The First Muslims (400 to 1000)

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The First Muslims (400 to 1000)

  • Chapter 3, Lesson 1
  • EQ: How can religion influence the development of an empire?

Home Learning (Ch. 3, Lesson1)

  • Allah
  • Quran
  • Islam
  • Muslim
  • Hijrah
  • hajj
  • Five Pillars of Islam

Islamic Empire 600-800

The Arabs

  • The Arabs—arose in the Arabian Peninsula and spread their influence throughout Western Asia and beyond.
  • Arabs were nomads, farmers and sheepherders
  • They became major carriers of goods between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, where the Silk Road ended.
  • Polytheistic—but they believed in a supreme God called Allah.

Religion of Islam

  • The religion is called Islam (monotheistic)
  • People who practice Islam are called Muslims.

Muhammad: The Prophet

  • Prophet = messenger of God.
  • Muhammad –born in 570 AD.
  • Liked to go off by himself and pray in the desert.
  • He heard the voice of the angel Gabriel telling him to proclaim the one true God.
  • Prior to Muhammad this area of the world was divided and worshiped many gods.

The Hijrah

  • Muhammad converted few people in Makkah (Mecca), but they were persecuted.
  • He and his followers journeyed to Madinah (Medina).
  • The journey from Makkah to Madinah is known as the Hijrah
  • The year the journey occurred (622 AD) became known as the year 1 to the Muslims.


  • Even before Mahammad the Arabs called their God Allah
  • You will never see an image of Allah.
  • Muslims believe that He does not resemble any other form in creation in any way.

The Qur’an

  • Holy Book of Islam
  • Written in Arabic
  • Muslims believe that Allah revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad.
  • The Qur’an has the rules Muslims live by

Five Pillars of Islam

  • 1. Faith: There is only one God, and Muhammad is the Prophet
  • 2. Prayer: Five times a day
  • 3. Sharing: All Muslims pay a tax to help the poor
  • 4. Fasting: Not eating or drinking during daylight during the month of Ramadan
  • 5. Pilgrimage (Hajj): All Muslims want to make a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca once in their lifetimes.

Practices of Islam

  • Muslims pray 5 times a day, facing east (Mecca)

A Mosque

  • A mosque is the place of worship for Muslims.

The Hajj: The pilgrimage to Mecca

  • Kabba—a cube looking building, Islam’s most sacred mosque.
  • Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
  • The Black Stone is located at the eastern corner. Tradition states that the stone was given to Adam, the first man, so that he could obtain forgiveness for his sins. Pilgrims attempt to kiss the stone each time they circle the Kaaba.

Islamic symbol

  • The Star & Crescent Moon
  • Star and Crescent Moon on many Islamic nation’s flags.

Foundations of Islam

Islamic Law

Primary Source #1: The Pilgrimage to Mecca

  • Read the excerpt from a personal narrative of a pilgrimage to Medina and Mecca, then answer the questions that follow.
  • Historical Comprehension Why do Muslims perform the hajj?
  • Historical Analysis and Interpretation How does Burton describe the hajj?

Primary Source #2: The Quran

  • Read this excerpt from the Quran to answer the questions that follow.
  • Answer the Following Questions:
  • Historical Comprehension What is the shari’ah?
  • Historical Analysis and Interpretation What is the message of the third verse given here?

Enrichment Activity

  • Write three paragraphs that compare Islam and Christianity. Use your notes and textbook.
  • Categories for comparison:
      • History of the religion
      • Major beliefs
      • Who is considered their god
      • The part of the world where this religion is prevalent
      • Holy books (if any)
      • Other interesting topics
  • Category
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • Introduction
  • The student equally addresses both likenesses and differences in the thesis.
  • The student addresses likenesses and differences in the thesis, but not equally.
  • The student does not address both likenesses and differences in the thesis.
  • The student addresses neither likenesses nor differences in the thesis.
  • Supporting Main Ideas
  • The student consistently provides appropriate evidence to support main ideas.
  • The student usually provides adequate details to support main ideas.
  • The student sometimes supports main ideas with sufficient evidence.
  • The student rarely provides evidence that supports main ideas.
  • Grammar and Mechanics
  • The student consistently uses correct grammar and sentence mechanics.`
  • The student usually uses correct grammar and sentence mechanics.
  • The student occasionally makes errors in grammar and mechanics that interfere with reading the essay.
  • The student frequently makes errors in grammar and mechanics that interfere with reading the essay.
  • For the Enrichment Activity: Compare and Contrast Essay Rubric

Islamic Trade Routes

  • Empire prosperity came from an extensive trade network with China, India, and Africa.
    • Developed banking and use of coins to trade
  • Arab empire absorbed the cultures of conquered peoples.
    • Brought laws and written language to some of the conquered societies.

Prosperity of Islamic Society

  • Flourishing trade led to prosperous cities
    • Baghdad (Iraq)
    • Damascus (Syria)
    • Cairo (Egypt_)
  • Distinctive cities—public buildings, fountains, hidden courtyards, public baths and bazaars (covered markets).
  • Very urbanized cities, but most people were country folks.

Activity: Islamic Society

  • Read Chapter 3, Lesson 1: Islamic Society
  • Take notes using the following chart
  • Guiding Question: How were the principles of Islam reflected in the social structure of the Arab Empire?
  • Progress Check Question: In what ways were the lives of early Muslim men and women different?

Arab Cities and Society Review Questions

  • 1. Explaining Why was the bazaar an important part of a Muslim city or town?
  • 2. Identifying Use your notes to identify characteristics of the upper class, slaves, and women in the Islamic world.
  • 3. Evaluating What factors allowed both urban and rural areas to flourish after the eighth century within the Arab Empire?
  • 4. Making Generalizations How were the principles of Islam reflected in the social structure of the Arab Empire?

Islamic Civilization Contributions

Islamic Contributions

  • They made advances in mathematics, medicine, and astronomy.
  • Created great works of literature, art, and architecture.
  • Muslim scholars preserved the work of ancient Indian and Greek thinkers and added to this knowledge before passing it on to the Europeans in later centuries.

Lasting Contributions of Islamic Culture

  • Preservation of ancient knowledge: The works of ancient Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle and Plato, were translated and studied by Muslim scholars. Eventually, this knowledge was passed to western Europe.
  • Mathematics: Arabs invented algebra, and they adopted numerals from India that spread to Europe.
  • Astronomy: Muslims set up an observatory to study the stars, and developed the astrolabe as a navigational tool.
  • Medicine: Medicine was made a field of scientific study by Muslims, who correctly described the contagious nature of certain diseases.


  • Each group will get assigned an area
    • Science (Homero)
    • History/Literature (Beatriz)
    • Art (Tatiana)
    • Architecture (Sofia)
  • Using your notes from the film/ book (pg. 58-59)
    • Identify the inventor
    • Identify their invention
    • Explain how his/her contribution changed the world
    • (4-5 sentences)
    • Illustrate the invention


  • After copying notes, read pages 47-49.
  • Using what you've read and the notes you took in class to create an informative brochure about the religion of Islam.
  • The brochure should teach people what Islam, its characteristics, and its history
  • Also, include illustrations that can easily explain the religion and the Muslims' beliefs.
  • You must use your own words.
  • Rubric: Include at least 5 characteristics, has at least 2 images, and is grammar free.

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