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The Spread of Islam


The Spread of Islam

How Islam developed around Muhammads

What religious beliefs are held by Muslims.
How Islam spread beyond the Arabian
What Islamic life was like.
What the Arab Empire contributed to science,
mathematics, medicine and the arts.

The Arabian Peninsula also known as

Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia
situated north-east of Africa.
The Arabian Peninsula is located in the
continent of Asia and bounded by (clockwise)
the Persian Gulf on the northeast,
the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman
on the east,
the Arabian Sea on the southeast and south,
the Gulf of Aden on the south, the Bab-elMandeb strait on the southwest,
and the Red Sea which is located on the
southwest and west.
The northern portion of the peninsula merges
with the Syrian Desert.
The most prominent feature of the peninsula is
Harrat ash Shaam is a large volcanic field that
extends from the northwestern Arabian
Peninsula into Jordan and southern Syria.

Who lived there?

The Arabs
The Bedouins (Badwin). They were herders who roamed in
search of grass and water for their camels, goats and sheep.
They believed in many gods worshipped stones, trees +
pieces of wood.
In the 600s, a new religion called Islam began in the
mountainous area of western Arabia known as the Hejaz.
Within 100 years, the Arab Empire was larger than the Roman

Islam means the act of submitting/giving oneself
over to the will of God.
The Islamic faith was founded by an Arab merchant
named Mohammed.
Mohammed came to be known as the Prophet of
Allah. The word Allah means the God.
Islam shook the foundations of Byzantium and
Persia, the 2 most powerful civilizations at the time.
Arabic became the common language of more than
90 million people.

By mid 500s, 3 major towns developed in the Hejaz.
They were:
1. Yathrib
2. Taif
3. Makkah (largest & richest)
Makkah :
supported by trade and religion.
Traders stopped there for food and water on their way
north to Constantinople. (Turkey)
Arab pilgrims or travelers came there to worship
Arabias holiest shrine - The Kabah. (centre of

Ancient Makkah


The development of Makkah

The Kaabah
Low cube-shaped building surrounded by 360 idols.
A black stone believed to have fallen from paradise
was set in one of its walls (Hajarul Aswad).
Nearby was a holy well (Zam Zam).
According to beliefs, the original Kabah stood in
When Adam left the Garden of Eden, he built a
structure on earth exactly like the one in heaven.



Hajarul Aswad

Well of Zam Zam

In 571, Mohammed was born to a poor widow in
When he was 6, his mom died.
He lived with his uncle.
He was a camel driver in his teens.
At 25, he married a rich 40 year old widow named
Mohammed was successful in the caravan
However, he was troubled and disturbed by the
drinking, gambling and corruption in Mecca.
He began spending time alone in a cave outside the
city. There, he thought and fasted.

He decided that the people of Mecca had been led to

evil by their beliefs in false Gods.
He concluded that there was only one God Allah.
This is the same God for the Jews and Christians.
In 610, Mohammed had a revelation or a vision.
When he was asleep in the cave, an angel appeared
and ordered him to read some writing (Iqra).
Frightened, he fled to the top of a mountain.
There, he heard the voice of angel Gabriel telling
him to preach about God.


Hearing this, Khadijah asked a holy man about it.

The man said that the same angel had visited Moses
and that Mohammed was to be the prophet of his
In 613, he began preaching. He told them that
The only God was the all powerful Allah.
All believers are equal in Gods eyes.
Nothing happened except by Allahs will.
The rich should share with the poor
Mohammed saw life as a preparation for the Day of
The day on which people would rise from the dead to
be judged.

At first, the rich leaders laughed at Mohammed.

Later, they began to feel threatened by
Mohammeds persistent preaching.
They were worried that people would stop coming
to worship the Kabah.
When pilgrims visit Makkah and spent money there.
The leaders thought that if fewer pilgrims came to
The economy would be ruined.
Because of this, they started persecuting (ill treat)
Mohammed and his followers.

