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The Rise and Spread of IslamThe Umayyad and Abbasid EmpiresBoundless World History
Muhammad’s SuccessorsAfter Muhammad’s death in 632 CE, there were conflicts among his followers as to who wouldbecome his successor, which created a split in Islam between the Sunni and Shi’a sects.LEARNING OBJECTIVESAssess the Caliphates’ rise to powerKEY TAKEAWAYSKey PointsAfter Muhammad ‘s death in 632 CE, his friend Abu Bakr was named caliphand ruler of the Islamic community, or Ummah.Sunni Muslims believe that Abu Bakr was the proper successor, while Shi’aMuslims believe that Ali should have succeed Muhammad as caliph.Turn Insights Into ActionBuild Core Predictive InsigDataset To Analyze The ResulOpenAdAlteryx
After Muhammad’s death and the rebellion of several tribes, Abu Bakr initiatedseveral military campaigns to bring Arabia under Islam and into the caliphate.The Rashidun Caliphate (632–661) was led by Abu Bakr, then by Umar ibnKhattab as the second caliph, Uthman Ibn Aan as the third caliph, and Ali asthe fourth caliph.Muslim armies conquered most of Arabia by 633, followed by north Africa,Mesopotamia, and Persia, significantly shaping the history of the worldthrough the spread of Islam.Key TermsSunni: The branch of Islam that believes that a caliph should be elected byMuslims or their representatives and that Abu Bakr was the first caliph.Ummah: An Arabic word meaning “nation” or “community;” usually refers tothe collective community of Islamic peoples.Shi’a: The minority Islamic branch that believes Muhammad appointed hiscousin Ali as his successor and that the caliph should be decided based onthis family lineage.caliph: The head of state in a caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the IslamicUmmah; a successor of Muhammad.Succession after Muhammad’s DeathMuhammad united the tribes of Arabia into a single Arab Muslim religious polity in the lastyears of his life. He established a new unified Arabian Peninsula, which led to the Rashidunand Umayyad Caliphates and the rapid expansion of Muslim power over the next century.With Muhammad’s death in 632 CE, disagreement broke out among his followers overdeciding his successor. Muhammad’s prominent companion Umar ibn al-Khattab nominatedAbu Bakr, Muhammad’s friend and collaborator. With additional support, Abu Bakr wasconfirmed as the first caliph (religious successor to Muhammad) that same year. This choicewas disputed by some of Muhammad’s companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousinand son-in-law, had been designated the successor by Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm. Ali was
Muhammad’s first cousin and closest living male relative, as well as his son-in-law, havingmarried Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah. Ali would eventually become the fourth Sunni caliph.These disagreements over Muhammad’s true successor led to a major split in Islam betweenwhat became the Sunni and Shi’a denominations, a division that still holds to this day.Sunni Muslims believe and confirm that Abu Bakr was chosen by the community and that this