Chapter

Introduction

Russ Rodgers

in The Generalship of Muhammad

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780813037660
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043104 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037660.003.0001
Introduction

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This chapter introduces readers to the specialized terms and literature that encompass the corpus of early Islamic historiography. Aspects of insurgency are examined to reveal how a movement first transforms the worldview of a targeted culture before engaging in any form of military operation. Early sources are examined for their accuracy, and critical perspectives are weighed in order to determine which are most trustworthy. Four distinct scholarly approaches have traditionally been brought to the analysis of early Islamic sources, and these, including those of Fred Donner and Albrecht Noth, are discussed in light of their impact on analysis of Muhammad's campaigns. Finally, while broadly assessing the scholarly field, this chapter also specifically informs readers of the author's key assumptions, particularly his use of an empirical approach to demonstrate that the early sources, such as the hadith literature, Ibn Ishaq, and al-Tabari, are largely accurate in their descriptions.

Keywords: historiography; worldviews; Fred Donner; Albrecht Noth; empirical approach; Ibn Ishaq; al-Tabari; hadith literature

Chapter.  8929 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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