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ISLAM

An Introduction

Annemarie Schimmel
IJ

State University of New York Press

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S :". .S@61@ 1$$% 1 f'\ (~IJ' . 1$$. 3ohann 4olf+an+ von 0oethe Anne&arie S'hi&&el: (er )sla&# *ine *infiihrun+ . Swier5ows!i Fibrary of 2on+ress 2atalo+in+>in>"ubli'ation (ata S'hi&&el# Anne&arie.arn)nt l)w&y >.\ c r i\ C.~)"\ (: I) 1\ r: L t\ I:' ~ ':.. ~.. 9ranslation of: (er )sla&.S. )S=N ->?$16>1@%?>7 Ahard'overB.1\. *n+lish.nI UniverG1..\ '~t . First published in U. D ="EE.r I i . :)sla&."hilipp . '\ <:. No part of this publi'ation &ay be reprodu'ed or trans&itted# in any for& or by any &eans# without per&ission.A.$ C MAR n 5 1999 HIIrY. . by State University of New or! "ress# Albany © 1$$% State University of New or! How strange that in every special case one praises one's own way! If Islam means "surrender into God's will" it's in Islam that we all live and die. > )S=N ->?$16>1@%C>6 ApaperB I. "rinted in the United States of A&eri'a For infor&ation# address State University of New or! "ress# State University "la5a# Albany# N 1%%67 "rodu'tion by 8arilyn P Se&erad 8ar!etin+ by 9heresa A.y ). )n'ludes inde<.it. %$?>d'%I' t I $%>%EEC 2)" 1. I. I I I . 9itle.# Stutt+art All ri+hts reserved.e')a& /un.' I~. )sla&>1istory. )sla& : an introdu'tion I Anne&arie S'hi&&el. 0&b1 & 2o. p. ern.

Contents Introduction Arabia Before Islam Muhammad The Expansion of Islam The Koran and Its Teachings The Tradition The Law Theology and Philosophy The Shia and elated Sects Mystical Islam and Sufi Brotherhoods Popular Piety and the !eneration of Saints Modern "e#elopments Inside Islam Bibliography Index #ii $ II 19 29 %& %' $( 91 &)& &*& &*$ &+% 151 .

The life of the . a considerable number of publica& tions e'press their authors( warm sympathy for $slam and. Arabia Before Islam !outh . !uch pilgrimages.etone also has to take into account e'tremely crit& ical approaches to early $slam.rabs during that period.. a rather "primitive" religion was still maintained. %uring recent years. *aves and /as is common among the !emites3 stones were regarded as sacred and filled with blessing power.rabia. for its mystical dimensions. which try to interpret early $slamic history and culture from new and unusual vantage points. with dward !aid. which the Muslims calljiihiLiyya. $n *entral . however. . as far as one can judge from inscriptions and 1 . Trade fairs and markets were held during the four sacred months. -n the following pages we take the traditional view of $slamic history without venturing into the vast area of so& ciological or political approaches." showed but little trace of deep reli& gious feeling. . had been famed for its wealth.ncient polytheism had been largely replaced by 4ewish and *hristian influences. whether one discovers. baraka.. imperialistic goals in the works of "ritish and #rench scholars or regrets the lack of true understanding of the spiritual aspects of $slam.rabia. "time of ignorance. in particular. the black stone in the southeastern corner of the 6a(ba was the goal of annual pilgrimages." The attitude of orientalists in the past century has been criticized frequently during recent decades. during which fighting and killing were prohibited. and members of all . per& formed at specific times. The positive at& titude of the !econd )atican *ouncil has contributed to new efforts for better understanding of a much+maligned re& ligion.' 6 Introduction know too much of Muhammad to idealize him but too little to do full justice to him. and the country boasted numerous tribal sanc& tuaries. the Arabia felix of antiquity. but when Muhammad was born /0123 its most glorious times were over. center of the stone cult was Mecca5 there. brought the wealthy trade center economic advantages. .rabic clans and tribes would travel to the sacred places.

