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Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation from the Past

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 31st July 2020 07:57

Islam has been one of the most powerful religious, social, and political forces in history. Over the last 1400 years, from origins in Arabia, a succession of Muslim polities and later empires expanded to control territories and peoples that ultimately stretched from southern France, to East Africa to South East Asia. Yet many of the contributions of Muslim think¬ers, scientists, and theologians, not to men¬tion rulers, statesmen and soldiers, have been occluded. This book rescues from oblivion and neglect some of these personalities and insti¬tutions while offering the reader a new narra¬tive of this lost Islamic history. The Umayyads, Abbasids, and Ottomans feature in the story, as do Muslim Spain, the savannah kingdoms of West Africa and the Mughal Empire, along with the later European colonisation of Muslim lands and the development of modern nation-states in the Muslim world. Throughout, the impact of Islamic belief on scientific advancement, social structures, and cultural development is given due prominence, and the text is complemented by portraits of key personalities, inventions and little known historical nuggets. The history of Islam and of the world's Muslims brings together diverse peoples, geographies, and states, all interwoven into one narrative that begins with Muhammad and continues to this day.


Firas Alkhateeb is an American researcher, writer and historian who specialises in the Islamic world. He completed his BA in history from the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 2010 and has since been teaching Islamic history at Universal School in Bridgeview, Illinois. He is currently a student of traditional Islamic sciences. His first book is "Lost Islamic History", which covers the history of Muslim societies throughout the world in a concise and approachable fashion.


Firas Alkhateeb is a PhD student in Islamic thought interested in post-classical Ḥanafī legal theory in the Ottoman Empire and its intersections with theology and political theory. He is particularly interested in the manner in which 14th century Ottoman jurists understood themselves and their work in relation to the existing pre-Ottoman and pre-Mongol Ḥanafī tradition.

He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, where he wrote a master’s thesis on Ottoman şeyhülislam Ebū's-Suʿūd’s legal theory titled “Post-Classical Ḥanafī Legal Theory: The Cash Waqf in Relation to the Ottoman State.” He has also studied the Islamic sciences with scholars of the Islamic tradition in Chicago and Istanbul.

Firas has a background in secondary education, having worked as a high school history teacher for five years before coming to the University of Chicago. During that time, he wrote an introductory text on Islamic history for high school students titled "Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilization from the Past."
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