In the Shadow of the Prophet: Essays in Islamic History
Roy P. Mottahedeh
Hardback, 640 pages
In pieces drawn from over the course of his distinguished career, pre-eminent historian Roy Mottahedeh explores such diverse topics as the social bonds that connected people in the early Islamic Middle East, the transmission of learning in the Muslim world, religious and ethnic toleration in the past and in the present, and the theme of 'wonders' in The Thousand and One Nights. His essays extend from the early Islamic period through the medieval era and on to modern times. A number concern Iran, the country of his father's birth, and again Mottahedeh's studies range widely, including Persian panegyric poetry, the origins of the city of Kashan, and Shi'ite political thought.
Speaking to contemporary concerns, he also touches upon voting rights, academic freedom, and censorship. Intended not only for those in Islamic studies but for students of history and interested lay readers, there are introductions to each section written with the non-specialist in mind, and these sections progress from more general topics to those more specialized. In the Shadow of the Prophet thus reflects Mottahedeh's desire that the Islamic world and its history become better understood so that cooperation between Muslims and non-Muslims might become the order of the day.