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The Spread of Islam

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The Spread of Islam. Arabia Before Muhammad. Pastoral nomads (Bedouins), farmers in oasis – depend on each other Tribal society Caravan trade important (incense), involved in trade network Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa, India Mecca major economic and religious center

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arabia before muhammad
Arabia Before Muhammad
  • Pastoral nomads (Bedouins), farmers in oasis – depend on each other
  • Tribal society
  • Caravan trade important (incense), involved in trade network Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa, India
  • Mecca major economic and religious center
  • Arab tribes under political influence of Byzantine (Christian) and Sasanid empire (Zoroastrian)
muhammad s life and teachings
Muhammad´s Life and Teachings
  • Muhammad former merchant, began to have revelations by archangel Gabriel
  • Main features: Arab decent traced to Ishmael, Abraham´s son, strictly monotheistic, promise of heaven after death, five pillars (fasting, prayer 5 times a day, almsgiving, confession of faith, pilgrimage to Mecca), universal religion, egalitariansim
  • Elite in Mecca forces Mohammed to flee to Medina (622 CE, HIJRA, beginning of Muslim calendar)

Describe the origins of Islam. When and where was it created? What geographic features had an impact on it? What other cultures impacted Islam? How?

  • What are the main beliefs of Islam?
muslim expansion
Muslim Expansion
  • Muhammad unites Arab tribes, conquers Mecca in 630, dies 632
  • First four succesors (caliphs) expand territory to Middle East, North Africa, Persia
  • Caliphs are leaders of all Muslims, political and religious (theocracy)
Success possible because of exhausting war between Persia and Byzantium, motivated soldiers, ingenious military leadership, indifferent population
  • Quarrels over succession lead to split into Sunni and Shia (Ali´s followers)
  • Shia: mostly in Persia, southern Iraq
  • Sunni: majority of Muslims
umayyad dynasty 652 750
Umayyad Dynasty (652-750)
  • Capital in Damascus
  • Wars against Byzantium
  • Conquest of Spain, further advances stopped by Franks in 732
  • Arabic official language of government
  • Conversions encouraged
  • Non-Muslims pay a special head tax, but not forced to convert
  • Judaism and Christianity tolerated
abbasid dynasty 750 1258
Abbasid Dynasty (750-1258)
  • Supported by mawali and Shiites, although Sunni temselves
  • New capital Baghdad (close to Persia)
  • First 100 years golden age of Muslim culture
  • Argument between ulama and caliph about who should have the final say in religious matters
  • Caliph renounces his final authority in religious matters
  • Counter caliph in Cordoba, Spain
  • Regional loyalties, problems with Shiites,rise of new dynasties, and difficulty to control a large empire lead to gradual decline
  • Rulers legitimate power by upholding shari’a law
  • Caliph is Muhammad’s successor
  • Arab military camps control conquered areas
  • Non-Muslims pay head tax
  • After conquest of Persia, Abbasids rely on Persian bureaucrats
  • Taxation of agricultural production
  • Adopt pomp and ceremonies of Persian court
islamic law
Islamic Law
  • Sunna: tradition of the prophet
  • Hadith: collection of Muhammad’s words and deeds, several different strands
  • Quran and Hadith basis for Shari’a
  • Muslim ruler required to live by and enforce shari’a
  • Unifying effect on Muslim world, Ibn Battuta could be judge in Africa as well as in India
  • Countries under Muslim law: Dar al Islam

Describe the first 100 years of Muslim expansion. How far did their empire reach?

  • What made the Muslim armies so successful?
  • How was government organized under the Caliphate? What was new about that? What was adopted from previous cultures?
  • How important was Islamic law?
political fragmentation
Political Fragmentation
  • In 10th century third caliph in Cairo, Egypt
  • North Africa: Berbers (11th cent.)
  • Turkey, Iraq, Syria:
  • Abbasids rely increasingly on mamluks
  • Turkic slave soldiers gain political power
  • Seljuk Turks (11th century) create empire, are „protectors“ of the caliphs, but hold de-facto political power
  • Turkey, Holy Land, Syria: Crusading states(1099-1250), do not survive permanently
  • Middle East: Mongols (1258 sack of Baghdad, end of Caliphate)
  • New cities and former military camps (Baghdad, Basra, Kufa, Fustat, Qayrawan)
  • Grow because of conversions and economic growth
  • Many large cities from Byzantine and Sassanid times, they decline however
  • Centers of Islam: mosques, schools, universities
  • Centers of production: Cloth, metal goods, ceramics, glass
  • International trade dominated by Muslim merchants
  • Banking system, checks, credit, crucial for long distance trade
  • Big cities provide markets for trade
  • Business partnerships (often with Jewish and Christian merchants)
  • Common currency (dinar)
  • Independent landowners, large estates with slaves, tenant farmers
  • Production for market, cash crops (sugar, citrus fruits, cotton, rice – from India and China)
  • Use of fertilizers, water pumps, mills, improved irrigation
  • Slaves used for sugar cane production

Analyze trade and economic innovations under the Muslim empires.

  • Analyze the role of cities.
  • Give examples of economic production in the Muslim Empire.
science and medicine
Science and Medicine
  • House of wisdom in Baghdad (Greek, Indian, Persian, Mesopotamian texts translated into Arabic)
  • Ibn al Haytham: Scientific Method, Book of Optics
  • Al-Khwarizmi: Algorithm, Algebra
  • Ibn Sina: Medical encyclopedia, contagious nature of diseases
  • Surgeons disinfect wounds, use surgical instruments, trained in hospitals
  • Transfer between east and west:
  • Paper, astrolabe, compass, lateen sail, decimal system
  • Production of steel (swords from Damascus)
women and slaves
Women and Slaves
  • Women veiled and confined to the house, already in Byzantine and Sassanid times
  • Legal protection of women under Quran, a woman´s soul was considered equal before Allah, but not equality to men (limited divorce rights, keep dowry if divorced by their husband, woman´s testimony in court weighs only half of a man´s, men can have up to four wives)
  • Slavery allowed, slaves from central Asia, Europe, Africa
  • Slaves used in households, as soldiers, in agriculture
  • Forbidden to enslave Muslims
  • In 12th and 13th century
  • Mystic brotherhoods looking for union with God through rituals, emotional sense of religion, personal relationship with Allah
  • Sufi saints worshipped in countryside
  • Important in spreading Islam to other countries and making it more popular
ibn battuta
Ibn Battuta
  • Muslim traveler from N Africa
  • Early 1300s began a 30 year journey through Dar-al Islam across Afro-Eurasia
  • “everywhere Islam is”
  • Journaled about people, sights and customs
  • Traveled about 75,000 miles
    • W Africa, Muslim Spain, N Africa, Byz Empire
    • Islamic Caliphates in SW Asia, E Africa, S Asia, SE Asia & East Asia
mansa musa
Mansa Musa
  • King of wealthy Mali, in W Africa
  • Traveled to Mecca on hajj in 13th C
  • Passed thru Timbuktu, Gao & Cairo
  • Handed out so much gold in Cairo, crashed the economy
golden age of islam cont
Golden Age of Islam (cont.)
  • Muslim art; forbade lifelike representation of human figures, including Muhammad
  • *Persian art depicts Muhammad w/veil
  • Designs of garlands, plants, and geometric figures
  • Calligraphy
  • Mosques w/minarets
Arabesques: consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines

What cultural contributions were made under the Muslim empires? What earlier cultures had an impact on Muslim culture? Give examples of cultural transfer.