Review By : Waseem Khan

Lost Islamic History is a fascinating narrative of rise and fall of Islamic empires, which is subtle, hyperopic and attention grabbing packed in simple language. This book is produced by the young man named Firas Al-Khateb. He has done PhD in Islamic thought at the University of Chicago; interested in post-classical Hanafi legal theory in the Ottoman Empire and its intersections with theology and political theory, at the same time, teaching Islamic History at Universal school of Bridgeview, Illinois. His study, which later on paved his way to not only study the Muslim history but reconstruct a positive narrative about Muslim’s grand and significant achievements, remarkable expansion around the world and historical rules of Muslims around the world, for example Ottomans, Saffavids and Mughals collectively named as Gun powder Empires. The basic merits of this book is, that its free of any historical bias, controversial debates and touches the positive aspects of Muslims’ eternal imprint on history, with reference to Golden, science, technology, politics, jurisprudence, medicine, mathematics, philosophy, exploration and inter alia. Which is often ignored by the Western writers; I think this is the reason he named his book as “Lost Islamic History” that has been neglected, ignored, black-out and undermined by the historians like, Barnard Lewis, Lazily Hazelton and Bernard De Bellaigue; these are only interested in controversial topics inside Muslim history and they try to put a cover on prestigious establishments of Islamic history and culture.

The Book is structurally divided into eleven chapters, each one written skillfully and precisely presenting glorious, charismatic and entire view of Islamic past. The sequence of chapters is given below:

  • Pre-Islamic Arabia
  • The life of Prophet
  • Rightly Guided Caliphs
  • Establishment of Muslim State
  • Intellectual Golden ages
  • Upheaval
  • Al-Andalusia
  • The Edge
  • Rebirth
  • Decline
  • Old and New Ideas

In these pages he comes to provide the complete image of Islamic History from pre-Islamic Arabia to modern reformative movements in Islam today. Something that was new for me was the inclusion of Figures like, Mansa Musa a great Mali King, of an Islamic West-African State: who is considered as the richest man in the world who ever lived, and Black National activist Malcolm X view about Islam; as he presented Islam as the solution to the problems of American people with reference to racism, economic inequality and conflicts between Black and White American citizens. As it is quoted in the final chapter of the book:

“America needs to Understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the problem of racism” Malcolm X

One must go through this marvelous and eloquent piece of writing as, it is fascinating, precise and positive tale of Islamic history.