Ahzab the confederates
Diverse enemies of tribes allied against Islam. They were the pagan quraish, the Jewish
tribe of Banu-Nadir, the Jewish tribe of banu Quraiza in medina, and the Qadafan tribe of Bedouin Arabs. Qadafan was from
the interior. The Jewish banu-Nadir had been already expelled from medina for their treachery. They all unified to surround
and annihilate the Muslim community in medina.
They began to make a network of alliances. Then, besieged medina with a force of 10,000
men in the months of shauwal and zul-qa'd A.H.5 (A.D.627). This siege of the unholy confederates lasted over two weeks. Some
accounts give 27 days. It caused much suffering from hunger, cold, and unceasing shower of arrows. And there were constant
general or concentrated assaults. It was well-organized and formidable attack, but the Muslims had made preparations to meet
it. One of the preparations, they took the enemy by surprise, was the trench (khandaq). It was dug round medina by the prophet's
order and under the supervision of Salmon Al-farsi (the Persian). But though the unholy confederates caused a great deal of
anxiety and suffering to the Muslims, Islam came triumphantly out of the trial and got more firmly established than ever.
The Jewish tribe of medina rallied with the confederates, breaking the treaty they entered
with the Muslims. The latter sensed the critical situation, luckily, a cold, piercing hurricane wind rose, smashing fires,
tents, and killed the animals of the confederate's army. And son their object frustrated. After their evacuation the Muslims
killed the Jews of medina for their treachery.
The treaty of judda ibiya
Huddaibiya is a plain, a short day's march to the north of Mecca, a little to the west of the medina-Mecca road, as used in the prophet's time. Six years had elapsed
since the prophet (peace be upon him) left his beloved city. And it had been in the hands of the pagan auto crackly. By Arab
custom, every Arab was entitled to visit the sacred enclosure unarmed. Fatherly, fighting of any pilgrimage kind was prohibited
during the sacred months which included the month of zul-qa'd. In A.H.6 (A.D.628), therefore, the prophet desired to perform
the Umra or lesser pilgrimage, but with his followers. A large following joined him to the number of fourteen to fifteen hundred.
But the pagan autocracy was alarmed and prepared to prevent the peaceful party from performing
the peaceful rites of pilgrimage. They marched out to fight. The prophet turned a little to the west of the road and encamped
at huddaibiya. There negotiations took place. Quraish pagans had learnt, by six years experience that their power was crumbling
on all sides slam was growing with its moral and spiritual forces. A peaceful treaty was therefore concluded, known as the
treaty of huddaibiya. It stipulated:
1. That there was to be
peace between the parties for ten years
2. That any tribe or person
was free to join either party or make an alliance with it
3. That if a Quraish person
from Mecca, under the guardianship of a meccans should
join the prophet without the guardian's permission, he (or she) should be sent back to the guardian, but, in the contrary
case, they should not be sent back.
4. That the prophet and
his party were not to enter Mecca that year, but that
they could enter unarmed in the following year.
The Muslims faithfully observed
the terms of the treaty. The following year (A.D. 629/ A.H. 7), they performed the lesser pilgrimage in great state for three
(Taking of Mecca)
After the treaty of huddaibiya, the Muslims faithfully observed its terms. But the meccan's
Quraish pagans later on broke the peace treaty on. A.D. 630 (A.H. 8) one of their allied
tribes (the Banu Bakar) attacked the Muslim banu khuza'a. This tribe was in alliance with the prophet. This was the immediate
cause to conquer Mecca. Fatherly, as a meccans, Prophet
Mohammed looked forward to a time when the worship of Allah as sole God would be established there firmly. The power of the
Muslims was this time consolidated, so, in the year of A.D.630 (A.H.8) the prophet of Allah set out to take Mecca, leading a large force of 10.000 men of his dedicated companions.
The prophet encamped his army near Mecca in the night. Abu sufyan who got out of Mecca
to spy the Muslim strength was captured and brought to the prophet, but abu sufyan confessed Islam. The city surrendered soon.
So, many people had been to Islam. The prophet promised protection to those who would not resist. He also affirmed that the
ka'aba would be the centre of Muslim pilgrimage.
Those points removed some of the motives of resistance. The prophet entered Mecca in triumph. He showed great tact and magnanimity. Thus, the defeated
remained loyal to Islam. The honor which Mecca gained
from its being the prophet's native city outweighed more than any remaining bitterness which surrender might have created.
