A conversation with Sean Anthony about the earliest sources for the life of the Prophet Muhammad, including the Quran, papyri, inscriptions, and Christian sources of the seventh century, and how Muslims were initially perceived by the Romans of the eastern provinces.
On the southern exterior wall of the Dome of the Rock, a very important Islamic shrine in Jerusalem’s Old City, there are two marble slabs, both carved from the same stone and placed side by side to form a symmetrical pattern, that depicts two birds. The history of this marble decoration and how different narratives about its creation have been examined in a recent article.
Throughout the medieval world there was a strong belief in supernatural beings. If you lived in the Middle East, they would be called djinn, demons or devils. If you dare want to know more about these monsters, read on!
Khalid is widely regarded as the military leader responsible for the world-changing expansion of Islam beyond its initial home in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century. His story is fascinating.
Seventh-century North Africa would see the rise of a warrior queen named al-Kahina. Who was she and how was she able to wage a war against the Umayyad Caliphate?
A recounting of the fabled Hajj of Mali emperor Mansa Musa in 1324.
This short column will explain the historical context for the conquests and the three major transformations that made them possible.
In 750 the Umayyad caliphal dynasty was overthrown by a popular revolution that had its origins in the eastern regions of the Muslim world, primarily in Khurasan.
Archaeologists working in Israel have discovered the remains of a mosque dating to seventh or eighth century, as well as a Byzantine-era farm.
In this paper I examine usages of classical Arabic words with the z-r-q root to understand how they are differently mobilised in the Qur’ān, Qur’ānic commentaries, hadith, early medical treatises and words of adab.
Al-Jāḥiẓ’s epistle entitled Refutation of the Christians (al-Radd ʿalā al-Naṣārā) contains an account of a dispute that took place between his teacher al-Naẓẓām (d.835-845), al-Jāḥiẓ himself, and a third unnamed mutakallim, tentatively identified by David Thomas as Aḥmad b. Ḥāʾiṭ (or Ḥābiṭ or Khāʾiṭ) a Muʿtazilī theologian who studied under al-Jāḥiẓ’s teacher, al-Naẓẓām
What was the nature and scope of Burgundian contact with the Islamic world? How did Burgundians conceptualise the Islamic East? What were their frames of reference and how were they shaped by contemporaneous events, including further Ottoman penetration into eastern Europe and the fall of Constantinople?
This article focuses on the built spaces, often described as mosques, of two Muslim communities in Constantinople between the tenth and thirteenth centuries.
This lecture explores how sea and mainland trade with China was one of the most important aspects of the flourishing of Islam in the Middle Ages.
In his biographical dictionary, the well-known Andalusian scholar al-Humaydi gives an account of the unhappy experience of an earlier compatriot of his, Abu ‘Umar Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sa,di, in the theological debating societies of Baghdad.
This study provides the first archaeo-anthropological testimony of the Muslim establishment in South of France through the multidisciplinary analysis of three graves excavated at Nimes.
Ibn Jumayʿ’s (d. c. 594/1198) commentary on the Canon of Medicine by Ibn Sīnā (d. 428/1037) occupies an important place in the history of medicine for it is the first Canon commentary written by a physician and thus stands at the start of a tradition extending over 500 years.
Swedish researchers have uncovered Kufic characters, an ancient Arabic script, in artefacts from Viking Age Scandinavia. Their study also indicates that both the names ‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’ can be seen in these artefacts.
Five recent books that looks at the first centuries of contact and conflict between the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.
Medieval Islamic Thought and the “What is X?” Question By Thérèse-Anne Druart American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Vol.73:1 (1999) Introduction: In his early dialogues Plato…
This paper examines depictions of Muslims in illuminated manuscripts produced in France between 1200-1420 that feature images of Christian-Muslim interactions.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed does a remarkable – though not flawless – job in presenting a well-balanced game narrative, which incorporates not only a historically justified representation of the Nizari Isma’ilis, but also implicitly corrects one of the most famous Western legends about the so-called ‘Assassins’
The portrayal and (mis)use of the figure of the Jew and the Muslim in vernacular sermons and wall paintings from medieval Denmark and Sweden.
Persis Berlekamp is working on Islamic talismans created in the 12th to 15th centuries, focusing on objects from the Seljuk, Mongol and Timurid milieux.