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ISBN: 0674013859                                Author: Malise Ruthven, Azim Nanji                                Publishe...
HISTORICALATLAS OF THEISLAMICWORLD
HISTORICALATLAS OF THEISLAMICWORLD Malise Ruthven      with   Azim Nanji
Book Copyright © Cartographica Limited 2004    Text Copyright © Malise Ruthven 2004               All rights reserved. His...
CONTENTSIntroduction                                             6   Balkans, Cyprus, and Crete 1500–2000                 ...
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLDIntroduction                         Since September 11th 2001, barely a day pas-    ...
INTRODUCTION                     (to God) is etymologically related to the word                                           ...
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD                         Muslims are religiously observant in different      one of h...
INTRODUCTIONdant, so was the climate of tolerance it         detail. The story of Muhammad’s career asengendered. Muslim s...
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD                                          For believing Muslims, the Koran is the    ...
INTRODUCTIONjects found support in the religion of their         patterns of state and religious authority thatrulers, or ...
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD                         lines (patrilineal kinship groups). They are rel-   a common...
INTRODUCTIONbelievers above others. In theory there exists    eleventh centuries was far ahead of itsa single Muslim commu...
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLDFoundational Beliefs and Practices                         In the majority of Islamic...
INTRODUCTIONdifferent rulers (as frequently happened),       Another significant ritual practice isthe official indication...
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLDGeophysical Map of the Muslim World                                        Although l...
GEOPHYSICAL MAP OF THE MUSLIM WORLDone region to another, certain features distin-   Unlike peasant cultivators, a portion...
Historical Atlas of Islam
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Historical Atlas of Islam

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Historical Atlas of Islam by Malise Ruthven and Azim Nanji

Historical Atlas of Islam

  1. 1. ISBN: 0674013859 Author: Malise Ruthven, Azim Nanji Publisher: Harvard University Press (May 28, 2004) Pages: 208 Binding: Hardcover w/ dust jacket Description from the publisher: Among the great civilizations of the world, Islam remains an enigma to Western readers. Now, in a beautifully illustrated historical atlas, noted scholar of religion Malise Ruthven recounts the fascinating and important history of the Islamic world. From the birth of the prophet Muhammed to the independence of post-Soviet Muslim states in Central Asia, this accessible and informative atlas explains the historical evolution of Islamic societies. Short essays cover a wide variety ofthemes, including the central roles played by sharia (divine law) and fiqh (jurisprudence); philosophy; arts andarchitecture; the Muslim city; trade, commerce, and manufacturing; marriage and family life; tribal distributions;kinship and dynastic power; ritual and devotional practices; Sufism; modernist and reformist trends; the Europeandomination of the Islamic world; the rise of the modern national state; oil exports and arms imports; and Muslimpopulations in non-Muslim countries, including the United States.Lucid and inviting full-color maps chronicle the changing internal and external boundaries of the Islamic world,showing the principal trade routes through which goods, ideas, and customs spread. Ruthven traces the impact ofvarious Islamic dynasties in art and architecture and shows the distribution of sects and religious minorities, thestructure of Islamic cities, and the distribution of resources. Among the books valuable contributions is theincorporation of the often neglected geographical and environmental factors, from the Fertile Crescent to theNorth African desert, that have helped shape Islamic history.Rich in narrative and visual detail that illuminates the story of Islamic civilization, this timely atlas is anindispensable resource to anyone interested in world history and religion.About the Author --Malise Ruthven is a former editor with the BBC Arabic Service and World Service in London and is the author ofIslam in the World and Islam: A Very Short Introduction. Azim Nanji is Professor and Director of the Institute ofIsmaili Studies and visiting professor at Stanford University.
  2. 2. HISTORICALATLAS OF THEISLAMICWORLD
  3. 3. HISTORICALATLAS OF THEISLAMICWORLD Malise Ruthven with Azim Nanji
  4. 4. Book Copyright © Cartographica Limited 2004 Text Copyright © Malise Ruthven 2004 All rights reserved. Historical Atlas of the Islamic World eBook version Published by CartographicaOriginally published in print format in 2004.In this informative and beautifully illustrated atlas, notedscholar of religion Malise Ruthven recounts the fascinatingand important history of the Islamic world.Short and concise essays cover a wide variety of themesincluding philosophy; arts and architecture; the Muslim city;trade, commerce and manufacturing; marriage and familylife; ritual and devotional practices; the rise of the modernnational state; oil exports and arms imports; and much more.Rich in narrative and visual detail, the Atlas is of criticalimportance to both students and anyone seeking insight intothe Islamic world, history and culture. q Published/Released: October 2005 q ISBN 13: 9780955006616 q ISBN 10: 0955006619 q Product number: 225062 q Page count: 208 pp.
