The Islamic Openings
NOTES ON THE TRANSLATION
We have rejected the traditional translation of fataha as "conquered" in favor of "opened". Thus the English title of this book is The Islamic Openings rather than The Islamic Conquests. In the military context, fataha is usually applied only to the actions of the Muslims in bringing Islamic rule to other lands. They opened those lands to Islam, inviting but not forcing the native people to join Islam. But when other powers conquered other nations, they did not open them, and another verb in Arabic is used for their conquests.
Jizyah was imposed on every non-Muslim who kept his religion. It was taken as a payment for protecting the city or country. The amount was assigned according to the financial status of the people, and it was not collected from young children, women, old men or the poor.
This book contains many place names and personal names that are unfamiliar to the modern reader. Arabic does not write the vowels, thus making transliteration of these names difficult. Most of these names are not Arabic, so the translator cannot use Arabic morphology to determine the vowels. We have attempted to find these names in other books with limited success. Where possible, the English form of the name is used if it is likely to be familiar to the reader, but in most cases the place names herein are uncertain.
A simplified spelling for Arabic names is used throughout and the long vowels are not indicated. The character ’ represents the Arabic hamza and represents the Arabic 'ain.
The character ~ is to represent the Arabic words Salla Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam meaning "Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him."