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The First Global Civilization & The Birth of Islam . Objective: To understand and analyze the birth of Islam on the Arabian peninsula and how it evolved into a world religion and created the 1 st global civilization . http://

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the first global civilization the birth of islam

The First Global Civilization & The Birth of Islam

Objective: To understand and analyze the birth of Islam on the Arabian peninsula and how it evolved into a world religion and created the 1st global civilization.

oasis towns desert life in pre islamic arabia
Oasis Towns & Desert Life in pre-Islamic Arabia

 The Arabian peninsula is uninhabitable- mostly desert with some oasis towns

  • Struggle for subsistence on Arabian peninsula
  • Bedouins, (nomadic herders- adapt to desert conditions) Clans and tribes
  • Bedouin & clan religion- Animism & polytheism
  • Mecca-site of trade and town of 2 meeting caravan routes & also center of pilgrimage- site of the Ka’ba
  • Yathrib- later named Medina “City of the Prophet”
the prophet muhammad the genesis of islam
The Prophet Muhammad & The Genesis of Islam
  • Muhammad born 570 CE orphaned at a young age
  • Born into Bedouin tribe and is a merchant- takes part in caravans –comes into contact with other faiths
  • At 20 works for and marries Khadija- widowed merchant
  • Muhammad is dissatisfied with material life and often Meditates
muhammad s vision
Muhammad’s Vision:
  • 610 - revelation
  • Has a vision of Gabriel
  • Devotes the rest of his life to the spread of Islam
  • 622 leaves Mecca for Medina- Hijra
  • Launches attacks on Meccan caravans & defeat Muslims – 630 return to Mecca & destroy idols
  • 632 most of peninsula supports new faith including rival Umayyads
the message of islam
The Message of Islam

Based on strict monotheism – Allah (all powerful God)

Dignity and equality of believers before God

Moral code-Responsible for own actions

  • Payment of zakat (tax for charity)
  • No recognition of priests
  • Idol depiction forbidden
the five pillars
The Five Pillars:
  • Declaration of faith: One God: Allah (shahadah)
  • Prayer: 5X a day (salat)
  • Fasting-during holy month of Ramadan (siyam)
  • Tax for charity (zakat)
  • Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca
  • Some consider jihad, a 6th pillar-varying interpretations

(Grand Mosque, Mecca)

the quran sharia
The Quran & Sharia

Women pray in a mosque in Banda Aceh

  • Sacred word of God
  • Final authority
  • Honesty, generosity, justice
  • Harsh penalties for stealing or murder
  • In original Arabic language

Body of law that applies Quran to everyday life of the umma

Unites converts to Islam

No separation between criminal or civil law- Quran all situations

Islam is a religion and a way of life

converts people of the book
Converts & “People of the Book”
  • Muslims share similar beliefs with Christians& Jews- some same Prophets, idea of afterlife, the Bible & Torah are revelations from God
  • Jews & Christians are “People of the Book”(spiritually superior to idol worshippers)
  • Muslims generally tolerant as long as people pay taxes
the succession crisis 632
The Succession Crisis 632

Muhammad dies 632- leadership crisis

Clan selects a caliph (political and religious successor to Muhammad)

Choose Abu Bakr (oversees raids on N. Africa, zones in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt)

movements within islam the sunni shiite shia split further factions
Movements within Islam: the Sunni & Shiite (Shia) Split & Further Factions
  • Muhammad's death creates deep rifts within Muslim community
  • 3rd caliph Uthman murdered → his death creates another uproar



Only successor to Muhammad is descendants of Muhammad (imam)

Ali’s right to caliphate

Minority branch

Live in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and Yemen


  • Caliphs be chosen by members of Muslims community
  • Pious Muslims- not religious authority
  • Majority branch
  • Muslims mystics
  • Piety & power
  • Selfless worship of God
  • Missionary Work
the conquest spread of islam
The Conquest & Spread of Islam
  • Empire conquered Persia, parts of Byzantine, Jerusalem, North Africa, & Southern Spain
  • Tolerant rulers – “Empire Arab rather

than Islamic”

  • Extent into Spain- Cordoba,Granada
  • The Umayyad Caliphate- Damascus, warrior elite, extend Dar-al Islam
  • The Abbasid Caliphate- Golden Age, Baghdad, huge bureaucracy, revive Silk Road

Islamic Culture:“Within the confines of the Islamic domains were located the center of Hellenistic, Persian, Indian, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian civilizations as well as Christian and Jewish traditions of thoughtand learning.” “The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” -Muhammad

the golden age of islam
The Golden Age of Islam

Astronomical tables

Medicine: al- Razi Canon on Medicine

  • Under Harun- al Rashid (786-809)
  • Art- arabesque, calligraphy, geometric patters (no idols)
  • Literature: Poetry & Quran, Sufi Mysticism
  • Philosophy: Greek philosophers
  • Science & Math: Hindi numbers- Arabic numerals, algebra
islamic culture
Islamic Culture:
  • Harun- al Rashid – golden age of Abbasids
  • Achievements in art, architecture, literature, medicine, science, math, astronomy, philosophy
  • Art- no depiction of idols- arabesque/ geometric patterns
  • Medicine- al- Razi Canon on Medicine
  • Translation of Greek thought
  • Attitudes toward trade & women