Medieval Middle East and the Arab Empires: A Complete OverviewSep 10, 2023
During the classical era, the time of Rome, the Arabian Peninsula was inhabited by the Bedouins, these were nomadic Arabs who came from the northern regions of the peninsula. Bedouin society was divided into different clans, each headed by a leader called The Shake, who was chosen from a group. of Elders called majlis, although each clan was unique, they all felt a greater sense of unity after domesticating the camel, they became wealthy as traders and intermediaries between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean, like most cultures before the rise of the monotheistic religions, the early Bedouins were polytheists, but with a primary God or Supreme deity whom they called Allah, there was no class of priests or religious hierarchy in the Clans, so everyone in the community participated in the religious practices they believed.
Lesser Spirits lived in the natural world in trees, mountains and water, but their main God was represented by a special stone, although at first there were many stones, in the time of Islam they would adopt a single black meteorite as especially sacred. After the fall of Rome in the west, the two main players in the Middle East were the Eastern Romans. The Empire and Sassanian Persia, their constant wars created chaos in the Middle East, causing the ancient trade routes to become more dangerous because of this, the trade routes would begin to pass deeper through Arabia from the Mediterranean to La Mecca, then the coast of Yemen and
eastto the Indian Ocean.
The Bedouins living in these parts of Arabia became quite wealthy creating a wealthy urban merchant class, but this also tainted the fairly egalitarian society they once had. It was around this time, in the late 16th century, that a man named Muhammad became more prominent, although he would be one of them. Of the most important figures in world history not much is known about the future prophet and our only sources are the Quran and the hadith testimonies about his life that were written later because of this, the story of the early years of the rise of the Islam. are not written in stone, it is believed that Muhammad was born in Mecca into one of the merchant families who benefited from the increase in trade, but he was orphaned at the age of six, once older he became a caravan manager and married His wealthy employer, Khadijah, was part of the Hashemite clan of the Karace tribe that had historically controlled Mecca.
Although he lived as a merchant for years, he became discouraged by the growing gap between the generosity and moral values of the desert Bedouins and nature. increasingly greedy of the city's rich merchants whom he would begin to leave the city and meditate alone, away from the public. This is where tradition says he met the angel Gabriel, who told him to spread the word of the coming revelation. Muhammad was familiar with Jewish and Christian doctrine, so he believed that Allah had already imparted the message to him. through Moses and Jesus, but now it was his turn to receive the final Revelations.
These Revelations were told to the scribes who wrote them down in the recitation of the Quran. These would become the Holy Scriptures of Islam, a word that implies submission to the will of your God over time. He would gain more followers who would be called Muslims and follow the guidelines written in the Quran after Muhammad returned to Mecca. He began preaching to the citizens there. At first many considered him crazy as he attacked their deeply held beliefs and many felt threatened when he. highlighted corruption among the merchant classes after years of preaching, only gathering a handful of followers like many countercultural religions throughout history, he and his followers were persecuted and, seeing that his message would not be received in Mecca, Muhammad fled. the city in what is known as the hajira and he headed to the nearby city of yaphrab, which would later be known as Medina, meaning the city of the prophet.
His flight from Mecca would mark the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Once in Medina, Muhammad failed to convert the Jewish population, but he had some success with the Bedouins who lived on the outskirts of the city around 622. Muhammad united different tribes of different religions to create the First Armor or community of Islam around 6 30 Muhammad had gathered enough followers to return to Mecca, but he returned with a In revenge he conquered the city and the inhabitants converted. He later visited the Kaaba and declared it a sacred shrine for Islam. In Islam it is considered the house of God and is the direction of prayer for all Muslims around the world.
All idols and symbolism of the oldest polytheistic faith were destroyed. Islam was monotheistic like Judaism and Christianity and the supreme deity was called Allah, the omnipotent Creator God. Like other religions, the emphasis is on the afterlife, but it is one's actions in this world that dictate whether you will achieve salvation or The founder of Islam was not claimed to be divine like Jesus in Christianity, but a prophet like Abraham or Moses Muhammad was going to be the most important because he was thought to have brought the final incorrupt Revelation of Allah written in the holy book of the Quran.
