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The Rise of Islam. 600 C.E. -1200’s C.E. Middle East, ca. 600 A.D. The Eastern Mediterranean. By this time,The lands of Rome had been overtaken by the Goths and Vandals and the East Roman Empire (Byzantine) was spreading its influence into northern territories.

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The Rise of Islam


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    1. The Rise of Islam 600 C.E. -1200’s C.E.

    2. Middle East, ca. 600 A.D.

    3. The Eastern Mediterranean • By this time,The lands of Rome had been overtaken by the Goths and Vandals and the East Roman Empire (Byzantine) was spreading its influence into northern territories. • The Sasanid Empire (224-600 C.E.), which was led by warrior elites, main purpose was to serve as military strongpoints protecting long distance trade. The Silk Road brought many new crops to Mesopotamia and the Sasanid’s again reestablished Zoroastrianism as the faith of the empire. 2nd Persian Empire • The proclamations of both Zoroastrianism and Christianity as official faiths marked the emergence of religion as an instrument of politics both within and between empires. • This politicization of religion greatly affected the culture of the Silk Road and would shape governments to follow.

    4. The Byzantine EmpireDuring the Reign of Justinian

    5. Trade Routes of the Ancient World

    6. Islam emerges

    7. Islam • Bedouin Arab named Mohammed • born ca. 570 A.D. • Merchant family, Hasimites • Qurayshis tribe, who dominate Mecca • controlling much of the religious pilgrim trade • raised by relatives -father and mother died by age six -raised by an impoverished uncle

    8. Mohammed • formal education ?? We don’t know • Normally only the Poets of the Tribes could read and write • commercial agent for a wealthy widow • Khadijah • supervising caravans from Mecca, north to Jerusalem • contact with both Jews and Christians

    9. Mohammed, con’t • He seems to have made an impression on his boss, because of his reputed honesty • married her and retired from commerce • to devote himself to religion • and to making society more fair and equitable

    10. Mohammed, con’t • monogamous until his wife died • eventually married nine wives and had assorted concubines • last marriage at 53 to Aishah, daughter of a friend • wives: widows of friends or political marriages • Women alone in such a world were considered very vulnerable

    11. Origins of Mohammed’s Teachings • periods of unconsciousness are indicated: explanations • revelations from Allah by holy trances, spoken to by Gabriel • epilepsy or a similar neurological disorder? • mental illness or hallucinations ? • Mohammed’s explanation: • revelations from God • Very unpleasant and painful for him

    12. The Quran • Record of revelations received during visions • Committed to writing c. 650 CE, compiled (Muhammad dies 632) • Under the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan • Tradition of Muhammad’s life: hadith

    13. Historical Origins of His Ideas • Arab polytheism • Hanifism: a belief in one God traced to Abraham, by tradition • Judaism • Christianity: Orthodox, Nestorian, Arianism • Manichaeism: a mixture of Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism, and so forth

    14. Beginning of His Ministry • at about age 40, after a number of revelations • began to preach publicly • continued to receive revelations until death • usually related to current problems or concerns • Religious, political, social, economic

    15. Early religious career • not particularly successful • threatened the social, political, and religious structure, with his doctrine of social equity • threatened the economic basis of Mecca as a center of religious pilgrimage • particularly the Black Rock • sacred to the chief deity of the Arabs • run out of town, or at least encouraged to leave • Went to the desert with his family and lived for about a year

    16. The Hijra • flight from Mecca, to Yathrib (Medina) -tradition: invited by the Jews of Medina • 622 A.D. • beginning of the Islamic calendar • forms the umma (community) • welcomed, then resisted • Mohammed becomes an absolute theocrat

    17. Muhammad’s Return to Mecca • Attack on Mecca, 630 -- jihad • Conversion of Mecca to Islam • Destruction of pagan sites, replaced with mosques • Ka’aba preserved in honor of importance of Mecca • Approved as pilgrimage site

    18. Jihad • holy war against Mecca • ten year blockade • a deal was made

    19. The Deal • Mecca preserved as a holy city and place of pilgrimage • to preserve the economic prosperity • the Ka’aba preserved as the central shrine • idols and icons destroyed • story of its origins emphasized the role of Abraham in its placement • pilgrimage as an act of faith, at least once in your life

    20. The Ka’aba in Mecca

    21. The Religion: the Koran (Qu’ran) • the Koran (Qu’ran): contains much of Mohammed recounting of Allah’s teachings • written down by his followers after his death • from notes and memories, on “stones and parchments” • Short: 114 chapters • arranged from longest to the shortest • not by subject or chronologically • length is the criterion of order for the text

    22. The Koran, con’t • some “Old” and “New” Testaments stories • but sometimes the story seems a bit different to Jews and Christians • parables and fables • political polemic and prophecy • “non-religious” subjects • not dissimilar to Jewish and Christian scriptures in some ways

    23. Five Pillars of Islam • uniqueness of God • ‘There is no god, but God….’ • prayer five times a day • observe the month of Ramadan • give alms to the poor • pilgrimage to Mecca • If possible, once in your life

    24. Additional teachings • dietary laws • no gambling or drinking • no sexual irregularities, as defined by tradition and custom • no faulty weights or usury • no infanticide • elaborate rules concerning inheritance and property • improvement in the status of women and children

    25. Changing Status of Women • Qu’ran improves status of women • Outlawed female infanticide • Brides, not husbands, claim dowries • Yet male dominance preserved • Patrilineal descent • Polygamy permitted, Polyandry forbidden • Veil adopted from ancient Mesopotamian practice

    26. Similarities to Judaism and Christianity • monotheism (defined a bit differently) • insistence on the responsibility of human beings • final judgment and rewards • angels and spirits • practice of virtues: truthfulness, compassion, etc.