  5. 5. CONTENTSIntroduction 6 Balkans, Cyprus, and Crete 1500–2000 118Foundational Beliefs and Practices 14 Muslim Minorities in China 122Geophysical Map of the Muslim World 16 The Levant 1500–2002 124Muslim Languages and Ethnic Groups 20 Prominent Travelers 128Late Antiquity Before Islam 24 Britain in Egypt and Sudan in the 19th Century 132Muhammad’s Mission and Campaigns 26 France in North and West Africa 136Expansion of Islam to 750 28 Growth of the Hajj and Other Places of Pilgrimage 138Expansion 751–1700 30 Expanding Cities 142Sunnis, Shiites, and Khariji 660–c. 1000 34 Impact of Oil in the 20th Century 146Abbasid Caliphate under Harun al-Rashid 36 Water Resources 148Spread of Islam, Islamic Law, and Arabic Language 38 The Arms Trade 150Successor States to 1100 40 Flashpoint Southeast Asia 1950–2000 152The Saljuq Era 44 Flashpoint Iraq 1917–2003 154Military Recruitment 900–1800 46 Afghanistan 1840–2002 156Fatimid Empire 909–1171 50 Arabia and the Gulf 1839–1950 158Trade Routes c. 700–1500 52 Rise of the Saudi State 160Crusader Kingdoms 56 Flashpoint Israel–Palestine 162Sufi Orders 1100–1900 58 Flashpoint Gulf 1950–2003 164Ayyubids and Mamluks 62 Muslims in Western Europe 166The Mongol Invasion 64 Muslims in North America 168Maghreb and Spain 650–1485 66 Mosques and Places of Worship in North America 170Subsaharan Africa—East 70 Islamic Arts 172Subsaharan Africa—West 72 Major Islamic Architectural Sites 176Jihad States 74 World Distribution of Muslims 2000 180The Indian Ocean to 1499 76 World Terrorism 2003 184The Indian Ocean 1500–1900 80 Muslim Cinema 188Rise of the Ottomans to 1650 84 Internet Use 190The Ottoman Empire 1650–1920 88 Democracy, Censorship, Human Rights, and Civil Society 192Iran 1500–2000 92 Modern Islamic Movements 194Central Asia to 1700 94 Chronology 196India 711–1971 96Russian Expansion in Transcaucasia and Central Asia 102 Glossary 200Expansion of Islam in Southeast Asia c. 1500–1800 106British, French, Dutch, and Russian Empires 108 Further Reading 203Nineteenth-Century Reform Movements 110 Acknowledgments and Map List 204Modernization of Turkey 112The Muslim World under Colonial Domination c. 1920 116 Index 205
  6. 6. HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLDIntroduction Since September 11th 2001, barely a day pas- nations: Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, ses without stories about Islam—the religion Riyadh, Casablanca, Bali, Tunisia, Jakarta, of about one-fifth of humanity—appearing in Bombay (Mumbhai), Istanbul and Madrid. the media. The terrorists who hijacked four The list grows longer, the casualties mount. American airliners and flew them into the The responses of people and their govern- World Trade Center in New York and the ments are angry and perplexed. The far-reach- Pentagon near Washington killed some three ing consequences of these responses for inter- thousand people. This unleashed a “War on national peace and security should be enough Terrorism” by the United States and its allies, to convince anyone (and not just the media edi- leading to the removal of two Muslim govern- tors who mold public consciousness to fit their ments, one in Afghanistan and the other in advertisers’ priorities) that extreme manifesta- Iraq. It raised the profile of Islam throughout tions of Islam are setting the agenda for argu- the world as a subject for analysis and discus- ment and action in the twenty-first century . sion. The debates, in newspaper columns and Muslims living in the West and in the broadcasting studios, in cafes, bars, and growing areas of the Muslim world that come homes, have been heated and passionate. within the West’s electronic footprint under- Questions that were previously discussed in standably resent the negative exposure that the rarified atmosphere of academic confer- comes with the increasing concerns of out- ences or graduate seminars have entered the siders. Islam is a religion of peace: the word mainstream of public consciousness. What is “Islam,” a verbal noun meaning submission the “law of jihad”? How is it that a “religion of peace” subscribed to by millions of ordi- JAZIRA RASLANDA Qarnqi JAZIRA LUQAGHA JAZIRA J. SQUSIYYA nary, decent believers, can become an ideology IRLANDA Aghrims JAZIRAT DANMARSHA JAZIRAT of hatred for an angry minority? Why has Jazira Dans INQILTARA Gharkafurt BILAD Islam after the fall of communism become so Hastinks Londras BALUNIYYA Shant Mahlu Na Diaba freighted with passionate intensity? Or, to use Jol Sin hr u ARD AFRIZIYYA ALAMANIN Na h r Danu Abariz Qaghradun the title of a best-selling essay by Bernard Faynash Shant ARD AFLANDRIS AL AFRANJ Na h Draw r a BILAD BU’AMIYYA Majial Lewis, the doyen of Orientalist scholars, Kh a Janbara Kradis K al- ltj ha “What went wrong?” with Islamic history, An Liyun l ij Shant Ya‘aqub al- glis Ankuna Ba hin Burdal Raghusa nad with its relationship with itself, and with the Nabal iqa Bisha Manubas Munt Mayur Shaghubiyya Mashiliyya modern world? Tarakuna J. al-Nar Labiuna Messina Kashtara Such questions are no longer academic, but Qartajanna J. Qurshiqa Barsana al-Mariyya J. Sardaniyya J. Siqilliyya are arguably of vital concern to most of the Jalfuniyya Jaza’ir bani peoples living on this planet. Few would deny Mazjani Lebda Fas that Islam, or some variation thereof— Tarabulus Surt l Da ran Barqa whether distorted, perverted, corrupted, or J aba Jabal Daran hijacked by extremists—has become a force to Mastih Jabal Tantana be reckoned with, or at least a label attached to Jabal Ghaghara ARD Nebranta a phenomenon with menacing potentialities. KAMNURIYYA al L uni a al-Qasaba Jab Numerous atrocities have been attributed to Jabal Banbuan ARD GHANA Nil a l-Sudan Takrur Kuku and claimed by Islamic extremists, both before Ghana and since 9/11, causing mayhem and carnage in many of the world’s cities and tourist desti-6
