By John Joseph Saunders
Are not the phrases "Medieval Islam" a redundancy? while has Islam ever now not been "Medieval"? for instance, a good way to examine the heritage of the "Dark Ages", you'll research eighth and ninth century Europe, otherwise you may well examine any Arab state this day that is guided by means of Islamic principles.
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It was at one time under Jewish dominance, but the three Jewish clans—the Nadir, the Kuraiza, and the Kainuka—were now overshadowed by eight Arab clans, of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj. Feuds between these tribes kept the city in a state of tension and disorder, and in 617 or 618 there was a violent battle at a place called Bu’ath. The more responsible citizens were anxious to put an end to these troubles: the most hopeful method, often resorted to in Arabia, was to bring in an arbitrator from outside, who would act as judge and keep the peace.
To describe, still less to account for, the rise of Islam is a matter of peculiar difficulty. Renan’s claim that Islam was the only religion to be born in the full light of history can hardly be sustained in view of the fact that we have virtually no contemporary witness. Our knowledge of Muhammad is derived from the Koran, the hadith or traditions, and the sira or formal biography. Concerning the first, no non-Muslim scholar has ever doubted that it was his personal composition, the revelations he claimed to have received from God during the last twenty years of his life; it is therefore the most authentic mirror of his career and doctrine, but its figurative style, obscure allusions, and uncertain dating of its suras or chapters, make it highly unsatisfactory as a biographical source.
A brief but interesting analysis. BUHL, FRANTS, Das Leben Mohammeds, Leipzig, 1930. The standard modern life, originally published in Danish in 1903. There is no English 37 THE PROPHET translation, but a summary of Buhl’s views may be found in his article ‘Muhammad’ in the Enc. of Islam. MUIR, SIR WILLIAM, The Life of Mohammed, 4 vols. 1858–61; revised ed. one vol . Edinburgh, 1912. Now rather antiquated, but still the fullest biography in English. Strongly Christian in tone. WATT, W. MONTGOMERY, Muhammad at Mecca, Oxford 1953; Muhammad at Medina, Oxford, 1956.
A History of Medieval Islam by John Joseph Saunders