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The Spread of Islam

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6.1 Outline – pg. 120-126

- Islam was the first global civilization taking its roots in the Arabian Peninsula
- It was spread by merchants, wandering mystics, and warriors across Africa, Asia, and Southern Europe
- After its birth in the 7th century, Islamic civilization provided key links and channels for exchange among Mediterranean, Asian, and African cultures
- Muslim works of philosophy, literature, mathematics, and the sciences elevated the Arabic language to the language of the educated and wise

Desert and Town: The Arabian World and the Birth of Islam
- Much of the Arabian Peninsula is covered with inhospitable desert
- Bedouin, nomadic cultures developed based on camel or goat herding
- Agriculture and the size of towns were limited
- Mecca and Medina were two key towns

Clan Identity, Clan Rivalries, and the Cycle of Vengeance
- Social organization fit nomadic lifestyles
- Bedouins lived in kin-related clan groups in highly mobile tent encampments
- These clans being organized into larger tribal groupings
- Survival depended on cooperation and efficiency of clan member
- There were wide ranges of wealth and status within the clan groups and between clans of the same tribe
- Rivalries between clans to control oases or fertile land kept clans closely knit
- Revenge or grudges would remain for hundreds of years in repeating feuds

Towns and Long-Distance Trade
- Small communities in the south and the west of the peninsula were agricultural
- Cities in north of peninsula provided increased trade over the empire and outside the peninsula
- Mecca was most important trading city, founded by the Umayyad clan of the Quraysh tribe
- Location of Kabah, increased wealth, status, and popularity of Mecca
- Medina located near oases with various wells and springs that made agriculture possible
- Two Bedouin and three Jewish clans quarreled for control of Medina

Marriage and Family in Pre-Islamic Arabia
- Women of pre-Islamic Bedouin culture enjoyed greater freedom than neighboring civilized centers
- Women had roles in economy
- Advice was highly regarded in councils
- Importance of women differed from clan to clan
- Women were gradually lowered due to merging mercantile elite

Poets and Neglected Gods
- Culture in Arabian Peninsula was not developed due to the harsh environment
- Poetry was main focus of Bedouin culture in pre-Islamic Arabia
- Most Bedouins were polytheistic, few monotheistic
- Spirits were worshipped because of relevance to daily lives

• TIMELINE - The timeline on page 122 covers a period from approximately 600 to 680 CE divided into sections of twenty years o 600 CE:
c. 570-632 Lifetime of the prophet Muhammad
597-626 Wars between the Byzantine and Persian empires
610-613 Muhammad has first revelation and begins to preach o 620 CE:
622 Muhammad’s hijra from Mecca to Medina
624-627 Wars between the followers of Muhammad and the Quraysh of Mecca
628 Meccan truce
630 Muhammad enters Mecca in triumph
632 Death of Muhammad
632-634 Caliph Abu Bakr
633-634 Ridda Wars in Arabia
634-643 Early Muslim conquests in the Byzantine Empire
637 Arab invasion and destruction of the Sasanian Empire o 640 CE:
644-656 Caliph Uthman
656-661 Caliph Ali; first civil war o 660 CE
661-690 Mu’awiya
661-670 Umayyad caliphates o 680 CE
690 Karbala, death of Ali’s son, Husayn
680-692 Second civil war
744-750 Third civil war; Abbasid revolt
750 Abbasid caliphate
• Islam is considered an Arab religion because in the beginning it emerged on the Arabian Peninsula in the town of Mecca
• The Arabian Peninsula is mostly desert dotted with oases. Cities are established surrounding the oases and the coastal areas of the peninsula. Much of the remaining peninsula comprises of camel nomads that are organized in tribes and clans. This Bedouin culture was very similar to that of other nomads. Bedouin herders lived in clan groups living highly mobile lifestyles. Clans were then clustered into larger tribal groupings that did come together however usually in times of war or crisis. The survival of a group depended on each person’s loyalty and contribution to their family. Due to the harsh environment, a case of exile or abandonment would be fatal
• Taking its roots in the Arab peninsula, the Islamic civilization was spread by merchants. Islam spanned from Spain to central Asia.
• During the time of Muhammad, much of the Arabian Peninsula was converted to Islam. However, Mecca and Medina became the first to follow Islam. Eventually the Persian and Byzantine Empires also converted to Islam through trade.