  7. 7. INTRODUCTION (to God) is etymologically related to the word emies, are accused of viewing Islam through salaam, meaning peace. The standard greet- the misshapen lens of Orientalism, a disci- ing most Muslims use when joining a gather- pline corrupted by its associations with impe- ing or meeting strangers is “as-salaam rialism, when specialist knowledge was alaikum”—“Peace be upon you.” Westerners placed at the service of power. who accuse Islam of being a violent religion This is fraught, contested territory and misunderstand its nature. Attaching the label writers who venture into it do so at their own “Muslim” or “Islamic” to acts of terrorism is peril. As with other religious traditions, every grossly unfair. When a right-wing Christian generalization about Islam is open to chal- fanatic like Timothy McVeigh blew up a US lenge, because for every normative descrip- federal building in Oklahoma city, the worst tion of Islamic faith, belief, and practice, atrocity committed on American soil before there exist important variants and consider- 9/11, no one described him as a “Christian” able diversity. The problem of definition is terrorist. In the view of many of Islam’s made more difficult because there is no over- adherents, “Westerners” who have aban- arching ecclesiastical institution, no Islamic doned their own faith, or are blinkered by papacy, with prescriptive power to decree religious prejudice, do not “understand” what is and what is not Islamic. (Even Islam. Certain hostile media distort Western Protestant churches define their religious viewpoints, prejudicing sentiments and atti- positions in contradistinction to Roman tudes with Islamophobia—the equivalent of Catholicism.) anti-Semitism applied to Muslims instead of Being Muslim, like being a Jew, embraces The world according Jews. Some scholars, trained in Western acad- ancestry as well as belief. People described as to al-Idrisi 549–1154 Ar da Truiyya l- Tabunt ARD LASLANDA Buhayrat Janun Sinubun Ku JANUB BILAD ma niy N ah s i AL-RUSIYYA br ya na rA a Nahr Dnas t .D mi Majuj Kaw N Labada l ? Quruqiyya Khagan Majui Shahadruj Jabal Su Adkash Rushiyya n?? ARD MAJUJ Basjirt ? Bahr Nitas al-Dakhila Filibus Arsan Hiraqliyya Askisiyya al-Qostantino Atrabezunda Samandar Bahr Jabal Mazrar Ard Buhayrat Ghargun Maqaduniyya Abidus al-Khazar Jajun ARD un Salanik Qashtamuni r Kharba Akhrida Ladikiyya Tiflis J. Karkuniyya ga YAJUJ As Dahistan Buhayrat al Buhayrat Quniyya Ardabil Khwarazem Jab Jabal Janf Tehama l Lalan Nah Tabriz Nahr Sha Jaba Amul r al s Nahr h al-Mawsil l Ashla th Fra Rudus Jaba ?? D y l Arkadiyya al- Sha ARD AL-KIMAKIYYA i ??? m ? Iskandaruna Tus MIN AL-ATRAK al F arg a Jazira Qum h J. Iqritish Antakiyya Sisian an Qibris Bukhara Buhayrat Baghdad Jujar al- Dimyat Dimashu Sarakhs Nashran Iskandariyya Abadan Yazd Harat BILAD AL-TIBET Khirkhir Jazira al-Taghlibiyya MIN AL-ATRAK Qulzum al Yakut Laka Buhayrat Khaybar Bazwan Jab Wakhan Yathrib al A al-Multan la qa Kashmir al-Kharija lul ttam l Ja Suhar Qandahar AQSA BILAD Baja Makka a Jab Asyut AL-HIND Sinis Aydhab Tabala Kanbaya Lulua BILAD Sur Daybul Katigura Jazira Aurshin AL-SIN M isr Ba ARD AL-ABADIYA Jazira Khanfun Sa’ala ba N il Sandan l- M NUBIA MIN an MIN AL-YAMAN Jazira Jazira Manquna da Jazira al-Mand Kulom Mak al-Romi AL-SUDAN b Adan Jazira al- J. Suqutra Qotsoba al-Gharb Jazira Sarandib Jazira al-Qamr Donqola Aqent Malot Jazira al-Sila Jazira Sarandib ARD SUFALA ARD AL-ZANJ AL-NABR ARD AL-WAQWAQJ ab 7 a l a l- K a m r
  8. 8. HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD Muslims are religiously observant in different one of his companions, Abu Bakr (r. 624–632), ways. One can be culturally Muslim, as one who was accepted as Caliph or successor by can be culturally Jewish, without subscribing agreement of the main leaders in the communi- to a particular set of religious prescriptions ty after the death of the Prophet. He, in turn, or beliefs. It would not be inappropriate to appointed Umar (r. 634–644), who on his describe many nonreligious Americans and deathbed designated Uthman (r. 644–656), after Europeans as “cultural Christians” given the consultation with leading Muslims. Uthman seminal importance played by Christianity in was succeeded by Ali (r. 656–661), again with the development of Western culture. The fact the consent of leading Muslims of the time. In that the term is rarely, if ever, used is reveal- the view of the Sunni majority the four caliphs ing of Western cultural hegemony and its constitute a “rightly guided Caliphate.” pretensions to universality. The Christian Over time the Shiites and Sunni both devel- underpinning of Western culture is so taken oped distinctive community identities. They for granted that no one troubles to make it are divided into various branches and organ- apparent. At the same time the term ized into different movements and tendencies. “Christian” has been appropriated by While these, and other groups, differed with Protestant fundamentalists who seek to each other and often fought over their differ- define themselves in contradistinction to sec- ences, the general tenor of relations, in pre- ular humanists or religious believers with modern urban societies, allowed for a degree whose outlook they disagree. of mutual coexistence and intellectual debate. Similar problems of definition apply in the In recent times, however, there has been a Muslim world. Just as there are theological tendency for extremist sects and radical disagreements between Christian churches groups to anathematize their religious oppo- over all sorts of questions of belief and ritu- nents, or to declare those ruling over them to al, within the Islamic fold there are groups be outside the pale of Islam. This narrow which differ among themselves ritualistically perspective may be contrasted with a growing or in terms of their respective tradition of awareness among the majority of Muslim interpretation and practice. people of the diversity and plurality of inter- Among the major groups in Islam, histor- pretations within the Umma. ically, the two most significant are the Sunni Currently, the climate of religious intoler- and Shiites. ance manifested in some parts of the Muslim The Shiites maintain that, shortly before world has complex origins and may be symp- his death, the Prophet Muhammad (c. tomatic, like the puritan extremism