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1.04 The Golden Age of Islam
Transcript of 1.04 The Golden Age of Islam
Images from Shutterstock.com 1.04 The Golden Age of Islam Arts and Architecture Political Political Forces and Factions Economic Labor Systems Social and Economic Classes Social Intellectual The highest social status during the Golden Age of Islam was a Muslim Arab, they paid the least amount in taxes and had the most privileges. The next highest was the Muslim Non-Arabs or Mawali; they paid more taxes than Muslim Arabs. The third social class was the Dhimmis: they were "People of the Book". This was just a Muslim reference to Jews or Christians because they base their faith on the Bible. They had a higher status than slaves but they didn't have the same rights as Muslims. The lowest social status in the Golden Age of Islam was the slaves. Islamic architecture is very intricate and colorful, though most of the effort and decoration is used on the inside of a building. The trademark building style of the Islamic culture is the mosque. All mosques have a dome, which is one of the few things that are decorated on the outside of an Islamic building. The only two parts of the outside of an Islamic style building that are decorated are the dome, if the building has one, and the entrance. The dome itself doesn't represent anything but the geometric designs do, they symbolize unending repetition and that Allah is infinite. Circles represent the same thing because they have no ending, they are infinite.
Islamic art is similar in the way that circles and patterns represent infinite repetition and Allah but calligraphy is a major art form in the Islamic culture. Writing in general is also considered a major art form, as well as books. Islamic art puts more focus on the essence of something rather than its physical form. This is the reason islamic art rarely depicts people, especially specifically religious art. Islamic art doesn't try to replicate something but rather tries to convey what it represents. Their art also uses plant motifs in the geometric patterns, these are called arabesques. After the death of Muhammad his community was in need of a new leader. This is where the term Caliph was derived, it means successor. Before the Abbasid empire was the Umayyad empire. During their reign Muslims split into two sects, Sunni and Shi'ite. They disagreed over whether the caliphs should be part of a family and the position gets passed down in that family or if the caliph should be determined through a public vote. The Sunni believe the caliph should be determined trough a public vote and the Shiite's believe the former. The Abbasid did follow the Shi'ite beliefs because they were a dynasty but now 90% of all Muslims are Sunni. In the Golden Age of Islam, Muslims believed that all men were equal, no matter what job they had in life. So whether someone was a ruler, slave, or scholar they all had to work. They believed that everybody was the same, that they were all workers, maybe at different levels and doing different things, but they were all the same. Slaves were known as Mamluks, they are believed to be part of the reason why the Abbasid was weakened. Because they served in the Army.