Muslim History and Historians Part 1: For a Better Approach to Muslim History

This article on Muslim history and historians is in three parts, and also includes an extensive reading list to help readers explore the issues discussed here. This first part looks at the way Muslim history has been dealt with by non-Muslims, and the positive as well as the negative impact this had. It shows that a distorted history leads to a misunderstood reality of the other, which leads to conflict, especially between the West and Islam. Distorted Muslim history also harms the true understanding of Islam and its heritage, and can endanger the perception of these by Muslims themselves, the future generations in particular. It is therefore imperative to write a more correct history of Islam, and this is what this first part explains.

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Figure 1: Muslim expansion by the end of Umayyad rule in 750. (Source).

Mc Neill and Waldman remark:

Obviously, ancient feuds and hatreds are far from dead. The clash of doctrine that arose from Muhammad’s revelation, reinforced by centuries of warfare between Muslims and Christians, built up a wall of prejudice on both sides, which has yet to show signs of crumbling. 
Under such circumstances, historical study cannot by itself do much to diminish hostility; on the contrary it is often conducted in such a way as to inflame animosity. Yet if approached in a spirit of detachment, seeking to understand both sides of contemporary as well as more ancient conflicts, study of the past can, perhaps, diminish ill will. Such study is also likely to make public and private action a little more effective than it can be when mutual ignorance as well as mutual dislike govern behaviour.

These lines perfectly capture the situation we are experiencing at present. The hostility between Islam and Western Christendom stems, indeed, in a large measure, from the continuous and incessant barrage of hostile depictions, themselves resulting from a great misunderstanding, a crooked historical knowledge, which rather than bringing people closer, instead, as Mc Neill and Waldman put it, inflames animosity. Whether the Crusades of 1095-1291, justified on the ground of Muslim aggression, mistreatment of Christians, and desecration of Christian sites;[2] or subsequent Crusades, justified on the ground of Muslim piracy, or Turkish threat;[3] or the invasion of Egypt, supposedly aimed at ending the persecution of Christian merchants in that country;[4] these and others have always relied on the distortions of facts and most of all the exaggeration of the Muslim threat to the West.[5]

Throughout the centuries, Muslims were seen and depicted as idolaters, with an insatiable thirst for Christian blood, and perverse in their sexuality, with a plan for general sexual profligacy ‘as an instrument for the destruction of Christianity.’[6] These and similar depictions, as Daniel observes, were ‘most divorced from reality,’ and were very often a concoction of untrue accounts which were deliberate, probably malicious misrepresentations, and some totally absurd, based on pure fantasy.[7] Blanks and Frassetto elaborate further:

The Western need to construct an image of the Muslim, of the other, was a twofold process that came to dominate the pre-modern discourse concerning Islam.
On one hand, it created an image of the Saracen, Moor, or Turk that was wholly alien and wholly evil. In both popular and learned literature, Muslims were portrayed as cowardly, duplicitous, lustful, self indulgent, pagans who worshipped idols and a trinity of false gods. On the other hand, the creation of such a blatantly false stereotype enabled Western Christians to define themselves.

This long held tradition pursued by both policy makers and scholarship, even today, is raised by Esposito, who remarks how Islam and Muslims are

Portrayed as the instigators and protagonists in fourteen centuries of warfare. Islam is the aggressor. Thus in the above statement, Islam and the acts of Muslims are described as aggressive - responsible for attacks, jihads, and conquests-while the West is described as defensive, responding with counterattacks, Crusades, and re-conquests. Despite the portrayal of fourteen continuous centuries of confrontation, the reader is informed that “suddenly” America has become the archenemy, evil personified, and so forth. If the contemporary threat is “sudden,” then the reader will logically conclude that Muslims have a historic propensity to violence against and hatred of the West, or else that Muslims are an emotional, irrational, and war-prone people."[9]

Due to this long tradition, Western historical narrative has tended to set aside positive images of Islamic history and to exaggerate alleged Islamic misdeeds. A great number of Western historians the likes of Draper,[10] Bennett,[11] N. Daniel, [12] N. Smith,[13] Tolan,[14] Winder,[15] Pacey,[16] Cherbonneau,[17] Heck,[18] Harley and Woodward,[19] Krisciunas,[20] O’Connor and Robertson,[21] and Talbot Rice,[22] have raised the issue regarding the generalised distortions of Islam in every single area of study. There is, indeed, very little acknowledgment of the Muslim role in the rise of modern sciences and civilisation, for instance, whilst on the other hand, the rising tendency has been in attributing such dark moments of history as the persecution of dissidents and women, the African slave trade, and genocides to Islam and Muslims.[23] The systemic onslaught includes even attacks on the most sacred of Islam, the person of the Prophet (PBUH) most of all who is object of the most virulent onslaught even in our day, in 2016.

Of course every Muslim hurts at this systemic onslaught by the same debased and distorted ways. Neither excessive reaction in violence or remaining silent are right, though. Muslims are responsible for their culture, just as other civilisations are today. Remaining idle and letting others build the knowledge of your culture, your faith, history, and civilisation, is a sign of foremost ineptness and causes the onslaught just cited. It is indeed very easy to sit and yet complain about others’ work. However, it must also be noted that whilst we come across a countless stream of denunciations of the distortions and misrepresentations of Islam, faith, history and culture, these observations have been made in their tens, hundreds, even, by Western scholars themselves, and even leading figures in the West, including Prince Charles, as an instance.[24] It is these Westerners and other non Muslims who have denounced the injustices done to Islam, culture, history, and civilisation.[25] Also, as we will see further on, the role of Westerners and other non Muslims in keeping alive, even reviving some aspects of the intellectual world of Islam have been beyond decisive. To many generations of Western scholars do we owe much of the good we know about Islamic contribution to modern sciences. [26] In words, Muslims do not have much ground to complain if aspects of their faith, culture, history, and civilisation are besmirched. It belongs to them, Muslims, in the first place to address this vital issue.

Figure 2a-b: Two recent Arabic editions of Al-Sira al-nabawiya (the biography of the Prophet) by Ibn Hisham.

Here, one is under obligation to salute the works of some pioneering Muslim figures and institutions that have in the recent decades been doing their utmost. It is crucial to recognise the role of such individuals as Fuat Sezgin, Roshdi Rashed, E. Ihsanoglu, A. Djebbar, and A.Y. Al Hassan and a number of others in the revival of Muslim sciences, or A. Salahi, I. Al Faruqi, and A.M. Al Sallabi in the field of Muslim history, and others such as Tariq Ramadan, who have been doing their foremost in their fields.[27] Institutions such as al Furqan, and the website Muslimheritage are indeed in different but complementary manners rebuilding and recovering for us much of the heritage of Islam and Muslims. One, however, is not going to indulge in an outpouring of praise and excessive rant about the accomplishments of these individuals and institutions. Recognising great work is one thing, ranting to the point of adulation is another that needs to be set aside.

Whatever one might also say in praise of Muslim accomplishments today, any browsing of reality as reported in countless studies and articles shows that Muslim accomplishments are lacking. It is in fact to the great merit of the few individuals and institutions that are doing what they are doing to emerge out of this mire. Let us not begin to cite here figures, let us look around us, and focus just on our field, and see how many works are written by Muslims and how many are written by others on our own subject: Islam and its history. Titles are available on the internet to consult. The situation is not pleasing to the eyes: it is over 99% that is the authorship of others. We know, as already noted, that much about Islam is distorted, so, the conclusion is easy to reach on how many distortions are being pushed forth in books, schools, universities, the media, in the minds, at this very minute we are writing.

The same can be said when it comes to films, television documentaries, internet articles, and so on. How many historical reviews in English, French, German or any other Western language, does the Muslim world have: nil. And how many Muslim heroes such as Khalid ibn al Waleed, Salah Eddin al Ayyubi, Baybars, Piri Reis, Arrudj and Keir Eddin Barbarossa, Emir Abd al Kader, Tariq ibn Zyad, and so on are celebrated: near nil. Compare this with the films on Richard the Lion Heart, Henry the Eight, Napoleon, and so on…  How many of Muslim victories are also celebrated on the cinema, on television, and schools, and how many of us know about them? Compare again with what one sees on Western television, when daily their history and heroes are celebrated. It is a very serious Muslim flaw here, not just that we fail to appreciate our history, celebrate its greatness, we leave it others who deal with it as they please with the good and the less good.

Here, some individuals might question, or criticise, this admission of our failure. One is not going to write too long on this except to say: Misplaced and ferocious criticism against those who are trying to do good is bad, but criticising our failings is necessary. Failure is a disease, and until one acknowledges it, one does not cure it. Being satisfied with the mediocre, and not seeking excellence keeps you mediocre forever.

Now, regarding our subject, history, without the appreciation of one’s right history, it is impossible for us to know not just our history but also our own identity. Imagine Muslim youth in forty years without the knowledge of their own history, especially those living in the West, they will be free to believe anything including in regard to their origins. They will be free to believe anything said about the great Caliphs or even the Prophet, or that our civilisation achieved nothing.  With the wrong history in their heads we will lose a whole generation, tens of millions of people and their own children, and the children of their children. In fact for those who wish to know it: it is precisely by removing the history of a nation, or muddling it, that you can wipe out a whole culture. This has been done so many times in the past, and is still being done, and many nations have been completely broken, even disappeared by this process. It does not require any physical violence, just the violence of the pen or the keyboard.

This issue is a severe challenge which requires plenty of focus, which is not the remit of this article. Neither it is the remit of this article to write in praise or in attack of the situation of the Muslim world. This website is not the place for it, either. Here our remit is in three parts: first to explain how Muslim history can be reconstructed, i.e the methods of writing it; and a second and third parts devoted to Muslim historians of the past centuries.

1. How to Write Muslim History: The Need for Western Sources

First and foremost, in nearly nine out of ten instances one picks a Muslim original source (authors such as Tabari, Ibn al-Athir, Ibn Khaldun, and others), one finds the usual references such as Brill/Leiden, Escorial, Gibb Memorial Trust, and the like.  It is in great measure these institutions which in the past two centuries (19th and 20th) have dusted off Arabic manuscripts, dormant in mainly Western libraries, and have edited them, translated them, and put them at the disposal of the great public. Without these and other institutions, much of the rich material we have today of Muslim culture would surely have perished, or left abandoned at best. Of course, it is up to the author of today to sift through these works and make the corrections and improvements that have become needed in light of greater knowledge. However, dismissing these sources or their contributions as some are tempted to do today for one reason or another is simply tantamount to ridding oneself of the vastest store of knowledge about Islam.

