A Shared World
This chapter addresses how Muslims and non-Muslims lived together, side-by-side and having a shared experience. This was the case in Syria from the earliest period of Muslim rule. Arab Muslim immigrants settled in preexisting towns and cities, and al-Jābiya and al-Ramla—two well-known Arab encampments—never took off as significant places of Muslim habitation. Outside Syria, one must also remember that the garrison cities in which Arab immigrants settled were themselves not hermetically sealed off from the populations around them. The chapter then considers some of the social milieux of exchange and vectors by which Muslims came into contact with non-Muslims—milieux where, through shared settings and shared experiences, non-Muslim ideas and practices came to be taken up by Muslims.
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