Tag Islam

Revolutionary or Impostor . . . Who Was Ahmed Khan?

Ian Coller— O Lydian lord of many nations, foolish Croesus,Wish not to hear the longed-for voice within your palace,Even your son’s voice: better for you were it otherwise;For his first word will he speak on a day of sorrow.—Herodotus A Lydian prince, born mute, miraculously acquires the power of speech

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Heaven, Hell, and Non-Muslims in the Qur’an

Gabriel Said Reynolds— Heaven and hell are important notions to the Qur’an, the scripture of Islam. The divine voice of the Qur’an assures its audience that those who are faithful and do good will enter into paradise, which it names janna (related to Hebrew gan, meaning “garden”) and firdaws (from

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Muhammad

Tim Mackintosh-Smith— Before sunrise on a winter’s day early in the year 630, a captive in the Arabian town of Yathrib looked on as the men of the place gathered in the courtyard outside his cell. He could make out little between the few splashes of lamplight. But when their

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Religion of Radical Love

Omid Safi— Our modern word chemistry comes from the Arabic for alchemy, which is not a pseudoscience or primitive science but rather a recognition that all of the cosmos shares in the same ultimate substance. Alchemists knew that each of us have something in us that is base like lead;

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Will They Swing the Thick Stick?

Martin Pugh— I spent 1969 to 1971 on Voluntary Service Overseas as a Lecturer in European History at the Aligarh Muslim University in India. It was an exciting time politically as Indira Gandhi, the prime minister, had entered her radical phase provoking much controversy within the Congress Party. She nationalized

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The Rising of Croatia

Marcus Tanner— The long rule of the Turks over most of Croatia came to a sudden end in the 1680s. Responsibility for the conflict fell squarely on the Turks. In 1683 the Sultan’s Grand Vizier, Kara Mustafa, decided to revive the tradition of conquest of the previous century. Marching an

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What happened after the Crusades?

Christopher Tyerman— We all know about the Crusades, don’t we? They were wars fought by western European Christians against Muslim control of Jerusalem and the Holy Land of Palestine. They began in 1095, when Pope Urban II summoned the knights of Christendom to undertake a war that would earn its

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Two Rocks in the Holy Land

Gabriel Said Reynolds— A traveler walking along the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem could be forgiven for missing the ruins of the Kathisma Church. The ruins, found just past a gas station and just before the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Elias, are overgrown with weeds and strewn with rubble,

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What is Religion?

Richard Holloway— As with many useful words, symbol comes from Greek. It means to bring together things that had come apart, the way you might glue the bits of a broken plate together. Then a symbol became an object that stood for or represented something else. It still had the idea of

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ISIS, Christianity, and the Pact of Umar

David J. Wasserstein— When ISIS forces took the Iraqi city of Mosul in the summer of 2014, and later on when they took Raqqa in Syria, they did not kill all the Christians. Instead they made them sign on to a curious set of conditions. Christians were allowed to maintain

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