Insight into the origins and early development of Islam has become relevant not only to the specialist, but underlies a thorough understanding of debates relating to Islam and the Middle East in the contemporary period. Over the past decades, the field has seen the publication of some excellent in-depth studies on aspects of Islamic history 600–1000 CE, and has also undergone a revision of its own boundaries. Some studies have thus placed the origins of Islam in the wider context of Late Antiquity, and argued for an examination of the development of Islam as a religion and civilization in a broader monotheistic and Mediterranean context.
Moreover, the historiographic debates of the 1970s are far from resolved: in the seventies a new critical approach to the study of early Islamic history emerged, often described as the sceptical or revisionist approach. Questioning the reliability of the Muslim tradition about Islamic origins, the ‘revisionists’ also at times suggested that it is impossible to recover any kernel of historical truth (what ‘actually happened’). Their assumptions and findings have been (and continue to be) criticized in numerous works, though not often in sustained or comprehensive manners. More recently, the field has witnessed a return to more ‘conventional’ approaches, where attempts are made to recover and reconstruct aspects of early Islamic history by analysis of the transmission history of hadith traditions and their chains of narrators.
An understanding of the sources and the historiography thus remains pivotal to discussions of early Islamic history. This important issue is addressed particularly in the first volume, and in a thorough introduction which draws together the main themes and developments of the period. Early Years of Islam provides excellent reference work and very useful teaching material for a number of different university level courses, in subjects including History, Area Studies, Religious Studies, and Islamic Studies.
Part 1: Historiographic Approaches and Methodologies for the Study of Early Islam
1. Fred Donner, Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (Princeton, 1998), pp. 1–31.
2. Herbert Berg, ‘The Implications of, and Opposition to, the Methods and Theories of John Wansbrough’, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 1997, 9, 3–22.
3. Behnam Sadeghi and Uwe Bergmann, ‘The Codex of a Companion of the Prophet and the Qurʾān of the Prophet’, Arabica, 2010, 57, 343–436.
4. Asma Hilali, ‘Le palimpseste de Sanʿā’ et la canonisation du Coran: nouveaux éléments’, Cahiers Glotz, ed. De Boccard (Paris, 2011), pp. 443–8.
5. Harald Motzki, ‘The Musannaf of ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Sanʿānī as a Source of Authentic Aḥādīth of the First Century AH’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1991, 60, 1–21.
6. Andreas Görke und Gregor Schoeler, ‘Reconstructing the Earliest Sīra Texts: The Higra in the Corpus of ‘Urwa b. al-Zubayr’, Der Islam, 2005, 82, 209–20.
7. Asad Ahmed, ‘Prosopography and the Reconstruction of Ḥijāzī History for the Early Islamic Period: The Case of the ʿAwfī Family’, in Katharine Keats-Rohan (ed.), Prosopography Approaches and Applications: A Handbook (Oxford, 2007), pp. 415–58.
Part 2: Material Evidence, Non-Muslim Sources, and the Early History of Islam
8. Thomas Sizgorich, ‘Narrative and Community in Islamic Late Antiquity’, Past and Present, 2004, 185, 9–42.
9. Sebastian Brock, ‘Syriac Views of Emergent Islam’, in G. H. A. Juynboll (ed.), Studies on the First Century of Islamic Society (Carbondale and Edwardsvill, 1982), pp. 9–21.
10. Luke Treadwell, ‘Qur’ānic Inscriptions on the Coins of the ahl al-bayt from the Second to Fourth Century AH’, Journal of Qur’anic Studies, 2012, 14, 47–71.
11. Robert Hoyland, ‘New Documentary Texts and the Early Islamic State’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2006, 69, 395–416.
12. Jeremy Johns, ‘Archaeology and the History of Early Islam: The First Seventy Years’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 2003, 46, 411–36.
13. Petra M. Sijpesteijn, ‘Landholding Patterns in Early Islamic Egypt’, Journal of Agrarian Change, 2009, 9, 120–33.
14. Geoffrey Khan, ‘The Khurasan Corpus of Arabic Documents’, in Teresa Bernheimer and Adam Silverstein (eds.), Late Antiquity: Eastern Perspectives (Oxford, 2012), pp. 71–86.
15. S. D. Goitein, ‘Evidence on the Muslim Poll Tax from Non-Muslim Sources: A Geniza Study’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 1963, 6, 278–95.
16. Patricia Cone, ‘Quraysh and the Roman Army: Making Sense of the Meccan Leather Trade’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2007, 70, 63–88.
17. Gerald Hawting, ‘Religion in the Jāhiliyya: Theories and Evidence’, in G. Hawting, The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 20–44.
