Subsidiary SourcebooksAfricanEastern AsianGlobalIndianJewishIslamicLesbian/GayScienceWomen

Special ResourcesByzantiumMedieval MusicSaints' Lives
Ancient Law
Medieval Law
Film: Ancient
Film: Medieval
Film: Modern

About IHSPIHSP Credits

Internet Islamic History Sourcebook

This page is a subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks listed below, along with added texts and web site indicators. For more contextual information, for instance about Western imperialism, or the history of a given period, check out these web sites.

Internet Ancient History Sourcebook

Internet Medieval Sourcebook

Internet Modern History Sourcebook

For help in research, homework, and so forth see


In addition to direct links to documents, links are made to a number of other web resources.

Link to a secondary article, review or discussion on a given topic.
Link to one of the megasites which track web resources.
Link to a website focused on a specific issue.. These are not links to every site on a given topic, but to sites of serious educational value.




The Pre-Islamic Arab World

Pre-Islamic Arabs

Pre-Islamic Persia

 Muhammad and Foundations - to 632 CE

Religious and Social Context of 7th Century Arabia



Islam Faith and Theology


The Sunni Tradition

The Shi'ite Tradition


Islam as a Modern Faith

Women in  Islam

Islamic Expansion and Empire


Government Institutions

Islamic Africa [Sub-Sahara]

  • WEB Islam and Indigenous African Culture [At Internet Archive, from Harvard]
    A clear narrative, and excellent maps on the penetration of Islam across the Sahara and in East Africa.

The Caliphate





  • The Poets of Arabia, Selections
  • Al Hariri of Basrah (446-516 A.H./1054-1122 CE): Maqamat, (The Assemblies), c. 1100 CE, 12 of the 50 "assemblies". Maqamat (singular Maqamah) were a popular sort of Arabic entertainment literature (adab). This is perhaps the most popular example.
  • The Women and Her Suitors story from the Thousand and One Nights [caution: very rude!]
  • The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor story from the Thousand and One Nights [At Sacred Texts]
  • The Arabian Nights Entertainments, translated by Andrew Lang
  • The Arabian Nights, translated Sir. Richard Francis Burton. Full Text - Sacred Texts]
  • Ibn Fadlan. Risala 921 CE [At VikingAnswerLady]
    Ibn Fadlan -an Arab chronicler. In 921 C.E., the Caliph sent Ibn Fadlan with an embassy to the King of the Bulgars of the Middle Volga. Ibn Fadlan wrote an account of his journeys with the embassy, called a Risala. This Risala is of great value as a history, although it is clear in some places that inaccuracies and Ibn Fadlan's own prejudices have slanted the account to some extent.
  • Nasir-i-Khusraw (1046-1052): Book of Travels (Safarnama) [At Traveling to Jerusalem/U Sth Colorado]
  • The Nizámu'l Mulk (?-1092 CE) : On the Courtiers and Familars of Kings
  • Ibn Battuta (1307-1377 CE): Travels, selections
  • Ibn Battuta (1307-1377 CE): Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354
  • 2ND Arthur Goldschmidt: A Concise History of the Middle East. Chap. 8. "Islamic Civilization"
  • 2ND Oleg Grabar: Ceremonial and Art at the Umayyad Court. PhD Dissertation, Princeton Univ 1955. Chap. I. The Umayyad Royal Idea and its Expression under Mu'awiyah I. pp 18 ff
  • 2ND Oleg Grabar: The Formation of Islamic Art, (New Haven: Yale Univ Press, 19??), pp. 43- 71,.Chap. 3 "The Symbolic Appropriation of the Land" chapter 3
  • 2ND S. M. Ghazanfar: The Islamic World and the Western Renaissance [At Cyberistan]. 
    Useful enough, but written with a chip on his shoulder by an economist.


Gender and Sexuality in Classical Islam

  • The Qur'an on Homosexuality.
  • Edward Carpenter (1884-1929): Iolaus: An Anthology of Friendship [chapter on Arabia and Persia], with extracts from Rumi, Hafiz and Saadi.
  • The Tale of Nur Al-Din Ali and his Son Badr Al-Din Hasan,
    from The Arabian Nights, translated Sir. Richard Francis Burton.
  • Abu Nawas (c.756-810 CE): Poetry
  • The Nizámu'l Mulk (?-1092 CE) : On the Courtiers and Familars of Kings
  • Sa'di (1184-1292 CE): Gulistan, 13th Century CE, Full text of Persian prose/poetry text with significant homoerotic content.
  • Rumi: Poetry
  • Sa'di (1184-1292 CE): The Gulistan, c. 1256 CE. another translation.
  • Sheikh Nefzaoui: The Perfumed Garden, 16th Cent. CE/c. A.H 925, translated by Sir Richard Burton , in chapter files, full text, [At Bibliomania]
    A guide to sex by a Tunisian writer of the 16th century. Does not discuss male homosexuality, but does discuss Lesbianism (in chap. 20).
  • Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (1522 - 1592 CE): Lesbian Love in A Turkish Bath, 1560  [At Internet Archive, from Letters Magazine]
  • 2ND Richard Burton: Terminal Essay, from his edition of the Arabian Nights.
    Burton' compilation of data on variety of societies was meant to explain some of the stories in The Nights. In doing so, he provided first overview of Islamic homosexuality.
  • 2ND Islam and Homosexuality [At Geocities]
    An extremely homophobic article which claims Islam never tolerated homosexuality.