6.2 Outline – pg. 127-133

The Life of Muhammad and the Genesis of Islam
- Muhammad was born around 570 C.E. in Mecca
- His father died before he was born; his mother died while he was only six years old
- In early childhood he was raised by his uncle, Abu Talib
- Muhammad’s grandfather taught him the ways of a merchant
- As a merchant he travelled to Syria; he met Jewish and Christian people whose beliefs greatly impacted his teachings
- Muhammad worked under Khadijah, a rich businesswoman who he eventually married
- Exposed to the world outside Arabia from being a merchant
- He came to understand the social structure of the clans and factors that kept clans together or apart
- Muhammad became very disturbed with the idea of life based all on worldly gain
- As a herder, he went to meditate in the mountains surrounding Mecca
- He received his first revelations in 610 C.E.

Persecution, Flight, and Victory
- As his followers grew, Umayyad rulers of Mecca saw teachings as threats to their wealth and power
- Umayyad and other clans plotted to kill Muhammad
- Muhammad made a journey, known as hijra, from Mecca to Medina
- The hijra started the Islamic calendar, thus it’s called Hijra-calendar
- Muhammad was able to win over many people due to his leadership and fighting skills.
- Medina gained strength and fought Mecca in a series of battles eventually defeating Mecca
- Umayyad eventually converted to new faith

Arabs and Islam
- Islam initially only accepted by people in Muhammad’s community
- Islam gave Arabians a form of monotheism
- It was distinctly Arab in origin, sharing Christian and Jewish beliefs
- No intermediaries between the prophets and God.
- One God, no saints, and angels were nothing more than messengers
- Unlike Christianity or Judaism there were no priests (of same status)
- The umma that formed because of the religion created a community bound closer together than that was ever possible
- Religion changed vassals, march warriors, or contemptible “savages” of the desert into conquerors of much of the Middle Eastern world
- Islam also stressed dignity of all believers and their equality before Allah
- Revelation and teachings which were recorded in the Quran were incorporated into daily lives of people and regulated all aspects of Muslim life.
- Due to the Day of Judgment, there is a stern but compassionate God and a strict but socially minded body that set standards for social interaction

Universal Elements in Islam
- Islam had a strong appeal to various different social structures and different cultural settings
- The Five Pillars provided a foundation to the lifestyle

The Arab Empire of the Umayyad
- After the death of Muhammad, followers began to argue over next leader
- By 633, Islam began to expand beyond the Arabian Peninsula

Consolidation and Division in the Islamic Community
- A large dispute was caused due to Muhammad not choosing a successor or procedure for a new leader
- The decision to choose Ali as a caliph after Muhammad was disagreed by many and caused the division of the Islamic umma
- Abu Bakr was chosen as the first caliph
- The Ridda Wars returned several Arab tribes back to their Islamic beliefs
- Original intention of the Bedouin were to loot neighbors in order to gain wealth or power
- Upon seeing the vulnerability and pros of neighbors, they were conquered instead

Motives for Arab Conquests
- (Arab) Warriors under one religion (Islam) gave common sense of strength
- Booty from conquests was shared among the Bedouins
- Another motive was to glorify Islam
- Jihad causes some misinterpretation of the motives of early Arab expansion

Weakness of the Adversary Empire
- The Sasanian (Persian) Empire was more vulnerable than the Byzantine Empire
- Emperor of the Sasanian Empire was manipulated by a landed, aristocratic class
- Zoroastrianism wasn’t of appeal to the people
- Commanders of the Sasanian Empire were slow to defend from Muslims and only sent small numbers
- Arab victories cause Sasanian Empire to quickly decline
- Syrian and Egyptian Christians supported Muslims because Byzantine Empire heavily taxed them
- Long wars with Persia and internal conflicts weakened Byzantine Empire
- Naval supremacy in Mediterranean gained land in the Mediterranean and North Africa
- The Byzantine Empire was constantly under siege by the Muslim Empire

