The Rise of Islam

The Rise of Islam
Ms. Jerome Chapter 11
Spread of Islam from inception to present
The Birthplace of a New World
Islam arose in the Arabian peninsula
 Extremely tribal—religious melting pot
 Reflected the social and cultural
conditions of its homeland
 The epicenter of post classical long
distance trade.
 Arabia—important link in trade between
China and India in the east and Persia
nad Byzantium in the west
Muhammad and His Message
Muhammad born 570 –merchant family in
 By 30 Muhammad had established himself
as a merchant
 Arabian Peninsula was diverse—
polytheism, Judaism etc.
 Age 40- spiritual transformation.
◦ Experienced visions understood as revelations
from Allah – archangel Gabriel
◦ Believed in one true God
Muslims compiled the versions of
Muhammad’s revelations in the Quran
 It is the authority of Muslim religious
 Allah the same omnipotent, omniscient,
omnipresent and exclusive deity as the
Jews’ Yahweh and Christians’ God
Muhammad’s Migration to Medina
Conflict with ruling elite in Mecca
 Allah as only divine power challenged the
common polytheism
 Muhammad also denounced greed as a
moral wickedness and idolatry
 622 under mounting pressure, Muhammad
fled to Yathrib later called Medina “the
city of the prophet”
 Hirja- the migration to Medina is the
starting point on Islamic calendar
Islam in Arabia
629 Muhammad wished to return to
 In 630 with followers attacked mecca and
conquered the city
 Imposed a government dedicated to Allah
 Destroyed pagan shrines-replaced with
 Through multiple campaigns, by 632
(Muhammad’s death) most of Arabia
under Islamic control
5 Pillars
1. Allah the only god and Muhammad as
 2. Pray to Allah daily facing Mecca
 3. Observe a fast during the daylight
hours during Ramadan
 4. Contribution of alms for the weak and
 5. To honor Muhammad’s visit to Mecca in
629, must undertake the hajj, pilgrimage
to Mecca
Jihad “struggle”
Spiritual and moral obligation on Muslimsto conquer vice and evil
 Muslims to struggle against ignorance and
unbelief by spreading the word of Islam
and seeking conversions
 The obligation to take the sword and
wage war against unbelievers who
threaten Islam
Islamic Holy Law
 Emerged after Muhammad
 Detailed guidance on proper behavior in
almost every aspect of life
 From marriage and family life to slavery,
inheritance, business and commercial
 Islam—not just a religion, a way of life
Expansion of Islam
NO provision for a successor
Advisors selected Abu Bakr –Muhammad’s
father in law— “caliph” (deputy) Sunni.
Many people wanted Ali—Muhammad’s son in law
to be leader. Shia
A Lieutenant of Muhammad, not a prophet
Abu Bakr became head of state for the Islamic
community and umma (community of the faithful)
Went on the offensive and claimed much of the
region to accept Islam
Abu Bakr (Sunni)
Ali (Shia)
Divided Islam
Struggle to name successors intensified
Sunni and Shia Sects emerged
Sunni Muslims: caliphs were rightful political
and military leaders, chosen by the Islamic
community (Abu Bakr a rightly guided
Shia Muslims: leaders should be blood
relatives of Muhammad, descended from Ali
and his son Husayn (cousin and son in law of
 Ali served as Caliph from 656-661; assassinated along
with much of his family line
Expanding Islam
Between 633-637, Muslim forces seized
Byzantine Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia,
North Africa
 In 711 conquered northern India
 Between 711 and 718 crossed Strait of
Gibraltar and conquered Iberian
Umayyad Dynasty
Post assassination of Ali from 661-750
 Sunni sect
 Temporarily solved problem of succession
 Umayyads ranked among most prominent
of the Meccan merchant clans
 Moved capital to Damascus in Syria—
central location
 Believed in Arab military aristocracy
Umayyad Dynasty
Policy Toward Conquered People
Conquered Jews, Christians, Persians,
Indians, Greeks, Mesopotamians etc.
 Allowed them to view own religious
 Imposed a jizya—tax on non Muslims
 Umayyads favored the Arab elites—
caused resentment
Decline of Umayyad
Caliphs became alienated form other
 Too devoted to luxurious living than
leadership of the umma
 Fierce resistance of Shia and conquered
Abbasid Dynasty
Founder: Abu al-Abbas
 Leader of Persian rebellion vs. Umayyyad
 Descendent of Muhammad’s uncle
 He was Sunni he allied with Shias and
with non Arab Muslims
 Seized control of Persia and Mesopotamia
–shattered Umayyad forces in huge battle
 Founded Abbasid Dynasty
Abbasid Dynasty
No special favor to Arabs
 Persians, Egyptians, Mesopotamians and
others rose in wealth and power
 Adopted Persian governmental practices—
introduced governors to rule
 Not a conquering dynasty
 Did not expand through conquest
 Dar al Islam (the community of Islam)
expanded but not by the Abbasid dynasty
 Merchants, others expanded it
Central authority (capital Iraq)
 Became center of banking, commerce,
crafts, industry, population
Abbasid Decline
Civil War damaged Abbasid authority
 Disputes over succession became
 Provincial governors took advantage of
 Abbasids became figureheads
 The dynasty would be extinguished at the
hands of the Mongols in 1258

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