But even more important, the prophet had been remarkable for the loyalty he inspired and his persuasiveness with which he
customarily dealt with his opponents. The prophet preferred to win men over than to crush their spirit by a simple display
of force, as usually practiced by earthly leaders, upon his entry into Mecca, the prophet smashed 360 idols in the ka'aba, and swept away the pagan autocracy.
The prophet's death
In the last two years of his life, the prophet's forces began to move northward from the
now largely unified Hijaz, the first moves were made in a series of campaigns and conquests which hit the Middle East and the Mediterranean world with explosive impact. The Islamic region
which the prophet preaches in adversity and in success became fixed and organized. The prophet of Allah died. His achievements
were not singular in his life time, but it had incalculable effects on the history of mankind from the seventh century on
ward. Basic principles of Islam were simple and forceful. The prophet preached that there is but one God, Allah, and Muhammad,
is his prophet. The prophet was the final of the prophets for in him God's revelations reached finality. Allah is omnipotent.
Allah guides the faithful, and lead the wicked '' astray'' a matter of letting people lose their way. Nevertheless, it is
ultimately the will of Allah which controls man's density. Allah destined men either to salvation or condemnation. The prophet
taught on the oneness of God and on his majesty and power. His teachings also included the five pillars \of Islam the first
duty of a Muslim is to profess whole heartedly that there is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet. A Muslim must state
this belief openly and often the other three duties alms giving, fasting and pilgrimage to Mecca once in a person's life time. After the holy prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and his companions
gained control of Mecca and medina. Most of the tribes
of Arabia submitted to the leadership of the prophet.
When the prophet died in A.D.632 (A.HA.10) immediately. There was the problem of succession.
The prophet's death was a crisis for Islam. Would the new allegiance hold together now that
the prophet is no longer available? The prophet had nominated no successor. The fever that caused the prophets death had came
on a too sudden. The Muslim community faced the possibility of disintegration. In A.D. 632 (A.H.10), influential Muslims the
Muhajirin and Ansar gathered to chose a new caliph. Finally, a much trusted earlier companion, abu bakar, was selected to
become the caliph. He had stood by the prophet's farther in law by later wife. Aisha. Abu bakr ruled two years only
before his died. Early in his reign, several tribes attempted to renounce Islam. Abu bakar his allies defeated them in battle,
and repledged their loyalty, and submission to Allah. Abu bakar also sent armies to conquer new territory. He ordered the
Muslim forces to raid frontier settlements in Byzantine and Sassanid territory. Muslim domination was carried forward to a
line running roughly from southern Syria to the head of
the Persian Gulf, but not including Palestine. This was in the two years between the prophet’s deaths A.D.632 (A.H.
12) and the caliph’s death A.D.634 (A.H. 12).
Abu bakar organized a military forced that look regions in Iraq. These forces were led by Khalid ibu al-walid and mutanna ibu al-harith. They conquered river Tigris, and which was the capital of the Arab kingdom of lakhmid in
A.D.633 (A.H. 12). After that, Abu bakar sent armies that fought in Syria. In A.D.634 (A.H. 13), the roman armies were defeated at ajandain Abu bakar died on 23rd august 634(A.H.
Muslim expansion in his rule
Umer who led Muslims from A.D. 634 to 644m invaded Syria and Persia the Muslim attacks out
of the desert surprised the already weakened Byzantine and Persian empires. In addition, the Muslims had a tactical advantage.
They could quickly return to the desert where the heavily awkward Persian and Byzantine warriors could not pursue them. General
Khalid ibu al-walid continued the campaign with startling success. In a lightning advance. They captured Damascus in A.D.635 (A.H. 14) from the Byzantines. The Muslim forces infleded catastrophic
defeat on the Byzantines, under the emperor ………… in august A.D. 636 (A.H. 15), Muslims and Byzantine
forces fought a decisive battle at the Yarmuk river, near the present day border of Iraq and Jordan. Byzantine army was forced
to retreat. This battle took place during a scorching summer dust storm. Many retreating Byzantine army, blinded by sand,
fell into a ravine, where they died. After this victory, the Muslim forces drove the remaining Byzantine armies out of Syria.
Mean while, in the east, Muslim forces advanced to Mesopotamia, present day Iraq, where they fought
Persian forces. The Muslim forces won the major battle at Qadisiya, in lower Mesopotamia. It lies 21miles southwest of Hira. During the winter of 637 (A.H.16), Persian fought with elephants.