The Problem of Succession and the Sunni-Shi’a Split
- The murder of Uthman, the third caliph, sparked the conflict which split the Muslim community.
- The supporters of Ali proclaimed him as caliph and the Umayyad rejected Ali’s claims that he was caliph. This resulted in warfare between the two sides.
- Ali was close to defeat the Umayyad forces at the Battle of Siffin, when he accepted a plea for mediation; his decision ruined his cause
- Mu’awiya was proclaimed caliph in Jerusalem by the Umayyad and Ali was assassinated
- The Muslim community was split between Sunnis, who supported the Umayyad, and Shi’a, who supported Ali
- Disputes about who should succeed Muhammad widened the gap between Sunni and Shi’a

The Umayyad Imperium
- By the early eighth century, The Umayyad Caliphate controlled an empire that extended from the steppes of central Asia in the east to Spain in the west
- The capital of the Umayyad Caliphate was Damascus, Syria
- The Muslim warrior elite were kept separate from the rest of the population to prevent assimilation into the subjugated cultures.

Nomadic people, as those on the Arabian Peninsula, were usually merchants like Muhammad who traded with various other regions around the Arabian Peninsula. These nomadic peoples caused many disputes that in turn eventually caused Muhammad to become a prophet.
- Prophet Muhammad was influenced by other monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Judaism gave Muhammad views of religions different than that of the polytheistic Arab gods he knew as a young adult.
- Muhammad at first worked for Khadijah and then married her. He was able to be exposed to the outside world. Excluding Muhammad, she was the first Muslim.
- Muhammad was persecuted because the dominant Umayyad clan of Mecca saw him as a threat to their wealth and power. Also as a threat to the gods and shrines of the Kabah.
- The Bedouins and Arab dwellers show a striking parallel as they were the singular focus on the early rise of Islam. It followed the same patters of growth and spread of the two before.
- After the death of Muhammad a struggle for power occurred in the Islamic umma. Many clans had begun to leave the caliphate and the religion entirely. The Umayyad remained faithful and claimed them as a caliphate.
- The Islamic umma, after the death of the prophet decided to choose a new leader, caliph. Abu Bakr was chosen over the son-in-law of Muhammad, Ali. Supporters of Ali, after the assassination of Caliph Uthman, the necessity of a caliph descendent of Muhammad caused the religion to be split into two main groups. Sunni were those who believed anyone was a valid caliph. Shi’as wanted only descendants to be caliphs.
- Due to the split religion, Islam already had built up tension. This was sparked by the assassination of the caliph Uthman by Ali’s supporters. War started and despite a near victory of the Shi’a, this was denied due to Ali’s decision to meditate during war. This struggle continued by Ali’s second son, however, Husayn who was killed at Karbala in 680 C.E.
6. 3 Outline - Pg. 134-145
- Despite the attempts of the Umayyad to separate Muslims from non-Muslims, intermarriage occurred and led to more converts, or mawali.
- Converts still weren’t able to gain power and were subordinate to born Muslims, they still had to pay the jizya, or head tax
- Number of conversions were still very low, most of population was dhimmi or people of the book, meaning Christians, Jews, or Muslims

Family and Gender Roles in the Umayyad Age
- Muhammad’s teachings strengthened the Muslim Empire by improving women’s rights in divorce and inheritance
- Women were among his first followers and recorders of his hadith, or actions of the prophet
- Women could gain political power as well as pursue many different occupations

Umayyad Decline and Fall
- Umayyad decline began with high officials being spoiled by a luxurious life; sparked revolts and uprisings
- 50,000 warriors had settled near the oasis town of Merv in the mid-8th-century C.E.
- Began to dislike the government as they would not get a good share of the loot and believed the government was corrupt
- When the government sent new troops into the area, a revolt broke out
- Marched under the banner of the Abbasid party, with descendants traced to Muhammad's uncle, al-Abbas, Umayyad challenged openly around 747
- Alliances formed with local groups, mainly support from the Shi'a and the mawali
- Under leadership of Abu al-Abbas, the great-great-grandson of the prophet's uncle, they resisted the Umayyad and won many victories
- Quick rebellion with total victory at the Battle on the River Zab, where Abbasid forces met the Umayyad caliph himself, and this victory led to conquest of Syria and Umayyad Capital of Damascus
- Abu al-Abbas attempted to kill all Umayyad royalty he was able to, spare one grandson who fled to start a Caliphate of Córdoba in Spain