that 570–632 ) designated Ali, his first cousin and flourished in Europe in the seventeenth cen- husband of his daughter Fatima, as his succes- tury, of the dislocating effects of economic sor. They further believe that this succession and social changes. As the maps and essays continued in a line of Imams (spiritual lead- that follow make clear, modernity came to ers) descendent from Ali and Fatima, each the Muslim world on the wings of colonial specifically designated by the previous Imam. power, rather than as a consequence of inter- The larger body of the Shiites, the “Twelvers” nally generated transformations. The “best or Imamis, believe that the last of these lead- community” decreed by God for “ordering ers, who “disappeared” in 873, will reappear the good and forbidding the evil” has lost the as the Mahdi or messiah at some future time. moral and political hegemony it held in what The Sunnis, on the other hand, maintain that was once the most civilized part of the world the Prophet had made an indication favoring outside China. When Islam was in the ascen-8
  9. 9. INTRODUCTIONdant, so was the climate of tolerance it detail. The story of Muhammad’s career asengendered. Muslim scholars and theolo- Prophet and Statesman (if one can use agians polemicized against each other but rather modern term for the leader of thewere careful not to denounce those who movement that united the tribes of theaffirmed the shahada—the declaration of Arabian Peninsula) was constructed from afaith—and who prayed toward Mecca. As the different body of oral materials. Known asAmerican scholar Carl Ernst observes, “In Hadith (traditions or reports about theany society in the world today, religious plu- Prophet’s behavior), they acquired writtenralism is a sociological fact. If one group form after Muhammad’s death.claims authority over all the rest, demanding The Koran is divided into 114 sectionstheir allegiance and submission, this will be known as suras (rows), each of which is com-experienced as the imposition of power posed of varying numbers of verses calledthrough religious rhetoric.” [Carl Ernst, ayas (signs or miracles). Apart from the firstFollowing Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in sura, the Fatiha, or Opening, a seven-versethe Contemporary World, London and invocation used as a prayer in numerous ritu-Chapel Hill, p. 206.] als, including daily prayers or salat, the suras In principle, if not always in practice, a are arranged in approximate order ofMuslim is one who follows Islam, an Arabic decreasing length, with the shortest at theword meaning “submission” or, more pre- end and the longest near the beginning. Mostcisely, “self-surrender” to the will of God as standard editions divide the suras into pas-revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. These sages revealed in Mecca (which tend to berevelations, delivered orally over the period shorter, and hence located near the end ofof Muhammad’s active prophetic career from the book) and those belonging to the periodabout 610 until his death, are contained in of the Prophet’s sojourn in Medina, where hethe Koran, the scripture that stands at the emigrated with his earliest followers tofoundation of the Islamic religion and the escape persecution in Mecca in 622, the Yeardiverse cultural systems that flow from it. A One of the Muslim era. Meccan passages,few revisionist scholars working in Western especially the early ones, convey vivid mes-universities have challenged the traditional sages about personal accountability, rewardIslamic account of the Koran’s origins, argu- and punishment—in heaven and hell—whileing that the text was constructed out of a celebrating the glories and beauty of the nat-larger body of oral materials following the ural world as proof of God’s creative powerArab conquest of the Fertile Crescent. The and sovereignty. The Medinese passages,great majority of scholars, however, Muslim while replicating many of the same themes,and non-Muslim, regard the Koran as the contain positive teachings on social and legalwritten record of the revelations accumulat- issues (including rules governing sexual rela-ed in the course of Muhammad’s career. tions and inheritance, and punishments pre-Unlike the Bible, there are no signs of multi- scribed for certain categories of crime). Suchple authorship. In contrast to the New passages, supplemented with material fromTestament in particular, where the sayings of the Hadith literature, came to be the keyJesus have been incorporated into four dis- sources for the development of a legal systemtinct narratives of his life presumed to have known as the Sharia. Different scholars ofbeen written by different authors, the Koran Muslim thought added other sources to cre-contains many allusions to events in the ate a methodology for the systematizationProphet’s life, but does not spell them out in and implementation of the Sharia. 9
  10. 10. HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD For believing Muslims, the Koran is the Islam beyond Arabia occurred on the basis of direct speech of God, dictated without human the Arab conquest of the Fertile Crescent and editing. Muhammad has been described by lands further afield in the century or so fol- some modern Muslim scholars as a passive lowing the Prophet’s death in 632. Faith in transmitter of the Divine Word. The Prophet Islam and the Prophet’s divine calling—as himself is supposed to have been ummi (illiter- well as the desire for booty—united the ate), although some scholars question this as he Arabian tribes into a formidable fighting was an active and successful merchant. For a machine. They defeated both the Byzantine majority of Muslims, the Koran, whose text and Sasanian armies, opening part of the was written down and stabilized during the Byzantine Empire and the whole of Persia to reign of the third caliph, Uthman (r. 644–656), Muslim conquest and settlement. At first was “uncreated” and coeternal with God. Islam remained primarily the religion of the Hence, for believing Muslims, the Koran occu- “Arab”. Muslim commanders housed their pies