bravery. the perfection of pre%&slamic Arabic poetry has rarely been reached by !riters at any later point in his­ tory. the purely erotic moment remains in the bac"ground. superseding the dialectical variants of everyday speech. the "ings of 'heba had con­ verted to -udaism around the year /00. !hich !as common to all tribes. and it seems that the belief in a high 3od. both trade partners of the . there !ere -e!ish settlements not far from . &t is astounding to see ho! highly developed the Ar­ abic language already !as at this early time. &t may !ell be that their religious interest had been intensified by contacts !ith hristians or -e!s. Arabic literature (primarily poetry) from the late sixth century A. hristian mo­ tifs appear: !andering mon"s. or the light that shines forth from a hermit)s cell. !ith its apparently boundless pos­ sibilities. sings mainly of the virtues of the Be­ douins: that is. .el"ite. unsatisfied !ith the dominant religion of the Ar­ abs. Allah (a term that incidentally appears else!here among the Arabs) formed the center of their religious attitude. faith in an immutable fate.o!ever. !as perhaps the most important and precious her­ itage !hich &slam received from its native Arabic soil. #he !omen of the tribe used to compose threnodies for those slain in !ar$ the priests at the sanctuaries performed soothsaying in high%sounding rhyming prose. 1ne hears also of see"ers. it unfolded to per­ fection the finest tendencies inherent in all 'emitic lan­ guages. and (estorian hristians$ but entire hristian col­ onies !ould probably not have been found in the heart of Arabia. (o! and then in ancient Arabic poetry. #hese men !ere called banif. 1ne can speculate that Arabia possibly !ould have become a hristian country during the late sixth to early seventh century.edina$ furthermore. had . ompared !ith the themes of heroic life.uham­ mad not appeared on the scene. #he country !as situated in the sphere of influence of By*an* and +ersia. boundless hospitality. &n fact.8 IsLam: An Introduction ArabiaBefore&slam 9 literature. .eccans.. " . and the language. and even at that early time the use of several distinct meters in poetry can be seen. !ho !ere in 2uest of a higher faith. but does not display much reli­ gious consciousness. and this facilitated contacts !ith -acobite. . An almost inexhaustible !ealth of !ords is com­ bined !ith an extreme syntactic brevity.D. revenge. &n its poetical idiom.

where fie/was/regarded as e1tremelysensual duetohis numerouslater marriages.. which particularly upset those who espoused the ideal of celibacy. !bu "alib. among whom four daughters sur%i%ed. and when he was about forty years old.· 1 Muhammad Muhammad was born about 570 in Mecca as a member of the Hashim clan of the Quraish. all but one predeceased their father. #i$e most of his Meccan compatriots. to which most of the no­ tables of Mecca belonged. married hi)***Q*Qy)*+. !fter &some successful 'ourneys to (yria the young Muhammad. he de%oted himself to trade. who was his senior by se%eral years. (he bore him se%eral children.. . he II . He lost his parents early (his fa­ ther died before his birth and he was brought up by his un­ cle. Muhammad did not marry any other woman as long as -hadi'a was ali%e (she/a"ccfwhen/he&w/iis about fifty years old .-hadi'a. Muhammad li$ed to retire at times to meditate in a ca%e in Mt. "his fact certainly does not support the pre'u­ dice commonly %ented in the 0est. Hira. called al-Amin for his reli­ ability.

ell shall be set blazing. every s$ring $roves the resur& rection. (he terrible shock caused by the sudden a$$roach of the . 1ater $o$ular $iety. (he Koranic descri$tions of .~.udgment are closely re& lated to each other.udgment and . who has created the world out of nothing. In a short while it will knock at the door and will stir u$ from heedlessness those who are embroiled in worldly affairs and who have forgotten 0od" (hen they will have to face their 1ord to give account of their sinful actions. when 6aradise shall be brought nigh. human fertility and birth can be taken as signs of 0od. /lose is this .s message seriously9 to them a cor$oreal res& urrection seemed both im$ossible and ludicrous.udgment-earth3uakes. hot. (he $ractical-minded )eccan merchants did not take )uhammad. the +ay of !eckoning. 8n its de& scri$tion of 6aradise. when the buried infant shall be asked for what sin she was slain. (translated by 7. 7s the creation and the 1ast . and the resurrection is heralded by breathless short lines in sonorous rhymed $rose. then shall a soul know what it has $roduced. for e%am$le. ecli$ses-as de& scribed in Sura 41 in unforgettable words* 5hen the sun shall be darkened. it is logical that the /reator and the . and finally the unbelievers and sinners will be dragged away by their feet and their forelocks. 7rberry# 7t that hour 8srafil will blow the trum$et9 the dead will be resurrected in the body and. :ut )uhammad learned that he was not only sent to threaten and blame. but also to bring good tidings* every $ious man who lives according to 0od. iqra' ( !ead or !ecite" # and thus $oints to the groundbreaking e%$eri& ence.udg. (o refute their doubts. when the savage beasts shall be mustered. =urthermore. however. when the souls shall be cou$led. the Koran brings forth numerous $roofs for such a resurrection. Second.in the <astern orthodo% church. (he first $roclamations $reached by )uhammad are dominated by one single thought* the nearing +ay of . 2atural catastro$hes will announce the +ay of . fires.ell do not reach the fantastic descri$tions of.our. /hristian a$ocaly$tic writing. or dirty water9 of the fruits of $oisonous trees9 and of various tortures. could never get enough detail of all kinds of chastisement9 of terrible $ain in the fire9 of stinking. 5omen and children too $artici$ate in the $aradisial bliss. It took him some time to realize that it was an angelic voice that was entrusting him with a divine mandate. the 'udgments meted out to sinful $eo$les of the $ast and the calamities that wi$ed out ancient nations should be $roof enough of how 0od deals with sinners as well as with those who re'ect the $ro$hets sent to them. fra& grant gardens and virgin beloveds await him. when heaven shall be stri$$ed off. =inally. Khadi'a faithfully su$$orted her husband in the s$ir& itual crises triggered by these e%$eriences. the Koran is not much more colorful than were the sermons on this to$ic. (his reasoning was used time and again in later didactic and mystical $oetry* for those who have eyes to see. thus contribut& ing to their own annihilation. Islam: An Introduction )uhammad 13 12 was overcome by visions and even more by voices. when the mountains shall be set moving.. when the scrolls shall be unrolled. ment. when the stars shall be thrown down. so often attacked by /hristian $ole& mists because of its sensuality. when . Sura 96 of the Koran contains the first such address. .s unlimited creative $ower* the growth of a fertilized egg into a $erfect living being is certainly no less miraculous than the resurrection of the dead. when the $regnant camels shall be neglected. /ertain trials have to be faced. when the seas shall be set boiling. a revivication of the-a$$arently-dead desert after rainfall is a symbol of the 3uickening of human beings. it cannot be difficult for 0od. in com$lete confusion.s order will enter 6aradise where rivers of milk and honey flow in cool. to reunite the al& ready e%isting $arts and $articles.. =irst. will ask each other about their fate.our.

