Islam is one of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions along with Christianity, and Judaism. Islam first gained prominence during the 7th century C.E. and is the second largest religious group in the world behind Christianity. A follower of Islam is known as a Muslim.

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What were the deities that existed in Mecca before Mohammed's time? [on hold]

During the time of Mohammed, hundreds of religious idols of various deities in Mecca were destroyed. The justification given for their destruction was that the disparate values represented by the ...
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75 views

Who where the firefighters in Muslim North Africa in the 18th/19th Century and how were they organized?

As we know that the Romans already had some forces for keeping their cities secured and safe: The Vigiles who were what we now may call police and firefighters together! And as I failed to find some ...
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389 views

Was Mohammed known and respected in seventeenth-century Europe?

I’m reading Andrew Pettigree’s fascinating book, The Invention of News: How the world came to know about itself. In the early days of newsprint, many felt that only people who actually needed to know ...
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141 views

Was Islam spread by sword during Muslim conquest? [closed]

The common conception is that Islam was spreading by sword. No matter how you cut it, Muhammad was not only a religious leader, but a military leader who waged war against his enemies as soon ...
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479 views

What equipment and formations did the Muslim armies employ against the Crusades?

One can easily find articles on Wikipedia about typical tactical formations of Romans, but I haven't found such information on the Muslim world, specifically during the crusades. Did the Muslim armies ...
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130 views

Did Ali give his allegiance to the three first caliphs?

The reigns of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman as the first three khalifas (caliphs/successors) of Muhammad instead of Ali are one of the main point of contention in the Sunni/Shia split. I wonder if Ali ...
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841 views

Any history to the current flag used by ISIL? [closed]

I know the current flag used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is black with white letters stating: "There is no God but Allah" and in the middle of a white circle in black letters ...
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198 views

What reached Scandinavia/Northern Germany first: Muslims, or Islamic texts?

Years ago i had the chance to leaf through some Qur'an translations (Latin, German? some bilingual with Arabic text) in a library in northern Germany which are dated to 16th century and later. As we ...
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541 views

Robin Hood: Muslims in England in the 12th century

Ever since the 1984 BBC adaptation of Robin Hood, the addition of a Muslim warrior to the band of Merry Men has been a staple of the mythology. From a storytelling perspective, the benefits are clear: ...
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267 views

Were Christian Mediterranean ports open to Muslim traders in the middle ages?

This article talks about Muslim-christian trade in the middle ages 11th-14th century, also referenced in this answer. In brief: Trade greatly intensified after the crusaded and was conducted at ...
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84 views

According to Islamic sources, did any prophet kill people for having the wrong religion? [closed]

If I remember correctly, the Bible mentions the fact that Elijah was killing people (directly or by ordering for them to be killed) because they were worshiping some idols and Baal and Moses ordered ...
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229 views

What disruptions were brought about by Islam that the Arabians saw so many victories?

The Rashidun Caliphate had its inception with the advent of Islam. It was situated amidst two of the most formidable empires of the known world: The Byzantine Empire and The Sassanid Empire. But ...
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329 views

How were Muslim Turks treated in Byzantine Empire?

While reading about the Palaiologan Renaissance on Wikipedia, I was intrigued to find that a mosque was rebuilt in Constantinople, which was destroyed during the fourth crusade(read about it here). I ...
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Why did families in 6th century Mecca send their babies to be raised in the desert?

Biographies of Muhammad mentions that in his early childhood he was looked after by a wet-nurse Halimah, from a few days after his birth until he was 4. It seems customary for Meccan families to do ...
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73 views

What was Ghulam Ahmad's relationship with the British authorities in India?

An answer on Islam.SE claims, Ghulam Ahmad came out at a time when the British were trying to take over India, and they needed someone to stop the Muslims from fighting, and so bribed this man to ...
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Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

I recently heard a big claim from a Muslim, that the Italian Renaissance was largely caused by the positive Islamic influence on Europe via Spain or Al Andalus. I have my doubts about this claim, ...
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148 views

How powerful and influential was the “last caliph” Abdul Mejid?

