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• Which of the following areas of expertise or
learning progressed under the rule of the
Abbasid caliphate?
All of the above
Today 10/11 and 10/15
Practice Question
Reading Quiz
Reading Guide
You will be able to
describe the unique
aspects of the
Islamic Empire and
how it compares to
what you have
already learned
Chapter 7
The Abbasid Dynast
The Abbasids
• Moved the Capital from Damascus to
• Created a very large Bureaucracy
– Headed by the Vizier
Who are the Abbasids
• 3rd Abbasid Caliph was al Mahdi
– Major love of luxury which caused a lot of
– Failed to fix the whole succession problem
• Son assassinated
• Most Famous Abbasid Caliph was Harun alRashid
– 1000 and 1 Nights
– Depended on Persian advisors
• How does this cause problems later on
Life under the Abbasids
• A LOT of luxury
• Palace intrigue
• Simulation
– Caliph, Vizir, wives, girlfriends, sons, slaves
How did life for Muslim women
decline as Islam developed
• Began women were close to being a man’s equal, but
when Abbasid Era was ushered in, their influence/role
went down severely
– Women were very inferior to men, confined to home, forced
to wear veils in public places
• Upper Class:
– Wear veil and robes in public places
– Were confined to home
– Had some political influence within the home
• Lower Class:
– Farmed, woven clothing, or raised silkworms to help support
their families
– Raised to devote their lives to running their household and
serving their husband
– Married young (legal age of puberty was age 9)
• Were purchased in non-muslim regions
– prized for beauty and intelligence, greater
demand for slaves as empire grew
• Women who were slaves were often
– confined to a wing of the house (of the
Caliph/royal official)
– but could go to the market free of a veil
• Caliphs would prefer to spend more time
with their intelligent concubines than poorly
educated slaves.
Slow decline
• By mid-9th century CE Abbasid dynasty had
begun to lose control over empire with
rebellious governors and new dynasties to
challenge them
• Buyids of Persia take Baghdad in 945
– This is where the word Sultan comes in
• These were the true rulers and the Caliph was just a
figure head
• Seljuk Turks defeat the Buyids in 1055
– Purged the Shi’a during this time
• Urban Expansion linked the revived trading
– Arab dhows: Sailing vessels
– Joint Ventures with Christians and Jews
– Specialized trade of luxuries for the elites
– Growth encouraged handcraft production
– Unskilled labor = slaves
What cultural achievements did the
Abbasid empire make???
• New techniques in
• New technology
• Preserving learning of
Ancient civilizations
• 2 discoveries in chemistry
– Creation of objective experiment
– Al-razi’s scheme of classifying all
material substances into 3
• Animal, vegetable, mineral
• Best hospitals in world
• Telescopes and anatomy
• Muslim scientists work on
optics and bladder ailments
• Made world’s best maps
• Introduced into Islamic world
and Europe many basic
machines and techniques
– Paper making
– Silk weaving
– Ceramic firing
Who were the Sufi and why were they
• The Sufi’s were wandering mystics
– They hoped for personal union with Allah
– There goal was this relationship
– They will be responsible for some of the spread of Islam during the
• Later in the Abbasids the Suffist movement will bring a lot of
vitality within Islam
• Included both Sunni and Shi’a manifestations in its various
• Some Sufis gained reputations as great healers and miracle
• Led militant bands that tried to spread Islam to nonbelievers
• Used ascetism or bodily denial to find Allah
– Meditation, songs, drugs and ecstatic dancing was also used to find
What impact did the Crusades have on
the Islamic empire?
• The Muslims were not as affected as the Christians culturally by
the crusades
• The Muslims received Greek learning that was recovered by the
• Christians took over small kingdoms temporarily, but Muslims
under Saladin reclaimed them
• Muslims developed a more negative view of the Christians
• Europeans borrowed ideas from the Muslims
• Italian merchants stayed after crusades diffusing the Arabian
economic system
• First crusades was most successful due to elements of surprise
and lack of political unity
• Much of the holy land was captured and divided into Christian
– It will change back and forth
What influence did India have on
• Hindu scholars introduced Arab scholars to their numeral
• Indian algebra and geometry were translated into Arabic
for Islamic use
• Indian physicians, brought to Baghdad to run hospitals
cured many Islamic officials
• Indian statecrafts were translated into Arabic for Islamic
• The Indian game of chess traveled to the Arabic people
• Arabs who immigrated Indian areas, adopted Indian dress
and hairstyles, and ate Indian food
• Arab colonies in India provided staging areas for Islam to
spread to parts of Asia
How did the Muslim views on
conversion change over time?
• Originally they didn’t want to convert people,
because it would mean they had to share
their Booty (Umayyads)
• Once the Umayyads fell and the Abbasids
rose to power, conversion was encouraged
• Merchants traded and spread Islam to
southeast Asia
• As the Islamic people conquered new lands,
the religion was adopted
Conversion continued
• Muhammad wants loyal followers, unity and
• Umayyads did not focus on conversion instead they
focused on getting riches
• Wanted more conversion for more unity. Corrupted
the religion
• Trying to force conversion on Europe but stopped by
Christian Knights
• Views on conversion remained consistent, while
continuing to spread Islam into Africa
• Views on conversion weaken due to
corruption/internal conflicts