Social Origins Of Islam: Mind, Economy, Discourse by Mohammed Bamyeh

By Mohammed Bamyeh

The tale of the origins of Islam offers a wealthy and suggestive instance of sweeping cultural transformation. Incorporating either innovation and continuity, Islam equipped upon the prevailing cultural styles one of the peoples of the Arabian peninsula while it threatened to eliminate those related styles. during this provocative interdisciplinary research, Mohammed A. Bamyeh combines views from sociology, literary reviews, anthropology, and fiscal historical past to check the cultural ecology that fostered Islam.

Highlighting the pivotal connections in pre-Islamic society among the emergence of definite monetary practices (such as alternate and money-based exchange), global view (as rendered in pre-Islamic literature and theology), and the reconfiguration of transtribal styles of harmony and cost, Bamyeh unearths within the genesis of Islam a worldly version for analyzing ideological transformation in general.

At the center of Bamyeh's firm are shut readings of either the Qur'an and the pre-Islamic poetry that preceded it. Bamyeh uncovers in those texts narrative and pedagogical content material, poetic constitution, use of metaphor, and old references which are suggestive of societies in transition. He additionally explores the expressive limits of the pre-Islamic literature and its transmutation into Qur'anicspeech within the wake of social transformation.

Emphasizing the natural connections among trust constructions, financial formations, and modes of discourse in pre-Islamic Arabia, The Social Origins of Islam explains how a variety of fabric and discursive adjustments made the assumption of Islam attainable at a selected aspect in historical past. extra greatly, it persuasively demonstrates how grand cultural shiftsgive upward thrust to new platforms of religion.

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It signified the addition to the old notion of social status, which emanated primarily from tribal service and secondarily from lineage, elements of leadership that were more personal rather than collective. 50 As they became the economic and political elite in the gradually polarizing society of Mecca, Qusay’s sons also inherited all of the spiritual functions that their father had monopolized. It is perhaps indicative of the emergence of a new form of spirituality, and of its ties to sociopolitical powers, that all of Qusay’s sons’ names begin with “‘Abd” (worshipper of), unlike Qusay’s ancestors.

18 3. The trading community does not emerge simply because of a proliferation of objects seen to be valuable but also because the value of such objects resides in their exchangeability. Such a stipulation involves what can be called a “second order” abstraction: The value that a community discerns in an object is in essence the value placed upon it by another community with which the first then conducts an exchange. That is, the trading community is capable of seeing the object as valuable not only because of the value it places on it but also—and sometimes only—because of its ability to see the value that outsiders to the community place on it.

D. 395. The decay continued as war broke out between Byzantium and the Sassanid Empire of Persia, with the northern frontiers of Arabia in Syria and Mesopotamia becoming their battlefield. Persia itself was also suffering from symptoms of decrepitude, with internal struggles symbolized by the conflict between various theodicies, most importantly Mazdaism and Zoroastrianism.

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