the position Christ has for Christians. God tribal battalions in separate military canton- reveals himself not through a person, but ments outside the cities they conquered, leav- The illuminated double page from the Koran in the Bihariscript. This copy was completed in 1399, the year after Timur’sconquest of Delhi. The passage, from the Al-Tawba (Sura of Repentance), refers to theProphet’s Bedouin allies who are not to be excused for failing to join one of his campaigns. through the language contained in a holy text. ing their new subjects (Christian, Jewish, or Other religious traditions, including Buddhism, Zoroastrian) to regulate their own affairs so Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, and long as they paid the jizya (poll-tax) in lieu of Zoroastrianism, privilege their foundational military service. The process of Islamization texts as sacred. Muslim rulers recognized this occurred gradually, through marriage, as the common principle by granting religious tolera- leading families of the subject populations tion to the ahl al-kitab (Peoples of the Book). sought to join the Muslim elites. It also In its initial phase the rapid expansion of occurred as impoverished or uprooted sub-10
  11. 11. INTRODUCTIONjects found support in the religion of their patterns of state and religious authority thatrulers, or as people disenchanted with their prevailed during the vast sweep of Islamicformer rulers found a congenial spiritual history from the time of the Prophet to thehome in one that honored their traditions present. But it is hoped that they will illumi-while representing their teachings in a new, nate important aspects of that history bycreative synthesis. The role of early Muslim opening windows into significant areas ofmissionaries was also crucial in this process. the distant and recent past, thereby helping Muslim theology, however, did have one to explain the legacy of conflicts—as well asdynamic cultural dimension, which may help opportunities—the past has bequeathed toto explain its evolution of an “Arab” religion the present. Geography is vital for the under-into a universal faith. As the quintessential standing of Islamic history and its problem-“religion of the Book,” which represented the atic relationship with modernity.divine Word as manifested in a written text, As the maps in this atlas illustrate, the cen-Islam carried with it the prestige of learning tral belt of Islamic territories stretching from A world map drawn in 1571–72and literacy into illiterate cultures. The cult of the Atlantic Ocean to the Indus Valley was by the al-Sharafi al-Sifaqsi familythe book, like La Rochefoucauld’s definition perennially at the mercy of nomadic or semi- in the town of Sfax, Tunisia.of hypocrisy, was the homage not of vice to nomadic invaders. In premodern times,virtue, but of illiteracy to learning. However before gunpowder weapons, airrevelation is perceived—whether proceeding power, and modern systems ofdirectly from God or by way of an altered communication broughtmental state comparable to the operations of peripheral regions underhuman genius—Muhammad’s epiphany came the control of centralin the form of language. Time and again the governments (usuallynomadic peoples on the fringes of the Muslim under colonial aus-empires would take over the centers of power, pices), the cities wereand in so doing civilize themselves, becoming vulnerable to attackin turn the bearers of Muslim cultural pres- by nomadic preda-tige. After the disintegration of the great tors. The genius ofAbbasid Empire, the dream of a universal the Islamic systemcaliphate embracing the whole of the Islamic lay in providing theworld (and, indeed, the rest of humanity) converted tribesmenceased to be a viable project. The lines of com- with a system of law,munication were too long for the center to be practice and learning withinable to suppress the ambitions of local a foundation of faith to whichdynasts. But the prestige of literacy, symbol- they became acculturated over time.ized by the Koran and its glorious calligraphic In his Muqaddima, or “Proglomena” toelaborations on the walls of mosques and the History of the World, the Arab philoso-other public buildings, as well as in the metic- pher of history Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406)ulously copied versions of the book itself, was developed a theory of cyclic renewal and statepowerful. Even Mongol invaders, notorious formation, which analyzed this process in thefor their cruelty, would succumb to the spiri- context of his native North Africa. Accordingtual and aesthetic power of Islam in the west- to his theory, in the arid zones where rainfall isern part of their dominions. sparse, pastoralism remains the principal The maps in this book do not aim to pro- mode of agricultural production. Unlike peas-vide a comprehensive account of the shifting ants, pastoralists are organized along “tribal” 11
  12. 12. HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD lines (patrilineal kinship groups). They are rel- a common or corporative asabiyya. The atively free from government control. Enjoying absence of bourgeois solidarity, in which the greater mobility than urban people, they can- corporate group interests of the burghers not be regularly taxed. Nor can they be transcend the bonds of kinship, may partly brought under the control of feudal lords who be traced to the operations of Muslim law. will appropriate a part of their produce in Unlike the Roman legal tradition, the Sharia return for extending protection. Indeed, in the contains no provision for the recognition of arid lands it is the tribesmen who are usually corporate groups as fictive “persons.” armed, and who, at times, can hold the city to In its classic formulation, Ibn Khaldun’s ransom, or conquer it. Ibn Khaldun’s insights theory applied to the North African milieu tell us why it is usually inappropriate to speak he knew and understood best. But it serves as of Muslim “feudalism,” except in the strictly an explanatory model for the wider history limited context of the great river valley systems of