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Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What is jihad? Does it mean violence, as many non-Muslims assume? Or does it mean peace, as some Muslims insist? Because jihad is closely associated with the early spread of Islam, today's debate about the origin and meaning of jihad is nothing less than a struggle over Islam itself. In Jihad in Islamic History, Michael Bonner provides the first study in English that focuses on the early history of jihad, shedding much-needed light on the most recent controversies over jihad.

To some, jihad is the essence of radical Islamist ideology, a synonym for terrorism, and even proof of Islam's innate violence. To others, jihad means a peaceful, individual, and internal spiritual striving. Bonner, however, shows that those who argue that jihad means only violence or only peace are both wrong. Jihad is a complex set of doctrines and practices that have changed over time and continue to evolve today. The Quran's messages about fighting and jihad are inseparable from its requirements of generosity and care for the poor. Jihad has often been a constructive and creative force, the key to building new Islamic societies and states. Jihad has regulated relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, in peace as well as in war. And while today's "jihadists" are in some ways following the "classical" jihad tradition, they have in other ways completely broken with it.

Written for general readers who want to understand jihad and its controversies, Jihad in Islamic History will also interest specialists because of its original arguments.

Synopsis:

"Michael Bonner's book is by far the best treatment of this important subject in English, and very useful to general historians of the Middle East."--Roy P. Mottahedeh, Harvard University

"This is an excellent and erudite contribution to the field that, due to Bonner's pleasant and clear style, is easily accessible to students and nonspecialists. The book's value lies in its contextualizing of the notion of jihad. It covers the entire Islamic era, tracing how the notion of jihad emerged and developed within a certain historical framework."--Rudolph Peters, University of Amsterdam, author of Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam: A Reader

"A fine contribution to the literature on jihad."--John Kelsay, Florida State University, author of Islam and War

"Jihad in Islamic History is a very helpful overview of the various appropriations of jihad and concepts of warfare and fighting in Islamic history, especially the early period. It is particularly good on the sources, their varying purposes, and the debates today over their validity in trying to explain the rise of Islam and early Islamic history in general. As the only major overview of jihad focusing on the premodern period, the study will stand alone."--Paul Heck, Georgetown University, author of The Construction of Knowledge in Islamic Civilization

Synopsis:

What is jihad? Does it mean violence, as many non-Muslims assume? Or does it mean peace, as some Muslims insist? Because jihad is closely associated with the early spread of Islam, today's debate about the origin and meaning of jihad is nothing less than a struggle over Islam itself. In Jihad in Islamic History, Michael Bonner provides the first study in English that focuses on the early history of jihad, shedding much-needed light on the most recent controversies over jihad.

To some, jihad is the essence of radical Islamist ideology, a synonym for terrorism, and even proof of Islam's innate violence. To others, jihad means a peaceful, individual, and internal spiritual striving. Bonner, however, shows that those who argue that jihad means only violence or only peace are both wrong. Jihad is a complex set of doctrines and practices that have changed over time and continue to evolve today. The Quran's messages about fighting and jihad are inseparable from its requirements of generosity and care for the poor. Jihad has often been a constructive and creative force, the key to building new Islamic societies and states. Jihad has regulated relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, in peace as well as in war. And while today's "jihadists" are in some ways following the "classical" jihad tradition, they have in other ways completely broken with it.

Written for general readers who want to understand jihad and its controversies, Jihad in Islamic History will also interest specialists because of its original arguments.

About the Author

Michael Bonner is Professor of Medieval Islamic History at the University of Michigan. "Jihad in Islamic History" originally appeared in French as "Le Jihad: origines, interpretations, combats". Bonner is also the author of "Aristocratic Violence and Holy War: Studies in the Jihad and the Arab-Byzantine Frontier" and "Arab-Byzantine Relations in Early Islamic Times".