The Quran is at the center of Islam and consists of 114 surahs or chapters compiled after the death of Muhammad. It served as a sacred book. Political theory and code of laws. Over time, Islam developed a code of ethics called the five pillars of Islam, the Five Pillars. are believing in Allah and Muhammad as their Prophet, praying five times a day with public prayer on Friday, observing Ramadan along with fasting from dawn to dusk, making a pilgrimage to Mecca at l
eastonce in your life, and giving zakat or weapons to the poor. Following these principles is guaranteed a place in Paradise, which is traditionally conceived of as a beautiful garden, an antithesis to the harsh Arabian deserts that surround them.
After Muhammad's death, a group of scholars drafted the legal code known as Sharia, which was a set of rules for everyday life. Much of the Sharia was taken from the Hadith, Muhammad's collection of sayings were used to supplement his Revelations, like most holy books. There is still much ambiguity surrounding the origins of the Quran and what sources were used, so numerous interpretations of the texts remain. After Muhammad's death, his followers were left without a prophet to lead them and it is unclear whether he named a successor in 632. The majority of the community elected Abubakar, Muhammad's father-in-law and a wealthy merchant from Medina, as their successor or caliph.
This was the beginning of the Rashidun Caliphate, which would become the major power in all of Western Asia in just a few decades, he was to be the leader of the Islamic community and was also considered an imam or religious leader. Abu Bakr adopted Muhammad's tactics of rapid raids to expand the caliphate's influence after unifying the Arabs, the Arab armies were able to focus on foreign civilizations beyond the peninsula, the most powerful in the region being the Byzantines or the Empire. Eastern Roman in the west and the Sassanid Persian Empire in the east. The Muslim armies soon arrived.
To advance from 636 onwards they defeated the Eastern Roman armies conquering Roman Syria and Egypt and further into North Africa. Expeditions south to conquer Nubia failed in the east. The Rashidun Caliphate caused the collapse of the entire Sassanian Empire in 650. This rapid expansion and on such a scale seemed impossible for the desert nomads to achieve, as always, history seems to depend more on environment and circumstances than on divine will. We know that both the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Persians had been weakening militarily for over a hundred years and the Persians. They were involved in the Civil War, both were also affected by the first plague pandemic recorded in history in the mid-16th century.
It is also quite possible that wealthier Arab merchants drove expansion not to spread Islam but to open up trade options and their own production. Well, even so, the Bedouin armies were quite powerful in their own right, highly mobile units, the Arab cavalry was able to overcome the heavily armed Byzantine and Sassanid horsemen, after this, the belief that any Islamic soldier who died in the Battle ends in paradise and you have an army. They were not only willing but willing to fight to the death; once Arab armies took control of a region, they established a non-military administration that was usually Arab but sometimes left in the hands of locals.
Conversions contrary to historical representations were mostly voluntary, but promoted those who did not convert still had to obey Islamic laws and were forced to pay a tax to be exempt from military service. The daily life of the locals was not much different from that of the Byzantines or Sassanids and for some Arab domains it was preferable with much of the Middle East in their hands The first real challenge to the caliphate came not from without but from within. Many of Muhammad's followers had disapproved of Abu Bakr being named caliph and instead wanted Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, to be the successor.
This was largely ignored and Even when Abu Bakr died in 634, the title of caliph Pastor Umar, who ruled until 644, when he was assassinated, the Rashidun caliphate reached its greatest extent under its next caliph, Ufman, who ruled for 12 years. but he was also assassinated in 656. Ali was eventually selected as a replacement and became Caliph. Some were convinced that Ali was involved in the assassination of Uthman, which led to the first adjustment to a civil war between Arab factions that ended when Ali himself Ali was assassinated in 661. Muawea, the governor of Syria, Ali's arrival took power and founded a new caliphate.
This caliphate was named after the Umayyads, a branch of the Croatian clan. They established their capital in Damascus and continued their campaigns. expansion These expansion campaigns occurred in both the west and the east the Arab armies continued across North Africa defeating the native Berbas the Berbas were the natives living in communities throughout North Africa in 710 Muslim forces They consolidated the Berber armies as their allies and with their help they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and invaded Spain their leader was a Berber called Tariq even ziyad who gave us the name Rock of Gibraltar or Jabel Tariq Spain at this point was ruled by the Visigoths as a Visigoth kingdom , were part of the Germanic societies that helped bring about the end of the Roman Empire back in the 400s.
