Islamic History and Culture Books PDf free Download for CSS, PMS etc 2020

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WHA T is an Arab? Ethnic terms are notoriously difficult to define, and Arab is not among the easiest. One possible definition may be set aside at once. The Arabs may be a nation; they are not a nationality in the legal sense. One who calls himself an Arab may be described in his passport as a national of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Libya,

Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, or any other of the group of states that identify themselves as Arab. Some of them—such as Saudi Arabia, the Union of Arab Emirates, the Syrian and Egyptian Arab Republics—have even adopted the word Arab in their official nomenclature. Their citizens are not, how- ever, designated simply as Arabs.

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There are Arab states, and indeed a league of Arab states; but there is no single Arab state of which all Arabs are nationals. But if Arabism has no legal content, it is none the less real. The pride of the Arab in his Arabdom, his conscious- ness of the bonds that bind him to other Arabs past and present, are no less intense. Is the unifying factor then one of language—is an Arab simply one who speaks Arabic  as his mother tongue?

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It is a simple and at first sight a satisfying answer—yet there are difficulties. Is the Arabic-speaking Jew from Iraq or the Yemen or the Arabic-speaking Christian of Egypt or Lebanon an Arab? The enquirer could receive different answers amongst these people themselves and among their Muslim neigh- bours. Is even the Arabic-speaking Muslim of Egypt an Arab? Many consider themselves such, but not all, and
the term Arab is still used colloquially in both Egypt and Iraq to distinguish the Bedouin of the surrounding deserts from the indigenous peasantry of the great river valleys.

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In some quarters the repellent word Arabophone is used to distinguish those who merely speak Arabic from those who are truly Arabs. A gathering of Arab leaders many years ago defined an Arab in these words: ‘Whoever lives in our country, speaks our language, is brought up in our culture and takes pride in our glory is one of us/ We may compare with this a definition from a well-qualified Western source, Sir Hamilton Gibb:

‘All those are Arabs for whom the central fact of history is the mission of Muhammad and the memory of the Arab Empire and who in addition cherish the Arabic tongue and its cultural heritage as their common possession.’ Neither definition, it will b noted, is purely linguistic. (Islamic history and culture books PDF)

Both add a cultural, one at least a religious, qualification. Both must be interpreted historically, for it is only through the history of the peoples called Arab that we can hope to understand the meaning of the term from its primitive restricted use in ancient times to its vast but vaguely delimited extent of meaning today.

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As we shall see, through this long period the sig- nificance of the word Arab has been steadily changing, and as the change has been slow, complex and extensive, we shall find that the term may be used in several different senses at one and the same time, and that a standard general definition of its content has rarely been possible. The origin of the word Arab is still obscure, though philologists have offered explanations of varying plausi- bility.(Islamic history and culture books PDF)

For some, the word is derived from a Semitic root meaning ‘west’, and was first applied by the inhabitants of Mesopotamia to the peoples to the west of the Euphrates valley. This etymology is questionable on purely linguistic grounds, and is also open to the objection that the term was used by the Arabs themselves and that a people is not likely to describe itself by a word indicating its position relative to another.

More profitable are the attempts to link the word with the concept of nomadism. This has been done in various ways; by connecting it with the Hebrew “Ardbha—dark land, or steppe land; with the Hebrew ”Erebh’—mixed and hence unorganized, as opposed to the organized and ordered life of the seden-tary communities, rejected and despised by the nomads;

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with the root “Abhar’—to move or pass—from which the word Hebrew is probably derived. The association with nomadism is borne out by the fact that the Arabs them- selves seem to have used the word at an early date to distinguish the Bedouin from the Arabic-speaking town and village dwellers and indeed continue to do so to some extent at the present day. The traditional Arab etymology deriving the name from a verb meaning ‘to express’or ‘enunciate’ is almost certainly a reversal of the historic process. A parallel case may be found in the connection between German deuten—’to make clear to the people’,

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and deutsch—originally ‘of the people’. The earliest account that has come down to us of Arabia and the Arabs is that of the tenth chapter of Genesis, where many of the peoples and districts of the peninsula are mentioned by name. The word Arab, however, does not occur in this text, and makes its first appearance in an Assyrian inscription of 853 BC in which King Shalmaneser III records the defeat by the Assyrian forces of a con- spiracy of rebellious princelings; one of them was ‘Gindibu the Aribi’, who contributed 1,000 camels to the forces of the confederacy.(Islamic history and culture books PDF)

From that time until the sixth century BC there are frequent references in Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions to Aribi, Arabu, and Urbi. These inscriptions record the receipt of tribute from Aribi rulers, usually including camels and other items indicative of a desert origin, and occasionally tell of military expeditions into Aribi land. Some of the later inscriptions are accompanied by illustrations of the Aribi and their camels.

These campaigns against the Aribi were clearly not wars of con- quest but punitive expeditions intended to recall the erring nomads to their duties as Assyrian vassals. They served the general purpose of securing the Assyrian borderlands and lines of communication. The Aribi of the inscriptions are a nomadic people living in the far north of Arabia, probably in the Syro-Arabian desert.(Islamic history and culture books PDF)

(Islamic history and culture books PDF)The term does not include the flourishing sedentary civilization of south-western Arabia, which is separately mentioned in Assyrian records. The Aribi may be identified with the Arabs of the later books of the Old Testament. Towards 530 BC the term Arabaya begins to appear in Persian cuneiform documents.

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