Table of Contents

List of Maps xi

Symbols and Accent Marks xiii

Preface xv

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction 1

What Is Jihad? 1

Just War and Holy War 4

Warfare and Jihad 6

Fields of Debate 10

Historiography and Origins 14

Readings 18

CHAPTER TWO: The Quran and Arabia 20

Combat in the Quran 21

Gift and Reciprocity 27

Fighting and Recompense 30

"The Beggar and the Warrior" 32

Readings 34

CHAPTER THREE: Muhammad and His Community 36

Sira and Maghazi: Sacred History 37

Hadith: The Norm 45

Themes of Jihad in the Hadith 49

Fighting with One's Money 51

Readings 54

CHAPTER FOUR: The Great Conquests 56

The Course of Conquest 58

Explanations 60

Approaches to the Islamic Sources 64

Approaches to the Non-Islamic Sources 67

Readings 71

CHAPTER FIVE: Martyrdom 72

Martyrdom before Islam 73

Martyrdom in Quran and Tradition 74

Contexts of Martyrdom in Islam 76

Martyrs and Neomartyrs 79

Readings 82

CHAPTER SIX: Encounter with the Other 84

Conquest Society and Fiscal Regime 84

Treatment of Non-Muslims 87

Abode of Islam, Abode of War 92

Convivencia 93

Readings 95

CHAPTER SEVEN: Embattled Scholars 97

Syria and the Byzantine Frontier 98

Arabia 102

Iraq: The Synthesis of al-Shafi"i 106

North Africa 108

Spain 111

Central Asia 112

The Embattled Scholars: Conclusions 114

Readings 116

CHAPTER EIGHT: Empires, Armies, and Frontiers 118

The Umayyad Caliphate: Imperial Jihad 119

Revolution and Jihad 124

The "Abbasid Caliphate and Its Military Crisis 127

Frontier Societies: Against Byzantium 131

Frontier Societies: Spain and North Africa 134

Ribat 136

The Crusades 137

Ottoman Origins 144

Corsairs in the Mediterranean 149

The Western Sudan 151

Empires, Armies, and Frontiers: Conclusions 153

Readings 155

CHAPTER NINE: Colonial Empire, Modern State, New Jihad 157

Resistance and Reform 157

Fundamentalism and Islamism 161

Readings 165

CHAPTER TEN: Conclusions 167

Bibliography 175

Index 191

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691138381
Subtitle:
Doctrines and Practice
Author:
Bonner, Michael
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Islam -- History.
Subject:
Islamic Studies
Subject:
Middle Eastern Studies
Subject:
Comparative Literature
Subject:
World History/Comparative History
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Middle East
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080817
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 maps.
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Islam » General
Religion » Islam » History

Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice New Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691138381 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Michael Bonner's book is by far the best treatment of this important subject in English, and very useful to general historians of the Middle East."--Roy P. Mottahedeh, Harvard University

"This is an excellent and erudite contribution to the field that, due to Bonner's pleasant and clear style, is easily accessible to students and nonspecialists. The book's value lies in its contextualizing of the notion of jihad. It covers the entire Islamic era, tracing how the notion of jihad emerged and developed within a certain historical framework."--Rudolph Peters, University of Amsterdam, author of Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam: A Reader

"A fine contribution to the literature on jihad."--John Kelsay, Florida State University, author of Islam and War

"Jihad in Islamic History is a very helpful overview of the various appropriations of jihad and concepts of warfare and fighting in Islamic history, especially the early period. It is particularly good on the sources, their varying purposes, and the debates today over their validity in trying to explain the rise of Islam and early Islamic history in general. As the only major overview of jihad focusing on the premodern period, the study will stand alone."--Paul Heck, Georgetown University, author of The Construction of Knowledge in Islamic Civilization

"Synopsis" by , What is jihad? Does it mean violence, as many non-Muslims assume? Or does it mean peace, as some Muslims insist? Because jihad is closely associated with the early spread of Islam, today's debate about the origin and meaning of jihad is nothing less than a struggle over Islam itself. In Jihad in Islamic History, Michael Bonner provides the first study in English that focuses on the early history of jihad, shedding much-needed light on the most recent controversies over jihad.

To some, jihad is the essence of radical Islamist ideology, a synonym for terrorism, and even proof of Islam's innate violence. To others, jihad means a peaceful, individual, and internal spiritual striving. Bonner, however, shows that those who argue that jihad means only violence or only peace are both wrong. Jihad is a complex set of doctrines and practices that have changed over time and continue to evolve today. The Quran's messages about fighting and jihad are inseparable from its requirements of generosity and care for the poor. Jihad has often been a constructive and creative force, the key to building new Islamic societies and states. Jihad has regulated relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, in peace as well as in war. And while today's "jihadists" are in some ways following the "classical" jihad tradition, they have in other ways completely broken with it.

Written for general readers who want to understand jihad and its controversies, Jihad in Islamic History will also interest specialists because of its original arguments.

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