In 620, Mohammed preached to a group of people

from Yathrib (Madinah).
They invited him to go to Yathrib and become their
In 622, Mohammed and hundreds of his followers fled
to Yathrib.
The year 622 called Anno Hegira (Hijrah) The Year
of the Flight - became the first year of the Muslim
The city of Yathrib was renamed - Madinat al-Nabi
The city of the prophet, or Medina.

In Medina, Mohammed proved himself an able leader.

He gave people a government.
This united them and made them proud of their city.
In 630, he led 10,000 followers to Mecca and
captured the city.
They destroyed the idols around Kaabah and
dedicated the black stone to Allah.
Mecca became the center of Islam.
In 631 - delegates from all over Arabia came to declare
their faith in Allah and offer their allegiance to
In just over 20 years, Mohammed had created a strong
Arab state.

Muslim scriptures the
heart of Islam
Muslims believe it is the
direct word of Allah swt as
revealed to Mohammed
The Quran is written in
It tells how good Muslims
should live.
They should not eat pork,
drink liquor or gamble.
The Quran also gives
advice on marriage,
divorce, inheritance and

The Quran described the pillars of faith/the 5 duties (Rukun Islam)

all Muslims must fulfill.
1.The confession of faith all Muslims must recite the Islamic
creed that states, There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is
his prophet.
2.5 prayers a day facing Makkah each time.
3.The giving of alms/charity - this is to help the poor.
4.Fasting all Muslims must fast in the month of Ramadan
5.Pilgrimage - hajj

The Quran promises that all who

fulfill their duties will go to


When Mohammed died in 632, his followers needed a

new leader.
A group of Muslims chose a new leader whom they
called khalifa/caliph (def : successor)
The 1st Khalifa was Abu Bakar, Mohammeds fatherin-law and close friend. Bakar and the next 3 caliphs
were elected for life.
They are known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs. They
honored Mohammeds wish to carry Islam to other ppl.
They did this by fighting jihad against infidels (nonbelievers).
The caliphs sent warriors into Palestine, Syria, Iraq,
Persia, Egypt and North Africa. They were victorious.
They spread Islam.

How did they win?

The Arabs were successful for many reasons.
Islam held them together.
It taught Muslims who died in fighting fields went to
Skillful in handling horses and camels
Mentally and physically tough leaders.
Those who surrendered without a fight will have to
pay taxes and in return will be protected + allowed to
keep their lands.
Those who fought and lost will lose their lands and
farm for the Arabs + had to pay taxes.

The Umayyads
Ali, Mohammeds son-in-law and the last
Rightly Guided Caliph was killed in 661.
Muawiyah, the new caliph moved the
capital from Medina to Damascus.
Muawiyah founded the Umayyad
From that time on, the title of caliph was

The Umayyads ruled like Kings instead of

religious leaders.
They reorganized the govt. and made
Arabic the official language.
The first Arabic money
Set up horseback postal routes
Repaired and maintained irrigation
Built beautiful mosques and encouraged
the arts

Genealogic tree of the Umayyad


The downfall of the Umayyads was their social and economic

The conquered ppl who became Muslim complained of unfair
treatment they received less money for serving the army
+had to pay higher taxes.
The Muslims were divided:
1.Shia /Syiah - believers who felt that the caliphs should be
descendants of Ali.
- the larger group that followed the Rightly
Guided Caliphs and the Caliphs after them.
Later, a war broke between the Umayyads and the Shia
who called themselves the Abbasids.
In 750, the Abbasids defeated the Umayyads.
The Abbasids became the new rulers of the Arab Empire.

The Abbasids

They rule the Arab Empire from 750 to 1258.

Their first 100 years in power was known as : the
Golden Age of Islam.
Under the Abbasids, all that remained of Arab
influence were the Arabic language and the
Islamic religion.

