Chapter 6 the first global civilization the rise and spread of islam
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Comunicación y Gerencia. Chapter 6: The First Global Civilization: The Rise and Spread of Islam. Click to add Text. The Arabian World in the 7 th Century. Most of the area is covered by desert Bedouin culture had developed throughout Arabia A form of nomadic life Nomadic Pastoralism

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Chapter 6: The First Global Civilization: The Rise and Spread of Islam

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Chapter 6 the first global civilization the rise and spread of islam

Comunicación y Gerencia

Chapter 6: The First Global Civilization: The Rise and Spread of Islam

Click to add Text

The arabian world in the 7 th century

TheArabian World in the 7thCentury

  • Most of the area is covered by desert

  • Bedouin culture had developed throughout Arabia

    • A form of nomadic life

    • Nomadic Pastoralism

  • Areas adjacent to the Red Sea had trading towns that developed which would play a role in later cultural exchanges.

  • The cities of Mecca and Medina were greatly influenced and often founded by Bedouin traders.

The arabian world

The Arabian World

  • Social Organization was similar to those of other nomadic peoples

    • Kin-related clan groups

    • Shaykhs (Sheiks) were leaders of the tribes and clans

      • Most usually men with large herds, several wives

      • Warriors enforce the wishes of the Shaykhs

    • Slave families also worked for the Shaykhs

The arabian world1

The Arabian World

  • War was common between rival clans, specifically due to the marginal nature of the environment

  • Cycle of violence (small-but, bloody)

    • Clan feud (100’s of years)

      • Death of one warrior

      • Revenge needed

      • Revenge killings lead to reprisals

    • This leads to constant infighting, but more importantly, the Bedouins are manipulated by neighboring powers

The arabian world2

The Arabian World

  • Mecca was a trading city that flourished during the trade between the Mediterranean and Asia

    • Founded by the Umayyad clan, of the Quraysh Bedouin tribe

    • Mecca’s status was elevated because it was the site of the Ka’ba, a pre-Islamic religious shrine

      • The Ka’ba was supposedly first built by Adam, then later reconstructed by Abraham (Ibrahim) and his son Ishmael (Ismail)

      • This shrine was used as a source of truce in the interclan feuds, allowing merchants to go to Mecca and trade without fear

The ka ba

The Ka’ba

The ka ba1

The Ka’ba

The arabian world3

The Arabian World

The arabian world4

The Arabian World

  • The City of Yathrib, later to be known as Medina was northeast of Mecca

  • Established in an oasis

  • Medina was engaged in the long-distance caravan trade that passed through the Arabian Peninsula, but less so than Mecca

  • In contrast to Umayyad dominated Mecca, Medina’s control was contested among two Bedouin and three Jewish clans.

    • Quarrels hurt Medina economically

    • BUT, Muhammad would use this division to help the survival of the Islamic faith

The arabian world women

The Arabian World…women

  • Pre-Islamic Arabian women enjoyed a higher status than most in neighboring civilized centers (Byzantine/Sassanian)

  • Many tribes traced descent through the mother (matrilineal)

    • Unlike Syria and Persia, a woman’s advice was highly regarded in clan and tribal councils.

  • NOT equal to men (could not claim glory as warriors)

  • Status varied from clan to clan

  • In cities and towns, women enjoyed less status

    • Patrilineal lines

    • Male polygamy/female monogamy

Pre islamic arabian world

Pre-Islamic Arabian World

  • Arab material culture was not developed

  • Oral transmission of poetry (no written language, yet)

  • Religion was a blend of animism and polytheism

    • The Quraysh recognized a supreme god known as Allah, but rarely prayed or sacrificed to/for him…focus on spirits who had more focus on their daily lives.



  • Born around 570 CE into a prominent clan in the Quraysh tribe, the Banu Hashim

  • After losing his father before birth and his mother shortly after, Muhammad found himself living in Mecca in his 20s as a trader for Khadijah

  • Exposed him to the wider world

  • Increased commerce exposed the economic gap between clans



  • Muhammad would have been very aware of the undercurrents of religious tension throughout the Arabian peninsula

    • Stressing Monotheism

    • Dissatisfaction with the old gods

  • Muhammad became distracted and dissatisfied with a life focused on material gain…

    • Increased time in meditation



  • By 610, he received the first of many revelations which his followers believe were transmitted from Allah to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel.

