 What is the difference between Islam and

Muslim?
 Islam is the religion, Muslim is a person
belonging to the religion
 Which 3 continents did Arabia connect?
 Europe, Asia, Africa
 Who are considered “people of the book”?
 Christians, Jews, Muslims
 Who is the founder of the Islam religion?
 Muhammad
 When Muhammad died in 632,
community wasn’t sure how to choose a
leader, but are sure they need to spread
the message of Allah
 Muhammad didn’t name a successor, so
Muslim community selected Abu-Bakr,
his friend and follower to become the first
“caliph”- or successor
 Abu-Bakr and next 3 elected caliphs-
Umar, Uthman and Ali all knew
Muhammad, and used Qur’an and
actions as guides to leadership
 This is why they are known as “rightly
guided caliphs”
 Period of rule is called caliphate
 Promised he would uphold what
Muhammad stood for
 But after the prophets death some tribes
abandoned Islam and refused to pay taxes
 Some people declared themselves as
prophets
 Abu-Bakr used military force to reassert
Muhammad’s efforts in the community and
the army became well trained and
disciplined
 Muslim state controlled all of Arabia
 Became second caliph in 634 after Abu-
Bakr died
 Highly disciplined armies conquered
Syria and lower Egypt, which were part of
Byzantine Empire
 Also took parts of Persian Empire


 Next two caliphs, Uthman and Ali
expanded Muslim territory east and west
 Were able to gain support of armies and
navies of conquered land
 Used these forces to help conquer more
land
 By 750, Muslim Empire stretched 6,000
miles- 2 times the distance across the
United States
 Muslims were willing to struggle to
defend Islam
 Drew energy and inspiration from faith
 Muslim military successful due to faith of
soldiers
 Armies were well disciplined and well
commanded
 Took advantage of weaknesses in other
empires: the Byzantine and Persian
empires
 Persian and Byzantine empires had been in
conflict for a long time
 By the time Muslim armies invaded their
lands both empires were exhausted
militarily
 People in those regions who didn’t support
the official religions (Christianity or
Zoroastrianism) had been persecuted
 These people saw the Muslims as
liberators
 Many conquered people chose to accept
Islam
 Qur’an forbade forced conversion, so
Muslims allowed people to keep own
religion

 Jews and Christians were “people of the
book” and received special consideration
 They paid a poll tax each year so they
wouldn’t have to serve in the military
 Even though there was religious tolerance,
other religions not allowed to spread
religion
 Christians and Jews played important roles
as officials and scholars in the Muslim state
 Murder of Uthman in 656 triggered a civil
war
 Ali, Muhammads cousin and son-in-law,
was the natural choice for replacement,
but he was assassinated
 The system of electing a caliph died with
him
 A family known as the Umayyads came
to power
 Set up hereditary system of succession
 Changed the capital from Mecca to
Damascus in recently conquered Syria
 Thought it would be easier to control
conquered territories from new location
 Arab Muslims felt capital was too far
away from their lands
 Umayyads abandoned the simple life of
caliphs and surrounded themselves with
wealth and extravagances
 Wealth and luxury angered the Muslim
community, but accepted their rule to
keep peace
 A minority did resist and believed the
caliph should be a relative of the prophet
 This group was called Shi’a meaning
“party” of Ali
 Those who didn’t resist the rule of the
Umayyads became known as Sunni,
meaning followers of Muhammad’s
example
 However, some Sunni were concerned
with the lifestyle of the Umayyads and
worried they had become to involved in
worldly affairs and lost touch with religion
 Another group who reacted to the lush
life of the Umayyads
 Chose a life of poverty and devotion,
similar to a Christian monk
 Religious and political opposition to the
Umayyad caliphate led to its downfall
 Rebel groups overthrew the Umayadds in
750
 The Abbasids, a powerful rebel group
took control of the empire
 After the Abbasids took control in 750,
they murder members of the Umayyad
family
 Only Prince Abd al-Rahman escaped,
and moved to Spain
 Prince al-Rahman set up a new
Umayyad dynasty in Spain
 Spain had already been conquered and
settled by Muslims from North Africa,
known as the Berbers
 The Berbers formed the extraordinary
Muslim state called al-Andalus
 Their strength lay in the lands of Iraq,
Iran and central Asia, the former lands of
the Persian Empire
 Moved the capital from Damascus to
Baghdad in south Iraq
 Location gave access to goods, trade
routes, gold and information on the rest
of the empire
 Developed strong bureaucracy
 Treasury kept track of money flow
 Chancery prepared letters and
documents
 Special dept. managed the army
 Sent diplomats to other royal courts
throughout Europe to develop good
relationships
 Taxed land, imports, exports and non-
Muslim’s wealth to pay for bureaucracy
 Abbasids constantly trying to hold empire
together, and hold off outside attacks. They
viewed their relationship with the Kingdom
of Franks ruled by Charlemagne extremely
important, and viewed the Franks as
possible allies against the Umayyads in
Spain. Caliph Harun al-Rashid sent an
envoy with gifts to Charlemagne's court
including an elephant named Abu al-Abbas,
the only elephant the caliph owned. The trip
was a success- Charlemagne defeated the
Umayyads early in his reign

 Abbasid caliphate lasted 750- 1258
 During that time they were able to
increase authority by consulting with
religious leaders
 But they failed to keep control of
enormous territory
 Independent Muslim states sprang up
and local leaders dominated many
smaller regions
 Named after Muhammad’s daughter
Fatima
 Began in north Africa, spreading to
western Arabia and Syria
 Although they were politically divided, the
Abbasid Empire and smaller powers
stayed unified through religion, language,
trade, and the economy
 2 major sea-trading zones:
1. Mediterranean Sea
2. Indian Ocean
 Water linked the Muslim Empire into sea
network
 The land connected the Silk Roads of
China and India with Europe and Asia

 Muslims merchants realize they only
needed a single language, Arabic and
single currency, the Abbasid dinar to travel
from Cordoba to Baghdad and onto China
 Muslims create banks to encourage flow
of trade
 Offered letters of credit called sakks (in
Europe, the pronunciation is check)
 The idea of using checks dates back to
the Muslim Empire
 Mix of Muslims, Christians and Jews
created a cosmopolitan atmosphere in
the city of Cordoba (Spain)
 City attracted poets, philosophers,
scientists and doctors
 City became the center of Muslim culture
with 70 libraries, 700 mosques and 27
free schools
 Period of achievements in the arts and
sciences followed