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Usāma ibn Munqidh

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a short description of the work Kitāb al-i‘tibār, 'Instructions' on Christian-Muslim relations. The Kitāb al-i‘tibār is an autobiographical work, dictated by Usāma when he was almost 90, and its contents reveal to the reader aspects of medieval Islamic society rarely seen in other writings. This work gives a fascinating insight into a world of interaction between Muslims and Latin Christians in the areas around the crusader states, which would not otherwise be known. It shows the sense of both ridicule and horror that the Franks evinced in the Muslims, as well as how theoretical boundaries were broken down by the higher levels of society and mutual accommodation was found, at least for a time.

Keywords: Christian-Muslim relations; Kitāb al-i‘tibār; Usāma ibn Munqidh



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