The Rise of Islam “ Submission to the Will of Allah” Entrance to the Ka’ba Muhammad Preaches the word of Allah
Present day Bedouin homes The Bedouin people were tribal and nomadic Some had settled down into towns and engaged in trading.
Camels feeding on grass near the Desert
Bedouin watching his flock in the desert
Oasis in the middle of the desert. Oases were scattered. Where they were you had cities or towns. Trade routes would go from city to city, following the oases.
Large oasis near the city of Medina
Small Arab Oasis
Major Incense Trade Routes
Incense Road The 2,000-foot Jebel Mahrat escarpment blocks the monsoon rains, creating a microclimate where frankincense trees grow. In the hidden valley at Sarif, spring-fed ponds have been cooling weary desert travelers for 6,000 years.
The City of Petra Located in present-day Jordan, Petra grew rich from the spice trade. During the late Hellenistic and Imperial period local worthies engaged in a fantastic array of construction, carving Greco-Roman façades from the living rock.
Another important city was Mecca
Mecca was a commercial and religious center. Polytheistic.
It held a building called the Kaaba that, legend has it, was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. Contained within were many idols.
Because Mecca was a religious center, fighting and weapons weren’t allowed. That enabled more effective trading to take place.
Who was Muhammad?
Born around 570 in the city of Mecca
He was a merchant and prospered from several successful caravans sent to Syria.
He married his employer Khadija who was his senior by several years.
Khadija bore him several children among whom four daughters survived.
All but one predeceased their father.
Muhammad is the founder of the religion of Islam and is regarded by Muslims as a prophet of God ( الله , Allāh ), the last and the greatest law-bearer in a series of prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets. Muslims consider him the restorer of the uncorrupted original monotheistic faith. He was also active as a diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, reformer, military general, and, according to Muslim belief, an agent of divine action.
Muhammad’s Religious Experience
Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God.
He was overcome by visions and voices.
He realized it was the angel Gabriel who was telling him – ‘iqra’ or ‘recite’
These Suras became the Q’uran (Koran).
Many of the early recitations dealt with judgments and the end times.
The cave Hira in the mountain Jabal al-Nour where, according to Muslim beliefs, Muhammad received his first revelation.
Muhammad’s Religious Experience
Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that "God is One", that complete "surrender" to Him is the only way acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God.
The duty of human beings is to surrender to this unique omnipotent god, the Merciful, the Compassionate; to surrender from the bottom of one’s heart, with one’s whole soul and mind.
The word “Islam” means this complete surrender to the Divine will.
One who practices such a surrender is a Muslim. Same root as salam – peace.
Muhammad Receiving Instruction from the angel Gabriel
The Hijra – 622 CE
Merchants of Mecca did not take to Muhammad’s message and he left the city. Much of Mecca’s economy is built on people visiting the Kaaba and its idols as part of a pilgrimage. If Mohammed’s new religion starts taking root, then people will stop coming and their economy will fall apart.
He went to the city of Medina because he had been asked by the leaders there to share his message with them.
This journey to Medina is called the hijra or hegira.
Muhammad was now convinced that he was preaching the true message of Abraham and Jesus that had been distorted by the Jews and the Christians.
Muhammad arriving in Medina
Gaining Influence and Followers in Medina
Mohammed also takes a tour of hell and heaven during this time.
He’s taken from Mecca to Jerusalem in one night on the back a strange beast called the Buraq. From there, he goes to heaven and meets Moses.
The site from which Mohammed is believed to have ascended is one of the holiest sites in Islam and is where the Dome of the Rock is in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.
The Dome of the Rock
This same rock is believed by Jews to be the slab upon which Abraham bound Isaac and nearly sacrificed him (in Islamic tradition, it was Ishmael). And that it was the rock upon which the Ark of the Covenant was put.
Eventually war erupts between the Medina faithful and the Meccans.
Mohammed started raiding caravans headed to Medina. He Believed this piracy was justified because the Meccans had taken the property of the Muslims when they fled to Medina.
The Return to Mecca
The Battle of Badr
300 Muslims confront 1,000 Meccans.
Mohammed takes up a defensive position and relies on range weapons such as slings and arrows.
