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Islam

The slave-warriors of medieval Islam overthrew their masters, defeated the Mongols and the Crusaders and established a dynasty that lasted 300 years.

Quaranic inscriptions on the dome of the mausoleum of the 13th-century Persian mystic Jalal al-Din Muhammad al-Rumi, Konya, central Anatolia.

An introduction to Sufism, the mystical-ascetical movement within Islam, whose followers have often been the target of ISIS jihadis.

Henri Pirenne transformed the way historians think about the end of the Classical world and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

River scene with a nobleman, shrine and travellers, watercolour, India, c.1760.

The chance survival of a ‘postbag’ of letters reveals a lost world of merchants, pilgrims, bankers and scholars.

Embodied in the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Sunni-Shia divide is a schism that threatens to tear the Islamic world apart. Though its origins go back to the beginnings of Islam, its present toxicity is a recent development.

The Expulsion of the Moors, Vicente Carducho, c.1627.

The mass expulsion of Spain’s Muslim population was a long and painful experience.

The Apadana Palace, Persepolis, Iran, 2008.

A Danish-German survey sought to unearth the roots of the Hebrew Bible in Arabia. It became the first to comprehend a new Islamic ideology, which now threatens the West.

It is widely believed that the Crusades were a clash of civilisations. But a closer examination reveals a complexity that has eluded many historians.

Young women gazing at Kabul from its hills, c.2014.

The Islamic world produced some of the greatest minds of the Middle Ages, including a number of remarkable female scholars. Arezou Azad examines who these women were and why their place in history has been neglected.

The walls and minaret of the Abu Dulaf mosque, Samarra, Iraq, ninth century.

Too many historians and commentators view history from a western perspective. In doing so, they turn their back on the roots of our global system, argues Peter Frankopan.