By the 700s, the Visigothic kingdom was plagued by internal conflicts, so it easily fell into the hands of the Umayyad armies between 721 and 725 the Visigoth kingdom collapsed and most of the Iberian Peninsula became a Muslim state but they did not end their expansion there with the Visigoths defeated their next objective was France and the Frankish army the Franks like the Visigoths were another of the Germanic societies that became heirs of the ancient Roman Empire seven years later, in 732, after some initial success in the invasion of southern France, Muslim armies faced Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours Martel and the heavily armed Frankish infantry The defensive tactics and the Umayyads retreated could never reach beyond Spain, although the Sassanids collapsed, the Byzantine Empire still lived and would continue to have battles with the Arabs in the East for centuries, many Of these battles would take place at sea, resulting in a series of naval conflicts, although the Arab Navy was quite weak being a desert culture, they developed quickly and were able to confront the Greek ships after their first siege of Constantinople at mid-16th century, the Umayyad army tried again in 717 both by land and by land.
Mar, this could have been the end not only for the Byzantines but also for the Eastern Roman tradition itself. The Arabs were not prepared for a secret weapon, although it was a petroleum-based compound that perhaps contained sulfur or quicklime, resulting in a blazing Napalm inferno for the Arabs. We called it Greek Fire and it helped hit the Arabs. Byzantines the advantage, destroying the Arab Fleet and ending the Muslim advance into Europe from the East. In the Middle East, the Umayyads expanded further east, taking over the former Sassanid territories of Mesopotamia. and Persia and expanding into Central Asia with a wide variety of people in this Empire, many non-Arab converts to Islam still felt abandoned and overlooked in government or other important positions.
Frustrations led to revolt in Mesopotamia. Hussein, the second son of former Caliph Ali. He attempted to undermine the new Umayyad caliphate and led a revolt in 680 with his supposed supporters of Ali or in Arabic shiat Ali, who would become known as Shiites.Hussein and his supporters were defeated and Hussein was assassinated, causing a split in the Islamic world. The partnership between Shiites or Ali supporters and Sunnis is often translated as Orthodox who supported the current caliphate. There were also conflicts in North Africa, as many Berbas continued to resist Muslim occupation and can reportedly still become unjust rulers by displaying their wealth and exploiting their own people, the Umayyads soon faced another revolt, this one It was led by Abu Alabas, a descendant of Muhammad's uncle, this revolt was successful and the Umayyads were overthrown in 750 after less than 100 years in power, in his place Alabas founded the Abbasid Caliphate the third of the four main caliphates.
Islamic The Abbasids radically changed the Muslim world by integrating all Muslims, both Arabs and non-Arabs, into everyday society. Non-Arabs were now allowed to hold civil and military positions and intermarriage also became more common over time, causing Islamic culture to become more influenced by the peoples they had conquered. In 762 the Abbasids built their new capital in Baghdad east of the ancient Umayyad capital in Damascus the capital was built there as it was in a strategic location close to the maritime trade routes to the Persian Gulf and the caravan routes from the Mediterranean to central Asia, the cultural mix along with the easternmost site of the capital allowed Persian culture to become more prominent in the Islamic world, as in the older Persian
It was not the soldiers who were most valued but the merchants, merchants and the government. officials the period of the initial episode ushered in a new era of cultural exchange and prosperity. This Golden Age began in the late 700s under Harun UL. Rasheed called Haroon the Righteous and continued under his son Alma Moon, who founded an astronomical observatory and set out to translate the classical works of Greece that they now had in their possession. can. The economy also prospered as the Arabs had conquered many of the rich eastern provinces that once belonged to Rome and also controlled the trade routes connecting Europe to Asia.