only a compara) tively small circle of adherents. and who ne$lect reli$ious duties. and the 0o) ran1 and in #is prophets from 'dam throu$h the patriarchs.eccans increasin$. and no one is e%ual to #im. i.ecca.uhammad saw himself at first as a m899$er to the 'rabs: he was sent to warn them. north of . -associatin$ somethin$ with God. feels responsible to #im: he believes in #is boo+s /the Torah.erciful.. *ut the worldlin$s who are embroiled in carin$ for their wealth. which was torn by internal feuds. had supported his nephew faithfully. $athered around him. mainly from the lower classes.bt.slam. well aware that God(s presence is e2perienced in every .slam.eccan revelations had now to be put into communal practice.l.uslim /active participle of the fourth stem of the root s. :ith the hostility of the . nly members of some late mystical currents called them) selves Muhammadi to e2press their absolute loyalty to the 3rophet as their spiritual and temporal leader. The word -. the ac+nowled$ment of God(s unity. the last law$ivin$6 messen$er. The .The duty of human bein$s is to surrender to this uni%ue. 5udaism and &hristianity. lost both his wife and his uncle 'bu Talib. The belief in one God.21: some inhabitants of =athrib. . alon$ with his friend '.slam.i>l98+r. are threatened by Divine punishment. the alms ta2.uhammad 15 Lord of Doomsday must be one and the same. which has also the connotation of salam. the . and that there is no really profane sphere in life.oses.uslims consider their era to have be$un with the date of this emi$ration (hijra or he$ira1. and the only sin that cannot be for$iven is shirk.e. came to perform reli$ious rites and invited .eccans. without partners and without adjunct deities.ecca. which soon became +nown as madinat an-nabi. is in almost every instance combined with zakiit. 7urther.uslims emi$rated to 'byssinia..#e tries to lead his life accordin$ to the revealed law. the 3salms. the Gospels.m. for the doctrine of the One Supreme God seemed to threaten the main sources of income for the . a &hris) tian country. 7ulfillment of cultic duties and the practice of mercy and justice are commanded side by side in the 0o) ran: the ritual prayer. Sura 12contains what it calls( (the most .98( The . #e was convinced that he was preachin$ the same truth that 5ews and &hristians had been teachin$ and practicin$. mi$rated in 5une . The situation $rew even more difficult after .uhammad(s activities can be ob) served: the reli$ious vision of the . . up to this time the 3rophet had considered himself merely as a continuator of the $reat prophetic reli$ions.( *ut the tauhid.22 to settle in =athrib.. the fairs in honor of various deities and especially the pil) $rima$e. in whichever way it was understood. who reco$ni4es the ne God as both &reator and 5ud$e. #owever.1<. the &ompassionate /as #e is called at the be$innin$ of each chapter of the 0o) ran and also at the be$innin$ of every human activity1! to surrender from the bottom of one(s heart. he believes in God(s an$els and in the Last 5ud$ment. for at this point a decisive development of .~ ! place and every time. althou$h not converted to . -peace-1. Stories +nown to us from the *ible can be found in the 0oran! thus. in .. and 5esus up to . This sura.means this complete surrender to the Divine will! and the one who practices such surrender is a .L?8@9i>.uhammad. The situation did not im) prove.uhammad to join them in their home town.uhammedan.uslim. . omnipotent God. who.uslims do not li+e the term -.uhammad him) self. . and -that $ood and evil come e%ually from God. 'fter his faithful companions had left . as no prophet had been sent to them since 'braham. a $roup of the new .as it su$$ests an incorrect par) allel to the way &hristians call themselves after &hrist. forms the center of the revelation from an early moment onward.14 Islam: An Introduction . salat. -the city of the 3rophet.. new possibilities arose in . was probably first directed a$ainst the ancient 'rab concept of (the dau$hters of 'l) lah.uhammad. was to remain the heart of . #owever. 7urthermore. Sura 112declares: Say: God is ne! God the "ternal: #e did not be$et and is not be$otten. which is nowadays used mainly to refute the &hristian trinitarian do$ma. with one(s whole soul and one(s entire mind.

