ROCK MOSQUE, JERUSALEM
CÓRDOBA MOSQUE, SPAIN
WHERE DID ISLAM APPEAR?
This is a desert area. In the 6th century nomadic tribes lived in the Arabian
Peninsula. They lived from caravan trade and camel stockbreeding. The main
cities were Mecca and Medina. They were polytheistic and they worshipped a
black stone situated in the city of Mecca: the Kaaba.
THE SANCTUARY OF KAABA
Arabic tribes believed that
Abraham had made the
sacrifice of a sheep over a
black stone (in fact, a
meteorite) and afterwards
he had built a sanctuary
The sanctuary of Kaaba
was a big business for the
Mecca merchants, because
many people from other
places came on pilgrimage
to visit the sanctuary and
they spent money in
Muhammad was born in
Mecca. He was a merchant,
who studied Judaism and
He liked to go to the desert to
meditate. When he was 40 he
received a revelation: angel
Gabriel told him that there
was an only God, called
Allah and Muhammad should
dedicate his life to preach this.
Muhammad became prophet
of a new religion: ISLAM.
Islam means “submission to
The believers of Islam are
called Muslims (“those who
submit to God”)
ANGEL GABRIEL REVEALS MUHAMMAD THE NEW RELIGION
The rich merchants of Mecca
thought that Muhammad was a
danger for the Kaaba business.
Muhammad had to move to
Medina in 622. This is called the
Hegira (Muhammad´s flight from
Mecca to Medina) and it´s the start
of the Muslim calendar. Muslims
are in year 1434 now.
MUHAMMAD AND HIS FOLLOWERS IN MEDINA
In Medina Muhammad found many
followers of the new religion. He
formed a powerful army and he
came back to Mecca in 628. He
conquered the city and Islam started
spreading throughout all the Arabian
MUHAMMAD COMING BACK TO MECCA
THE EXTENSION OF ISLAM
When Muhammad died in 632, Islam had spread to the main part of the Arabian Peninsula
These are the five “commandments” of Islam, that is, the obligations every Muslim has
profession of faith: “There is no other God than Allah and
Muhammad is his prophet”.
SALAH : To pray five times a day towards Mecca.
To go on pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime (if it´s possible)
PILGRIMS IN MECCA’S GRAND MOSQUE
PILGRIMS AROUND KAABA
SAWN: To fast during the month of Ramadan (from sunrise
RAMADAN MEAL AFTER SUNSET
- EAT PORK
- DRINK ALCOHOL
- MUSLIM MEN CAN HAVE ALL THE WIVES THEY CAN
- IN THE PAST THEY COULD FIGHT TO SPREAD
THEIR RELIGION: HOLY WAR OR JIHAD. TODAY
JIHAD IS UNDERSTOOD AS AN INDIVIDUAL FIGHT
AGAINST TEMPTATIONS AND SINS. ONLY RADICAL
MUSLIMS BELIEVE IN JIHAD AS WAR TODAY.
SACRED BOOKS OF ISLAM
KORAN: holy book for all the
Muslims. It was written in Arabic
after Muhammad’s death in 652. It
contains the words of Allah.
Muslims have to memorize verses
of Koran, because this is a way of
The Koran contains the stories of
Noah and Moses.
SUNNA:book that contains the
facts of Muhammad´s life and
shows how a good Muslim has
to behave in everyday life. The
followers of Koran and Sunna are
called Sunnis. This book is not
accepted by the Shiites, who
consider that all it contains is an
THE DIVISION OF ISLAM
The majority of Muslims are Sunnis. They accept both the Koran and the Sunna
A minority of Muslims are Shiites. They reject the Sunna and believe that a succesor of
Muhammad (some kind of Messiah) will come to the Earth to save them from evil. They call
this Messiah the Mahdi. They are majority in Iran and Iraq
WHERE DO MUSLIMS PRAY?
Muslims can pray everywhere. The only conditions are being clean before praying
and praying towards Mecca.
The sacred building of Muslims is the mosque. Muslims go to the mosque on Friday.