Successor States: Ummayyad Spain

  • 2ND David J. Wasserstein: The Caliphate in the West, (Oxford: ClarendonPress, 1993), chap. 1. "The Caliphal Institution in al-Andalus until 422/1031"

In English, with Spanish and French versions.

Successor States: Fatamid Egypt

Successor States: Mameluke Egypt

Successor States: North Africa/Maghreb

The Mongol Invasions

  • Ibn al-Athir: On The Tatars, 1220-1221CE
    The effects of the Mongols in Persia.
  • Bar Sauma (c. 1278-1313):  The Monk of Kublai Khan, Emperor of China; or The History of the Life and Travels of Rabban Sawma, Envoy and Plenipotentiary of the Mongol Khans to the Kings of Europe and Markos who as Yahbh-Allaha III Became Patriarch of the Nestorian Church. Translated by E.A. Wallis Budge,   London: The Religious Track Society, 1928.  [At Traveling to Jerusalem/U Sth Colorado]

The Persians




The Turkish Irruption



The Ottomans


  • WEB The Ottomans [At WSU]
    A multi-media site by Richard Hooker.



  • Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (1522 - 1592): The Turkish Letters,   excerpts, 1555-1562 [At this Site]


Ottoman Egypt



The Expansion Eastwards


  • WEB The Mughals [At WSU]
    A multi-media site by Richard Hooker.


East Indies


Interaction with the West


The Western Intrusion


European 19th Century Imperialism

The Ottoman Empire in the Face of Western Power









World War I

Islamic Nationalism

Arab Nationalism

British and French Diplomacy

Islam and Democracy




The Islamic World Since 1945


International Affairs/Organizations


  • The Islamic Salvation Front National Provisional Executive Bureau:
    Communique No. 42, Algiers, November 14 1993 [At Historical Text Archive]
  • 2ND William Lewis, "Algeria at the Brink," Strategic Forum, National Defense University, Number 32, June, 1995  [At NDU]



  • Ayatollah Khomeini: The Uprising of Khurdad 15, 1979 [At this Site]
  • V.S. Naipaul: Among the Believers, The Atlantic Monthly, July 1981, [At The Atlantic, subscription required][Added 7/23/98]
    Shia Islam in Revolutionary Iran.
  • Iran Constitution, 1992 [At ICL]
    Includes a history of the 1979 revolution, and specific comments on the position of women.



  • Robert Kaplan: Sons of Devils, The Atlantic Monthly, November 1987  [At The Atlantic, subscription required]
    On Kurdish identity.
  • Laurie Mylroie: After Saddam Hussein, The Atlantic Monthly, December 1992 [At The Atlantic, subscription required]
    On the Kurds in the Middle East.


Saudi Arabia


  • Syria Constitution, 1973 [At ICL]

The Palestine/Israel Conflict

World War I and its Effects

The Politics and Culture of the Interwar Years

Establishment of Israel

Israeli Government


Peace Efforts

Palestinian Organizations and Politics

Local Culture

Islamic History Maps

Origins, Expansion and Core Areas




Turks: Seljuqs and Ottomans

India and Far East


Further Resources on Islamic History

© This text is copyright. The specific electronic form, and any notes and questions are copyright. Permission is granted to copy the text, and to print out copies for personal and educational use. No permission is granted for commercial use.

If any copyright has been infringed, this was unintentional. The possibility of a site such as this, as with other collections of electronic texts, depends on the large availability of public domain material from texts translated before 1923. [In the US, all texts issued before 1923 are now in the public domain. Texts published before 1964 may be in the public domain if copyright was not renewed after 28 years. This site seeks to abide by US copyright law: the copyright status of texts here outside the US may be different.] Efforts have been made to ascertain the copyright status of all texts here, although, occasionally, this has not been possible where older or non-US publishers seem to have ceased existence. Some of the recently translated texts here are copyright to the translators indicated in each document. These translators have in every case given permission for non-commercial reproduction. No representation is made about the copyright status of texts linked off-site. This site is intended for educational use. Notification of copyright infringement will result in the immediate removal of a text until its status is resolved.

© Paul Halsall, October 1998. Last Updated March 18, 2007.
[email protected]


The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 12 March 2023 [CV]