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by Ronald A. Messier

Download The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad fb2, epub

ISBN: 0313385890
Author: Ronald A. Messier
Language: English
Publisher: Praeger (August 19, 2010)
Pages: 248
Category: Humanities
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 255
Size Fb2: 1224 kb
Size ePub: 1909 kb
Size Djvu: 1522 kb
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Ronald A. Messier is professor emeritus of history at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN. .

Ronald A. Messier is professor emeritus of history at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, and formerly senior lecturer in history at Vanderbilt University. Their humble request for a fatwa on jihad against the Christians was even granted by Al-Ghazali himself, possibly the most famous rned-Sufi in Islamic history. But the Almoravid empire betrayed its veiled humility in later banning and burning Al-Ghazali's books against political meddling in religion.

Start by marking The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad as Want to Read .

Start by marking The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Several important themes in North African history are explored throughout the book, including the dynastic theory of noted Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, the unique relationship of rural and urban lifestyles, the interactions of distinct Berber and Arab identities, and the influence of tribal solidarity and Islam in forming the social fabric of medieval North African society.

p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.

Contains sketches of three principle characters (Ibn Yasin, Zaynab, and El Cid) as well as the Koranic inscription and the plan of the Sijilmasa mosque. Includes maps showing various places in North Africa and Southern Spain discussed in the text.

Download Citation On May 27, 2014, Wilfrid J. Rollman and others published The Almoravids and the meanings of Jihad . Re-Thinking the Almoravids, Re-Thinking Ibn Khaldun: From the Almoravids to the Algerian War. November 2013.

Re-Thinking the Almoravids, Re-Thinking Ibn Khaldun: From the Almoravids to the Algerian War.

Originally West African, Berber nomads, the Almoravids emerged from what is today Mauritania to rule Morocco, western Algeria, and Muslim Spain. Over the course of the century-long lifespan of the Almoravid dynasty, the concept of jihad evolved through four distinct phases: a struggle for righteousness, a war against pagans in the Sahara to impose their own sense of righteousness, war against "bad" Muslims in Sijilmasa and the rest of the Maghrib

Items related to The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad

Items related to The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad. Ronald A. Messier The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad. ISBN 13: 9780313385896. Contains sketches of three principle characters (Ibn Yasin, Zaynab, and El Cid) as well as the Koranic inscription and the plan of the Sijilmasa mosque.

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This book offers a scholarly, highly readable account of the 11th-12th century rulers of Morocco and Muslim Spain who offered a full range of meanings of jihad and challenged Ibn Khaldun's paradigm for the rise and fall of regimes.

• Contains sketches of three principle characters (Ibn Yasin, Zaynab, and El Cid) as well as the Koranic inscription and the plan of the Sijilmasa mosque

• Includes maps showing various places in North Africa and Southern Spain discussed in the text

• Photographs of structures, archaeological sites, and coins that are mentioned in the narrative

• A two-section bibliography contains both medieval Arabic sources and modern sources

• The glossary defines place names, tribes, tribal confederations, titles, and technical Islamic terms

Comments:

Marige
Couldn't put it down, the information about the Almoravids, their conquests, rise, and fall is detailed down to the dates of the deaths, surrenders, and triumphs.
Budar
Messier understands the region and describes the setting of jihad in a readable book. The book is recommended for those who are interested in the history of No. Africa during the Mid Ages.
Usanner
History can be an elusive subject, especially when it is written by the victors, the supporters of a sect or the critics of an ideology. The Almoravid empire was covered by critics, few supporters, its eventual conquerors and even its victims. The Berber empire, rising from the desert of today's Western Sahara continues to be a driver of historical perspectives for Muslim jurists, secular skeptics and even Sahelian Islamist terrorists. Without getting caught in the middle of too many theological debates and Islamic control of religion in history, Ronald Messier writes a very readable account of a controversial, and groundbreaking period in Maghribi history.

In the middle of the 11th century, Islam was not closely observed by the Berber masses in the Moroccan, Malian and Mauritanian desert expanses. Along the Mediterranean coast, Messier mentions how the first decades of the Islamic empire reached the coast of Spain, battling constantly against the fierce social, linguistic and political defenses of the Berber tribes. In the next few centuries, a branch of the Khawarij Ibadi exclusivity and unforgiving theology spread at least superficially in a few areas of Berber Morocco.

As the Muslim empire battled internal rivalries and theological and legal divides in the Middle East, the Maghreb (Tunisia to Morocco) experienced the same power divides between shifting Fatimid Shi'a, Ibadi, and finally Maliki influence. In an example of the number of interesting one-liners in Messier's account, he reminds the reader that Arab historians like Ibn Khaldun regarded Ifriqiyya (the early name for Eastern Maghreb) as the progenitor to the continent's name today but also as an Arabic play on words symbolizing constant division (فرق).

As Messier sets the scene for the Almoravid empire he includes an exhaustive data set from the known Arabic sources on the subject. The broad source material is necessary in order to generate a thesis on such a hotly debated movement. As Messier explains, the vast Berber tribes were considered nominal Muslims, barely understanding the tenets of Islam much less observing them. Religious ignorance, according to the Maliki scholars of Tunisia and the Dar Al-Murabitun legal scholars of Morocco, where Almoravid gets its name, was the chief dividing factor.