The Muslims also had religious fervor on their side while the Meccans weren’t too enthusiastic.
About 70 Meccans are killed and another 70 are taken prisoners. Only 14 Muslims fall.
The Battle of Badr
War continues and Mohammed conquers Mecca in 630. He spares the populace that had opposed him and most convert to Islam. He proceeds to destroy all the idols in the Kaaba. Hence, Islam takes root.
Muhammad at the Ka’ba. The Ka’ba predates Islam. It was originally a pagan site with hundreds of idols surrounding it. In 630, Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca as conquerors, and he destroyed the 360 idols in and around the Ka’ba. While destroying each idol, Muhammad recited [ Qur'an 17:81 ] which says "Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish.” The Ka’ba
The revered "black stone" (Alhajar Al-Aswad) is a special divine meteorite, that fell at the foot of Adam and Eve. It is presently embedded in the southeastern corner of the Kaaba. The Black Stone A 1315 illustration from the Persian Jami al-Tawarikh, inspired by the story of Muhammad and the Meccan clan elders lifting the Black Stone into place when the Kaaba was rebuilt in the early 600s
The Maqam Ibrahim is located in front of the only door of the Ka’ba. Inside the building is a boulder about 2 x 3 feet in size and that claims to have the footprint of Abraham which was imbedded when his foot miraculously sank into the rock when he stood on it. Muslims believe that this is the spot where Abraham used to perform prayers near the Kaaba. They also believe he used it as a stepping stone to build the Kaaba. The Maqam Ibrahim In order to complete the upper part of the walls of the Ka’ba, Ibrahim stood upon a large stone block which he moved along when each section was completed. When the Ka’ba was finished, the large stone block was left outside the Kaaba, close to the eastern wall of the sanctuary. It became known as the Maqam Ibrahim (the station of Ibrahim) and it stands today is the place where Ibrahim offered up his prayers.
The collection of the teachings Muhammad received from Allah. Can only be read in Arabic.
Muslims regard the Qur’an as the culmination of divine messages that started with those revealed to Adam, regarded in Islam as the first prophet, and continued with the Scrolls of Abraham, the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel.
These books are not explicitly included in the Qur’an, but are recognized therein.
The Qur’an also refers to many events from Jewish and Christian scriptures, some of which are retold in distinctive ways from the Bible and the Torah.
The Qur'an itself expresses that it is the book of guidance. Therefore it rarely offers detailed accounts of historical events; the text instead typically placing emphasis on the moral significance of an event rather than its narrative sequence.
Muslims believe the Qur'an itself to be the main miracle of Muhammad.
The Five Pillars of Faith
Faith – “There is only one god and Muhammad is his prophet.”
Fasting – During the month of Ramadan – changes every year because the Islamic calendar is lunar.
Alms- Similar to the Christian tithe. Must give a portion of their income to charity and to spreading the faith.
Prayer – Must pray five times a day at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and in the evening. Must be in Arabic. Must face Mecca.
Hajj – Pilgrimage to Mecca. Must be made once in your lifetime. However, the elderly and the poor can send a representative.
The 5 Pillars of Islam Fasting Faith Prayer Alms (charity) Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Each pilgrim wears a simple draping garment so that everyone is equal. The Hajj
Different parts to it, but it culminates with walking seven times around the Ka’ba to replicated Mohammed riding seven times around it when he conquered Mecca.
belief in one powerful god, Allah
c 622 A.D
The Angel Gabriel tells Muhammad that there is only one god.
He attempts to spread Islam in Mecca but is persecuted. He flees to Medina where Islam is more accepted. Eventually he returns to Mecca and Islam spreads there.
Islam spreads quickly around the middle east, north Africa, and Spain.
The Koran (Qu’ran)
Laws: The Sharia & The 5 Pillars.
Religion Judaism Christianity Islam God(s)
belief in one powerful god
belief in one powerful god
When the religion began
c 2000 B.C
c 30 A.D
Hebrews settled near Ur in Mesopotamia.
Diaspora (Scattering of people): Migration to Palestine then to Egypt where they were enslaved.