18. Uri Rubin, ‘Ḥanīfiyya and Ka‘ba’, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 1990, 13, 85–112.
19. Fred Donner, ‘From Believers to Muslims: Confessional Self-identity in the Early Islamic Community’, Al-Abhath, 2002–3, 50–1, 9–53.
20. François de Blois, ‘Naṣrānī (….) and ḥanīf (…): Studies on the Religious Vocabulary of Christianity and of Islam’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2002, 65, 1–30.
21. Patricia Crone, ‘How Did the Qur’ānic Pagans Make a Living?’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2005, 68, 387–99.
22. F. E. Peters, ‘The Quest of the Historical Muḥammad’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 1991, 23, 291–315.
Volume II: The conquests and the transformation of the Middle East in the early Islamic period
23. Chase F. Robinson, ‘The Conquest of Khūzistān: A Historiographical Reassessment’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2004, 67, 14–39.
24. Fred Donner, ‘Tribe and State in Arabia: Second Essay’ and ‘The Cause of the Islamic Conquest’, The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton, 1981), pp. 251–71.
25. Hugh Kennedy, ‘From Polis to Madina: Urban Change in Late Antique and Early Islamic Syria’, Past and Present, 1985, 106, 3–27.
26. Richard Bulliet, ‘Conversion to Islam and the Emergence of a Muslim Society in Iran’, in Gervers and Bikhazi (eds.), Conversion and Continuity: Indigenous Christian communities in Islamic Lands, 8th to 18th Centuries (Toronto, 1990), pp. 30–51.
27. S. O’Sullivan, ‘Coptic Conversion and Islamization of Egypt’, Mamluk Studies Review, 2006, 10, 65–79.
28. Stephen Humphreys, ‘Christian Communities in Early Islamic Syria and Northern Jazira: The Dynamics of Adaptation’, in John Haldon, Money, Power and Politics in Early Islamic Syria: A Review of Current Debates (Farnham, 2010), pp. 45–65.
29. Leor Halevi, ‘The Paradox of Islamization: Tombstone Inscriptions, Qurʾānic Recitations, and the Problem of Religious Change’, History of Religions, 2004, 44, 120–52.
30. Jairus Banaji, ‘Late Antique Legacies and Muslim Economic Expansion’, in John Haldon, Money, Power and Politics in Early Islamic Syria: A Review of Current Debates (Farnham, 2010), pp. 165–80.
31. Hugh Kennedy, ‘The Feeding of the Five Hundred Thousand: Cities and Agriculture in Early Islamic Mesopotamia’, Iraq, 2011, LXXIII, 177–99
Volume III: AUTHORITY AND SECT FORMATION
Part 1: An Early Conception of Caliphal Authority
32. W. M. Watt, ‘God’s Caliph: Qur’anic Interpretations and Umayyad Claims’, in Iran and Islam, ed. C. E. Bosworth (Edinburgh, 1971), pp. 565–74.
33. Ira M. Lapidus, ‘The Separation of State and Religion in the Development of Early Islamic Society’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 1975, 6, 363–85.
34. John A. Nawas, ‘A Reexamination of Three Current Explanations for Al-Maʾmūn’s Introduction of the Miḥna’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 1994, 26, 615–29.
35. Joseph Lowry, ‘The First Islamic Legal Theory: Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ on Interpretation, Authority and the Structure of the Law’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 2008, 128/1, 25–40.
36. Wadād al-Qāḍī, ‘The Religious Foundation of Late Umayyad Ideology and Practice’, Saber Religioso y Poder Político en el Islam. Actas del Simposio Internacional (Granada, 15–18 October 1991), pp. 231–73.
37. Muhammad Qasim Zaman, ‘The Caliphs, the ʿUlamāʾ and the Law: Defining the Role and Function of the Caliph in the Early ʿAbbasid Period’, Islamic Law and Society, 1997, 4, 1–36.
Part 2: Sect Formation
38. W. M. Watt, ‘The Study of the Development of the Islamic Sects’, in Acta Orientalia Neerlandica: Proceedings of the Congress of the Dutch Oriental Society Held in Leiden on the Occasion of its 50th Anniversary, ed. P. W. Pestman (Leiden 1971), pp. 82–91.
39. W. M. Watt, ‘Khārijite thought in the Umayyad period’, Der Islam, 1961, 215–31.
40. G. Hawting, ‘The Significance of the Slogan lā ḥukma illā lillāh and the References to the Ḥudūd in the Traditions about the Fitna and the Murder of ʿUthmān’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1978, 41, 3, 453–63.
41. P. Crone, ‘A Statement by the Najdiyya Kharijites on the Dispensability of the Imamate’, Studia Islamica, 1998, 88, 55–76.
42. M. G. S. Hodgson, ‘How Did the Early Shīʿa Become Sectarian?’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1955, 75, 1–13.