Western Asia and North Africa, from the of Egypt and Mesopotamia, where a settled coming of Islam to the present. The theory is peasantry farmed the land. In the arid regions, based on the dialectical interraction between pastoralists move their flocks seasonally across religion and asabiyya. Ibn Khaldun’s concept the land according to complex arrangements of asabiyya, which is central to his outlook with other users. Usufruct is not ownership. on Muslim social and political history, can be Property and territory are not coterminous, as made to mesh with modern theories of eth- they became in the high rainfall regions of nicity, whether one adopts a “primordial” or Europe. Here feudalism and its offshoot, capi- “interactive” model. The key to Ibn talism, took root and eventually created the Khaldun’s theory may be found in two of his bourgeois state that would dominate the coun- propositions singled out by the anthropolo- tryside, commercializing agriculture and sub- gist and philosopher Ernest Gellner: (1) jecting rural society to urban values and con- “Leadership exists only through superiority, trol. In most parts of Western Asia and North and superiority only through group feeling Africa, in contrast, the peoples at the margins (asabiyya)” and (2) “Only tribes held togeth- continued to elude state control until the com- er by group feeling can live in the desert.” ing of air power. Even now the process is far The superior power of the tribes vis-à-vis from complete in places such as Afghanistan, the cities provided the conditions under which where tribal structures have resisted the dynastic military government and its variants, authority of the central government. royal government underpinned by mamlukism Urban Moroccans had a revealing term for or institutionalized asabiyya, became the the tribal regions of their country: bled al- norm in Islamic history prior to the European siba—the land of insolence—as contrasted colonial intervention. The absence of the legal with bled al-makhzen, the civilized center, recognition of corporative bodies in Islamic which periodically falls prey to it. The supe- law prevented the artificial solidarity of the riority of the tribes, in Ibn Khaldun’s theory, corporation, a prerequisite for urban capitalist depends on asabiyya, a term which is usually development, from transcending the “natural” translates as group feeling or social solidari- solidarities of kinship. In precolonial times the ty. This asabiyya derives ultimately from the high cultural traditions of Islam constantly harsher environment of the desert or arid interacted with these primordial solidarities lands, where there is little division of labor, or ethnicities: they did not replace them. and humans depend for their survival on the Formally the ethic of Islam is opposed to bonds of kinship. City life, by contrast, lacks local solidarities, which privilege some12
  13. 13. INTRODUCTIONbelievers above others. In theory there exists eleventh centuries was far ahead of itsa single Muslim community—the umma— Christian competitor eventually fell behind,under the sovereignty of God. In practice this to find itself under the political and culturalideal was often modified by recognition of dominance of people it regarded—and whichthe need to enlist asabiyya or tribal ethnicity some of its members still do regard—as infi-in the “path of God.” Islamic practice stress- dels.es communitarian values through regular The Islamic system of precolonial times,prayer, pilgrimage, and other devotional embedded in the memory of contemporarypractices, and given time, generates the urban Muslims, was brilliantly adapted to the polit-scripturalist piety of the high cultural or ical ecology of its era. Even if the strategy of“great” tradition. But it does not of itself “waging jihad in the path of God” wereforge a permanent congregational communi- adopted for pragmatic or military reasons,ty strong enough to transcend the counter- Islamic faith and culture were the beneficiar-vailing dynamic of local ethnicities. Be they ies. The nomad conquerors and Mamlukssecular—based on differences of tribe, vil- (soldier-slaves), imported from peripherallage, or even craft—or sectarian religious— regions to keep them at bay, became Islam’sbased on divisions between different mad- foremost champions, defenders of the faith-habs (schools of jurisprudence), or the mysti- community and patrons of its cultures andcal Sufi orders which are often controlled by systems of learning.family lineages, or the differences between The social memory of this system exercisesSunnis and Shiites—such divisions militate a powerful appeal over the imaginations ofagainst the solidarity of the Umma. many young Muslims at this time. This is espe- Like the Baptist movement in the United cially true when the more recent memory ofStates, Islam (especially that of the Sunni modernization through colonization can bemainstream, comprising about 90 percent of represented as a story of humiliation, retreat,the world’s Muslims) is a conservative, pop- and betrayal of Islam’s mission to bring univer-ulist force, which resists tight doctrinal or sal truth and justice to a world torn by divisionecclesiastical controls. While Muslim scrip- and strife. The violence that struck America onturalism and orthopraxy provide a common September 11th 2001, may have been rooted inlanguage which crosses ethnic, racial, and the despair of people holding a romantic, ide-national boundaries—creating the largest alized vision of the past and smarting under the“international society” known to the world humiliation of the present. While those whoin premodern times—it has never succeeded planned the operation were almost certainly,in supplying the ideological underpinning for educated, sophisticated men, fully cognizanta unified social order that can be translated with the workings of modern societies, it doesinto common national identity. In the West not seem accidental that most of the fifteenthe institutions of medieval Christianity, hijackers were Saudi citizens, several from theallied to Roman legal structures, created the province of Asir. This impoverished mountain-preconditions for the emergence of the mod- ous region close to the modern borders ofern national state. In Islamdom the moral Yemen was conquered by the Al Saud family inbasis of the state was constantly undermined the 1920s, and still retains many of its linksby the realities of tribal asabiyya. These with the Yemeni tribes. Like all decent people,could be admitted de facto, but never accord- Ibn Khaldun would have been horrified by theed de jure recognition. This may be one rea- indiscriminate slaughter of 9/11: but it isson why a civilization that by the tenth and doubtful that he would have been surprised. 13