od. Howe er. till then toward Jeru' salem. He for!a e most of those who had worked and plotted a!ainst him. had been corrupted by Jews and &hristians and should now become ali e a!ain in *slam. the direction of prayer. a banl. was chan!ed to Mecca( this made necessary the con-uest of Mecca. "hree Jewish tribes were 6 o ercome and partially uprooted. and her father )bu 1akr as$8iddi-. while one year later the Meccans !ained a slim ictory near 5hud. a topic that was to inspire innumerable poets in the Muslim world. for these seemed not to tally completely with the biblical words and to ha e many !aps. was the youn! ')'isha. ." became his first successor. but they finally were forced to let him return. and must be per' formed in responsibility to . )ll of life was and is permeated by reli!ion. . the Jews refused to accept the re elations connected to their own traditions. a mere child when he married her. or' "caliph. for Muham' mad's role as arbiter and community leader re-uired le!al in#unctions and rules for the political and social structure of the nascent community.od( no mediatin! priestly caste e%ists.i!ht years after his mi!ration. . Mu' hammad entered his home town in triumph. a small !roup of Muslims encountered a stron! Meccan army and was ictorious. throu!h *sma'il (*shmael)." bismillah." "he re elations that came upon Muhammad durin! the last decade of his life are stylistically -uite different from the earlier ones0 the rhymin! prose is less conspicuous and the fiery eschatolo!ical threats ha e !i en way to dis' cussion of cultic and institutional problems. "the ery faith' ful one. "he human bein! stands immediately before ." that of Joseph and his brothers and Potiphar's wife (called Zulaikha in the later tradition). Pure monotheism. and #ust as there is no clear separation between the political and reli!ious aspects of communal life. as represented for the first time by )braham. there are no truly profane acts either. "he Meccans were dis' -uieted by the !rowin! success of their compatriot. ery act has to be!in with the words "in the name of . )fter +hadi#a's death Muhammad had married se eral wi es (mainly wid' ows)( his fa orite wife. is the ancestor of the )rabs and who is said to ha e founded the central sanctuary in Mecca. the +a'ba. but he pre' ferred to stay in Medina.16 Islam: An Introduction Muhammad 9: beautiful story. 234. "here he e entually died after per' formin! the rites of the pil!rima!e in 273. He concluded thai $only the $ ersion re ealed to him contained the true and real te%t ofthese stories and that the faith 'preached'by him on the 'basis of direct re elation was much older than that professed by the Jews and &hris' tians( his was the pure faith of )braham who.od.wfio had refuted his ancestors' stellar reli!ion. /urin! these ei!ht years a number of battles were fou!ht0 in 1adr. He passed away in her house. *n keepin! with$this perception of *slam's connection to )braham. howe er. "heir ob#ections led Muhammad to the con iction that the Jews had tampered with the re elations in their scripture.

should be saved-*! and thus act as intercessor.~ :i . (caliphs! inherited only the office"#fleading the community in prayer and war and $udging' according to the revelation. who particularly disliked the +slamic 19 I . . for the revelation (Sura 33/40) had spoken of Muhammad as the 'seal'. thus it is told. for his community. the father of the 0rophet's wife c1isha and his first successor.want to be saved-*!. is successors. the last of the prophets. at &oomsday when every' body (including the sinless (esus! will be exclaiming) nafsi nafsi (*+ myself. managed to overcome the rebellions that broke out soon after Muhammad's death. khalifa.bu /akr. ! j The Expansion of Islam Muhammad's death confronted the young community with difficult problems. umma. The office of prophet no longer existed. my com' munity . especially protected by its relation to Muhammad. Muham' mad will call) Ummati. %or. an idea that has consoled Mus' lims throughout the centuries. for the freedom' loving /edouins. shafi'. This community. ummati (*my community.. consists of the believers and is. + myself .1 j . as legend attests.

