102 votes
Accepted

What fueled the street lights in 13th-century Cordoba?

I have traced back this claim to its original source. Come along with me on this journey! Let's start with a source which used to be linked on Wikipedia and is commonly cited online: For ten miles in ...
Avery's user avatar
  • 2,429
35 votes
Accepted

Did the Ottoman empire suppress the printing press?

There is some truth in it, but the printing press adoption delay was only a late symptom of an attitude that began much earlier. In short is was more of contempt for the culture and aesthetics of ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Was climate a factor in the spread of Islam?

The question is of course kind of entirely biased, as always when you take a statistical correlation and want to apply a cause on that. However, the question should still be answered. It just means ...
totalMongot's user avatar
  • 6,695
27 votes
Accepted

What is the origin of the names of planets in Arabic?

These are very confusing, even for Latin ones and all are still full of uncertainties and speculation, apparently stemming from quite some influence asserted cross-culturally and confusion among the ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
14 votes

What is the historical explanation behind the name of the French village Ramatuelle?

No, there is no accepted historical explanation for the name at all — and therefore one should exercise caution to firmly assert that the name "is of Arabic origin". It may be, but it seems ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
13 votes

What significant regions and countries became Muslim without being first conquered by a Muslim power?

States in West Africa, including Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Nigeria The conversion to Islam in this region happened in a gradual process. Margari Hill's The Spread of ...
user69715's user avatar
  • 7,090
12 votes

What significant regions and countries became Muslim without being first conquered by a Muslim power?

Many of the descendants of the Mongol empire (except China, Mongolia and Far East). It is true that they were conquered by the Mongols, but at that time Mongols were not Muslims. At a later period ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.9k
12 votes

Why did the island of Bali remain Hindu when most of the rest of Indonesia converted to Islam?

It's an interesting question (although it has been 2 years without satisfying answer; maybe you've found the answer), because it is located between Jawa Timur (East Java) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (West ...
fikr4n's user avatar
  • 291
11 votes
Accepted

History of Moti Masjid

It appears that both are correct. It's just that they are referring to different buildings. The term Moti Masjid simply means "Pearl Mosque". The Moti Masjid (Agra Fort) "Pearl Mosque" in Agra was ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
10 votes
Accepted

Women in the Iranian revolution

Iran and Saudi Arabia are both majority Muslim nations in western Asia, with a lot of their external revenue coming from oil extraction. But that's about where the resemblance ends. Iran is largely ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
9 votes

How did Islam spread before the invention of the printing press?

Islam at first mostly spread by the sword. It could rapidly spread because of convenient circumstances. The everlasting border wars between the Byzantine and Sassanid empires hurt both empires ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 22k
7 votes
Accepted

Where can I find the original Arabic version of bin Laden's 1996 fatwa?

At the 'Combating Terrorism' site at West Point we find: This document is a declaration of war issued by Usama bin Laden and al-Qa`ida against the United States and the Saudi Arabia regime. — "...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
6 votes

Why did the island of Bali remain Hindu when most of the rest of Indonesia converted to Islam?

There were several reasons, many of which you listed. First, Bali was a relatively isolated part of the country, after Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, far from the main trade routes (near today's Malaysia)...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
6 votes
Accepted

Did any Muslim empire/kingdom have its capital in modern Pakistan except Lahore?

Thatta was the capital for multiple dynasties, including the Muslim Soomra which ruled Sindh from there continuously in 1026–1356.
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 20.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Is it correct that many historical resources about Islam are written by Muslims?

No, it is not possible to reach a totally unbiased history of that time, or indeed any time. There are a lot of people out there who will tell you that information sources being "biased" is ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
6 votes

Why did Ottoman Sultans prioritize the title of Sultan over that of Caliph?

Well, the word or title, "Caliph" literally means, "Heir"....more specifically, the "Heir" to Muhammad's legacy. For the majority of Muslims worldwide, Abu Bakr, was the ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 65
5 votes
Accepted

The Abbasid ransom for the Black Stone (Hajar Aswad)

Interestingly, the book The eclipse of the 'Abbasid caliphate; original chronicles of the fourth Islamic century, contains a slightly different account, suggesting that a huge ransom of fifty thousand ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
5 votes

Historical examples and numbers for the value of ‘Jizya’ levied by Muslim states

A quick search brings up the book The Mughal World: Life in India's Last Golden Age By Abraham Eraly, pg 284, which seems to have some figures for this particular time and reign: Another source, ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.6k
5 votes

How was Christian intermarriage with the Muslim Turks viewed by the Byzantines?

Just a partial answer here to one of the questions posed in the body (not in the title): "Is it safe to assume that such marriages of marrying off a Christian daughter resulted in their forced ...
AllInOne's user avatar
  • 3,183
5 votes

Is it correct that many historical resources about Islam are written by Muslims?

There are primary sources from that period written by non-Muslims, but they are not as detailed or as close to the events in question and have their own issues with bias and misunderstanding (they’re ...
NashvilleTele's user avatar
5 votes

Is Islamic law largely derivative of Catholic canon law?

Not really, no. For one thing, your postulated point of contact, Al Andalus, was on the order of 6,000 KM overland from the center of the Islamic world in Baghdad. If they wanted to borrow legal ideas ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
4 votes
Accepted

Why was Caliph Suleyman disliked by the noted generals in the Umayyad army?

Other than Suleyman's notorious short temper and tendency to keep grudges against people who caused offence whether real or imaginary, With further reading, it looks like that It wasn't Suleyman that ...
NSNoob's user avatar
  • 8,195
4 votes

Is there evidence that the annual pilgrimage to Mecca facilitated cultural exchanges?

Most certainly. The most famous example was probably Mansa Musa of Mali. He was enormously wealthy from his empire's gold production, and made a lavish Hajj in 1324 accompanied by thousands of ...
Byzantine Emporia's user avatar
4 votes

What significant regions and countries became Muslim without being first conquered by a Muslim power?

The Ghana Empire became Muslim in the 1100's. The subsequent fall of the Ghana Empire and the rise of Islam coincided perfectly. Arab tradition states that the Muslim Almoravids conquered Ghana. While ...
John Dee's user avatar
  • 3,338
4 votes
Accepted

Did Averroes really try to bury light in an attempt to create gold, or was that invented by Victor Hugo?

Long comment Alchemy was a "living subject" in Islamic science and philosophy. See at least Lawrence Principe, The Secrets of Alchemy (2013, The University of Chicago Press), Ch.2 Arabic al-...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
4 votes

Women in the Iranian revolution

Wahhabism, the strictest and most extreme form of Islam, is a founding partner of modern Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism also provided the foundation philosophy for both Al Qaeda (the founder was a Saudi) and ...
sofa general's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

How did Islamic finance under the early Caliphates profit or take loans if charging interest wasn't legal?

Partly through semantics, by replacing use of "interest" either as a term or calculation by a complete system of "reciprocal gifts". In a sense, there is a bit of willful blindness ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible