60 - Khadija, Wife of The Prophet

April 9th, 2021

The richest merchant of Mecca and the first person to convert to Islam, Khadija was one of the most important people in the early history of Islam.

59 - The Fall of Granada

March 4th, 2021

In 1492, seven centuries of Muslim rule in Spain come to an end and History takes a very sharp turn.  Today we discuss the reasons for the fall of Granada and its implications on all sides.

58 - The Emirate of Granada

February 1st, 2021

Despite the constant threat of the Christian Reconquista from the north, the last Muslim foothold in Spain, the Emirate of Granada, managed not only to survive, but to flourish for over two centuries, leaving some of the greatest symbols of Muslim culture in Europe.  Hear how skillful leadership managed to defy the odds and sustain a mini-Golden Age.

57-The Reconquista, The Battle for Spain II

January 17th, 2021

The fighting in Spain and Portugal turns into a bona fide Crusade, with both sides seeing themselves appointed by God to save the true religion.  In this episode, we look at the lesser known, but at times, higher priority crusade against Islam: the battle for Iberia.

56 - The Reconquista - the Battle for Spain I

December 1st, 2020

Almost immediately after the Muslims conquered Iberia, the long fight for control began.  What would be called by Europeans a "Reconquest" would take nearly eight centuries and leave lasting marks on both sides.  In this episode, we look at the beginnings of this long battle.

55 - The Case of the Animals against Man

November 11th, 2020

A thousand years ago, the mysterious philosophical group Ikhwan al-Safa' imagined humankind put on trial for its treatment of the animals.  Far ahead of their time in thinking about rights and compassion, the Ikhwan remain controversial and inspiring.

54 -An Encyclopedia of Everything

October 21st, 2020

The Brethren of Purity, or Ikhwan al-Safa' were one of the most mysterious, yet influential groups of philosophers.  A secret society of eclectic thinkers, they attempted to reconcile all the world's knowledge--from Greek, Hindu, Persian, pagan, Christian and Muslim sources--into a single system that explained everything.  How did they do?  We will see in this episode.

53 - Journey to Heaven and Hell

October 2nd, 2020

Before Dante and long before Bill and Ted, the great Arab writer Abu 'Alaa' al-Ma'arri described a mythical journey into Heaven and Hell that challenged the views of religious officials of his day.  He remains as popular and controversial today as ever.

52 - Good Behavior in the Golden Age

September 3rd, 2020

Proper values and behavior of the elite in the Golden Age capitals of Baghdad and Cordoba was not just a matter of trial and error.  Detailed manuals of adab taught what was expected in respectable society.  Today we look at one of the greatest of these, The Unique Necklace of Ibn Abd Rabbih

51 - Religion vs. Philosophy II

August 14th, 2020

In the conflict between philosophers and religious writers of the Golden Age, no question was more divisive than the eternity of the world.  Although it may seem abstract today, this was the ultimate litmus test back then.  In this episode, we look at how both sides lined up on this issue and why they considered the others infidels.

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