Baghdad, at the crossroads of three continents, became a rich city not only economically but also culturally and technologically. They learned papermaking from the East, which was then passed on to Europe, Egypt and beyond under the empire. Abbasids the caliphs adopted more of a royal role than a spiritual leader they became more autocratic and adorned themselves with the finest silks and most precious jewels greater centralization of power meant more bureaucracy and more administration the caliph's advisors were called Dewan a council headed by a prime minister known as a vizier, once Harun died, another civil war broke out known as the fourth Abbasid Civil War.
Haroon's sons Amin and Ulmar, Moon's rivalry ended with the destruction of Baghdad. Alice was burned and the families turned against each other. Ameen was assassinated just a few years after the conflict with Ulmar Moon being named caliph, but the conflict lasted until the 830s. It is possible that financial corruption caused this sudden instability. The Abbasids had been handing out high government positions to whomever they preferred and this ultimately undermined their own authority. Zubaida, the wife of Harun UL Rasheed, allegedly spent large sums of wealth while on pilgrimage to Mecca, while Rashid's entire Hashemite clan received large sums of money from the treasury.
The sumptuous lives of those in power seem to go against the core of Islamic teachings and even the morals of the Arab culture that preceded it; alcohol was widely consumed in public and the caliphs enjoyed numerous concubines. The Abbasid integration of non-Arabs was not only because they wanted harmony but because they could not find enough qualified Arabs to fill the positions in this larger Empire. Those of Persian and Turkish descent from Central Asia gained more prominent positions and their influence soon penetrated the government and military. In the year 900, the caliphate fragmented and Morocco became independent under the Idris dynasty and, more importantly, Egypt was lost to the Fatimids, a Shiite.
The dynasty that established its capital in Cairo, although fragmented, the Islamic world was still strong as a whole at the beginning of the new millennium, the Abbasids continued their decline sharing the Middle East with dynasties in North Africa and Iran, but this Perhaps the danger would soon arrive from the Center. Asia the passes of central and eastern Asia had been dominated by different Turkic peoples for centuries in the west one of the largest groups were the Ogre Turks a breakaway dynasty of the Ogre Turks the Seljuks were fearsome mounted archers known for their hit and run tactics. flee and They were originally employed as mercenaries by the Abbasids once the Abbasids weakened the cell.
The dukes were able to take control of the eastern provinces of the caliphate, establishing the great Seljuk Empire in 1037. In 1055, a leader of the duke cell captured the capital of Baghdad and proclaimed himself sultan. i.e. power holders, the Abbasids remained the main Sunni Islamic caliphate, but raw power shifted to the Seljuks, although they did not establish a capital in Baghdad and the Golden City went into temporary decline, the Turks were neither Arabs nor Persians and, although many were Muslims, they were still seen as barbarians and their arrival in the Middle East was unwelcome, although an unintended consequence was that the Dukes' cell brought back a sense of stability and a pause in internal Sunni tensions. and Shiites, one of the groups who especially disliked the Seljuk occupation in the East, who saw the Seljuks as usurpers and an insult to Islam.
One of the most prominent was a man called Hassan Sabah, he was an individual but he trained in Fatimid Cairo before forming a military group. He appointed the order of Assassins or hashashim from their mountain base near the Caspian Sea. Sabah and his men covertly attacked and murdered political and religious leaders. The term assassinate could have originated from the tactics used by this group. The order would remain active until the year 1200 with its new foothold in the Middle East, the cell of the Turkish dukes would begin to pressure the Fatimids in Egypt and the Byzantine Empire in 1071, the Turks decisively defeated the Byzantine army in battle of Manticot, by capturing the emperor, this Eastern Roman influence diminished considerably in Anatolia, opening the door.
Feeling threatened by Turkification, the Byzantines turned to Christian Europe for help in the late 11th century. Byzantine Emperor Alexius I asked the West for help in protecting his empire against the Turks in 1096. Christian Europe responded by invading the Islamic Middle East in what was the first of many Crusades, Europeans capturing the lands east of the Mediterranean from Antioch. to Sinai, including the holy city of Jerusalem. The local rulers were no match for the heavily armed Christian cavalry and the Selju Turks themselves were dealing with more pressing threats to the east of their territory, so the Europeans had initial success, but in 1169 a man named Yusuf IBN Ayub He became vizier of Egypt, but would be better known as Saladin.
