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Page from the Sanaa manuscript. The "subtexts" revealed using UV light are very different from today's standard edition of the Quran. The German scholar of Quranic palaeography Gerd R. Puin affirms that these textual variants indicate an evolving text.[1] A similar view has been expressed by the British historian of Near Eastern studies Lawrence Conrad regarding the early biographies of Muhammad; according to him, Islamic views on the birth date of Muhammad until the 8th century CE had a diversity of 85 years span.[2]

The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic, military, and cultural developments of the Islamic civilization. Most historians[3] believe that Islam originated with Muhammad's mission in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century CE,[4][5] although Muslims regard this time as a return to the original faith passed down by the Abrahamic prophets, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, and Jesus, with the submission (Islām) to the will of God.[6][7][8]

According to the traditional account,[4][5][9] the Islamic prophet Muhammad began receiving what Muslims consider to be divine revelations in 610 CE, calling for submission to the one God, preparation for the imminent Last Judgement, and charity for the poor and needy.[7][Note 1] As Muhammad’s message began to attract followers (the ṣaḥāba) he also met with increasing hostility and persecution from Meccan elites.[7][Note 2] In 622 CE Muhammad migrated to the city of Yathrib (now known as Medina), where he began to unify the tribes of Arabia under Islam,[11] returning to Mecca to take control in 630[12][13] and order the destruction of all pagan idols.[14][15] By the time he died in about 11 AH (632 CE), almost all the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam,[16] but disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community during the Rāshidūn Caliphate.[4][17][18][19]

The early Muslim conquests were responsible for the spread of Islam.[4][5][9][17] By the 8th century CE, the Umayyad Caliphate extended from Muslim Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. Polities such as those ruled by the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates (in the Middle East and later in Spain and Southern Italy), the Fatimids, Seljuks, Ayyubids, and Mamluks were among the most influential powers in the world. Highly Persianized empires built by the Samanids, Ghaznavids, and Ghurids significantly contributed to technological and administrative developments. The Islamic Golden Age gave rise to many centers of culture and science and produced notable polymaths, astronomers, mathematicians, physicians, and philosophers during the Middle Ages.[5]

By the early 13th century, the Delhi Sultanate conquered the northern Indian subcontinent, while Turkic dynasties like the Sultanate of Rum and Artuqids conquered much of Anatolia from the Byzantine Empire throughout the 11th and 12th centuries. In the 13th and 14th centuries, destructive Mongol invasions and those of Tamerlane (Timur) from the east, along with the loss of population due to the Black Death, greatly weakened the traditional centers of the Muslim world, stretching from Persia to Egypt, but saw the emergence of the Timurid Renaissance and major global economic powers such as the Mali Empire in West Africa and the Bengal Sultanate in South Asia.[20][21] Following the deportation and enslavement of the Muslim Moors from the Emirate of Sicily and other Italian territories,[22] the Islamic Iberia was gradually conquered by Christian forces during the Reconquista. Nonetheless, in the early modern period, the states of the Age of the Islamic Gunpowders—Ottoman Turkey, Mughal India, and Safavid Iran—emerged as world powers.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, most of the Muslim world fell under the influence or direct control of the European Great Powers.[5] Some of their efforts to win independence and build modern nation-states over the course of the last two centuries continue to reverberate to the present day, as well as fuel conflict-zones in regions such as Palestine, Kashmir, Xinjiang, Chechnya, Central Africa, Bosnia, and Myanmar. The oil boom stabilized the Arab States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates), making them the world's largest oil producers and exporters, which focus on capitalism, free trade, and tourism.[23][24]