Likewise, if it were not for scholars such as George Sarton, who enlightened the world community about the works of Muslim scientists and civilisation; or works by Millas Vallicrosa or Ribera, or the Sedillot (father and son); or by Briffault on Muslim literature and civilisation; Creswell, Calvert, Mieli, Sutter, Wiedemann, Amari, Lane Poole, and others; or the more recent ones such as Glick, on Muslim Spain; Burnett on Muslim civilisation; Merriman on the Mediterranean; Lombard on trade; Glubb on Muslim history; Castro, Menocal, Samso, Vernet, Hill, Lorch, J. Lyons, Mack, D. Howard, Hamilton Morgan, Fairchild Ruggles, A. Watson, David King, and few more figures of scholarship, all enthusiasts for Muslim civilisation, it would be impossible to write Muslim history and civilisation.[28]

Figure 3: Front cover of a recent Arabic publication of Tarikh al-umam wa-'l-muluk(Annals of the nations and kings) by Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari (839-923) (Beirut: Dar al-kutub al-'ilmiya, 1999, 6 vols., 3790 pp.) This detailed chronicle is by common consent the most important universal history produced in the world of Islam.

It might sound an aberration but most often much information relating to Muslim history is found in sources which can be deemed quite hostile to Islam and Muslims. It is in Grousset’s works, indeed, where there can be found some of the best material on the Crusades,[29] and the most detailed description of the Crusade of 1101 is found in Cate’s article.[30] The same holds in relation to the history of Algeria prior to the colonial phase, whereby some of the best information is provided by Rotalier.[31] It is also difficult to find many sources better than Gibbons, Von Hammer, and Pears regarding the history of Ottoman Turkey.[32] The examples can be multiplied whereby seeking to write Muslim history without recourse to Western sources, even those hostile to Islam and Muslims, would end in depriving oneself of material of immense quality. Indeed, one might accuse these authors of prejudice, but one thing they cannot be accused of is lack of proficiency. Besides, in order to have a balanced view of events and achieve credibility, it is crucial to use both Muslim and ‘hostile’ Western sources and their respective views on any event of great importance.

Anything can be asserted or claimed, but without academic legitimacy it would only stand temporarily, or only in the thoughts of its author. In the rather messy or disputed world of historical knowledge, it is highly important that facts of decisive importance should be corroborated by various sources, most particularly by opposing sources. The Crusades, for instance, cannot be studied from the Western or the Muslim side alone. Both sides have to be heard in order to reach a more precise and convincing picture of the reality, and in every aspect, from the circumstances which led to some events, details about such events, to how they impacted on either side, and everything else. How can, for instance, Muslims know about the Christian frame of mind in launching the Crusades, or their preparations, or the role of the papacy, or the work of the Crusade preachers, or the lives of Crusade leaders, and other details, if they do not have recourse to Western sources?

How also can we write or form any idea about French colonial history of Algeria, especially its extremely bloody side, without reading the accounts of the French officers themselves, official reports by and to the French government, or accounts by historians who accompanied the French army?[33] Also only Western scholars can have access to Vatican archives, Church and monasteries, and old libraries located in the West.[34] These and other Western libraries contain possibly the main store of information in regard to Western medieval history, including history related to the Muslim world.[35]

True, as many Western historians themselves have reiterated countless times, Western sources of Muslim history, in their vast majority are hostile to Islam, or contain fundamental errors, especially in appreciation of the faith and the Message. To rely on Western sources alone is, therefore, utterly suicidal, for it only serves to legitimise errors and distortions. These shortcomings are for the capable historian to address, and deal with in a rational manner. However, write about Muslim history without the use of Western sources, and your history is worth nothing.

2. Writing history from as wide spectrum as possible

There are works which highlight very well the reason why only a wider approach to any subject of history can give justice to such a subject. One of the best instances is the French Receuil des Historiens des Croisades,[36] which remains unmatched in every single respect in the study of the Crusades. This multi-volume work makes fascinating reading to find side by side the Byzantine, Western Christian, Armenian, and Muslim views of any important episode of that historical event.

We constantly come across today a revisionist view of history that claims that the Prophet of Islam never existed; we are also told that Makkah did not exist at all in the 6th century and before; that the Qur’an and Islam were an invention of the Umayyad, and so on.[37] This is found amongst an increasingly dominant stream of non Muslim historians who benefit of the support of a great variety of means of communications. In order to assert their claim, these historians tell us that we must not rely on early Muslim scholars: Ibn Hisham, Al Tabari, and so on, because not only they are mistaken, but also because they are bias. They ask us, instead, to use Armenian-early Egyptian sources, and so on in the study of early Islamic history. Then they pick some such early sources to reach the conclusions they have reached above, including denying the early Islamic history as we know it. Let say we followed their reasoning, it would be the equivalent of asking every scholar to set aside all Western sources of the two world wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945), and rely on Muslim and Esquimo sources only for those two events. The history that would result of the two wars would be quite barmy, indeed, for we would end up possibly with Napoleon starting the Second World War. In the particular study of Islam, non-Muslim sources understood hardly anything of the faith or the Prophet until around the 18th century,[38] and therefore to rely on them for the study of Islam is a thorough aberration. The only early sources that have good and detailed information about Islam, and which, in fact, corroborate early Muslim sources in about everything are the Chinese. These Chinese accounts and sources of early Islam have been competently studied by scores of Western scholars, the likes of Bretschneider,[39] Drake,[40] De Thiersant,[41] Pautier,[42] and a few more.

Figure 4: A 14th-century Persian depiction of the February 1258 sack of Baghdad by the Mongol army conducting a siege on Baghdad walls. From Rachid al-Din Fazl-Ullah Hamadâni, Djâme al-tavârikh, illustrated by Sayf al-Dîn Naqqâsh Esfahânî Vâhedî. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, MS Suppl. Persan 1113, dated ca. 1430, folio 180v-181r. (Source).

Whilst, thankfully, as a rule, the main lines of history are agreed upon, i.e such as the dates of the Crusades, the World Wars, the discovery of America by Columbus, what is certain, however, is that the historian is always confronted by the perennial issue: i.e the contradictory statements found from one historian to another in regard to many events, size of armies, circumstances of historical events, and few other issues. At times, facts are utterly contradictory. If one takes one event of Muslim history, the Battle of Al-Yarmuk fought by Muslims and Byzantines in the summer of 636, all sources agree that the battle was won by Muslims and that it was a decisive victory, which ended Byzantine power. All sources also agree on more or less the site of battle. Then, everyone disagrees on everything else, such as the manner the battle was fought, its duration or chronology, how and when the Muslims dealt the decisive blow; the numbers of troops engaged in the battle; the losses on both sides, especially the Byzantine, and so on. If we take the last point, for instance, we have the following contradictory accounts: Al-Baladhuri states 70,000 Greeks (Romans) were slain; Mirkhond and Maqdisi give the same figure; Tabari writes that 220,000 Greeks were killed and 3,000 Arabs;[43] Michael the Syrian claims 40,000;[44] the Anonymous Chronicle of Guidi (ed. Guidi[45] and ed. Noldeke[46]) says that the Arabs slew 100,000 Greeks together with their generalissimo; the chronicle edited by Noldeke[47] gives a figure of 50,000 Romans;[48] Abu al-Faradj cites 40,000, whereas Elie Bar Sinaya says 50,000;[49] the Chronicle of 1234 records 40,000 slain; according to the Pseudo-Wakidi,[50] 100,000 Roman troops were killed and 5,000 Arabs;[51] Sebeos records that 2,000 officers were slain.[52]

Sometimes, reading through one source such as Al-Waqidi, who wrote on the Muslim advance in Syria, and this particular battle, one makes no sense of it at all, al Waqidi being by far the most unreliable historian of Islam. In his Fath al Sham, he gives different names to the same general, and gives one name to many generals. His writing challenges good sense in every page, and it is the view of this author that Al Waqidi is simply an amalgam of various authors writing under his name, or throwing in stuff in his MS.

If we take another event, the Battle of Ajnadyn which also occurred between Muslims and Byzantines, again we are left confused.[53] This battle took place in July 634.[54]  However, various sources differ on many important facts. Ockley, for instance, says that the battle took place in 633 (July), whilst in fact it took place precisely a year later.[55] The modern, retired Pakistani army general, Akram, claims the Muslims were led by Khalid Ibn al-Waleed.[56] Other accounts, nearer the events claim that Muslims were led by ‘Amr Ibn al-‘As.[57] So here, again, the historian has to have all sources, in many languages, the old and the new, in order to make a truer assessment of the battle. Any historian who complains because sources do not agree does not know his or her job. Hardly any source, and to our day, including around events that happened a couple of years ago, say in 2010, agree on everything (let alone those of a thousand years ago). It is up to the historian to put everything together, and bring us a conclusion as near the truth as possible. 

Historical knowledge can be used to enhance and exaggerate reality. On the Muslim side, in order to give a grandiose image of the Muslim victory at Ajnadyn, three days after the battle, according to al Waqidi, Khalid wrote to Abu Bakr and informed him of the battle, giving the Roman casualties as 50,000 dead at the cost of only 450 Muslims.[58] This is utterly impossible in view of the fact that the battle was long undecided, and it was impossible for the Byzantines to lose 50,000 men at a stroke, especially in view of the fact that their army continued to face the Muslims in great numbers after Ajnadyn.

Al-Maqqari, on the other hand, seeking to give a disastrous feel to the Muslim defeat at the battle of Las Navas de la Tolosa, in 1212, claims that:

The result (of this defeat) was that the greater part of the Maghrib was deserted and that the Franks conquered the greater part of al-Andalus. Out of the 600,000 (Muslim) men who entered the field of battle only a few escaped; some authors even state that their number did not reach a thousand.".[59]

It is impossible for the Muslims, or any other nation prior to the 19th century, at the earliest, to muster an army this size. The medieval logistics, for one, would have never allowed it.

Therefore, it is very unwise to rely on one set of historians alone.  Anyone who claims they can write history by using only Arabic, Turkish, French, or any one single language, and only one set of sources: modern or old, are talking nonsense. Only when you use sources from all backgrounds, primary and secondary, old and new historians, Muslims and non Muslims, you realise history is a wonderfully precise science, logical, that repeats itself, too. If you know languages and write history scrupulously, and allow the words of the contemporaries not putting words in their mouths, you come out with a wonderful, sublime whole idea of history. There are no gaps, no contradictions, nothing unclear; it is like a perfect puzzle with all pieces completing each other with utmost perfection.

