Chapter 6: The First Global Civilization: The Rise and Spread of Islam* Islam literally means "submission," the self-surrender of the believer to the will of the one, true God, Allah* 7th c CE followers spread from the Arabian Peninsula and began a sequence of conquest and conversion that would forge the first truly global civilization* Within decades the Muslims conquered an empire that spread from Spain in the west to central Asia in the east* Islam was spread by merchants, holy people, and warriors Islamic civilization provided key links and channels for exchange among what had been the main civilized centers of the classical era in the Eastern Hemisphere* Muslim traders and conquerors became the prime agents for the transfer of food crops, technology, and ideas among the many centers of civilization in the Eastern Hemisphere Desert and Town: The Arabian World and the Birth of Islam* In the 7th c CE, a new religion arose in the Arabian peninsula.Built on the revelations received by the prophet Muhammad, originally a trader from the town of Mecca, the new faith won over many of the camel-herding tribes of the peninsula within decades. Though initially an Arab religion, in both beliefs and practices Islam contained a powerful appeal that eventually made it one of the great world religions* Arabian Peninsula consists of a lot of desert Bedouins: nomads that developed a distinct culture over the centuries on the Arabian Peninsula, based on camel and goat herding* Towns flourished on oases* Several trading towns developed adjacent to the Red Sea that played pivotal roles in the emergence of Islam* Safety of trade routes between towns was in the hands of the bedouins that lived along the vulnerable caravan routes to the north and the south Clan Identity, Clan Rivalries, and the Cycle of Vengeance Bedouin herders lived in kin-related clan groups in highly mobile tent encampments* Shaykhs: leaders of the tribes and clans, were normally elected by councils of elder advisors, and were usually men with large herds, several wives, many children, and numerous retainers* Other classes included warriors and slaves Towns and Long-Distance Trade There were also farmers and town dwellers:mostly in western and southern parts of the peninsula* Mecca was the most important city, located in the mountainous region along the Red Sea * Mecca was founded by the Umayyad clan of the Quraysh bedouin tribe and that family dominated the politics of Mecca* The Ka'ba: is located in Mecca and was one of the most revered religious shrines in pre-Islamic Arabia and attracted pilgrims and traders to Mecca * Town of the Yathrib (later Medina, or city of the prophet) was also on an oases* Control in Medina was contested between two bedouin and three Jewish clans Marriage and Family in Pre-Islamic Arabia * Women played key economic roles* Many tribes were matrilineal In some tribes both men and women could have multiple marriage partners * Men sent a brides-price to the woman's family (as opposed to a dowry)* Women's advice was highly regarded in clan and tribal councils and they often wrote poetry * However, women were not equal, could not be warriors Poets and Neglected Gods * Main focus of bedouin cultural creativity was poetry * Bedouin religion was a blend of animism and polytheism * Standards of morality and proper behavior were rooted in tribal customs and unwritten codes of honor The Life of Muhammad and the Genesis of Islam * The Prophet Muhammad was born around 570CE into the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe * Muhammad's father died before he was born, so he was raised by his father's relatives in a bedouin encampment * He also lost his mother early on In his adolescence, Muhammad moved to Mecca and in his 20's worked as a trader for a wealthy widow named Khadijah whom he eventually married * Muhammad was a merchant and trader* Beginning around 610 or earlier Muhammad started receiving the first of many revelations, which his followers believe Allah transmitted to him through the angel Gabriel * These revelations were eventually written down in Arabic and collected in the Qu'ran Persecution, Flight, and Victory * Muhammad's following grew and eventually the Umayyads felt he threatened their wealth and power, as well as the draw of the gods of the Ka'ba * 622 with the help of Ali, Muhammad and a small band of followers went from Mecca to Medina, known as the hijra, or flight, and is the first year of the Islamic calendar* Muhammad gained new followers in Medina The Umayyads still felt threatened by Muhammad, especially as his popularity grew in Medinah * Series of attacks were launched by the Quraysh against Muhammad and his followers in Medinah * Victory went to Muhammad and his followers, he returned to Mecca in 629, where he reconsecrated the Ka'ba to Allah Arabs and Islam * Islam was appealing because it was monotheistic and it didn't belong to a single tribe and transcended clan and class divisions * There are no intermediaries between the individual and God * Umma= the community of the faithful and allowed for political unity * Important ethical system * Islam stressed the dignity of all believers and their equality in the eyes of Allah * Zakat: tax for charityUniversal Elements in Islam * Islam became very popular because of its uncompromising monotheism, highly developed legal codes, egalitarianism, and strong sense of community * Muhammad also accepted the validity of earlier divine revelations that had given rise to the Jewish and Christian faiths * Five Pillars of Islam: Profession of faith, Pray five times a day towards Mecca, Fast from sun-up to sun-down during the holy month of Ramadan, Zakat: tithe for charity, hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life The Arab Empire of the Umayyads * The Prophet Muhammad died suddenly in 632 * There were internal struggles, but the Muslim community held together * TheUmayya clan eventually emerged as the dominant force in the Islamic commuity * Under Umayyad rule, the Arabs eventually built a vast empire * Muslim military commanders launched campaigns to bring groups back to Islam Consolidation and Division in the Islamic Community * When Muhammad died in 632, it was not clear how a successor should be chosen * Caliph: political and religious successor to Muhammad * Abu Bakr was chosen, one of Muhammad's earliest followers and closest friends ( 632-634) * Ridda Wars eventually brought the Arabian tribes back into the Islamic fold* Weakness of the Byzantine and Persian Empires Motives for Arab Conquests * Common cause and strength from Islam Weren't necessarily looking for converts * There was a lucrative tax levied on Christians, Jewish, and other non-Muslim groups Weaknesses of the Adversary Empires * Sasanian Empire of Persia was particularly weak * 651 last of the Sasanian rulers was assassinated, resulting in Muslim victory * Byzantines resisted a little more effectively * Christian sects in Syria and Egypt (Copts and Nestorians) sided with the Muslims against the Orthodox Byzantines who had taxed them heavily and persecuted them * Eventual Muslim naval supremacy * Byzantine Empire continued for several centuries, but as a kingdom under siege Duiker and Speilvogel Chapter 7: The World of Islam Muhammad Dies|Caliphate Established| Islam spreads under leadership of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman| Division between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims| Mu’awiya moves capital to Damascus| Syria is center of Muslim Empire from 680-750CE| Abbasids challenge Umayyad Leadership| Abd al-Rahman establishes an Umayyad state in Spain| Baghdad is center of Muslim Empire from 750-1258CE| Numerous achievements made in science and the arts| Muslim Empire reaches “Golden Age”| Ferdinand and Isabella force Muslim leaders out of Spain “Reconquista”| Seljuqs and Fatimids challenge Abbasid leadership| The Rise of Islam * Muhammad born around 570CE-632CE * Islam=religious and cultural unity for the Middle East Bedouins-nomadic Arabs led by Sheikh* According to Muhammad, he was visited by the angel Gabriel and commanded to preach Allah’s message: final revelations * 622CE- Muhammad moves from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina:city of the prophet) * Hijrah * First date of the official Muslim calendar * Returned to Mecca w/ army, Consecrated Ka’aba to Islam Teachings of Muhammad * Monotheistic * Muhammad not divine, final prophet * Obey the will of Allah * “Five Pillars” = basic ethical code * Shari’ah= law code Arab Empire and Its Successors * Muhammad did not have a male heir: 1 daughter in adulthood- Fatima * Abu Bakr: Muhammad’s father in law= first caliph Jihad “Striving in the way of the Lord” * Arab Empire spread to Persia and Byzantine * Muslim warriors who died in battle guaranteed a place in paradise * Conversion to Islam was not required. Non-Muslims had to pay a tax to compensate for not participating in the military* “All were equal in the eyes of Allah” Succession Problems and the Rise of the Umayyads Muhammad(no male heirs, no named successor)| Abu Bakr- 1st caliph| Umar| Uthman Assassinated| Muhammad Ali- (Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law) Assassinated| Mu’awiyah- Governor of Syria- Umayyads| * Expansion across North Africa Conquered the Berbers * Expansion to Southern Spain: center in Andalusia 732CE Battle of Tours (Charles Martel defeated the Muslim forces, limiting Arab Expansion into France) Song of Roland * Schism between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims The Abbasids * caliph was advised by a council- headed by prime minister (vizier) * vast wealth- contributed to financial corruption * Life of vice and luxury for caliph and other political and economic elites undermined Islamic values- divorce, harems, alcohol, etc.
