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I am a historian of the pre-modern Mediterranean world, specializing in the political, intellectual and cultural history of medieval Spain and North Africa. I received my PhD in the Department of History the University of Chicago in 2018, focusing on the history of the late medieval Mediterranean. Among other topics, I am particularly interested in historiography, intercommunal relations, political theology, and borderlands/frontiers. I also research and write about early Islamic history, Arab-Byzantine relations in the early medieval Mediterranean, Shi’ism, and the Ottoman-Safavid conflict.

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting facts, provide critical reflections and present a collection of my own musings on history, theology, philosophy, travels, politics and religion. It seeks to serve as a resource for all students and scholars of medieval history.

All original content on this blog is copyright and cannot be reproduced or copied without my express written permission.

https://chicago.academia.edu/MohamadBallan


21 Comments

  1. Hassan Mogase says:

    Great blog it may help me with my research in sha’a Allah.

  2. Is there a way I could contact you?

  3. Iftikhar Malik says:

    Enjoyed your pieces. Have read two so far: one on the Safawids and the other on the envoy to the Vikings. Well-researched and equally absorbing. In my Pluto volume, Islam and Modernity, the first two chapters are on Muslim Spain. Do read them, if you get a chance.

  4. Raman Sehgal says:

    Have you researched on the science and islam in during the ‘golden period’ of islam – how far islam was responsible for famous scientists? Most of the famous scientists were persians and they were skeptical towards islam – is it correct?

    Kindly comment.

  5. Artearq7 says:

    Ramam Sehgal: la mayoría de científicos no eran persas en absoluto. Eran árabes y otros diversos orígenes (la mayoría en Irak). Eran científicos, lo que supone ser algo escépticos, como en otras religiones.

    • Eh, pero es una lectura comprensible, de hecho. No era así en el occidente musulmán, pero en el oriente, desde la era abasí y hasta inicios de los imperios otomano y mogol, sí parece haber habido una especie de imaginario en que se estereotipaba a los científicos como persas. No es fortuito que los selyúcidas tomaran el persa como lengua científica y política hasta que un bey de Karamán decretó el uso exclusivo del turco ogúz anatolio, y creo haber leído que fue el mismo caso con los mogoles (hablantes de turco kipchák) hasta que a Akbar el Grande se le ocurrió intentar sincretizar tradición islámica con védica.

      Tal vez me equivoco en algún detalle, pero es comprensible confundir lo que las fuentes primarias dan a entender con lo que pudo haber ocurrido en realidad.

  6. roberthorvat says:

    Wonderful blog. Well researched. Islamic history crosses over a lot of history that I like reading. The struggle between Byzantium and Islam is one of my passions.

  7. uthmanibnsabeel says:

    One of my favourite places on the internet. An excellent blog.

  8. halalhassan says:

    Awesome blog brother. I would kindly suggest arranging the articles via category for newbies to your blog (like me) 😀

  9. Raman Sehgal says:

    Artearq7 – English please.

  10. Congratulations for your blog! Can we share your text in our travel blog with your name and linking to your blog?

  11. Sarah says:

    Turn on the dm function on your Twitter so followers can ask for more info about your interesting tweets!

  12. abdalaziz ariff says:

    Today at 12:35 AM

    salamun alaikum Br. Mohamad Ballan
    I enjoy your website ballandulas.wordpress.com-excellent.
    If you have finished your Phd – conratulation , if not then wish you best wishes, long and healthy life.
    I am US Citizen of Pakistani origin , getting old , live in Indianapolis.
    Please do not get upset , your name suggests , could be a Syrian or Lebanese origin.

    Where can I get a book by the name of Meezan -il–Faris by Hujjatullah Abdul Qadir Ali Al-Moosvi. I heard this book is banned in Iran. Is there an English translation available. I can also live with a Persian version. Please help me find it.
    Please respond.
    Thanks
    abdalaziz ariff 317-495-0595

  13. Excellent information on this blog.

  14. Khateeb says:

    Is there a way to get Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus by Hugh Kennedy at a reasonable price? Amazon is currently selling it at an exorbitant rate.

    Could you write a post detailing recommended books to read about Al Andalus?

  15. Thanks for the wonderful blog. May we know your name?

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