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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For al- most the next year, Khalid and his core force of about one thousand troops worked their way along the western fringes of the Euphrates, making alliances with or subduing the numerous nomadic groups they encountered and reducing fded making treaties with the towns and villages along the river.

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In any case, beginning inKhosro launched a series of attacks against Byzantine positions in Mesopota- mia and Armenia and by the end of the decade had brought all lands up to the Euphrates firmly under Sasanian control.

Among these, the clans of Th and Khazraj were the muuhammad powerful and engaged in sometimes bitter rivalry and feuds for leadership of the town, struggles in which the Jewish tribes were closely involved. Powerful nomadic groups such as Tamim, Asad, and Shayban, and settled tribes of Yemen such as Bajila, Azd, and Madhhij, became key sources of military recruits on whom Abu Bakr and his ruling group could rely when organizing future campaigns.

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. It is difficult, however, to be sure of just what happened during this crucial episode, because the tradi- tional sources provide many conflicting reports about it that cannot be reconciled.

Full text of “Muhammad and the Believers”

Justin- ian also spent lavishly on great buildings, of which the magnificent church amd Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is the finest surviving example. Convinced that the world around them was mired in sin and corruption, they felt an urgent need to ensure their own salvation by living in strict accor- dance with the revealed law, as the Judgment could dawn at any mo- ment.


Seize them, besiege them, ambush them in every’ way— but if they repent, and do the prayer, and bring zakat, let them go their way. Muhammad was at first terrified by what he had experienced and reluctant to take up the mantle of prophecy that God had thrust on him; but his religious experiences continued and it became clear to him that he could not evade this responsibility.

This process of assimi- lating the rural and pastoral populations on the fringes of Byzantine- controlled southern Syria lasted about six months autumn spring On the one hand, Believers should try to coerce unbelievers into believing when possible, but, on the other, one should not be fanatical and must make allowances for the realities of a given situation donnwr for the behavior of the indi- vidual unbeliever.

Verily, God loves the [God-i fearing. According to the Qur an, our status as creatures of God demands pious obedience to His word; we should constantly remember God and humble ourselves before Him in prayer. The twelve months of the Muslim calendar are alternately 29 or 30 days long: Enjoyment of them, and of many of the joys of society as well, are conner to Believers, as long as they are enjoyed in moderation— at least, they are not prohib- ited.

Shortly thereafter, in C.

The topic that he writes about is much too important not to be accessible to as many people as possible. This force joined the followers of Muthanna ibn Haritha mostly local tribesmen near Hira and proceeded to raid the fertile lowlands of Iraq, reducing many small Sasanian garrisons.

Muhammad and the Believers – Fred M. Donner – Google Books

You could not be signed in. If Muhammad and his followers thought of themselves first and foremost as Believers, in what did they believe? I did, even thought I found it easier to pronounce them because I have had a year of training in Arabic.

Muhammad astutely used these late cam- paigns as a way to secure the loyalty of muhammae powerful leaders of Quraysh who had formerly been his opponents, such as their for- mer leader Muhammac Sufyan, and his sons Mu’awiya and Yazid, by giv- ing them important commands or extra shares of booty.

God and the angels and those who believe have witnessed [it]; and God suffices as a witness. For most of the occupied populations, it seems the change of rulers made little difference.


Most of the vast region from Afghanistan to the central Mediterranean was under the direct rule of one or the other of the two empires.

At the time of Muhammad s preaching in the early seventh century, more- over, there were a number of other figures in Arabia who, like him, presented themselves as prophets bearing a divine message. Contents The Byzantine and Sasanian Empires ca c e. In spite of this, some of the Emigrants, uprooted from their livelihoods and cut off from the bulk of the network of close kinsmen that would have sustained them at home in Mecca, soon found themselves on the verge of destitution, and there was only so much that the Medinese I lelpers could do for them.

A third, lesser power also existed in the Near East— the kingdom of Axum sometimes Aksum.

Muhammad and the Believers

Citing articles via Google Scholar. What is problematic in this narrative is that there is scant evidence from archaeology or contemporary sources to prove this was a conquest rather a less interesting taking over of a weak hegemony ready to be taken. Sep 24, AskHistorians added it Shelves: 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.

A recurring feature of Byzantine- Sasanian peace agreements was the establishment of official cus- toms stations where goods were required to cross the border. Nor is Donner a votary of the radical revisionism of historians like Crone and Cook, who once opined that Muhammad probably never existed.

Donner starts from the life of Muhammad and continues through decades of strife that ended with the establishment o This is a stellar, accessible, and carefully-argued history of the rise of Islam. Indeed, even in South Arabia the king- dom was only a thin veneer over an essentially tribal society. At first Muhammad and his Believers faced toward Jerusalem in prayer, as the Jews did, but after some time Muhammad ordered that the Believers should conduct prayers facing Mecca instead.

Includes bibliographical references and index.