In its first thousand years - from the revelations given to Muhammad in the 7th century to the great Islamic empires of the 16th - Islamic civilization flourished. While Europeans suffered through the Dark Ages, Muslims in such cities as Jerusalem, Damascus, Alexandria, Fez, Tunis, Cairo and Baghdad made remarkable advances in philosophy, science, medicine, literature and art. This work explores the first millennium of Islamic culture, seeking to shatter stereotypes and enlighten readers about the events and achievements that have shaped contemporary Islamic civilization. Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair examine the rise of Islam, the life of Muhammad, and the Islamic principles of faith. They describe the golden age of the Abbasids, the Mongol invasions, and the great Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires that emerged in their wake. Their narrative, complemented by excerpts of the Koran, poetry, biographies, inscriptions, travel guides, and a 13th-century recipe, concludes with a brief epilogue that takes us into the 20th century.