Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity
Allah and His People

$39.99 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316641552

$ 39.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Based on epigraphic and other material evidence as well as more traditional literary sources and critical review of the extensive relevant scholarship, this book presents a comprehensive and innovative reconstruction of the rise of Islam as a religion and imperial polity. It reassesses the development of the imperial monotheism of the New Rome, and considers the history of the Arabs as an integral part of Late Antiquity, including Arab ethnogenesis and the emergence of what was to become Muslim monotheism, comparable with the emergence of other monotheisms from polytheistic systems. Topics discussed include the emergence and development of the Muhammadan polity and its new cultic deity and associated ritual, the constitution of the Muslim canon, and the development of early Islam as an imperial religion. Intended principally for scholars of Late Antiquity, Islamic studies and the history of religions, the book opens up many novel directions for future research.

    • Outlines what is known about the history of a divinity named Allah prior to the emergence of Islam and as Muslim scripture was being elaborated
    • Provides in-depth analysis of the relationship between Islam and late antiquity, synthesising the considerable amount of work that has already been done in this domain
    • Synthesises and systematically advances recent scholarship on the composition of the Koran, on Arab ethnogenesis in late antiquity, on Arab polytheism, on Muhammad, and on the character of pre-Muhammadan Arabian monotheistic and monolatrous trends
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Aziz Al-Azmeh starts his excellent new book by modestly describing it as an extended essay in historical interpretation' … but in reality this is a truly massive analysis of the origins of early Islam that will challenge many contemporary assumptions … This intriguing and engaging book is a welcome addition to academia. Intended primarily for postgraduate scholars of Islam, religion and Late Antiquity, this monograph suggests many exciting new directions for future studies and empirical research.' Abdullah Drury, Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316641552
    • length: 660 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 35 mm
    • weight: 0.96kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Late antiquity and Islam: historiography and history
    2. Gods, divine economies, and emperors
    3. Arabia and Arab ethnogenesis in late antiquity
    4. Preface to Allah
    5. Allah
    6. Paleo-Islam, 1: charismatic polity
    7. Paleo-Islam, 2: the Paleo-Muslim canon
    8. Retrospective and prospective: Islam in late antiquity and beyond.

  • Resources for

    The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity

    Aziz Al-Azmeh

    General Resources

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    This title is supported by one or more locked resources. Access to locked resources is granted exclusively by Cambridge University Press to instructors whose faculty status has been verified. To gain access to locked resources, instructors should sign in to or register for a Cambridge user account.

    Please use locked resources responsibly and exercise your professional discretion when choosing how you share these materials with your students. Other instructors may wish to use locked resources for assessment purposes and their usefulness is undermined when the source files (for example, solution manuals or test banks) are shared online or via social networks.

    Supplementary resources are subject to copyright. Instructors are permitted to view, print or download these resources for use in their teaching, but may not change them or use them for commercial gain.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please contact

  • Author

    Aziz Al-Azmeh, Central European University, Budapest
    Aziz Al-Azmeh is CEU University Professor at the School of Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies, Central European University, Budapest. Previous books (in English) are Ibn Khaldun: An Essay in Reinterpretation (1982); Muslim Kingship: Power and the Sacred in Christian, Muslim and Pagan Polities (2001); Islams and Modernities (3rd edition, 2009); and The Times of History: Universal Themes in Islamic Historiography (2006).

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.