Introductory Points


Introductory Points Essay, Research Paper

TRADITIONAL MUSLIM VIEW ? conquest result religious

zeal from new faith and truly miraculous demonstration of divine favour

that Islam supposed to enjoy. TRADITIONAL WESTERN VIEW ? Sir William Muir ?

result of mass migration of Arab tribesman = ?love of rapine? kept going

and going in swarms.? Leone Caetani

disagrees: forces of all three groups far too small.? Agrees migration but mainly due to

economic distress in Arabia.? Henri

Lammens talks of tumultuous incursions due to superior military

organization and ?irresistible penchant for the raid? Becker?s view those migrations only after initial

victories in Iraq and Syria.?

Migrations after thought ? unleashed promise of wealth and of land

in conquered domains.? Hunger and

greed rather than religious zeal. Butzer modifies this view ?The Arab migration

was mainly conditioned by economic factors, by the poor living conditions

of the Bedouin in the inhospitable steppes of Arabia ? The Bedouin

emigration was mainly caused by economic factors, [but] was rendered

possible by social and surrounding political events? ? once conquests,

to him unplanned, had taken place ? mass migration to ?promise land?. Bousquet sees economic factors ? booty ? as

important, but these guys got caught up in religious enthusiasm. Causes

for conquests ? general weakness Byzantine and Sasanid Persia due to

prolonged wars ? lucky presence of good generals and administrators on

Arab side. Canard ? argues against military superiority ? he

sees large weaknesses in tactics, weaponry, tactics etc ? downplays

advantage of knowledge of desert etc.?

Attributes much to dissatisfaction of people in Syria and Iraq ?

rejects Arabs driven out of Arabia by misery ? yes booty, yes economic

factors encourage people to the front, but not driving forward.? Would have stopped in Syria and Iraq and

not continued. Gabrieli- religion important not because it unified

tribesmen but elites around the prophet who led campaigns of

conquest.? Short term material

motives important ? ?the need for food, pastureland and booty?? – Post Ridda wars ? regime in Medina

put down rebellious tribe ?was seething with arms and armed men: the

victors, no less than the vanquished, needed an outlet for their surplus

energies?Certainly one of the major incentives for external conquest may

have lain in this explosive internal situation?. Shaban uses trade disruption by ridda wars.? Nomadic tribesmen peninsula in such

dire straits ? greatly temped to launch raids in the Fertile

Crescent.? Accidental beginning for

economic reasons by Arab tribesmen ? only some Muslims. Need to distinguish between Islamic Conquest ? extension

hegemony of Islamic states from Medina over vast domains into western Asia

and North Africa ? second Arab migration ? movement Arab speaking

individuals ? some nomadic and some sedentary from peninsula to domains in

conquest. Distinguish between causes of Islamic Conquests,

causes of its success and causes Arab migrations directly follow it. Most see reasons as part of a deterministic

historical process or a series of accidents ? ignores view of Islam and

its part.? Appearance of Islam

might itself have itself have been of some importance in generating the

Islamic conquests. Muhammad?s career and doctrines of Islam

revolutionised both the ideological base and political structures of

Arabian society ? gave rise of state for first time capable of organizing

and executing an expansionist movement.?

Yes accidental factors ? such as weakness of empires ? more than an

accident ? testament to power of human action mobilised by ideological

commitment as a force in human affairs Importance careful examination of social and

political organization in the Arabian peninsula on the eve of Islam ? rise

of Islam affects realities of Arabian life.

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