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Transcript The Birth of Islam - HISTORY APPRECIATION

The Birth of Islam
Arab rise to Power
Arab Culture
• Arabian Peninsula (Desert)
• Bedouin existence (nomadic)
• Loyalty & identification with tribes & clans
– Necessary for protection and survival
• Oasis towns, Animal Husbandry, Trade
– Trade with Persia, Byzantines, India
– Camel indigenous
Scarce resources
– Rivalry over available water
– Differing degrees of wealth
• Polytheistic deities (Ka'aba at Mecca)
• Oral Traditions – Poetry – source of unity &
MuhaMMad’s Life & iMpact
• Merchant of the Quraysh clan
• Khadijah (wife of Muhammad)
• Respected, worked as intermediary between rival
• Vision of Angel Gabriel, one God, Allah
– Followers small in number at first, grew overtime
– Viewed as a threat by Umayyad clan as his influence
– Forced to flee Mecca for Medina (hejira) in 622
• By 632, most of Peninsula, included the Umayyad
were won over to the new faith
The Spread of Islam During
Muhammad's Lifetime
Tenants of the Faith:
the Five Pillars
• One God – Allah, Muhammad is the
• Prayer towards Mecca 5x a day (salat)
• Tax for Charity (zakat)
• Fasting during the Holy Month of
• Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj)
Spread of Islam
Spread of Islam
Abu Bakr succeeded Muhammad established
Caliph-completed the unification of the Arabs
of the peninsula.
•Under the first four Caliphs Islam spread into the
Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia and Egypt
•At the death of the Fourth Caliph, Ali, conflict
emerged as to the rightful successor.
sunni & shi’ite (shia) spLit
• Dispute as to the rightful successor
Chosen by followers
Descendants of
Muhammad (Imam)
• Civil War
• Umayyad (Sunni Muslim) -military prowess
brought combative followers under their
Umayyad Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
Reached Peak of golden Age
under Harun al-Rashid (786-809)
Islamic Caliphates
Umayyad Caliphate
• Hereditary succession @
• Conquered -parts of
Byzantine, collapsed Sassanid
Persians, Hindu Kingdom
Abbasid Caliphate
• Founders - More cosmopolitan
– Persians, Egyptians,
Mesopotamians held high
positions in government
• Capital at Baghdad – walled city
– 100,000’s people
Est. Dar al-Islam
• Tolerated non-muslims
required tax (jizya)
– many conversions
• Arab military aristocracy
– Luxurious lifestyle, relaxed
attitude re: Morality
Rebellion in 750 brought its
• Persian statecraft techniques
– Governors, bureaucratic
ministries – vizier, emir
– Diplomacy with the West
• Didn’t work to conquer new
– Local divisions led to rebellion –
smaller Caliphate
What factors enabled the
rapid spread of Islam in the
years after Muhammad's
Interpretation of the jihad
Internal conflict (spiritual
and/or moral) missionary
work, physical conflict
Unifying the Umma
& creating the Dar Al-Islam
•Quran: recitations of Muhammad's visions (Arabic only)
•Hadith: Muhammad's sayings
•Sharia interpretations of the Quran to establish laws
regarding: Marriage, Business, Inheritance, Slavery, Crime
•No organized priestly class
– Ulama (Muslim theologians)
– Qadis (Muslim jurists)
– Sufis (Mystics) – missionary work (Persia, India)
Abbasid after 1050
• Seljuk (Saljuq) Invaders
• Abbasid united with Seljuks to resist
internal rebellion and resistance from
provincial governors
• Caliphs retained nominal sovereign status
• Seljuk Sultan became true political ruler
• Mongol invasions 1258 ended Abbasid
Mongol empire
Islamic Culture & Society
The Awakening
Role of hajj (movement & diffusion)
Muhammad’s example- merchant
Geographical position of Muslim World
Introduction of Paper – Books
No seeming contradiction between faith
and Knowledge
• Arabic language – unifying force
• Renaissance beginnings!
Scientific Achievements
Sought out scientific understanding
• Hindu Numerals
– Algebra, Trigonometry
• Greek Philosophers (Aristotle, Plato)
• Spirit of Inquiry
– Scientific process
• Medicine
– Hospitals, concept of Germs, Anatomy, cataract
surgery (modern camera)
Urban Nature of
Islamic Society
Artistic and Architectural evidence
Key Cities
• Baghdad
– Rival of Athens or Rome
– Jewel of the World
– House of Wisdom, Academies, Libraries
– Christians, Muslims, Jews
• Cordoba, Spain
– Rivaled Baghdad
– Street lights, paved roads, hospitals, libraries,
palaces, running water
– Mosque at Cordoba
– Only Christian World Contact
Mosque at Cordoba 8th Century
Origins of Patriarchy?
• Gerda Lerner
• Disputes biological determinism
• Urbanization breeds patriarchy
– Elise Boulding
– Hunter gather societies were more
What was life like for Women
in Pre-Islamic Arab Society?
The Role of Women
According to the Quran …
• Rights & obligations for both
in marriage
• Equal access to salvation
• Dowries (free gift)
• Child bearing crucial
• Wives share property
• Obedience to husband
• Punishments for indecency
• Provisions for wife in case of
divorce or death of husband
• Polygamy (sake of
In Practice…
• Foundations of Patriarchal
• Sharia reinforced male
dominance & inheritance
• Required legitimacy of
heritance- guardians,
• Influence of Persia &
Byzantine culture
– Veiling to ensure modesty
– Upper class women’s
movement restricted
• “… It is also relevant to emphasize that
although Islamic laws marked a distinct decline,
a Greek, a Roman, and a Christian period had
already brought about major losses in women’s
rights and status. In effect, Islam merely
continued a restrictive trend already established
by the successive conquerors of Egypt and the
eastern Mediterranean…” –Leila Ahmed,
Women and Gender in Islam