• amanda0195

Islam


TIMELINE

Arabia before Muhammad

  • Bedouins (Arab nomads) organized in tribes

  • Ruled by Sheikh selected by council of elders, the majlis.

  • Money from sheepherding or raiding caravans

  • Until domestication of camel in 2nd millennium B.C

  • Then participated in caravan trade from Persian Gulf to Mediterranean

  • Religion: polytheistic with supreme god, Allah, no priests, natural spirits

  • Supreme deity symbolized by a sacred stone,

  • Housed in Ka’aba, Mecca.

  • Roman Byzantines and Persian Sassanians

Muhammad (570-632)


  • Childhood

  • Born in Mecca 570 to merchant family

  • Member of Quraish tribe (Bani Hashim or "Hashemite' clan)

  • Marriage

  • Married a widow, Khadija, who hired him to manage her caravan trade business

  • Allah and Islam

  • Meditated

  • Visited by angel Gabriel who brought him messages from God (Allah)

  • "Islam" = "submission" to the will of Allah

  • Muhammad is considered the "last Prophet" of God after Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other Prophets.

  • Muhammad recites the messages from God to his followers (later written down as the Quran)

  • Move to Medina 622

  • Called the "Hijrah: or "Hegira"

  • Muslims fled persecution in Mecca by going to Medina (then called Yathrib)

  • The date of the flight became the first day in the Muslim calendar (calendar was Lunar, not solar)

  • In Medina, the Jewish and Muslim tribes sign a constitution.

  • Return to Mecca 630

  • Muhammad enters the Ka'aba and smashes more than 300 idols and declares it a sacred shrine to God.

  • Muhammad dies two years late.

Four “Rightly Guided Caliphs” (Rashidun)

  • After Muhammad's death

  • Elders decided on successor to lead Muslims (Muhammad was the only Prophet)

  • Abu Bakr (632-623)

  • Consolidated Islam in Arabia

  • Umar (623-644)

  • Egypt (642), Persian Empire (643)

  • Uthman (644, assassinated 656)

  • Quraish Tribe

  • Ali (656, assassinated 661)

UMAYYADS (661-750)

  • Capital Damascus

  • First was Mu’awiya (passed to son Yazid)

  • Shi’a-Sunni split

  • Ali’s son Hussein rose up 680, killed

  • Spain (see below)

  • Constantinople 717

  • Attacked Byzantines but defeated by Greek fire.

  • Overtaken by Abbasids (Abd al Abbas)

  • One survivor Abd al-Rathman (see Spain below)

MUSLIMS IN SPAIN (Iberia, Andalusia)

  • Berbers (710),

  • Across Strait of Gibraltar (under Tariq)

  • Visigoth king already weak

  • Battle of Tours (Poitiers) defeated by Charles Martel (732)

  • Umayyads (Abd al-Rathman) in spain 750

  • Caliphate of Cordoba

  • Almoravids,

ABBASIDS (750-1258)

  • Capital Baghdad

  • Founded by Abd al Abbas

  • Greatest caliph (golden age) was Harun al Rashid (786-809)

  • Son Ma’mum (813-833) was great patron of learning

  • Paper from China

  • Persian influence

  • Caliphs more like kings than spiritual leaders

  • Hereditary autocrat with bureaucracy (council diwan), prime minister vizier.

  • Luxury, sex, drinking, non-Arabs in key positions in army and administration

  • Weak

  • Tigris and Euphrates silt up, food shortages

  • Fragmentation of empire

  • Morocco independent

  • Egypt 970 Shi’a dynasty – Fatimids (capital Cairo)

  • Holding Islamic word together

  • Arabic and Quran

SELJUK TURKS (1055-1258)

  • Turks who converted to Islam from Central Asia

  • Were military mercenaries for Abbasid

  • 1055 took Baghdad

  • Assumed title f Sultan

  • Abbasid caliph remained religious authority

  • 1071 took Byzantine city of Manzikert

  • Byzantine empire turned to west for help

  • led to Crusades

  • Turks beneficial

  • Brought end to squabbles and revitalized Islamic law and political stability.

