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Territory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Territory. Mesopotamia North Africa Spain Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia Northwest India Dominated eastern Mediterranean Sea Capital at Damascus. Islamic Expansion. Subjects. Only Muslim Arabs first-class citizens and shared in booty

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  • Mesopotamia
  • North Africa
  • Spain
  • Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia
  • Northwest India
  • Dominated eastern Mediterranean Sea
  • Capital at Damascus
  • Only Muslim Arabs first-class citizens and shared in booty
  • Local populations converted to Islam (Mawali). What was motivation?
  • Non-Arab Muslims- discrimination
  • Number of conversions during Umayyad low
  • Dhimmis- “People of the Book.”
family and gender
Family and Gender
  • Islam under Muhammad stressed family and equality of women
  • Women had some freedom under Umayyads- pursued wide range of occupations
  • Rising Arab urbanization = decline of women’s rights
  • Persian custom of seclusion / harem
decline and fall
Decline and Fall
  • Umayyad became soft and corrupt due to increasing wealth and power
  • Warrior lifestyle declined
  • Decadent living sparked revolts
  • Indian frontier - warrior settlers revolted under banner of Abbasid party - aided by Shi’ites and Mawali
  • 750 CE victory over Umayyads
decline and fall1
Decline and Fall
  • Umayyads wiped out
  • Grandson of Umayyad caliph escaped to Spain- founded Caliphate of Cordoba
the abbasids
The Abbasids
  • Abbasids turned on Shi’ite allies
  • Built centralized state- absolute power
  • Capital at Baghdad
  • Bureaucracy under Wazir
  • Royal executioner - intimidation
  • Revenues in form of tribute and taxes
  • Abbasids grew less powerful at distance
the abbasids1
The Abbasids
  • Caliphs placed themselves above Islamic law
  • Rulers called themselves “Shadow of god on Earth” Divine rule?
  • Caliphs became remote from people
  • Practice of dividing booty discarded
  • New emphasis on conversions
the abbasids2
The Abbasids
  • Mawali gained equality with Arab Muslims
  • Persians became powerful force in Abbasid court
commerce and urbanization
Commerce and Urbanization
  • Wealth and status of merchant and landlord class grew
  • Muslims and Tang China became engines behind revival of world trade
  • Technology - Arab Dhows & lateen (triangular) sails
  • Business partnerships between Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
commerce and urbanization1
Commerce and Urbanization
  • Increase in handicraft production (furniture, carpets, glass, etc)
  • Guild associations formed
  • Wealthy landed elite formed called Ayan
  • Many farmers were tenants, sharecroppers, or migrant laborers
  • Towns flourished despite political instability

A shop in a bazaar

  • Unskilled labor done by slaves - some brutality
  • Slaves could gain freedom and/or serve in positions of power
  • Most drudge labor slaves were Zanj slaves (non-Muslim Africans)
  • Beautiful / educated slaves prized
  • Slave women had more freedom than Muslim women

Zanj Slaves

  • Caliph had up to 4,000 slave concubines
  • Most slaves from Balkans, Central Asia, and Sudanic Africa
  • Word “slave” derived from “Slav”

A caliph and his concubine

  • Women increasingly subjugated to men (harem / veil)
  • Women from lower classes worked to help support family
  • Rich women had no outlets
  • Marriage age at puberty (legal age= 9)

Purdah: wearing of the veil and seclusion

islamic culture
Islamic Culture
  • Muslims influenced by conquered peoples
  • Islamic technological advances
  • Despite decline of Abbasids, professional classes expanded (towns)
  • Persian culture dominated Abbasid court
  • Persian court and cultural language
  • Poetry - Rubiyat- Omar Khayyam

The Rubiyat

religious trends
Religious Trends
  • Religious scholars (ulama) became increasingly reactionary
  • Sufi movement- wandering mystics- factor in spread of Islam

Whirling Dervish – Sufi whirls himself into trance-like state

abbasid decline
Abbasid Decline
  • Shi’ite revolts plagued Abbasids
  • Decadent living strained revenues
  • Problem of succession
  • Court intrigue- wives, concubines, ministers, eunuchs, etc
  • Increasing influence of Persian ministers over caliphs
abbasid decline1
Abbasid Decline
  • Harun al-Rashid – most famous caliph
  • Rashid’s death resulted in civil wars over succession
  • Successors created bodyguard of slave mercenaries - Turks (70,000)
  • Turks became power behind throne- murdered and replaced caliphs.
abbasid decline2
Abbasid Decline
  • Turkish mercenaries became violent force in Muslim society- source of constant riots
  • Expense of putting down Turks, paying other mercenary forces, construction projects caused financial crisis
  • Villages placed under rule of mercenaries in lieu of payment

A Turkish warrior

abbasid decline3
Abbasid Decline
  • Pillaging led to destruction / abandonment of villages
  • Irrigation structure collapsed
  • Peasants fled, died, or turned to banditry
  • Loss of territory as regions split from Abbasid rule
  • Buyids of Persia (breakaway region) captured Baghdad- caliphs became puppets (945 CE)
seljuk turks
Seljuk Turks
  • Buyid control broken in 1055 by Seljuk Turks
  • Turkish military rulers ran empire in name of caliphs
  • Turks crushed Byzantine army and opened Anatolian Peninsula to settlement
  • Crusades
end of the caliphate
End of the Caliphate
  • Mongol assaults on Muslim Persia by Chinggis Khan
  • Hulegu Khan (grandson) completed conquest of Baghdad in 1258
  • Last Abbasid caliph executed
  • Mongols turned back by Mameluk Turks (rulers of Egypt)
  • Islamic center of gravity shifted to Cairo


Islamic Civilization