  1. ^ Lester, Toby (1 January 1999). "What Is the Koran?". The Atlantic. Washington, D.C. ISSN 2151-9463. OCLC 936540106. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  2. ^ Conrad, Lawrence (June 1987). "Abraha and Muhammad: some observations apropos of chronology and literary topoi in the early Arabic historical tradition". Bulletin of the School of Oriental & African Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 50 (2): 225–240. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00049016. ISSN 1474-0699. S2CID 162350288.
  3. ^ Watt, W. Montgomery (2003). Islam and the Integration of Society. Psychology Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-415-17587-6.
  4. ^ a b c d van Ess, Josef (2017). "Setting the Seal on Prophecy". Theology and Society in the Second and Third Centuries of the Hijra, Volume 1: A History of Religious Thought in Early Islam. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1: The Near and Middle East. Vol. 116/1. Translated by O'Kane, John. Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers. pp. 3–7. doi:10.1163/9789004323384_002. ISBN 978-90-04-32338-4. ISSN 0169-9423.
  5. ^ a b c d e Zimney, Michelle (2009). "Introduction – What Is Islam?". In Campo, Juan E. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Islam. Encyclopedia of World Religions. New York City: Facts On File. pp. xxi–xxxii. ISBN 978-0-8160-5454-1. LCCN 2008005621.
  6. ^ Esposito, John L. (2016) [1988]. Islam: The Straight Path (Updated 5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 9–12. ISBN 978-0-19-063215-1. S2CID 153364691.
  7. ^ a b c Donner, Fred M. (2000) [1999]. "Muhammad and the Caliphate: Political History of the Islamic Empire Up to the Mongol Conquest". In Esposito, John L. (ed.). The Oxford History of Islam. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 5–10. ISBN 0-19-510799-3. OCLC 40838649.
  8. ^ Peters, F. E. (2003). Islam: A Guide for Jews and Christians. Princeton, New Jersey and Woodstock, Oxfordshire: Princeton University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-691-11553-5.
  9. ^ a b Lewis, Bernard (1995). "Part III: The Dawn and Noon of Islam – Origins". The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. New York: Scribner. pp. 51–58. ISBN 978-0-684-83280-7. OCLC 34190629.
  10. ^ a b Buhl, F.; Ehlert, Trude; Noth, A.; Schimmel, Annemarie; Welch, A. T. (2012) [1993]. "Muḥammad". In Bearman, P. J.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E. J.; Heinrichs, W. P. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Leiden and Boston: Brill Publishers. pp. 360–376. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0780. ISBN 978-90-04-16121-4.
  11. ^ Campo (2009), "Muhammad", Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 494
  12. ^ Ramadan, Tariq (2007). In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-19-530880-8.
  13. ^ Husayn Haykal, Muhammad (2008). The Life of Muhammad. Selangor: Islamic Book Trust. pp. 438–9 & 441. ISBN 978-983-9154-17-7.
  14. ^ Hitti, Philip Khuri (1946). History of the Arabs. London: Macmillan and Co. p. 118.
  15. ^ Ramadan, Tariq (2007). In the Footsteps of the Prophet: Lessons from the Life of Muhammad. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-19-530880-8.
  16. ^ Richard Foltz, "Internationalization of Islam", Encarta Historical Essays.
  17. ^ a b Polk, William R. (2018). "The Caliphate and the Conquests". Crusade and Jihad: The Thousand-Year War Between the Muslim World and the Global North. The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. pp. 21–30. doi:10.2307/j.ctv1bvnfdq.7. ISBN 978-0-300-22290-6. JSTOR j.ctv1bvnfdq.7. LCCN 2017942543.
  18. ^ Izutsu, Toshihiko (2006) [1965]. "The Infidel (Kāfir): The Khārijites and the origin of the problem". The Concept of Belief in Islamic Theology: A Semantic Analysis of Imān and Islām. Tokyo: Keio Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies at Keio University. pp. 1–20. ISBN 983-9154-70-2.
  19. ^ Lewis, Bernard (1995). "Part IV: Cross-Sections – The State". The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years. New York: Scribner. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-684-83280-7. OCLC 34190629.
  20. ^ Nanda, J. N (2005). Bengal: the unique state. Concept Publishing Company. p. 10. 2005. ISBN 978-81-8069-149-2. Bengal [...] was rich in the production and export of grain, salt, fruit, liquors and wines, precious metals and ornaments besides the output of its handlooms in silk and cotton. Europe referred to Bengal as the richest country to trade with.
  21. ^ Imperato, Pascal James; Imperato, Gavin H. (25 April 2008). Historical Dictionary of Mali. Scarecrow Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-8108-6402-3.
  22. ^ Julie Taylor, Muslims in Medieval Italy: The Colony at Lucera, (Rowman & Littlefield Inc., 2003), 18.
  23. ^ Sampler & Eigner (2008). Sand to Silicon: Going Global. UAE: Motivate. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-86063-254-9.
  24. ^ "International – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". eia.gov.


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