  • Resentment – Assassins

CRUSADES (1096-1303)

  • Byzantine emperor Alexius I asked for help from west against Seljuk Turks

  • Muslims desecrating Christian shrines in Holy Land and molesting Christian pilgrims

  • First 1096

  • 1169 Muslims under Saladin

  • Vizier to last Fatimid caliph, brought end to Fatimid dynasty

  • Took Egypt and Syria, invade Jerusalem, allowed Christians to pray in holy sites.

  • Last Christians in Acre fell to Muslims 1291

MONGOLS (1206-1368)

  • From northern China

  • Genghis Khan

  • 1258 under Hulagu Khan (brother of Khublai Khan)

  • Took Persia and Mesopotamia

  • Brought end to caliphate at Baghdad

  • Mongols went West, stopped at Egypt by Mamelukes (Turkish slaves)

  • Mongols assimilate, convert to Islam

  • Split into kingdoms then disintegrate

OTTOMANS (1299-1923)

  • 1453 Sultan Mehmet II seized Constantinople

  • End to Byzantine Empire

ISLAM IN A NUTSHELL

Books

  • Quran/Koran (“recitation”): revelations from God, 114 suras

  • Ethical guidebook, code of law and political theory

  • Original Arabic (none of the diacritical marks), ambiguous and open to interpretation

  • Hadith: accounts of Muhammad’s life by followers

Beliefs

  • Allah (God) created everything.

  • Including Hell and paradise

  • Muhammad not divine

  • He was only a messenger/prophet like Abraham, Moses, Jesus before him.

  • God had sent down same message to earlier Prophets

  • Muslim message was the purest because compiled soon after Muhammad's death and not changed since then (Quran is original book)

  • "People of the Book" = Jews and Christians (who receive God's message before Muhammad)

  • Five Pillars of Islam

  • Declaration of Faith -- Belief in Allah and Muhammad

  • Prayer -- 5 times toward Mecca. Friday public prayer.

  • Ramadan -- month of fasting dawn to sunset

  • Hajj -- pilgrimage to Mecca

  • Alms -- zakat to poor

  • Sharia (Islamic law)

  • After Muhammad’s death

  • Ulama – panel of Islamic scholars, drew up law code, Sharia

  • Based on Hadith and Quran

  • Prohibitions:

  • Up to four wives.

  • No gambling, no pork, no alcohol, no sex out of marriage, no contacts between unmarried men and women

  • Jihad

  • “striving” in the way of the Lord

  • Struggle against evil within themselves or “holy war”

Spread of Islam

  • Why?

  • Drought on Arabian peninsula

  • Finding new converts

  • Extending trade routes

  • Ongoing conflict between Byzantine and Persian empires

  • Brilliant generals

  • Muslim warriors who died in battle became martyrs (to paradise)

  • Tolerance

  • Government left to local officials

  • Conversion to Islam voluntary (“no compulsion in religion”)

  • Non-Muslims paid head tax (jizya) and exempt from military

  • Lower tax than under Byzantines and Sassanids

  • All people equal in eyes of God

ABBASSID GOLDEN AGE

  • Harun al-Rashid

  • Son Ma’mun

  • Patron of learning

  • Founded astronomical observatory

  • Foundation for translating Classical Greek words

  • Economic prosperity

  • Had conquered many o the richest provinces of the Roman Empire

  • And controlled routes to the east.

  • Paper

  • Introduced from China, then to N. Africa, and Europe

  • Crops from India and southeast Asia

  • Rice, sugar, sorghum, cotton

  • Caliphs more regal

  • Turbans of silk brocade etc.

  • Govt.

  • Advisory council – diwan.

  • Prime minister – vizier

  • Caliph sat behind screen then communicated divine will to vizier.

  • Persian influence (Ma’mun’s mother)

  • Increased pomp and circumstance

CULTURE

  • Arabic

  • Became international language

  • Persian and Turksih in administration and culture.