ing threnodies. relations bet*een the Arab con'uerors and the mawiili (non Arabs *ho *ere attached to an Arabic tribe as clients in order to be #ull .antage o# his death. ?asan. )he processions iii /hiite cities in &ran and &ndia. the stern '0mar ibn al 1hattab (63! 6!!". and $u'a*iya. the armies o# the $us% lims reached southern &ra' and (alestine. the arch mar% tyr o# &slam. and gre* into a large body o# speculations in both theology and #olk piety in the centuries to come. #irst encounters *ith the By. shiiat CAli. and many o# the recent e. /ome o# those disa#% #ected *ith the ne* regime rose against '0thman. although he had #or#eited his claims to the caliph% ate.id took po*er in 6+0. tried to regain their old independence. During Abu Bakr's short reign (632 63!". *ith people #lagellating themsel. but had to #ight $u'a*iya. understandably. are *ell kno*n4 in &ran. )he anni% . had perished more than a decade earlier (possibly poi% soned". and -gypt to in. *ho *as murdered in 626 *hile reading the 1oran4 it *as he *ho *as responsible #or the #inal redaction o# the sacred book.antium. 'Abdullah ibn Aubair. the mountain o# )ari'" in 6::.hen $u'a*iya's son >a.es. A segment o# 'Ali's partisans.' tried once more to regain po*er #or his house. '0thrnan ibn 'A##an (6!! 626" success#ully continued sending out $us% lim armies east and *est $embers o# the ancient aristo% cratic $eccan #amily 0mayya no* reappeared at the polit% ical #ore#ront. *as in any case the strongest political #orce. /hortly a#ter*ards. 9seceders9"4 in 66:. 7Ali's younger son ?usain. *hose rulers resided in /yria to reign in the spirit o# traditional Arabic leadership and chi. marthiya. ?usain. his companions. #rom the house o# 0mayya. Again in &ra'. became '0thman's suc% cessor. $u'a*iya persuaded 'Ali to stop #ighting (though 'Ali *as about to gain . At the same time a counter caliph appeared in $ecca. A#ter all. 0nder the 0mayyads the $uslims extended their rule to the Atlantic in 63:4 they reached the borders o# By. #or liber% ation from un8ust rulers. and most o# (ersia bet*een 6!0' and 6!!. *hile $edina turned into the repository o# piety *ithout political po*er. Damascus *as con'uered in 632. in later times (especially in British &ndia". A#ter '0rnar's assassination in 6!!. &deas appeared concerning the #uture return o# some Alids. )his opened the *ay #or his successors to #ur% ther con'uests. *as he not the le% gitimate grandson o# the (rophet@ ?is elder brother. 626. rebelled against the 0mayyads. took ad. )hese enterprises can be explained *hen one remembers that in 62+ so tra% dition has it the (rophet had sent letters to the rulers o# By. 'Ali the son o# $uhammad's uncle Abu )alib and husband o# his youngest daughter 5atima. then in his late #i#ties.ers.eloped.ery #amily had been among $uhammad's staunchest opponents. &n the battle o# /i##in. -gypt in 633 6!!. permeates it. ?usain's struggle against the 0mayyad regime *as regarded both in high literature and popular piety as an expression o# the $uslims' longing #or #reedom.ith $u'a*iya begins the 0mayyad dynasty. on :0 $uharram (the #irst month o# the &slamic year". and their armies crossed the /traits o# <ibraltar (Jabal Tariq.ed under Abu Bakr's successor.ictory" and to submit himsel# to arbitration. is this passion moti# *hich has shaped /hiite piety and deeply.ents in &ran such as the passionate participation o# so many peo% ple in the *ar against 9the enemies o# the #aith ' ' can be explained by this #eeling o# loyalty to ?usain. &ran. a 1hari8ite assassinated 'Ali. and members o# his #amily *ere killed in the battle o# 1erbela in southern &ra'. As #or &ra'. #rom #oreign po*ers that oppress belie. the lo*er &ndus =alley (no* the southern part o# (akistan". regular 9passion plays9 are per#ormed. *ho no* *ere li. although this .antines took place.ite them to embrace &slam.ersary o# his death is to this day a day o# mourning in the /hiite *orld4 his su##ering has inspired hundreds o# pious poets to compose mo. and military success o# spectacular scope *as achie. .ing in the hidden *orld. outraged at his acceptance o# this proposal. and. ne* doctrines de. son o# a *ell kno*n companion o# the (rophet.20 Islam: An Introduction )he -xpansion o# &slam 2: tax system. . &t . During the same year they en% tered )ransoxiana and also con'uered /ind. especially in (ersian and 0rdu.ans. *here the party o# 'Ali. le#t 7Ali(they are kno*n as 1hari8ites.alry.