PARTS OF A MOSQUE
the Koran, the
word of Allah
In the courtyard there
is an ABLUTION
Muslims must wash
before going into the
MINARET (Tower to call Muslims to prayer)
SPREAD OF ISLAM: THE CALIPHATE
All the inhabitants of the Arabian
Peninsula became Muslims very
quickly. Religion became quickly
related with politics. Muhammad
‘s successors, called caliphs,
became both political and
The caliph was allpowerful: he had
political power, was the chief of
the army, ruled the administration
and was also the head of Islam.
When Islam spread out of the
Arabian Peninsula, an Empire was
created: the CALIPHATE.
STAGES OF THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE
•MUHAMMAD AND THE FIRST 4 CALIPHS (622- 661): CONQUEST OF
ALL THE ARABIAN PENINSULA. CAPITAL CITY: MEDINA.
•UMMAYAD DYNASTY (661-750): CONQUEST OF TERRITORIES FROM
PERSIA IN THE EAST TO THE IBERIAN PENINSULA IN THE WEST.
CAPITAL CITY: DAMASCUS.
STAGES OF THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE
ABBASID DYNASTY(750-1258): THE EMPIRE BROKE UP INTO
DIFFERENT PARTS. CAPITAL CITY: BAGHDAD.
OTTOMAN EMPIRE (1258- 1918): THE OTTOMAN TURKS
CONQUERED THE ABBASID CALIPHATE AND BECAME THE MOST
POWERFUL PEOPLE IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD. CAPITAL CITY FROM
Islamic civilization was an urban civilization. Cities flourished in the Caliphate and Muslim
cities were larger than the cities of the Germanic Kingdoms or the Byzantine Empire.
The most important
cities were Damascus,
Cairo and Córdoba.
Main economic activities :
•Agriculture was very productive. The main crops were
cereals, grapes and olives. The Muslims introduced
important innovations which increased production:
- They developed irrigation techniques: they built mills in
rivers and ditches and canals to water the crops.
- They also introduced new crops from Asia in the
territories they conquered: rice, sugarcane, aubergines,
artichokes, oranges and lemons, cotton, date palms and
many flowers (roses, tulips, jasmines…)
•Craftsmanship in cities: there were many workshops,
where different products were made: ceramics, leather
goods, silver and gold objects, wooden furniture, carpets,
dyes and silk.
DITCH MADE BY THE MUSLIMS
IN OLMEDA DE LAS FUENTES
•Trade: Muslim merchants travelled throughout Asia,
Africa and Europe and were very important in the
exchange of products from different places. They bought
cloth and spices in Asia, gold, ivory and slaves in Africa and
metals and cereals in Europe.
They used two coins: the dinar (gold coin) and the dirham
DIRHAMS OF THE
MUSLIM CONTRIBUTION TO SCIENCE AND CULTURE
The Muslims were tolerant to the people from
other religions and Islam didn´t forbid scientific
research. Caliphs supported research. This is why
science and thinking had an extraordinary development
in the Muslim territories.
The Muslims introduced many Asian inventions
in Europe: compass, gunpowder… They also saved
many important books from Ancient Greece and
translated many important books from different cultures
(China, Persia, Greece…)
Some important advances in science:
-Astronomy: they studied eclipses, the rotation
of planets and calculated the diameter of the Earth
- Maths: they introduced Arabic numerals, invented
the symbol of zero, improved geometry and
trigonometry, invented algebra and equations
- Medicine: they invented syrups, organized
hospitals in different sections, students who wanted
to be doctors or pharmacists had to pass an exam
and they improved surgery
- Synthesis of different styles: the Muslims
copied different elements from other
civilizations, but used them in an original way
-Main examples of Islamic art: buildings
(mosques and palaces), with flat, wooden
-Use of poor building materials: bricks,
-Abundant decoration: buildings were
completely decorated with geometrical and
plant motifs and calligraphy.
-Light and water had an important role
(fountains, pools and waterfalls
evoked desert oases)
-Sculpture and painting didn´t develop,
because Islam forbids the representation
of animals and human beings.
SAMARRA´S MOSQUE, IRAQ
TYPES OF ARCHES USED IN ISLAMIC ART
ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS: DIFFERENT TYPES OF ARCHES
DECORATIVE ELEMENTS: STALACTITE PATTERN
The stalactite pattern tries to evoke the interior of a cave.
DECORATIVE ELEMENTS: PLANTS, CALLIGRAPHY AND GEOMETRIC FORMS