Martin Hinds

IntroBritish scholar
Was Historian 
From United Kingdom 
Type Social science 
Birth 10 April 1941 
, Penarth
Death 1 December 1988 
, Cambridge
(aged 47 years)

Martin Hinds (10 April 1941 in Penarth, Wales – 1 December 1988) was a scholar of the Middle East and historiographer of early Islam.


Dr. Hinds interest in Islamic culture began as early as the year 1960 when he was a student of Arabic at the School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS where he developed a number of close friendships with scholars from North Africa. In the summer of 1962, he arrived in Tunisia and visited famous historic places there like the prominent Carthage, a suburb of Tunis that was the centre of the Carthaginian Empire in antiquity. He visited also famous Islamic Monuments like Al-Zaytuna Mosque. Built early in the eighth century AD is the oldest in the Capital of Tunisia and the second mosque to be built in Ifriqiya and the Maghreb region after the Mosque of Uqba in Al-Kairouan. Dr. Hinds also visited Al-Kairouan and its Mosque of Uqba. He was fascinated by Islamic Architecture and by the academic role of the Al-Zaytuna mosque which is known to host one of the first and greatest universities in the history of Islam.


Together with Patricia Crone he argues in his book God’s Caliph : Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam that the first Caliphs head of state as well as head of the religious community. Later religious scholars claimed power for themselves on behalf of the communities they represented, thus creating the situation in Sunni Islam where there is no centralized religious power. The Shi’ite system is therefore no deviation but represents the original order of power in early Islam. Martin Hinds adheres to the Revisionist School of Islamic Studies.


  • God’s Caliph : Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam (1986), with Patricia Crone.
  • The History of al-Tabari Vol. 23: The Zenith of the Marwanid House (1990), as translator.