The first volume of The History of Islam focuses on the period elapsing from around the mid 6th century CE until the final years of the 9th century.
It begins, though, with a lengthy chapter dealing with modern narrative of Islamic history, mainly on the part of Western scholarship, and how this narrative, rather than improving with time, has simply deteriorated so much that Muslim history written in our day is largely incomprehensible.
The work, then, relying on both Western and Muslim sources, old and new, deals with the more salient events of Islamic history. Its focus in this volume is on the rise and expansion of Islam and the early caliphate. The vast expansion under the first three caliphs of Islam and the Umayyad dynasty is dealt with in detail.
The work includes maps that sum up different events taking place at fairly the same time in different places of the realm in order to provide an overview of Islamic history at any epoch at a glance.
This second volume of The History of Islam focuses on events that took place between the 10th and 16th centuries. It gives particular focus to the dynasties that marked this period, and how they related with each other in times of peace and war.
The Crusades (1095-1291) are dealt with comprehensively, and their impact on the Muslim world is object of particular focus.
Chapters three and four deal with the fate of Muslims in Sicily and Iberia respectively. They look at the status of Muslims and Islam in both places from the moment the Muslims lost the military contest until their final removal from both places.
The rise of the Ottoman Turks and its impact on both Europe and the Muslim world receives a great deal of attention.
This volume also includes maps to help locate places and events related to them at given periods of the historical phase looked at in this volume.
The 3rd volume of The History of Islam looks at the rise of Islam in places, its decline in others, and the colonial phase.
The history of the Islamic arrival and expansion in Africa, South East Asia, China and India is the main focus of this volume. This work charts events in these places down to the Western intrusion.
The decline of the Ottomans and their gradual removal from Europe is also dealt with in detail. The causes of such decline and the gradual dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire are of particular focus.
Finally this volume looks at the colonial period, putting particular emphasis on the sharp contrast between Western rhetoric that justified colonisation as a civilising mission and reality on the ground which shows the social, economic, and human cost incurred by these lands.
This volume also uses images and maps to reinforce the textual narrative.
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About the Author
Dr Salah Eddine Al-Djazairi lectured and researched at the University of Constantine in Algeria for more than ten years. He also tutored at the Department of Geography of the University of Manchester, and worked as a research assistant at UMIST (Manchester) in the field of History of Science. He has published many academic works. Publications in scientific journals include papers on environmental degradation and desertification as well as papers on politics and change in North Africa, and problems of economic and social development. He has also contributed historical entries to various encyclopaedias such as the Columbia Gazetteer, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Francophone Studies, and the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Science and Technology in Islam. The largest written contribution by the author has been on the subject of Muslim science and civilisation.