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By Nancy Khalek

Ahead of it fell to Muslim armies in advert 635-6 Damascus had a protracted and prestigious historical past as a middle of Christianity. How did this urban, which grew to become the capitol of the Islamic Empire and its humans, negotiate the transition from a overdue vintage or early Byzantine international to an Islamic tradition? In Damascus after the Muslim Conquest, Nancy Khalek demonstrates that the alterations that came about in Syria in this formative interval of Islamic existence weren't easily a question of the alternative of 1 civilization by way of one other due to army conquest, yet really of moving relationships and practices in a multifaceted social and cultural atmosphere. while overdue vintage types of faith and tradition endured, the formation of Islamic id used to be laid low with the folk who built, lived in, and narrated the background in their urban. Khalek attracts at the proof of structure and the testimony of pilgrims, biographers, geographers, and historians to make clear this technique of identification formation. delivering a clean method of the early Islamic interval, she strikes the learn of Islamic origins past a spotlight on problems with authenticity and textual feedback, and initiates an interdisciplinary discourse on narrative, storytelling, and the interpretations of fabric tradition.

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24. ), vol. 2, 359. Compare Muḥammad Ibn al-Fayḍ al-Ghassān¯ı , Kitāb akhbār wa-ḥikāyāt (Damascus: Dār al-Shām lil-ṭabā‘a, 1994), 26. This incident reiterates a well-known trope, see Flood, Great Mosque of Damascus, 147 n. 39. 25. Donner, Muḥammad and the Believers, 195. 26. Alongside the Christian cult of the saints, for example, a Byzantine practice centered on veneration of relics and the visitation of graves, the Umayyad dynasty’s first religious monument in Syria was a shrine.

89. Steven Judd, “Narratives and Character Development: Al-Ṭabarı¯ and al-Balādhurı¯ on Late Umayyad History,” in Ideas, Images and Methods of Portrayal: Insights into Classical Arabic Literature and Islam (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 209–26. 90. Robinson, Islamic Historiography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 17. In general, see also Stefan Leder, “The Literary Use of the Khabar. A Basic Form of Historical Writing,” in Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam: Problems in the Literary Source Material, ed.

Representative shorter studies that address this issue more generally are Hugh Kennedy, “Change and Continuity in Syria and Palestine at the Time of the Moslem Conquest,” ARAM 1, no. 2 (1989): 258–67 and Ahmad Shboul, “Change and Continuity in Early Islamic Damascus,” ARAM 6 (1994): 67–102. N A R R AT I V E A N D E A R LY I S L A M I C H I S T OR Y ( 33 ) 72. On this issue see, among others, Robinson in “Reconstructing,” 129–30 where an additional question is raised, namely how or whether to relate “late antiquity” to the rise of the Muslim community in the Ḥijāz.

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