    • They were later written in Arabic and collected in the Qur’an

  • At first, his following was small…

  • In time, Umayyad notables noticed him, and saw what he was preaching as a threat…



The new faith that Muhammad was preaching threatened to supplant the gods of the Ka’ba

Moreover, members of his own clan plotted to murder him

Muhammad had developed a reputation for being a skillful and fair negotiator, which could help him as he seeks refuge…

Muhammad is invited to Medina , which was almost in a state of civil war.

In 622, Muhammad and his small band of followers successfully flee to Medina

This becomes known as the HIJRA, or flight to Medina. This represents year ONE on the Muslim Calendar.

In medina

In Medina…

  • He settles the quarrels between the various Bedouin clans

  • His Wisdom and Skill as a political leader win him new followers…

  • To the Umayyad clan leaders…this was now a double threat…

    • Muhammad was preaching a religion inconsistent with how they made money!

    • Muhammad was now HELPING their chief rival city find stability!

In medina1

In Medina…

  • Muslims launched attacks on Meccan Caravans

  • The Quraysh then launch attacks on Medina

    • During battles, Muhammad proves himself to be an able leader and courageous fighter.

    • Treaty with the Quraysh in 628, which also allowed Muhammad and followers to visit the Ka’ba during the time of truce

    • By this time, Muhammad had around 10,000 followers

Back to mecca

Back to Mecca…

  • In 629, Muhammad and his followers return to Mecca.

  • He and his followers smash the idols of the shrine and the conversion of the Umayyads had begun!



  • Early on, Muhammad relies on the faith being adopted by town dwellers and Bedouins with which he had grown up.

  • Parallel with Christianity who relied on Jewish converts…

What did islam offer arabians

What did Islam offer Arabians?

  • Monotheism that belonged to no single tribe

  • Transcended clan and class divisions

  • Distinctly Arab in origin, and yet, the equal in faiths in comparison to Christians and Jews.

  • NO intermediaries between the people and God.

    • God was one…no saints, and angels were messengers

  • Offered an end to the vendettas and feuds

What did islam offer arabians1

What did Islam offer Arabians?

  • The umma, or community of the faithful transcended old tribal boundaries

    • Political unity…

    • With unity, the Bedouins found energy not towards warring against each other, but in conquering land and territory in the name of Allah.

  • Provided an ethical system

    • Dignity of all before Allah

    • Responsibility of the well-off to provide for the poor and weak. The ZAKAT was a tax for charity.

Beliefs of islam

Beliefs of Islam

  • Islam shares many beliefs of the earlier Semitic religions of Judaism and Christianity

    • Accepts the revelations

    • Muhammad believes he receives a refinement of these earlier revelations and they are the last divine instructions for human behavior and worship.

Beliefs of islam1

Beliefs of Islam


    • Confession of faith: There is one God, Allah

    • Pray 5 times a day facing Mecca

    • Fast during the month of Ramadan

    • The Zakat

    • The Hajj, or pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca and to the Ka’ba (if you can)

The hajj

The Hajj

After muhammad

After Muhammad

  • Muhammad dies in 632 CE (suddenly)

  • Many renounce the Islamic faith, and it threatens to vanish…

  • In time, Umayyad leaders take over (amidst considerable quarrels over who should succeed Muhammad) and begin a stunning military campaign to spread Islam beyond the Arabian Peninsula

  • This was a largely ARAB conquest under the guise of Islam…very little concern in conversion

After muhammad1

After Muhammad

  • When Muhammad died, there was no appointed successor, nor a method by which to appoint a successor.

  • Opinion in the Muslim community was divided.

  • On the afternoon of his death, clan leaders met to choose a caliph, or political and religious successor to Muhammad.

    • Ali, cousin, and son-in-law to Muhammad was passed over because he was too young.

    • This would be a source of great conflict soon



  • Abu Bakr was chosen as the first caliph in 632 CE

    • One of Muhammad’s closest friends and earliest followers

    • Courage, warmth, and wisdom

    • Well-versed in the genealogical histories of the Bedouin tribes

    • Was Caliph from 632-634 CE

Abu bakr and caliphs

Abu Bakr and Caliphs

  • Abu Bakr was able to use his military commanders well, turning back attacks on Mecca, and then turned north of the Arabian Peninsula, conquering Iraq and Syria, and east into Egypt.

  • Initial assaults against the Byzantine and Persian empires were successful

  • Combined Bedouin forces, joined by peoples in the Fertile Crescent turned to begin attacks on the two empires to their East and West.

