Ayman S. Ibrahim is the Bill and Connie Jenkins Professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Seminary and Director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam. He is the author of The Stated Motivations for the Early Islamic Expansion.
Why did non-Muslims convert to Islam during Muhammad’s life and under his immediate successors? How did Muslim historians portray these conversions? Why did their portrayals differ significantly? To what extent were their portrayals influenced by their time of writing, religious inclinations, and political affiliations? These are the fundamental questions that drive this study. Relying on numerous works, including primary sources from over a hundred classical Muslim historians, Conversion to Islam is the first scholarly study to detect, trace, and analyze conversion themes in early Muslim historiography, emphasizing how classical Muslims remembered conversion, and how they valued and evaluated aspects of it. Ayman S. Ibrahim examines numerous early Muslim sources and wrestles with critical observations regarding the sources’ reliability and unearths the hidden link between historical narratives and historians’ religious sympathies and political agendas. This study leads readers through a complex body of literature, provides insights regarding historical context, and creates a vivid picture of conversion to Islam as early Muslim historians sought to depict it.
Note on Transliteration
1. Introduction: Conversion Themes in Early Islamic Historiography
2. Precursors of Converstion Themes during the Umayyad Caliphate
3. Establishing Pro-Abbasid Orthodoxy: Conversion Themes in Islamic Historiography under the Early Abbasids
4. Attempts at Compromise: Conversion Themes in Islamic Historiography in the Aftermath of the Mihna
Primary Source Authors in Chronological Order
Modern and Conemporary Arabic-Speaking Authors that Appear in the Study