Recently, I decided to embark on a journey. And no, not a physical journey as that would require actual movement on my part.
This journey is waaaay cooler though believe me, it’s a journey……… Through time (*.*) (wow) ! A journey which can only be undertaken via the great medium of books! Orrrrr television documentaries. Orrr wikipedia I suppose. But in this case, at least, it’s through books.
Specifically speaking I decided to study Islamic history, not in extreme detail but just for a broad overview of events.
So if any amongst you are interested in this subject then I highly reccomend the following books to create a good platform for learning but also for further reading, should you wish.
Or just read on for the hell of it.
The first book I read was ‘Muhammad: His Life Based On the Earliest Sources’ by Martin Lings. This can only be described as a gem of a book. It was nicely written, not too long and overall an easy read. Although I was familiar with a lot of the history of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessing be upon him, after reading this book I realised how little I actually knew/remembered.
I highly reccommend anyone who’s interested in learning about the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, or about Islamic history in general to read through Martin Lings’ brilliant biography.
‘The History of the Khalifahs who took the Right Way’ by Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti was the second book I read. After reading a biography of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, I felt it fitting to read about the 4 Khalifahs who came after him, as well as a short extract on the 5th too. What appealed to me most about this book was that it was very neatly organised. For each caliph, there were little sections such as their description or what they accomplished as Caliph and so forth. Overall it was a concise yet informative read. Recommended for anyone looking to see how Islam expanded after the death of the Prophet, may peace and blessings be upon him.
The next book on the list was ‘Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation from the Past’ by Firas Alkhateeb and as of yet am only half way through it. The book starts off by giving brief summaries of the lives of the Prophet SAW and the first 4 Khalifahs, and then transporting you into the times that follow. From what I have seen so far I can tell you that Islamic history is by no means a simple affair. You learn about Dynasty after dynasty. Dynasties within dynasties. Divisions, battles, treaties and much much more.
It is a wonder how the author so skillfully packed everything inside this neat and rather compact book!
The Golden Age of Science and Maths, in the cultural capital of Baghdad, was especially interesting as we are shown how Muslim scientists and leading thinkers pioneered the way for much of the technology we use today. It was extremely interesting but at the same time deeply saddening, considering how different the situation is now.
My overall impression so far is of sheer wonder. It is amazing how, in just around 300 years, Islam had spread from one Man with a mission to one of the largest dynasties in the world at that time. It just goes to show how much can be accomplished when unity exists between the leaders and followers. And when peace is present throughout.
But anyways I suppose its time to end this fairly long (by this sites standards!) post and leave by saying, again!, that if any of you are interested in learning about Islamic history then these books would definitely be good starting points.
If you have any other books which you can reccomend then write them in the comments below 🙂 or just write in the comments for the hell of it. That’s how I get my kicks apparently.
I don’t know what I’ll read next but if I don’t say on here then maybe you can somehow stalk my goodreads account, if anyone is actually interested! Ya crafty buggers.
Taraa for now then