  • Translations

  • 8th and 9th c. Greek, Syrian, Persian scientific and philosophical works translated into Arabic (to Europe)

  • Aristotle, Plato and other Greek philosophers translated into Arabic

  • Stored in “house of wisdom” in Baghdad

  • Eventually translated into Latin and brought to Europe

  • 6th c. Justinian (Byzantine ruler) had shut down Platonic Academy in Athens (heretical ideas)

  • Many of the scholars fled to Baghdad with Classical texts

  • Then supplemented by books from Constantinople and Alexandria library.

  • Disseminated because of paper

  • Brought by Buddhist pilgrims from China on Silk road

  • Cheaper than papyrus.

  • Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (980-1037)

  • Philosophical writing cited Aristotle

  • World operated not only at will of Allah but also by own natural laws that could be understood by human reason.

  • Mathematics

  • Islamic scholars adopted numerical system of India (including use of zero)

  • Called “Arabic numerals” replaced Roman numerals in Italy by 13th c.

  • 9th c. Persian mathematician founded algebra (al-jabr, “the reduction”)

  • Astronomy

  • Observatory in Baghdad to study position of the stars

  • Aware that earth was round in 9th c.

  • Produced a world map based on tradition of Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy.

  • Aided by astrolabe

  • Instrument to enable sailors to track positions by means of the stars

  • Used to find qibla and prayer times

  • Muslim travelers: Ibn Battuta

  • Optics and chemistry

  • With help from anatomy books from Greek physician Galen

  • Developed medicine as distinctive field of scientific inquiry

  • Avicenna

  • Compiled a medical encyclopedia

  • That emphasized contagious nature of certain disease

  • Showed how could be spread by contaminated water supplies

  • Translated into Latin

  • Became basic medical textbook for medieval European university students.

  • But thought that reason could build a bridge to faith = ire of Muslim scholars

  • Classical works by Euclid, Ptolemy, Archimedes continued to be translated

  • The influence of Greek philosophy began to wane by end of 11th c.

ISLAMIC ART AND ARCHITECTURE


  • Art is blend: Arab, Turkish, Persian traditions

  • Mathematics and astronomy

  • Rhythm and abstraction

  • Repetitive geometric ornamentation (called Arabesque)

  • Turks brought abstraction in figurative and nonfigurative designs

  • Poetry

  • Persians poetic mysticism

  • Arabic culture favored memorization and the spoken word

  • Architecture

  • Dome of the Rock 691

  • Jerusalem, Muhammad’s Holy Rock, touching Western Wall

  • Constructed on Byzantine lines

  • Octagonal shape and marble columns and ornamentation

  • Interior Persian motifs (Mosaics of precious stones)

  • Rebuilt several times

  • Desert Arabs prayed in open courts

  • shaded along the qibla by thatched roof and rows of palm trunks

  • Ditch where faithful could wash

  • Enormous mosques modeled on open court

  • pillar supporting wooden roof over prayer area facing qibla wall

  • Great Mosque of Samarra (848-852)

  • Largest mosque: 10 acres, 464 pillars in aisles surrounding the court

  • Set in qibla wall was niche (mihrab) panel to Mecca

  • 156-foot tall minaret

  • Tower from where the muezzin calls faithful to prayer 5 times.

  • Mosque in Cordoba in southern Spain

  • 514 columns supporting double horseshoe arches

  • Desert palaces

  • Holes for boiling oil could be poured down heads of attacking forces.

  • Alhambra Spain palace 14th c.

  • Courtyards, rooms, gardens and fountains

  • Above city of Granada

  • Floral and semiabstract patterns.

  • Lion Court in center of harem, with lion fountain and arcade of columns and carvings.

  • Rugs

  • Women spun and wove cloth

  • Rugs to insulate stone palaces against cold

  • Prayer mats

  • Bedouins rugs to cover sandy floors

  • Decorations

  • Arabic script, natural plant and figurative motifs

  • Arabesque – semiabstract geometrical patterns

  • Representations of Muhammad discourage (not in quran)

  • Hadith warned agsaint any attempt to imitate God through arsstistic creation or idolatry.

  • Interpreted as outright ban on any such depictions

  • Okay in secular art


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