other Tur!ish groups from )entral Asia entered #ran and #raq. *nder 8arun's second son Ma'mun %9/1"911). #n . the empire they ruled was no longer meant to be Arab. and 3erber groups"the Almohads and the Almoravids entered the #berian peninsula to rule there while the -pan ish reconquest increased in strength year by year. and when the e7ternal power of the caliphs decreased in the late ninth century. wit nessing a unique cultural cooperation between Muslims. as it had been under the *mayy ads. Tur!ish mercenaries and war slaves (mamlflks) from )en tral Asia protected the government and finally founded !ingdoms of their own. thus deeply disappointing the partisans of )Ali'schildren. After /01/the country fell to pieces. #t continued until /01/. their victory over the .gypt. All these different currents formed a movement whose representatives requested the office of caliph for members of Muhammad's clan only.ast and inspired new devel opments in #slamic art. opened all doors to $ersian cultural influence.uropean science and medicine. #n /0&/. ?ahore became the capital of the #ndian province of the 4ha<navids. with the caliph continuing to serve as the figure head. The -panish"*mayyad !ingdom reached its culmination under 'Abdur ./). and in /0++ the -elAu! prince Thghrul 3eg assumed the role of guardian of the wea! Abbasid caliph. while in the subcontinent diverse regional languages slowly began to bloom. coming from :orth Africa to found )airo. -hortly before the 4ha<navids. stern -unnites. a new era of neo"$ersian as the lan guage of literature had begun in Khorasan. >rom that time a rich $ersian literature and $ersianate culture developed in the subcontinent. formed one of the most im portant empires in the :ear . The founder of the $ersian -hiite dynasty of the 3uwaihids %3uyids). The only !ingdom able to survive till /'(2was that of the 3anu Ah mar in 4ranada5 the Alhambra is the last wor! of Arabic art in -pain. They were ousted in (. and 2ews. in &+. a !ingdom which was to produce the fin est flowers of Arabic culture in art and poetry. @hile Mahmud and his successors consolidated their empire.22 Islam: An Introduction The . but rather was intended to be #slamic. The propagandists of this move ment very s!illfully used the pro"Alid feeling in #raq and #ran to enthrone as caliph a descendant of the $rophet's un cle 'Abbas %&'(). More importantly. the 6eccan. -lightly later. adopted the title' 'sultan= for the first time %(12). 3aghdad lived through its most splendid period under 8arun ar". as guaranteed by the Koran.. translations of 4ree! scientific and philosoph ical wor!s into Arabic were encouraged. #n ('+. theological language of the #slamic world. $ersian was accepted as the main literary medium in the areas that stretched from the 3al!ans to 3engal. for the mawdli understandably requested the complete equality of believers. e7tending to 3engal and southern #ndia. #n the east. they tried to prove their ad herence to religious law more than their predecessors had done.urope. ta!ing their realms as fiefs from the caliph. As for the Abbasid rulers."90(). The -elAu!s. present"day Af ghanistan. These translations influenced the development of #slamic learning and were later transferred to . princes in the border areas of the Abbasid empire moved toward independence.ashid %&9.7pansion of #slam 21 members of the Muslim community) grew tense.ahman ### %(/2"(. The transfer of the capital from 6amascus to 3aghdad in &+. through the mediation of translators in medieval -pain. enriched by Arabic contribu tions5 these wor!s.( when the -hiite >atimids conquered the country. The last *mayyad fled to Andalusia where he founded. even though at a later point Tur!ish became an important literary medium. Although Arabic remained the sa cred. well !nown from the tales of the Arabian :ights. two Tur!ish dynasties succeeded each other as supporters of the Abbasids. helped the growth of . )hristians. Mu'i<< ad 6aula. the 3uwaihids too! over actual rule in 3aghdad. the Tur!ish sultan Mahmud of 4ha<na % e7tended his power into the #ndian subcontinent5 in /02. than!s to the literary interests of the princely house of the -amanids.

