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Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (SLAEI) # 8


Arabs and Others In Early Islam


by Suliman Bashear


About the Book:

      In this book the author pursues some of the ideas first set forth in his controversial Introduction to the Other History (1984, in Arabic) in a ground-breaking study of the ways in which the relations between Arabs and non-Arabs developed during the first centuries of Islam. Arabs and Others in Early Islam argues that with the rise of the Arab empire in the seventh century, paradigms of Arab or Islamic identity did not yet exist in their classical forms. In the course of arguing this thesis, Bashear also offers important insights on the social and cultural history of early Islam, including changing attitudes toward bedouins, non-Arabs, and non-Muslims, the notion of Arabia as the Arab homeland, and apocalyptic insecurities.


About the Author:

    Suliman Bashear was a leading scholar and administrator at the University of Nablus, and taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.



In this insightful and original study, Bashear interrogates the conventional wisdom that the rise of the Arab polity and Islam were simultaneous from the beginning. . . . He stresses the value of careful scrutiny of hadith and tafsir, in addition to historical sources, in reconstructing the earliest history of the Islamic state. . . . It is an ideal text for discussion in a graduate seminar. The book is a fine example of the possibilities that open up when Islamicists use the time-honored techniques of isnad analysis and careful attention to textual tradition to scrutinize the core assumptions of a field and to address broader historical questions that emerge in contemporary scholarly circles.

MESA Bulletin


Publication date: 1997

Bibliography; index

Size: 6 1/8 x 9 ½ (15.6 x 24.1 cm); viii, 161 pages

CIP L.C. 97-41871

ISBN 978-0-87850-126-7  $35.00  Buy it at Amazon.com!