© 2004


From Qur’ān to bin Laden

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Introduction

    1. Richard Bonney
      Pages 1-14
  3. Prologue

    1. Richard Bonney
      Pages 15-18
  4. Text and Meaning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Richard Bonney
      Pages 21-52
    3. Richard Bonney
      Pages 91-107
  5. Contextual Theorists and State Systems

  6. Ideological Interpretations

  7. Context and Distortion of the Text

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 267-267
    2. Richard Bonney
      Pages 395-423
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 424-594

About this book


Holy war ideas appear among Muslims during the earliest manifestations of the religion. This book locates the origin of Jihad and traces its evolution as an idea with the intellectual history of the concept of Jihad in Islam as well as how it has been misapplied by modern Islamic terrorists and suicide bombers.


bibliography Islam Israel religion terrorism war

About the authors

RICHARD BONNEY was the Founding Editor of the Oxford Journal, French History, between 1987-2001. He has instigated and directed the European State Finance Database. He is currently Head of Department of History at the University of Leicester and Director of the Centre for the History of Religious and Political Pluralism and of INPAREL, the Institute for the Study of Indo-Pakistan Relations.

Bibliographic information


'This remarkably comprehensive presentation combines depth of historical detail with breadth of interpretive vision. It provides an in-depth alternative to alarmist and simplistic discussions that concentrate on current headlines. Bonney presents a fair and balanced picture of the full range of Muslim thought from medieval mystics to contemporary activists and militants.' - John Voll, Director of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, USA

'Mandatory reading...This new reappraisal of the evolution of the concept of Jihad in Islamic particularly timely and welcome.' - from the Foreword by Zaki M. Badawi, Muslim College London, UK

'[A] sound, comprehensive and enlightening book on this greatly debated topic. It can be appreciated by [all] readers, given its objectivity, integrity and impartiality.' - Hassan Hanafi, Professor of Philosophy, Cairo University, Egypt

'Richard Bonney, in this timely and important work, studies the evolution of the concept of jihad, or struggle in the way of the Lord, in Muslim history...Bonney makes a major step forward in bringing much real learning to our understanding of jihad, which is too often distorted by sheer ignorance. This book should give journalists and politicians pause for thought, as well as the public in general. - Francis Robinson, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

'A comprehensive treatment of the subject both from the perspective of the development of the idea of Jihad in Muslim and general global thinking, but also a good critical introduction to the history of the doctrine in Muslim theology and jurisprudence. A fair and judicious treatment of the subject which will be welcomed by all readers.' - Muhammad Khalid Masud, formerly Academic Director, ISIM (International Institute for Islam in the Modern World), The Netherlands

'Richard Bonney's work on Jihad presents the most comprehensive analysis of the topic ever written, covering the time period from the revelation of the Quran up through contemporary events. Bonney effectively demonstrates that there is no single interpretation of jihad, but that interpretations have varied according to historical circumstance, geographical location, and political need. Exhaustively researched and highly detailed, it adds an important historical dimension to the ongoing debates about contemporary interpretations and distortions of jihad as holy war.' - Dr Natana DeLong-Bas, author of Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad and Notable Muslims: A Biographical Dictionary

'Such books would help our efforts aimed at clearing away misunderstanding about Islam especially the Jihad by the Western world.' - Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, Minister for Religious Affairs, Pakistan

'Bonney's volume is a good piece of academic work...can be recommended as an informative read.' - Naima Mouhleb, Journal of Peace Research