Islam In Simon Ockley's The History Of The Saracens

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Since just after the religion’s foundation, Islam’s relationship with the Christian West has been characterized by conflict and misunderstanding. Although the Byzantine empire initially separated the regions in which the followers of the two religions inhabited, tensions began mounting upon Arab armies’ occupation of Syria. Such conditions generated the Latin’s West’s first ideas of Islam and eventually, a large body of material regarding Islam became available to the West in a short period of time. These Western works, tended to at best inaccurately portray Islam and at worst ridicule it with an emphasis on attacks directed at Muhammad, the religions’ founder. This causes one to question, how and why did the Western Christian world establish …show more content…
Prominent during the eighteen century the Age of Enlightenment gave rise to scientific world view. At the same time, developments in academia arose, yielding more sophisticated scholarship. The interaction between these two phenomenon spurred the exploration of authentic Muslim sources and fewer attacks on the character of Muhammad. Published in the early eighteenth century, Simon Ockley’s The History of the Saracens exhibits this slightly more balanced mindset. In the work’s introduction, after admitting that many Islamic peculiars seem “odd” he asserted that laughing at Muslims because they have different manners in childish. Furthermore, in Ockley depicted Muhammad’s revelations with the following description: “Gabriel came to him and said read.” This illustrates a growing respect and recognition for Islamic beliefs. Despite subtle shifts, communal beliefs that unfavorably characterized Islam continued to dominate Western thought. Around the same time, Humphrey Prideaux’s The True Nature of the Imposture Revealed maintained the traditional tendency to attack Muhammad, describing the revelations by saying “He pretended to receive all his revelations from the angel

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