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Old Thursday, March 22, 2012
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Default All About Islamic History ..

Hello Chums,

I had Islamic History as one of the optional subjects in CSS 2012 and I must submit that I fell in love with this subject .. Here, I intend to share all my preparation and paper techniques regarding Islamic History learned throughout my prep span ..

First of all let me eradicate some myths:

1- Islamic History is not a scoring subject ..
Well, remove this 'not' and you get my answer .. In fact it is highly scoring if properly prepared and attempted .. How, we'll discuss in this thread InshaAllah ..

2- It has a very lengthy syllabus ..
Well, to some extent it is true, but proper guidance and to the point preparation makes this lengthy syllabus a very brief one .. There are a few main topics which need to be studied extensively, the remaining bulk of topics need just to be gone through and not to be covered with much detail at all ..

3- It is a dry subject and chunks of material makes it boring ..
Again a wrong perception .. I feel no hesitation in submitting that I fell in love with Islamic History due to its variety and spice, the nobility of its characters, Islamic humour and the fun loving way with which I prepared it ..

Take one example of Islamic humour extract taken from Bernard Lewis' book 'Islam from Prophet Mohammad to the capture of Constantinople':

A man announced that he was God. He was brought before the Caliph Mutawakkil who said to him, "Last year there was someone here who claimed to be a prophet. He was executed." "That was well done," said the man, "for I had not sent him." Kitna barra fankaar tha ..

I watched some documentaries to make my preparation joyful .. I gained much knowledge and also some extra-ordinary quotes from those documentaries .. Specially knowledge relating architecture and Islamic boom in education and medicine was superbly described in them .. Here are some that I watched:

1- Islam - Empire of faith
2- The legacy of a Prophet P.B.U.H
3- When Moors ruled in Europe


You can download all these movies easily through torrents .. If you find any difficulty let me know and I will post the exact links .. I would recommend all Islamic History aspirants to watch these documentaries .. I got a lot of insight from them .. For example in 'When Moors ruled in Europe' while mentioning the difference in advancement of Muslim physicians in Spain and those of other European doctors, the English Historian Bettany Hughes notes from the accounts of a Muslim doctor:

They brought me a Knight who had an abscess in his leg and a woman suffering from consumption. I made a plaster for the Knight and his swelling opened and improved. For the woman I suggested a diet to regulate metabolism and cure her consumption. But then the Frankish doctor arrived and objected. 'Bring me a strong Knight with a sharp axe' he said. The Knight struck a powerful blow to his leg and wound burst, the Knight died having lost much of his blood. As for the woman he suggested that a devil must have entered her head and he cut her head with a blade in a cross shape and rubbed salt into it. The woman died instantly. 'I returned home, having learned much about the medicine of the Christians'. (Waisay aaj kal ye sab hamaray mulk mein ho raha hai) ..

Now you can note the way with which Bettany Hughes contrasts the caliber of Muslim and other doctors at the times of Spanish Islam. I used the above mentioned quote in my paper too.

Book Sources:


Dear friends, I'm a book lover and I do not personally believe in one book policy. I used as much as 8 or 9 books for Islamic History alone. But I won't recommend you to study that many books, because that might well be a reason for my low score (God forbid) Here are the books I suggest:

1- A short history of Islam - Mazhar ul Haq
2- History of Arabs - P.K Hitti
3- Spanish Islam - Reinhardt Dozy


Use Mazhar ul Haq's book for pet knowledge and the other two for contrasting views and quotes .. You can add criticizing comments of the above mentioned European writers in your answers but do not forget to defend Islam to the fullest. You have to negate any negative comments from them. This will show and extra in-depth and will fetch additional marks ..

So friends, do opt for this subject if you got love for it. Prepare by staying on the right track and it will fetch excellent marks for you InshaAllah .. You are free to ask any questions you have .. I'll keep posting remaining points and stuff InshaAllah ..

Best of luck ..

Regards ..
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