However, they were defeated, after their army leader rustum, was killed. Within a year, the Muslims had seized the beautiful
Persian capital Ctesiphon (al-mada'in).
In A.D.640 (A.H. 19), Muslim forces, under amar ibnu al-ass crossed the Sinai Peninsula and invaded the Nile valley. The Byzantine emperor evacuated the great port city of Alexandria, refusing to fight at all and in A.D.642 (A.H. 21), amr entered Egypt triumphantly.
Umer's home policy
When the Islamic territory expanded further, umer established a systematic administration
for the Islamic government. He divided the land into provinces, assigning each to a governor. Secondly, umer created the first
Islamic treasury house with its banking system. Like wise he introduced the office for collecting government tariff, and its
controlling. Sayid umer the caliph of the faithful governed the Islamic communities equally before the law of God, in justice,
and without taking sides. He was the first to use the Islamic calendar that started after the hijra of the prophet. Umer's
fifth step was his establishment of the post and communication office.
Caliph Umer was killed while he was praying, by a man called abu lu'lu'an al-majusi, who
used a poisoned dagger in Nov. 644 (A.H.23).
Othman ibnu affan
Before his death, sayid umer nominated a committee of six companions to select among them
the khalifa of the faithful Muslims. They were: Ali ibnu abi talib, uthman binu affan subeir ibu al-awam, sa'ad binu abi waqqas,
talha ibnu ubaidllah, and Abdurrahman ibnu awf. This committee selected uthman to be successor. Sayyid uthman was sociable,
and a well respected companion. That is why he represented the Muslims in the treaty of juddaibiya with the pagan quraish.
He was wealthy and pious.
in his time
The third khalifa, whose rule lasted from A.D.645 to 656, continued the incredible series
of conquest. The Persian Empire, despite quite effective
resistance, crumbled beneath the swift-moving Muslim armies. The Muslim armies were sent both east and west. They completed
the conquest of most of Persia and advanced as far as
the abu darya (Oxus) river, near the frontiers of Turkistan. Turkistan lies northeast of Iran, and before
1990 it was part of the Soviet Union. Muslim forces advanced
far up the Nile valley. They crossed the Libyan Desert to attack the Byzantine province of Africa Present-day Tunisia. However,
rapid military expansion strained Muslim unity. In June, A.D.656, a band of Muslim rebels from Egypt assassinated caliph uthman in his house while he was reciting the holy quran.
Then, he was 82 years old.
Ali Abi Talin four caliphs (A.D. 556-5560)
After assassination of ……….. , the people assembled
at the mosque in medina, discussing about the caliphate, and finally chose Ali ibu talib to be the caliph of the faithful.
Then m the assembled people swore allegiance to him. Also, talha and zubair did the same, except incitingly asking the blood
compensation of sayid uthman ibu affan. However, the banu umaya refused to accept Ali's caliphate. Sayid Ali advised those
who asked uthman's blood to wait until things become smooth and assassins brought to justice. But, banu Umayya were not to
give chance, adding the situation more tense and conflict more wider between them and the caliph. Soon, this evolved into
an armed confrontation that reached its climax in the battle of the ''camel'' near Basra.
The battle of the camel
The mother of the faithful, a'isha sided mu'awiyya and led the fight against Ali. In the
battle, she mounted on a camel, urging her party to kill Ali. Even though, sayid Ali attempted to settle the conflict in vain,
the battle broke out, and ended in Ali's victory. Unfortunately, zubair and talha were killed, after they had retreated from
the fighting. They were killed by a saba'ian faction in Caliph Ali's army. This evil assassination upset Ali much. Caliph
Ali took a'isha bintu abu bakar to medina, under the guardianship of Abdullah ibu zabair, the son of her sister, respectfully.
After this battle, Ali's rule was strengthened in all provinces but Syria (sham), where mu'awiya decided to oppose him. His excuse was that the assassins of uthman were not yet arrested.
The battle of saffain
After the battle of camel, Ali sent for mu'awiya, calling upon him to join the whole community
of Islam, fatherly, indicating what was the consequences of those who came against his rule. Then, amar ibu al-as pointed
to mu'awiya to stand in strong position in asking Ali the blood compensation of sayid uthman and prepare and army from
Syria to fight him. So, the caliph had no choice except going out to meet the force of mu'awiya. Ultimately, the two armies
confronted in the plain of saffain on the Euphrates River. Therefore, they interchanged messages of negotiations to unify
their world. When negotiations failed, battle broke out. Umayyads sensed defeat when amr. Once more pointed out to the fighters
to put their holy books on their spear points, as a show of reconciliation between them, according to the book of Allah.
