The World of Islam

Download 6.26 Mb.
Size6.26 Mb.

The World of Islam

  • Chapter 6
  • The student will demonstrate knowledge of Islamic civilization from about 600 to 1000 A.D. (C.E.) by
  • describing the origin, beliefs, traditions, customs, and spread of Islam;
  • Origins of Islam
  • • Muhammad, the Prophet
  • • Mecca and Medina on the Arabian Peninsula: Early Muslim cities
  • Spread of Islam
  • • Across Asia and Africa, and into Spain
  • • Geographic extent of first Muslim empire
  • Beliefs, traditions, and customs of Islam
  • • Monotheism (Allah, Arabic word for “God”)
  • • Qur’an (Koran): The word of God
  • • Five pillars of Islam
  • • Acceptance of Judeo-Christian prophets, including Moses and Jesus
  • b) assessing the influence of geography on Islamic economic, social, and political development, including the impact of conquest and trade;
  • Geographic influences on the origin and spread of Islam
  • • Diffusion along trade routes from Mecca and Medina
  • • Expansion despite great distances, desert environments, and mountain barriers
  • • Spread into the Fertile Crescent, Iran, and Central Asia, facilitated by weak Byzantine and Persian empires
  • Geographic influences on economic, social, and political development
  • • Political unity of the first Muslim empire was short-lived.
  • • Arabic language spread with Islam and facilitated trade across Islamic lands.
  • • Slavery was not based on race.
  • c) identifying historical turning points that affected the spread and influence of Islamic civilization, with emphasis on the Sunni-Shi’a division, and the Battle of Tours;
  • Historical turning points
  • • Death of Ali - Sunni-Shi’a division
  • • Muslim conquest of Jerusalem and Damascus
  • • Islamic capital moved to Baghdad
  • • Muslim defeat at the Battle of Tours
  • • Fall of Baghdad to the Mongols
  • d) citing cultural and scientific contributions and achievements of Islamic civilization.
  • Cultural contributions and achievements
  • • Architecture (Dome of the Rock)
  • • Mosaics
  • • Arabic alphabet
  • • Universities
  • • Translation of ancient texts into Arabic
  • Scientific contributions and achievements
  • • Arabic numerals (adapted from India, including zero)
  • • Algebra
  • • Medicine
  • • Expansion of geographic knowledge

The Rise of Islam

  • The Arabs
    • Arose in the Arabian Peninsula and influenced Western Asia and beyond.
    • They were a nomadic, Semitic-speaking people who lived in the arid climate of the Arabian Peninsula.
    • The environment was harsh, they were organized into tribes and were led by a sheikh who was chosen from a council of elders. The tribes were independent, but worked together
  • Early Religion
  • -Most Early Arabs were polytheistic,
  • many recognized a chief, or supreme
  • god who they called Allah which is
  • Arabic for “God.”
  • -Allah was symbolized by a sacred stone, each tribe had their own stone, but there was one central stone called the Black stone which was placed in the shrine called the Kaaba.
  • -This shrine was located in the city of Makkah (Mecca) in what is now Saudi Arabia.
  • Trade
  • The Arabian Peninsula became an important center for trade. The city of Mecca became rich from the caravan trade traffic which passed through the area.
  • The domestication of the camel enabled traffic to cross the deserts and as empires grew up in the region trade increased greatly.
  • As the merchants became rich from the Caravan traffic the life of the poor people of the area suffered.

The Life of Muhammad

  • Muhammad was born in Makkah in present-day Saudi Arabia to a merchant family. His parents died when he was young and he ended up living with his uncle who was a merchant and he became a caravan manager.
  • Muhammad in
  • Arabic Calligraphy

Muhammad married an older widow named Khadija.

  • Muhammad married an older widow named Khadija.
  • Over time, he found the richness and corruption of the merchants and townspeople to be troubling.
  • He decided to visit the hills to meditate. Muslims believe that while he was meditating in the hills he received revelations from God through the Angel Gabriel.

Muhammad’s Revelation

  • Muslims believe the Angel Gabriel told Muhammad to recite what he heard, it was believed that Allah had already revealed himself through Moses and Jesus, but now had a final revelation for man.
  • This final revelation became the religion of Islam. Which means submission to the will of God.

The Quran (Koran)

  • The revelations to Muhammad were written down by scribes and became known as The Quran, which is the holy book of Islam.
  • The Quran contains ethical
  • guidelines and laws by which
  • Muslims (followers of Islam)
  • should live their lives.

