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Table of Contents
Surveys of Islamic History
Pre-Islamic History of Arabia: The Jahiliyah
History of Islam During the Lifetime of the Prophet and the
Rightly Guided Caliphs
History of the Islam in the Middle East after the Rightly
Guided Caliphs until 1258 CE: 'Ummayids and Abbasids
History of Islam in East, Central, South, and Southeast Asia
History of Islam in Africa
The Academic Study of Islamic History
Islamic and Middle East History Classes
Comprehensive Islamic History Sites
Converting Dates between Hijri, Julian, and Gregorian Calendars
Maps of the Muslim World
Related Maps of the Muslim World Collected by Prof. Von Schlegell at
the University of Pennsylvania, this is the best collection of its kind on
the web. (Link fixed, November 12, 2001.)
General Surveys of Islamic History
The History of Islam
by Professor John Voll of Georgetown University. Originally a ten page article published in
of Politics and Religion, ed. Robert Wuthnow; then put online by Congressional
Religion of Islam, consisting of an overview of its basic principles
and early history, written by the Islamic scholars at
A Brief History of Islam Written by the Islamic
scholars of ISL software, this history briefly surveys the major dynasties
of the Muslim world.
Islam and Islamic
History in Arabia and the Middle East This is a well-written survey
in some detail (more than the previous link) and organized according to
Islamic World to 1600, an on-line book developed by the Department of
History at the University
of Calgary, is a well-done but largely political history of the Muslim
Islamic History, major events from the birth of the Prophet to 1492.
Chronology of Muslim History
Although there is much more to Islamic history than military and political
history, these are the histories that have tended to capture people's
attention, rather than cultural history. Hence, this particular link
almost entirely with military and political history from the 6th to the
Pre-Islamic History of Arabia: The Jahiliyah
The Abbasid Construction
of the Jahiliyya: Cultural Authority
in the Making (link fixed, January 17, 2004) by Rina Drory, of the Department of
Arabic and Unit for
Culture Research of Tel Aviv University. This article was published in
the scholarly journal Studia Islamica, 1996/1 (February), pp.
of Islam During the Lifetime of the Prophet and the Rightly Guided
Map of Arabia
During the Advent of Islam (link fixed 18 August 2005).
Companions of the
Prophet is an alphabetical listing of biographies of a number of "companions" (sahaba) of the Prophet, namely those
who physically saw him and were believers during his lifetime. These
particular biographies come from two Islamic contemporary sources: the
book, Companions of the Prophet, by Abdul Wahid Hamid and the
Islamic database, Alim Online. In particular, see the biographies of the
al-Rahman Ibn Awf
bint Abi Bakr
bint Abi Bakr
ibn Abi Waqqas
on the Story of Banu Qurayza and the Jews of Medina This article,
written by W. N. Arafat and published in 1976 in
the scholarly Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and
Ireland, refutes the validity of the Muslim story of the massacre of
the Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe of Medina (link fixed 16 March 2006).
Rightly-Guided Caliphs The four "rightly-guided" caliphs were the
first four leaders of Islam to succeed the Prophet Muhammad in his role as
head of the Islamic community. This concise overview was written by the
National Muslim Student Association of the USA and Canada.
History of Islam
in the Middle East after the
Caliphs: 'Umayyids and 'Abbasids
Civil War and the
Umayyads, written by Richard Hooker, is a political history
that begins with the death of the Prophet and covers both the period of
the Rightly Guided Caliphs (632-661 CE) and that of the Ummayad Dynasty
Dynasty, a political history written by Richard Hooker, covers the
dynasty that ruled the
Middle East during the years 750 to 1258 CE.
A History of Aleppo and Damascus in the Early Middle Ages, 635-1260
C.E., a lecture at the University of Kyoto by Professor. R. Stephen
Humphreys. (Fixed 10.1.98)
History of Islam in East, Central, South, and Southeast
Borders in the Caucasus (link fixed 18 August 2005) is an on-line book edited by
Professor Bruno Coppieters and consisting of
essays by various scholars dealing with the recent
political history of the Caucasus. Most significant for students of modern
Islamic history are chapter six, Russia,
Iran and Azerbaijan: The Historic Origins of Iranian Foreign Policy,
chapter seven, Iran's
Role as Mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis, and
chapter eight, Turkey's
Policies in Transcaucasia.