Fighting stopped between the two sides and reconciliation took place without a satisfactory
The battle of nahrawan and the
emergence of the khawarij
While Ali was on his way back from the battle to kufa, in which he made his capital certain
faction of his army asked him to re-start the fighting because, They said, they were shelled in accepting the reconciliation,
for there was no authority except for the true God. Caliph Ali could not accept. As a result, they went out of his force;
hence, they were called the khawarij. This faction declared war against caliph Ali, as well as mu'awiya $amr. The khwarij faction declared their
opposition and war on people. Indeed, sayyid Ali tried hard to show them the righteous way, but they rejected. It was inevitable
to fight them, in the battle of nahrawan, in which the khwarij faction was defeated.
The danger form the khwarij faction was not ended yet in the battle of nahrawan.
While sayyid Ali was preparing himself to undergo a second campaign with mu'awiya. The khwarij faction was busy on plotting
to kill all the three of Caliph Ali, mu'awiya and amr. But, fate destined Caliph Ali, only, to become the martyr of that fitna.
While he was going out of the mosque in kufa, Ali was killed by abdal-rahman ibnu muljam, a member of the khawarij faction
on 17th Ramadan 40A.H. (A.D.660).
Ali's martyrdom, the period of the caliphs with the righteous guidance ended, and a news
Problems of the Muslim empire
Rapid military expansions strained Muslim unity. Old feuds between Arabian
Muslim tribe's surfaces. Opposing political faction's compelled for the office of caliph. In A.D.565 a band of Muslim rebels
from Egypt assassinated caliph uthman, as indicated in
the previous lessons. For five years. During the imam ship of saysid Ali ibu talib civil war raged among Muslim parties. It
was mainly between sayid Ali and mu'awiya ibu abisufyan, as we have seen too.
The Umayyad caliphate, A.H. (A.D. 661-759)
Through conquests the Arabs gained the heavily populated farmlands extending
from the Nile River to the Amu Darya River. Under Arab rule, Egypt and the Middle East united for the first time
since the days of the Roman Empire. The Muslims needed
a system to govern their newly acquired empire. The prophet (peace be upon him) had laid the foundations of a new kind of
political organization based on common allegiance to Allah and his laws. By following Islam, Muslims could govern such a huge
empire with millions of people of different cultures. To govern their lands, however, the Umayyads set up a hereditary ruler.
The main responsibility of the caliph was mainly of two points:
defend the Islamic community and the law of God. In reality, however, mu'awiya who successfully claimed the caliphate, established
the Umayyad dynasty. The office of caliph then passed from father to son, or to some other descendent in a single family.
Umayyad caliphs adopted Byzantine and assassin customs. Mu'awiyya moved the capital from medina to Damascus, the heart of the new Islamic empire. He and his successors also, continued
the government bureaucracy the empires had developed. The Umayyads even used Byzantine coins engraved with pictures of the
In cities through the Umayyad lands, may people converted to Islam. as a
result, the new rulers built mosques Muslims face Mecca
when they pray. The most important element of a mosque is the mihrab, an alcove showing the direction of Mecca. Mosques usually were built so that the greatest number of worshippers could
pray in them.
Later Arab conquests A.H.650-750)
To increase the revenue the Umayyad, caliphs began a second series of conquests,
they wanted to expand their territories, and thus expand their tax base, they also, wanted to keep independent, Arabs from
rebelling against the central government, the caliphs, therefore, sent their armies on news adventures of conquest for Islam.
Conquest to the west, A.H. (A.D. 670)
West of Egypt lies North Africa, currently occupied by the states of Tunisia, Algeria, and morocco. The Arabs called this region
the Maghreb, meaning land to the west, the Byzantine emperor
still held coastal areas and the major port towns of North Africa. The people living in North Africa, called Berbers
were divided into two groups. One group lived in the towns, and made their living as merchants, artisans, and workers. Many
were Christians. The majority of Berbers inhabited the interior plans and mountains, and farmed or herded sheep or camels, belonging to numerous tribes,
the Berbers paid little attention to the Byzantine governors in the towns.
