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"Lassner (emeritus Jewish civilization, Northwestern U., Illinois) and Bonner (Medieval Islamic history, U. of Michigan-Ann Arbor) boil down the extensive temporal, geographic, and cultural breadth of Islam into an overview for general readers of the religion during the Middle Ages of Christian Europe. Most of their treatment is chronological, describing such stages of the history and Arabia on the eve of Islam, the Prophet's mission in Mecca and Medina, the ummah becomes an Arab kingdom, Alids versus Abbasids and Shi'ites versus Sunnites, and the end of the formative period of Medieval Islam. The final section explores various aspects of the religion, including the Qur'an and its commentators, the formation of Islamic law and legal tradition, and Islamic theology and popular religion."
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