AP World History
Oct 27th, 2014
Document Based Question
Muslim Cities of the Post-Classical Age
During the Post-Classical Age, Muslim cities played multiple important roles, which were residences and centers of people of religion, intellect and learning, crucial hearts of economy, especially trades, and centers of political powers and thrones, for multiple Muslim societies and more importantly, the wider Muslim world. Muslim cities in the Post-Classical Age played important roles as centers of Muslim culture because they were highly honored as Muslim Holy Cities and heart of Islam religious power, and produced science and poetry that attracted people of intellect and learning resided there. Spanish Muslim traveler and geographer Ibn Jubayr’s (Doc #1) description of Damascus as a highly honored, blessed, and heavenly city of Allah where Jesus and Mary took refuge in reflects the city’s importance in Islam culture as a religious sacred site, which shows that Muslim cities during the Post-Classical Age strengthened Islam by attributing its current prosperity to the blessings of Allah and the alleged arrival of saints. While Damascus wasn’t strictly a Holy City of Islam, the map of “Muslim Holy Cities” (Doc #8) shows thirteen discrete Holy Cities, and most of them were under Muslim rule. Because Holy Cities were destinations of pilgrimages made by Muslims, these cities served great roles in Islam as being popular religious sites for Muslims all over the Muslim world to come for veneration, which strengthened Islam as well. Also, Muslim cities then were the center of religious powers of Islam and the core of Muslim science and literature. Iberian Muslim of Arab origin historian Andalusian’s (Doc #2) writings about the situation and roles played by the city of Cordoba after Muslim conquest mentions that Cordoba was “the copula of Islam, and home of the inam (religious leader)” and the residence of learned nobility, great...