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Internet Islamic History Sourcebook

Editor: Paul Halsall

This page is a subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks listed below, along with added texts and web site indicators. For more contextual information, for instance about Western imperialism, or the history of a given period, check out these web sites.

Notes: In addition to direct links to documents, links are made to a number of other web resources.
Link to a secondary article, review or discussion on a given topic.
Link to a website focused on a specific issue.. These are not links to every site on a given topic, but to sites of serious educational value.


The Pre-Islamic Arab World

Pre-Islamic Arabs

Pre-Islamic Persia

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Muhammad and Foundations - to 632 CE

Religious and Social Context of 7th Century Arabia


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Islam Faith and Theology


The Sunni Tradition

The Shi'ite Tradition


Islam as a Modern Faith

Women in  Islam

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Islamic Expansion and Empire


  • WEB Transmediterrane Geschichte (Transmediterranean History) [Univ of Konstanz] [Internet Archive backup here]
    "Transmediterranean History" is an anthology of sources, with comments, intended to facilitate access to transmediterranean topics and their source documentation for researchers, teachers and interested parties.  The database provides source excerpts in the original and in translation, structured epochally and arranged chronologically. The texts are in original language with side-by-side German translation. Progress is being made in providing English versions." Periods covered are: Before Arab-Islamic Expansion; Aran-Islamic Expansion (7th-9th centuries); New Neighbours (9th-11th centuries); Latin Christian Expansion (11-13th centuries).
    -The site has shifted from a wiki format to a PDF format which supports more authoratative referencing. Although one cannot yet rely on AI translation, the results of Google Translation on the wiki version were quite satisfactory on this site, partly because the German translations are in uncomplicated German. This link takes you to the old wiki version, and this link to the Internet Archive of the wiki version.
  • 2ND The Battle of Badr 624 CE [At Internet Archive, from]
  • Al-Baladhuri: The Battle of The Yarmuk (636 CE) and After
    The Byzantines lost control of Syria at Yarmuk.
  • Accounts of the Arab Conquest of Egypt 642 CE
    The Coptic account from The History of The Patriarchs of Alexandria and an Arab account - Al-Baladhuri: The Conquest of Alexandria
  • Ibn Abd-el-Hakem: The Islamic Conquest of Spain
  • Al Maggari: Tarik's Address to His Soldiers 711 CE, from The Breath of Perfumes
  • Anonymous Arab Chronicler: The Battle of Poitiers 732 CE
  • Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours: Three Accounts 732  CE
  • 2ND Fred Donner: The Early Islamic Conquests, (Princeton: Princeton Univ Press, 1981), pp.251 ff - Chapter VI. "Conclusions: 1. Tribe and State in Arabia: Second Essay"
  • 2ND Judith Herrin: The Formation of Christendom. "Byzantium Confronted by Islam", (Princeton: Princeton Univ, Press. 1987), 183-213

