During the period known as the Early Middle Ages, two civilizations were born that were destined to dominate the world: the Islamic and Western civilizations.
Their story begins with the eruption of two hardy and energetic peoples: the Bedouin tribes from the Arabian peninsula and the seafaring Vikings from lands of the far North.
This book, by the London-based Islamic scholar Shaykh Dr. Ridhwan ibn Muhammad Saleem, provides a brief but illuminating overview of the history of the Islamic and Western civilizations. Shaykh Ridhwan provides a refreshing alternative to the Eurocentric accounts that dominate the field, challenging many of the triumphant claims and—sometimes unconscious—biases of Western historians.
Drawing upon the pioneering work of Marshall Hodgson, Shaykh Ridhwan addresses the importance of Muslims reclaiming and renaming their proud heritage and providing a counternarrative to the mainstream textbooks.
While many books have been written on the history of these civilizations, few have yet brought the two stories together. From the very birth of Europe in the crucible of the Crusades to the Ottoman advances of the Early Modern period, the history of the West has been closely intertwined with the Islamic world. Many books have been written on the history of these civilizations, but few have yet attempted to bring the two stories together. Indeed, it can be argued that the history of one cannot be fully appreciated without knowledge of the other. In this respect, this work is an important introduction to the complex relationships between these two great world civilizations.
The purpose of this book is provide listeners with an overview of the major historical events and processes, as well as a glimpse at some of the important personalities, taking into consideration the political, intellectual, and economic aspects. It is a sketching of the landscape, so to speak, so that listeners are given a clear view of the forest before becoming lost in the trees.
Shaykh Ridhwan gained traditional qualifications (ijaza/Alim degree) in Islamic studies, studying with some of the leading ulema in Syria and the UK/US, as well as academic degrees in medicine and anthropology. He has been researching and teaching in the field of Islamic history since 2014 at London College of Islamic Studies and various Islamic centers in the UK.