3. The need for Contemporary Sources

When one reads about the Italian colonial history of Libya (began in 1911), with rare exceptions such as in a couple of books or the film the Lion of the Desert by Mustafa al Akkad, we hardly come across any excesses of colonisation or any noticeable acts of resistance by the Libyans.[60] Yet, when one goes back to the sources of the time, whether by the Norvegian convert to Islam, Knut Holmboe, or British war correspondents present at the scene, the story is completely different.[61] In these latter sources we read instead of one of the most violent colonial episodes in history, in which nearly half the Libyan population was extinguished, and we read of possibly the greatest acts of bravery in history on the part of the Libyans. The British war correspondents could hardly contain their sympathies for Libyan suffering, or conceal their admiration for their courage.[62]

We look at another colonial history, that of Algeria (1830-1962), we hardly if at all come across any extraordinary deed on the part of Algerians. We even read that all that happened was a provocation by Algerians,[63] which brought in the French who were gladly surrendered the country by the Ottomans, and the French civilised the formerly backward country, a deed of civilisation enshrined in law in France in 2005.[64] Thus, according to Hiskett, for instance:

Muslim preying on Christian shipping in the Mediterranean had begun almost as soon as the Muslims had become established in North Africa. It was inseparable from the whole theocratic, Koranic perception of the Muslims which left them with the unshakable belief that to attack the infidel as and where he was to be found was consistent with the Will of Allah. As in the case of enslavement, so also in that of piracy, there was no moral restraint on Muslim behaviour, only the constraints of expediency. Agreements to restrain privateering were not honoured… Under such circumstances the eventual occupation of the area by one of the European powers seems, in hindsight, to have been both inevitable and understandable. The alternative was to cease trading in the Mediterranean."[65]

However, when we read the accounts of then, we come across an altogether different reality. The colonial legend, Alleg et al. say, has sought to spread the belief that the French army only met insignificant resistance.[66] In truth, according to reports by chiefs of staff (who always minimise losses), three months after the landing, 6,000 French men had been put out of action, which corresponds to one fifth of the total force.[67] The French generals and other officers who were then leading the colonial war: Lamoriciere, Bugeaud, Randon, Montagnac, and all others, from the first to the last page of their memoirs, only speak of destruction and devastation of Algerian society on the grandest scale.[68] The foreigners who were marching with the French army say absolutely the same,[69] and some such as the German, Wagner, even wonder at the capacity of the Algerians to resist and to survive.[70]

We go back further in history, to the crusades, and we read accounts by crusaders at the scene such as Robert the Monk, who on the massacre at Ma’arat an Nu’man, says:

Our men walked through the roads, places, on the roofs, and feasted on the slaughter... They cut into pieces, and put to death children, the young, and the old crumbling under the weight of the years. Our men grabbed everybody who fell in their hands. They cut bellies open, and took out gold coins. Oh detestable cupidity of gold! Streams of blood ran on the roads of the city; and everywhere lay corpses. Oh blinded nations and destined to death; none of that multitude accepted the Christian faith."[71]

We read other accounts such as Radulph of Caen, who said how:

In Maarra our troops boiled pagan adults in cooking pots; they impaled children on spits and devoured them grilled."[72] 

Yet, we read today and watch on television that the crusades were rather some sort of act of faith, hardly tainted by excessive violence, and that they were only a response to Muslim aggression.[73] So historians of today in 2015-2016 deem themselves closer to reality of a thousand years ago than the people who were living through these events.

We take another history, that of the Mongols, and we hear and read today that the Mongols were ally with Muslims, and that Muslims served the Mongols, that the Mongols were kind to Muslims, and the like. Yet we read the contemporaries who lived through the events, here Ibn al Athir, and contrary to the historians of today, in no place did he say that the Mongols were kind to Muslims or were Muslims. His narration of the Mongol episode is just as the following extracts:

Order was given that all men had to leave their homes with their families and their most essential possessions. This multitude walked out for four days. The Mongol leader was seated on a golden chair in a vast plain. He was brought the Muslim military leaders and had them decapitated in front of the terrified population. Then, men, women and children were separated; the air was filled with their cries and lamentations. These unfortunate people did not know yet what a terrible fate was to be theirs. They were divided amongst the Mongol troops and had their throats cut. All were massacred. Only 400 artisans were spared, and some boys and girls. The rich were submitted to terrible torture until they confessed where they had hidden their wealth. The city was looted, and the Mongols burnt the Seljuk mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar after they had opened his grave hoping to find precious objects inside it."[74]

We go through much of today’s history about Timur the Lame, and we read that he was a great hero of Islam, that he built a great Islamic civilisation, and much else any Muslim should admire him for. Yet when we go to the contemporary sources we read about his utter devastation of the Muslim world from India to Iraq, Syria, and the Ottoman realm. In Damascus, for instance, this is what the German Shiltberger, who was on the scene, told us happened:

And now, soon after he had taken the city, came to him the Geit (Sheikh), that is as much as to say a bishop, and fell at his feet, and begged mercy for himself and his priests. Tamerlin ordered that he should go with his priests into the temple (the Umayyad Mosque); so the priests took their wives, their children and many others, into the temple for protection, until there were thirty thousand young and old. Now Tamerlin gave orders that when the temple was full, the people inside should be shut up in it. This was done. Then wood was placed around the temple, and he ordered it to be ignited, and they all perished in the temple. Then he ordered that each one of his [soldiers] should bring to him the head of a man. This was done, and it took three days; then with these heads were constructed three towers, and the city was pillaged."[75]

For instance, it is generally held in modern Western historiography that the Barbarossa Brothers (Arruj and Kheir Eddin) were nothing other than bloody pirates, the scourge of Christendom.[76] Yet, in truth, as Fisher writes:

The discrepancy between presumably reliable contemporary evidence relating to the history of Turkish rule in Barbary and the customary representation of it in recent times is particularly apparent in the case of the two celebrated brothers who, for some debatable reason, became known to Christians by the name of Barbarossa. Comment is unavoidable on the tendency to ignore completely the sympathetic references or, at times, surprisingly generous tributes from contemporaries, who might have been expected to be hostile to them, alike on religious and political grounds. It is remarkable that Kheir-Eddin should be highly spoken of-not only as a great naval officer but as a statesman-by our diplomatic agents and by our leading chronicler of that portion of history, Richard Knolles."[77]

We move to the history of the Balkan Wars in 1912-913, and all we read today, or see on television, are Turkish crimes and excesses. Yet we go back to the scene, again according to contemporaries, whether men of literature, such as the Frenchman Pierre Loti, the German doctor, Jaeckh, or to British war correspondents and we read of an altogether different history, the Turks suffering one of the greatest holocausts in history, being literally wiped out in their millions through killing, mutilations countless horrors, and expulsion.[78]

We change the subject, and we read today about the legacy of Muslims to science that all Muslim science consisted of was a recovery and transmission of Greek learning, with slight contributions here and there in astrology, alchemy, and commentaries on Greek works, Muslims being the greatest borrowers in history of everything Greek, Roman, Hindu, Persian…

Now, we go back to the accounts of the time, and we read something completely different. Adelard of Bath, in his Quaestiones naturales, praises the learning and rational method of Arab teachers ‘his masters’, acknowledging ‘a magistris Arabicis ratione duce dedici.’[79] Yet, modern historians, overwhelmingly, question Adelard’s affirmation itself, Lawn, for instance, insists that Adelard did not mean ‘Arab,’ his inspiration being Classical thought, instead.[80]

The translators of the 12th century are said to have been seeking Greek learning in Arabic. Yet, in reality, Adelard’s position was shared by all of his 12th century contemporaries who translated Muslim works.[81] These translators clearly stated that their greatest wish was to acquire the science of ‘the Arabs,’ and to transmit it to the West. Gerard of Cremona, the leading figure amongst such translators, in front of the ‘multitude’ of Arabic books in every field, even ‘pitied the poverty of the Latin.’[82]

As the obituary notice by Gerard’s pupils also says:

In this way he (Gerard) passed on the Arabic literature ‘in the manner of the wise man who, wandering through a green field, links up a crown of flowers, made not just from any, but from the prettiest."[83]

One Latin translator, Hermann of Carinthia reminding another, Robert of Ketton, of:

The trappings and decorations which long vigils, and most earned labour, had acquired for them from the depths of the treasures of the Arabs."[84]

Whilst dedicating his work to the first bishop of Tarazona (after its conquest from the Muslims by Alfonso VII), Hugh of Santalla makes it clear that he was executing a conscious policy of ‘Literary re-conquista, taking over the useful learning of the conquered Moors.’[85]

Plato of Tivoli prefaces his translation of Al-Battani’s treatise on astronomy by boasting the richness of Muslim scholarship, whilst the Latins have not got one single author, instead of scientific works only having

Follies, dreams, and old wives’ fables. This is the reason that has moved me, Plato of Tivoli, to enrich our tongue with that which it lacked the most by drawing on the treasures of an unknown language."[86]

The phrase Latinorum penuria (The Poverty of the Latins), Burnett insists, is repeated like a litany and is echoed by translators from Latin into the vernacular.[87]

Someone who pitied Latin learning, and making it clear he was searching for Arab science, not Greek or Latin, was Daniel of Morley. Daniel of Morley wrote in the dedication of his Philosophia to John of Oxford, Bishop of Norwich from 1175 to 1200:

When, some time ago, I went away to study, I stopped a while in Paris. There, I saw asses rather than men occupying the chairs and pretending to be very important. They had desks in front of them heaving under the weight of two or three immovable tomes, painting Roman Law in golden letters. With leaden styluses in their hands they inserted asterisks and obeluses here and there with a grave and reverent air. But because they did not know anything, they were no better than marble statues: by their silence alone they wished to seem wise, and as soon as they tried to say anything, I found them completely unable to express a word. When I discovered things were like this, I did not want to get infected by similar petrification.... But when I heard that the doctrine of the Arabs, which is devoted entirely to the quadrivium, was all the fashion in Toledo in those days, I hurried there as quickly as I could..."[88]

5. Tracing the Line of Narration of Historical Facts and Events

It is important to study the history of something at the beginning, and then follow its progress with time.  History is like any other relation of facts: the more distance from the fact the more the memorisation of the fact becomes blurred thanks to forgetfulness. Also historical study should not be discontinued. Say, you cannot start with something in the sixth century, then jump to the 17th or today. You cannot dismiss centuries from the study of any subject that is. It is extremely unwise to narrate history or study history by dismissing the old books and authors and relying on modern, recent, or today’s sources. It is the biggest mistake which many make, for it thoroughly distorts the understanding and truthfulness of history.