In 1171 Saladin overthrew the Fatimids and named himself Sultan, founded the Ayyubid caliphate and continued to consolidate it. Power in Syria also left the Christian states of the Levant Court in the
middleand vulnerable. In 1187, Saladin's forces invaded the kingdom of Jerusalem, driving out the invaders and leaving only a few Christian fortresses remaining. Saladin was known for his tolerance towards Christian communities living in the new domain of he allowed civilian populations to live and continue their religious traditions in Europe. England and France paused their disputes to unite and launch the Third Crusade in the late 12th century to recapture Jerusalem, although the Crusaders achieved minor victories.
They failed to recover the holy city and the King's Crusade ended in a stalemate, regaining some territory in the Levant and allowing safe travel for religious pilgrims. More crusades would continue throughout the Middle Ages, but in the end these incursions into the Muslim world never really threatened it. and only served to increase tensions between Islam and Christianity. The real threat came from the East, from the Gobi Desert region. Nomadic horse-riding tribes galloped out of Central Asia in the early 12th century. These were the Mongols, a pastoral people who would come to affect the majority. Of Eurasia unified under their leader Genghis Khan, the Mongols began rapid expansion in the mid-12th century.
It was his grandson Hulagu, brother of Kublai Khan, who led the charge into the Middle East. He captured Iran from the Quarasmians, founded the Ilkenate, and moved to Mesopotamia. By sacking Baghdad in 1258, the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, ending the Islamic Golden Age, the Abbasids lost their political power and territory, but would remain relevant as a religious authority until the 16th century. The Mongols were not Muslims like the cell dukes were, so they were not as adapted. to their new role as conquistadors, they were supposedly brutal to the local population, murdering families and their pets, and to local infrastructure, destroying irrigation systems, destroying local economies.
The Mongol invasions would have continued, but were stopped by the Mamluk sultanate which controlled Egypt and parts. of the Levant the Mamluks were originally a slave class but eventually rebelled against Saladin's Ayyubids in Egypt. This battle against the Mongols effectively stopped the advance by keeping the Levant and North Africa out of Mongol hands. It is also important because it is the first recorded battle with the Mongols. use of hand cannons employed by the Mamluks to scare the Mongols over time the Mongols began to rule in a more traditional way adopted Islamic culture and religion and rebuilt cities that had been destroyed in the 14th century the Mongol Empire was divided and began to lose power The Islamic Cultural Center would not return to Damascus or Baghdad, but to Cairo, under the Mamluks in Anatolia, a group of Seljuks had founded the Sultanate of Rum back in 1077, after taking the territory from the Byzantines after the battle of Manziket, this sultanate was greatly weakened. during the Crusades and then became a vassal of the Mongols, the last vassal sultan was assassinated in 1308 and Anatolia came under the control of many smaller Baelic or Turkish principalities, one of them, the Ottoman dynasty, would soon become quite prominent to late Middle Ages.
Apart from Cairo, in the Middle East, the next largest Islamic cultural center was in Europe. After the Umayyads were overthrown in 750, a member of the Abdul Rahman dynasty fled to the West and in 756 settled in southern Spain. . Modern historians call the Muslim-controlled region in Iberia all Andalus Abdulrahman ruled as emir or commander from his capital at Córdoba in 929 Córdoba became a caliphate under one of Ulrahman's descendants with Muslim control over North Africa, southern Spain and the numerous islands along the Mediterranean Al-Andalus became rich thanks to the trade that received valuable oriental products. Products such as dates, sugar and Orlando cotton flourished in Spain during this era and reached a climax in the cultural centers of the cities of Córdoba.
Figures from Seville and Toledo from all over the Muslim world came to Orlando to spread their knowledge of philosophy and sciences such as astronomy. mathematics and medicine eventually the libraries of al-andalus became some of the most magnificent in the
medievalworld, although the caliphate of Córdoba was prosperous, it did not last long in the early 11th century in 1009 the palace of Córdoba was destroyed in a civil war By 1031, war had fallen and dissolved the caliphate into a series of small kingdoms or principalities of Muslim tifas. The Christian communities in the north had taken this opportunity to focus on a counterattack to retake the peninsula and reestablish a Christian Europe in 1085.