  14. 14. HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLDFoundational Beliefs and Practices In the majority of Islamic traditions, all nal bliss in the gardens of heaven. Those Muslims adhere to certain fundamentals. who have failed in their duty will be sen- The most important is the profession of tenced to the fires of hell. faith, a creedal formula that states: The Koran also articulates a frame- “There is no God but God. Muhammad is work of practices which have become the Messenger of God.” Stated before normative for Muslims over time. witnesses, this formula—called the One of them is worship, which takes Shahada—is the sufficient requirement several forms, such as salat (ritual for conversion to Islam and belonging to prayer), dhikr (contemplative prayer), or the Umma. dua (prayers of exhortation and praise). Muslims affirm tawhid (the Unity and Muslims performing salat prostrate Uniqueness of God). They believe that themselves in the direction of the Kaba, God has communicated to humanity the cubic temple covered in an embroi- throughout its history by way of dered cloth of black silk that stands at the Messengers, who include figures like center of the sacred shrine in Mecca. Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, and that Salat is performed daily: early morning, Muhammad was the final Messenger to noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening, whom was revealed the Koran. In person- or combined according to circumstance. al and social life, Muslims are required to Prayer may be performed individually, at adhere to a moral and ethical mode of home, in a public place such as a park or behavior for which they are accountable street, or in the mosque (an English word before God. derived from the Arabic masjid, “place of As well as tawhid, articles of faith prostration”) or other congregational adhered to by Muslims include the belief places. The call to prayer (adhan) is made that angels and other supernatural from the minaret which stands above the beings act as divine emissaries; that Iblis mosque. It includes the takbir (allahu or Satan, the fallen angel, was cast out of akbar “God is most great”), as well as heaven for refusing God’s command to shahada and the imperative: “Hurry to prostrate himself before Adam; and that salat.” In the past, before electronic Muhammad is the “seal” of the amplification, the beautifully modulated prophets, the last in a line of human sounds of the adhan were delivered in messengers sent by God to teach and person by a muezzin from the minarets warn humanity. The Koran affirms that five times a day. The noon salat on Friday the recipients of previous revelations— is the congregational service, and is the Christians and Jews—have corrupted accompanied by a khutba (sermon) spo- the scriptures sent down to them. It ken by the Imam, or prayer leader or warns of the Day of Judgement when all other religious notable. In the early cen- individuals, living or dead, will be turies of Islam, the name of the caliph or answerable to God for their conduct. ruler was pronounced with the khutba. The virtuous will be rewarded with eter- When territories changed hands between14
  15. 15. INTRODUCTIONdifferent rulers (as frequently happened), Another significant ritual practice isthe official indication of a change of gov- the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca, whichernment came in the form of the procla- practicing Muslims are required to per-mation of the new ruler’s name in the form at least once in their lifetimes, ifcountry’s leading mosques. able to do so. Historically the Hajj has Another foundational practice is been one of the principal means by whichzakat, sharing of wealth (not to be con- different parts of the Muslim worldfused with voluntary charity or sadaqa). remained in physical contact. In pre-In the past, zakat was intended to foster modern times, before mass transporta-a sense of community by stressing the tion by steamships and aircraft broughtobligation of the better-off to help the the Hajj within the reach of people ofpoor, and was paid to religious leaders or modest or average means, returning pil-to the government. At present, different grims enjoyed the honored title of HajjiMuslim groups observe practices specific and a higher social status within theirto their traditions. communities than non-Hajjis. As well as Sawm is the fast in daylight hours dur- providing spiritual fulfilment, the Hajjing the holy month of Ramadan, when sometimes created business opportunitiesbelievers abstain from eating, drinking, by enabling pilgrims from differentsmoking, and sexual activity. Abu Hamid regions of the world to meet each other. Ital-Ghazali, the medieval mystic and the- also facilitated movements of religious-ologian, listed numerous benefits from political reform. Many political move-the discipline of fasting. These included ments were forged out of encounters thatpurity of the heart and the sharpening of took place on the pilgrimage—from theperceptions that comes with hunger, Shiite rebellion that led to the foundationmortification and self-abasement, self- of the Fatimid caliphate in North Africamastery by overcoming desire, and soli- (909) to modern Islamist movements ofdarity with the hungry: the person who is revival and reform. The end of Ramadansated “is liable to forget those people is marked by the Id al-Fitr (the Feast ofwho are hungry and to forget hunger Fast Breaking), while the climax of theitself.” Ramadan is traditionally an occa- Hajj involves the Id al-Adha (Feast ofsion both for family reunions and reli- Sacrifice) in which all Muslims partici-gious reflection. In many Muslim coun- pate by sacrificing animals. These twotries, the fast becomes a feast at sun- feasts are the major canonical festivalsdown—an occasion for public conviviali- observed by Muslims everywhere. Therety that lasts well into the night. Ramadan are, in addition, many other devotionalis the ninth month in the hijri (lunar cal- and spiritual practices among Muslimsendar) which falls short of the solar year that have developed over the centuries,by 11 days: thus Ramadan, like other based on specific interpretations of theMuslim festivals, occurs at different sea- practice of faith and its interaction withsons over a 35-year cycle. local traditions. 15