It is unbelievable to see how a Caliph was so easily deposed by Turkish parliament which begs a question: How powerful and influential was Abdul Mejid II? Was he merely a titular symbolic puppet who ...
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1answer
84 views

Where did the Gabare Jahangiri Dynasty assert authority?

Where did the Sunni Muslim dynasty assert authority?
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142 views

Christian hangmen in Islamic countries?

In an interview a senior researcher at Amnesty International explained that as far as I know certainly in Punjab and Sind provinces, the two largest provinces by population, the hangmen ...
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2k views

What happened to those ethnic Greeks who converted to Islam during the Ottoman empire?

I got a little inspiration from a previous post on the History part: "Why were Albanians the only nation in the Balkans who converted to Islam during the Ottoman occupation?" Does anyone know ...
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198 views

When were the first mosques established in Constantinople?

In his book The Man of Numbers about Leonardo Pisano (Fibonacci), Keith Devlin quotes a problem from the Liber Abbaci (Devlin's spelling, I know most others spell it Liber Abici) which is titled "A ...
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247 views

Primary sources from Umayyad times

Background Most narratives about the events during the Umayyad rule come from sources that were compiled during the succeeding Abbasid rule. Since the Abbasids came to power through armed ...
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119 views

Origins of the term “Moderate Islam” [closed]

The term "moderate Islam" or "moderate Muslim" seems to be more common than "moderate Christianity" or "moderate Judaism", based on Google ngrams. How did the term originate, who created the term, ...
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141 views

Were there international Islamist movements before the US started supporting islamists in Afghanistan? [closed]

Were there international Islamist movements before the US started supporting islamists during the USSR's war in Afghanistan?
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Is there evidence Muslim soldiers fought in the Continental Army?

It is said that Muslims fought for the American Revolution, by serving in the Continental Army. Wikipedia cites a few names: Records from the American Revolutionary War indicate that at least a ...
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732 views

Why did Christianity disappear in North-Western Africa?

During Roman times North-Western Africa had a thriving Christian community, giving birth to Saint Augustine and a long lasting heresy. This is similar to many Christian communities of the time, from ...
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Why did the island of Bali remain Hindu when most of the rest of Indonesia converted to Islam?

The Wiki page on the spread of Islam in Indonesia stresses that our knowledge of this macro-historical process is fragmentary, for instance often we don’t how the religion diffused out into the ...
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Did Napoleon write an elegy to Imam Hussain?

In this YouTube video, noted Pakistani scholar, Allama Zamir Akhtar Naqvi claims (in Urdu) that Napoleon wrote a letter or poem in honour of the historical figure Imam Hussain, during a war between ...
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238 views

Where does the enmity between Shia and Sunnis stem from? [closed]

Shia and Sunni muslims are frequently engaged in violent clashes with each other, particularly in Irak and Syria at the moment. Where does this enmity stem from? Are the motivations mainly religious ...
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2answers
2k views

Origin of Khans?

I live in India where lots of Muslims are Khans. I know about Genghis Khan who was not a Muslim but a Khan. So is their any relation between Khans like Genghis Khan (or Mongols) and current Khans?
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110 views

Was burning/disposing of furniture a common act during the Iranian Revolution?

I thought for sure I learned this in school, but I can't find any reference to it online. The basic idea I remember is that for one reason or another the Ayatollah and his followers believed furniture ...
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147 views

Is there a correlation between modern Middle East uprisings/wars and Ramadan?

One cannot help but notice that the current shelling of Israel by Hamas has started in the month of Ramadan. So did the war of 1973 and a few other troubles. Is this just a coincidence, or is there ...
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2answers
236 views

What historical evidence do we have for the Prophet Muhammed? [closed]

In the Sahih-Bukhari, a generally accepted collection of the times and sayings of the Prophet, there are a number of reports of contacts with other nations & empires; for example: Allah's ...
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Was it ever deemed illegal to translate the Qu'ran?