Governance and Government Institutions

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The Caliphate





  • The Poets of Arabia Selections
  • Al Hariri of Basrah (446-516 A.H./1054-1122 CE): Maqamat (The Assemblies), c. 1100 CE, 12 of the 50 "assemblies". Maqamat (singular Maqamah) were a popular sort of Arabic entertainment literature (adab). This is perhaps the most popular example.
  • The Women and Her Suitors story from the Thousand and One Nights [caution: very rude!]
  • The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor story from the Thousand and One Nights [At Sacred Texts]
  • The Arabian Nights Entertainments, translated by Andrew Lang
  • The Arabian Nights translated Sir. Richard Francis Burton. Full Text - Sacred Texts]
  • Ibn Fadlan. Risala 921 CE [At VikingAnswerLady]
    Ibn Fadlan -an Arab chronicler. In 921 C.E., the Caliph sent Ibn Fadlan with an embassy to the King of the Bulgars of the Middle Volga. Ibn Fadlan wrote an account of his journeys with the embassy, called a Risala. This Risala is of great value as a history, although it is clear in some places that inaccuracies and Ibn Fadlan's own prejudices have slanted the account to some extent.
  • The Nizámu'l Mulk (?-1092 CE) : On the Courtiers and Familars of Kings
  • Ibn Battuta (1307-1377 CE): Travels selections
  • Ibn Battuta (1307-1377 CE): Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354
  • 2ND Arthur Goldschmidt: A Concise History of the Middle East. Chap. 8. "Islamic Civilization"
  • 2ND Oleg Grabar: Ceremonial and Art at the Umayyad Court. PhD Dissertation, Princeton Univ 1955. Chap. I. The Umayyad Royal Idea and its Expression under Mu'awiyah I. pp 18 ff
  • 2ND Oleg Grabar: The Formation of Islamic Art, (New Haven: Yale Univ Press, 19??), pp. 43- 71,.Chap. 3 "The Symbolic Appropriation of the Land" chapter 3
  • 2ND S. M. Ghazanfar: The Islamic World and the Western Renaissance [At Cyberistan]. 
    Useful enough, but written with a chip on his shoulder by an economist.


Gender and Sexuality in Classical Islam

Successor States: Umayyad Spain

Successor States: Fatamid Egypt

Successor States: Mameluk Egypt

Successor States: North Africa/Maghreb

The Mongol Invasions

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The Persians



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The Turkish Irruption


  • 2ND J.J. Saunders: A History of Medieval Islam, (London: Routledge, 19??), chap. 9. "IX The Turkish Irruption"
  • 2ND Z. V. Togan: The Origins of the Kazaks and the ôzbeks Central Asian Survey Vol. 11, No. 3. 1992, [At]
  • Claudia Rapp and Johannes Prieser-Kapeller, eds.. Mobility and Migration in Byzantium; A Sourcebook [At] PDF [Internet Archive version here]
    Five hundred pages of translations into English on sources about migration in Byzantium. Includes both internal migration, and sections on Jews, Slavs, Armenians, Varangians (Norse), Catalans, Turks, and in relation to the Crusades. Gender-related migration is also covered.


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The Ottomans





Ottoman Egypt



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The Expansion Eastwards



  • 2ND

East Indies

  • 2ND

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Islamic Africa - Sub Sahara

  • WEB Islam and Indigenous African Culture [Was At Harvard, now Internet Archive]
    A clear narrative, and excellent maps on the penetration of Islam across the Sahara and in East Africa.
  • Abû Ûthmân al-Jâhiz: The Essays excerpts, c. 860 CE
    On the Zanj (Black Africans). Arab Muslim opinions.

African States

African Islamic Culture

The Slave Trade

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Interaction with the Latin Christian West



  • Anonymous:  Guide-book to Palestine. (c. 1350). Translated by. J. H. Barnard. London: Palestine Pilgrims’ Text Society, 1894.  [At Internet Archive was at Traveling to Jerusalem/U Sth Colorado]
  • John Poloner (1422): Description of the Holy Land (c. 1421), based on the translation of Aubrey Stewart from the Tobler text. London, 1894. [At Internet Archive was at Traveling to Jerusalem/U Sth Colorado]
  • Felix Fabri (1480 & 1483-84): The Book of the Wanderings of Felix Fabri (Circa 1480-1483 A.D.) trans. Aubrey Stewart. 2 vols. London: Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society, 1896 [At Internet Archive was at Traveling to Jerusalem/U Sth Colorado]
  • Pietro Casola (1494): Canon Pietro Casola's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the Year 1494. trans. Mary Margaret Newett. Manchester: The University Press, 1907. [At Internet Archive was at Traveling to Jerusalem/U Sth Colorado]

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The Western Intrusion


European 19th Century Imperialism

The Ottoman Empire in the Face of Western Power








World War I

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Islamic Nationalism

Arab Nationalism

  • 2ND Bernard Lewis: The Roots of Muslim Rage The Atlantic, September 1990, [Was At The Atlantic, now Internet Archive]]

