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- Abraham built the Kabah

- Kabah provided a place of peace for the Bedouins (they didn’t fight there)
- Kabah means cube!
- In Mecca
- There was a place in the middle where all people had to put down arms – place of
o Kabah made Mecca a vibrant city of trade
- Mixed cultures

- Muhammad became a merchant
- He had a way with people – got along easily
o Exceptional diplomat – helped solve a problem between 4 clan leaders
about the black stone thing
o Good mediator
- Interested in religious questions
- Defining moment
o Angel appeared and spoke to him
o In a cave in Mecca
- Muhammad told his people there is only one God
- One God meant one people – no more tribal divisions
- Prospect revolutionary to the poor – social justice
- Everybody was equal – possible reason why Islam spread so quickly
- Verbal expression was the commanding cultural source
- Set out to preserve the message of Muhammad so it wouldn’t be corrupted – the
- The Koran can be read by everyone – the language has remained unchanged
- Koran constantly shifts God’s pronouns – can’t get a real image of God
- Art
o Did not like sculpture – danger of anthropomorphizing God
o Paintings were meant to learn about the history of your religion – not to
- As Muhammad’s believers grew, so did opposition
o Islam was a threat to their social order, age-old traditions, and
economically – because of the importance of the pilgrimage shrine of the
Kabah in Mecca.
- Tried to keep Muhammad away from kabah, tried to kill him, tried to drive him
- His followers were forced out of the marketplace and starved – those without
tribal protection was killed
- His wife and uncle died – opening for enemies
- Refuge in other town – hired Muhammad for his mediation skills in exchange for
safe refuge
- Ultimate test of devotion for Muhammad’s followers – leave families, way of life,
ancestors, etc.
- Began new community – not bound by blood but by faith >> a first
- The journey known as Hijrah
- The town became known as the “city of the prophet” – Medina
- Respected Christians and Jews – People of the Book
- Freed slave, Bilal, was first to call people to prayer
- Praying together – cements the idea of belonging to a movement, community,
- In Medina, Muhammad received instructions to tell everyone to pray toward to
Mecca and the Kabah – built by Abraham, first believer in God
- Muslims attacked by Meccans – severely outnumbered
o Faced their own tribes
o Passion drove them
o Three bloody battles – Muslims nearly annihilated in one.
o Three years
o Slowly, Bedouins began to join Muhammad after seeing God’s helping
o Muslims (Muhammad) won.
o Usually little pity for the losers BUT Muhammad did not carry out
revenge and embraced the Meccans.
 In the very founding of the religion – generosity, kindness
- Destroyed idols of Kabah – by doing so he broke apart the remnants of
independent identity, the tribal system
- Explosive growth – eventually larger than the Roman empire
- Success due to the fact that people were fed up with previous regimes
- Did not force their religion on others
- Not oppressive, let them keep administrative structure, let them remain religiously
- Islam was appealing because there was no oppressive clergy
- Christians and Muslims were able to peacefully share a worship building…
- The Muslims transformed conquered lands – maintained, expanding, improving
- The dome of the rock – Jerusalem, said to be holy to Abraham and Isaac
- Muhammad died – Medina fell into despair –
o Since the prophet left, maybe God would too?
o Successor? – from the elders, Abu Bakr, his father-in-law

Part 2
- Mecca – center
- Muslims make pilgrimages to Mecca
o Became essential devotional and ritual feature
o Symbolizes unity among all people and equality
- Hajj made trade flow freely
- Trade important to Islamic world
o Geographic position – between east and west

- Center of empire
- Beautiful
- Scholars made Baghdad the jewel of the world
- Center from the 8th century on
- Growth of empire too much to handle – needed the best minds of the age >>
o Scholars came from all over
- Scientists dispatched to find as many ancient texts they could find
o Based many things off those ancient texts
o Translated the works of the Greeks
- Renaissance started in Baghdad
- Began to challenge the knowledge they found in the texts
o Conducted experiments >> Scientific process
- Algebra, trigonometry, engineering, astronomy all from Arabs
- Medicine
o Discovered disease was transmitted through tiny airborne organisms
o Made quarantine of the sick – Hospital
o Study of anatomy – VERY GOOD
o Intrigued by light, lenses, and the physics of the human eye
 Doing cataract surgery
- Started making paper to spread knowledge around the empire

Córdoba, Spain
- Islamic culture starts to effect European civilization
- Most prosperous and sophisticated city in Eurpe during the dark ages
- At one point of time, rivaled Baghdad
- The Great Mosque – Biggest mosque in the biggest city in Europe
- Córdoba – a chance for Christians to experience Muslim culture
- Impressed many
- Alhambra – Medieval Muslim palace
- Most famous example – to the west – of medieval Islamic architecture

- Al-Hakim, caliph, ruled Jerusalem
- Christian and Jewish usually protected by Muslims
- Al-Hakim burnt the holiest church in Christendom – dum dum duuuuum
- Al-Hakim’s successor rebuilt a church – no effect.
- 1095, Christians couldn’t take it anymore – start of the crusades to rescue the holy
places of the east

- Crusaders struck at the right time – Muslim world weak and divided
- Serious surprise, no body expected Europe to attack.
- July 15, 1099 – Crusaders entered Jerusalem
o Massacre
o Even Christians weren’t spared
- Blot on the name of Christendom in Muslim view
- Crusaders built castles to ensure place – nice castles…
- Crusaders in castle in constant fear of attack
- Crusaders experienced Islamic life for the first time – amazed
- Islam kept going as normal…

- Trade unified Islamic world
- Checks developed
- Great craftsmen as well
o Swords
o Textiles – cashmere, silk, etc.
- Fabrics among the finest ever produced
- Christian church used them

- Great leader
- Turning point for the Muslims
- 1187, gathered an army and lured crusaders out of Jerusalem
- Crusaders camped out on a dry plain
- Muslims lit a small fire and it spread to the Christian encampment
- Took back Jerusalem
- No retaliation against Christian – allowed to leave with property or worship freely

Impacts of Islam on Europe

- Spices
- Used soap
- Learned Arabic – Westerners now could read Arabic

Devastation of Islam
- Totally decimated by the Mongols
- “The Mongol Catastrophe”
- Terror – Mongol’s main tactic, killing off entire towns as example
- February 10, 1258, Mongols took Baghdad
o Killed 10,000
o Mosques, libraries, knowledge - lost
- Took less than 50 years

- Mongols opened the world up
- Many became Muslims
- Went from building towers of heads to building mosques in a decade
- Transformed Islam – now anyone could be leader, not just Arabs

Ottoman Turks
- Nomads from Aral Sea
- Early on - enlisted as mercenaries to kill Mongols
- Osman Bey – great leader
- Followers of Osman – Ghazis
o Felt their job was to spread Islam
o Brave, almost fearless
- Started expanding west – Byzantine empire
- Created new empire
- Ottomans had problems with other Muslims
- Felt it would be “imprudent” to have an army of these people
o Recruited children not from those Muslim families – mostly Christian
o No ties to anything other than Sultan
o Given the best education
o Made to rise to lead the empire
o Some were viziers, others Janissaries
- Janissaries
o First military with uniforms
o Strong
o Fearless
- Ottomans started to expand
- Mehmet the Conqueror – wanted Constantinople
o He needed everything.
- Constantinople hard to take
o Surrounded on three sides by water
o Well fortified - walls