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Teacher’s name: ___________________ Date of Lesson/Class/Period _____________
Subject: ____________________ Topic: ___________________________________
Concepts: jihad, mamluk, monarchy, caliph
General Objective[s]:
The student will demonstrate knowledge of Islamic civilization from
about 600 to 1000 a.d. by
...describing the origin, beliefs, traditions, customs, and spread of
...assessing the influence of geography on Islamic economic, social,
VA.HIST.WH.8.B and political development, including the impact of conquest and
...identifying historical turning points that affected the spread and
VA.HIST.WH.8.C influence of Islamic civilization, with emphasis on the Sunni-Shi’a
division and the Battle of Tours;
...citing cultural and scientific contributions and achievements of
Islamic civilization.
Learning Outcomes:
SWBAT (analyze) the meaning of the word jihad, as presented to them in
multiple definitions.
SWBAT (analyze/interpret) Islamic art and its historical implications.
SWBAT (analyze) the Battle of Tours
Content Outline:
Opening Activity: 1-2-4
What are the pros and cons of government promotion of a religion?
Today's Lecture: The Umayyad Caliphate
This was a period of Islamic expansion outside of the Arabian peninsula. The Umayyad
Caliphate took a more secular role in the lives of Muslims, which would prove to cause
LECTURE: 5 Mins. TOPICS: Introduction, Overview
Many devout Muslims do not hold the Umayyad caliphate in high regard, considering
them degenerate and weak. However, in the spirit of objectivity, Umayyads saw great
expansion of their empire, and facilitated government and social infrastructure
development. They were adept both militarily and politically, both secular traits, and also
allowed for the development of Islamic art and culture.
This is not to say that the Umayyad caliphate was not unmarred by degeneracy and
downright cruelty, however, their concerns, interests, and greatness lie in their secular
rule. Religious and spiritual obligations seemed to take a back burner in the priorities of
these rulers.
Muhammad and the Patriarchal Caliphs integrated themselves closely with the Islamic
community—the entire religion is founded on an unprecedented egalitarianism. These
caliphs lived fairly normal and unpretentious lives and did not seek to separate
themselves in dress or manner from the community they ruled. The Umayyads, however,
adopted models of kingship from surrounding peoples. They established a wealthy and
comfortable court, surrounding themselves with elites rather than common “brethren.”
This was a model of leadership based on the idea that authority was vested in supernormal individuals, known as Divine Kingship; a radically different turn of events in the
Muslim world. This model, however, is what kept the new empire together. While
nomadic and sedentary Arabs were completely accustomed to the tribal patriarchal model
that the early caliphs followed, subject populations only understood authority as it was
vested in a powerful and distant monarch. Under the Umayyads, then, the caliphate
became something much closer to a monarchy rather than a tribal or religious leadership.
DIRECTED QUESTIONS What does this say about Muhammed's ideas of equality and brotherhood? Answer:
They were extremely radical, and irreconcilable with local customs.
LECTURE: 10 Mins. TOPICS: Caliphal transition, Establishing Government
The first Umayyad caliph, Mu'awiyya, made one claim to fame by transitioning the
caliphate from an aristocratic democracy to a pseudo-monarchy. The caliphate was a
unique institution in that the caliph was elected by a small group of powerful tribal
leaders. Mu'awiyya, however, convinced the most powerful to recognize his son Yazid
as the next caliph. Though Yazid was technically elected, reality shows that he was
basically appointed by his father as an heir; a model of succession that would continue.
The naming of an heir, followed by an electoral façade is the reason that Islamic
historians do not call the Umayyad period a caliphate, but rather use the term "kingdom"
The Umayyads wrought many changes in Islamic government, the most significant being
the adoption of Byzantine administrative and financial systems. Mu'awiyya had moved
the administrative center of Islam from Medina to Damascus in Syria, right in the heart of
the Byzantine presence in the Fertile Crescent. He was persuaded by his closest advisors
to adopt the Byzantine administration he found in Damascus and he appointed a large
number of Byzantine administrators and counselors—almost all of these were Christians.
The Byzantine administrative system was tried and tested, and came in handy in the
absence of an established “Islamic” administrative system.
Why would this lead to conflict? Upper class of Greek speakers controlling
administration and money.
The establishment of wealth and monarchical trappings led to bitter opposition among
many Muslims. It was seen as a fundamental perversion of the religious and social
principles of Islam. At the same time, however, the establishment of a monarchical and
court culture began an efflorescence of Islamic culture in art, architecture, and writing.