First, to dismiss some historians because they are old sources is an aberration because of the superior quality of their work. Despite the defects that can be found in the older sources (generally confusion with dates and names), it is impossible to find in many modern works facts and relation of facts as found in many older historians. Let’s take an overall sweep at some names of older historians who tell us something on Muslim history (14th-early 20th), whether Froissart, Haedo, Marmol, Gibbon, Crawfurd, Sedillot, Amari, Delaville Leroulx, Dozy, Sarton, Haskins, Wiedemann, and countless others); all of them include information which cannot be found anywhere today. Try for instance, to write the history of the Crusade of Nicopolis (1396) without Jorga and De Laville Leroux, it simply is impossible.[89] If you dismiss Crawfurd you will never be able to write anything on the history of the Malay Archipelago; try as much as you want.[90] This is a challenge from this author to any other who claims the opposite. Try also to write the history of modern Turkey without using Mead or Philips Price, it would simply amount to cutting away information on the history of modern Turkey, which cannot be found anywhere else.[91] The American general, Patton, was not in Gallipoli, and he wrote about 20 years after the event, but once more, it is a challenge to anyone to understand what happened in Gallipoli, i.e the whole military campaign, without having recourse to him.[92] The military details he provides are simply unmatched by anyone else, and only the likes of E.J. Erickson, another American military officer specialising on Turkish warfare can equal Patton’s ability,[93] but Patton was closer to the event (Gallipoli) and had the possibility of hearing about it (and following it) unfolding day by day. Therefore, to dismiss these and similar sources suppresses knowledge of huge chunks of history. Doing this by dismissing the good and bad they say distorts history fundamentally however honest the historian tries to be (which in itself is very difficult, for the historian has to have no boss/employer/interest to obey except his or her conscience.) 

Let us now consider the issue of how dangerous it is to rely on modern sources of today and dismissing the old, how knowledge of history becomes completely different. If we take the Gothic style in architecture, for instance, all the old Western historians associated its origins with Islam. Christopher Wren was a leading mathematician, ‘an expert in contemporary theories in the natural sciences, and a scholar who had original results to contribute in almost all fields of research.’[94]  When he takes up the new Westminster Abbey of 1220 (the exact date is 1245) his theory of Gothic is introduced:

This we now call Gothic manner of architecture... tho' the Goths were rather destroyers than builders I think it should with more reason be called Saracen style."[95]

Wren not only assimilated the Gothic with Islam, he admired it. The last point is crucial, for then, Gothic was deemed backward and barbaric. For Alberti (1404-1472), the intellectual leader of the generation of architects in Florence, for instance, only two styles existed: the good, antique style to which also belong its imitation, and on the other hand, everything else without discrimination, that is, poor architecture, into which Gothic falls.[96]  Gothic meant for him: rustic, boorish, coarse, and this meaning can be extended to the entire Middle Ages.[97]

For Laurentius Valla (1406-1457) ‘everything Gothic is bad and everything bad is Gothic.’[98] Vasari, the author of the influential work on the history of arts and architecture, for his part, showed such intolerance of the Gothic, uttered his death sentence relentlessly, and cursed the pointed arch, the symbol of the Gothic.[99]

From sometime in the 18th century, however, when the Gothic became admired, then, gradually it was taken away from the barbaric/Arabic, and became, instead, a treasure and heritage/legacy of the West.[100]

As with most other breakthroughs, Provencal poetry rose precisely in the 12th century. And just as other changes, it bore overwhelming Arabic/Muslim influences, a fact widely acknowledged by early literary historians. It was in Italy that the Hispano-Arabic theory in the origin of troubadours and Provencal poetry was first formulated. Giammaria Barbieri (1519-75) was the first scholar to advocate the theory that contact with Muslim Spain contributed to the rise of the troubadour lyric in the 12th century.[101] Barbieri believed that the Arabs in the 6th or 7th century invented rhymed verse, and that Provence learnt the art from Spain.[102] On the revival of medieval studies at the end of the 18th century, when public imagination was still obsessed with Oriental romance, the general opinion held by Sismondi and Fauriel, maintained the close association of Provencal with Arabic poetry.[103]  The late 18th early 19th century Jesuit historian, Juan Andres, in his voluminous 8 volume work on the history of literature attributes the source of Provencal poetry to the Arabic Spanish influence.[104]

Everything seemed to make sense, and earlier Western scholarship, just as with the Gothic, Provencal poetry was as much officially shunned as anything else derived from Islam, whether the ten numerals, or their sciences, paper, or their experimental method, or anything else.[105] In fact troubadours and Provencal poetry met a hostile reception and treatment, precisely due to the Islamic influence, and the ‘heretic’ messages carried by both poems and poets.[106] The whole region where troubadour poetry thrived was put to sword and fire during the so-called Albigensian crusade, early in the 13th century.[107] The supporters of Provencal literature were hounded, crucified, and slain in large numbers.[108] In Toulouse, in 1209, the whole population, about 60,000 people, was slain regardless of age or sex, whilst in Carcassone, hundreds were burnt alive.[109]

Nevertheless, centuries on, due to religious, social, political and other factors, too lengthy to go into here, but well explained by Durant and Draper, for instance, the situation in the Christian West changed.[110] As the Western world became more and more enlightened, a sharp u turn in attitudes occurred. Whether the Arabic numerals, baths and bathing, universal learning, the Gothic, giving women a respected place in society (and not seeing them, as was the case for millions of them, demonic creatures to be burnt at the stake), all these and many other formerly shunned symbols of the Muslim foe, were now adopted with great fervour, and all these changes were either attributed to Greece or the Christian West itself. Precisely the same thing happened to Provencal literature. Until the early 19th century, Dawson points out, the rise of Provencal culture was admitted to have resulted from Islamic influence.[111] By the early 19th century, however, a sharp rupture took place.[112] Now that the true, positive impact of Provencal poetry on Western literature was vastly acknowledged, it gradually became no longer a dark manifestation of Muslim culture but rather a manifestation of Western Christian enlightenment. Not due to scientific reasons, but due to nationalist tendencies, Dawson insists, modern Western historians suppressed the Islamic influence, and insisted on the independent and native origin of their culture.[113] European scholars, Boase says,

Have, on the whole, been reluctant to concede the possibility that the troubadours might have been indebted to the lyrical tradition of the Arabs. Nationalism, a sentiment unknown to those who participated in the cosmopolitan culture of medieval Europe, and the belief that Western civilisation is the sole heir to Greco-Roman culture, have made it difficult to view the problem dispassionately. Islamic scholarship is given credit for having served as a medium for the transmission of Hellenistic philosophy, mathematics and science, but it is assumed not infrequently that Islamic society was a passive or dead transmitter and that, particularly in the sphere of poetry, the Arabic contribution to the West was negligible."[114]

Today, no teaching or writing relating to the subject would refer, however faintly, to any Arabic/Islamic influence. No recently published book, such as the randomly picked, The Troubadours, edited by Gaunt and Kay, would make any mention of the role of Arabs, Muslims or Andalusia.[115] None of the articles in the book touches, however remotely, on the issue of Arabic/Islamic links with the subject.[116] The bibliographies of modern works are all cleansed of pro Arabic/Islamic sources such as Barbieri, Menendez Pidal, Ribera, Castro, Menocal, Le May, Monroe, Dawson, and others who emphasise the Arabic/Muslim influence on Provencal poetry and the troubadours.[117]

The same uturn of attribution affects many other manifestations of science and civilisation. The numerals, for centuries were called Arabic and at the same time were shunned in Western Christendom,[118] as they were identified with the Muslim foe, and were even regarded as a symbol of ‘Saracen magic.’[119] Money changers in the 13th–14th century, likewise, were summoned not to use the Arabic numerals in their transactions and keep with the methods of the ancients.[120] The hostility to the numerals was due to the fact that they were considered an integral part of the Arabic script, whereas the Roman ones were inseparable from the Latin script.[121] Then, once these numerals became the foundation of modern civilisation, by a gradual reconstruction of history, modern historians call them Hindu, or even attribute their origins to Western sources.[122]

Likewise, experimentation and the experimental method, which were put in place by Muslim scholars as early as the late 8th century,[123] were viewed in the Western Middle Ages as dabbling with the occult. Any person who performed experiments or made astronomical observations soon incurred the suspicion that he carried out the forbidden intercourse with the world of demons.[124] The father of Western experimentation, Roger Bacon, for instance, was preparing to perform a few experiments to demonstrate his theories to a small group in Oxford, but suddenly, priests, monks, fellows and students rushed about yelling ‘Down with the magician!’[125] Gradually, though, following the process of historical re-writing, experimentation has now become a purely Western creation.[126]

The early use of paper of Europe was largely distrusted on account of its introduction by Muslims and Jews.[127] This fanaticism, Hunter says, drove the Christian world to condemn, and even destroy, everything that suggested the Muslim civilization, although the European scribes no doubt knew that the newly introduced substance, paper, would eventually take the place of their cherished parchment.[128]

Hostility also extended to inanimate objects, which bore marks of Muslim skills, and ‘which were at once suggestive of heresy.’[129] It is not just mosques and other Muslim relics which were brought to the ground in order to erase traces of the foe, the use of private and public baths, symbol of the Islamic faith, were also banned, and measures were passed to that effect, all baths being forthwith destroyed.[130] Yet, remarkably, these symbols of Islam, just like others, would all eventually be adopted in the West (just as today’s purely Islamic practices such as rejecting alcohol, or taking off one’s shoes at the entrance door of a house are being gradually copied).

From these instances we can easily conclude that you ignore old sources at your peril. If you dismiss chunks of old material, and rely only on today’s you end up with a history that makes no sense whatsoever (besides distortions, of course).