By 1000 B.C they set up the kingdom of Israel
Palestine, where most Jews lived, conquered by the Romans in 63 B.C
Jesus, a Jew, was born c 4 B.C in the Roman Empire
At age 30 he began preaching to crowds. Word spread that he had performed miracles. Claimed to be a messiah , or savior sent by God.
After the crucifixion of Jesus, Apostles, or those who spread Jesus’ message began spreading Christianity
The Torah (First five books of the Bible’s Old Testament)
Laws: The Ten Commandments
The Bible (both Old and New Testament)
Laws: The Ten Commandments
5 Pillars of Faith
Islam Beliefs, Practices, Holy Books Significance Middle East, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem 622 C.E. Spread North Africa, S.E.Asia, U.S. Founded by Muhammad- Prophet – Koran Five Pillars of Faith: Allah is one true God, Prophet is Muhammad Pray Five times a day facing Mecca Almsgiving – give to the poor Ramadan – Fasting Hajj – Pilgrimage to Mecca Can not eat pork, gamble, drink alcohol, smoke Jihad – Struggle in God’s service Led to Islamic Empires Umayyad Caliphate, Abbasids, Ottoman, Mughal Shiite-Sunni Split Crusades – Holy wars Missionary religion
Aim: How did the Islamic Empire affect the societies which it conquered? Analyze the map of the spread of Islam. To where does the religion spread? How long did it take for Islam to spread to these areas? How do you think it was able to spread so quickly?
Unifying Forces of Islam
Shariah - System or code of laws
Regulated moral behavior, family life, business, govt. etc.
Helps followers to interpret the Koran and to apply it to everyday life
No separation of church and state Applied Koran to all aspects of life (secular and religious) Theocracy
Koran and prayer in Arabic only
Islam spread through two main avenues: Military conquest, and Trade/Missionary activity.
The Rise of Islam Muhammad unified the Arabic people both politically and through the religion of Islam The Mighty Sword Fair Treatment The Will of Allah Divide & Conquer The Mighty Sword Fair Treatment The Will of Allah Divide & Conquer Match each with the correct phrase above. Muslims were united in their belief in Islam, and were inspired to spread the word of Allah Byzantine and Persian Empires were weakened from fighting against each other Muslim rulers treated conquered fairly; many converted to Islam; non-Muslims must pay a special tax, but could practice freely Arabs were strong fighters
Why was Islam so attractive?
The Byzantine and Persian empires (especially the Byzantine) were considered oppressive and cruel. To such an extent that during the Byzantine-Persian wars the Jews sided with the Persians.
Orthodox Christianity had become so identified with Greek culture that it seemed totally foreign and unrelated to the life of the Arabs.
Zoroastrianism was also too closely associated with Persian culture and so was not considered a real option for the Arabs.
Provided an alternative to old Arab class structures. Giving poorer Arab a more equal status with the more prestigious families.
Eliminated the inter-clan fighting by removing local gods and spirits and replacing them with worship of Allah alone.
The revered "black stone" (al-Hajar-ul-Aswad) becomes the symbolic stone for all Arabs and eventually all Muslims (since not all Muslims are Arabs).
Why did Islam Expand?
Like other migrations and invasions we have looked at they began because of population pressures. The Arabs had become more numerous and needed more room and resources.
The Byzantine and Persian empires were weak because of their continuous wars with each other and both (especially the Byzantine) were seen as oppressive.
When the Islamic/Arab armies came out of Arabia and into Palestine and Mesopotamia they were hailed as liberators by both Jews and Christians.
A Challenge to Christianity
The death of Muhammad in 632 created confusion in the Muslim community, for Muhammad had left no details as to who should succeed him.
After a heated discussion by the senior members of the community, Abu Bakr was selected as the first caliph or “deputy”.
Abu Bakr became head of the state, chief judge, religious leader, military commander
The region ruled over by the caliph is referred to as a “caliphate”.
