The Traditionalist vs. the Skeptic in “The Arabian Background” and “The Rise of Islam” The rise of Islam is one of the most hotly debated topics in Islamic studies. There are basically four approaches used to study Islam in the Western tradition. These approaches are known as the descriptive approach, the source critical approach, the tradition critical approach and the skeptical approach. In this essay two reading from different traditions will be examined in detail. The first reading is “The Arabian Background” by W. Montgomery Watt. This reading is an example of the descriptive approach. The second reading is “The Rise of Islam” by Patricia Crone. This reading is an example of the skeptical approach. In “The Arabian Background” W....The end:
.....s historical records as is. As a result they tend to be full of inaccuracies and stereotypes. The Crone reader was harder to classify. However, it seems more likely that is was an example of the skeptical approach. This approach uses the arguments made in the descriptive approach and takes them apart using a number of different techniques. References Crone, Patricia, “The Rise of Islam” Chapter 10 in Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1987: 231-250 Donner, Fred McGraw, “Introduction” in Narratives of Islamic Origins, The University of Michigan Press, 1998: 1-31. Krauth, Joachim Experimental Design, Elsevier, 2000. Watt, W. Montgomery “The Arabian Background” Chapter 1 in Muhammad at Mecca, 1953: 1-29.