 People have to understand why chunks of material or sources that contain the wrong facts are dismissed. Let’s look at one reason for this here. Joseph notes how in the history of mathematics, for instance, Western writing deliberately passes scientific knowledge from the Greeks into a period of Dark Ages, then a re-discovery of Greek learning leading to the Renaissance, completely setting aside the contribution of the colonised people, so as to maintain the image of their inferiority and ease their subjugation and domination.[131] This colonial attitude is well obvious in the rhetoric of its apologists, such as the 19th century Frenchman Renan, who insists:

It is the Aryan spirit which has created everything from political life, art, literature etc. The Semitic peoples have nothing of it, apart from some poetry-above all science and philosophy. In these matters, we are entirely Greek. Even the so-called Arabic sciences were a continuation of Greek sciences… Christianity, too, in its developed form is the work of Europe."[132]

Likewise, Muir, Governor of the North Western Frontier region of India, concluded:

Islam kept Muslim nations in a backward and in some respects barbarian state"[133]

As Muslims were deemed inferior, the need was to civilise them and bring them up to Western standards. Shaler, for instance, writes:

True civilisation could only come about by a transfer of responsibility into the hands of Christian nations who would favour agriculture, industry and commerce and thus civilise the region. The primitive was incapable of progressing by his own unaided efforts."[134]

 Abbe Raynal saw that the North Africans, who cannot civilise themselves, must be taken in hand by the Europeans.[135]

 The coloniser, thus, according to Fontana, saw himself a missionary of new times who proposed:

To teach primitive peoples the true path of intellectual and material progress.."[136]

[Political domination and economic exploitation needed the cosmetic cant of mission civilisatrice to seem fully commendatory [Kabbani explains].

The image of the European coloniser had to remain an honourable one: he did not come as exploiter, but as enlightener. He was not seeking mere profit, but was fulfilling his duty to his maker and his sovereign, whilst aiding those less fortunate to rise toward his lofty level. This was the white man's burden, that reputable colonial malaise, that sanctioned the subjugating of entire continents."[137]

In order for all this to stand, and for the colonial message to be legitimate, Muslim accomplishments had to be set aside in writing, school books, education in general, discourse, and so on.

Enhancing the Greek legacy at the expense of the Muslim had at the time (early 19th onwards) something to do with the geo-political-military issues of the time. The Greeks were seen as the allies in the gigantic battle against the Ottomans, and so, they attracted all sorts of support from military, cultural, finance, media, and so on.[138] The French minister Choiseul who was ‘so much carried away, through his admiration of ancient Greece,’ as to see in the Turks only ‘persecutors of the descendants of the Hellenes,’ drew attention of Christendom ‘to the miserable condition of the Greeks.’[139] The Greek revolt in the Morea, the destruction of the Ottoman navy a Navarino, the subsequent independence of Greece, the role of French artists such as De La Croix, or British fighting by the side of the Greeks with arms and cash (Byron, for instance), and many more all coincided with this great revival of Greek contribution to science and civilisation in contrast to Ottoman bestiality, which was enhanced in arts, literature and history books.[140]

The writing of history is therefore not disconnected from the ideological factors of the moment such a history is written. You cannot have a media onslaught on Islam today, and then expect historical writing to pursue a different course. The onslaught on Islam is part of the wider Battle of Ideas between cultures and faiths, and Muslims at the moment are at a great disadvantage:

Firstly they have not got a clue about this battle, in fact that a whole onslaught is against them in the scholarly world.

Secondly: their responses are utterly inadequate: extreme and violent on the part of some individuals, complaints on the part of others or most.

The true response is a counter intellectual onslaught. But for that, Muslims need thinkers and writers of the highest rank, with courage and bluntness to call a spade a spade, and in numbers. They miss all.


For Muslims, scholars, or amateurs, to rely on the history as is found on most web-sites or modern works and borrow and use it is completely wrong. It is the duty of Muslim scholarship to avoid the easy way of picking information quickly from what is easily available. Return must always be made to original sources, and see what these sources tell us. Then, every event of importance has to be followed by the use of sources corresponding to all times and phases in order to avoid discontinuity and jumps that break historical logic.

There is also no need to write countless works unless the works are properly referenced and well balanced with a use of Muslim and non Muslim sources, old and new. Anything that is written from one angle alone is useless. And for Muslim historians to ignore Western languages in their study of history, just as ignoring Western sources, is a waste of time and effort. Likewise, Westerners who seek to explain to us Muslim history by setting aside Muslim sources is like informing us about Christianity as understood by Martians.




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-Kemal Eddin: Zubdat al-Halab fi Ta’arikh Halab; tr as Histoire d’Alep de Kamal Ad-Din by E. Blochet; in Revue de L’Orient Latin (ROL); Vols 3-6; 1896 to 1899. 
-H. Kennedy: The Early Abbasid Caliphate; Croom Helm; London; 1981.
-H. Kennedy: Muslim Spain and Portugal, Longman, London, 1996.
-A.A. Khowaiter: Baibars the First; The Green Mountain Press; London; 1978.
-S. Khuda Bukhsh: The Orient Under the Caliphs; translated from Von Kremer’s Culturgeschichte des Orients; Luzac and Co; London; 1920.
-S. Khuda Bukhsh: The Renaissance of Islam; tr. from German of A. Mez’s Renaissance des Islam; The Jubilee Printing and Publishing House; Patna, 1937.
-S. Khuda Bukhsh: Studies: Indian and Islamic; Kegan Paul; London; 1927.
-G. le Strange: Palestine Under the Moslems; Alexander P. Watt; London; 1890.
-M. Lings: Muhammad, His Life Based on the Earliest Sources; Islamic Texts Society; George Allen and Unwin; 1983.
-U. and M.C. Lyons: Ayyubids, Mamluks and Crusaders, selection from the Tarikh al-Duwal wal Muluk of Ibn al-Furat; 2 vols, W. Heffer and Sons Ltd, Cambridge, 1971.
-Al-Makrizi (Al-Maqrizi), Ahmad Ibn Ali. Al-Mawaiz wa Alitibar fi Dhikr al-Khitat wa-Alathar; ed., by A. A. al-Mulaiji, 3 Vols. Beirut: Dar al-Urfan. 1959.
-Al-Maqrizi: Kitab al-Khitat, ed., Bulaq; partial Fr tr., by U. Bouriant and P. Casanova: Description Topographique et Historique de l'Egypte, Paris, 1895-1900.
-Al-Makrizi: Al-Suluk fi Ma’rifat Duwal al-Muluk ; tr., to Fr. Histoire des Sultans Mamlouks de l'Egypte, Etienne M. Quatremere, tr., 2 vols; 1837-1845.
-Al-Makrizi: Kitab al-Suluk; ed., S.F. Ashour; Cairo; 1972.
-Al-Maqqari Nafh al-Tib, ed. Muhammad M. Abd al-Hamid, 10 vols., Cairo, 1949.
-Al-Maqqari: Nafh Al-Tib; tr., by P. De Gayangos: The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain; 2 vols; The Oriental Translation Fund; London, 1840-3.
-Al-Marrakushi: Kitab al-Mujib fi talkhis akhbar ahl al-Maghrib; 2nd ed; R. Dozy; Leyden; 1881.
-S.M. Al-Mubarakpuri: The Sealed Nectar; Darussalam; Riyadh-London, 2002.
-D.C. Munro: The Western attitude toward Islam during the period of the Crusades; Speculum; vol 6, No 4, pp. 329-43.
-Baron G. d’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols: La Haye et Amsterdam; 1834.
-A.G. Palencia: Historia de la literatura arabiga-espanola, Madrid, 1945. 
-G.R. Porter: The Autobiography of Ousama ibn Munqidh, London, 1929. 
-P. Pelliot: Mongols and Popes; 13th and 14th centuries; Paris; 1922.
-Receuil des Historiens des Croisades; Historiens Orientaux (referred to as RHOr); in 4 vols; Imprimerie Nationale; Paris; 1841 ff. 
-B. Rogerson: The Heirs of the Prophet Muhammad; Little Brown; London; 2006.
-F. Rosenthal, A History of Muslim Historiography (1952, 2nd rev. ed. 1968).
-S. Runciman: A History of the Crusades, Cambridge University Press, 1962.
-A.M. as-Sallabi: Umar Ibn al-Khattab; International Islamic Publishing House; Riyadh, 2007.
-A. Salahi: Muhammad Man and Prophet; The Islamic Foundation; Leicester; 2002.
-G. Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science, 3 vols; The Carnegie Institute, Baltimore, 1927-48. 
-F. Sezgin: Geschichte des arabischen Schriftums, Leide, vol. I, 1967. 
-J. De Somogyi: "The Development of Arab Historiography", in The Journal of Semitic Studies, vol. 3, pp. 373-87.
-G. Shumann, translation of Kitab a-itibar, Innsbruck, 1905.
-M. as-Sibaa’ie: The Life of Prophet Muhammad; International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, 2003.
-Sibt al-Jawzi: Al-Muntazam fi Tarikh al-Muluk Wa’l Umam; X; Hyderabad; 1940; VIII/ 2.
-W.B. Stevenson: The Crusaders in the East; Cambridge University Press; 1907.
-Al-Sulami: Un Traite Damasquin du Debut du XIIem Siecle, ed., E. Siwan, Journal Asiatique, 1966.
-Al-Tabari: Tarikh al-Umum wal Muluk; ed De Goeje; Leyden 1879-1901.
-Al-Tabari: Tarikh al-Umum wal Muluk; Cairo; 1939.
-Al-Tabari: The History of al-Tabari (Tarikh al-rusul wa’l muluk;) tr., by M. Fishbein; State University of New York Press; 1997; vol 3 and subsequent ones.
-Al-Tabari: Chronique (H. Zotenberg tr., and ed.); Librairie G.P Maisonneuve; ed., Besson et Chantemerle; Paris; 1958.
-A.D. Taha:  The Muslim Conquest and Settlement of North Africa and Spain; Routledge; London; 1989.
-P. Thorau: The Lion of Egypt; tr., by P.M. Holt; Longman; London; 1992.
-J.V. Tolan ed., Medieval Christian Perceptions of Islam; Routledge; London; 1996.
-Al-‘Umari: Al-Ta’arif bi al-Mustalah al-Sharif; Cairo; 1312.
-Usama Ibn Munqidh: Kitab al’Itibar; tr., P.K. Hitti; Beirut; 1964.
-F. Wustenfeld’s Geschichtsschreiber der Araber und ihre Werke (GAW) (1882).
-Yaqut, ibn-' Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Irshad al-Arib ila Ma'rifat al-Adib, also referred to as Mu'jam al-Udaba, (Dictionary of Learned Men,) ed., D.S. Margoliouth (Luzac, 1907 ff). 
-Yaqut al-Hamawi: Mu’ajam al-Buldan; ed., F. Wustenfeld. 6 vols. Leipzig, 1866-70.


