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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The Romans fled, leaving behind the patriarch Bryrdn, whom the tayyaye killed.

As we have seen, the notion that prophecy was still alive in the world seems to have survived in various parts of the Near East in the centuries before the rise of Islam, although we still know far too little about it.

Get out, you are surely among the humiliated. Indeed, even in South Arabia the king- dom was only a thin veneer over an essentially tribal society. Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account?

Hope Draped in Black: Now he was sent with a core force numbering around four thousand troops, including sizable contingents from the Najd, and more troops from the Sarat region and the Yemen.

Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam by Fred M. Donner

Early campaigns of expansion. Originally simply the “Believers”, a movement incorporating many Jews and Christians among its adherents and focused on monotheism, personal piety, and the imminent Last Judgement. It is as accessible to beginners as it is to scholars, and would provide a great i Fred Donner is as captivating an author as he is a lecturer.

Characteristic of its early date are the vertical strokes leaning to the i iglit, the diacritical dots in a row, and many letterforms, which have more in common with monumental inscriptions than later cursive Arabic.


Dec 08, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: I don’t believe I ever read anything new the entire time. The bishop of Jerusalem, Sophronius, in a homily of or c. The book has a short glossary of terms, but a glossary of names and a list of the leaders of the movement with the dates of their reigns is a desideratum.

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

It has been going on since the founding of Islam. Want to Read saving….

The Byzantines, for example, maintained a customs station on the island of Iotabe in the straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqabaand a few stray reports hint that both the Byzantines and the Sasanians attempted, and perhaps succeeded, in establishing special ties with local leaders to collect taxes in Yathrib or Mecca on the eve of Islam in an effort to draw this region into their spheres of influence.

Arabia at this time was not an isolated place. Its objective was not to create a separate faith, but rather to spark a revival of pietistic monotheism. Both empires eventually sent armies to try to thwart this en- croachment on their rich tax base.

Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam

Admittedly, the initial impetus to the expansion was the overthrow of neighboring infidel empires, but after some time, the Islamic leadership began to depend on the revenue generated by taxes imposed on subject states.

He argues that the origins of Islam lie in what we may call the “Believers’ movement” begun by the prophet Muhammad a movement of religious reform emphasizing strict monotheism and righteous behavior in conformity with God’s revealed law.

This invasion may have been in part a reaction to the activities of a Jewish king of the Himyarites, Dhu Nuwas, who had just beforehand engaged in a series of bloody clashes with Yemenite Christians, or it may have been mainly in order to facilitate Byzantine commerce with India. This would be a superb book for someone who doesn’t know anything about the early period of Islam but wants a sense the history and historiography. Muhammad and the Believers: The Qur’an also makes reference to pilgrimage rituals that the Believers are enjoined to perform.


There is less agreement among scholars on the prevalence of Christians in the Hijaz the mountainous western side of Arabiaalthough some stray references show that Christians were not unknown there. The Qu’ran is speaking to Believers, “oh you who believe”, not to a separate Muslim identity. A glaring issue in this whole hypothesis however is how to account for the Qur’an’s several calumnies against Christians and Jews, if these same people were equal members of the Believers movement.

Among these, the clans of Aws and Khazraj were the most powerful and engaged in sometimes bitter rivalry and feuds for leadership of the town, struggles in which the Jewish tribes were closely involved. The Believers also were convinced of the imminence of the Last judgment, and, feeling themselves surrounded by corruption and sin, they strove to form themselves into a righteous community so as to attain salvation on Judgment Day.

The crystallization of these standing armies during the Arabian ridda wars provided the Believers with the forces that enabled them to expand outside Arabia. It is not unreasonable to propose, then, that many Christians and Jews of Syria, Iraq, and other areas, as mono- theists, could have found a place in the expanding early community of Believers.