Think, Pair, Share 10 MINS.
DIRECTED QUESTION What are some complaints of religious people in America
about society in general?
Answer: Lazy, greedy, loss of values, no guidance, etc. Many Muslims at the time felt
proud of their religion's popularity, but felt like it lost direction.
LECTURE: 10 Mins. TOPICS: Mu’awiyya, More Sunni Vs. Shia.
Despite much of the irreligious character of his caliphate, Mu'awiyya was an enormously
brilliant and effective ruler. During his tenure, Islam enjoyed twenty years of internal
peace and solidified its control over Iraq and Iran. Mu'awiyya was an effective
adminstrator and staffed administrative positions with the best administrators he could
find. He also embodied fully the Arabic virtue of hilm, or "leniency," and generously
forgave even some of his worst enemies. That forgiveness and leniency is what helped to
establish the new administrative structure the Umayyads were building.
Write down the pros and cons of hereditary vs appointed successors
hereditary pros: consistency of government policies, consistency of culture
" cons: lack of competitive edge,
appointed successors: competition, best and brightest
cons: can be chaotic
With the death of Mu'awiyya in 680 and the succession of his son, Yazid, a second civil
war broke out with Shiites. Anxious to force 'Ali's son, Husayn, to recognize his
authority, Yazid eventually killed Husayn and a handful of his followers at Karbala in
Iraq. This act inspired the people of Medina to revolt—Yazid put down this revolt and
then laid siege to Mecca.
A later caliph, al-Walid I (705-715 AD/86-96 AH), began further Islamic conquests. He
reconquered parts of Egypt from the Byzantines, moved into Carthage, and across to the
western Maghreb. In 711, Muslim armies crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and began to
conquer Spain using North African Berber armies. By 716, Spain had been defeated and
was under Muslim control. This would be the farthest extent of Islamic control of
Europe—in 736, they were stopped in their expansion into Europe south of Tours,
France. By 710, Islamic territory covered from Spain to India!!!
Al-Walid also began the great architecture of Islam, the most famous of which is the
mosque at Damascus. This is also the period, however, in which Islamic court culture
begins to germinate. With the caliph as a patron, artists and writers begin to develop a
new, partly secular culture based on Islamic ideas.
It was also al-Walid that coupled Islam with Arab identity. Conversion was not forced on
conquered peoples; however, since non-believers had to pay an extra tax and were not
technically citizens, many people did convert for religious and non-religious reasons.
This created several problems, particularly since Islam was so closely connected with
being Arab—being Arab, of course, was more than an ethnic identity, it was a tribal
identity based on kinship and descent. As more and more Muslims were non-Arabs, the
status of Arabs and their culture became threatened. In particular, large numbers of
Coptic-speaking (Egypt) and Persian-speaking Muslims threatened the primacy of the
very language that Islam is based on. In part to alleviate that threat, al-Walid instituted
Arabic as the only official language of the empire. He decreed that all administration was
to be done only in Arabic. It was this move that would cement the primacy of Arabic
language and culture in the Islamic world.
DIRECTED QUESTION: How would the adoption of Arabic as the official language of
the empire marginalize non-Arab Muslims?
Answer: Probably limit their jobs, social status, etc.
ACTIVITY: Need big sheets of paper, markers. Divide students into groups of 4.
Give the following definitions of the word Jihad, along with the historical
explanation. Have each group use markers, crayons, and paper to illustrate the
definition. The definition must also be written on the paper. 15 MINS
The Arabic word, jihad, is usually translated as "holy war" in English, but that is a
limited definition of the word, since the word does not always have a military
connotation. It is derived from an Arabic verb that means to strive, struggle, and work
hard, and in Islamic theology it is applied to the particular struggle that all Muslims must
undertake to protect and honour the Islamic faith. There are five types of jihad:
1. Jihad against oneself - the daily struggle against evil and temptation in life.
2. Jihad with knowledge - the struggle to use knowledge, particularly from the
Qur'an, to fight ignorance and to gain converts to Islam not through battle, but
through the power of Qur'anic knowledge.
3. Jihad with wealth - the struggle to give up material wealth for the benefit of
Islam, through charitable donations.
4. Jihad with the sword - the physical struggle to defend Islam against harm from
unbelievers. Muslims believe that if they give their lives in this military jihad they
will be rewarded with eternal paradise.
5. Jihad through righteousness - the struggle to continuously undertake good deeds
to please God and benefit humanity.