The Nature of The Quran

  • The Quran is written in Arabic, which was the language of Muhammad.
  • The Quran is considered to only be true when it is written in its original language. Translations are thought to lose the true meaning of the original words which are believed to be a direct revelation from God.
  • The Muslim observance of Ramadan is to commemorate the recording of the holy text.

After the Revelation

  • After Muhammad received his revelation he went to his wife Khadija, she was his first convert to the new religion.
  • He began to try to convert the people of Makkah to his message, but he was unsuccessful. After three years he was forced to go to the city of Yathrib, which later became Medina. This flight, or migration, is known as the Hijrah and marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar. This was in the year 622 CE.

Acceptance in the city of the Prophet

  • In Yathrib, renamed Medina (which means the city of the prophet) Muhammad was accepted and gained followers.
  • One of the groups which converted to the new religion of Islam were the Bedouins who were desert Arabs. This new community became the first to practice the religion.
  • After several years, Muhammad became both a spiritual and political leader, there was not an idea of the separation of church and state. He raised an army and conquered the city of Makkah.

The Kaaba

  • After Muhammad took the city of Makkah he cleansed the Kaaba of idols and dedicated it to Allah, who he taught was the one true God.
  • All Muslims are encouraged to make a pilgrimage to Makkah known as the Hajj at least once in their life if they are physically and financially able.

The Teachings of Muhammad

  • Islam is Monotheistic, like Judaism and Christianity.
  • Islam teaches a belief in an afterlife, those who hope to achieve this afterlife must submit to the will of Allah.
  • Muslims do not believe the Muhammad was divine, they believe that he was a man.
  • Islam is seen not just as a religion, but as a way of life.
  • Muslims believe that Islam was God’s final revelation for mankind. Muslims feel that in order to achieve salvation that they must obey the will of Allah, or God.
  • In order to do this they must follow the five major principles of Islam known as the Five Pillars of Islam.

The Five Pillars of Islam

  • 1-Declaration of Faith
    • Muslims must state that there is not God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.
  • 2. Daily Prayer
    • Muslims must pray five times a day facing the Kaaba in Mecca.
      • Pre Dawn
      • Noon
      • Afternoon
      • Sunset
      • Evening

Five Pillars Continued . . .

  • 3. Charity
    • Muslims are supposed to help others and donate part of their income to charity.
  • 4. Fasting-Ramadan
  • Muslims must fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan which celebrates the recording of the Quran.


  • 5. Pilgrimage: Hajj
    • The fifth pillar of Islam is the Hajj.
    • Once in a lifetime, if they are physically and financially able , Muslims are to journey to Mecca (Makkah) in Saudi Arabia and perform the rituals of the Hajj.

Islamic Law

  • After the death of Muhammad there were further interpretations of his teachings. These are known as the Hadith. There are different versions of the Hadith for different branches of Islam.
  • These teachings were further interpreted in the Shari’ah. This is a set of laws which regulate many aspects of Muslim life. It does not separate between church and state and covers family life, business, government, and moral conduct.
  • Muslims are expected to practice honesty and justice in dealing with others and are forbidden to gamble, eat pork, drink alcohol, or engage in dishonest behavior.

Facts about Islam

  • Quran (Koran)-Holy book of Islam
  • Muslim- A follower of Islam
  • Mosque- A Muslim House of Worship
  • Minarets- The towers located on a Mosque from which the Muezzin calls the faithful to prayer.
  • Minaret

Section 2

  • The Arab Empire and its Successors

Creation of An Arab Empire

  • After the death of Muhammad, unity was difficult to maintain.
  • The friend and father-in-law of Muhammad, Abu Bakr, was chosen to be the first Caliph, or successor to Muhammad.
  • Abu Bakr helped to unify the Muslim world and expanded in Arabia and beyond.
  • Under the idea of jihad, or “struggle in the way of God” the early Muslims expanded their territory. The believed that defensive warfare was permitted by the Quran.

Arab Rule

  • The Arabs were now united and expanded their territory instead of fighting each other.
  • They defeated the Byzantine army in 636 taking the province of Syria. By 642 they took Egypt and by 650 they controlled the Persian Empire
  • After Abu Bakr died there was conflict over who would be the next Caliph.
  • The next two Caliphs were both assassinated.
  • After that Muhammad’s son-in-law
  • Ali was
  • appointed Caliph,
  • but five years later
  • he too was assassinated.


