Islam - Central Kitsap High School

Dar al Islam
Muslim scholars in
Baghdad, the world's
scientific capital of the
Medieval Muslim manuscript
describing the planetary motion.
What is Islam
How did it spread
How/why was this a period of “brilliant flowering of
Muslim: One who submits
to the will of God
The Qu’ran -- “the recited”
An early manuscript
of the Qur'an
Revealed Prophets
 Adam
 Noah
 Abraham
 Isaac
 Ishmael
 Moses
 David
 Solomon
 Zacharias
 Elisha
 Elias
 John the Baptist
 Jesus
 Mohammed
The 'Five Pillars' of
What is the point of this
The annual pilgrimage to
Mecca-the Hajj-is an
obligation only for those who
are physically and financially
able to perform it.
About two million people go
to Mecca annually
Pilgrims wear special clothes:
simple garments which strip
away distinctions of class and
culture, so that “all stand
equal before Allah.”
To see clip of circiling the Kaba
The Ka’baa
The place of worship which God
commanded Abraham and Ishmael
to build over four thousand years
The building was constructed of
stone on is believed to be the
original site of a sanctuary
established by Adam.
God ordered Abraham to summon
all mankind to visit this place.
The Black Stone is a significant feature of the
Kaaba, stated by Muslims to have been placed
there by Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail
(Ishmael), a stone from paradise sent by the
angels to Ibrahim.[ Located at the eastern
corner of the Kaaba, it is about 30 cm (12 in) in
diameter and surrounded by a silver frame
The “Golden Age” of Islam
under Abbasid Dynasty
 Astronomy
 discovered stars
compiled astronomical
tables and almanacs
 established
 “Arabic” numerals
 Zero
 Algebra, algorithm
 quadrant and astrolabe
 Medicine
 first hospital – Baghdad
 surgery
 emphasized empirical
 hygiene and pharmacology
 Universities and Libraries
 Literature
 Religious Toleration
 Preservation of GrecoRoman (classical) world
Jaber Ibn Haiyan (Geber)
died 803 CE
Ibn Sina (Avicenna)
981-1037 CE
Ar-Razi (Rhazes)
physician/ philosopher
864-930 CE
Abu Al-Qasim Al-Zahravi
936-1013 CE
Ibn Rushd (Averroes)
1128-1198 CE
Al-Khawarizmi (Algorizm)
mathematician/ astronomer
770-840 CE
Why such a flowering?
“Seek Knowledge Even Unto China”
Not the same
conflict b/w
faith and
science as in
western Europe
Jamelie Hassan
Seek Knowledge Even Onto China, 1993-95
vinyl calligraphy and painted wall varying dimensions Collection of the artist Photo: John Tamblyn
Why this flowering of arts, science, philosophy?
What about the practice of
Islam would encourage the
pursuit of astronomy and
Ibrahim al-Fazari (d. 777 C.E.):
constructed the first Muslim
astrolabe circa 750 C.E.
Islamic Map of the
World 1154, South is at
the top
Muslim scholars in
Baghdat, the world's
scientific capital of
the time.
Islamic scientific manuscripts of
the Medieval Age; meticulous
studies on human anatomy and
Theme of Dar al Islam:
Borrow, Blend, & Build
 Islamic society originally reflected the nomadic & mercantile
Arabian society.
 Adopted Persian techniques of gov’t & finance and
literature after conquering Sassinads.
 Transmitted Indian & Chinese knowledge via trade &
conquest (eg paper making, “Hindu numerals”)
 Preserved Greek & Roman learning (Aristotle & Plato)
 …and Created own knowledge!
Islamic Art
 Calligraphy
 Rugs
 Literature
 Music
 Miniatures
 Architecture
Arabesque and
Geometrical Design
 Arabesque: a style of
decoration characterized by
intertwining plants and abstract
curvilinear motifs. Religious
leaders forbade the depiction of
animals & people. This style is
the essence of decorative Islamic
 Geometric Designs: Intricate
patterns emphasizing symmetry
and repeated rhythms
Islamic leaders saw in figural arts a
possible implication of idolatry, so
Islam's early theocracy looked to the
artistry of calligraphy for religious
 In Islamic and Arabic cultures,
calligraphy became highly respected as
an art -- the art of writing.
 focus on interior space as opposed to the outside or façade:
architecture and decoration that must be experienced by
being entered and seen from within..
 Feeling of weightlessness -- metaphysical space “Paradise on
 Vaults & arches, domes, minarets, mihrabs
 Vibrant blues: Cobalt blue & turquoise
-- “of the Turks”
The Blue Mosque
Istanbul, Turkey
Branches of Islam
Dispute begins soon after Muhammad’s death
in the community of Muslims over the question
of “who is the rightful successor to the
 believed that leadership should fall to the person who was
deemed by the elite of the community to be best able to lead
the community
 The name Sunni comes from the Arabic sunnah, meaning the
custom or example of the prophet Muhammad-- "one who
follows the traditions of the Prophet."
Branches of Islam
 Began as political faction supporting the power of Ali, who was a
son-in-law and cousin of Muhammad and the fourth caliph of the
Muslim community.
. Shia" comes from the Arabic phrase shi'at 'Ali, which means the
partisans of Ali
Shia Muslims recognize only the authority a line of Imams which
they believe have been appointed by the Prophet Muhammad or God
Shia'ism has its own call to prayer, prayer forms, and ritual practices
as well.