When the word, jihad, is used in a military context, as it often was in these early years of
Muslim conquest of non-Muslim lands, it refers to the fourth type of jihad, in which
Muslims take to the sword to defend Islam against unbelievers.
Students divide themselves into groups of four, then number themselves off. I will ask
questions taken from the Battle of Tours Document, and call on a number. That number
from each group will give their team's answer. The questions are attached electronically
Student and Teacher Activities with Estimated Time Blocks:
Bellwork Questions
Set Induction Video/Follow-up Questions
Taking Notes/Viewing Constitution
Offering Assistance
Offering Assistance
Highlighting Philosophies
Short Essay - Most Influential
Offering Assistance
Completing Exit Pass
Bell work Questions
Discussion Questions:
These questions are included within the Content Outline section.
Exit Pass Questions:
Where was the Battle of Tours fought?
Who were the combatants?
What was the outcome of this battle?
What implications did this battle have on the Muslim Empire?
Materials Needed for the Lesson:
Computer with PowerPoint
Large sheets of paper or posterboard
Copies of Battle of Tours documents
Copies of questions
Methods of Evaluating Student Progress/Performance:
Students will be evaluated based on their performance on the Set Induction
question. Also, their answers in the Numbered Heads Think Together exercise
will be a factor.
Differention for Special Needs:
VISUAL: Set induction allows students to visually interpret culture
ADHD / Behavioral Issues: Differing activities and opportunities for interaction
keep students engaged
Differing Abilities: Cooperative learning through different instructional
Subject Matter Integration/Extension:
This lesson in the unit illustrates the path chosen by Islamic leaders during the
first major shift of power. With more and more people to govern, Caliphs had to
adapt to an expanding world. It conveys the origins of intra-religious conflict,
which still exists today. This lesson will be built upon in the next one, where the
Abbasids continue along the Umayyad path of secularization. It helps students to
understand the effect of conquest and assimilation on society, which is one of the
Reflections/PPT’s in Lesson:
This lesson presents information in a variety of ways, providing multiple avenues
of comprehension. It includes direct lecture, multi-media, guided notes, and
graphic organizers. It has room for differentiation based on student readiness.
Finally, it allows students to draw their own conclusions.
Medieval Sourcebook:
Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours, 732: Three Accounts
[Davis Introduction]
The following opinion was expressed about the Franks by the emir who conquered Spain,
and who---had he not been recalled---might have commanded at Tours. It shows what the
Arab leaders thought of the men of the North up to the moment of their great
disillusionment by "The Hammer."
From an Arabian Chronicler
Musa being returned to Damascus, the Caliph Abd-el Melek asked of him about his
conquests, saying "Now tell me about these Franks---what is their nature?"
"They," replied Musa, "are a folk right numerous, and full of might: brave and impetuous
in the attack, but cowardly and craven in event of defeat."
"And how has passed the war betwixt them and thyself? Favorably or the reverse?"
"The reverse? No, by Allah and the prophet!" spoke Musa. "Never has a company from
my army been beaten. And never have the Moslems hesitated to follow me when I have
led them; though they were twoscore to fourscore."
Isidore of Beja's Chronicle
[Davis Introduction]
The defeat of the Saracen invaders of Frankish lands at Tours (more properly Poitiers) in
732 A.D. was a turning point in history. It is not likely the Muslims, if victorious, would
have penetrated, at least at once, far into the north, but they would surely have seized
South Gaul, and thence readily have crushed the weak Christian powers of Italy. It is
very unfortunate that we do not possess scientific accounts of Charles Martel's great
victory, instead of the interesting but insufficient stories of the old Christian chroniclers.
Then Abderrahman, [the Muslim emir] seeing the land filled with the multitude of his
army, crossed the Pyrenees, and traversed the defiles [in the mountains] and the plains, so
that he penetrated ravaging and slaying clear into the lands of the Franks. He gave battle
to Duke Eudes (of Aquitaine) beyond the Garonne and the Dordogne, and put him to
flight---so utterly [was he beaten] that God alone knew the number of the slain and
wounded. Whereupon Abderrahman set in pursuit of Eudes; he destroyed palaces, burned
churches, and imagined he could pillage the basilica of St. Martin of Tours. It is then that
he found himself face to face with the lord of Austrasia, Charles, a mighty warrior from
his youth, and trained in all the occasions of arms.
For almost seven days the two armies watched one another, waiting anxiously the
moment for joining the struggle. Finally they made ready for combat. And in the shock of
the battle the men of the North seemed like North a sea that cannot be moved. Firmly
they stood, one close to another, forming as it were a bulwark of ice; and with great
blows of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in a band around their
chief, the people of the Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove
their swords down to the breasts [of the foe].
