The Expeditions is one of the oldest biographies of the Prophet Muhammad to survive into the modern era. Its primary author, Maʿmar ibn Rashid (714-770 AD/96-153 AH), was a prominent scholar from Basra in southern Iraq who was revered for his learning in prophetic traditions, Islamic law, and the interpretation of the Qurʾan. This fascinating foundational seminal work contains stories handed down by Maʿmar to his most prominent pupil, ʿAbd al-Razzaq of Sanʿaʾ, relating Muhammad’s early life and prophetic career as well as the adventures and tribulations of his earliest followers during their conquest of the Near East.
Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would take control of the new Islamic nation had begun, beginning a succession crisis marked by power grabs, assassination, political intrigue, and passionate faith. Soon Islam was embroiled in civil war, pitting its founder's controversial wife Aisha against his son-in-law Ali, and shattering Muhammad’s ideal of unity.
The Partition of India in 1947 promised its people both political and religious freedom—through the liberation of India from British rule, and the creation of the Muslim state of Pakistan. Instead, the geographical divide brought displacement and death, and it benefited the few at the expense of the very many. Thousands of women were raped, at least one million people were killed, and ten to fifteen million were forced to leave their homes as refugees. One of the first events of decolonization in the twentieth century, Partition was also one of the most bloody.