c13islam - Mohammed and the Rise of Islam Background •...

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Unformatted text preview: Mohammed and the Rise of Islam Background • War between Persians and Byzantines during reign of Heraclius (610‐641). • Arab foederati were common: situation mirrored that of western frontier. • Lakhmids and Ghassanids. • Major caravan routes ran through Arabian Peninsula. • Mecca and the Ka'aba. • Tribal polytheism, But also knowledge of Judaism and Christianity . • Ba'al = "lord of the mountain;" the meteorite as a symbol of the sky god found at Mecca and Emessa. Mohammed (570‐632) • Orphaned young; raised by an uncle and grandfather. • Worked on a caravan of a rich widow (Khadidja); she became his first wife. • At about 40, he began to teach that both Jews and Christians had strayed from the faith of Abraham. • He left Mecca in 622 and settled in Yathrib; this became Medina, the city of the prophet. • In 630, after having organized the main principles of Islam, and having strengthened his position in Medina, he conquered Mecca, destroyed polytheistic cults, granted amnesty and ensured rights of all to make pilgrimage to the Ka'aba. Tenets of Islam • Mohammed’s teachings show Zoroastrian, Christian, and Jewish influences. • “There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet.” • Islam means submission (to God's will); a Muslim is one who submits. • He claimed to restore the purity of the religion of Abraham, not to found a new religion. • Moses and Christ recognized as prophets, albeit, lesser ones. Five Pillars • Profession: of faith in Allah and his prophet. • Prayer: 5 times daily and attend Friday public service. • Charity/Almsgiving: Contribute money to support charity and Muslim military. • Fast: from sunrise to sunset during month of Ramadan. • Pilgrimage: to Mecca. The Succession • Mohammed was the prophet, those that came after him were his successors (Caliph or Kalifa). • On his death there was some contention over who should succeed him, his father‐in‐law, Abu Bakr, or his cousin and son‐in‐law, Ali. Abu Bakr had the support of another of Mohammed’s fathers‐in law, Omar, and was chosen as Kalifa. • Some would date the split between Sunni and Shia to this decision, a decision that seems to have been about the direction of Islam as much as about power. Expansion of Islam • The expansion of Arab and Islamic forces out of the Arabian peninsula began during Abu Bakr’s brief reign (632‐34). • Initial expansion covered approximately a century, from Muhammad's death to the battle of Poitiers (632‐732), or at least to the siege of Constantinople (717). • The battle of Yarmuk (636) resulted in the eastern cities of the Byzantine world falling under Arab control. By 641 Damascus, Jerusalem and Alexandria (briefly reconquered for a while) had fallen, Carthage in 698; In 711 Muslim Moors cross into Spain—at least part of Spain would remain under Moorish rule until 1492. Omar Al Khataab (634‐44) • Another of Mohammed’s fathers‐in law. • Omar was responsible for most of the early conquests. • Founder of the Arab/Muslim empire. • Established provinces and governors. • Permitted Christians and Jews to worship as they saw fit for the payment of a head‐tax. • Organized contributions from conquered peoples to support the occupying armies. • Took the title Emir. • Assassinated in 644. Othman (644‐56) • The third Caliph, Othman (644‐56) was a member of the powerful Meccan family of the Umayyads. This was the family that had been largely responsible for driving Mohammed from Mecca in 622. • Othman was also a son‐in‐law of Mohammed and one his early followers. • Many thought that Othman was favoring his kinsmen over earlier followers of Muhammed. • He was killed in a riot in Medina. Ali (656‐61) • Ali, another son‐in‐law (and cousin) of Mohammed, was named as new Caliph. • Ali condoned the murder, although he was innocent of any involvement, and rebellion broke out. • When Ali tried to compromise, some of his supporters refused to sanction it: any rebellion was against the will of God. • Ali, and eventually his sons were killed. Muawiyah (661‐80) • An able admiral, military governor of Syria and a kinsman of Othman, won the Caliphate and established the Umayyad dynasty and made Damascus the capitol. • With the violence associated with Muawiyah’s accession, the different allegiances of Sunni (originally, those who felt that the succession legitimately passed to the Umayyads) and Shia (the party of Ali) become visible and have remained important ever since. The Umayyad Dynasty • The Umayyads were politically astute, relied on Byzantine/Persian administration. • But the dynasty's secular leanings were resented. • Under their banner, Samarkand, Afghanistan, and the Indus valley added were added to Islam. • Power was firmly kept in Arab hands. This became a cause of resentment as many others began to convert to Islam. • Abd al Malik began the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem in 694. The Abbasid Dynasty • Abbasids: in 750 Abu'l Abbas revolted against the Caliph, and with one exception, he eventually exterminated the Umayyad family. • The remaining Umayyad fled to Spain where he organized Muslim efforts there, founding the kingdom of Cordoba—the end of Muslim unity. • Abbasids moved capital to Baghdad, Islamic culture began to diverge from Mediterranean culture and became more closely aligned with Mesopotamian civilization. ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2010 for the course HIS 1000 taught by Professor Anderson during the Winter '10 term at Wayne State University.

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