  16. 16. HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLDGeophysical Map of the Muslim World Although lands of the Islamic world now highlands of Yemen and Dhufar, which catch occupy a broad belt of territories ranging the Indian Ocean monsoons, and the Junguli from the African shores of the Atlantic to the region lying south of the Caspian Sea under Indonesian archipelago, the core regions of the northern slopes of the Elburz, which Western Asia where Islam originated exer- catches moisture-laden air flowing southward cised a decisive influence on its development. from Russia. Compared to Western Europe and North Before recent times, when crops such as America, the region is perennially short on wheat, requiring large amounts of water, rainfall. During the winter, rain and snow appeared in the shape of food imports, and underground fossil water (stored for millionsOriginally built in the fourteenth of years in aquifers) became available through century, the mosque at Agades, modern methods of drilling, agriculture was in Niger, is made of mud. Its highly precarious. A field that had yielded structure is constantly renewed wheat for millennia would fail when the annu- by workers bearing new mud al rainfall was one inch instead of the usual who climb up the wooden posts twenty. Ancient peoples understood this well,that protrude from the sides and and provided themselves with granaries. serve as scaffolding. However, agriculture did flourish in the great river valleys of Egypt and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Here the annual flooding caused by the tropical rains in Africa and melting snows in the Anatolian and Iranian highlands pro- duced regular harvests and facilitated the development of the complex city-based cul- tures of ancient Sumer, Assyria, and Egypt. The need to manage finely calibrated systems of irrigation using the nutrient-rich waters of the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Nile required complex systems of recording and control, making it necessary for literate priestly bureaucrats to govern alongside the holders of military power. Together with the Yellow River in China and the Indus Valley, the three great river systems of the Fertile Crescent are at the origins of human civiliza- born by westerlies from the Atlantic fall in tion. The first states, in the sense of orderly substantial quantities on the Atlas and Riffian systems of government based on common Mountains, the Cyrenaican massif, and legal principles, appeared in these regions Mount Lebanon, with the residue falling more than five millennia ago. intermittently on the Green Mountain of The limited extent of the soil water neces- Oman, the Zagros, the Elburz, and the moun- sary for agricultural production had a decisive tains of Afghanistan. But the only rains that impact on the evolution of human societies in occur with predictable regularity fall in the the arid zone. Though conditions vary from16
  17. 17. GEOPHYSICAL MAP OF THE MUSLIM WORLDone region to another, certain features distin- Unlike peasant cultivators, a portion ofguish the patterns of life from those of the whose product may be extracted by priests intemperate zones to the north or tropical zones the form of offerings or by the ruler in taxes,to the south. Where rainfall is scarce and nomadic pastoralists will often avoid the con-uncertain, animal husbandry—the raising of fines of state power. People are organized intocamels, sheep, goats, cattle, and, where suit- tribes or patrilineal kinship groups descendedable, horses—offers the securest livelihood for from a common male ancestor. Militarysubstantial numbers of humans. The “pure prowess is encouraged because, where fooddeserts” or sand seas of shifting dunes shaped resources are scarce, tribal or “segmentary”by the wind, which cover nearly one-third of groups may have to compete with each other,the land area of Arabia and North Africa, are or make raids on settled villages, in order to As Islam established itself along the Silk Road, mosques were built for travelers and local converts. This mosque in the Xinjiang province of China reflects the Central Asian influence in its design.wholly unsuitable for human and animal life, survive. Property is held communally, classi-and have generally been avoided by herdsmen, cally in the form of herds, rather than in thetraders, and armies. But in the broader semi- form of crop-yielding land. Property and ter-desert regions complex forms of nomadic and ritory are not coterminous (as they tended toseminomadic pastoralism have evolved. In become in regions of higher rainfall) becausewinter the flocks and herds will range far into the land may be occupied by different users atthe wadis or semidesert areas, to feed on the different seasons of the year. Vital resources,grasses and plants that can spring up after the such as springs or wells in which everyone haslightest of showers. In the heat of summer an interest, are often considered as belongingthey will move, where possible, to pastures in to God, and are entrusted to the custodian-the highlands, or cluster near pools or wells. ship of special families regarded as holy. 17

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