In A.H. (A.D.670), Muslim forces began their conquest of North Africa. The coastal cities, the Byzantines held were strongly fortified, and
the Berber tribes resisted the Muslim Arabs. Muslim armies fought in North Africa over several decades before finally gaining control of the land. By the end of the seventh century,
Muslims had added all of the Maghreb, except the interior
mountains, and desert regions, to the Muslim empire. Christianity gradually lost influence, and Islam replaced it, culturally,
the Mediterranean basin was split between Christians in the north and Muslims in the east and south. A Christian minority
remained in Egypt under the Coptic Church, Jewish minority
communities also, continued to thrive and made important cultural and economic contributions. The Umayyads intended to destroy
the Byzantine Empire. To do so, however, they had to capture
the great fortress capital of Constantinople. In the 670s.
And again betwe4en A.D. 717 and 718, Arab army and navy units laid siege to the city, Christian forces beat them back both
times. The secret weapon of the Byzantines was the ''Greek fire''. This highly flammable chemical mixture was shot from bronze
tubes that could be mounted on ships or the walls of a city. The mixture began to burn when it hit the enemy, causing servers
Conquests of the east
To the east, Muslim armies pushed through Persia to the lower valley of the Indus
River, they found northern India divided into small Hindu states that were UN able to resist the Muslim forces.
The Muslim forces conquered the lower Indus valley and
introduced Islam to the region.
Muslim forces defeat the Chinese
Further to the east, the Muslim forces reached the frontiers of the Chinese
empire. The sue dynasty had united the Chinese in A.D.690 and ruled until A.D.618. The next dynasty, the further strengthened
Chinese unity. One of the great achievements of the tang rules was to advance Chinese military power westward to the grasslands of Turkistan; this expansion gave the tang control of the rich trade in
luxury good along the silk goad. Early in the 13th century, Muslim forces crossed the Syria Darya River into Turkistan. Here, they seized the rich commercial cities of the Silk Road. See the map, spread of Islam, page ……………..in A.D.751 the Muslims fought
a great battle against the Chinese army. The Muslim victory forced the tang to withdraw from the region.
Introduced into Turkistan, Islam gradually replaced Buddhism as the dominant faith. Even though the tang army retreated eastward,
trade between the Islamic land and china increased over the next 200 years.
The Arabs invade Europe
During the lifetime of the holy prophet (peace and blessings be upon him),
Europe west of the Byzantine
Empire was still divided into a number of states ruled by Germanic tribes. The chieftains
of these states were generally hostile toward the original inhabitants. The years between A.D.500 and 1000 often are called
the dark ages, because the Germans cared little about trade, town life, or civilization. Learning and literacy thrived only
in the Christian monasteries. As the Arabs conquered North Africa, their forces moved west until they arrived at the strait of Gibraltar. Less that 20miles wide the strait
separates the Iberian Peninsula from Africa. The countries of Spain and Portugal now occupy the Iberian Peninsula. In A.D. 711, Muslim forces crossed the strait and entered Spain. The Muslims rapidly conquered most of Iberian which became part
of Umayyad caliphate. North of Spain, the kingdom of the franks developed. When the Arabs took place near tours, in the central
part of France. The battle of tours did not destroy the
Muslim empire. It did mark the end of Muslim expansion into Western Europe. The Muslims strengthened their hold on Iberia.
This area became an important Islamic centre and continued to be for many years.
The fall of the Umayyad empire
At its height, the Umayyad empire extended across more than half of the eastern
hemisphere. The empire, however, had numerous problems. The most serious difficulty was the dominance of small groups of Arab
families. These influential families recriminated against poorer Muslim Arabs and non Arab Muslims, as well as unbelievers.
Many converts to Islam wanted more control over the government. These discontent Muslims argued that the holy prophet, Muhammad
had founded a social community in which all believers would live together as equals under God's law.
Many opponents of the Umayyad family were supporters of the caliph Ali,
who had been assassinated in A.D.661 (A.H. 661). They believed that the Umayyad family had stolen the office of caliph, which
rightly belonged to the descendants of Muhammad (pbh). Sayid Ali was the prophet's cousin and the husband o Fatima, the prophet's daughter. After sayid Ali was killed, rebellious rallied around
his son Hussein; these opponents of the Umayyads were called shi'a or shi'ites. In A.D. 680, an Umayyad army defeated Hussein
and his followers. Sayid Hussein was killed and his head cut off. The murder of the prophet's grandson shocked many Muslims.
