The research of the processes which the local conquered communities underwent focuses on changes in their settlement pattern, the penetration of the Arabic culture and language (Arabization), and the process of conversion to Islam and the resistance to it, especially in the early Islamic period. The research regarding the dimensions and effects of this process may be complemented by an examination of the holy places, institutions, rites and customs which remained unchanged. We anticipate that the integration of the changes evident in both the conquering and the conquered communities will allow us to draw a clearer picture of the transformation of life and space in Palestine as a whole.
The study is based on a systematic survey of both the Muslim and the non-Muslim narratives, religious and legal sources, and the integration of the textual evidence with the findings of relevant studies of epigraphy and archaeology. The analysis employs the tools of philology, history, historical anthropology and religious studies.