Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Idea of the Jihad in Islam Before the Crusades

"The gradual emergence of normative jihad theory must also be seen as a function of the adjustment of the early Islamic world to an apocalypse that never conclusively happened. Roman and Sassanian traditions of war already had established the idea of victory as divine confirmation; and, given the apocalyptic atmosphere that pervades much of the Qur'an, the early Islamic conquests seemed confirmation that Islam was destined to create a universal state. Yet Constantinople and a significant part of the Byzantine Empire remained unconquerable.... By the long reign of the Umayyad Califph Hisham (105/724 - 125/743), Muslim armies suffered setbacks in Western Europe and Central Asia as well as on the Byzantine frontier."

Roy Parviz Mottanhedeh and Ridwan al-Sayyid "The Idea of the Jihad in Islam Before the Crusades" in The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World, edited by Angeliki Laiou and Roy Parviz Mottahedh and published by Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection Washington, D.C. 2001


Great Mosque at Kairouan (modern Tunisia), built in 800 CE.


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