The Expansion of Islam: A Nineteenth Century Treatise

The well-known Albanian Ottoman scholar, Sami Frashëri, wrote the treatise at hand during a time when the Muslim world was being conquered and divided by the European colonial powers, and the office of the Ottoman caliph was losing its influence in the region due to the global rise of nationalism. Some of the topics addressed include a brief history of Islam and its rapid expansion, Muslim nations and their trials, as well as Muslim contributions to science and civilization. Sami dedicated this concise work to the brave Muslims involved in the expansion of Islam despite the challenges faced from all directions. This first-ever English translation of Frashëri’s 19th century discourse is an enormous contribution to world history from a Muslim lens.

Sami Frashëri was born in 1850 into a distinguished Muslim family in Albania. He attended a Greek language school in Janina, and it was there that he became proficient in French, Italian and Greek, and later learned Arabic, Persian and Turkish, in addition to his native Albanian. After moving to Istanbul, Frashëri worked for several Ottoman newspapers, and also published over fifty of his own books in a number of languages. Frashëri was a polymath in every sense of the word. He died in 1904.

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