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The Rise of Islam 600-1200
Arabian Peninsula Before Muhammad
• Most Arabs Settled /
Nomads a minority
– Caravan cities caused
interaction between
Byzantine / Sasanid
Empires & Ethiopia
• Nomadic Religion =
– Familiar with Judaism,
Christianity & Zoroast.
• Mecca = Caravan City
– Between Yemen & Syria
– Ka’ba = Cubical Shrine
w/idols inside
Muhammad & Foundation of Islam
Orphan born in Mecca
– Became involved in the
caravan trade
The ‘Final Prophet’
– In 610CE received revelations
(1 God = Allah)
– Submission = Salvation
– 622 fled to Medina / Formed a
single community of believers
The Succession of the Caliph
– Abu Bakr (Father-in-law)
• Goals = Standardization: 5
Pillars & Creation of an
Islamic State
– Civil War over 3rd Caliphate =
3 Rival Sects
• Sunni’s= Abu Bakr
• Shi’ites=Ali (Muhammad’s
son-in-law & 1st cousin)
• Kharijite (Militant followers
of Ali)
The Rise & Fall of the Caliphate 6321258
• Period of Islamic Conquests 634-711
– Possible reasons: Religious fanaticism, weakness of
enemies, talent of Muslim leaders, structure of Arab
• Umayyad & Abbasid Caliphates 661-850
– Arab Empire (not a Muslim Empire), ruled from
Damascus, Syria
– Umayyad Overthrown 750 w/ help of Shi’ites
– Abbasid Caliphate 750-1258 (family of Abbas,
Muhammad’s cousin)
– Cultural Center of Baghdad, Golden Age of literature &
science. Non-Arab conversion in cosmopolitan centers.
• Political Fragmentation 850-1050 (Mamluks grew in
power), too diverse of a region to hold under Arab rule as
Islam spread.
• Attacks = Christian Crusades, Turkish & Mongol Invasions
(Mongols killed final Caliph in 1258)
Islamic Civilization
• Islamic Law = Shari’a
– Based on collections of reports known as Hadith
• Conversion & Urbanization were related
• Achievements in Medicine & Astronomy
• Women
– Veiled & secluded though could be influencial
– Only slave women could be in public unchaperoned
– Rights under Islamic Law
• Right to inherit & own prop.
• Right to divorce
• Right to remarry
• Testify in Court / Pilgrimage
– Supposed to live as Khadija & Fatima (Muhammad’s 1st wife &