From Arab to Islamic Empire: The Early Abbasid Era
- Abbasid's gained power but turned on the supportive Shi'a as they became Sunni Muslims
- Capital at Baghdad; Persian influence
- The Islamic empire became more bureaucratic shown by the growth in power of the wazir, or chief administrator and head of caliph's inner council.
- Royal executioner showed more sinister way of bureaucracy
- Wazirs oversaw the building of administration that allowed for tax and tribute collection to be more widespread and profitable

Islamic Conversion and Mawali Acceptance
- Integration occurred as conversion was supported after equality between Arabs and non-Arabs increased
- Lead to mass conversions from the Berbers of North Africa to the Persians and Turkish people of central Asia
- Converts were seen as equal
- Islam's religious aspects as well as advantages including exemplification from jizya and greater career opportunities appealed to converts who drastically rose to being able to almost control the empire
- Abbasid Empire saw revival of great trading and commercial roots leading to urban expansion

Town and Country: Commercial Boom and Agrarian Expansion
OK… Down from here I actually summarized.
- Urban prosperity led to increased artisan handicraft in both government and workshops
- Most-skilled artisans formed guilds to negotiate wages and working conditions, and to provide support services (Artisan Unions)
- Slaves carried out unskilled labor, served caliphs and high officials
- Some were able to gain powerful positions and gained freedom
- Ayan, a rural, landed elite emerged
- Majority of empire were peasants that worked the land of the elite as tenants, having to give most of their harvest to ayans

The First Flowering of Islamic Learning
- Before Islam, Arabs knew little of the outside world and illiterate
- From civilizations they took over, many achievements and features were picked up
- Under the Abbasids, Islamic art was focused on architecture
- Learning focused on sciences and mathematics
- Scholars recovered and preserved the works of past civilizations in libraries
- Greek writings that were saved were later passed on to the Christian world
- Muslims also incorporated Indian numbers into the Mediterranean world forming the Indo-Arabic numerals we use today

Global Connections
- By the ninth century Abbasid power had dispersed before non-Muslims invaded
- The Turks who converted to Islam became a major component to the religion
- The Arabs were able to create the first global civilization by stitching together many other world cultures
- Islam and politics, which initially had been joined by the Umayyad and Abbasid being able to create ideals suitable to their environment

- The process of conversion was gradual. The Umayyad did not force conversions and inter-marriage eventually did cause religion to be adopted by other civilizations. In the Abbasid caliphate, conversion allowed converts to be exempted from jizya and increase opportunities. Many converts occurred as a religious appeal to Islam.
- The People of the Book or the term dhimmi is used to describe the three monotheistic religions that focus around the idea of God and His messengers. Most people of the empire were considered to be dhimmis.
- The Islamic society was less patriarchal than other previous civilizations. In many hadith, or personal actions of the prophet Muhammad were incorporated into society and the importance of women greatly increased. The equality in gender deteriorated after the death of Muhammad and gradually Islam became more patriarchal.
- The Abbasids took over the Umayyad caliphate. The capital was changed from Damascus to Baghdad picking up Persian influence. They ruled much of West Asia and North Africa from 750 AD until about 1000 AD. Unlike the Umayyad, the Abbasid were much more agricultural.
- Agrarian expansion is the expansion of agriculture for a certain political entity. The Arabian Peninsula was covered with desert or unfertile soil; however, once the empire was expanded towards the Indus river valley, the Fertile Crescent provided room for agrarian expansion.

6.4 – Questions Pg. 136-137

Civilization and Gender Relationships
- Classical China was a very patriarchal society where there were clear boundaries between the role of women and the role of men within families. In classical India, like China, the roles of women were also outlined in forms of religion and philosophy. In the Mediterranean, specifically Rome, upper class women had great influence in society and often owned property. In Athens, women were treated unequal to men in areas of politics; even so, women played major roles in the household. In Sparta, women were respected and treated better in the more in the militaristic society because ideals believed healthy women gave birth to healthy children.
- Among theses societies, women in Sparta were treated the best due to the need for strong, healthy soldiers. Women in Sparta were treated better and encouraged to lead healthy lives, they would eventually marry and then become mothers of soldiers.
- Lower-class women certainly had to strive more to support their families. This existed in all classical civilizations.
- In decentralized pastoral or forest-farming societies women were better off because they were able to own their own property, take part in the economy and religion. In these civilizations there was a good balance of gender.
- In highly urbanized and more centralized civilizations, women were not needed to strive or work as hard. Social structure gave women more opportunities and therefore was of advantage to women.