Byzantine and sassanian geographical relativity

Byzantine and Sassanian geographical relativity



  • The Wars which initially expanded the Arabs beyond the Peninsula were not necessarily motivated by a desire to spread the faith

    • Muslims were exempted from taxes levied on other groups

    • They would have to share with other Muslims

  • Thus, the concept of the Jihad, or holy war, launched to spread the faith misrepresents the forces behind early Arab expansion

The arab conquests

The Arab Conquests

  • The Sassanian (Persian) Empire proved to be weak

    • Zoroastrianism lacked popular roots

    • Emperor was manipulated

    • By 651, the last Emperor was assassinated

  • Muslims received support against the Byzantine Empire from Copts and Nestorians, who were Christians residing in Syria and Egypt.

    • They resented the rule of the Orthodox Byzantines, who taxed them heavily

    • They realized that the Muslims would accept them more, and tax them less

The arab conquests1

The Arab Conquests

  • The Byzantines were hurt badly by Arab assaults

    • Syria, western Iraq, and Palestine were taken by the Arabs

    • Egypt (including Alexandria) was taken

    • Bedouin fleets were rivaling the once mighty Byzantine control of the Eastern Mediterranean by the mid-640s.

    • Muslims conquered lands in North Africa, the Mediterranean Islands, and even southern Italy.

Arab expansion

Arab Expansion

Divisions in the muslim community

Divisions in the Muslim Community

  • Umar takes over as Caliph between 634-644 following the death of Abu Bakr

    • It is during Umar reign that the conquests of the Sassanid and Byzantine empires take place

    • In 637, Umar signs a treaty with the Byzantine Patriarch and takes over Jerusalem, entering the city peacefully.

    • Umar is assassinated in 644 by a Persian Slave

Divisions in the muslim community1

Divisions in the Muslim Community

  • The Islamic community was still divided on the issue of succession

    • The conquests helped to hide the divisions, but,

    • Soon, divisions arose over how to divide the spoils of war

  • The Third Caliph, Uthman, from the (former enemy of Muhammad) Umayyad Clan was murdered.

Divisions in the muslim community2

Divisions in the Muslim Community

  • When Uthman was murdered, supporters of Ali (related to Muhammad) proclaimed him to be the new caliph.

  • The Umayyad clan denied this, and were upset because Ali failed to punish Uthman’s assassins.

  • Warfare erupted…

  • Most Arabs were on the side of Ali, a famous warrior and experienced Commander. Umayyad support was centered on Syria and Mecca

Chapter 6 the first global civilization the rise and spread of islam


  • Ali was about to defeat the forces at the Battle of Siffin in 657, but he was won over by a plea to mediate.

    • During this time, the Umayyad forces regrouped…retaking Egypt

Chapter 6 the first global civilization the rise and spread of islam


  • In 660, Mu’awiya, the new leader of the Umayyads, was proclaimed caliph in Jerusalem…directly challenging Ali.

  • Ali would be assassinated a year later.

  • His son, Hasan, was pressured into renouncing claims to the caliphate.

Divisions persist

Divisions persist…

Sunni Muslims

Shi’a Muslims

Supporters of Ali

The Most Fundamental Muslims in the world

Recognize NONE of the Early Caliphs, except Ali.

Splinter sects make it even more confusing…from when Ali agreed to mediation at Siffin

  • Back the Umayyads claim to the caliphate.

  • Believe influential leaders in the Muslim community should become Caliph

  • Continued struggle against the Shi’a

    • Struggle with Husayn, Ali’s second son

    • Umayyads are victorious and kill Husayn at Karbala in 680

The conquest continues

The Conquest Continues!

  • After the pause to settle internal disputes, Arab conquests continue in the second half of the 7th century

  • Central Asia: sparks rivalry with Buddhism which continues to this day

  • Northwest India

  • Across North Africa, Strait of Gibraltar and into Spain, threatening France

    • Advance halted in 732 CE

  • The Umayyads controlled an empire that stretched from Spain in the West to the steppes of Central Asia in the East.

Expansion through the umayyad

Expansion through the Umayyad

The umayyad caliphate

The Umayyad Caliphate

  • Mecca remains the holiest city in Islam

  • Umayyads shift the political capital of the Islamic Empire to Damascus, Syria after the murder of Uthman

  • From Damascus, the Umayyads built an impressive bureaucracy designed to rule the vast territory ruled under the banner of Islam.

