The Early Islamic Conquests

The Early Islamic Conquests

FRED McGRAW DONNER
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 510
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvcmx
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  • Book Info
    The Early Islamic Conquests
    Book Description:

    In this contribution to the ongoing debate on the nature and causes of the Islamic conquests in Syria and Iraq during the sixth and seventh centuries, Fred Donner argues for a necessary distinction between the causes of the conquests, the causes of their success, and the causes of the subsequent Arab migrations to the Fertile Crescent.

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4787-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-VIII)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. IX-XII)
    F.M.D.
  4. NOTE ON TRANSLITERATIONS
    (pp. XIII-XIV)
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. XV-XVIII)
  6. LIST OF MAPS
    (pp. XIX-XIX)
  7. CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE
    (pp. xx-2)
  8. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-10)

    Few events in human history have transformed the face of such a large part of the globe as rapidly and as decisively as did the expansion of early Islam and the conquest by Muslims of much of the ancient world. Indeed, the Islamic conquest forms one of those rare turning points in history whose importance is unanimously accepted by all students of man’s past. It is therefore hardly surprising that numerous scholars should have focused their attention on the conquest in an effort to explain what it represented, why it occurred, and what impact it had. What is surprising is...

  9. CHAPTER I STATE AND SOCIETY IN PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA
    (pp. 11-50)

    Arabia was named after its nomads. It was, as the borders assigned to it by classical geographers suggest,¹ the land of the‘arabor bedouin. But, although the very name “Arabia” may call forth in many minds images of a vast desert occupied exclusively by nomads, it is unlikely that nomadic peoples have ever formed more than a small fraction of its population. Settled peoples have far outnumbered the nomads in all historical periods, and there are very few districts in which no sedentary communities are to be found, areas that can be said to be the exclusive domain of...

  10. CHAPTER II THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE ISLAMIC CONQUEST
    (pp. 51-90)

    The West Arabian town of Mecca appears to have functioned for centuries as a typicalharam,a combination of pilgrimage center and marketplace Because it supported no agriculture, it is probable that the residents of the town were from its earliest settlement active in the pursuit of trade, at least on a local scale, and it was from this trade and from the economic benefits associated with pilgrimage to its shrine, the Ka‘ba, that the Meccans were able to live

    By the end of the sixth century A D , however, Mecca had undergone an economic and social development that...

  11. CHAPTER III THE CONQUEST OF SYRIA
    (pp. 91-156)

    Syria is a geographical extension of Arabia.¹ The topographical configurations that characterize the Arabian peninsula—that great slab of limestone, lifted up at its western and southern edges to form the steep coastal ranges of the Ḥijāz and the Yemen, and sloping gradually down toward sea level at the Persian Gulf—are repeated in Syria’s parallel ranges of mountains, running along the Mediterranean coast, and in the flatter expanses of the Syrian steppe, sloping gradually downward toward Iraq. Within this basic topographical pattern there is, of course, considerable local variation. The Mediterranean coastal range, which rears up along the central...

  12. CHAPTER IV THE CONQUEST OF IRAQ
    (pp. 157-220)

    Much of Iraq¹ is a low-lying basin covered with the alluvial deposits of the great and lesser rivers that flow through if the Tigris and the Euphrates entering it from the north and northwest, and the numerous smaller tributaries of the Tigris feeding into it from the east. It is, in most places, a tiresomely flat plain, and one so nearly level that the rivers hardly know in which direction to flow and have more than a few times changed their minds on the matter. Flat, then, and locked in a uniformly and climate; rainfall averages only between ten and...

  13. CHAPTER V MILITARY ORGANIZATION, MIGRATION, AND SETTLEMENT
    (pp. 221-250)

    Perhaps the most striking fact about the armies that carried out the Islamic conquest of the Fertile Crescent was their small size. As noted above, conservative estimates would place the number ofmuqātila(“fighting men”) in the Islamic armies at the battle of al-Qādisiyya in central Iraq at between 6,000 and 12,000 men, the number active in southern Iraq at perhaps 2,000 to 4,000 men, and the number fighting at the battle of the Yarmūk in Syria at perhaps 20,000 to 40,000 men. These low figures are in themselves sufficient to lay forever to rest the notion that the Islamic...

  14. CHAPTER VI CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 251-272)

    As we have seen, the appearance of the unifying ideology of Islam, coupled with the skillful use of both traditional and novel means of political consolidation, resulted in the emergence under Muhammad and Abū Bakr of a new state that was able to organize and dominate more effectively than ever before the different tribal groups of the Arabian peninsula.¹ In place of the extreme political fragmentation that had formerly existed in Arabia, with various tribal groups vying with one another for local dominance, there emerged a relatively centralized, unified, and unifying polity that integrated most of these tribes into itself...

  15. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 273-278)

    The Islamic conquests had a profound impact on the Near East and on the general course of world history Among other things, they carried the new faith of Islam to distant regions and created the political and social conditions that allowed it to strike deep roots there, they thus represent the practical starting point in the evolution of the great civilization of medieval Islam, as well as the beginning of the end of the late antique world For a time, they also resulted in a dramatic change in the political patterns prevailing in the Near East, for this state that...

  16. NOTES
    (pp. 279-354)
  17. NOTE TO THE APPENDICES
    (pp. 356-356)
  18. APPENDIX A. AJNĀDAYN
    (pp. 357-359)
  19. APPENDIX B. MARJ AL-ṢUFFAR
    (pp. 360-360)
  20. APPENDIX C. PARTICIPANTS AT YARMŪK
    (pp. 361-368)
  21. APPENDIX D. MEMBERS OF KHĀLID’S ARMY IN IRAQ
    (pp. 369-374)
  22. APPENDIX E. CENTRAL IRAQ—SECOND PHASE
    (pp. 375-379)
  23. APPENDIX F CAMPAIGNS IN CENTRAL IRAQ—TRANSITIONAL PHASE
    (pp. 380-386)
  24. APPENDIX G. BATTLE OF AL-QĀDISIYYA
    (pp. 387-404)
  25. APPENDIX H. PARTICIPANTS AT SIEGE OF AL-MADĀ’IN
    (pp. 405-408)
  26. APPENDIX J. JALŪLĀ’
    (pp. 409-410)
  27. APPENDIX K. ARMY IN SOUTHERN IRAQ—SECOND PHASE
    (pp. 411-418)
  28. APPENDIX L. ARMY IN SOUTHERN IRAQ—THIRD PHASE
    (pp. 419-427)
  29. APPENDIX M. PARTICIPANTS IN NIHĀWAND CAMPAIGN
    (pp. 428-435)
  30. APPENDIX N. IṢBAHĀN
    (pp. 436-437)
  31. APPENDIX O. HAMADHĀN, RAYY, QŪMIS, JURJĀN, ṬABARISTĀN
    (pp. 438-438)
  32. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 439-458)
  33. INDEX OF TRADITIONISTS MENTIONED IN NOTES AND APPENDICES
    (pp. 459-468)
  34. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 469-489)
  35. Back Matter
    (pp. 490-490)