By Fred M. Donner
In this contribution to the continuing debate at the nature and factors of the Islamic conquests in Syria and Iraq throughout the 6th and 7th centuries, Fred Donner argues for an important contrast among the motives of the conquests, the explanations in their good fortune, and the explanations of the next Arab migrations to the Fertile Crescent.
Originally released in 1982.
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Additional info for The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton Studies on the Near East)
159 For those unfamiliar with genealogy this seems contradictory. 3. It quite often happens that the writers disagree with each other. There are some points which are inevitable sources of disagreement. First there is the meaning of certain words. The word “mukha∂ram” for instance is used to describe people who have lived in two eras, such as the time of the Jàhiliyya and the time of the Prophet. In the discussion surrounding the identity of the Companions, the word is sometimes used by authors to decide whether a person was or was not a Companion.
This sometimes happened, but it was not always a cumulative process. This is to say that not all the Companions whose attitudes during the battle of Íiﬀìn were known and who are mentioned by Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, for example, are also mentioned by Ibn al-Athìr. Nor are all those mentioned by Ibn 'Abd al-Barr and Ibn al-Athìr included by Ibn Óajar. These writers worked independently and had no intention of building up a bank of accumulated information. Thus only four Companions whose attitudes during the battle of Íiﬀìn were known are mentioned by all ﬁve writers.
Jubayr b. Iyàs was thought of as similar or made similar to Jabr b. Anas, just as Jabala was to Rukhayla. This was done either intentionally112 or by mistake. The traditionists’ insistence that Îiràr felt sympathy for 'Alì and that he suﬀered from a weak memory could allow for these two possibilities. It is for methodological reasons that we do not include biographical dictionaries written by Shì'ìs among our sources. 113 The will to preserve the teachings of the Imàms had motivated Shì'ì scholars to write biographies of their disciples who were responsible for preserving and transmitting these teachings.
The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton Studies on the Near East) by Fred M. Donner