. which began in 'entral Asia in ())*. The most important ruler of this dynasty was Saladin.ttomans emerged as lead/ ers. 24 Islam: An Introduction The "%pansion of &slam ). madrasahs. Bursa was conquered in (0)1. while in the second period the sultan was generally elected. =e reached northwestern &ndia as far as 7elhi in (03-. adorned with beautiful buildings. An e%tremely cruel warrior. the $ipcha! steppes. ascended the throne of &ran to found the dynasty of the Safa#ids and to ma!e the Shiite form of &slam the official religion of &ran. some of whose rulers con#erted to &slam about (0**.-.ttomans pro/ ceeded e#en farther than before to the west to lay siege to Aienna in (.(1when the . Suley/ man the Magnificent 4(.ttoman power then e%tended o#er the <ertile 'res/ cent and the sacred cities+ under Selim@s successor. large parts of the Bal!ans came under .rhan.-. it became the heart of the "mpire. To this day one can admire the grand mosques. and Baghdad was largely destroyed. After the battle of $oso#a in 2u/ gosla#ia in (0-3. The ruler had to be a member of the class of military sla#es imported from southern Russia. &n (. the throne was usually hereditary.ttoman empire.". &stanbul. $onya. and An!ara in central Anatolia in (6*). As for "gypt. Shia:&smaili dynasty had been replaced after )** years of rule by the Sunnite $urd/ ish family of the Ayyubids.. $aiseri. But when 'onstantinople. Shiite mo#ements that had been e#ident in &ran for some time crystallized to/ ward the turn of the fifteenth and si%teenth centuries. Thus. or the 'auca/ sus+ a long and complicated process was required for such a sla#e to reach higher rungs on the ladder of military hi/ erarchy. e#en though the caliphs had long ceased wielding real power. The strong.*. Miniature painting as well as calligraphy reached their first highpoint in the late fifteenth century in =erat. and poetry flourished. was conquered on May )3. 7id not the 8rophet say9 "They will conquer 'onstantinople:hail to the people and hail to the army who will do so. The marriage of the widow of the last Ayyubid with her Tur!ish commander:in:chief led. <ollowing the Mongol conquest a number of principalities emerged in &ran. were li!ewise patrons of fine art. in ().)3. (6. and the holy cit/ ies of Mecca and Medina is notable for building acti#ities on a grand scale. famed e#en in "urope as a ust and noble ruler. at the age of fourteen. 7uring the first half of the Mamlu! reign. and had his capital. and to which the Abbasid "mpire succumbed+ the last caliph was !illed in (). north of Aleppo. Tamerlane was ne#ertheless inter/ ested in fine art and literature. energetic Mamlu! sul/ tan Baibars was able to stop the Mongol hordes at Ain >alut in Syria in ()1*. and their residence. Si#as. Samar/ !and. &n Anatolia the Rum Sel u! empire disintegrated under Mongol pressure. the family of the . than!s to his role during the 'rusades. especially those who ruled the eastern part of the &ranian world. (6*." The Mongol rule.. The Mamlu! rule of "gypt.ttoman troops under Selim the ?rim #anquished the "gyptian army near Mar 7abiq. =is descendants.*(. the <atimid.0.ttoman "mpire.ut of the numerous independent principalities. until (0-).5. predominantly Sunni I . the Tur!ish conqueror from 'entral Asia 4d. a Shiite wedge was placed between the Sunni . &t ended in (..115. Shah &sma:il. Their realm e%tended to the southern coastal area of Anatolia.t/ toman rule+ the new capital was "dirne 4Adrianople5.)*:@(. Syria. and mausoleums built by the Rum Sel u!s or their suzerains in "rzerum. many of which were o#errun by Timur 4Tamerlane5. ga#e new impulses to the areas of &ran and &raq. ..tto/ mans in the Best and the emerging. Much of the flourishing &slamic ci#ilization was wiped out by the Mongol onslaught. This city on the northwestern fringe of Anatolia became the first cultural center of the na/ scent . and under . To the east of the . 7uring Siileyman@s reign the master archi/ tect Sinan adorned the capital as well as "dirne with mag/ nificent mosques. which had been lac!ing a central authority since (). to the formation of the Mamlu! reign in "gypt. the . the second ruler of this house.. too! with him master crafts/ men from e#erywhere he went. Byzantines opened the way into Anatolia for the Muslims.