The Seljuk Turks* 11th c. – nomadic people from central Asia * 1071 Seljuk Turks attacking Constantinople, emperor asks west for help- begins 1st Crusade The Crusades * Alexius I- called for assistance from Christian states against the Seljuk Turks * Crusades 1096-13th century 1169 Saladin ended Fatamid dynasty and became Sultan of Egypt and Syria * Unlike Christians, Saladin didn’t permit massacre of civilian population and tolerated the continuation of Christian religious services * Crusades had nominal impact on Middle East except to unite forces of Islam vs. foreign invaders * Mongols- pastoral people from Gobi Desert * 13th century advances of Genghis Khan * 1258- Hulegu seized Persia and Mesopotamia- ending caliphate at Baghdad The Mongols * not Muslim * treatment of local population was brutal and destructive to the economy* Mongols- Red Sea- held back from Egypt by the Mamluks * 1453 Sultan Mehmet II seized Constantinople and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire Islamic Civilization trade flourished w/in Muslim World and China, Byzantine Empire, SE Asia * Exchange of goods was facilitated by the development of banking and the use of currency and letters of credit Islamic Society * Consumer’s Guide to the Ideal Slave- slaves were evaluate not as human beings but as pieces of merchandise * In some ways Arab society most egalitarian of its time- principles of Islam- all equal in eyes of Allah and trade- no hereditary nobility * Fellow Muslims could not be enslaved * Men still dominant, but women could own and inherit property* Women cloistered in homes (polygyny/ harems) Culture of Islam * Arabic= language * Greco-Roman culture, Byzantine and Persian cultures preserved in libraries Philosophy and Science “House of Wisdom” in Baghdad * preserved classical knowledge and made own innovations * Used Gupta numerals and zero, algebra * Ibn Sina (980-1037)- medical encyclopedia and emphasized the contagious nature of certain diseases Islamic Literature * Koran as greatest literary work * Rabe’a of Qozdar- Persia’s first known female poet * Omar Khayyam: The Tales from 1001 Nights * Sadi- “the Persian Shakespeare”- wrote Rose Garden * Proverbs “trust in God, but tie up your camel”, “Lower your voice and Strengthen your argument” * Sufiism- form of religious belief that called for a mystical relationship between Allah and human beings* 13th c. oet Rumi- became Sufi- he whirled in dance (“whirling dervish) to reach a trance w/ mesmerizing music where he created some of his best work * Great Islamic historian= al-Mas’udi- wrote Meadows of Gold- discussed the Golden Age of the Abbasid caliphate * Ibn Khaldun- 14th c.
historian and govt. servant- attempted a philosophy of history Islamic Art and Architecture * Use of geometric ornamentation * Dome of the Rock (691)- proclaimed the spiritual and political legitimacy of the new religion* in Jerusalem* on top of Muhammad’s holy rock * Minarets: tower from which muezzin calls the faithful to prayer 5x a day * 9th c. mosque @Cordoba in Southern Spain * Significant contributions of Islamic art= knotted woolen rug * Calligraphy- decorative writing * Arabesques= geometric flowers and patterns * From the Dome of the Rock- no figurative representations appear in Islamic religious art.