Talk:Kitab al-I'tibar

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Material Culture[edit]

towards the end of this section I wrote that Usamah lost 4000 books while on a journey. This must be wrong! but this entry is taken from an essay I wrote ages ago and I haven't got the books to hand to check this out. I think it is more likely 400. --Cap 00:29, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC) I've just looked at the essay and there is a footnote to page 61 of Hitti's book if anyone has a copy and can check this out, there are probably references to it in the other books aswell.

I've just done an internet search and it appears that he did have 4000 books!!! they were being carried by ship from Egypt when they were stolen.--Cap 01:41, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, and apparently they were added to the library in Jerusalem, where William of Tyre probably had access to them to write his (unfortunately now lost) Gesta Orientalium Principum. (Or at least it's nice to imagine that's what happened...) Adam Bishop 03:28, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Some notes on jihad and the Crusades[edit]

I strongly disagree with the concluding remarks, which states factually that the word "Jihad" does not appear Kitab al-'Itibar. The author believes this is so because there did not exist a unified front against the Crusaders. This, I believe, is an incorrect conclusion. The use of Jihad only existed in Islam's early years, but this sort of rhetoric was quickly abandoned (see Ali, T., "Clash of Fundamentalisms"). Jihad was never a rallying cry for Muslims to join their kings in wars against the Franks.

Muslim emperors were more interested in spreading their empires, not spreading Islam as a religion. Their primary motivation was to increase their economic wealth. Their rhetoric was flavored by Islamic terms and words, but spreading the religion was not their primary motivation. This is why Muslim kings were more interested in fighting each other than the Crusaders. In fact, spreading Islam was at times detrimental to their primary interest: increasing their economic wealth. Forced conversions in India, for example, was only limited to a few kings, because it produced a huge resistance against Muslim kings that threatened their privilege. (Muslim subjects resisted Muslim kings as much as non-Muslim subjects.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, jihad certainly was invoked against the crusaders; I don't know why people keep claiming it wasn't. The lack of a united front shouldn't matter, the crusaders themselves weren't a single united front against Islam either. In any case, the claim that Usama never used the word "jihad" is wrong anyway, it's there in the Arabic and it's even there in Hitti's English translation. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:43, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Please present evidence that jihad was a commonly used rhetorical device to motivate the Muslim masses in dispelling the Crusaders. I hope you would refrain from using discredited "scholars," like Bernard Lewis or Daniel Pipes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey now, why would you assume I would use those two? Let's not start off that way. You don't even need modern scholarly interpretation for this - Usama himself mentions jihad, and Ali ibn Tahir al-Sulami was the first to connect jihad with the type of holy war the crusaders were waging. Once Syria, at least, was united under the Zengids, they were rather zealous in retaking lost territory. Spreading the religion was important; the territory was small and unimportant, as demonstrated by the large number of petty rulers who controlled it before the crusaders arrived, and the length of time before there was a determined effort to get it back. What other reason did they have, besides religion? Why is Jerusalem so important to Islam today? It wasn't such a big deal before the crusades. I'll see if I can find some more references for you, it's there in the contemporary sources and I know there is some current scholarly info about it. (I hesitate to check the jihad article itself, I can't imagine Wikipedia would be able to produce anything useful there...) Adam Bishop (talk) 01:35, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
As for the claim that Jerusalem is important to Islam, a few facts should be discussed.
1) Jerusalem is important for the Palestinians, even secular or Christian Palestinians. This is because according to UN Resolution 242, and thus international law, Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Palestine, not Israel's (See Because Jerusalem was territory acquired by war, Resolution 242 emphatically states that this territory and others must be returned. In other words, Israel should redraw to the pre-1967 borders, which includes Jerusalem.
2) Jerusalem is important to fundamentalist Muslims. This is for symbolic reasons. Since fundamentalists are forever trapped in history, they feel that the "honor" (whatever that means) of Jerusalem should not belong to a country that is an off-shoot of the West--in other words, Israel--but should belong to a Muslim nation, as it has since the 7th century, with exception of the Crusader kingdoms. This reasoning, of course, lacks little semblance to reality, and anyone with even a moderately sized brain can dismiss this as nonsense.
3) As for most Muslims around the world, I don't think Jerusalem is very important. If you ask a starving farmer in Pakistan, I think the farmer would place the dismantling of feudalism in Pakistan as far more important than any silly claims to Jerusalem.
Thus, your claim that Jerusalem is important to Islam requires some refinement. Jerusalem is only important to fundamentalists and to Palestinians, even non-Islamist ones, like secularists and Christians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
In other words, Jerusalem is important to the people who live there, and to the people most likely to interpret jihad as a holy war. Adam Bishop (talk) 03:48, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Use of sources[edit]

I've cut this out of the main article as it seems more opinion than fact and doesn't have any references to back it up

"Preferring a tertiary source over a primary source to demonstrate a point is not something a serious historian would be expected to do, but this out-of-contextual quoting is repeated in many works on crusading medicine." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cap (talkcontribs) 15:07, 8 February 2009 (UTC)