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The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  7 Ratings  ·  1 Review
Why and under what circumstances did the religion of Islam emerge in a remote part of Arabia at the beginning of the seventh century? Traditional scholarship maintains that Islam developed in opposition to the idolatrous and polytheistic religion of the Arabs of Mecca and the surrounding regions. In this study of pre-Islamic Arabian religion, G. R. Hawting adopts a ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published July 31st 2006 by Cambridge University Press (first published December 8th 1995)
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James
Jun 09, 2014 James rated it really liked it
Decent, if somewhat dry book exploring the religious milieu from which Islam emerged.

Hawting's main contention here is that the Islamic traditions surrounding the nature of the mushrikun ("idolaters") in the jahiliyya (the pre-Islamic "age of Ignorance") are too late or too ambiguous to be of much value in determining the nature of religious belief in Arabia in the time immediately prior to the emergence of Mohammed. These traditional sources generally suggest that the pre-Islamic religions were
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