    27. Differences • an emphasis on compassion and mercy • alms giving moderate • heaven conceived a bit differently • no priests or sacramental system • easy conversion: the Shahadah • ‘There is no God by Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.’

    28. Islamic Law: The Sharia • Codification of Islamic law • Based on Quran, hadith, logical schools of analysis • Extends beyond ritual law to all areas of human activity • This is the basis the idea of an “Islamic republic” for instance

    29. Expansion of Islam • early victories • backsliders (tribes) punished • Apostasy = treason = death • assaults on: • the Byzantine (East Roman) empire • the Sassanid (Persian) Empire also known as Eranshahr or “Empire of the Aryans (Persians)”

    30. Early Problems • Succession ? • Mohammed had no surviving male children • Daughter: Fatima • Son-in-law: Ali, child of his uncle • generated a permanent split in the Islamic community • Sunnis • Shi’as

    31. Sunnis or “Sunnah” • considered themselves the “orthodox” followers of Mohammed • consider the Shi’as to be “dissenters” • issue: who leads after Mohammed ?? • the Caliph (or “leader”) • went successively to followers -Abu Bakr, then Oman -then Uthman and

    32. Rahisdun Caliphate 632-661

    33. The Islamic Empire • The Rashidun Caliphate ( الخلافة الراشدية) or Rashidun Empire, was the first of the four Arab caliphates. • It was controlled by the first four successors of Muhammad, known as the "Rightly Guided" caliphs. • Founded after Muhammad's death in 632, the empire lasted until 'Ali's death in 661. • At its height, the power of the Rashidun Caliphs extended throughout North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Iranian highlands. • Dome of the rock Begun

    34. The Four Caliphs • - 632–634 Abu Bakr • - 634–644 Umar • - 644–656 Uthman • - 656–661 Ali

    35. Spread of Islam

    36. Muslim Arab Victories • Syria: 635 A.D. • Palestine: 636 A.D. • Persia: captured in one battle • expansion into India • expansion to the borders of China • Egypt: help by local Christians • North Africa: the Berbers

    37. Expansion and Defeat • Spain 711-720 A.D. (Franks) • Battle of Tours: October 732 A.D. • Charles Martel (Carolingian Family) • Siege of Constantinople: 717-718 A.D. • Leo III of Byzantine Empire • Greek fire • beginnings of Christian reconquest of former Roman/Christian territory (Holy Lands)

    38. Reasons for success • exhaustion of Rome and Persia • End of a 400 year war • nationalist sentiments in Egypt and Syria • arguments among Christian factions • speed and size of Muslim armies • simplicity and uncomplicated nature of Islam • acceptance of the Old and New Testament • People of the Book

    39. Consequences of Expansion • loss of the oldest and most central lands of Christendom • aided the ascendancy of the bishop of Rome • virtual collapse of Zoroastrianism as a major religion • radically altered the balance of power between the Roman Empire and the East • disruption of the Mediterranean economic community

    40. Abu Bakr 632-634 [1st] • not particularly popular with the Muslim community • allowed raid, then invasions of Byzantine and Persian territory • subjugated any dissident elements or tribes • disposed of any “new prophets”

    41. Success = strain • success introduced luxury and change • From original caliphs to the Umayyad caliphs • new ideas and new ethnic groups • with their own customs and heritage, to try to assimilate • rise of a sort of “revivalist element” • Islam had strayed from its original path and purity • Muslims were being led back to paganism • caliphs were becoming idle, corrupt, tyrants

    42. Uthman 644-656 [3rd] • murdered: warfare broke out • Ali: cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed • originally passed over as too young • contested the succession • Uthman supported by the Umayyad clan • early enemies of Mohammed • refused to accept Ali’s claims

    43. Ali 656-661 [4th] • Disagreements over selection of caliphs • Ali passed over for Abu Bakr [1st] • Ali would eventually serve as caliph from 656-661 CE, then he is assassinated along with most of his followers • Schism • Remaining followers organize separate party called “Shia” • Traditionalists: Sunni

    44. Islamic Caliphates • Umayyad 7-8th Century • Abbasid 8-13th Century • Fatimid 11-13th Century • Ottoman 15-20th Century

    45. Umayyad Caliphate 661-750

    46. Umayyads • successful in the war of succession • Ali assassinated in 661 A.D. • by the Kharijites • beginning of the Umayyad Dynasty • Non-Muslim replaced by believers and the Introduction of Arabic as the language of government • Sunni • Damascus then later Cordoba

    47. Great Mosque at Cordoba (Spain), eighth to tenth centuriesCenter of learningCordoba from Damascus/ Spanish Umayyads/ later Abbasids controlled

    48. arabesque patterns/columns

    49. Great Mosque of Damascus (Syria), 706-715Umayyads/2nd Caliphate/ preexisting Roman square towers/ minarets