43. M. A. Amir-Moezzi, ‘Notes à propos de la walāya imamite (Aspects de l’imamologie duodécimaine, X)’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 2002, 122, 4, 722–41.
44. Tamima Bayhom-Daou, ‘Hishām b. al-Ḥakam (d. 179/795) and His Doctrine of the Imām’s Knowledge’, Journal of Semitic Studies, 2003, 48, 1, 71–108.
45. S. A. Arjomand, ‘The Crisis of the Imamate and the Institution of Occultation in Twelver Shīʿism’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 1996, 28, 491–515.
46. W. Madelung, ‘Authority in Twelver Shiism in the Absence of the Imam’, La notion d’authorité au Moyen Age: Islam, Byzance, Occident. Colloques interantionaux de la Napoule 1978 (Paris, 1982), pp. 163–73.
47. M. Brett, ‘The Mīm, the ʿAyn, and the Making of Ismāʿīlism’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1994, 57, 1, 25–39.
48. Patricia Crone, ‘The Zaydī’s’, Medieval Islamic Political Thought (Edinburgh, 2004), pp. 99–109.
49. P. Crone, ‘The Hadith Party’, Medieval Islamic Political Thought (Edinburgh, 2004), pp. 125–41.
50. I. Goldziher, ‘Catholic Tendencies and Particularism in Islam’, in M. Swartz (ed.), Studies on Islam (Oxford, 1981), pp. 123–39.
Volume IV: SCHOLARLY TRADITIONS
Part 1: Jurisprudence
51. Joseph Schacht, ‘Fiḳh’, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edn (Brill, 2013).
52. John Burton, ‘Law and Exegesis: The Penalty for Adultery in Islam’, in Approaches to the Qurʾān, eds. G. R. Hawting and A.-K. A. Shareef (London, 1993), pp. 269–84.
53. David S. Powers, ‘On Bequests in Early Islam’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1989, 48, 3, 185–200.
54. Patricia Crone, ‘Two Legal Problems Bearing on the Early History of the Qurʾān’, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 1994, 18, 1–37.
55. Wael Hallaq, ‘Was al-Shafiʿī the Master Architect of Islamic Jurisprudence?’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 1993, 25, 4, 587–605.
56. Jonathan E. Brockopp, ‘Early Islamic Jurisprudence in Egypt: Two Scholars and their Mukhtaṣars’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 1998, 30, 2, 167–82.
57. Pavel Pavlovitch, ‘The Islamic Penalty for Adultery in the Third Century AH and Al-Shāfiʿīs Risāla’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2012, 75, 3, 473–97.
Part 2: Kalām Theology
58. C. H. Becker, ‘Christlische Polemik und islamische Dogmenbildung’, Zeitschrift fur Assyriologies und verwandte Gebiete, 1912, 26, 175–95.
59. Joseph van Ess, ‘The Beginnings of Islamic Theology’, The Cultural Context of Medieval Learning. Proceedings of the First International Colloquium on Philosophy, Science, and Theology in the Middle Ages (Dordrecht, 1973), pp. 87–111.
60. Michael Cook, ‘The Origins of Kalām’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 1980, 43, 1, 32–43.
61. Khalil Athamina, ‘The Early Murjiʾa: Some Notes’, Journal of Semitic Studies, 1990, 109–30.
62. Sarah Stroumsa, ‘The Beginnings of the Muʿtazila Reconsidered’, Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 1990, 265–93.
63. Harry Austryn Wolfson, ‘The Muslim Attributes and the Christian Trinity’, Harvard Theological Review, 1956, 49, 1, 1–18.
64. Wilferd Madelung, ‘The Origins of the Controversy Concerning the Creation of the Qurʾān’, in Orientalia Hispanica: sive studia F.M. Pareja octogenario dicata, Vol. I, ed. J. M. Barral (Leiden, 1974), pp. 504–25.
65. M. Allard, ‘En quoi consiste l’opposition faite à al-Ashʿarī par ses contemporains hanbalites?’, Revue des Études Islamiques, 1960, 28, 93–105.
Part 3: Sufism
66. Reynold A. Nicholson, ‘A Historical Enquiry Concerning the Origin and Development of Sufism’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1906, 38, 303–48.
67. Julian Baldick, ‘Sufism’s Beginning’, Mystical Islam: An Introduction to Sufism (London, 1989), pp. 13–49.
68. Christopher Melchert, ‘The Transition from Asceticism to Mysticism at the Middle of the Ninth Century C.E.’, Studia Islamica, 1996, 83, 1, 51–70.
69. Christopher Melchert, ‘The Ḥanābila and the Early Sufis’, Arabica, 2001, 48, 3, 352–67.