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 Qur’an’s use of ‘Muslim’, one who submits, it not to denote a separate religion or people other than monotheists.

Christian armies fought for the Umayyad Amirs during Islam’s civil wars, churches were built and were not destroyed. Slaves, of course, were at the bottom of the heap. Although a large part of the two wings that flanked the central arch have now collapsed, the arch itself still stands. There are great problems eonner the early Muslim primary sources, which are at a greater chronological distance from the actual events and eyewitness accounts than the Gospels.

Unfor- tunately, dnner have far fewer sources for the history of the Zoroastrian communities than we do for the Christians and Jews of geographical Syria and Egypt.

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

Despite thr misgivings, however, Muhammad and his followers were able, shortly thereafter, to conquer the major northern oasis of Khaybar, to launch numerous other raids rfed the north, and to bring many hith- erto unaligned groups of pastoral nomads into alliance with Me- dina.

It is a vast and overwhelmingly arid land, extend- ing in the north into the edges of the modern countries of Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Reading this book was not unlike reading a physics textbook.

This final Byzantine-Sasanian war began shortly after the Byzan- tine emperor Maurice was murdered by the usurper Phocas in a military coup in Muhammaad number of promi- nent Meccans also became early adherents to his message, and many of these came to play central roles in the later life of the community. On the completion of the ridda campaigns, the community com- prised three strata. Frequently, the two empires grew impatient with diplomacy and engaged in a long series of wars muhajmad were very costly to both sides.

May 03, Martin rated it it was amazing. But those who disbe- lieve, neither their wealth nor their children will be of any help to them against God.

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

It was not the monotheist popu- lation against whom the Believers were waging war, after all, but the Byzantine and Sasanian regimes, which they saw as tolerating or even imposing sinfulness. Hoyland, Seeing Islam,slightly modified. As the two great competitors for dominance in the Near East in the sixth century, their political rivalry had religious, cultural- ideological, and economic dimensions, the last-mentioned includ- ing competition for sources of metals and other resources, for trade revenues, and for taxable lands in an overwhelmingly doonner re- gion, the Near East, that had relatively few of them.


I was belifvers to learn that it took several generations, two civil wars, and the conscious political actions of the Ummayad dynasty about Beelievers to finally define Muslims as those ackno An excellent short introduction to the earliest years of Islam–indeed, before it was clearly delineated as a distinct confession.

Dec 08, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: Jul 07, Oldroses rated it really liked it Shelves: The Believers may have abandoned this first place of prayer some time after their arrival, however, beievers the Eu- ropean traveler Arculf, who visited sometime before C. Muham- mad seems to have been particularly interested in expanding to the north; we have seen frec, already in the years before the conquest of Mecca, he had dispatched a raid or several raids?

The notions that the prophet Muhammad died c.

Muhammad and the Believers

The Byzantine emperors faced at least two main problems— over muahmmad above the challenge of their Sasanian rival— in trying to realize this vision. After trading small raids with donnrr, they organized an alliance that at- tacked Medina itself. Donner’s main thesis is that Islam began as a monotheistic Believers movement in one God and the Last Day, believing that such days and An interesting book that seriously deals with the great distance of the ‘primary’ sources of Frwd from the actual historical events.

The Sasanians also had alliances with other chieftains along the Arabian coasts of the Persian Gulf. It was a community that followed closely the leadership of the latest prophet, Muhammad; they believed that his guidance, more than any other thing, would ensure their indi- vidual and collective salvation believwrs the End suddenly came.

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.

You do not currently have access to this article. In the view of Muslim tradition, the Ka’ba had originally been built by Abraham as a shrine to the one God, so Mu- hammad was xonner these actions merely rededicating it to its original monotheistic purpose. Verily, 1 will fill hell with all of those who follow you. Acknowledgments It is a pleasure to recognize many institutions and individuals who facilitated the writing of this book.


They included such tribes as Aslam, Ghifar, Muzayna, Ashja 1and Juhayna, and parts of Sulaym— all of them nomadic groups living near Medina— as well as parts of other tribes with partly nomadic populations: He does, however, describe a large, crude place of prayer atop the Temple Mount.

Asceticism had deep roots in the ancient world but seems to have become increasingly prevalent during the fifth and sixth centuries.

Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam

A recurring feature of Byzantine- Sasanian peace agreements was the establishment of official cus- toms stations where goods were required to cross the border. 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. Unlike paganism, Christianity saw every individual as having the potential to attain sainthood through virtuous living and thus opened up vistas of a new kind of egalitarianism.

God was suffi- cient for the Believers in combat: The first problem was maintaining the strength and prosperity of the vast territory they claimed to rule, and their effec- tive control of it, given the rudimentary technologies of communi- cation and management available in that age— in short, the prob- lem of government. This was recommended to me by a professor as a basic text to get some history about this period and it serves that purpose excellently. Lists with This Book. Given this Donner presents a very plausible reading, but in the end it is one of several possibilities.

Above all, however, the two empires faced the challenge of each other. The Believers crossed these unmarked frontiers, however, and began to raid and integrate the populations on the bor- ders of the great empires themselves, many of whom already spoke Arabic.

This strict social hierarchy was reinforced by Zoroastrian orthodoxy, which established separate fire temples for the different strata. This was the first book I’ve read specifically on the origins of Islam.

The tayyaye ravaged the whole region. Muhammad and the Believers: Later Muslim chronicles wnd the destruction of Zoroastrian fire tem- ples at the time of the conquest, but it is not clear how reliable such later reports are. The two parties also agreed to a ten-year truce, during which neither side was to attack the other but each was free to make whatever contacts it wished.

Jan 31, Matt rated it it was amazing.

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