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Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (SLAEI) # 7


A Gateway To Hell, A Gateway To Paradise


The North African Response To the Arab Conquest


by Elizabeth Savage


About the Book:

    The first study devoted exclusively to the process and effect of the Islamic conquest in North Africa. By drawing on standard historical sources and relatively unknown sectarian texts, the author has brought into focus a region whose conflicts are characteristic of the late Umayyad and early 'Abbasid periods and has filled a gap for those interested in early Islamic history as well as in the peripheral issues of tribalism, trade, and the role of indigenous Christian communities. The author discusses, particularly, the Ibadiya, whose political moderation, doctrinal integrity, and affinity for long-distance trade extended well beyond the Umayyad period. An impressive network of Ibadi merchant shaykhs linked the cities of the northern desert with outposts beyond the Sahara, giving the Ibadi community a religious and economic coherence that has survived to the present day. Contents include:


"Religion and Sovereignty Are Twins": Evolution of the Ibadi

Survival through Alliance: The Establishment of the Ibadiya

From Imam to King

Ibadi Slavers: An Eighteenth-Century Transformation

Christian Ibadis: Equality of the Divine Truths

Nafusa Sword, Mazata Wealth

Beyond Tahart


About the Author:

    Elizabeth Savage works in the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum.



An elegant study of the North African response to the Arab conquest and will likely become the standard work on the development of Ibadism of North African for some time to come.

Religious Studies Review

Publication date: 1997

Maps, illustrations and color plates

Size: 6 1/8 x 9 ½ (15.6 x 24.1 cm); x, 206 pages

CIP L.C. 96-47022

ISBN 978-0-87850-112-0  $45.00  (Out of Stock Indefinitely)