Destiny Disrupted this is a marvelous book. Ansary has written an indispensable historical account of the last 1,500 years from a perspective that is all too often ignored in the West. Destiny Disrupted will be read for generations to come.
Destiny Disrupted: A History World Through Islamic Eyes
Some writers are scrupulous about the system they use for transliterating Islamic names and words into English, insisting that one or another system is correct. I have to confess I am not among them.
I have seen my own name spelled too many different ways in English to be picky. (People often ask me, which is correct, Ansari or Ansary-is it y or z? Well, neither, really: it’s the letter yaw.) Given the arbitrary nature of transliteration, my guiding principle in this book has been to go for the simplest spellings and the most recognizable reductions.
Also, many Arabic names include a series of patronymics preceded by Ibn, meaning “son of.” Usually, I use the shortest form of the name by which a person is most commonly known. The profusion of unfamiliar names (and words) in this book will challenge many English-speaking readers; I wish to minimize such difficulties, so if a familiar form of a word or name exists in English, that’s what I go with.
Also, following a precedent set by Albert Hourani in A History of the Arab Peoples, I use the prefixal-the first time an Arabic name is used but drop it after that: al-Ghazali becomes Ghazali.
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