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The Holy City of Medina
Sacred Space in Early Islamic Arabia

£67.99

Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from July 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107042131

£ 67.99
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  • This is the first book-length study of the emergence of Medina, in modern Saudi Arabia, as a widely venerated sacred space and holy city over the course of the first three Islamic centuries (the seventh to ninth centuries CE). This was a dynamic period that witnessed the evolution of many Islamic political, religious and legal doctrines, and the book situates Medina's emerging sanctity within the appropriate historical contexts. The book focuses on the roles played by the Prophet Muhammad, by the Umayyad and early Abbasid caliphs and by Muslim legal scholars. It shows that Medina's emergence as a holy city, alongside Mecca and Jerusalem, as well as the development of many of the doctrines associated with its sanctity, was the result of gradual and contested processes, and was intimately linked with important contemporary developments concerning the legitimation of political, religious and legal authority in the Islamic world.

    • Highlights the close connection between political and religious authority and sacred spaces in the early Islamic caliphate and Arabian Peninsula
    • Places the emergence of Medina within a wider historical context
    • Examines the role played by religious leaders
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107042131
    • length: 241 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 157 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from July 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Haram and himā: sacred space in the pre-Islamic Hijāz
    2. Muhammad and the Constitution of Medina: the declaration of Medina's haram
    3. Debating sanctity: the validity of Medina's haram
    4. The construction of a sacred topography
    5. Following in the Prophet's footsteps, visiting his grave: early Islamic pilgrimage to Medina
    6. The Prophet's inheritance: Medina's emergence as a holy city in the first–third/seventh–ninth centuries
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Harry Munt, University of Oxford
    Harry Munt is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Oriental Institute and Wolfson College at the University of Oxford.

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