The Origins of the
Kazaks and Uzbeks is an article by
the eminent historian Zeki Velidi Togan and translated by H. B. Paksoy.
Islam in China (link fixed 18 August 2005; 16 March 2006)
briefly discusses the history of Chinese Islam from 650 CE to 1980 CE.
History of Islam in India (711-1775 CE) (link fixed 18 August 2005) written by the Pakistani
Student Association at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Islam in Peninsular
Malaysia (link fixed 18 August 2005), gives an overview of the origins of Malaysian Islam, its
spread, and the effects of European colonization.
History of Islam in Africa
The Spread of
Islam in Nigeria: A Historical Survey is
a detailed academic paper by Joseph Kenny, O.P.,
Ph.D., a Dominican
priest who is also a professor of Religious Studies at the University of
Ibadan in Nigeria . Professor Kenny delivered this paper at the Conference
on SharÓ`a in
Nigeria held at the
Spiritan Institute of Theology, Enugu,
22-24 March 2001. (Fixed December 15, 2003; March 16, 2006.)
The Spread of
Islam Through North to West Africa is an online book by Joseph Kenny, O.P.,
Ph.D. (Fixed December 15, 2003; March 16, 2006.)
In this article,
Rahman Doi of Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria discusses the
early history of
Islam in Africa, from the year 615 CE until the early eighth century CE.
(Fixed January 24, 2003.)
of Islam in West Africa In this article,
Rahman Doi begins with the
8th Century CE and discusses the history of Islam in the ancient empires
of Western Sudan: Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Kanem-Bornu, and Hausa-Fulani
land. (Fixed January 24, 2003.)
Africa and Islamic Revival: Historical and
Contemporary Perspectives is the text of a lecture delivered by John
Hunwick, one of the chief scholars of African Islam.
The Jihad and the Consolidation of Sudanic Intellectual Tradition by Ibrahim
Ado-Kurawa, a Nigerian scholar. This is a well-researched and
documented scholarly article presented at the International
Conference on the Bicentenary of the Sokoto Caliphate 1804-2004
from 14th to 16th June 2004 (link fixed 16 March 2006).
The Arabic Literary
Tradition of Nigeria by Prof. John Hunwick of Northwestern University,
originally published in Research in African Literatures, Volume 28,
Islamicization of the Hara Plateau and Its Muslim Shrines This
article, by the scholar Ulrich Braukamper, discusses an important chapter
in the history of Islam in the Ethiopian-Somali "Horn of Africa."
(Fixed as of 10/1/98; offline as of 15 December 2006.)
of African Islamic History (link fixed 18 August 2005) This link consists of
correspondence between a number of scholars of Africa concerning materials
for the teaching of Islam in Africa.
The Academic Study of Islamic History
and Innovation in the Study of Islamic History: The Evolution of North
Amercian Scholarship Since 1960, a lecture at the University of
Tokyo, by Professor R. Stephen Humphreys, a highly regarded historian of
Islam. (Fixed 10.5.02)
Islamic and Middle East History
Middle East in the 20th Century Stanford University professor Joel
Beinin's class site. It includes a syllabus, lecture notes, images,
historical documents, and maps. Professor Beinin is currently (the year 2002) the
president of the
East Studies Association (MESA). (Fixed,
October 5, 2002)
Comprehensive Islamic History
Sites Studies of Countries with Significant
Muslim Populations, researched by the U.S. Library of Congress as part
of its Area Studies on-line handbook. These multi-dimensional studies
often contain very useful historical surveys of the country in question.
Encyclopaedia of the
Orient is a well-designed and useful reference covering mainly the
Middle East and North Africa.
Islamic History Sourcebook created by Prof. Paul Halsall of the University of
North Florida. A wide-ranging site covering all periods of Islamic history.
It is especially
noteworthy for the large
amount of scanned English texts published before 1923 (and therefore
free). The choice of materials shows an emphasis on concerns of Orientalist,
History Textbook Review (link fixed 18 August 2005). This link consists of critical reviews
written by scholars of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
concerning various Middle East and World History textbooks. The reviews
focus on the treatment of Islam and the Middle East in these textbooks.