    • Only Muslim Arabs were first-class citizens

    • Taxed only for charity

The umayyad caliphate1

The Umayyad Caliphate

  • Intermarriage between conquered peoples and the Muslim warrior elite was widespread

  • Conversion did little to advance non-believers

    • Muslim converts, mawali, still had to pay property taxes

    • Sometimes still had to pay the jizya, or head tax levied on non-believers

The umayyad caliphate2

The Umayyad Caliphate

  • Mawali received no share of the booty from futher conquests.

  • They were not considered full members of the umma

  • During the Umayyad era, the amount of conversions was low

  • The Dhimmi, were people of the book and applied to Christians and Jews originally, but eventually would encompass the majority groups in any area conquered.

  • They had to pay the Jizya…but their legal systems were left intact.

  • Additionally, they were given the freedom to worship as they pleased.

The umayyad caliphate3

The Umayyad Caliphate

  • The Dhimmi accepted Muslim rule often because it was better than their previous rulers.

  • Family and Gender Roles

    • Muhammad encouraged marriage

    • Denounced adultery

    • Forbade female infanticide

    • Men could marry up to four wives

    • Enhanced rights of inheritance and divorce for women

The umayyad caliphate4

The Umayyad Caliphate

  • Muhammad proclaimed the equality of men and women before God.

    • Many women (his wife, Khadijah) were some of Muhammad’s earliest followers

    • Many of the hadiths, or traditions of the prophet Muhammad were recorded by women.

    • Muhammad’s wives and daughters played an important role in compiling the Qur’an.

  • In time, the Umayyad Caliphs would fall victim to the addiction to luxury and easy-living

Decline of the umayyad

Decline of the Umayyad

  • The Umayyad abandonment of the frugal, simple lifestyle followed by Muhammad and the earliest caliphs, including Abu Bakr, enraged the dissenting sects.

  • In the Eastern Iranian borderlands of the Empire, a group of 50,000 warriors had settled in the town of Merv.

    • These warriors were not happy with the Damascus elite

      • Never saw a share of the booty they earned

      • A revolt in the early 740’s would spark a revolution that would spread throughout the empire.

The umayyad fall

The Umayyad Fall…

  • Marching under the banner of the Abbasid party…

    • Traced descent to Muhammad’s uncle, al-Abbas

    • Open warfare by 747 CE

    • Abu al-Abbas, the great-grandson of al-Abbas, won victory after victory.

    • The Abbasid’s won the support of the Shia and the Mawali

The end of the umayyad sort of

The end of the Umayyad…sort of

  • Abu al-Abbas invited members of the Umayyad clan to a reconciliation banquet.

  • There, guards slaughtered all members of the Umayyad clan.

    • Family members were hunted down throughout the empire and killed.

    • The grandson of a former caliph established the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba in Spain, which went on for centuries.

The abbasid era

The Abbasid Era

  • Fundamental conversion of the Arab Empire to a more Islamic Empire

  • Transformation of Islam from a small Arab warrior elite to genuinely universal faith.

  • Abbasid’s rejected many of the old allies, becoming more righteous in their defense of Sunni Islam

  • Abbasid’s built their new capital in the city of Baghdad.

The abbasid era1

The Abbasid Era

  • Abbasid caliph’s palaces were equal to their claims of absolute power.

    • Expanding corps of bureaucrats, servants, and slaves.

    • Increased power of the wazir, or chief administrator and head of the caliph’s councils

  • Full-integration of new converts, both Arab and non-Arab

    • Converts were now exempt from the Jizya and had greater opportunities in education and in their careers.

Revived commercialism

Revived Commercialism

  • Rise in wealth and social status of the merchant and landlord classes.

  • Great urban expansion was linked to a revival of the Afro-Eurasian trading network

    • Declined with the fall of the Han and collapse of the Roman Empire.

  • The Abbasids in the West and the Tang and Song in the East formed the pivotal centers of trade

  • In the countryside, a wealthy elite, the ayan emerged

Abbasid golden age

Abbasid Golden Age

  • At first, Arabs were not well connected to the wider world.

    • No true educational system

    • Clash of ideals when they conquer Alexandria!

  • Early Abbasid artistic expression was focused on great mosques

  • Early Abbasid learning focused on science and math, specifically recovering and preserving the learning of the ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean and Middle East

Abbasid golden age1

Abbasid Golden Age

  • Muslim and Jewish scholars revive the writings of the Greeks on subjects such as

    • Medicine

    • Algebra

    • Geometry

    • Astronomy

    • Anatomy

    • Ethics

  • Through Spain, Greek writings found their way into Christendom.

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