The Muqaddimah Book Summary - The Muqaddimah Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Muqaddimah summary

Ibn Khaldūn

An Introduction to History

4 (83 ratings)
20 mins
Table of Contents

    The Muqaddimah
    summarized in 9 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 9

    Social organization separates humans from animals and leads to human civilization.

    Have you ever wondered how a relatively defenseless and weak species like Homo sapiens came to dominate the Earth, when far more dangerous animals, like lions with their claws and crocodiles with their jaws, could easily devour us?

    Well, our strength and power come from our ability to think, not to fight, and this enables us to work together and organize socially.

    Because humans are more physically vulnerable than other animals, we rely on the help of others for defense. Through social organization and cooperation, we’ve been able to meet the needs of many and defend against fearsome predators.

    For example, a human is nowhere near as strong as a lion. Placed in the unfortunate position of having to fight such a ferocious opponent, we would surely lose.

    But there’s strength in numbers. When we work together, we ensure security, and a better chance of survival, for all.

    The author contends that God gave us something even better than claws and fangs: thought. Our ability to think allowed us to realize that forming communities would assist the survival of humankind.

    The ability to think not only helps us to survive; it also confirms our superiority over animals. By granting humans the ability to think, God demonstrated His desire for us to settle the world and act as His representatives on earth.

    Our ability to think, coupled with our dexterous hands, has resulted in the many crafts that characterize human civilization. Rather than using our claws like lions, we use our hands to create tools, such as lances and swords, with which to defend ourselves.

    Though it is our ability to think that distinguishes us from animals, we nonetheless share the same penchant for aggression and injustice. For this reason, we must be led by a strong authority to restrain our primal aggression and keep the peace. As you’ll learn in later blinks this royal authority is crucial to human success.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Muqaddimah?

    Key ideas in The Muqaddimah

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Muqaddimah about?

    The Muqaddimah (fourteenth century, first English edition 1958), a classic text on the Islamic history of the world, focuses on the rise and fall of civilizations. It offers a unique glimpse into the world of the fourteenth-century Arab Muslim, and is regarded as a foundational text in several academic disciplines.

    Best quote from The Muqaddimah

    Human social organization is something necessary.

    —Ibn Khaldūn
    example alt text

    Who should read The Muqaddimah?

    • History enthusiasts
    • People interested in social organization
    • Participants in Mark Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books

    About the Author

    Ibn Khaldūn, a fourteenth-century Arab Muslim scholar, is one of the “founding fathers” of modern sociology, historiography, demographics and economics.

    Categories with The Muqaddimah

    Books like The Muqaddimah

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    26 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial