The Muslim Discovery of Europe by Bernard Lewis

By Bernard Lewis

The eleventh-century Muslim international used to be an outstanding civilization whereas Europe lay drowsing at midnight a while. Slowly, necessarily, Europe and Islam got here jointly, via exchange and warfare, campaign and international relations. The ebb and circulation among those worlds for 700 years, illuminated right here via an excellent historian, is without doubt one of the nice sagas of worldwide heritage.

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The Muslim Discovery of Europe

The eleventh-century Muslim international used to be a superb civilization whereas Europe lay snoozing in the dead of night a long time. Slowly, unavoidably, Europe and Islam got here jointly, via exchange and battle, campaign and international relations. The ebb and movement among those worlds for seven-hundred years, illuminated right here via an excellent historian, is among the nice sagas of global heritage.

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Spain and the Maghreb), Muslims were edged out of the Iberian Peninsula by Spanish and Portuguese Christian states by 1500, and the center of that illustrious but fragile civilization moved to Morocco, where its political power converged around rural strongholds controlled by warrior-mystics. In the Islamic East, the political center moved westward from Baghdad into the Anatolian region with the rise of the Ottoman Empire, which settled itself at Constantinople, renamed Istanbul, in 1453. Ottoman rulers claimed the caliphate and used that institution to proclaim their capital the political and religious center of the Islamic world.

As we shall see, Bugis ultimately found the unsettled conditions in the Straits of Melaka to be to their advantage, and a number of settlers went there in the eighteenth century, where their leaders became rulers or corulers of several states. A very elemental society existed on Ambon during this time period, with societal groupings or tribes centering on ancestral descent and a common territory. In some areas these tribes formed confederations, as occurred in northern Hitu in the late fifteenth century, with its center at Hitu Lama.

Muslim titles were used for port and administrative officials, and Islamic teachers were active among the population of the port. With the coming of Acehnese imperial governors to the ports of Ulakan and Pariaman on the coast later in the sixteenth century, these centers were opened to the Muslim traders. Local merchants at those two cities began converting to Islam as well, apparently because Islamic law allowed inheritance to be held by the merchants themselves rather than following the matrilineal customs of the surrounding area, where wealth was invested in assets, particularly land, and not normally available for venture capitalism.

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