MIN 408 – Classical Islamic History



• Pre-Islamic Arabia on the eve of Islam
• The message and the Messenger
• The Mecca period and the early Muslim community
• The Medina community and its boundaries
• The Meccan Qurayshi rulers
• The Qurayshi Umayyad state and its opposition’
• The Nature of the Umayyad opposition
• The Qurayshi ‘Abbasid first period
• The emergence of the religious regional powers
• The rise of the non-Qurayshi military rule in the late ‘Abbasid period
• Religion and polity – the chronic clash of the community

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Assessment Modes
Individual coursework of 3500 words demonstrating ability to debate and explore ideas.

Assessment Weighting
Individual coursework: 100%

Learning materials

Core readings
Al-Dimishqi, Ibn Kathir. (1998) The Life of Prophet Muhammad, Reading: Garnet Publishing
Afsaruddin, A. (2013) The First Muslims: History and Memory. Oneworld Publications.
Anon (1996) The History of al-Tabari Vol. 17: The First Civil War: From the Battle of Siffin to the Death of ’Ali A.D. 656-661/A.H. 36-40. Albany, State University of New York Press.
Ayub, M. M. (2003) The Crisis of Muslim History, Religion and politics in early Islam, Oxford: One World, 2003 Publications
Berkey, J. (2003) The Formation of Islam, Cambridge, 2003.
Duri, A. al-A. (2011) Early Islamic Institutions: Administration and Taxation from the Caliphate to the Umayyads and Abbasids. London, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.
Fisher, S. N. (1996) The Middle East: A History. NY: McGraw-Hill., Volume I, 1996
Hawting, G.R. (2000) The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad Caliphate AD 661-750. 2 edition. London ; New York, Routledge
Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad. (1982) The Life of Muhammad, A. Guillame (trans.), Oxford University Press
Jafri, S.H.M. (1979) The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam. Oxford University Press
Ja’faryan, R. (2003) History of the Caliphs from the death of the messenger to the decline of the Umayyad dynasty 11-132 AH, Qum: Ansariyan
Karen, A. (2006) Muhammad: Prophet for our Time, London: Harper Press
Kennedy, H., (2004), The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates. Longman, 2004
Lings, M. (1991) Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society
Madelung, W. (1997) The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate, Cambridge University Press
Rogerson, B. (2007) The heirs of Muhammad : Islam’s first century and the origins of the Sunni-Shia The Overlook Press