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Golden Age of Muslim
Ch.10 Sect. 3
Islam Society and Economy
• Cultures include Arab, Persian, Egyptian,
African, European, Mongol, Turks, Indians, and
SE Asian
• Muslim society absorbed and blended many
Social Classes
Enjoy social mobility
Religious, scholarly, or military achievements
Slavery common from conquered people
Muslims couldn’t be slaves and converts
didn’t earn freedom right away but children
• Islamic law encouraged freeing of slaves
International Trade Network
• Merchants honored in Muslim world
• 750-1350 they built a vast trade network that
spread Islam as well
• Camel caravans were the “ships of the desert”
• Traveled Silk Road and monsoon winds took
them to India as well
• Set up partnerships, bought and sold on
credit, formed banks to change currency
• Developed first checks, Arabic word sakk
• Branches in all major cities
• Organized by guilds
• Authority to regulate prices, weights and
measures, methods of production, and quality
of product being produced
• Work done by wage workers
• Produced sugar cane, cotton, dyes, medicinal herbs,
fruits, vegetables, and flowers
• Desert everywhere so scarcity of water
• Massive irrigation projects and drained swamplands
between Tigris and Euphrates
Art and Literature
• Scholars studied Quran and produced own works
interpreting its meaning
• Quran banned worship of idols or portraying God
or human figures
• Walls and ceilings decorated with abstract and
geometric patterns called arabesque
• Used domes of Byzantine buildings
• Domed mosques and high minarets dominated
Muslim cities
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
• Passed down orally
• Important themes were chivalry and romance of
nomadic life
• Influenced medieval European literature and music
• Firdawsi (fihr dow see)- masterpiece Shah
Namah or Book of Kings tells story of history
of Persia
• Omar Khayyam (ki yahm)- scholar and
astronomer wrote The Rubaiyaat (Roo bi yaht)
• Art of story telling
• The Thousand and One Nights
• Many of these stories set in
Baghdad of Huran al-Rashid
• Aladdin and His Magic Lamp
• Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Arab scholars made many
mathematical advances.
Arab mathematicians developed
what became our modern number
The study of algebra was
pioneered by al-Khwarizmi in the
Building on the work of the Greeks, Muslims
greatly advanced medicine and public health.
Physicians and pharmacists had to pass tests.
There were hospitals and physicians who traveled
to rural areas.
Pharmacists mixed bitter-tasting medicines with
sweet-tasting syrups and gums for the first time.
made great
advances in
Muhammad al-Razi studied
measles and smallpox. He also
stressed the need to treat the
mind as well as the body.
Ibn Sina compiled a huge
encyclopedia of all known medical
knowledge called the Canon on
Arabic physicians could even perform cataract
surgery using hollow needles.