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Title: Ties that bind : the role of family dynamics in the Islamization of the central Islamic lands, 700-900 CE
Author: Chrysostomides, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 3334
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This study explores Islamization and conversion as a process of socialisation, one best illustrated in sources discussing daily human interaction, and argues for several nuances to the understanding of Islamization and conversion in the Islamic world. It focuses on the familial relationship as one of the most important types of social interactions that would have facilitated conversion in the central Islamic lands - the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia, and Fars during the 8th-9th centuries CE. This thesis is based upon the concept that it is integral to the study of conversion to Islam in the 700s-800s to be aware of a variety of behaviours associated with conversion ranging from Islamization of outward actions with no religious affiliation to Islam, to full religious conversion in the 8th-9th centuries. With this variety in mind, it has found, first, that the expectations of non-Muslim wives by Muslim husbands, in particular, encouraged religious code switching. Second, even when a person fully converted, family ties often kept them within the social and ritual world of their previous tradition. Third, conversion was not always a choice; women were often passively part of a household conversion. Fourth, Christian women in some communities may have sought conversion to Islam as a way to divorce their husband and retain the potential for remarriage. Fifth, a hierarchy based upon religious affiliation and social class formed in the 9th century; a Muslim man could either marry a woman or only keep her as a concubine depending on her religion and/or status. Sixth, in the 8th-9th centuries several Muslim jurists favoured matrilineal religious inheritance over patrilineal. Seventh, baptism may have been practiced by a majority of Muslims in the 8th-late-9th centuries suggesting not only a required change in how we view Islam in the 700s-800s, but also in how we view Islamization.
Supervisor: Hoyland, Robert ; Taylor, David ; Baun, Jane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Early Islam ; Christian-Muslim Relations ; Conversion ; Women in Islam