  • Muslims administrators were fairly tolerant of the people they defeated.
  • Initially, both Christians and Jews were allowed to practice their religions, with some restrictions, because they were “People of the Book” who had written scriptures revealed to them by God before the time of Muhammad. Those who chose not to convert had to be loyal to the Muslim state and pay a special tax.

The Umayyad Dynasty

  • At the beginning of the eighth century Islam had expanded across northern Africa and had converted the Berbers (a pastoral people along the Mediterranean coast) to the faith.
  • By 710 combined Berber and Arab forces crossed the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain and had taken most of the country by 725. In 732, however, the Muslim advance into Europe was halted at the Battle of Tours.

By 750 the Muslim advance came to an end. The southern and eastern Mediterranean and parts of the old Roman Empire were now Muslim territory.

  • By 750 the Muslim advance came to an end. The southern and eastern Mediterranean and parts of the old Roman Empire were now Muslim territory.
  • The Umayyad Dynasty was centered in Damascus, in modern-day Syria and was wealthy. This was also a very diverse empire as many different peoples had been conquered in new territory.
  • The diversity helped lead to a split within the Islamic faith

A Split in Islam

  • Many non-Arab Muslims resent the favoritism which the Umayyad Empire showed toward Arabs.
  • The large empire was difficult to rule efficiently and there were financial problems as well.

The Revolt of Hussein

  • The grandson of Muhammad, Hussein, led a revolt against the Umayyad Empire in 680.
  • His solders defected and he was killed by an overwhelming Umayyad force.
  • This struggle led to a split within the faith of Islam between Sunni and Shi’a (Shiite) Muslims.

Sunni vs. Shi’a (Shiite)

  • Sunni Muslims supported the Umayyad Dynasty. They believe the Caliph does not need to be a direct descendant of Muhammad.
  • Shi’a Muslims supported Hussein and believe that the Caliph should be a direct descendant of Muhammad through his son-in-law Ali and his grandson.

Umayyad Architecture

The Abbasid Dynasty

  • Amidst growing resentment toward the Umayyad Dynasty Abu al-Abbas, a descendent of Muhammad’s uncle, overthrew the Umayyad Dynasty in 750 and est. the Abbasid Dynasty.
  • The Dynasty lasted until 1258 A.D.

Abbasid Rule

  • The Abbasids moved the capital of their empire to Baghdad.
  • This move increased Persian influence and changed Abbasid culture.
  • Under this dynasty the new heroes were judges, merchants, and government officials.
  • This dynasty did not favor Arab rule and the empire became more culturally diverse.

Harun al-Rashid

  • Harun al-Rashid
    • The greatest of the caliphs of the dynasty. This is called the golden age of the Abbasid Dynasty (Caliphate)
    • He was known for his charity and was a great supporter of culture and the arts.
    • His son continued the tradition and supported the study of astronomy and began to translate classical Greek works into Arabic.


  • Baghdad became a major crossroads for trade.
    • This made the city very wealthy.
    • This also helped spread products and knowledge from the Middle East to parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Government Administration

  • The government of the Abbasids became more like a monarchy.
  • The bureaucracy which assisted the Caliph became more complicated.
  • In order to assist him the Caliph appointed a Vizier who was like a prime minister.
    • This man was the chief advisor to the Caliph and would help him run the government.

Decline and Division

  • There was great difficulty in the Abbasid Dynasty with imperial succession.
  • There was also financial corruption.
  • Caliphs began to recruit from non-Arab groups for government administration such as the Turks and the Persians.
    • These groups came to dominate the political situation.

Rulers of provinces began to break away and establish independent kingdoms.

  • Rulers of provinces began to break away and establish independent kingdoms.
    • Spain had an independent Caliphate at Cordoba which had been established in 750 by Umayyad rulers who fled the Abbasid Dynasty.
  • Morocco became independent.
  • The Fatimid dynasty was established in Egypt with the capital at Cairo in 973.

Seljuk Turks and the Crusades

  • As the Fatimid Dynasty in Egypt became more powerful they became the new center of the Muslim world.
  • One group which came to power in this region were the Seljuk Turks.
    • The Turks played a large role in the military and many rose through the ranks to gain a lot of political power.

The Turks were originally a nomadic people who converted to Islam and were great soldiers in the Abbasid caliphate.