Converting Dates between the Hijri (Islamic) and
Gregorian and Julian (i.e. Western) Calendars (Substantially revised, 21 February 2009)
Often a student of Islamic Studies will encounter dates written only using the Hijri
calendar or dates only in the Gregorian or the Julian calendars. In order to compare events the
dates of which are written with different calendar systems, it is necessary to
convert such dates to the same system. Hence, it is common for scholars to write the
Hijri date followed by the Gregorian or Julian date for a particular event (e.g. for the current
year: 1424/2004 or 1424 AH / 2004 CE). For reasons noted below, the conversion is not
simply a matter of adding or subtracting years. Hence a formula,
computer program, or book of date equivalencies is used to do the conversion.
Because the Christian calendar changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, the general scholarly convention is that
for dates before 990/1582, Julian dating should be used. Although the Gregorian calendar was established by Papal bull. on 24 February 1582, Gregorian dating did
not begin until October of 1582. More precisely, the last day of
the Julian calendar was Thursday, 4 October 1582 (16 Ramadan 990 AH); and then the next day was the beginning of the Gregorian
calendar, which was Friday, 15 October 1582 (17 Ramadan 990 AH). The link to the converter below at the Institute
of Oriental Studies automatically converts
according to the Julian calendar for dates on or before 16 Ramadan 990 AH (4 October 1582). Also, for dates on or after 17 Ramadan 990 AH (15
October 1582), it automatically converts according to the Gregorian calendar.
Between Islamic and Western Dates at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Zurich.
For example, the passing of the Prophet Muhammad on Monday (yawm al-ithnayn) 13 Rabi' al-Awwal in the year 11 AH correctly
converts to 8 June 632 CE (Julian).
See the following links for converting online between Hijri, Gregorian, and Julian dating as well as
Calendar Converter by Fourmilab
Hijri, Julian, and Gregorian Calendar Converter
Simple programs that convert between the Gregorian and Hijri calendars are the following:
Date Converter of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Saudi Arabia This is
accurate for Gregorian dates. Although it does not state that dates prior to 17 Ramadan 990 AH will be converted to Julian, that
is in fact what it does. Unfortunately, it is one day early, mistakenly equating 16 Ramadan 990 with 3 October 1582.
Hijri Date Converter at Islamicity (but you must hit
the Gregorian to Hijri date converter button when you start using it, at least using Firefox). Like the converter of the Ministry
of Islamic Affairs (above), it too mistakenly converts to Julian dates one day early.
Gregorian -- Hijri Date
Converter (not working as of 21 February 2009).
Books containing date equivalences that are used by scholars are the following:
Cattenoz, Henri. Tables de concordance, 2nd edn. (Rabat: …ditions techniques nord-
africaines, 1954), recommended by Prof. C. Melchert as being "easy to use."
Spuler, B. & J. Mayr (eds.). WŁstenfeld-Mahlersche Vergleichungs-Tabellen zur muslimischen und iranischen
3rd rev. ed. (Wiesbaden, 1961).
Unat, Faik Resit. HicrÓ tarihleri Mil‚dÓ tarihe Áevirme kilavuzu. 5th ed. (Ankara, 1984), recommended as being easy to
use even without knowledge of Turkish by Reference Tools in Islamic
Art and Architecture at Harvard.
In Islamic texts dates are written
using a lunar calendar beginning with the hijra (the emmigration or flight)
of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. This is called the Hijri
calendar and is designated by the abbreviation AH, in contrast to the
Western solar calendar currently used in academia in the United States,
which refers to the era beginning with the birth of Jesus as the Common
Era and which is abbreviated by CE. The reason why a calculation beyond
simple addition or subtraction must be made in order to determine the CE
date if one knows the AH date (and vice versa) is because the lunar year
is ten or eleven days less than the solar year.
While the lunar
Hijri calendar is used in the Sunni and pre-modern Iranian Shi'i world,
Modern Iran uses a solar Hijri calendar that is 621 years less
than the Western solar calendar. Converting between these two calendars is
simply a matter of subtracting 621 from a CE date or adding 621 to a solar
Hijri date. Nevertheless, converting between the lunar Hijri calendar and
the solar Western calendar requires a somewhat more complicated
calculation. Hence we have provided the links above, which performs the
required calculation. Readers interested in more information about the
Islamic calendar should consult the article entitled "Islamic Calendar" in
the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World.