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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! series

'Periodisation and the Futuh: Making Sense of Muhammad’s Leadership of the Conquests in non-Muslim Sources'

Thursday 15 October 2020
This is an online event. Please register to receive the link to the lecture.
What's New?! Fall 2020 Lecture Series
Charles Martle at the Battle of Tours, Les Grandes chroniques de France, folio 117v, © photo courtesy of the British Library

The past two decades have witnessed a proliferation of theories concerning the origins and early development of Islam. While some of these theories have maintained long-held scholarly wisdom, others have called into question things that were until fairly recently considered axiomatic. One such axiom is the traditional date of 632 CE for the death of the prophet Muhammad, which some scholars have now sought to redate to after the beginning of the Muslim conquests on the basis of the evidence of non-Muslim sources. It can, however, be shown that the prima facie disharmony between many of these sources and Muslim accounts of Muhammad's life and the conquests is a product of the reading imposed on the former, which primarily has to do with the fact that, more often than not, modern scholarship uncritically operates within the rigid framework of the classical periodisation of early Islamic history.


About Mehdy Shaddel

Mehdy Shaddel is a historian of the late ancient Near East, specialising in the socio-economic, political, and religious history of the early Muslim empire. He has published on the various historiographical traditions pertaining to the rise and early history of Islam, the Quran, and the material culture of early Islam, as well as late ancient religion, apocalypticism and eschatology, and comparative empires and state formation. He is currently completing a monograph on the Second Muslim Civil War, tentatively entitled The Sufyanids and the Beginnings of the Second Civil War, 660-684 CE. He is also working on a critical edition and translation of Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdūs al-Jahshiyārī's Book of Viziers and Secretaries, a bureaucratic history of the early Islamic empire composed in the tenth century CE.

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