Those Caliphs who truly followed in the Muhammad's foot steps are called 'The Rightly-Guided Caliphs'
All four were among the earliest and closest companions of Muhammad
The Rightly-Guided Caliphs
The Expanding Caliphates
Sunnis (90%) believed caliph (leader) should be chosen by Muslim leaders
Shi’ites (10%) believed the caliph had to be a relative of Muhammad
Divisions Within Islam Two sects develop after the death of Muhammad
“ As with other sects in Islam, there is no question regarding the ultimate source of all their belief: it's the Koran – the word of God. One source, one book, one code – differences are in the interpretation of things not specifically mentioned. All sects also agree on the precedence set by the practices established by the Prophet Mohammed except for some differences regarding the reliability of different sources and references. Differences stem from questions of details of practice or life, government, marriage, inheritance, minor differences in prayer time, determining when the moon is born, etc.” Divisions Within Islam
The largest of the three sects.
Dominated the early Islamic empires.
Believe that any righteous Muslim can become a Caliph.
This ideas was heavily supported by the Umayyad clan after Muhammad’s death.
Originally led by Muhammad’s father-in-law and his cousin/nephew Ali.
Believed that the Caliph could only come from the family of the prophet.
Dominates Southern Iraq and most of Iran.
Ali was killed/martyred at the battle of Karbala in modern day Iraq.
Being on the losing side is a sign of righteousness – not unlike early Christianity and Judaism.
The mystical branch of Islam.
The Whirling Dervishes of Turkey are the most famous representatives.
Because of its mystical leanings, it was the ideal form of Islam for India because it fit in well with Hindu mysticism.
Sufi Film Clip
Most effective missionaries; referred to as “Islamic Mystics”
Encouraged devotion to Allah by passionate singing or dancing
Sufis led ascetic and holy lives, won respect of the people
Encouraged followers to revere Allah in their own ways
Tolerated those who associated Allah with other beliefs
The Role of Sufis
Strong commitment to the monotheistic belief system, resting on the Five Pillars of Islam, first articulated by Muhammad and later elaborated on by scholars and mystics.
The development of overland and maritime trade and communication routes that facilitated the spread of new crops, trade goods, and ideas, from improved techniques in agriculture to the writings of the classical Greek philosophers.
Engagement with and sometimes adoption of various cultural traditions encountered by the far-flung realm and its trade contacts. Hence elements of Persian, Indian, Christian, and Greek cultures found their place into Islamic society and thought.
Characteristics of Islamic Society Compare these characteristics with what was happening in Medieval Europe. Which were common to both societies?
In 644 CE a member of the powerful Meccan Umayyad family, Uthman, was elected as caliph.
In 656 Uthman was killed by a group of those supporting Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad.
Ali was then elected caliph but was opposed by another Umayyad named Mu'awiyah, the governor of Syria. Mu'awiyah claimed the caliphate, fought with 'Ali, and emerged victorious.
In 661 Ali was assassinated and Mu'awiyah founded the Umayyad dynasty.
The Umayyad Dynasty 661-750 C.E. Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq
With the Umayyad dynasty, the political center of Islam shifts from Medina to Syria. The Umayyad capital was at Damascus. Followed a Byzantine type structure and focused power in the Mediterranean. The dynasty survived roughly a century until overthrown by the Abbasids in 750 CE.
The Umayyad Dynasty 661-750 C.E.
From that point on, the caliphate ceased to be a sacred position of leadership for the entire Muslim community, and became instead a prize to be violently fought over.
The Umayyad Great Mosque, Damascus
The Umayyads were able to change the caliphate from an elected position to one that was in effect hereditary.
The Umayyads were also responsible for expanding the dar al-Islam to North Africa, Spain, and Central Asia
Umayyad Expansion What is the advantage of moving their capital to Damascus?
Allowed conquered peoples to observe their own religions but levied a special tax, the jizya, on those who did not convert to Islam.
Tightly run centralized government.
Favored fellow Arabs and created policies that reflected the interests of the Arab military aristocracy.
Arabs were appointed to positions such as governor and administrators of conquered lands.
Arabs gained from the monetary benefits and growing wealth of the Umayyad Dynasty.
Established Arabic as the language of administration
Coins were stamped with Arabic words and symbols, replacing the Christian and Zoroastrian symbols that had previously adorned Islamic coins.