The King of Castile King Alfonso VI captured Toledo, a severe blow to the Muslims. The cultural advances that had come to the city then spread to the rest of Western Europe and beyond. In Seville, the rulers asked for help from the Almar, eager for a Berber dynasty who had settled in Morocco in the 1050s, were led by their king, a Yusufident man called Ashvin Yusuf, and the Muslim Coalition counterattacked King Alfonso and Christian allies. Advancing the Battle of Segregations in 1086, a battle so blood-soaked that it was later named selaka, meaning slippery land in Arabic, Yusuf then remained in the region and extended his Almeravid empire into southern Spain.
The culture began to decline. An intellectual achievement diminished with theChristian kingdoms threatening the north. The main focus was on survival, not art. At the end of the 12th century, the soul. The Ravids were overtaken by the Amohads, another Berber dynasty, causing Christians to begin a new crusade to permanently expel Muslim rule in Spain. Over the next few centuries, Christians would slowly move south capturing Córdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248. Suppose all that remained was Granada, which became a tribute state but then surrendered in 1492, ending Muslim rule. In Spain, life in the Muslim world kept Islam at the forefront maintaining a close link between the State and religion, this was not to its detriment, although the years of the Abbasid Empire became a time of incomp
arable prosperity compared to that of Europe to the east China also flourished under the language and the Song dynasties were also considered a period of golden age from there the Abbasids would import silk and porcelain from camels Caravans from Africa would come precious gold Ivory and slaves from India spices and cotton within the Islamic world Egypt remained the breadbasket providing mainly grain they also developed banking and credit systems originally a desert society the Arabs quickly learned to build ships capable of navigating the Indian Ocean they used both the Greek astrolabe and a Chinese compass to help them sail the waters and soon became active in the western Mediterranean, as well as becoming the most familiar merchants and merchants during this golden age under the Abbasids.
Baghdad was the most magnificent city before the change to Cairo. Basra flourished near the Persian Gulf. Like the ancient capital of Damascus in Syria and Marrakesh in Morocco, in these urban areas Christians, Jews and Muslims lived separately in stone or brick houses. Wealthier families lived in larger houses with courtyards, sometimes with domestic animals such as goats and sheep in the stables. The rich also tended to have houses with numerous floors and balconies outside the urban centers would be farmland where much of the population lived and worked the agricultural industry flourished as new crops were imported and new water management techniques were employed such as underground canals most of the farmland was owned by small farmers, but over time the rich began to seize land and small plots of state-owned land that were tended by slaves.
The richest places were around the three main rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia and the Nile in Egypt, the main diet of a rich Arab was poultry, fish, goat or lamb, along with fruits and spices, the Poor people had to depend on millet with meat, rarely in the desert they ate boiled grain and a dry compound of flour and water called tria. Merchants eventually traded this in Sicily. and this food would eventually be called pasta. Most historians now agree that it was probably traders from Libya who first brought pasta to Italy. Society in the Islamic world was theoretically based on egalitarianism and the
middleclasses of merchants and artisans earned higher levels of respect in society than those in Europe or China and the nobility was not based on the heritage or lineages that made it possible upward mobility, but in practice the upper classes still exercised their power over those below them with greater force.
A clear example would be the use of slaves, since Islamic doctrine prohibits a Muslim from enslaving another Muslim. Muslim slaves were mostly brought from Africa, with numbers ranging between 11 and 15 million. Slaves were also brought from non-Islamic peoples in Asia and Eastern Europe, for the most part. The Slavs, some slaves, became a warrior class like the Mamluks and gained significant power for centuries. Those slaves were initially used as labor on plantations. Most were domestic servants, soldiers, guards or placed in a harem. Those who worked in the fields did so in deplorable conditions, which led to slave revolts. the most famous was the Zandt Rebellion, which is estimated to have killed millions of people.
