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Does history matter? This book argues t that history matters, but that Islamic history does. This Very Short Introduction introduces the story of Islamic history; the controversies surrounding its study; and the significance that it holds - for Muslims and for n-Muslims alike. Opening with a lucid overview of the rise and spread of Islam, from the seventh to twenty first century, the book charts the evolution of what was originally a small, localised community of believers into an international religion with over a billion adherents. Chapters are also dedicated to the peoples - Arabs, Persians, and Turks - who shaped Islamic history, and to three representative institutions - the mosque, jihad, and the caliphate - that highlight Islam's diversity over time. Finally, the roles that Islamic history has played in both religious and political contexts are analysed, while stressing the unique status that history enjoys amongst Muslims, especially compared to its lowly place in Wester
Adam Silverstein has taught Islamic history at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. He is University Research Lecturer in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, and a Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford. He is also Fellow in Jewish-Muslim Relations at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and a member of The Magic Circle.