The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity

By M. J. Akbar | Go to book overview

A SUGGESTED READING LIST

Atheme such as the subject of this book is inevitably weighted by texts that, common sense suggests, are not going to be bedtime reading. This list is designed to provide further, and in a surprising number of cases, entertaining illumination into the innumerable corners of history through which we have travelled. You might be happy to learn that, thanks to an environment that has encouraged reprints, good bookstores might be as useful a place to find these books as a library. Three basic texts are the foundation for any study of Islam: the Holy Quran being the foremost. I have used Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s classic translation as the standard reference (The Holy Quran: Text, Translation and Commentary, Islamic Propagation Centre International, Amana Corporation, 1989). It also has an extremely useful index. The second basic work is the hadith or the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, left for posterity in four major collections. I have used the collection of Imam Bukhari published at a very reasonable price by Kitab Bhavan in Delhi in 1987. The third is the great biography of the Prophet written by ibn Ishaq and translated by Alfred Guillaume (The Life of Muhammad, Oxford, 1955). One has sought Arabic as well as English sources for the great events of the early period; this was possible thanks to fine translations that are now available. There is a marked revival of interest in original works, and many institutions have used their resources to bring them to a larger audience. One excellent instance is the translation of the Baburnama and the Jahangirnama, the court histories of two great Mughal emperors of India, brought out by the Smithsonian Institute in 1996 and 1999 with Oxford University Press, New York. I, however, have used the more traditional translations by the Beveridges done in the first quarter of the twentieth century.


a
A Viceroy’s India: Leaves from Lord Curzon’s Notebook, Introduced by Elizabeth Longford; Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1984.
Afnan, Soheil M. Avicenna: His Life and Works, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1958.

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The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • 1 - Chapter and Verse 1
  • 2 - The Joys of Death: a Bargain with Allah 12
  • 3 - Rebellions in the Dark of the Night 26
  • 4 - A Map of Islam 40
  • 5 - Circle of Hell 52
  • 6 - Allah! Muhammad! Saladin! 67
  • 7 - The Doors of Europe 83
  • 8 - Jihad in the East: a Crescent Over Delhi 99
  • 9 - The Holy Sea: Pepper and Power 113
  • 10 - The Bargain Goes Sour 131
  • 11 - The Wedge and the Gate 145
  • 12 - History as Anger, Jihad as Non-Violence 160
  • 13 - Islam in Danger Zone 177
  • 14 - Jinnah Redux and the Age of Osama 189
  • Glossary 214
  • A Suggested Reading List 218
  • Thumbnail Sketches 228
  • Index 251
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