African slaves were subdued by the Abbasids, but it resulted in a significant weakening of the caliphate. Aside from slaves, women were also treated unequally, although they were allowed to own an inheritance. property and to be respected they had to be subordinate to men. Men had power in marriage and could practice polygeny by taking more than one wife. The Islamic custom of a woman covering herself in public is believed to have been a pre-Islamic tradition dating back to As the Bedouin culture in the Arabian Peninsula was at the nexus of trade between Chinese Indians, Africans and Europeans, the Arab world experienced a golden age that lasted almost 500 years from the reign of the first Abbasid caliph Harun UL Rasheed at the end of the 7th century until the Mongol era.
Siege of Baghdad in 1258. They stood out in many spheres, but the most important were linked to the traditions of philosophy and science of the classical era. During the Middle Ages, most of Europe had little knowledge of the works of ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle. or Plato, but the Abbasid caliphate preserved these works and translated them into Arabic. They were kept in the House of Wisdom or the Great Library of Baghdad, here Muslim scholars would preserve and translate these texts and they would eventually be transcribed into Latin and shared with Europe, ironically. Many of these texts were originally in European hands.
The academy founded by Plato in 387 BC. C. was attacked by the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian in the 16th century and many scholars fled to the East taking classical texts with them. Some texts could also have come from the decaying Library of Alexandria. In Egypt, the spread of knowledge was made considerably easier thanks to a simple but crucial invention that came from the East: it was traveling Buddhists or prisoners who brought paper and paper-making techniques to the Muslim world. Along with block printing, a more recent invention. In China, paper and block printing was much cheaper than writing on papyrus, and soon the Abbasids built the first paper mills in Baghdad.
The texts themselves provided the Arabs with a wealth of knowledge that led to a more syncretic culture based on religion and the natural. world IBN Cena known in the West as esena was a Muslim physician, astronomer and philosopher who was influenced by Aristotle's theories on empirical research and human reason, the focus on more of the natural world as opposed to Allah caused some tensions with the religious authority, but his works remained highly influential and spread rapidly. His medical encyclopedia emphasized the contagious nature of diseases and how they could spread through water supplies. The encyclopedia was translated into Latin and studied in
A center is considered the father of early modernity. Medicine Guided by the texts of Galen, the Greek doctor. Muslim scholars made great advances and discoveries in the field of anatomy and medicine became a distinct scientific field. The fields of chemistry and optics were studied more and mathematics was highlighted. In the 19th century they founded Olkorismi. a mathematical discipline called Old Jabba or the putting together of broken parts this would come to be known as algebra simplified Arabic numerals also began to replace the inefficient Roman numerals in Europe following in the footsteps of the ancient masters of Mesopotamia the Babylonians the Arabs had an affinity for astronomy and Baghdad appropriately became a center for this discipline.
The Muslims created an observatory there to look into space. They knew very well that the Earth was spherical and merchant ships and caravans used the astrolabe to track their positions using the positions of these stars. Islamic travelers like IBN Batuta traveled throughout the Middle East and beyond writing their experiences and first-hand descriptions of social and political life in these regions. This Golden Age had limits, although brought about by a more conservative culture, many more powerful and religious nobles did not. Much like the implications of some Greek writers such as Euclid for Lemi and Archimedes, as their scientifically based writings undermined the faith-based society they sought to promote, block printing also eventually declined, as many Muslims preferred to use script. elegant and traditional when writing, especially for religious people. works the religious reaction also occurred in Alandalus in Spain in the year 1100 Avars and Maimonides were philosophers who agreed and defended Avicenna's support for the nature of human reason the Almo had the Berber dynasty that supplanted the Alma Ravids they made both men were exiled by European rulers in the 1200s.
He had begun translating classical and Hellenistic Greek works from Arabic into Latin and had studied at universities that would later fuel new ideas in Western philosophy that led to a Renaissance. Written works did not always have to be scientific or philosophical. Islamic literature was quite diverse. Because of how multicultural the Empire was, Arabic and Persian literature was the most influential before Muhammad, the Arabs composed poetry about the experience of the Bedouins in the harsh Arabian deserts and respect for one of their best cohabiting animals, the camel. , before Islam. Persia had a rich history of literature they were not a desert tribal people like the Bedouin so they focused more on their past kings, their Zoroastrian faith and their folk tales.
