Cultural History Of The Muslims
The words Musalman? and ?Arab? as adjectives are generally used to qualify the culture of the Middle Ages, in the countries known to the Europeans as the East,? though this culture was not wholly created by the followers of Islam, nor by the Arabs. The only fact that can be affirmed is that the people of Western Asia and North Africa, who played the leading role in culture were united under Islam, and Arabic was their common language. Many works have been written on Islamic culture but none of them has brought out the cultural unity which pervaded the Islamic world. This small volume, written by a Russian savant who was held as one of the greatest authorities on Islamic subjects can clain a unique place among books on the same subject; for it studies the history and development of the Islamic culture in its true spirit and entirely. Earlier works have dealt with specific countries and given exclusive emphasis on the contributions of the Arabs and the Persians. The author of the present work has studied the Islamic culture as developed in Turkestan, Syria, Iraq and countries in Russian possessions. He has, with remarkable brevity and erudition, unturled before the eyes of his readers the pageant of great culture and emphasized on the interrelations of its protagonists. The chapter on the Mongol invasion is of special interest, where the author has attempted to reiute the theory that the Islamic culture never recovered from the shattering below dealt it by the Mongols at Bagdad in 1258. While attempting to explain the cultural interrelations which had existed between the territories of the Musalman world, the author has insisted on the importance of international contacs of the world trade routes and on the significance of social factors, industry, agriculture, and historico-geographical conjunctions. The work has been translated from original Russian by Shahid Suhrawardy, former Professor of Fine Arts in the University of Calcutta and a scholar of Islamic culture and history.
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