[1] W. H. McNeill and M. R. Waldman: The Islamic World; Readings in World History; Volume 6; p. vii.

[2] In D.C. Munro, "Urban and the Crusaders", Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History, vol 1:2, 1895, pp.  5-8

[3] Delaville Le Roulx: La France en Orient au XIV em Siecle; Ernest Thorin Editor, Paris; 1886.

[4] G. Hanotaux: (vol 5 by H. Deherain): Histoire de la Nation Egyptienne; Paris; Librarie Plon; 1931.

[5] See, for instance, how the bogus claim of Iraqi chemical weapons was fabricated in The Independent 3 November 07; p. 35.

[6] R. Hill: The Christian view of the Muslims at the time of the First Crusade; in The Eastern Mediterranean Lands in the Period of the Crusades; P. M. Hold Editor; Aris and Phillips Ltd; Warminster; 1977; pp. 1-8;

  • R.W. Southern: Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages, Harvard University Press, 1978. p. 30.
  • Humbert of Romans: Opus Tripartum; in J. Riley Smith: The Crusades: Idea and Reality; London; 1981; pp. 103-17.

[7] N. Daniel: The Arabs and Medieval Europe, Longman, Librairies du Liban, 1975; p. 232.

[8] D.R. Blanks-M. Frassetto: Introduction; in Western Perceptions (Blanks-Frassetto ed); op cit; p. 3.

[9] J. Esposito: The Islamic Threat, Myth or Reality? Oxford University Press; 1992; pp. 177-8.

[10] J.W. Draper: A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe; 2 Vols: (London, 1875); revised ed; vol 2; p. 42.

[11] C. Bennett: Victorian Images of Islam; Grey Seal; London; 1992; p. 77.

[12] N. Daniel: The Arabs and Medieval Europe; Longman Librairie du Liban; 1975, sees these distortions of Islam dating from the Middle Ages and being perpetuated to our day.

  • R.W. Southern: Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages, Harvard University Press, 1978.

[13] N. Smith: A History of Dams, (The Chaucer Press, London,1971); p.75.

[14] J.V. Tolan ed., Medieval Christian Perceptions of Islam; Routledge; London; 1996; preface; pp. xix-xx.

[15] R.B. Winder: Al-Jazari, in The Genius of Arab Civilisation; Source of Renaissance; ed (J.R. Hayes; Phaidon; 1976); p. 188.

[16] A. Pacey: Technology in World Civilization, a Thousand Year History, (The MIT Press, Cambridge, 1990), at p.8.

[17] A. Cherbonneau: Kitab al-Filaha of Abu Khayr al-Ichbili, in Bulletin d’Etudes Arabes, pp 130-44; at p. 130.

[18] Gene. W. Heck: Charlemagne, Muhammad, and the Arab Roots of Capitalism; (Walter de Gruyter; Berlin; New York; 2006); p. 164.

[19] J.B. Harley and D. Woodward ed: The History of Cartography; Volume 2; Book 1; Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies; (The University of Chicago Press; Chicago and London; 1992); preface p. 1.

[20] K. Krisciunas: Astronomical Centers of the World; (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1988); at p. 23.

[21] J. J O'Connor and E. F Robertson: Arabic Mathematics:  a forgotten brilliance at:

[22] D. Talbot Rice: Islamic Art; (Thames and Hudson; London; 1979); pp. 172; 174; 183.

[23] M. Gordon: Slavery in the Arab World; (New Amsterdam; New York; 1989); pp. ix-x.

  • Broadcast on S4C (UK) on 18 February 03 (seen by this author).
  • H.A.L. Fisher: A History of Europe (from the Beginning of the 18th Century to 1937); Eyre and Spottiswoode; London; 1952 ed., p. 1033; Also television programme Empire, broadcast on the British television channel, Channel Four, seen by this author on the Welsh equivalent of the same channel: S4C on 18 February 03.
  • Everyman on BBC1 on 29 January 2001 (seen by this author).

[24] H.R.H Prince of Wales: Islam and the West, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford, 1993.

[25] To those cited above, we can add names such as:

  • K. Armstrong: Holy War, Anchor Books; 2001.
  • J. Salt: The Unmaking of the Middle East; University of California Press, 2008.
  • S.J Shaw and E.K. Shaw: History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, 2 vols; Cambridge University Press, 1976.
  • A. Thomson:  Barbary and Enlightenment; Brill; Leiden; 1987.
  • J.V. Tolan ed., Medieval Christian Perceptions of Islam; Routledge; London; 1996.
  • D.M. Traboulay: Columbus and Las Casas; University Press of America, New York, London, 1994.
  • L. Valensi: Le Maghreb avant la Prise d’Alger; Paris; 1969.
  • P. Wheatcroft: Infidels; Penguin Boos; 2004.
  • R de Zayas: Les Morisques et le Racisme D'Etat; ed., Les Voies du Sud; Paris, 1992.
  • R. Schwoebel: The Shadow of the Crescent, The Renaissance Image of the Turk; Nieuwkoop; 1967;
  • M.R. Menocal: The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1987.

[26] A. Castro: Espana en su historia. Cristianos, Moros y Judios. Buenos Aires: Losada, 1948, 709 pp; see The Structure of Spanish History, English translation with revisions and modifications by E A. King. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954.

  • A. Castro: La Realidad Historica de Espana. 2ed. Edited by Paulino Garagorri with additions and corrections from Castro’s papers. Madrid: Alianza-Alfaguara, 1974.
  • J. Glubb: A Short History of the Arab Peoples; Hodder and Stoughton, 1969.
  • E. Lambert: L’Art Gothique en Espagne aux 12 em et 13em Siecles, Paris, 1931.
  • R. Briffault: The Making of Humanity, George Unwin and Allen, London, 1928.
  • D. Campbell: Arabian Medicine and its Influence on the Middle Ages; London, Trubner; 1926.
  • J.W. Draper:  A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, George Bell and Son, London, 1875.
  • D.M. Dunlop: Arabic Science in the West; Karachi, Pakistan Historical Society, 1958.
  • L. Leclerc: Histoire de la Medecine Arabe; 2 Vols; Paris, 1876.
  • L. Sedillot: Traite des Instruments astronomiques des Arabes; Paris, 1834.
  • A. Watson: Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World; Cambridge University Press; 1983.
  • A. Mieli: La Science Arabe et son role dans l'evolution scientifique mondiale. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1938.
  • J. Ribera Y Tarago: Dissertaciones Y opusculos, 2 vols, Madrid, 1928.
  • G. Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science, 3 vols, The Williams and Wilkins Co., 1927-1948.
  • E. Wiedemann: Aufsatze zur Arabischen Wissenschafts-Geschichte, 2 vols, Verlag, Hildesheim-New York, 1970.
  • And the list remains longer.

[27] Some of their works include:

  • A. Djebbar: Une Histoire de la Science Arabe; Le Seuil;  Paris; 2001.
  • A. Y. Al-Hassan; D.R. Hill: Islamic Technology: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
  • R. Rashed: Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science, 3 vols, Routledge, London and New York, 1996.
  • F. Sezgin: Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums; Frankfurt, 1978.
  • A.M. as-Sallabi: Umar Ibn al-Khattab; International Islamic Publishing House; Riyadh, 2007.
  • I.R. al-Faruqi and L.L al-Faruqi: The Cultural Atlas of Islam; Mc Millan Publishing Company New York, 1986.
  • A. Salahi: Muhammad Man and Prophet; The Islamic Foundation; Leicester; 2002.

[28] The following list can help a beginner :