The Thousand and One Nights
- In Abbasid society key symbols of wealth included gold and silver, textiles such as silk, or even the rich literature of the Arabs itself.
- The nature of Baghdad elite life is said to be a luxurious lifestyle with many comforts and riches. This is shown in descriptive words such as “spacious ground floor hall”, “canopy-like mosquito curtain of red satin-silk”, and so on.
- Education was highly valued for upper-class men. Learning of the Quran, calligraphy, sciences, and other branches of learning were also valued.
- This explains what the rich and poor alike aimed for in Abbasid society. It reflects on our own society in the aspects of aiming for a good career, gaining wealth, and living a luxurious lifestyle. The idea of education leading to a good life is paralleled.
- Women were described as an honorable part of society. Descriptions of outfit show that fashion and style were of value in the Abbasid.
- They resemble “jet-setters” because of their lifestyle surrounding luxury and wealth.

The Mosque as a Symbol of the Islamic Civilization
- The construction of such mosques in the name of a God shows the importance of God to Muslims. The absence of animal or human portraits from these mosques also shows the respect the Muslims have for the divine creation of God that cannot be compared to.
- The Christian and Jewish influences are evident in the motif for design in the mosque through the arches and domes the mosques have. The decoration inside the mosques shows beauty of nature and peaceful analogies of architecture and the universe. The verses from the Quran are reminders and promote intellectual thought. The calligraphy also acts as a substitute for worldly drawings.


6) They resembled "jet-setters" in their quest for fashion and luxury. Fashion was a jet to the jet-setters' travels, and was key to the upper-class Abbasid women. Both also had luxurious lifestyles.
The Mosque as a Symbol of the Islamic Civilization
1) The Islamic design and decoration of the mosque tells us the very respective and sub-ordinance between God and the people. They also held these mosques to the highest standard. Their exclusion of animal and human pictures shows their respect and the passages from the Qur’an show their devotion to the religion and to God. The vast size of the projects and importance placed on them also showed their dedication and the significance of God.
2) The Christian and Jewish influence is evident in the design of the mosque including one major, decorated section for prayer and worship. The domes and minarets are also seen to be influenced by synagogues and churches. The interior decoration is seen to show beauty, serenity, and peace in the Muslim world. The verses from the Qur’an are to keep one faithful and their minds focused. They also serve a task as of replacing pictures of animals and humans.
Bedouin Nomadic pastoralists of the Arabian Peninsula; first converts to Islam
Shaykhs Leader of the Bedouin tribes and clans
Mecca City located in the mountainous region on the Arabian Peninsula along the Red Sea; founded by the Umayyad clan of the Quraysh tribe and was the original home of Muhammad; location of the Kabah; a center of trade.
Umayyad Clan of Quraysh that dominated the politics and commercial economy of Mecca; Later able to establish dynasty as rulers of Islam
Quraysh Tribe of Bedouins that controlled Mecca
Khadijah The widow of a wealthy merchant, married Prophet Muhammad and became one of the first followers of Islam
Hijra Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Medina to avoid persecution by the Umayyad
Zakat Tax for charity
Caliph Political and religious successor of Muhammad
Abu Bakr First appointed caliph following Prophet Muhammad’s death
Sunnis Believed that caliphs did not have to be descendent of Muhammad directly
Shi’a Believed all caliphs should be descendants of Prophet Muhammad, supported Ali
Damascus Capital of Umayyad Caliphate
Baghdad Capital of the Abbasid Caliphate
Dhimmi People of the Book. Christian and Jewish who had the religious books of the Bible and Torah
Mawali Non-Arab converts to Islam under the Umayyad
Hadith Actions or traditions of Prophet Muhammad
Wazir Chief administrative official under the Abbasid Caliphate
Ayan Wealthy land-owning elite
Jihad Islamic holy war or struggle
Yes, I know it's late, but a grade around a 90's better than a grade around a 0.

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