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Non-Muslims in the Early Islamic Empire
From Surrender to Coexistence


Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108449618

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • The Muslim conquest of the East in the seventh century entailed the subjugation of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and others. Although much has been written about the status of non-Muslims in the Islamic empire, no previous works have examined how the rules applying to minorities were formulated. Milka Levy-Rubin's remarkable book traces the emergence of these regulations from the first surrender agreements in the immediate aftermath of conquest to the formation of the canonic document called the Pact of 'Umar, which was formalized under the early 'Abbasids, in the first half of the ninth century. The study reveals that the conquered peoples themselves played a major role in the creation of these policies and that they were based on long-standing traditions, customs and institutions from earlier pre-Islamic cultures that originated in the worlds of both the conquerors and the conquered. In its connections to Roman, Byzantine and Sasanian traditions, the book will appeal to historians of Europe as well as Arabia and Persia.

    • New research sheds light on the status of minorities in the formative years of the Islamic empire
    • Analysis of documents from the Roman, Byzantine and Sasanian worlds will ensure interest from historians of late antiquity as well as Islamic history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In Non-Muslims in the Early Islamic Empire: From Surrender to Coexistence, Milka Levy-Rubin brings a new approach to the study of the Shurūt Umar (Conditions of Umar) and the status of the dhimmīs under the early caliphate … Levy-Rubin's work is an important contribution to a growing body of research that is seeking to understand the development of the early Muslim community in its broader historical context.' Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online (

    'Levy-Rubin's monograph skilfully weaves together analyses of Muslim and non-Muslim sources to bring new light to a subject of early Islamic history that is well trodden by modern scholars but remains poorly understood.' Scott Savran, Review of Middle East Studies

    '… a very well researched and written book …' The Muslim World Book Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108449618
    • length: 285 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The roots and authenticity of the surrender agreements in the seventh century
    2. Shurut 'Umar and its alternatives: the legal debate over the status of dhimmis
    3. The date and the ideology of the Ghiyar code
    4. The enforcement of Shurut 'Umar
    5. The provenance of the modes of subordination of non-Muslims

  • Author

    Milka Levy-Rubin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Milka Levy-Rubin is a Lecturer in History and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is the author of The Continuatio of the Samaritan Chronicle of Abu L'Fath Al Samiri Al Danafi (2002).

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