The Book of Lords written in the year 500 was a compilation of Persian poetry with all its myths and legends. Once Islam spread, the Quran was considered the most important literary work, but pre-Islamic themes still appeared in the world. Muslim. The shinama or the book of Kings, written at the end of the 20th century by the Persian poet Dousey, is a history of Persia that begins with the mythical creation of the world until the Muslim conquest in the year 600. It is the national epic poem of modern-day Iran. Afghanistan and Tajikistan love poems were also popular the first recorded poet in Persia Rabia Borky shared her experiences with the pain of love and the suffering that can accompany it, the most famous literary work to emerge from the Islamic empire was 1001 Knights or The Thousand and one nights, an Arabic compilation of folk tales that later became quite popular in Europe;
Over time other stories would be added to the text such as Aladdin's wonderful lamp and Alibaba. and the Forty Thieves, eventually the Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor were also added. Two of the most significant texts in Persian literature would be Busan or the Garden and julistan, translated as the Garden of Roses, both written in the mid-13th century by Sadi of Shiraz, nicknamed the master of speech, the texts deal with virtue of justice with some observational humor mixed in. Rumi was a poet and mystic from the 1200s who lived in Persia before emigrating to the Rum Sultanate once the Mongol invasions began in Central Asia.
He embraced a religious doctrine called Sufism which focuses on Islamic asceticism and is more esoteric in nature. . He believed that the path to Allah was through love and he danced and he entered trance states to write poetry for him. Today he is one of the most influential poets not only in Persia but throughout the world. The Islamic world and he has been described as the best-selling poet in the United States. The Muslim world also contributed writings in the field of History. Al-Masudi was a historian and geographer known as the Herodotus of the Arabs. Golden Meadows is considered his masterpiece.
Detailing the world from Adam and Eve to the time of the Abbasids, modern historians have used his story to reveal much about the caliphate during his time. Islamic art differed between regions but was mainly a mix of Arabic, Persian and Turkish culture, the most impressive piece of art and the oldest was built in the heart of Jerusalem and is a large shrine that houses a sacred stone known as the foundation stone or Noble Rock, giving this building its name Dome of the Rock, this stone was important to Muslims as it was connected to the creation of the world and Muhammad's night journey with the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher nearby .
It is also an important place for the other Abrahamic religions. It was built by the Umayyad dynasty in the late 600s. The patterns and mosaics used in it are based on the Byzantine styles used in their churches and palaces, including its octagonal base inside that is more reminiscent of Persian art styles, They would build other elaborate mosques everywhere and they would contain a special wall in this wall would be a mirab or a small decorated niche that indicates the Qibla. The direction of the Holy Mosque in Mecca towards whichMuslims had to pray inside, the Kaaba was considered by Muslims as the house of God and where the black stone is located, the sacred Relic that was thought to have come from heaven in Andalusia was the great Mosque of Córdoba.
Commissioned in 785 when Córdoba was the capital of Alandalus, but it would be expanded over the centuries the courtyard has several trees and the mosque became an important and influential monument for Islamic architecture it became a cathedral during the calculation Keister was a most common art form rug weaving Women before Islam created knotted wool rugs that were used to provide warmth to stone structures and heat their families' tents. With the arrival of Islam, these rugs were also used as mats, as prayer had to be performed five times a day in clean places. On land the practice of weaving was quite important and would be taught to girls from the age of four, they learned to spin and prepare the sheep's wool and in a couple of years they could make their first rugs, a few more years and they would be creating
completerugs Once married a woman would continue making rugs for the family and selling rugs became more detailed with intricate designs and would become an entire industry headed by professional craftsmen as Muslims discouraged depictions of their earnings and any other religious idols.
Instead, they adorned their buildings with surface decorations based on linear patterns of wavy and interlacing foliage or, in simpler terms,
arabesques. These were dense, semi-abstract, natural and geometric patterns, which were quite detailed and complex, often using an initial pattern and repeating it several times to fill an entire space as we discuss the first three main caliphates, the Rashidins, which you may add, and the Abbasids. , the fourth would come to prominence later, they would be known as the Ottomans.
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