By William L. Cleveland, Martin Bunton

This finished paintings presents a penetrating research of recent center jap heritage, from the Ottoman and Egyptian reforms, throughout the problem of Western imperialism, to the yank invasion of Iraq and Iran’s new impression within the quarter. After introducing the reader to the region’s background from the origins of Islam within the 7th century, A heritage of the trendy center East specializes in the earlier centuries of profound and infrequently dramatic switch. even though equipped round a framework of political heritage, the ebook additionally rigorously integrates social, cultural, and monetary advancements right into a unmarried, expertly crafted account. In updating this fourth variation of the past due William Cleveland’s well known introductory textual content, Martin Bunton addresses fresh transformative advancements within the heart East, charting the decline within the peace clients among Israelis and Palestinians, elaborating upon the resurgence of Islam, and devoting a brand new bankruptcy to “America’s bothered second within the heart East,” which info the aftermath of the Iraq battle and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

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Muhammad consolidated his authority in Medina by convincing influential personalities in the city to embrace Islam and accept his leadership. Once he established his power base, he was able to take measures against the groups that continued to deny his prophetic and political authority. Among the latter were several Jewish tribes whose members would not accept the legitimacy of Muhammad’s claim as the Prophet. Muhammad eventually expelled them from Medina and ordered their property confiscated and distributed among the Muslim emigrants.

Polygamy was unlimited in pre-Islamic Arabia, and the Quranic prohibition against taking more than four wives was indeed a reform. Prior to the advent of Islam, divorce was a completely unregulated male prerogative among the Arabs of the peninsula.

In these commandments, the all-embracing nature of Islam was established. For example, contracting a debt agreement as the Quran required—in writing before a witness—was a religious duty, and failure to follow the prescription was a sin. In this way, the details of marriage, inheritance, divorce, diet, and economic practice were made part of the religious experience of Muslims. Muhammad created a community (ummah) in which the laws of human behavior in daily life were prescribed by God. It would be an exaggeration to call Arabia a cohesive, unified state after the surrender of Mecca.

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