The Venture of Islam, Volume 3: The Gunpowder Empires and by Marshall G. S. Hodgson

By Marshall G. S. Hodgson

The enterprise of Islam has been venerated as a magisterial paintings of the brain on account that its book in early 1975. during this three-volume examine, illustrated with charts and maps, Hodgson strains and translates the historic improvement of Islamic civilization from earlier than the start of Muhammad to the center of the 20 th century. This paintings grew out of the recognized direction on Islamic civilization that Hodgson created and taught for a few years on the college of Chicago. during this concluding quantity of The enterprise of Islam, Hodgson describes the second one flowering of Islam: the Safavi, Timuri, and Ottoman empires. the ultimate a part of the quantity analyzes the frequent Islamic background in modern day world."This is a nonpareil paintings, not just as a result of its command of its topic but in addition since it demonstrates how, preferably, historical past could be written."—The New Yorker

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This they saw adumbrated in such things as visional experience; hence even as metaphysicians they were concerned with what we would call the unconscious dimensions of the individual psyche, which could be expressed in visions, and with the implications of these for our understanding of the cosmos of which that psyche is an integral part. Nevertheless, they did not identify themselves directly with $f:tfism. As good Shi'is, they could not call themselves ~ufis, for $ufis represented the helpless attempt of JamaliSunnis, rejecting the imams, to reach that inner batin truth in religion to which only the imams could truly lead.

But there were always some historians who took the substance of their work so seriously that they made a point of not smothering in rhetoric what they had to say, preferring, as one of them said (Iskandar-beg Munshi), to be understood. ) Iskandar-beg, with the encouragement of Shah 'Abbas, wrote a voluminous history of his patron's reign, together with a substantial resume of his dynasty before him. In addition to its judicious accuracy, its psychological perceptiveness, and the broad interest it manifests in the ramifications of the events it traces (it is a mine of social informati~n on the time), it is notable-in contrast to some slightly earlier ~afavi histories-for its concern with Iran as such, apparently apart from either the dynasty or a Shi'l allegiance.

It is said that some of his men expected to be invulnerable in battle in virtue of his presence. ammad. He evidently expected not merely to establish Sh1'i rule, but actually to wipe out ]ama'i-Sunnism-an aspiration the Shi'ls had scarcely attempted to realize before. Moreover, he apparently hoped to do this eventually throughout Islamdom. Going beyond old A~-~oyunlu territory accordingly, by 1510 he had attacked and killed Shaybani Khan, who had newly united the area of the former Timuri states of Khurasan and the OXllS basin under his Ozbegs; with this blow, Isma'il absorbed Khurasan and points southeast, pushing the Ozbegs north of the Oxus.

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