Pretty pleased took time out to make notes from this book. Amongst other things made me super woke to the fact that Islamic history should not be read as Arabhistory.
I made notes from this book to create an organisational framework in my head for the study of Islamicate histories.
It's structured like this:
1. What happened? 2. How do we know? 3. What is its significance today?
1. For 'What happened' he divides it up as follows:
A. Periods i. 600-800 'The Beginning' ii. 800-1100 'The Peak' iii. 1100-1500 'The Decline' iv. 1500-present 'The End of Islamic History?'/ 'The Revival?'
B. Peoples i. Arabs ii Persians iii.Turks
C. Institutions i. the mosque ii. jihad iii. the caliphate/ imamate
2. For 'How do we know' he looks at: A. Sources B. Approaches
3. In looking at 'What is its significance today?' he approaches it on two levels A. Metaphysical B. Political
Couple of notable quotes:
The overwhelming majority of the world's Muslims would almost certainly still be infidels were it not for the events of the 1100-1500 period.
Conversion to Islam, Muslim cultural productivity, and Islamic political rule rarely coincided anywhere.
For all that, a large proportion of today's Muslims are descendants of those who converted in this period, and in the sixteenth century of our era, a visitor from Mars might have supposed that the human world was on the verge of becoming Muslim,' as one historian put it. Our Martian guest would have been led to this conclusion by the contemporaneous existence of great Muslim empires and civilizations created by the Ottomans (1300-1922), Safavids (1501-1722), and Mughals (1526-1858).