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The Prophet Muhammad • The religion of Islam began in the Arabian Peninsula, in southwestern Asia. Most Arabs were nomads who herded goats and camels. • Islam was founded by a prophet named Muhammad. Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. in the city of Mecca. Around the year 610, he had a vision of the angel Gabriel, who told him that God had chosen him as a prophet. • Muhammad urged people become monotheistic and convert to Islam. This did not sit well with the people who worshipped traditional Arab gods. • In the year 622, Muhammad, faced with the threat of murder, left Mecca for Medina, a journey called the Hijira. • In the year 630, Muhammad returned to Mecca, where he destroyed idols of Arab gods and goddesses in the Kabaa, and ancient shrine believed to have been built by the prophet Abraham. • Muhammad died in 632 A.D.
The Quran is a Muslim holy book which contains the sacred word of God as revealed to Muhammad. It teaches about God and offers a complete guide to Muslim life. The Sharia is a system of law that interprets the Quran. It controls moral conduct, family life, and other parts of Muslim parts. All Muslims accept five basic duties called the Five Pillars of Islam. They are: 1. Declaration of the faith 2. Prayer five times a day 3. Charity to the poor 4. Hajj 5. Ramadan fasting Muslims believe in one God, named Allah, and in Muhammad as the prophet. The Islam religion has no official priests or religious hierarchy. Muslims are not allowed to eat pork, drink alcohol, gamble, or worship idols. Muslim Beliefs
The Spread of Islam and Muslim civilization Arab armies conquered great chunks of the Byzantine empire, and the Persian empire In 732 the Arab push into Europe was turned back by the battle of Tours The Arabs had camel and horse cavalry and generations of living in the desert , and their common faith in Muhammad They taxed non Muslims but allowed Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians to practice their own faith. People choose Islam as their religion because its message was simple and direct Many Jews and Christians played key roles as officials, doctors, and translators.
Rules of Islam There was no class of priests Islam made sure everyone was equal regardless of race, sex, class, or wealth Spain was the biggest populated Muslim country in Europe In the early middle ages the Arabs took control over Sicily , but since there was not many troops there they lost they land to knights from Normandy There were two types of Muslims , the Sunnis and Shiites The Sunnis felt that the caliph should be chosen by leaders of the Muslim church
Shiite, Muslim, and Umayyad peoples They thought the caliph should be a pious and they viewed him as a leader not a religious authority The shiites that that only the true successors to the prophet were descendants of Muhammad’s son and daughter – in-law Their inspiration came from the example of Muhammad as recorded by his early followers Sufi were Muslim mystics who sought communion through god through rituals The Umayyad dynasty ruled the Islamic world until 750. The Shiites hated the Umayyads because they defeated Ali, and killed his son.
The Abbassid Dynasty, Seljuk Turks, and Genghiz Khan The Abbassid Dynasty ended Arab dominance and helped make Islam a truly universal religion. Baghdad exceeded Constantinople in size and wealth under the Abbassids Harun al-Rashid ruled an empire larger than that of his European contemporary Charlemagne The Seljuk Turks controlled Baghdad, and left the Abbassid caliph as a figure head. During the Crusades, Jerusalem passed back and forth between Muslims and Christians. Genghiz Khan who led the Mongol army Burned and looted Baghdad and later adopted Islam.
Muslims in India India fragmented into many local kingdoms in 550. The sultan of Ghur made Delhi his capitol, which his successors organized the Delhi sultanate, which lasted from 1206 1526. Tamerlane invaded India then plundered the northern plain and smashed into Delhi in 1398. Muslim advance brought two totally different religions and cultures, Hindus and Muslims, face to face. Although Hindus remained second-class citizens, as long as they paid the non-Muslim tax they could practice their own religion. During the period of cultural blending Indian Muslims absorbed elements of Hindu culture such as marriage customs and caste ideas.
Turkish and Mongol invaders and the Mughal dynasty Babur, the head leader of Turkish and Mongol invaders, swept away the remnants of the Delhi sultanate and set up the Mughal dynasty which ruled from 1526 to 1857. Akbar, Babur’s grandson, was the chief builder of the Mughal Empire, Under Akbar a strong central government was created. Jahangir was a weaker ruler than his father, Akbar; he left most details of government in the hands of his wife, Nur Jahan. During the reign of Shah Jahan, Akbar’s grandson, was when the Mughal dynasty reached it’s high point. In the late 1600’s Aurangzeb resumed the persecution of Hindus. Economic hardships increased because of heavy taxes, and displeasure sparked revolts against Mughal rule.
The Ottoman and Safavid Empires • The Ottomans were Turkish-speaking nomadic people who migrated from Central Asia to northwestern Asia Minor. • The Ottoman Empire experienced a golden age under the sultan Suleiman, who ruled from 1520 to 1566. • Sulieman strengthened the Ottoman government by ruling with the help of a grand vizier and a council. He established a bureaucracy that supervised the business of government. Ottoman painters produced detailed miniatures and manuscripts. A royal architect named Sinan designed hundreds of mosques and palaces. • Under the ruler Shah Abbas the Great, the Safavid empire too, experienced a golden age. Shah Abbas managed to revive to the glory of ancient Persia by centralizing the government and creating a powerful military force based on that of the Ottomans.
Ottoman social classes • The Ottoman people were divided into four social classes: • 1. “Men of the pen” – scientists, lawyers, judges, and poets • 2. “Men of the sword” – soldiers • 3. “Men of negotiation” – merchants, tax collectors, and artisans • 4. “Men of husbandry” – farmers and herders
Muslim Trade and Culture • Muslim merchants built a huge trading network across the Muslim world and beyond. Arab merchants brought Arabic numerals from India to the western world, as well as sugar from India and papermaking from China. • Merchants created new ways of doing business. They made partnerships, bought and sold on credit, built banks to exchange currency, and invented the ancestor of today’s bank checks. • Artists were forbidden by the Quran and their religious leaders to portray God and human figures in religious art. Mosques were decorated with complex abstract and geometric patterns. • The arabesque is an elaborate design made up of curved lines that suggest floral shapes. It appeared in Muslim rugs, textiles, and glassware. Muslim artists also perfected skills in calligraphy. • Muslim architects adapted the domes and arches of the Byzantine buildings to their own. In Jerusalem, they built the Dome of the Rock, a great shrine topped with a beautiful dome. • Poets developed elaborate formal rules for writing poetry and explored both religious and worldly themes. Muslim writers also cherished the art of storytelling. The best-known collection of tales is The Thousand and One Nights, a group of stories narrated by the fictional princess Scheherezade.
Muslim Science • Muslim scholars, such as Ibn Khaldun, stressed the importance of studying the causes of events, and set standards for the scientific study of history. • Muslims studied both Indian and Greek mathematics. The greatest Muslim mathematician, al-Khwarizmi, pioneered the study of algebra, and wrote a book that later became a standard mathematics textbook in Europe. • Astronomers studied eclipses, observed the Earth’s rotation, and calculated the approximate circumference of the Earth.
More Muslim science • The Muslim government set up hospitals, and forced physicians and pharmacists to pass a test before they could practice. • One of the most original medical thinkers was Muhammad al-Razi. He wrote many books on medicine and challenged traditional medical practices. He told doctors to treat the mind as well as the body by making hopeful comments, which he said would hasten patient’s recovery period. • Another highly respected physician was Ibn Sina, known in Europe as Avicenna. He wrote a huge encyclopedia, called the Canon on Medicine, which consisted of what the Greeks, Arabs, and he himself had learned about the diagnosis and treatment of disease. • Also, Muslim eye surgeons developed a way to treat cataracts.