Whap: Muhammad and Muslim Societies

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WHAP DBQ Rough Draft

The roles played by metropolises in the Islamic civilizations were huge. In the Post-Classical Age, the Muslim societies had roles such as the expansion and prosperity of their empire, the standardized and organized form of government they brought, and finally, the spread of their culture through trading and invasions throughout the Post-Classical world.

Firstly, the expansion of the Islamic empire kept growing and its prosperity was never lacking. Marco Polo, himself, observed the city of Tabriz, which was an urban area belonging to the province of Azerbaijan, a Muslim area. “The inhabitants support themselves principally from commerce and manufacture” (Doc. 5). This quote from the document shows that the citizens knew how to sustain their own lives in Muslim civilizations. He also added, “Tabriz is a very large and noble city…this is the most eminent and populous of all cities in the province of Azerbaijan.” This also shows how vast and advanced the cities were. I believe that Marco Polo had a sense of admiration toward Muslim societies as he was always speaking highly of them in this excerpt. Ibn Jubayr, a Spanish Muslim traveler, explains of the city of Damascus that it is “the paradise of the east and the rising place of its radiant beauty” (Doc. 1). This quote very much shows the success of the Muslim empires but even by his title, a Spanish Muslim traveler, one can hypothesize that the expansion of Islam was tremendous.

Next, the government systems of Post-Classical Islamic civilizations provided a basis and structure for future societies. Al- Ya’quibi, an Arab geographer and historian states, “Caliph Abd al-Malik forbade the people of Syria to make the pilgrimage to Mecca… the people murmured threats, ‘How do you forbid us to make the pilgrimage to God’s house?’” (Doc. 4). This shows that not only did the nations have a strict and well organized government, but it also shows that the citizens had freedom of speech, as they...
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