The movement began with Abd Allah Ibn Yasin, chosen from within the Dar Al-Murabitun by direction of a leading Maliki scholar in Tunisia to reform the desert's Islam. While Ibn Yasin is considered the necessary religious catalyst for the Almoravid expansion, he is also the most controversial character in Islamic accounts. He adhered to a literal, legalistic version of Maliki jurisprudence emphasizing the law over spiritual understanding and religious study. Contemporary Sufis of his time challenged his teachings. Every account of Ibn Yasin sees him as a righteous zealot for Allah but too often bent towards errors of religious ignorance himself. His preaching and support for Jihad supported the Almoravid military commanders tied to his legal decrees.

From the middle of the 11th century to the middle of next, Messier describes the shifting concepts of Almoravid jihad along with the political and religious manifestations that supported their campaigns. The first two forms of jihad by Ibn Yasin included the forced conversion of non-Muslims in the lower Maghreb and then the forced reform of the current ignorant Muslims. Berber tribes that refused to join Ibn Yasin's movement were considered enemies; some villages completed scorched. In one account, 3000 were slaughtered in Fez's most holy mosques. Despite the harsh nature of empire consolidation, the Almoravid armies gained prestige by banning all but Qur'anic taxes, initially living a humble lifestyle and reaping from the scare tactics and lore of their hardened shields in battle, their faces perpetually covered in the mysterious cloth that gave them their second name: the Mulathimun.

The third jihad was that against the Christian kings in Andalusia. Despite the bright images presented in many historical accounts of a morally and politically unified Islamic empire, the Andalusian Muslim kings bickered between themselves, a few of them playing their neighbors and Christian allies against a competing Muslim king in order to preserve political prominence. It was by invitation of these bickering kings that the Almoravid armies, known and feared throughout the region, crossed into modern Spain. As they expanded outside the desert they knew so well, conquered a land foreign to the very fabric of their Berber society, they were also introduced to decadence that led to their eventual demise (as Ibn Khaldun would have it).

One thing that could have been expanded in this book are the very discussions and theological debates on the meanings of jihad. While it makes for a catchy title, the book is still very much a history of the events with comments on jihad forming a concise if minuscule overall summary. However, Messier does highlight the internal political tensions, the competing Muslim identities across the Ummah. Messier argued that the Almoravid Emirs paid homage to the Baghdad caliphate in order to obtain moral authority for jihad. Their humble request for a fatwa on jihad against the Christians was even granted by Al-Ghazali himself, possibly the most famous jurist-theologian-turned-Sufi in Islamic history.

But the Almoravid empire betrayed its veiled humility in later banning and burning Al-Ghazali's books against political meddling in religion. The base of the Almoravid empire was a direct bond between the legal scholars and the acting Emirs, a bond that Al-Ghazali and now many moderate Muslims believe was improper and corrupt. Therein lies the controversial history of the first empire ever to unite Morocco. It created the beginnings of a unified Islamic empire, also the first to control the trade in black African (bilad as-Sudan) gold. Messier describes a fascinating account of how black African gold propped up the empire, enabling the minting of the prestigious Almoravid dinar, perhaps their strongest form of soft power.

So what then is the proper value verdict on the Almoravid approach? Messier did not intend to provide that answer. While Muslim scholarship would rather ignore or counter-balance the Almoravid corruption of legalistic Islamic practice, Messier tries very hard to maintain a neutral if not admiring stance towards the interesting nuggets of history as history. As he himself claims, Ibn Khaldun provides him like-minded company; himself torn between admiration and condemnation.

History is a tool for those who control it. Anyone following current events in the Sahel will know that Murabitun is a terrorist group who goes also by Mulathimun. Whether or not Mokhtar bil Mokhtar, their founder, understood the dynamics of Almoravid (Murabitun) history, he certainly believed in the concept of violent jihad and forced reform. How the Almoravid's are judged and graded will be a direct approval or condemnation on the efforts of modern-day jihadists. The battle within Islam continues.
Urllet
"The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad" by Ronald Messier, (2010), hardback, 248 pgs. This story details the eleventh century rise of camel-borne Muslim warriors in the western Sahara desert. The author claimed that the Almoravids (Berber fundamentalist Muslims) were invited by the Muslim kings of Andalusia to help to defeat invading `reconquista' Christian forces; they liked what they saw, and overextended their welcome by staying. The author noted that the Almoravids saw their military support as an Islamic jihad in protecting Muslim gains over the Spanish Christians. The story is written more in a `easy reading' storytelling prose, rather than as a dry history; there are no copious footnotes, but in the last tenth of the book there is a `commentary' section devoted to discussing the many sources supporting the author's views. The author claims his book to be "the first comprehensive English language narrative history of the Almoravids accessible to the nonspecialist." Also for those interested in the Muslim war/jihad against 'El Cid.' The author is professor emeritus of history at Middle Tennessee State University, where, from 1972 to 2004, he was professor of Islamic history and historical archaeology. He directed the excavation of the ancient city of Sijilmasa, in southeastern Morocco that served as a springboard for the Almoravid advance into the Maghrib.
Dellevar
An interesting and enjoyable book that is well written in plain English for the general public by an area specialist in the Maghreb (North Africa) with insights that come from archeologial field experience. It unfolds like a story while capturing a (historical) plot and the characteristic human follies of conflict, glory, and despair. The Almoravids and the Meanings of Jihad

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