The Umayyad dynasty succeeded in pulling the Islamic empire together into a coherent state, eliminating the remnants of the Arabs' nomadic lifestyle.
Ruled the dar-al-Islam as conquerors.
Deep Resentment among conquered people and restiveness against Umayyad rule ocurred.
Córdoba, the seat of the Umayyad rulers in Spain, was the centre of cultural life. Its wonderful mosque has inspired Muslim poets right up to the 20th century.
The Umayyad Dynasty
In 685AD the Umayyad Khalif, 'Abdul Malik ibn Marwan, commenced work on the Dome of the Rock. Essentially unchanged for more than thirteen centuries, the Dome of the Rock remains one of the world's most beautiful and enduring architectural treasures.
The Dome of the Rock
The Nasri palace of Alhambra, in Granada, is one of the finest examples of the high art and culture achieved by the Islamic civilization in Spain.
Women gained some rights. They were employed in the fields of commerce and law and took greater control of household operations.
Failed attack of Constantinople in 717 weakened Empire.
In 739, Berber subjects in North Africa rebelled against the routine discrimination the Arabs imposed on them.
Class differences: T he ruling class had acquired great wealth from its territorial gains, and its lavish lifestyle contrasted sharply with the poverty faced by many of the empire's subjects.
Opposition group, led by descendants of Muhammad's uncle, Abbas, called themselves the Abbasids. After several military conflicts, the Abbasids succeeded in overthrowing the Umayyads in 750, and installed their own caliph on the throne.
Umayyad Decline The Abbasid Palace, Baghdad
Abbasid Dynasty 750-1258 C.E.
The Abbasid Family seized power in 750, when it finally defeated the Umayyads in battle and killed the entire family except one man.
The Abbasids also distinguished themselves from the Umayyads by attacking their secularism, moral character and administration in general.
The Abbasids also appealed to non-Arab Muslims, known as mawali, who remained outside the kinship-based society of Arab culture and were perceived of as a lower class within the Umayyad empire.
Did not look to expand the reaches of the dar al-Islam.
Created new capital city in Baghdad. Moved away from the west and turned east stressing more Persian elements.
Baghdad The House of Wisdom
Within a generation of its founding, Baghdad became a hub of learning and commerce. Under Abbasid rule, Baghdad became a city of museums, hospitals, libraries, and mosques.
By the 800's Baghdad probably had nearly half a million people (that is half as big as Rome during the Roman Empire), and was the largest city in the world outside of China.
Baghdad was one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world, home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and pagans from across the Middle East and Central Asia.
The Abbasid Palace in Baghdad Film Clip Start at 3:55
The Golden Age
This period of glory has become known as the "Golden Age" of Islamic civilization, when scholars of the Muslim world made important contributions in both the sciences and humanities: medicine, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, literature, and more.
Most of the famous Muslim scholars from the 9th to 13th centuries had their educational roots in Baghdad. Here, teachers and students worked together to translate Greek manuscripts, preserving them for all time. They studied the works of Aristotle, Plato, Hippocrates, Euclid, and Pythagoras.
The House of Wisdom was home to, among others, the most famous mathematician of the time: Al-Khawarizmi, the "father" of algebra.
Harun was a great patron of art and learning, and is best known for the unsurpassed splendor of his court and lifestyle. Some of the stories, perhaps the earliest, of The Thousand and One Nights were inspired by the glittering Baghdad court, and King Shahryar.
Julian Köchert's painting of Harun al-Rashid receiving the delegation of Charlemagne demonstrates diplomatic contacts between their respective domains.
Harun built a palace in Baghdad, far grander and more beautiful than that of any caliph before him. He established his court there and lived in great splendor, attended by hundreds of courtiers and slaves.
Abbasid Art and Architecture Great Mosque at Samarra Calligraphy Paintings
Civil Wars between members of ruling elite.
Tension between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and disputes over succession of caliphs.
Corrupt and inept local leaders .
Popular uprisings and peasant rebellions weakened the dynasty
Persian noble seized control of Baghdad in 945 and controlled Abbasids as figureheads.
Abbasid Decline The Mongols ended the Abbasid Dynasty in 1258 CE