The Rise of Islam

Report
The Rise of Islam
Ms. Jerome Chapter 11
Spread of Islam from inception to present
The Birthplace of a New World
Religion
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
Mecca
 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
Quran
Muslims compiled the versions of
Muhammad’s revelations in the Quran
“recitation”
 It is the authority of Muslim religious
doctrine
 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
Mecca
 In 630 with followers attacked mecca and
conquered the city
 Imposed a government dedicated to Allah
 Destroyed pagan shrines-replaced with
mosques
 Through multiple campaigns, by 632
(Muhammad’s death) most of Arabia
under Islamic control

5 Pillars
1. Allah the only god and Muhammad as
prophet
 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
poor
 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

Sharia
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
relationship
 Islam—not just a religion, a way of life

Expansion of Islam

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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
himself
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

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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
Caliph)
Shia Muslims: leaders should be blood
relatives of Muhammad, descended from Ali
and his son Husayn (cousin and son in law of
Muhammad)
 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
peninsula.

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
practices
 Imposed a jizya—tax on non Muslims
 Umayyads favored the Arab elites—
caused resentment

Decline of Umayyad
Caliphs became alienated form other
Arabs
 Too devoted to luxurious living than
leadership of the umma
 Fierce resistance of Shia and conquered
peoples

Abbasid Dynasty
Founder: Abu al-Abbas
 Leader of Persian rebellion vs. Umayyyad
Dynasty
 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
Baghdad
Central authority (capital Iraq)
 Became center of banking, commerce,
crafts, industry, population

Abbasid Decline
Civil War damaged Abbasid authority
 Disputes over succession became
problem
 Provincial governors took advantage of
disorder
 Abbasids became figureheads
 The dynasty would be extinguished at the
hands of the Mongols in 1258
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