  • The Turks were originally a nomadic people who converted to Islam and were great soldiers in the Abbasid caliphate.
  • As the Abbasids weakened, the Turks became stronger moving into the areas of Iran and Armenia. They eventually took over many Abbasid territories.

The Sultan

  • The Turks were ruled by a Sultan, meaning “holder of power.”
  • While the Abbasids were still a religious authority when the Turks captured Baghdad they were the military and political leaders of the state.
  • The Turks in the second half of the 11th century kept putting pressure on the Byzantine Empire. In 1071 they defeated the Byzantine army at Manzikert and gained control of Asia Minor (Anatolian Peninsula)
    • In desperation, the Byzantine Empire turned to the West for help. This led to a series of wars known as The Crusades.

The Crusades

  • The Byzantine Emperor Alexius I sent a letter to the Pope (Urban II) asking for help against the Turks.
  • This led to a series of wars in 1096 known as The Crusades.
  • At first the Crusaders were successful and took the city of Jerusalem.
  • In 1187 the Muslim leader Saladin retook the city, leaving the Christians with only a small collection of land holdings in the Middle East.
  • The Crusades had a lasting impact-breeding centuries of mistrust between the Muslim world and the Christian World.

The Mongol Threat

  • The Mongols were a pastoral, horse-riding people who swept out of the Gobi in the early 13th century to seize control over much of the known world.
  • The were not Muslims and find it difficult to adapt to city life.
  • The spread destruction across Asia into Muslim territory.
  • The Invasion began with Genghis Khan and was continued under the leadership Kublia Khan and Hulegu.
    • They seized Mesopotamia Persia and Mesopotamia destroying the city of Baghdad in 1258
  • The Mongols made it as far as the Red Sea, but were unable to take Egypt.
  • Over time the Mongol rulers converted to Islam and rebuilt the Muslim world.

Section 3: Islamic Civilization

Prosperity in the Islamic World

  • The Muslim empires carried on extensive trade with China, the Byzantine Empire, India, and SE Asia.
  • Trade was done by ship and by camel caravans which traveled from Morocco in to West to the countries beyond the Caspian Sea in Central Asia.
  • Goods
    • Sub Saharan Africa: Gold and Slaves
    • China: Silk and Porcelain
    • E. Africa: Gold and Ivory
    • SE Asia and India: Sandalwood and Spices.
    • Egypt: Grain
    • Iraq: Linen, Dates, and Precious Stones
    • W. India: Textiles
  • The development of banking helped to facilitate trade and eventually influenced European banking systems during the European Renaissance.

The Role of Cities

  • Flourishing trade led to wealthy and successful cities.
  • Baghdad-Was known as the city of peace and was highly successful under the Abbasids
  • Cairo: Was part of the Fatimid Dynasty
  • Cordoba: Capital of Umayyad Spain
  • Cities had Palaces for the Caliphs and mosques for worship.
    • There were also public buildings with fountains, courtyards, public baths, and a bazaar.

The Bazaar

  • The covered market was a central part of each Muslim city.
  • There were high standards for business and sanitation.
  • It was a place where people could acquire both goods and services.


  • While cities were expanding a vast majority of the people still lived in the country and made their living in agriculture.
  • Originally the land was owned by peasants, but was eventually bought by aristocrats and was worked by slave labor.

Islamic Society

  • Islam is considered more than just a religion, it is seen as a way of life that encompasses politics, economics, and social life.
  • According to the Quran, all people were equal in the eyes of Allah, but in reality, the Muslim Empires did not follow this ideal. There was a well developed upper and lower class.
  • Non-Muslims were not considered equal to Muslims and slavery was widespread (as in the rest of the ancient world). Slaves were usually non-Muslims because Islamic law made it illegal for one Muslim to enslave another.
    • Slaves served in the military or served as domestic servants.
    • Slaves could sometimes purchase their freedom and it was considered a good act to free ones slaves.

The Role of Women

  • Originally, the Quran granted women spiritual and social equality with men. Both men and women were to be friends and protectors of one another.
  • Women could earn a living and own and inherit property. They played a prominent role in the rise of Islam.
  • Men and Women had assigned social duties, but most societies in which Islam arose were male dominated

Women in these societies had to have a male guardian and parents arranged marriages for their children.

  • Women in these societies had to have a male guardian and parents arranged marriages for their children.
  • Men could have up to four wives, but they had to pay a dowry (gift of money or property) to their wives’ families.
  • Women did have the right to divorce and adultery was forbidden for both men and women.
  • After the spread of Islam local traditions began to assert themselves and many of the rights that were initially given to women in Islam were replaced by older traditions which denied women equal rights. A similar thing happened to the rights of early Christian women once Christianity became merged with Roman influence.

