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What is Islam?. From Origins to the Split in the Umma. Arabia before Muhammad. Many different tribes divided by language and economic inequality Bedouins: nomadic, herded camels, sheep, goats in desert or steppe Also merchants in long-distance trade, farmers and craftspeople

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What is islam

What is Islam?

From Origins to the

Split in the Umma


Arabia before muhammad
Arabia before Muhammad

  • Many different tribes divided by language and economic inequality

  • Bedouins: nomadic, herded camels, sheep, goats in desert or steppe

  • Also merchants in long-distance trade, farmers and craftspeople

  • Polytheistic, animist belief systems


Muhammad born ca 570 and died 632 in mecca
Muhammad, born (ca 570) and died (632) in Mecca

  • Monotheistic

  • Influence of Judaism and Christianity

  • Prophet chosen for final revelation: “Seal of the Prophets”

  • Hijra=flight to Medina, beginning of Muslim calendar. 622=year 1

  • Quran=revelations from Allah

  • Hadith=sayings of M.


5 pillars of islam
5 pillars of Islam

  • No God but Allah and M. is his prophet

  • Pray five times/day

  • Alms-giving. 2.5% of income. Reduce social stratification. Emphasize brotherhood of believers (umma)

  • Fast during Ramadan

  • Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj)


Umma community of believers

M. emphasized a single, pan-Arab community united under God

All believers equal under God

Possibility of socio-economic mobility- Appealing to the poor, women, slaves, orphans, travelers

How are laws, rules, social mores created?

Sharia=writing of scholars, jurisprudence, law for spiritual and secular life

Ulama=scholarly class, clerics

Ijma – General consensus of Umma on morality/correctness of action

Ijtihad – The concept that an educated Moslem (in Qur’anic law/history) can interpret moral action individually

Umma=community of believers


Mosque
Mosque

  • Gathering place for believers

  • Minaret = tower for call to prayer

  • Minbar = pulpit for preaching

  • Mihrab = niche indicating direction for prayer



Massive expansion 622 800 ce
Massive expansion 622-800 CE

  • By 632, M and followers controlled much of Arabian peninsula

  • 7th c: took portions of Byzantine and Sassanian empires: Anatolia, Iraq and Iran



Why did islam spread so far and so fast
Why did Islam spread so far and so fast?

Warriors

Scholars

Merchants

Sufis


Warriors
Warriors

  • Example of commitment and loyalty was impressive—much voluntary conversion (economic benefits)

  • Good organization: fixed salaries and regular pay, unity, military garrisons

  • Economic necessity: pop. Increase + barrenness of Arabian peninsula (War = profits, survival)

  • Weakness of surrounding states combined with traditional clan rivalries, filled a vacuum


Merchants
Merchants

  • Muhammad was from a family of merchants, married Khadija

  • Highly regarded in Quran; Religion supported merchants promoted trade

  • Trade  Urbanization/wealth/exchange of ideas

  • Helped make Islam the first truly global civilization, linking China to Europe

  • Islam’s affinity with local traditions and great cities attracted converts


Sufis
Sufis

  • Mystical: emphasis on inner connection to God (vs. outer display)

  • Reaction to worldliness of caliphates

  • Reject class distinctions

  • Willing to adopt local ways of doing things to make Islam universal: syncretism and “transculturation”


Scholars
Scholars

  • Islamic empire, particularly in Baghdad, under the Abbasids became a center of learning and scholarly pursuits, drawing scholars and scientists from all over the world

  • http://liontube.lakesideschool.org/SAFARI/montage/play.php?keyindex=2461


Rashidun rightly guided caliphate
Rashidun (Rightly-guided) Caliphate

  • Muhammad dies in 632 C.E., succeeded by

  • Abu Bakr (632-634 C.E.)

  • Umaribn al-Khattab, (UmarІ) (634-644 C.E.)

  • UthmanibnAffan (644-656 C.E.)

  • Ali ibnAbiTalib (656-661 C.E.)

  • These first four caliphs were not hereditary but elected by a council or chosen on the basis of predecessor’s wishes.