Sunni & Shi’a Today
Despite the variations, Shias and Sunnis all believe in the Five Pillars
of Islam, which are the basic tenets of the religion. Most Shias and
Sunnis consider each other Muslims, although ethnic and political
issues may divide them
Branches of Islam
 Sufiism: --not a branch persay, but a mystical
application of Islam
 Mystic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find divine
love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God
 Flowering of Sufi literature, especially mystical love poetry,
represents a golden age among the Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and
Urdu languages.
Using merchant trade routes, sufi missionaries spread Islam into
India, Central Asia, Turkey, and sub-Saharan Africa
Sufis: Effective missionaries
Whirling dervish: focus on devotion
Sufis led aesetic and holy lives
The Spread of Islam
Cultural Reasons:
 The simplicity of its doctrine - Islam calls for faith in
only one God worthy of worship
The unity of a faith—shared practices, a community
to take care of you
 the appeal of equality
Clear code of conduct: Sharia
But Why Else??? …
Religious Zeal + ???= Rapid Spread
in 7th & 8th c.
 Well-disciplined armies - For the most part, the Muslim commanders were
able, war tactics were effective, and the armies were efficiently organized.
 Weakness of the Byzantine and Persian Empires - As the Islamic armies
spread north, they were aided by the weakness of the empires they sought
to conquer. Both the Byzantine and Persian Empires were weaker than they
had been in previous times, and many of their subjects were willing to
convert to the new religion.
 Treatment of conquered peoples - The Qur'an forbid forced conversions, so
conquered people were allowed to retain their own religions (Pact of Umar).
Muslims considered Christians and Jews to be superior to polytheistic
people, not only because they were monotheistic, but also because they too
adhered to a written religious code. As a result, Muslims called Christians
and Jews "people of the book” (dhimmis). Many conquered people
converted to Islam, not only because of its appeal, but because as Muslims
they did not have to pay a poll tax (jizya)
Islamic Spain
“Moors of Spain”
 Al-Andalus (Arabic name given to
a nation and territorial region
commonly referred to as Moorish
Iberia. Cordoba western capital:
RICH, public libraries & school
 Major arts & sciences center
 BUT not great military leaders in
later years; landholdings gradually
reduced to just Granada by 15th c.
See images of “reconquista”
Islamic period garden in
Granada, Al-Andalus
Al Andalus
Encouraged Jewish
scholarship (when Jews
were persecuted
elsewhere in Europe)
Image of a Jewish cantor reading the
Passover story in al-Andalus, from a
14th century Spanish Haggadah
By 1100 “There existed in Cordoba alone, 200,000 houses, 600
mosques, 900 public baths, 10,000 lamps, 50 hospitals, lighted and
paved streets. There were bookshops and more than 70 libraries
with over 400,000 books.”
Mosque at Cordoba
Women in Islam
 Women are seen as fully equal in God’s eyes.
 However, Qur’an makes clear gender distinctions in social
practices: men can have up to 4 wives and adultery by
married women is a serious offense.
 Many restrictions on women were carryovers from preIslamic traditions (e.g. veiling, seclusion)
 BUT, women can divorce men and own property.
 Shari’a came to include & institute seclusion of women as
Islam spread.
What’s a caliphate?
political-religious state comprising the Muslim community (ummah)
What is a caliph?
title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah (an Islamic community
ruled by the Shari'ah);
Both the administrator of the caliphate and a religious leader
derives from the Arabic ‫خليفة‬Khalīfah which means "successor"
or "representative“
Requirements differ depending on sect
Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258)
 Ruled until defeated by Mongols
 Baghdad capital: political, econ, scientific/intellectual center
 Built around trade: used credit (chek) to avoid dangerously
carrying coins
 Constant contact with Christian West
 Preserved Western culture (just like Byz’s did)
 Tolerant of local customs (like Romans) –though a
theocracy, tolerant! Dhimmis, but still tried to convert nonmuslims
 high conversion among low classes because of egalitarian
 Slavery widespread; Muslims could not be enslaved, so
slaves therefore came from Africa and non-Islamic groups
Abbasid Map
By mid-10th c. breakaway former provinces began to challenge Abbasid rule.
The caliphs became puppets controlled by sultans, the actual rulers.
Starting in 1055, The Seljuk Turks ruled the remnants of the Abbasid empire
for two centuries.
The Mongol
siege of
BBC Oct 25, 2014 The Abbasid caliphate lasted for half a millennium before
coming to a brutal end in 1258. When Baghdad fell to the Mongols, the last of the
city's caliphs was rolled in a carpet and trampled to death under the hooves of
Mongol horses - this was, bizarrely, a mark of respect, as the Mongols believed
that people of rank should be killed without their blood being shed.
The Spread of New Crops and Agricultural Experimentation:
Diplomats and merchants found new crops or animals in their travels through dar
al Islam and introduced them into new areas.
Including: sugarcane, rice, spinach, artichokes, eggplant, oranges, lemons, limes,
bananas, coconuts, watermelons, mangos, cotton, indigo, and henna.
New foods created a richer and more varied diet and farmers were able to extend
their growing season and produce increased quantities of food.
Spread of sugar
The westward diffusion of sugarcane in pre-Islamic
times (shown in red), in the medieval Muslim world
(green) and by Europeans (violet

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