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Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Posted at Apr 29/2007 03:03AM:
Harry Anastopulos: The Qarmatians were an extremist Muslim sect from the area of eastern Arabia, particularly the island of Bahrain. Many sources have cited them as a rather warlike group (including travel accounts by Naser-e Khosraw); during the 900s, they even revolted against the Abbasid Caliphate. The Qarmatians later sacked Mecca during the time of the Hajj and stole the Qaaba's sacred black stone. Eventually, internal discord and clashes with the Fatimid dynasty tore apart Qarmatian unity and the black stone was finally returned to Mecca under treaty. To be sure, the Qarmatians are a clear indicator that the holy nature of both Islam and the Hajj were not necessarily guarantees of safety and also that there were many (often conflicting) Muslims groups that interacted during this period.