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Islamic Empires
• What are the defining features of Islam as a
belief system? What are its origins?
1/30: The Hajj
• AIM: How is the Hajj an important
component of Islam?
• What do you remember about the Islamic
belief system?
Islam Review
• Founded by Muhammad in 622 C.E. – Arabian
Peninsula
• Eventually split into two sects: Sunni and Shia
(Shiite)
• Holy book: Quran (or Koran)
• Worship in Mosques
• Code of behavior: “5 pillars”
• Monotheistic (God = Allah)
What can you infer about the Hajj from this
quotation?
“There were tens of thousands of
pilgrims, from all over the world.
They were of all colors, from blueeyed blondes to black-skinned
Africans. But we were all
participating in the same ritual,
displaying a spirit of unity and
brotherhood that my experiences in
America had led me to believe
never could exist between the
white and non-white… I have never
before seen sincere and true
brotherhood practiced by all colors
together, irrespective of their color.”
Malcolm X, 1964
Questions to consider:
• How did the Hajj affect the development and
spread of Islam?
2/1 – Establishing Islam
• AIM: How did Islam become established as a
religion?
• Opener: Share out your answer to yesterday’s
question: “How did the Hajj affect the
development and spread of Islam?”
Questions for reflection:
• 1. What was the Quran’s message regarding
social justice? Are there any parallels
between it and Judaism and Christianity?
• 2. What was the importance of the umma?
How is the umma reflected in the Hajj?
Questions for reflection:
• 3. Describe the concept of “Jihad”. What are
the two types of jihad?
• 4. Interpret this quote from Jesus and predict
how Muhammad might respond to it:
– “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what
is God’s”
2/5 – Sharia Law
• AIM: How is the concept of Sharia important
in Islam?
• Opener: Review last night’s homework and
prepare to share out.
Comparing the development of Christianity vs.
development of Islam
Christian Church vs US Law
• Think of examples of “laws” of the church that
are not government laws. (You would not get
sent to jail or otherwise punished for breaking
them).
Sharia Handout
• You will be assigned one section to read.
Answer questions #1, 3, 5 and prepare to
share with a group.
Questions
• What did you find interesting about your
passage?
• How does the role of law in early Islamic
civilization differ from that of modern Western
society?
• What does this document suggest about the
problems that the early Islamic community
confronted?
2/5 – Transformation into Empire
• AIM: How did an Islamic Empire develop?
• Opener: Would combining religion and
political rule help or hinder the spread of
Islam? Why?
The Making of an Arab Empire
• Muhammad dies in 632 C.E.
• Over the next 100 years, Arab armies have
conquered the Middle East, North Africa, and
parts of Central Asia and Europe.
Motives:
• To capture profitable trade routes
• Military expansion = wealth and social
promotion
• To spread religion (jihad)
Conversion
• Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians were
recognized as “people of the book” and given
protected status.
• Non-Muslims had to pay a special tax known
as the “jizya”.
• Incentives for converting:
– Avoid the tax
– Access to trade and opportunities associated with
a large and powerful empire
Arab vs. Islamic
2/7 – Divisions in Islam
• AIM: What divisions arose in early Islam?
• Opener: Homework review – in what ways
were women equal to men in Islamic society?
In what ways were they unequal? (Good
responses will also address the CAUSES of
equality and inequality)
Divisions and Controversies:
• Caliph: The chief Muslim civil and religious
leader.
• Once Muhammad died, how should his
successor be chosen?
Sunni vs. Shia (Shiite)
• Abu Bakar was the first caliph, but there were
tensions almost immediately as to who should
rule.
• Sunnis felt that the caliph should be chosen by
the Islamic community.
• Shiites felt that leaders should come from
descendents of Ali and his son Husayn (both
relatives of Muhhamad).
Shiite / Sunni Divisions today
Sufis
• Represented Islam’s mystical dimension – they
sought a direct and personal experience of
God.
• Renounced material world; meditated on the
words of the Quran.
• Use of music and dance and poetry to express
their devotion
2/8 – Sufi Mysticism
• AIM: How did Sufis interpret Islam? How
does it differ from orthodox Islamic teachings?
• Opener: Sufis played a large role in spreading
Islam around the globe. Why do you think
Sufis were particularly effective in this regard?
Whirling Dervishes
• http://youtu.be/L_Cf-ZxDfZA
Rumi’s Poetry
• Annotate the three poems by Rumi. Then,
– How would you define the religious message of
Rumi’s poetry?
– How does it differ from the approach to Islam
reflected in the Sharia?
– What criticisms might the orthodox legal scholars
(ulama) have made regarding the Sufi
understanding of Islam?
Homework:
• Read textbook pages p. 133-142 on the
Ummayad and Abbasid Dynasties.
• Fill out a PERSIA+G chart comparing the two.
• Reminder: Islamic Empires test on Friday
2/15!
2/11 – Compare and Contrast Essays
• AIM: To learn how to write effective compare
and contrast essays.
• Opener: Write a 1-2 paragraph response
comparing the political, social, and economic
features of the Umayyad and Abbasid
caliphates.
Sample Outline:
• Intro
• Paragraph 1 (Political aspects of dynasties)
– Similarity #1 AND reason for this similarity
– Similarity #2 AND reason for this similarity
• Paragraph 2 (Political)
– Difference #1 AND reason for this difference
• Intro
• Paragraph 1 (political)
– Similarities AND differences (if not too long)
– Reasons
• Paragraph 2 (economic)
– Similarities and differences (if not too long)
– Reasons
Words you must be very careful with
or rarely/never use in any writing
•
•
•
•
People
Things / Everything / something
Stuff
Pronouns where it’s not clear who/what you’re
referring to. (E.g. : “they / it / etc.”)
• “Islam was appealing to many people. They
converted easily.”
Transitional Words
• Contrasting words:
– On the other hand
– Although
– However
– On the contrary
– While
– But (just not at the start of a sentence)
– Even though
– Despite
Transitional Words
• Comparing words:
– Also
– Both
– Similarly
– Like
– Furthermore
– On the same note
– In the same way
– Too
– In addition
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2/13 – Compare & Contrast Essays
• AIM: To learn how to write effective compare
and contrast essays.
• Opener: Rate your partner’s essay for the
following:
– Similarities
– Differences
– Explanations/reasons for similarities or differences
Peer Review
• Rate each category as “1” “2” or “3”
– 1: Unclear
– 2: Pretty good
– 3: Great
• When conferencing with partner, tell them
– one thing you thought they did well
– one suggestion.
Homework
• Read textbook pages 147-158. Update your
Abbasid PERSIA+G chart
2/14 – Islam Review
• AIM: To review for the Islam test.
• Opener: Rate your partner’s essay for the
following:
– Similarities
– Differences
– Explanations/reasons for similarities or differences
Peer Review
• Rate each category as “1” “2” or “3”
– 1: Unclear
– 2: Pretty good
– 3: Great
• When conferencing with partner, tell them
– one thing you thought they did well
– one suggestion.
What is wrong with this topic
sentence?
• “In India and West Africa there were both
similarities and differences in how Islam
spread to those regions”

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