The Abbasids built a new capital called

Baghdad on the east bank of the Tigris

The city was designed by a Jewish astronomer
and a Persian engineer.
Baghdad was built in the shape of a circle.
Around it was 3 huge sloping walls and a wide
ditch filled with water.
The highways divided Baghdad into 4 pie shaped

The Abbasid caliphs thought of

themselves as Gods deputies.
Because of that, they took the title :
Shadow of God on Earth.
The Abbasids created the government
post of vizier (wazir) or chief advisor. The
Vizier stood between the throne and the
people. He took charge of running the
The Abbasids did not try to conquer new
land. They concentrated on trade.
Result: Baghdad became one of the
major trading centers of the world. Many
writers and thinkers flocked to Baghdad.
The Syria Christians and Jews translated
Greek writings to Arab : interest in Greek
science and philosophy started again.

Trade made many Arabs rich.

They desired luxury goods that Arab artisans began
producing themselves.
As trade grew, more records had to be kept.
Trading led to the opening of banks.
Ppl had time to play games like polo and chess.
Men stopped wearing robes and started wearing pants
(contribution from other civilization result of trade).
Meals were now served on tables instead of on the floor.
The Empire soon became too big for one caliph.
He broke the empire and stayed in Samarra.
When he returned to Baghdad in 892, it was too late
because - The Persians took control of Baghdad in 945.

The Golden Age of Muslim Spain

The Arabs who conquered North Africa intermarried with the

Berbers and became known as the Moors.
In 710, they invaded Spain.
The Moors set up a kingdom that allowed religious freedom.
For the next 400 years, rich culture flourished in Spain
Many beautiful buildings : The Alhambra in Granada
Schools were founded in which Muslims, Christians and
Jews studied medicine and philosophy together.
Jews traveled to the east and brought with them silks and

The Moors leaving the Spain

The Golden Age of Muslim Spain

In 1145, Spain was invaded by a Berber group from
This group did away with religious freedom.
Because of this, all the Christians and Jews fled to
the north.
The Golden Age of Muslim Spain was over.

Arab Contributions
Between 770s and the 1300s,
1300s Arab scholars helped preserve
much of the learning of the ancient world.
Many Arab scientists tried to turn base metals such as tin, iron
and lead into gold and silver.
They used both magic and chemistry in their works. They
were called alchemists.
Their work led to the practice of making experiments and
keeping records of the results.
Because of this - The Arabs became known as the founders
of modern chemistry.

Arab astronomers studied the heavens.
They gave many stars the names they still carry today.
They proved that the moon affects the tides.
The astronomers worked with the Arab geographers to
tell the size of earth and the distance around it.
From their studies, they decided that the earth may be
Al Idrisi drew the first correct map of the world

They correctly described the eclipses

of the sun.

Arab mathematicians invented algebra and taught it to
Borrowed the numerals 0-9 from Gupta math (India) and
passed them on to Europeans.


In Medicine, they set the worlds 1st school of pharmacy.

Opened the worlds first drugstore.
Organized medical clinic that traveled all through the empire.
Arab docs had to pass a test before they could practice medicine.
Arab doctors were the first to discover that blood circulates
moves to and from the heart.
They were the first to discover diseases. Al Razi discovered the
differences between measles and chicken pox.
Ibn Sina was the first to understand that tuberculosis is contagious
(could be passed from one person to another).
Ibn Sinas Canon of Medicine was used in European medical
school for 500 years.


In Arts,
Arts one of the best known writings is Arabian
Nights: a collection of tales put together from
Persian stories.
Omar Khayyams Rubaiyat has been translated into
many languages.
Considered one of the finest poems ever created.
Islamic art is distinct and colorful.
It is used on swords books, rugs, and buildings (Petronas
Twin Towers).
Because Islamic artists believe that it is a sin to make
pictures of Gods creation, their art is made up of
geometric designs entwined with flowers, leaves and
Their works of art are different from the others around the

Much of what is known about this time comes from
Arabs who wrote down the history of Islam.
Ibn Khaldoun wrote about the Arabs, the Berbers
and the Persians.
His writings were the first to take into account the
influence of geography and climate on people.

1. The Spread of Islam
2. The Islam
3. Mecca
4. The Kabah
5. Mohammed
5. The Koran
6. The Arab Empire
7. The Umayyads
8. The Abbasids
9. The Golden Age of Muslim Spain
10. The Arab Contributions