?3./.>: and the 'fghan leader 'hmad Shah 1urrani led militar& e"peditions against north%est India.$ the *ritish 7ro%n too0 o#er India %ith the e"ception of the princel& states. 4is tolerance for$ interest in$ and cooperation %ith 4indus$ 7hristians$ and 8arsees colored at least part of Indian Islam. re! sulted finall& in the political brea0do%n of the last #estiges of the Mughal empire. he finest architectural %or0s in northern India belong to the earl& Mughal time$ i.ha-na after the &ear . 'fter Aorld Aar I$ nationalism$ inoculated into the =ear and Middle East b& Europeans$ appears %ith full strength.66/$ such as the famed a5 Mahal$ the mausoleum of Shah Jahan)s %ife. he first modernist mo#ements in the nineteenth centur& began from the Indian subcontinent in order to help Mus! lims to adapt to6or to resist6modern life as the& ob! ser#ed it in the acti#ities of their colonial masters..reat Mughals$ %hich continued to e"ist for more than three centuries. E#er since the inroads of Mahmud of . he undertoo0 a 8ersian translation from the Sans0rit of fift& 9panishads. . *abur o#ercame the 2odi rulers of 1elhi in . he gro%ing number of Muslims in the Aestern %orld should also be mentioned.326 to found the d&nast& of the . 4o%e#er$ in the eighteenth centur&6a time usuall& neglected b& orientalists6germs of ne% inter! pretations of the Boran and of Islam as %ell as first attempts at self6identification #is6a6#is the Aest become #isible in different parts of the Islamic %orld. his glorious period ended %ith 1ara Shi0oh)s e"ecution in .///$ Muslim 0ingdoms had follo%ed each other in the subcon! tinent$ e"tending soon to eastern *engal and to the 1eccan.P""""' 26 Islam: Atl Introduction he E"pansionof Islam 2. In the nine! teenth centur&$ some Islamic peoples reached a more out! spo0en form of self6assertion and attempted to define their role as Muslims in a changing %orld. the last Mu! ghal emperor died in @angoon in e"ile. he %ea0ened empire became a to& for different Indian factions and as! sorted in#aders< the 8ersian 0ing =adir Shah plundered 1elhi in . of literature and fine arts for more than t%o centuries.ol! conda boasted a refined Islamic cultural life and %ere seats .36/ and .e..3366 (6/3) %ho ga#e the empire its true shape. It %as his son '0bar (.3.. 'u! rang-eb died$ aged nearl& ninet&$ in . *abur)s son 4uma&un had to see0 shelter at the Safa#id court of Iran$ but %as able to return to his homeland and had 5ust begun to consolidate it %hen he died in an accident. MughaJ Empire in the east (although Shia rulers became more prominent in India in the course of time).. +rom the late se#enteenth centur&$ a certain stagna! tion among Muslims can be obser#ed as a result of political %ea0ness and the loss of man& important areas after the opening of the sea passage to India and the rapid gro%th of European po%er. his religio! political situation helps e"plain certain de#elopments in the Middle East and also the speciaJ role of Iran during the last decades$ for the Shiite form of Islam %as ne#er made the state religion in an& other countr&. (ne must not forget the strong$ #er& acti#e groups of Muslims in 7entral 'sia and 7hina$ and the steadil& gro%ing pres! ence of Islam in East and Aest 'frica. 'fter the aborti#e militar& re#olt$ the so6called Mutin&$ in . . Islam continued to spread in the Indian and Indone! sian areas e#en in times of political deca&. 4is o%n and his descendants) li#el& interest in fine arts$ especiall& ar! chitecture and miniature painting$ ga#e Islamic art ne% impulses$ i I ! I '0bar)s son Jahangir and his grandson$ Shah Jahan follo%ed his tolerant attitude to a certain e"tent.$ the &ears bet%een . he di#ision of the ~. no%ada&s almost half of the %orld)s Muslims li#e in this part of the %orld. 't the time %hen the (ttoman empire %as e"panding and Iran %as becoming a Shiite countr& %hile imur)s de! scendants %ere losing their grip o#er eastern Iran$ another member of the house of imur$ *abur$ born in +arghana$ founded a po%erful empire in north%estern India. Shah Ja! han)s son 1ara Shi0oh is famed for his interest in m&sticism and in the religious s&stems of 4induism. he polit! ical a%a0ening of the 4indus (especiall& the Mahrattas) and the Si0hs and$ more than an&thing else$ the increasing e"! pansion of the *ritish East India 7ompan& from .63: at the hand of his brother 'u! rang-eb$ %ho in #ain tried to e"pand the Mughal empire into the 1eccan %here the 0ingdoms of *i5apur and ..

%recita! tion%& which is. as is the case with most non#Arab belie ers.28 Islam: An Introduction Middle East after that war.% Thus. Muslims consider it inconcei able to %translate% it into any language. Those who know the Turkish mentality are not surprised that lately some fundamentalist mo ements are appearing in Turkey as in other countries.% man! ifested itself in this book which %only the purified% are permitted to touch and to recite. That is why a modern English 29 . helped the growth of nationalism.s meaning. +ince the $o! ran is the . The tension between laical and fun! damentalist attitudes is probably more isible there than elsewhere.. "#I.. A number of independent states were formed whose names mayor may not include references to Islam. . which claims absolute laicism as the foundation of its constitution. one interpretation among others. the pure essel. in %clear Arabic language. which e*ists in hea en on a %well#preser ed tablet. The primordial $oran. e en though many people still feel they are perfectly faithful Muslims. not the word of a prophet but the unadulterated word of 'od. which has be! come audible through Muhammad. runs from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Turkey..IIi . (uotations from the $oran are introduced by the words qala ta(iild.i ine -ord par excellence. The Koran and Its Teachings The foundation of Islam is the $oran tqur'iin. %)e#Ele ated is )e#says% or similar formulas. A trans! lation is only an e*planation of the book. in the attempt to dismember the Ottoman Empire. e en when he or she does not intellectually understand its words. with changing emphasis. for the pious Muslim. The gamut. To recite the $oran is the most sublime and edifying occupation for the Muslim.