At last night sundered the combatants. The Franks with misgivings lowered their blades,
and beholding the numberless tents of the Arabs, prepared themselves for another battle
the next day. Very early, when they issued from their retreat, the men of Europe saw the
Arab tents ranged still in order, in the same place where they had set up their camp.
Unaware that they were utterly empty, and fearful lest within the phalanxes of the
Saracens were drawn up for combat, they sent out spies to ascertain the facts. These spies
discovered that all the squadrons of the "Ishmaelites" had vanished. In fact, during the
night they had fled with the greatest silence, seeking with all speed their home land. The
Europeans, uncertain and fearful, lest they were merely hidden in order to come back [to
fall upon them] by ambushments, sent scouting parties everywhere, but to their great
amazement found nothing. Then without troubling to pursue the fugitives, they contented
themselves with sharing the spoils and returned right gladly to their own country.
Chronicle of St. Denis
The Muslims planned to go to Tours to destroy the Church of St. Martin, the city, and the
whole country. Then came against them the glorious Prince Charles, at the head of his
whole force. He drew up his host, and he fought as fiercely as the hungry wolf falls upon
the stag. By the grace of Our Lord, he wrought a great slaughter upon the enemies of
Christian faith, so that---as history bears witness---he slew in that battle 300,000 men,
likewise their king by name Abderrahman. Then was he [Charles] first called "Martel,"
for as a hammer of iron, of steel, and of every other metal, even so he dashed: and smote
in the battle all his enemies. And what was the greatest marvel of all, he only lost in that
battle 1500 men. The tents and harness [of the enemy] were taken; and whatever else they
possessed became a prey to him and his followers. Eudes, Duke of Aquitaine, being now
reconciled with Prince Charles Martel, later slew as many of the Saracens as he could
find who had escaped from the battle.
From: William Stearns Davis, ed., Readings in Ancient History: Illustrative Extracts from
the Sources, 2 Vols. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1912-13), Vol. II: Rome and the West,
pp. 362-364.
The Battle of Tours:
October 10, 732 AD marks the conclusion of
the Battle of Tours, arguably one of the most
decisive battles in all of history.
A Moslem army, in a crusading search for
land and the end of Christianity, after the
conquest of Syria, Egypt, and North Africa,
began to invade Western Europe under the
leadership of Abd-er Rahman, governor of
Spain. Abd-er Rahman led an infantry of
60,000 to 400,000 soldiers across the
Western Pyrenees and toward the Loire
River, but they were met just outside the city
of Tours by Charles Martel, known as the
Hammer, and the Frankish Army.
Back to the "Beginnings of Germanic
Christianity" Chronology
Back to "Omayyad Dynasty" Chronology
Martel gathered his forces directly in the path of the oncoming Moslem army and prepared
to defend themselves by using a phalanx style of combat. The invading Moslems rushed
forward, relying on the slashing tactics and overwhelming number of horsemen that had
brought them victories in the past. However, the French Army, composed of foot soldiers
armed only with swords, shields, axes, javelins, and daggers, was well trained. Despite the
effectiveness of the Moslem army in previous battles, the terrain caused them a
disadvantage. Their strength lied within their cavalry, armed with large swords and lances,
which along with their baggage mules, limited their mobility. The French army displayed
great ardency in withstanding the ferocious attack. It was one of the rare times in the Middle
Ages when infantry held its ground against a mounted attack. The exact length of the battle
is undetermined; Arab sources claim that it was a two day battle whereas Christian sources
hold that the fighting clamored on for seven days. In either case, the battle ended when the
French captured and killed Abd-er Rahman. The Moslem army withdrew peacefully
overnight and even though Martel expected a surprise retaliation, there was none. For the
Moslems, the death of their leader caused a sharp setback and they had no choice but to
retreat back across the Pyrenees, never to return again.
Not only did this prove to be an extremely decisive battle for the Christians, but the Battle of
Tours is considered the high water mark of the Moslem invasion of Western Europe.
A Dictionary of Battles, Eggenberger, David. Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1967
Battlefields of Europe, Edited by David Chandler. Hugh Evelyn Ltd,1965
The Cambridge Medival History Volume IV, Planned by J.B. Bory, M.A., F.B.A., edited by
J.R.Tanner, Litt.D., C.W. Previte-Orton, M.A., Z.N. Brooke, M.A. New York The MacMillan
Company, 1923