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Decline and Fall of Constantinople
• The Byzantine Empire suffered constant
attacks by invading armies especially those
of Persia and Arabia.
• During the mid 500s the bubonic plague hit
the empire killing 10,000 a day at its peak.
• By the late 1300’s the empire was reduced
to Constantinople and part of Greece.
• With the fall of Constantinople, Christian
lands to the north were now open for
Islamic attacks.
The Rise of Islam
• Before Muhammad the Bedouins
lived in tribes or clans.
• Lived in the extreme conditions of
the desert.
• Ideals of courage and loyalty to
• Skilled warriors
Muhammad was born in Mecca , a trading and
religious center, in 570 CE.
– Muhammad was a devout man who often
meditated on the moral ills of Meccan society
– Muhammad became a prophet at age 40 (610
– His teachings threatened merchants because
he wanted to remove the idols from the Ka’aba
– Mohammad led his followers to Yathrib
(Medina). This journey is called the Hijrah
(622 CE)
• Muhammad and his followers defeated the
people of Mecca and returned to there to
dedicate the Ka’aba to Allah (630 CE)
• Muhammad died in 632 CE . He had not
named a successor to lead the community.
• Eventually believers chose Abu Bakr to be
the first caliph.
• Under the first four caliphs the Muslim
marched from victory to victory against
the Byzantines and the Persians.
1. Create a timeline from 500 CE to 700 CE.
2. Put the following important dates on your
• 630 CE Muhammad returned to Mecca
• 622 CE Muhammad left Mecca for Yathrib
• 632 CE Abu Bakr became the first caliph
• 610 CE Muhammad becomes prophet
• 570 CE Muhammad born
• 632 CE Muhammad died
Islamic Faith
• Muslims do not believe priests are
necessary to mediate between people and
• Muslims gather in mosques to pray, but
they may pray anywhere
• Muslims duties include the jihad which
means to struggle in God’s service
• The Ka’aba is the physical and
metaphorical center of Islam
The Split between Sunnis and Shi’as
Mediation Activity
The Sunnis and Shi’as have decided to mend
the schism in Islam. They want an outside
group to consider the areas where they are
in conflict and to recommend a course that
could possibly be agreed upon by both sides.
The members of your group have been
chosen to mediate an agreement by
weighing the beliefs of each group and
recommend a solution.
Teachings of Islam
A. There is but one God (monotheism)
and Muhammad is his messenger
B. The Quran is the Holy Book of
Islam. It is the sacred word of God
as revealed to Muhammad.
C. The Five Pillars of Islam
1. Faith – There is but one God, and Allah is his
name. Muhammad was the last and greatest
2. Prayer – Muslims face Mecca and pray five
times a day
3. Alms – Muslims care for others by giving
charity (alms) to the poor
4. Fasting – Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset
during the holy month of Ramadan.
5. Hajj – Muslims must make a pilgrimage to pray
at the Kaaba at Mecca at least once.
Islamic Empires
• Lasted from 661-750.
• Came to power following the
death of Ali, the last of the
“rightly guided” caliphs.
• Abandoned the simple life of
previous caliphs and began to
surround themselves with
wealth and ceremony.
• Religious and political
opposition led to the Umayyad
downfall by rebel groups in 750.
• The most powerful of the rebel
groups were the Abbasids who
took control.
• Lasted from750-1258 CE
• Moved the capital of the
Muslim Empire to Baghdad.
The Abbasids controlled
their large empire through a
strong bureaucracy.
• Sent diplomats to lands as far
as Europe, Asia & Africa.
• To support a large
government structure the
Abbasids taxed land, imports,
exports & non-Muslims.
• The Abbasid dynasty fell due
to poor leadership, the Fatimid
revolt, and because the
Seljuks captured Baghdad and
launched attacks on the
Muslim Empire.
• The Fatimid caliphate was formed
by Shi’a Muslims tracing their
descent from Muhammad’s
daughter Fatima.
Islamic Achievements
• Golden Age of Islam occurred during the
reign of the Abbasids.
• Developed the House of Wisdom to translate
scientific and philosophical text in to
• Developed calligraphy or ornamental
• Comprehensive Books detailing medical
• Used scientific observation and
experimentation to make advances in Math
and Science.