British and French Diplomacy

Islam and Democracy

  • 2ND



  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1932): Speech at the National Convention of the People's Party of the Republic, in Ankara between 15- 20 October, 1927. [Was At, now Internet Archive]
  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1932): Address to Turkish Youth [Turkish and English][Was At Turkish Language, now Internet Archive]
  • 2ND Mustapha Kemal Ataturk   (1881-1938)[Was At UTK, now Internet Archive]


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The Islamic World Since 1945


  • Islamic World: Country Studies
    Prepared for Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the Department of the Army. These are full descriptions of the countries concerned, in terms of history, geography, economy, etc. There are also useful bibliographies. [At LOC]
  • Western Views of the Region
    • Benjamin R. Barber: Jihad Vs. McWorld  The Atlantic Monthly, March 1992 [Was At The Atlantic, now Internet Archive]

International Affairs/Organizations






  • Robert Kaplan: Sons of Devils The Atlantic Monthly, November 1987 [Was At The Atlantic, now Internet Archive]
    On Kurdish identity.
  • Laurie Mylroie: After Saddam Hussein The Atlantic Monthly, December 1992 [Was At The Atlantic, now Internet Archive]
    On the Kurds in the Middle East.


Saudi Arabia


The Palestine/Israel Conflict

World War I and its Effects

  • texts?

The Politics and Culture of the Interwar Years

Establishment of Israel

Israeli Government


Peace Efforts

Palestinian Organizations and Politics

Local Culture

  • WEB

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Islamic History Maps

Origins, Expansion and Core Areas



Turks: Seljuqs and Ottomans

India and Far East


  • The First Crusade, 1099 (Col) A clickable map of all of Europe in 1099 Source: Adaptation of "Europe at the time of the First Crusade", in Muir's Historical Atlas: Medieval and Modern, (London: 1911) 
  • The Crusader States in the Early 12th Century (BW) Source: George Richard Potter, The Autobiography of Ousama, (New York: 1929
  • Crusader States (Col) Adapted from Muir's Historical Atlas: Medieval and Modern, (London: 1911)  
  • Jerusalem (Col) Adapted from Muir's Historical Atlas: Medieval and Modern, (London: 1911)  
  • Second and Third Crusades (Col) Adapted from Muir's Historical Atlas: Medieval and Modern, (London: 1911)  

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Further Resources on Islamic History

[Note this was once quite an extensive section with 25 sites listed, but guides to the web turned out to be very hard to maintain. From the list in 2002 only 2 are now active. Good advice now is to look up Islamic history topics on Wikipedia and consult the further resources links at the bottom of many articles. Wikipedia is never a place to end research but it is a good place to start.]

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© This text is copyright. The specific electronic form, and any notes and questions are copyright. Permission is granted to copy the text, and to print out copies for personal and educational use. No permission is granted for commercial use.

If any copyright has been infringed, this was unintentional. The possibility of a site such as this, as with other collections of electronic texts, depends on the large availability of public domain material from texts translated before 1927. [In the US, all texts issued before 1927 are now in the public domain. Texts published before 1964 may be in the public domain if copyright was not renewed after 28 years. This site seeks to abide by US copyright law: the copyright status of texts here outside the US may be different.] Efforts have been made to ascertain the copyright status of all texts here, although, occasionally, this has not been possible where older or non-US publishers seem to have ceased existence. Some of the recently translated texts here are copyright to the translators indicated in each document. These translators have in every case given permission for non-commercial reproduction. No representation is made about the copyright status of texts linked off-site. This site is intended for educational use. Notification of copyright infringement will result in the immediate removal of a text until its status is resolved.


The Internet Islamic History Sourcebook is part of the Internet History Sourcebooks Project. The date of inception was 4/8/1998. Links to files at other site are indicated by [At some indication of the site name or location].WEB indicates a link to one of small number of high quality web sites which provide either more texts or an especially valuable overview.

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 12 July 2024 [CV]