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Unformatted text preview: The Expansion of Islam from Mecca, Medina and the Hijaz region began with the Prophet Muhammad's death in 632. This had been prefigured by his letter to Emperor Heraclius inviting him to accept submission to God--Islam. At Muhammad's death tribes newly joined to his polity tried to break away, and the subsequent punitive expeditions-- Ridda Wars--phased into the dramatic conquests of all of the Sassanian and much of the Byzantine lands. By 635, Damascus and Homs were in Muslim Arab hands, and after the resounding defeat of Byzantine forces at the Battle of the Yarmuk (636), Palestine and the rest of Syria were open to Islam. Jerusalem and Antioch were taken in 638, at which point Islamic armies began both westward and eastward offensives. By the 650s, Egypt was taken, as was North Africa to Cyrenica, where Berbers resisted fiercely at first, later converting to Islam, allowing the subjugation of Tunisia and...
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- Fall '08