Summer reading

I’m trying to read Philip Hitti’s monster History of the Arabs.  I’ve just reached the life of Mohammed, and his discussion of the materials for it — scanty.  He also has interesting comments on the text of the Koran; that the divergences in early Korans reflect the defective Kufic script used.  By chance I find that today is 16th July, the anniversary of the flight of Mohammed and his followers from Mecca to Medina, which marks the start of the Islamic year, and also the transformation of Mohammed from a prophet to a politician.

I hope to post some notes from Hitti when I can.

In the mean time I have been trying to turn the mass of photocopies on my floor into PDF’s.  This is proving slower than I had thought.  I really need a copy of Adobe Acrobat to manipulate the results.  But … it seems fantastically expensive!

10 Responses to “Summer reading”


  1. Jona

    “the divergences in early Korans reflect the defective Kufic script used”

    You may find this interesting: http://shirhashirim.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/twenty-versions/

  2. Roger Pearse

    Interesting; thanks. It sounds reasonable; but I wonder a little how trustworthy this is.

    I’d really like to see some definitive information on these sorts of topics. I’m finding myself wary of almost everything I read. What we need is something other than assertions on these topics.

  3. Andy

    For a course in the history of the Islamic world (7th to 15th century) we used ‘The Middle East: a history’by Ochsenwald and Fisher. A very good and interesting work in my opinion.

  4. Jona

    You can rely what is said on the Shir ha-Shirim blog; the author really knows a lot. He’s also the author of this article: http://www.livius.org/opinion/Luxenberg.htm

  5. Roger Pearse

    Interesting – thanks.

  6. Sean H.

    Morning Roger. Hope today finds you well. What I’ve been reading (from various perspectives) … and a link or two:

    *Muhammad by Karen Armstrong
    *Muhammad by Michael Cook
    *Quranic Studies: Sources and Methods of Scriptural Interpretation by John Wansbrough
    and Andrew Rippin
    *The Koran: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Cook
    *Islamic Mysticism: A Secular Perspective by Ibn Al-Rawandi

    Links …

    *Islam, Washington State University
    http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/ISLAM/ISLAM.HTM

    *Internet Islamic History Sourcebook, Fordham University
    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/islam/islamsbook.html

    *Exploring Ancient Cultures: Early Islam, University of Evansville
    http://eawc.evansville.edu/ispage.htm

    *Islam and Islamic Studies Resources: For Studying Islam and the Diverse Perspectives of Muslims, University of Georgia
    http://www.uga.edu/islam/

    *USC-MSA COMPENDIUM OF MUSLIM TEXTS, University of Southern California
    http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/

    *PATRICA CRONE: INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
    http://www.ias.edu/about/faculty-and-emeriti/crone

    Don’t want to take up too much space. If interested, I’ll send you the rest of my links regarding said topic. :)

    Most kindly,

    Sean

  7. Sean H.

    I forgot to add …

    *Islam by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
    *Islam: The Religion and the People by Bernard Lewis and Buntzie Ellis Churchill
    *The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800 (Themes in Islamic History) by Jonathan P. Berkey
    *Islam: A Concise Introduction by Huston Smith

    MK,

    Sean

  8. Roger Pearse

    Thanks for these! I’m keener on primary sources, I have to say.

  9. Sean H.

    Sorry haven’t replied, Roger. Been ill. Glad info was of some use. Might enjoy “Venture of Islam Volume 1 the Classical Age” by Marshall G Hodgson as well.

    Venture of Islam Volume 1 the Classical Age by Marshall G Hodgson
    http://books.google.com/books?id=XpxZqkoOvzEC&dq=Venture+of+Islam+Volume+1+the+Classical+Age

    MK,

    Sean

  10. Roger Pearse

    Thanks!