The Veil

  • The veil worn by Muslim women is traditionally called the Hijab.
  • The ideal of women wearing veils was common in many Middle Eastern cultures before the advent of Islam.
    • In Ancient Mesopotamia a veil was a symbol of status, purity, and moral character.
  • There is some controversy over this use of these veils today. There are different interpretations of this tradition in different parts of the Muslim world. In general, women and men are supposed to dress modestly, the degree of that modesty varies from region to region according to local custom and tradition.

In the Quran the Hijab has different meanings it can mean a curtain or partition dividing rooms--in other verses it is a sacred divide between the earth and holy, god and human, light and dark, and men and women.

  • In the Quran the Hijab has different meanings it can mean a curtain or partition dividing rooms--in other verses it is a sacred divide between the earth and holy, god and human, light and dark, and men and women.
  • The Hijab covers the head and Neck
  • The Chador covers the full body with a head scarf underneath.
  • The Burka (Burqa) is a veil that completely covers the face and body.
  • The covering that women wear varies from country to country.

Section 4: Culture of Islam

Philosophy, Science, and History

  • The Arab world was aware of Greek thought and had been in the process of translating and preserving these works for years. This becomes very important later on when this knowledge is rediscovered by Europe during The Renaissance.
  • The knowledge of the Muslim world was preserved in Baghdad in a library known as the House of Wisdom.

Preservation of Knowledge

  • Muslim scholars helped to preserve the knowledge of Greece and Rome by translating works and making them available to other scholars.
    • It is because of this that European scholars were able to rediscover the works of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers.
    • In the twelfth century these works were translated into Latin .
    • The discovery of paper-making technology from China made this much easier.

Islamic Advancements

  • Muslims scholars not only preserved works of Greek philosophy, they also interpreted the works and wrote extensive commentary on them.
    • The Muslim philosopher Ibn-Rushd wrote on nearly all of Aristotle’s works.

Math and Science

  • Muslim scholars adopted and passed on the numerical system of India, and the use of zero. These numbers came to be known in the west as Arabic numbers.
  • A ninth-century Arab mathematician also developed algebra.


  • Muslims also studied astronomy which led to the development of the Astrolabe. This instrument was used for naval navigation by observing the positions of the stars and other heavenly bodies.
  • This invention made it possible for European sailors to sail to the Americas.


  • The Muslims philosopher and scientist Ibn Sina wrote a medical encyclopedia which explained contagious diseases.
  • This became the foundation for later European medical advancements.


  • The Muslims historian Ibn-Khaldun lived in the 14th century.
  • This book, Introduction to History proposed a cyclical view of history with the rise and fall of civilizations.


  • Many Muslims consider the Quran to be the greatest work of Muslim literature, but there was a strong oral tradition prior to the Quran which continued to have influence.
  • The poet Omar Khayyam. He was a twelfth century Persian poet, mathematician, and astronomer.
    • The wrote about many different themes and his poems were recorded by his friends after his death.

The 1001 Nights/Arabian Nights

  • Probably the most famous piece of Muslim literature is the 1001 Nights or Arabian Nights.
  • This is a collection of stories based around a central theme.
    • The Sultan king of Baghdad wishes to kill his wife on their wedding night. The princess Scheherazade tells him stories each night to prevent her death, eventually winning him over.
    • The tales include the familiar stories of Aladdin and Ali Baba and the forty thieves.

Art and Architecture

  • Islamic art is a blend of Arab, Turkish, and Persian traditions.
  • Islamic art and architecture is guided by the Quran which forbids of representation of living beings. So mosques and palaces are decorated with floral motifs and geometric patterns (known as arabesque) and Arabic script.

The Great Mosque at Samarra

  • In present-day Iraq, it was the largest mosque at the time.
  • It covered 10 acres.
  • Most famous section is the minaret, or tower, it is from this tower that the Muezzin, or crier calls the faithful to prayer five times a day.

Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain

  • Ninth-century mosque in southern Spain. Its hundreds of columns support horseshoe arches and make it seem like a forest of trees.

Arabesque and Calligraphy

  • Since depictions of living things are forbidden many Mosques are decorated with Arabesque and Arabic Calligraphy.

Download 6.26 Mb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page