  • T. Arnold and A Guillaume ed., The Legacy of Islam; 1st edition Oxford; 1931.
  • T. Burckhardt: Moorish Culture in Spain, George Allen & Unwin, London; 1972.
  • R. Briffault: The Making of Humanity, George Unwin and Allen, London, 1928.
  • D. Campbell: Arabian Medicine and its Influence on the Middle Ages; London, Trubner; 1926.
  • A. Castro: Espana en su historia. Cristianos, Moros y Judios. Buenos Aires: Losada, 1948, 709 pp; see The Structure of Spanish History, English translation with revisions and modifications by E A. King. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954.
  • A. Castro: La Realidad Historica de Espana. 2ed. Edited by Paulino Garagorri with additions and corrections from Castro’s papers. Madrid: Alianza-Alfaguara, 1974.
  • K.A.C. Creswell: Early Muslim Architecture, 2 vols, 1932-40.
  • M. Danby: Moorish Style; Phaidon Press; London; 1995.
  • J.W. Draper:  A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, George Bell and Son, London, 1875.
  • D.M. Dunlop: Arabic Science in the West; Karachi, Pakistan Historical Society, 1958.
  • D. Fairchild Ruggles: Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain; The Pennsylvania State University Press; 2000.
  • T. Glick, S.J. Livesey, F. Wallis Editors: Medieval Science, Technology and Medicine; An Encyclopaedia; Routledge; London; 2005.
  • J. Glubb: A Short History of the Arab Peoples; Hodder and Stoughton, 1969.
  • J.B. Harley and D. Woodward ed: The History of Cartography; Volume 2; Book 1; Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies; The University of Chicago Press; Chicago and London; 1992.
  • J. Harvey: Turkey as a source of garden plants, Garden History; vol 4; 1976.
  • C.H. Haskins: Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science. Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. New York; 1967.
  • J.R. Hayes ed., The Genius of Arab Civilisation, Source of Renaissance, Phaidon, Oxford; 1976.
  • Gene. W. Heck: Charlemagne, Muhammad, and the Arab Roots of Capitalism; Walter de Gruyter; Berlin; New York; 2006.
  • D.R. Hill: Islamic Science and Engineering, Edinburgh University Press, 1993.
  • D.R. Hill: A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times; Croom Helm; 1984.
  • E.J. Holmyard: Makers of Chemistry; Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1931.
  • E.J. Holmyard: Jabir Ibn Hayyan; in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine; vol 16; 1923; pp. 46-57.
  • Paul Egon Hubinger: Bedeutung Und Rolle des Islam Beim Ubergang Vom Altertum Zum Mittelalter, Darmstadt, 1968.
  • G.G. Joseph: The Crest of the Peacock; Penguin Books; 1991.
  • D.A. King: The Astronomy of the Mamluks; ISIS vol 74; 1983; pp. 531-55.
  • P. Kraus: Jabir Ibn Hayyan. Textes choisis, Paris, Cairo, 1935.
  • I.J. Krckovskij: Izbrannye Socinenja; Vol 4, Moscow, 1957.
  • P. Kunitzsch: The Arabs and the Stars: Texts and Traditions on the Fixed Stars, and Their Influence in Medieval Europe; Variorum; Aldershot; 1989.
  • N.L. Leclerc: Histoire de la Medecine Arabe; 2 vols; Paris; 1876.
  • G. Le Strange: The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate, London, 1905.
  • M. Levey: Early Arabic Pharmacology; E. J. Brill; Leiden, 1973.
  • M. Levey: Medical Ethics of Medieval Islam with special reference to Rahawi's ‘Practical Ethics of the physician. The American Philosophical Society, Vol 57, 1967; part 3, pp. 1-99.
  • M. Levey: Chemical Technology in Early Muslim Times; in Scientia; 96 (1961); pp. 326-30.
  • D.C. Lindberg: Studies in the History of Medieval Optics; London, Variorum; 1983.
  • M. Lombard: The Golden Age of Islam; tr. J. Spencer; North Holland Publishers; 1975.
  • M. Lombard: Les Textiles Dans le Monde Musulman du VII au XIIem Siecle; Mouton Editeur; Paris; 1978.
  • R.P. Lorch: Al-Khazini’s Balance Clock; in Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences; Vol 31; 1981; pp. 183-9.
  • E.B. Macdougall and R. Ettinghausen ed., The Islamic Garden, Dumbarton Oaks; Washington; 1976.
  • D. Metlitzki: The Matter of Araby in Medieval England, Yale University Press, 1977.
  • G. Michell ed., Architecture of the Islamic World; Thames and Hudson; London;
  • J. Pedersen: The Arabic Book, (1928) tr., by G French; Princeton University Press; 1984.
  • J. Ribera Y Tarago: Dissertaciones Y opusculos, 2 vols, Madrid, 1928.
  • G. Sarton: Introduction to the History of Science, 3 vols, The Williams and Wilkins Co., 1927-1948.
  • L.A. Sedillot: Memoire sur les instruments astronomique des Arabes, Memoires de l’Academie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres de l’Institut de France 1: 1-229; Reprinted Frankfurt, 1985.
  • H. Selin Ed: Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non Western Cultures, Kluwer Academic Publishers. Boston/London, 1997.
  • N. Smith: A History of Dams, The Chaucer Press; London; 1971.
  • A. Solignac: Recherches sur les Installations Hydrauliques de Kairaouan et des Steppes Tunisiennes du VII au XIem siecle, in Annales de l’Institut des Etudes Orientales, Algiers, X (1952); pp. 5-273.
  • M.S. Spink and G.L. Lewis: Abulcasis on Surgery and Instruments; The Wellcome Institute, London, 1973.
  • J. Sweetman: The Oriental Obsession: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • H.R. Turner: Science in Medieval Islam, Austin Texas, 1997.
  • Carra de Vaux: Les Penseurs de l'Islam, Paris, Librairie Paul Geuthner, 1921, vol 2. 
  • A.M. Watson: Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World; Cambridge University Press; 1983.
  • E. Wiedemann: Aufsatze zur Arabischen Wissenschafts-Geschichte, 2 vols, Verlag, Hildesheim-New York, 1970.
  • And the list remains longer.

[29] R. Grousset: Histoire des Croisades et du Royaume Franc de Jerusalem; Paris; 1934-5.

[30] J.L. Cate: The Crusade of 1101, in A History of the Crusades; ed by K.M. Setton; University of Pennsylvania Press; 1955; vol 1; pp. 343-67.

[31] Ch. De Rotalier: Histoire d’Alger; Chez Paulin, Paris; 1841.

[32] J.F. von Hammer Purggstall: Histoire de l’Empire Ottoman, 18 vols, tr., from German by J.J. Hellert; Paris, 1835-43.

  • H.A. Gibbons: The Foundation of the Ottoman Empire; Oxford; 1906. E. Pears: The Ottoman Turks to the fall of Constantinople. In The Cambridge Medieval History, Cambridge University Press, 1923; Vol IV: Edited by J.R. Tanner et al. pp. 653-705.

[33] G. Esquer: Correspondence du General Voirol; Voirol au MG., 14 September 1833; Paris, 1924.

  • G. Esquer: Correspondence du Duc de Rovigo, 1831-1833; t1. Algiers, 1914; T2. Algiers, 1920; T3: Algiers, 1921; t.4 Algiers, 1924. T.1; p. 43; 1st January 1832.
  • M. Wagner: The Tricolor on the Atlas, London; T. Nelson and Sons, 1854.
  • See also H. Alleg; J. de Bonis, H.J. Douzon, J. Freire, P. Haudiquet: La Guerre d’Algerie; 3 vols, Temps Actuels; Paris, 1981.

[34] See, for instance, P. Pelliot: Mongols and Popes; 13th and 14th Centuries; Paris; 1922.

[35] Such as:

  • Mathew Paris: Chronica Majorca; Ed Luard; Rolls Society; 7 vols; London; 1872-84.
  • Patrologia Latina, ed. J.P. Migne; Paris, 1853.

[36] Receuil des Historiens des Croisades; Imprimerie Nationale; Paris; 1841 ff..

[37] P. Crone; M.A. Cook: Hagarism; the Making of the Muslim World; Cambridge University Press; 1977.

[38] J.V. Tolan ed., Medieval Christian Perceptions of Islam; Routledge; London; 1996.

  • D.R. Blanks; and M. Frassetto ed., Western Views of Islam in Medieval and Early Modern Europe; St Martin’s Press; New York; 1999.
  • N. Daniel: The Arabs and Medieval Europe; Longman Librairie du Liban; 1975.
  • N. Daniel: Islam and the West; Oneworld; Oxford; 1993.
  • Denise Brahimi: Opinions et regards des Europeens sur le Maghreb aux 17em et 18em Siecles; SNED; Algiers; 1978.
  • A. Gunny: Images of Islam in Eighteenth Century Writing; Grey Seal, London, 1996.

[39] M. Bretschneider: On the Knowledge Possessed by the Ancient Chinese of the Arabs and Arabian Colonies, London, Trubner &co, 1871.

[40] F.S. Drake: Mohammedanism in the Tang Dynasty; Monumenta Serica, Vol. 8 (1943), pp. 1-40.

[41] P. Dabry De Thiersant: Le Mahometisme en Chine; Ernest Leroux, Paris; 1878.

[42] J.P.G. Pauthier:  Chine, Description Historique; Paris; 1853.

[43] Al-Tabari: Tarikh al-Umum wal Muluk; Cairo; 1939; vol 2; p. 596.

[44] Michael the Syrian: Chronicle; ed, and tr. J.B. Chabot; 3 vols; Paris; 1899-1904.

[45] Chronicon Anonymum; ed Guidi; CSCO; Louvain; 1955.

[46] Die von Guidi…. Ed and tr. Th. Noldeke; Vienna; 1893.

[47] T. Noldeke: Zur Geschichte der Araber in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft; Vol XXIX; 1875.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Elie Bar Sinaya: La Chronographie; ed and tr. L. Delaporte; Paris; 1910.

[50] Lebeau: Histoire du Bas Empire; ed. St Martin et Brosset; 21 vols; Paris; 1824-1836;  XI, 242.

[51] All in A.N. Stratos: Byzantium in the Seventh Century; tr by H.T. Hionides; Hakkert Publisher; Amsterdam; 1972; p. 71; note 258.

[52] Ibid; p. 72.

[53] S. Ockley: The History of the Saracens, H. G. Bohn, London, 1857, p. 112.

[54] See K.V. Zettersteen: Khalid ibn al-Walid, Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1st series, vol 2, p. 879. See also other sources such as Donner.

[55] S. Ockley: The History of the Saracens, op cit, p. 118.

[56] A.I.  Akram: Khalid Ibn Waleed, Maktabah; Birmingham, 2004; p. 309.

[57] P.M. Donner: The Early Islamic Conquests; Princeton University press; 1981; pp. 128-9.

[58] Al Waqidi; p. 42; in A.I. Akram: Khalid; op cit; p. 310.

[59] Al-Maqqari: Nafh al-Tib tr. by P. De Gayangos: The History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in Spain; 2 vols; The Oriental Translation Fund; London, 1840-3. vol 2; p. 323.

[60] These exceptions include authors such as A.A. Ahmida: The Making of Modern Libya; State University of New York Press; 1994.

  • A.M. As Salabi: Umar al Mukhtar: Lion of the Desert; Al Firdous; London; 2010; Kindle edition.

[61] E.N. Bennett: With the Turks in Tripoli, London, 1912.

  • K. Holmboe: Desert Encounter, London, 1936.
  • F. McCullagh: Italy’s War for a Desert; Herbert and Daniel; London; 1912.
  • A. Ostler: Arabs in Tripoli; John Murray; London; 1912.
  • H.C. Seppings Wright: Two Years Under the Crescent; Small, Maynard & Company; Boston; 1913.
  • W.T. Stead: Tripoli and the Treaties or Britain’s Duty in this War; London; 1911.

[62] Ibid.

[63] I.e C. Brockelmann: History of the Islamic Peoples; Routledge and Kegan Paul; London; 1950 reprint; p. 292; p. 397.

[64] On 23 February, 2005, the French National Assembly passed an act which declared and imposed on high school teachers to teach the positive values of colonialism to their students (article 4, paragraph 2).

[65] M. Hiskett: The Course of Islam in Africa; Edinburgh University Press; 1994; p. 27.

[66] H. Alleg et al: La Guerre d’Algerie; op cit, p. 32.

[67] Ibid. See for instance, M.A. Nettement: Histoire de la Conquete d’Alger; Jacques Lecoffre; Paris; 1856; p. 357 ff.

[68] General Boyer to Minister of War, Oran, 25 April 1832, no. 2984, AHG: H-13.

