Comparing Benjamin Tudela and Habib Ibn Muslama

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Daniel Costello
Dr. Hofmann
Hist 101
Using the following primary source documents by Benjamin of Tudela and Habib ibn Muslama, I found that they share similar themes pertaining to rulers' relations with their subjects and the influences religions and cultures have on each other in a society. More specifically each primary source explores the rulers and their positive or negative relationships with their subjects. In Benjamin of Tudela's Book of Travels the quality of life for Jews under Islamic rule in Baghdad is examined. The Islamic rule and culture in Baghdad had a profound impact on Jewish individuals' faith. In this primary source we see that Judaism is allowed but in order to participate in everyday affairs one must participate in traditions of the Islamic culture. The Jews faith in Judaism was not shattered but rather strengthened. In turn, Jews were forced to put their beliefs second after Islamic orders. For example, Emir al-Mumin, the lord of Islam, granted Daniel, also known by Muslims as Saldna ben Daoud, "authority over all the congregations of Israel. For thus Muhammad commanded…grant a seal of office over all the congregations that dwell under his rule, and ordered that everyone, Muslims or Jews… should rise up before him and salute him, and any one who should refuse to rise up should receive one hundred stripes." This states that David, "head of captivity" over all communities including Persia, Armenia and ever over some African Christian civilizations including Nubia and Ethiopia. It is unclear whether these areas were required to participate as heavily in the Islamic traditions. What is known is that David, the head of the captivity, bestowed communities with the power to appoint Rabbis and Ministers as long as these appointed individuals go to him and allow themselves to be consecrated. Only then will David grant them the "authority to own hospices, gardens and plantations in Babylon…no one can take his possessions from him by force. He...
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