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Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  37 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
"Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam is an extremely controversial but effectively argued and extensively documented work. The author presents a radical challenge to a number of standard assertions about the socio-economic milieu in which Islam arose." -R. Stephen Humphreys, University of Wisconsin, Madison Patricia Crone reassesses one of the most widely accepted dogmas in ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published July 20th 2004 by Gorgias Press (first published March 1st 1986)
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Tariq Mahmood
May 04, 2014 Tariq Mahmood rated it liked it
Patricia sets the pace of the book, right from the very start with a simple logical assumption.

What commodities enabled the inhabitants of so unpromising a site (Mecca) to engage in commerce in such a large scale?

Bred in Muslim tradition the question was like a lightening strike for me. Could the Muslim story be all an elaborate propaganda, or is it exactly as described by the mainly Muslim historians over the centuries? I shall never know for sure, but this study has helped keep the logical p
...more
Edith
Jun 02, 2016 Edith rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Crone's argument boils down to:
1) Meccan trade was at most a local business by 600 AD, rather than supplying goods to empires. Furthermore the goods traded were probably leather and cheap items rather than light, expensive luxury items (spices, incense, or perfume) that would have made overland transportation worth the cost. Rather, maritime trade made more sense in terms of cost.
2) Mecca was unlikely the site of pre-Islamic pilgrimage fairs.
3) In any case it's unlikely that the Quraysh would h
...more
Zacharygs
Aug 15, 2014 Zacharygs rated it liked it
I know almost nothing of Muslim historiography, and in this sense the book was enlightening (if overly pre-occupied with random spice lists). The general approach to Religious phenomena wasn't as helpful as i would have expected; it seems principally an attempt to introduce the hermeneutic of suspicion and historical-critical readings into the use of Muslim source material to question whether or not Mecca really occupied a central node in a vast trading empire. Worth reading, but I doubt I'll ...more
Hanno AlSunbul
I enjoyed reading this book! even though Crone adopted lots of fallacies, and she didn't give the references to back some sensitive claims (if you ever noticed) which made her miss the objectivity of research, I read a critical translation of her work and what I found out is that she was so subjective and turns out to make a hypothesis then consider it as a fact thereinafter, she's brilliant at making the reader confused, she is so smart ;)
Dmcconkey
Excellent Book

Well researched and well thought out. Raises a lot of questions and pokes even more holes in traditional understandings of the beginning of Islam. Only problem with the digital version is many formatting and spell problems. Still an outstanding study, well worth the time spent studying.
Colin
Jan 29, 2013 Colin rated it really liked it
An excellent read that challenges the historicity of the Arab trade and also the location and importance of Mecca. Certainly a book that forces the reader to look outside of the orthodox established origin narrative.
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