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Merchants and Faith: Muslim Commerce and Culture in the Indian Ocean

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The intersection of Islamic history and Indian Ocean history is vast but inadequately explored. It is essential to understanding how and why Islam influenced Asia and to determining the extent to which maritime success affected the mostly land-based Muslim political powers. This area of research has elicited a lively debate involving scholars as diverse as William McNeill, The intersection of Islamic history and Indian Ocean history is vast but inadequately explored. It is essential to understanding how and why Islam influenced Asia and to determining the extent to which maritime success affected the mostly land-based Muslim political powers. This area of research has elicited a lively debate involving scholars as diverse as William McNeill, K. N. Chaudhuri, Niels Steensgaard, Philip Curtin, and Janet Abu-Lughod. Merchants and Faith provides an insightful overview of this debate and addresses the major questions raised by it: What were the relationships between littoral Asia and land-based empires? How can we best explain the role played by West Europeans? What difference did it make to be a Muslim merchant? Other considerations are the production roles of China and Hindu India and the nature of the Asian trade revolution.General histories of Islamic Asia seldom draw upon the rich literature on the Indian Ocean region; Indian Ocean studies are often couched in the technical jargon of economic theories and are occasionally marred by ideological bias. To make all of this literature more accessible to a general audience and to students, Merchants and Faith distills the results and implications of this research and connects them to the well-established features of Islamic political history.


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The intersection of Islamic history and Indian Ocean history is vast but inadequately explored. It is essential to understanding how and why Islam influenced Asia and to determining the extent to which maritime success affected the mostly land-based Muslim political powers. This area of research has elicited a lively debate involving scholars as diverse as William McNeill, The intersection of Islamic history and Indian Ocean history is vast but inadequately explored. It is essential to understanding how and why Islam influenced Asia and to determining the extent to which maritime success affected the mostly land-based Muslim political powers. This area of research has elicited a lively debate involving scholars as diverse as William McNeill, K. N. Chaudhuri, Niels Steensgaard, Philip Curtin, and Janet Abu-Lughod. Merchants and Faith provides an insightful overview of this debate and addresses the major questions raised by it: What were the relationships between littoral Asia and land-based empires? How can we best explain the role played by West Europeans? What difference did it make to be a Muslim merchant? Other considerations are the production roles of China and Hindu India and the nature of the Asian trade revolution.General histories of Islamic Asia seldom draw upon the rich literature on the Indian Ocean region; Indian Ocean studies are often couched in the technical jargon of economic theories and are occasionally marred by ideological bias. To make all of this literature more accessible to a general audience and to students, Merchants and Faith distills the results and implications of this research and connects them to the well-established features of Islamic political history.

36 review for Merchants and Faith: Muslim Commerce and Culture in the Indian Ocean

  1. 5 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    Risso provides a decent overview of a by-now familiar subject. There are a few polemical offerings made in an attempt to smooth over some historiographical issues, but nothing of finality. For the lay person, this would serve as a nice, if too brief, exposition on the role of Muslims in an arc of trade that expanded from Eastern Africa to Java. For the more informed, it will seem redundant, but touches on the above-mentioned issues. Foremost, Risso addresses controversies over the nature of the Risso provides a decent overview of a by-now familiar subject. There are a few polemical offerings made in an attempt to smooth over some historiographical issues, but nothing of finality. For the lay person, this would serve as a nice, if too brief, exposition on the role of Muslims in an arc of trade that expanded from Eastern Africa to Java. For the more informed, it will seem redundant, but touches on the above-mentioned issues. Foremost, Risso addresses controversies over the nature of the Muslim role and their efficacy in a vast, globalized trade network subsequently ruined by the smelly Europeans acting all mafia in the Indian Ocean. The latter point is also very present here: the unceasing, almost insufferable question of how and why the Europeans came to dominate the region (comes down basically to: they had more guns and were way more willing to use them).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alaa Bahabri

    الكتاب يتحدث عن تاريخ التجارة البحرية عند المسلمين ، وينقسم الكتاب إلى 4 أقسام بالإضافة إلى المقدمة والخاتمة: - من القرن ال7 لل12 و موضوعه عن التوسع الإسلامي في التجارة البحرية -من القرن ال10 ل 15،وليتحدث عن التجار المؤمنون -من القرن 16 ل18 ويتحدث عن أسلوب التجارة -من القرن 15ل18:ويتحدث عن دخول الأوروبيون أسلوب الكتاب يميل لأن يكون سردي تاريخي، دون معالجات كثيرة،وطبيعته معلوماتية أكثر وتظهر في الكتاب روح استشراقية تتمثل في البعد عن إيجاد تفسيرات واقعية لظواهر إسلامية، و في الحقيقة أكثر فصل أبدعت فيه الكتاب يتحدث عن تاريخ التجارة البحرية عند المسلمين ، وينقسم الكتاب إلى 4 أقسام بالإضافة إلى المقدمة والخاتمة: - من القرن ال7 لل12 و موضوعه عن التوسع الإسلامي في التجارة البحرية -من القرن ال10 ل 15،وليتحدث عن التجار المؤمنون -من القرن 16 ل18 ويتحدث عن أسلوب التجارة -من القرن 15ل18:ويتحدث عن دخول الأوروبيون أسلوب الكتاب يميل لأن يكون سردي تاريخي، دون معالجات كثيرة،وطبيعته معلوماتية أكثر وتظهر في الكتاب روح استشراقية تتمثل في البعد عن إيجاد تفسيرات واقعية لظواهر إسلامية، و في الحقيقة أكثر فصل أبدعت فيه المؤلفة هو الفصل المتعلق بالأوروبيين، حيث إن رؤيتها واضحة تماماً,, لكن الكتاب مفيد لمن يريد الرجوع لمعلومات محددة، أو ظواهر مجتزأة ك :تجارة الرقيق وأخيراً أعجبني في الفصل الأخير مقارنتها لنموذج التجارة البحري الإسلامي المتمثل في وجود شبكات إسلامية ، متقاربة في الهوية، ولديها مبادئ تجارية ممتازة، والنموذج الغربي القائم على التنظيم والاحتكار و الدعم التكنولوجي ومن ثم الاستعمار

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jackson Cyril

    A lot of important work is being done on the role of Muslim trade in the Indian Ocean and this slim volume does an excellent job of introducing the subject and providing the debates currently going on in the topic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sheikh Tajamul

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dean Cycon

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ghanem ALShamsi

  7. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ibn Shamal

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Clancy Coonradt

  12. 4 out of 5

    F PACKER

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Stives

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  16. 4 out of 5

    Luke

  17. 5 out of 5

    Blake Lindsey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  19. 5 out of 5

    Crescent

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wellington1959

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tbelfield

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eromsted

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey McKinney

  24. 4 out of 5

    Strixus

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Avital

  27. 5 out of 5

    Owais

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  29. 5 out of 5

    aldo zirsov

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annie Norman-Schiff

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kelly PT

  32. 4 out of 5

    Rana

  33. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

  34. 5 out of 5

    Joel Trono-Doerksen

  35. 4 out of 5

    Anh Le

  36. 5 out of 5

    Silje

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