History of Islamic Conquests


Tarikh-e Futuhat-e Islamiyah (History of Islamic conquests) is a two volume work chronicling Islamic historical events, particularly wars, battles, and conquests. It is also known as Tawarikh-e Islam (History of Islam) and Futuhat-e nabawai (Conquests of the Prophet). This lithographic copy is a Persian translation from the original Arabic work by Sayyid Ahmad ibn Sayyid Zayni Dahlan (1816 or 1817−86), an eminent scholar of Mecca and Medina. The translation was a collective effort by “scholars of Herat . . . for an Afghan audience to know about the history of Islam.” It was carried out by 11 translators who were approved by Governor of Herat Abdul Rahim Khan and supervised by his son, ʻAbd al-ʻAlīm Khān. Mullah Fakhruddin Khan Saljuqi was one of the main contributors. The preface by the 20th-century iconic Afghan poet, Khalilulah Khalili, praises the supremacy of God and the divinity of Islam, its Prophet Muhammad, and his followers. Khalili emphasizes the need for a history of Islam’s conquests in Persian, the lingua franca of high culture in Afghanistan. The contents of volume one range from the military campaigns and conquests of Usama bin Zayd, an adopted grandson of Muhammad, to the reign of Abdul Hamid II, one of the last sultans of the Ottoman Empire. The conquests include Syria, Persia, Anatolia, Egypt, Spain, Afghanistan, and other geographical regions in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Famous battles and peace treaties are also described. A short epilogue to volume one, by the translators and contributors, praises the completion and publication of the volume, and announces the intention to begin on the second volume. All events have subheadings both in the body of the text and on the page headers. Volume two covers 195 events, from the Mongol invasions of Islamic lands in the mid-13th century and the overthrow of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad to the military campaigns and battles of 19th century Ottoman sultans. Also at the end of volume two are short descriptions of the moral and personal qualities and lives of Muhammad and of Islam’s first four caliphs, and a discussion of the reign of Sultan Abdul Aziz, one of the last Ottoman sultans. An epilogue and a table of word corrections appear on pages 538 and 539−44. The two volumes amount to about 1,110 pages, paginated with Indo-Arabic numerals. The paper and color are of poor quality, and some marks of water spillage are visible. There are stamps and signatures of several owners of the book on the cover and the last blank pages of the volumes. Extra notes appear on the margins of the texts, often providing additional information on a particular event or a Persian translation of an Arabic verse from the Qur’an, such as on page two of volume two.

Last updated: September 30, 2016