  • G. Esquer: Correspondence du general Voirol; Voirol au MG., 14 September 1833; Paris, 1924.
  • G. Esquer: Correspondence du Duc de Rovigo, 1831-1833; t1. Algiers, 1914; T2. Algiers, 1920; T3: Algiers, 1921; t.4 Algiers, 1924. T.1; p. 43; 1st January 1832.
  • Count H. Ideville: Memoirs of Marshal Bugeaud from his Private Correspondence and Original Documents; 2 vols; edited from French by C.M. Yonge; Hurst and Blackett; London, 1884.
  • Colonel L. Francois de Montagnac: Lettres d’un Soldat; Paris; 1885.
  • A. Rastoul: Le Marechal Randon; D’apres ses Memoirs et Documents Inedits; Firmin Didot; Paris; 1890.
  • St Arnaud: Lettres de St Arnaud; 2 vols; Michel Levy; Paris; 1855.

[69] Clemens Lamping: The French in Algiers. Soldiers of the Foreign Legion; Prisoners of Abd el Kader; tr. from German and French by Lady Duff Gordon, London; 1855.

[70] M. Wagner: The Tricolor on the Atlas, London; T. Nelson and Sons, 1854.

[71] Robert the Monk, in G. Le Bon: La Civilisation, op cit; p. 248.

[72] In Janet Abu Lughod: Before European Hegemony; Oxford University Press; 1989; p. 107.

[73] The Times March 20, 2006.

[74] Ibn al Athir translated by G. D’Ohsson: Histoire; op cit; vol 1; pp. 286-7.

[75] Johann Schiltberger: The Bondage and Travels of Johann Schiltberger, a native of Bavaria, in Europe, Asia, and Africa, 1396-1427; tr. from the Heildelberg Ms. Edited in 1859 by Friedrich Neumann; London, the Hakluyt Society; 1879; pp. 27-8.

[76] R. Mantran: North Africa in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries; in The Cambridge History of Islam; edited by P.M. Holt; A.K. Lambton; B. Lewis; Cambridge University Press; 1970; vol 2a; pp. 238-65; at p. 250.

[77] G. Fisher: Barbary Legend; Oxford at the Clarendon; 1974; p. 41.

[78] Phillip Gibbs and Bernard Grant: The Balkan War, Boston, Small, Maynard and Company; 1913.

  • M. Pickthall: With the Turk in Wartime; J.M. Dent &Sons; London; 1914.
  • Ernst Jäckh; Deutschland im Orient nach dem Balkan-Krieg; Chapter 7: Deutsche und französische Augenzeugen von christlichen Massakers. (Die Balkangreuel des 30 jährigen Krieges); Martin Mörikes Verlag, Munich, 1913; pp. 83-98.
  • P. Loti: Turquie Agonisante; Calman Levy; Paris; 1913.

[79] Quaestiones Naturales, ed. M. Muller; BGPTM xxxi (1934) ii; quotation in J. Jolivet: The Arabic Inheritance; in A History of Twelfth Century Western Philosophy; ed., by P. Dronke; (Cambridge University Press; 1988); pp.113-48. p. 113.

[80] B. Lawn: The Salernitan Questions; (Oxford at the Clarendon Press; 1963); pp. 21-2.

[81] P Benoit and F. Micheau: The Arab Intermediary in A History of Scientific Thought, edited by M. Serres; (Blackwell, 1995); pp. 191-221.

[82] C.H. Haskins: Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science; (Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. New York. 1967); p. 14.

[83] R. Fletcher: Moorish Spain; (Phoenix; London; 1992); p.151.

[84] H of Carinthia: De Essentiis; ed and trans C. Burnett; (Leiden; 1982); p. 70.

[85] N. Daniel: The Arabs; op cit; p. 268.

[86] In P. Duhem: Le Systeme du Monde; Paris, 1914; iii; pp. 199-200.

[87] C. Burnett: Translations and Translators; op cit; 138.

[88] In C. Burnett: The Introduction of Arabic Learning into England. (The Panizzi Lectures, 1996. The British Library, London, 1997); pp. 61-2.

[89] Froissart: Oeuvres; op cit; XV; 231 ff.

  • J. Delaville Le Roulx: La France en Orient au XIV em Siecle; Ernest Thorin Editor, Paris; 1886. p. 251 ff in particular.
  • N. Jorga: Notes et extraits pour server a l’histoire des croisades au XVem siecle; Paris; Ernest Leroux; 1899; and 1902.
  • N. Jorga: Philippe Mezieres (1327-1403) et la croisade au XIVem siecle; Bibliotheque de l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes. Fasc 110. Paris; 1896.

[90] J. Crawfurd: History of the Indian Archipelago; Archibald Constable & Company; Edinburgh; 1820.

[91] E. Mead: The Baghdad Railway; A Study in Imperialism; MacMillan; New York; 1924.

  • M. Philips Price: War and Revolution in Asiatic Russia, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1917.

[92] G.S. Patton: The Defence of Gallipoli; Headquarters Hawaiian Department; August 1936

[93] E.J. Erickson: Gallipoli, the Ottoman Campaign; Pen & Sword, Military; Barnsley, UK, 2010.

[94] See J. Elmes: Memoires of the Life of Sir Christopher Wren; (London; 1823); also P. Frankl: The Gothic; pp. 360 ff.

[95] Christopher Wren wrote (in his history of Westminster Abbey, 1713) in B. Fletcher: A History of Architecture: 18th edition, revised by J. C. Palmes; (The Athlone Press, 1975); p. 415.

[96] P. Frankl: The Gothic; (Princeton University Press; 1960); p. 257.

[97] Ibid; p. 259.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid; p. 292.

[100] R. Lascelles: The Heraldic Origin of Gothic Architecture; (1820); in P. Frankl: The Gothic; op cit; p. 481.

  • G. Moller: An Essay on the Origin and Progress of Gothic Architecture; (1824).
  • Gwilt’s Encyclopaedia of Architecture; (1912); p. 120.
  • F. R. Chateaubriand: Genie du Christianisme; (Paris; 1801); part 3; bk 1; ch. 8

[101] G. Barbieri: Dell’origine della poesia rimata; Ed Girolamo Tiraboschi, (Modena, 1790);  (written c. 1570).

[102] R. Boase: The Origins; op cit; p. 11.

[103] H.A. R. Gibb: Literature; op cit; p. 184.

[104] J. Andres: Origine, progressi e stato attuale d’ogni letteratura; 8 vols; (Parma; 1782-1822).

[105] See S.P. Scott: History; op cit; and also refer to preceding chapters.

[106] Guillaume le Breton, in the Grandes Chroniques de France, vol VI; p. 318. Guillaume de Tudele: La Chanson de la Croisade Contre les Albigeois; ed. P. Meyer; 2 vols; (Paris; 1875-9); pp. 497-500.

  • W. Draper: History; op cit; vol 2; pp. 32 ff.

[107] R. Briffault: The Troubadours; tr. from French by author; edited by L.F. Koons; The Indiana University Press; Bloomington; 1965; chapter 5; pp. 129 ff.

[108] H. C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition of Spain, 4 vols; (The Mac Millan Company, New York, 1907).

  • J.W. Draper: History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science; (Henry S. King & Co; London; 1875).
  • W. Durant: The Age of Faith, Simon and Shuster, New York; 6th printing; 1950.

[109] In R. Briffault: The Troubadours; pp. 140-1.

[110] J.W. Draper: A History; op cit. W. Durant: The Age of Faith, op cit.

[111] C. Dawson: Medieval Essays; Sheed and Ward: London; 1953; pp. 222 fwd.

[112] H.A. R. Gibb: Literature; op cit; p. 184.

[113] C. Dawson: Medieval; op cit; pp. 222 fwd.

[114] R. Boase: The Origins; op cit; pp. 2-3.

[115] S. Gaunt and S. Kay Editors: The Troubadours; (Cambridge University Press; 1999).

[116] Ibid.

[117] Ibid.

[118] D.J. Struik: The Prohibition of the use of Arabic numerals in Florence: Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences; vol 21; pp. 291-294; at p. 294:

[119] William of Malmesbury: History of the Kings of England, in L. Cochrane: Adelard of Bath, (British Museum Press, 1994); p. 43.

[120] D.J. Struik: The Prohibition of the use of Arabic Numerals; p. 294.

[121] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; vol iii; p. 127.

[122] See H.P. Lattin: The Origin of our present system of notation according to the theories of Nicholas Bubnov; in ISIS; XIX; pp. 181-94; at p. 182.

[123] E.J. Holmyard: Jabir Ibn Hayyan; in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine; vol 16; (1923); pp. 46-57.

[124] E.J. Dijksterhuis: The Mechanization of the World Picture; (Oxford at the Clarendon Press; 1961); p. 104.

[125] T.F. Graham: Medieval Minds; Mental Health in the Middle Ages; (London; Allen and Unwin; 1967); p. 71.

[126] A.C. Crombie: Robert Grossesteste and the Origins of the Experimental Science; (Oxford, 1953).

[127] D. Hunter: Paper Making; (Pleiades Books; London; 1947); pp. 60-1.

[128] Ibid; p. 61.

  • A. Blum: On the Origin of Paper; tr. from French by H. Miller Lydenberg; (New York; 1934).

[129] S.P. Scott: History; Vol ii; op cit; p. 576.

[130] H.C. Lea: A History of the Inquisition in Spain; p. 336

[131] G.G. Joseph: The Crest of the Peacock; (Penguin Books; 1991); at p. 4.

[132] E. Renan: De la Part des peoples semitiques dans l’histoire de la civilisation in Oeuvres Completes, (Paris, Calmann-Levy, 1947), Vol II; p. 333.

[133] W. Muir: The Caliphate; (Smith and Elder and Co; London; 1883); p. 599.

[134] W. Shaller: Sketches of Algiers; (Boston; 1826); p. 56.

[135] Abbe Raynal: Histoire philosophique et politique des etablissements et du commerce des Europeans dans l’Afrique; (Paris; 1826).

[136] J. Fontana: The Distorted Past, (Blackwell, 1995); p. 130.

[137] R. Kabbani: Europe’s Myths; op cit; p. 6.

[138] W.E.D. Allen: The Turks in Europe; John Murray London, 1919; p. 110 ff.

[139] Sutherland Menzies: Turkey Old and New, 2 vols; Allen Lane; London; 1880; vol 2; p. 88.

[140] W.E.D. Allen: The Turks in Europe; op cit; p. 117 ff.

  • E. Creasy: Turkey; The H.W. Snow and Son Company; 1910; p. 425, most particularly the French army’s help to the Greeks.
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