Thereafter, thi'ism developed into a sect within Islam teaching that a descendant of Hussein would one day come to rule. Religiously,
shi'ites stood in opposition to the majority of Muslims, called Sunnis, the Sunnis accepted the legitimacy of the Umayyad
caliphs. Sunni Muslims historically believed that the rightful caliph was the leader the community of believers accepted.
They rejected the idea that the office belonged differences between the sonnies and shi'ites were not great. Today, most of
the citizens of Iran, formerly Persian are shi'ites Muslims.
Large communities of shi'ites also live in Lebanon, Iraq, and other countries. Finally, in A.D. 747 (A.H.) a major revolt
broke out under the leadership of Abu al-abbas, a descendant of the prophet's uncle, abbas. The Umayyads were completely defeated
and Abbasids gained control of the caliphate. Despite the grave crisis and a change of power at the top, Islam continued to
gain new converts.
The Abbasid caliphate
Changen for Islamic civilization
Between A.D. 750and 1000 trade and communication across the eastern hemisphere increased
dramatically. Two important developments stimulated this growth. First the Abbasid caliphate came to power in A.D.750. The
Abbasid rulers organized a powerful and wealthy empire that dominated the Middle East. As people of the Abbasid lands prospered, they increased the demand for luxury products from India and china. The second development that stimulated exchanges in
the eastern hemisphere was the unification of china under the tang dynasty in A.D.618. Like the Abbasids, the early tang emperors
encouraged agriculture, communication and overseas trade.
The rise of the Abbasid caliphate
In A.H. (A.D. 750), the Umayyad caliphate was overthrown in a civil war. A new dynasty,
the Abbasids, replaced the Umayyads. Al-abbas assfah. He was a descendant of abbas, the uncle of the holy prophet (PBH). Most
of the Abbasid supporters lived in Mesopotamia and Persia. The news rulers, therefore, moved their capital from Damascus in Syria to Baghdad on the banks of the Tigris River.
They built magnificent places, mosques, and bazaars, or market places. The move from Damascus to Baghdad increased the wealth
and power of the Abbasids for two reasons. First, Baghdad
lay in the heart of Mesopotamia, one of the richest agricultural
areas in the world; the early Abbasid caliphs improved and expanded the irrigation canals of the Tigris and Euphrates valley. As agricultural production increased, the Abbasids used their increased tax revenue to increase government
and army, as the caliphs became wealthier, they strengthened their empire's government. Second the location of Baghdad, at the crossroads of two ancient trade routes increased Abbasid
power. One trade route extended from the Mediterranean sea
to the Persian gulf and then by sea ways to India and china. The second route crossed overland through the Middle East to central Asia and china. Baghdad developed into
a center of world trade. The merchants filled the markets of Baghdad with spices, textiles, perfumes, and other luxury goods from Asia.
Government under the Abbasids
The Abbasid caliphs adopted many aspects of Persian government. They did not live simple
lived as had the prophet Mohammed and other early leaders of Islam. Instead, they kept themselves isolated from the common
people. They imitated the Persian rulers by dressing in beautiful silk robes and tall cone-shaped hats. They became absolute
rulers. Devout Muslims to the believed in the equality of all people resented the behavior and grand style of the caliphs.
Still, most Muslims realized that the huge Islamic empire could not be ruled by the simple governmental style of prophet Mohammed's
Trade and communication increase
During the eighth century, both the Islamic and Chinese empires encouraged trade. Long-distance
caravan trade over Silk Road flourished again for the
first time since the A.D. 200s. Changing, the capital of china under tang, attracted thousands of merchants form middle east
and central Asia, some were christens and Jews. Many were
Muslims form Syria and Persia. At the same time, Arab and Persian sailors from the Middle East made regular ocean voyages to India,
Southeast Asia and china. Muslim sailors could travel
from the Persian Gulf to china and return in about a year
and a half. The long trip, however, was both dangerous and uncomfortable, their ships did not have enclosed cabins, and crew
members cooked and slept under the sun and stars. Along the way, typhoons threatened in the Indian
Ocean. Muslim merchants helped to spread the ideas and customs of Islamic civilization.
Some settled down in port towns in India, Ceylon (Sri lank), and other places along the route. In this way, merchants
introduced Islam to the Indian Ocean region.
