A History of Islamic Societies by Ira M. Lapidus

By Ira M. Lapidus

Lengthy thought of a vintage, A heritage of Islamic Societies is now that rather more important a reference for basic readers and students alike. greatly praised for its balanced and finished account, Ira Lapidus' paintings has been absolutely revised in its assurance of every state and quarter of the Muslim international via 2001. It contains the origins and evolution of Islamic societies and brings into concentration the ancient tactics that gave form to the manifold different types of modern Islam. The concluding chapters survey the turning out to be impression of the Islamist events inside nationwide states and of their transnational or international dimensions, together with the Islamic revival, Islamist politics and terrorism. An up to date dialogue of the jobs of ladies in Islamic societies is extra, with new sections approximately Afghanistan and Muslims in Europe, the USA, and the Philippines. Ira M. Lapidus is Professor Emeritus of background on the collage of California at Berkeley. His many books and articles contain Islam, Politics and Social pursuits (University of California Press, 1988) and Muslim towns within the Later center a while (Cambridge, 1984).

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The Fatimids did not threaten the Seljuk Empire directly, but they actively proselytized throughout the eastern Islamic lands. In al-Ghazālī’s later years, a group of Ismailis independent of the Fatimids, known as the Niẓārīs, took control of the fortress of Alamūt, and for a time controlled the southern Caspian region of Daylam. From Alamūt, led by Ḥasan-i Ṣabbāḥ (d. 518/1124), the legendary Assassins carried out killings of Seljuk men of state. 6 By the time he renounced his position in 488/1095, al-Ghazālī had spent much of his life in institutions of learning financed by the Seljuk regime, specifically by the great minister of that regime Niẓām al-Mulk, who served two sultans over the course of nearly 30 years.

In al-Ghazālī’s formulation, God did play a role in the system by turning the heart of the sultan in favor of the caliph. The ratification of a caliph by the power of the sultan, then, is a sign of the divine will. 42 In articulating this theory, al-Ghazālī was simply recognizing the realities of his day. indd 26 6/7/2007 4:22:25 AM Al-Ghazālī and the Seljuk Regime 27 what he found necessary as a participant in the politics of his day to try to restore stability in the realm. In another capacity, however, al-Ghazālī’s thought on the role of politics moved in a very different direction.

These madrasas were named the Niẓāmiyya madrasas after their patron. It was at the Niẓāmiyya Madrasa of Nishapur that al-Ghazālī studied with the great scholar of law and theology, al-Juwaynī. After al-Juwaynī’s death, al-Ghazālī found a patron in Niẓām al-Mulk himself, joining his court in Isfahan. 9 This was one of the three practices that al-Ghazālī foreswore in his oath at the tomb of Abraham. We know little about what al-Ghazālī did during his six years in Niẓām al-Mulk’s court. Apart from scholarship and scholarly debate, he seems to have played a role in politics.

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