David Cook (historian)

American religious studies scholar

David Cook is an American historian and professor of the history of Islam at Rice University. Cook earned his PhD at the University of Chicago.


  • Thus, the concept of martyrdom developed differently in Islam than it did in either Judaism or Christianity. Martyrdom in Islam has a much more active sense: the prospective martyr is called to seek out situations in which martyrdom might be achieved. For example, in Abdallah b. al- Mubarak’s Kitab al-jihad, we find Nawf al-Bikali praying: “O, God! Make my wife a widow, make my child an orphan, and ennoble Nawf with martyrdom!”
    • David Cook, Understanding Jihad, page 26
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