting and most powerful of the Gunpowder Empires, with a centralized and efficient bureaucracy, a professional and disciplined army, a diverse and prosperous economy, a rich and sophisticated culture, a tolerant and flexible religion, and a strong and influential role in world affairs. It was also the main rival and adversary of the Safavid Empire in Iran and the Habsburg Empire in Europe. It faced various challenges and crises in its later centuries, such as corruption, rebellion, decline, war, reform, modernization, nationalism, secularism, etc., until it collapsed after World War I (1914-1918) and was replaced by the Republic of Turkey.


The Safavid Empire (1501-1722) was founded by Ismail I (1487-1524) and his successors who united Iran under a Shiite dynasty that claimed descent from Ali ibn Abi Talib (599-661), the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the fourth caliph of Islam. They expanded their domains from Azerbaijan to most of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia. They established their capital in Isfahan and built a splendid civilization that was influenced by Persian, Turkish and Mongol cultures. They were the main proponents of Twelver Shiism as the official religion of Iran and supported its spread to other regions such as Lebanon, Bahrain, India, etc. They were also the main rival and enemy of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey and fought several wars with them over territorial and religious disputes. They faced various challenges and crises in their later centuries such as civil wars, invasions, decline, corruption, etc., until they were overthrown by Afghan invaders in 1722.


The Mughal Empire (1526-1857) was founded by Babur (1483-1530), a descendant of Timur (1336-1405) and Genghis Khan (1162-1227), who invaded India from Central Asia and defeated the Delhi Sultanate and other local rulers. He and his successors, such as Akbar (1542-1605), Jahangir (1569-1627), Shah Jahan (1592-1666) and Aurangzeb (1618-1707), expanded their domains to cover most of the Indian subcontinent, from Afghanistan to Bengal and from Kashmir to the Deccan. They established their capital in Agra and later in Delhi and built a magnificent civilization that was influenced by Persian, Turkish, Mongol and Indian cultures. They were the main patrons of Islam in India and supported its coexistence with Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc. They were also the main rival and ally of the Safavid Empire in Iran and maintained diplomatic and trade relations with them. They faced various challenges and crises in their later centuries such as rebellions, wars, decline, corruption, etc., until they were reduced to a puppet state by the British East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries.


The Revival and Reform of Islamic Thought and Practice




The author then traces the revival and reform of Islamic thought and practice in this period. He explains how some Muslim scholars and movements tried to revive the original spirit and sources of Islam in response to the internal and external challenges that faced the Muslim world. He also explains how some Muslim scholars and movements tried to reform the existing interpretations and institutions of Islam in light of the changing circumstances and needs of the Muslim world. He also introduces some of the major figures and trends in this field such as Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328), Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), Ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240), Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273), al-Ghazali (1058-1111), Ibn Battuta (1304-1369), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372-1449), Sufi orders, Wahhabism, etc.


The Encounter with Europe and the New World




The author then discusses the encounter with Europe and the New World in this period. He explains how the Muslim world was affected by the European Renaissance, Reformation, Exploration, Colonization, Trade, etc. He also explains how the Muslim world reacted to these developments in various ways such as resistance, adaptation, imitation, isolation, etc. He also mentions some of the notable events and personalities in this field such as Lepanto (1571), Vienna (1683), Suez Canal (1869), Napoleon's invasion of Egypt (1798), Muhammad Ali Pasha (1769-1849), Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), etc.


The Decline and Disintegration of the Muslim World




The author then narrates the decline and disintegration of the Muslim world in this period. He explains how the Muslim world faced various political, economic, social and religious factors that contributed to its weakness and fragmentation. He also explains how some Muslim states tried to cope with these challenges by adopting various measures such as reforms, alliances, revolutions, etc. He also mentions some of the consequences and outcomes of this process such as wars, famines, massacres, migrations, etc.


The Modern Period (1707-1900 CE)




The third volume of the book deals with what the author calls the modern period of Islamic history, spanning from the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 CE to the end of the 19th century. This period witnessed the impact of colonialism and imperialism on the Muslim world, as well as the rise of nationalism and secularism. It also witnessed the reformist and revivalist movements that tried to revive and reform Islam in light of modernity and science. It also witnessed the emergence of new Islamic movements and ideologies that challenged or supported the existing order.


The Impact of Colonialism and Imperialism




The author begins his history of this period with a description of the impact of colonialism and imperialism on the Muslim world. He explains how most of the Muslim world was colonized or dominated by European powers such as Britain, France, Russia, etc., who exploited its resources, imposed their laws and culture, undermined its sovereignty and identity, etc. He also explains how some parts of the Muslim world remained independent or semi-independent such as Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Morocco, etc., but faced various pressures and interventions from the colonial powers. He also mentions some of the effects and consequences of colonialism such as resistance, collaboration, adaptation, innovation, etc. He also mentions some of the examples and cases of colonialism such as India, Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, etc.


The Rise of Nationalism and Secularism




The author then discusses the rise of nationalism and secularism in the Muslim world in this period. He explains how some Muslim intellectuals and activists developed a sense of national identity and political aspiration that transcended their religious affiliation and loyalty. He also explains how some Muslim intellectuals and activists adopted a secular worldview and ideology that separated religion from politics and society. He also introduces some of the major figures and movements in this field such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897), Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938), Ali Shariati (1933-1977), etc.


The Reformist and Revivalist Movements




The author then traces the reformist and revivalist movements in the Muslim world in this period. He explains how some Muslim scholars and activists tried to revive and reform Islam in light of modernity and science. He also explains how some Muslim scholars and activists tried to resist and reject modernity and science in favor of a pure and authentic Islam. He also introduces some of the major figures and trends in this field such as Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), Rashid Rida (1865-1935), Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949), Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), Abul Ala Maududi (1903-1979), Ayatollah Khomeini (1902-1989), etc.


The Emergence of New Islamic Movements and Ideologies




The author then discusses the emergence of new Islamic movements and ideologies in the Muslim world in this period. He explains how some Muslim groups and parties emerged to challenge or support the existing order in various ways such as political activism, social service, armed struggle, etc. He also explains how some Muslim thinkers and leaders developed new Islamic visions and agendas that addressed various issues such as democracy, human rights, women's rights, minority rights, etc. He also introduces some of the major examples and cases of these movements and ideologies such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Taliban in Afghanistan, etc.


Conclusion




In conclusion, History of Islam by Masud ul Hasan is a comprehensive, reliable and engaging history of Islam from its origins to the end of the 19th century. It covers the history of Islam in a chronological and thematic manner, highlighting its political, economic, social, religious and cultural aspects. It also evaluates its strengths and weaknesses, its achievements and challenges, its implications and relevance for contemporary Muslims and non-Muslims. It is a book that should be read by anyone who wants to learn more about Islam as a religion, a civilization and a culture.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about History of Islam by Masud ul Hasan:



  • What is the source and methodology of the book?



The book is based on primary sources such as Quran, Hadith, biographies, chronicles, etc., as well as secondary literature such as books, articles, journals, etc., written by various Muslim and non-Muslim scholars. The book uses a critical and analytical approach to examine the sources and evaluate their reliability and validity. The book also uses a comparative and cross-cultural approach to highlight the similarities and differences among various regions, periods, schools and movements within Islam.


  • How accurate and reliable is the book?



The book is accurate and reliable as it is based on authentic and credible sources and uses a rigorous and objective methodology. The book also acknowledges its limitations and gaps and invites further research and discussion on the topics covered. The book also provides references and bibliographies for those who want to explore


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