Abbasid trade in west
In the eighth century, Muslim merchants began to trade tin the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. They used the lateen, a triangular-shaped sail which
gave ships greater mobility than did the traditional square sails. Using the lateen, captains could move e their ships in
and out of ports more easily and make head-way even when the wind was not lowing form behind the ship. The merchants of Baghdad were largely interested in profitable luxury good form India and china. But they also carried trade with Europe. Muslims imported furs, honey, timber, and slaves form Europe. Archaeologists have found Abbasid gold coins as far north as present day
Finland and Sweden. (See the map, trade in Abbasid lands, page…………….).
Trade with sub-Saharan Africa
After the Arabs conquered both Africa, Muslim merchants organized tradition expeditions across the vast Sahara to the gold fields of West Africa.
The dromedary camel became their ship of the desert. The camel, introduced form Arabia to Africa in roman times, made possible
regular trader across the Sahara. After the eighth century
trade increased between the Mediterranean coasts and lands of West Africa south of the Sahara. The African commerce encouraged
the growth of several West African kingdoms. (See unit……………) Muslim merchants settled in the
little training towns near the southern edge of the Sahara.
There, Muslims built mosques and began schools for their children, soon, some local African merchants converted to Islam.
In this way, Islam gradually became an important religion in West Africa. By A.D.1000. w. Africa profited from its link
to the interacting zone of Islamic trade.
Arab scientific and cultural achievements
A united middle east under Islam stimulated an exchange of ideas, as well as trade. Early
Muslim scholars learned form the older Greek and Persian civilizations. New ideas about technology and science entered Baghdad, along with the silks and spices, because of the strong trade
links to India and china, Arab and Persian scientists
stretched their understanding of mathematics, astronomy natural science, medicine, chemistry and geography during the Abbasid
period. Ma'munm who ruled from A.D. 813to 833, was one of the greatest of the Abbasid period. He founded a house of wisdom
in Baghdad about .D.815. It included an enormous library
and an astronomical observatory for studying the heavens. Abbasid scholars adopted the Indian system of mathematics based
on ten and the concept of zero, the most famous Abbasid mathematician, al Khwarizmi, mathematical integration, gives us the
word algebra. One of the giants of Abbasid science was the Persian scholar ibu sin, also called Avicenna inbu sina was born
in .D.980 near Bukhara in central Asia. In this life time, he wrote 99 books on astronomy, geometry, theology, philosophy,
and art, he combined his own medical ideas with those of the Greeks and Persian. Centuries after his death Avicenna's encyclopedia
of medicine became the basis of medical practice throughout Europe. In it he describes the symptoms and spread of many serious diseases and lists 760 deferent drugs began the Muslim.
The Muslim world produced many scholars who explored many interests. The genius, Avicenna, was a physician, philosopher, mathematician,
and theologian, as well as an astronomer.
Industry and technology
In addition to achievements in the sciences, the Muslim also advanced in technology. Baghdad and other cities of the caliphate were busy centers of industry.
Their workshops produced beautiful pottery, fabrics, rugs, metalwork, glass, and jewelry, artisans used ideas and techniques
form china and India to improve their products. Muslim
Arabs adapted the technology of papermaking. In A.D.751, when the Muslims defeated a tang army, in central Asia, they captured some Chinese artisans skilled at making paper, these Chinese
prisoners set up a paper skill in the Middle East. Over
time the skills of paper making spread form the Middle East
to North Africa and Europe. Paper had several advantages over parchment, the traditional writing material, paper was much cheaper
and faster to make. Therefore, books became cheaper and easier to make, since owning books became more common , knowledge
spread throughout the eastern hemisphere faster and reached more people than ever before.
Between the eighth and tenth centuries, Muslims, Christian, and Jewish
scholars translated most of the surviving books of ancient Greek philosophy into Arabic the shi'ite branch of Islam was specially
interested in Greek philosophy, a great debate arose about natural law. Some leaders disagreed with the Greek idea of natural
law that used definite rulers of cause and effect to explain natural events. These laws explained the rotation of the planets
and other natural events. Critics of the Greek idea of a natural law preferred to believe that God is directly responsible
for every individual action and every event that occurs. By the eleventh century, the Muslim opponents of Greek philosophy
had gained influence. The majority of Muslim scholars decided that Greek ideas would not be taught in the schools of Islamic
lands. Islamic civilization, therefore, did not adopt much of the Greek tradition in philosophy, even through the Islamic
scholars had translated the Greek writings into Arabic.