In England it was illegal to translate the Bible from Latin into English until the 14C when when John Wycliffe campaigned to have this situation changed. I have often heard that the Qu'ran is ...
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174 views

Did the Christians plagiarize the holy war concept? [closed]

In my other question: Christian and Etruscan end of times I've asked why the Romans, the Byzantines and the Etruscans, in times of trouble, devoted themselves to contemplating the afterlife and did ...
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223 views

Were commandos brought in to break the Grand Mosque siege French or Pakistani?

In December 1979 some miscreants occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca. I have read the Wikipedia article regarding this, but i am still unclear who broke this siege. Were they Pakistan army commandos or ...
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4answers
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Were the living standards in Medieval Europe a lot worse than in the Muslim world?

This comment, tells us that during the dark age, the living conditions in Muslim world were considerably better than that of medieval Europe. Even it this was true for the people at the top, was it ...
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149 views

Origin of the Subdivisons of Hell/Heaven

Isra and Mi'raj is the name of the journey of the prophet Muhammad, where he witnessed heaven and hell, describing their structure as well as the punishment and rewards that lay beyond. Hell and ...
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4answers
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What was Muhammad's religion before becoming a Muslim prophet?

According to this question, the predominant religion in Arabia before Islam was some kind of polytheism. While according to Muhammad's Wikipedia page, According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad ...
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2answers
323 views

When did the Polovtsy convert to Islam?

Polovtsy is a name used to refer various Turkic tribes living to the East of Kievan Rus. I wonder at what point those Turkic peoples became Muslim?
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297 views

Why is no one claiming the title of Caliph?

The Ottoman Caliphate was abolished in 1924 by a reform from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and then the title was claimed by Hejaz. Soon, however, the kingdom was annexed by the neighbor Nejd, the two of ...
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508 views

How did Saudi Arabia become and remain strongly Wahhabi?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia staunchly follow Wahhabism, a very conservative and strict brand of Islamism that probably is the major factor of Saudi's strict policy and harsh implementation of Sharia. ...
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235 views

Do authoritative Jewish historical records record the expulsion

The following wiki extract demonstrates the possibility that the Muhammad's expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa and execution of Banu Qurayza to be a myth. Do authoritative Jewish historical records track or ...
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130 views

Was the custom of covering Kaaba in black cloth adopted during the Fatimid era?

This answer to Why is the Kaaba covered in black cloth? states that the black cloth for Kaaba a tradition which is continued to-date was adopted by the Fatimids. Is that correct?
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616 views

What was the reason for the Ottoman empire to adopt the crescent moon as its flag/coat of arms?

The Ottoman empire used the crescent moon as its symbol extensively. Any reasons for the symbolism? I have read references to polythesim of Turks contributing to the crescent and star (which predates ...
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2answers
2k views

Have famous rabbis ever converted to Islam?

By "famous rabbi" I mean someone who was actually known in at least one community as an authority on Jewish law, not just one who successfully completed rabbinical training.
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328 views

Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an notes and declaration of Independence [closed]

This book alludes to works of Thomas Jefferson studying the Quran and taking notes on it before writing the "Declaration of Independence". Also the book mentions that Jefferson had a personal copy ...
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132 views

Why does only Iran have a Governor of the Jurisprudence?

Iran nowadays is an Islamic country that is ruled by a President and by a Wilayat el Faqih (in English he is called the Governor of the Jurisprudence ). This Wilayat el Faqih or Governor of the ...
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172 views

Which texts/works were lost due to the Mongol invasions of Baghdad?

Which texts/works were lost due to the Mongol invasions of Baghdad? Baghdad was a center for learning and there seems to be an immense literature loss during the sack of that city, just like the ...
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157 views

Are Shi’i imams really directly related to the Prophet Muhammad?

Do written (or at least oral) records that show that the Shi’i imams are directly related to the Prophet Muhammad?