Shia sunni split
Shia-Sunni Split

  • Shia (party or faction in Arabic): leadership should come from line of Ali, relatives of M.

  • Sunni: leaders should come from the community

  • Political split takes on other characteristics, particularly economic

  • Enduring conflict; 15-20% of Muslims are Shia; mainly in Iran and Iraq.


Umayyad dynasty 661 750 ce
Umayyad dynasty 661-750 CE

  • Sunni

  • Power base in Damascus, Syria

  • Authoritarian leadership

  • Large army

  • Elaborate court

  • Fell in 750 but remained in Spain


Abbasids
Abbasids

  • Shia’a caliphate (initially), shifts to Sunni early on

  • Portray themselves as pious to gain Shia’a support (vs. “corrupt” Umayyad Sunnis)

  • Capital in Baghdad

  • Cosmopolitan and tolerant, allow lots of local autonomy

  • Ulama develop sharia (social, criminal, ritual, commercial, political law – infusing Arabian Islam with Iraqi and Persian mores and culture)

  • Islamic world, particularly Baghdad flourishes as a center of trade and scholarly learning.



Mongols sack baghdad 1258
Mongols Sack Baghdad-1258

  • End of the “Golden Age of Islam”

  • Hundreds of thousands slaughtered

  • Destruction of canals

  • Islam continued to spread, however


Split in the umma
Split in the umma

  • 1st four caliphs called ‘al-Rashidun’ or righteously guided leaders

  • Abu Bakr (573-634) 1st caliph=leader, successor, deputy

  • Followed by: Umar, Uthman (murdered)

  • Ali = cousin, imam, opposition leader, not recognized by Uthman’s cousin Mu’awiya=caliph after Ali’s murder

  • founds Umayyad dynasty


Shi a beliefs
Shi’a beliefs

  • Ali had been designated imam (prayer leader) by M, equivalent to successor

  • Direct descendant of prophet = religious and political authority


Sunni beliefs
Sunni beliefs

  • authority derives from Quran and sunna (sayings, actions, and stories of Muhammad during his life)

  • caliph is military and political authority (but not religious)

  • religious authority is in:

    • Ulama (Imams, clerics); Ijithad, Ijma


  • Muhamed dies 632. Succession by Abu Baker, Umar, Uthaman, Ali.

  • Uthman is of Umayyad clan; Ali is of Hashimite clan, both related by ancestors, but antagonistic towards one another.

  • Ali succeeds Uthman after his assassination. Ali is last of the 1st Caliphate called Rashidun. The 1st four caliphs are considered a unique caliphate, as they’re not dynastic.

  • Umayyad Caliphate/Empire become a hereditary succession of Caliphate and leadership status.

  • Muawiyah is elected 1st caliph of Umayyad Empire and moves capital to Damascus. (661-750) – empire fell in 750, but remained alive in Spain throughout the next several hundred years. It no longer held title of Caliphate however. That shifted to Abbasid Dynasty

  • 750 CE, Abbasid Dynasty is formed and capital is moved to Baghdad. Lasted 750-900+/- due to rising Turkish and Persian armies that claimed leadership of Umma.

  • Abbasid were temporarily Shi’a. They rose to power and defeated Umayyad Dynasty with help of Shi’a (remember, Ali was part of Hashimite clan, which traditionally loathed Umayyad clan). Therefore Shi’a were predisposed to aiding enemies of Umayyad.

  • Overthrow was political power play, using enemies of the state Shi’a and animist lower classes to dislodge and destabilize the Umayyad polity.

  • Power of Arabs declined in Abbasid Empire, and Persian influence was infused, affecting political, cultural and LEGAL traditions/interpretations of Islam. Abbasid period is considered Golden Age.


Fatimid dynasty 909 1169
Fatimid dynasty 909-1169 Ali.

  • Muslim Berbers and Bedouins capture Egypt 969

  • Shi’ia (named after Fatima, M. daughter)

  • Arose out of Tunisia/Algeria; Capital = Cairo, Egypt

  • Took N. Africa & Sicily

  • Relied heavily on army of enslaved Turks=Mamluks

  • Became center of learning/universities/ libraries



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