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The Worlds of Islam: Afro-Eurasian Connections
Transcript of The Worlds of Islam: Afro-Eurasian Connections
encompassed parts of Africa, Europe, Middle East, and Asia
enormously significant in world history
creation of a new and innovative civilization
was the largest and most influential of the third-wave civilizations
Islam’s reach generated major cultural encounters Came from a marginal region A New Religion Founded in an agricultural region with polytheistic beliefs and Arabia was located on important East–West trade routes
The Quraysh tribe controlled local trade and pilgrimage and was on the edge of other large empires. Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism had spread among Arabs and by 600 c.e., most settled Arabs acknowledged a supreme god (Allah) The Messenger and the Message: The prophet of Islam was Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (570–632 c.e.)
Beginning of revelations from Allah in 610 c.e.
Radically new teachings
Muhammad as “the seal of the prophets”
need to create a new society Core message summarized in the Five Pillars of Islam No separation between church and state An Arab Empire The Arab state grew to include all or part of Egyptian, Roman/Byzantine, Persian, Mesopotamian, and Indian civilizations.
Many both in and out of Arab Empire converted to Islam
Arabic culture and language spread widely
Islam became a new third-wave civilization
Reasons for expansion:
Economic: capture trade routes and agricultural regions
Individual Arabs wanted wealth and social promotion
Communal: conquest helped hold the umma together
Religious: bring righteous government
Around 80 percent of the population of Persia converted between 750 and 900 Divisions in the Islamic World When Muhammad died in 632 and they needed a new leader. a civil war followed shortly which resulted in the Sunni/Shia split of Islam
Sunni Muslims: caliphs were rightful political and military leaders, chosen by the Islamic community
Shia Muslims: leaders should be blood relatives of Muhammad,descended from Ali and his son Husayn
Reaction against the distraction of worldly success: Sufis (mystics, seeking direct experience of the divine) Men and Women Spiritual level: Quran stated explicitly that women and men were equals
Social level: Quran viewed women as subordinate, especially in marriage
veiling and seclusion became standard among upper ruling classes and lower-class women didn’t have the “luxury” of seclusion Hadiths (traditions about Muhammad) developed more negative images of women, unlike the Quran, hadiths blamed Eve for fall of humankind Islam and Cultural Encounter: A Four-Way Comparison Even though the empire had fallen, Islamic culture was still flourishing and was brought to places like India (20–25 percent of Indian population converted to Islam), Anatolia (90% muslim), West Africa and Spain. Islam caused many changes and problems in these places and had a lasting impact everywhere. The World of Islam as a New Civilization: By 1500, the Islamic world embraced at least parts of nearly every other Afro-Eurasian civilization.
history’s first “global civilization”
Islamic civilization was held together by Islamic practices and beliefs
Sufism: branches of Sufism gathered around particular teachers (shaykhs) by the tenth century
Many thousands of Muslims made the hajj to Mecca each year
Islamic world was an immense arena for exchange of goods, technology, and ideas
Muslim merchants were prominent on all the major Afro-Eurasian trade routes
Exchange of agricultural products and practices between regions
Diffusion of technology
Exchange of ideas