HST142 Islam Defining Movements


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" After considering the history of the Muslim world in the period between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries, which particular events, processes, and/or encounters would you deem overall the most enduring and most defining? "

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Introduction to Muslim World History HST 142 Muslim World 1000-1500 Winter 2019 Dr. Mbengue 14 15 36 34 11 10 13 12 7 6 8 1 54 35 33 32 37 3 38 39 41 42 31 292 40 43 44 46 45 28 30 27 47 26 18 17 16 9 19 20 21 22 23 25 48 49 24 Questions on Egger • Egger describes Islam in its beginning as a ‘religio-social movement of reform’. What is your understanding of that qualification? • Was the rise and expansion of Islam totally expected? • In the author’s view, what made the Islamic experience unique. Was it its rise or its staying power? • Is it fair to speak of the Muslim world as a monolith? • Why is the author defining the period between 600 and 950 of Islamic history as formative? Southwest Asia before in the late 6th and early 7th centuries • Dominated by two major empires: the Byzantine (Roman) empire based in Constantinople and the Sasanid (Persian) empire based in Ctesiphon; • Period of intense rivalries and armed conflicts between the two dominant empires; • In their southern borders, each of these empires allied themselves with a number of Arabian tribes or Arabian confederates; Birth of Islam • Islam started in northwest Arabia, in the cuty of Mecca in the Hijaz, shortly after the first decade into the 7th century; • It did not start to truly spread until after the Hijra in 622 C.E., when it established itself in Medina; • By 632, it became a major force within the Arabian peninsula The Rashidun state 632-661 • The Rashidun state corresponds with that period immediately after the Prophet Muhammad; • It is a period of both consolidation within Arabia and rapid expansion to Syria, Iraq, North Africa and beyond; • The capital of the Islamic state remained in Medina in the Hijaz; The Umayyad State 661-750 • Marked the rise of the first dynasty in Muslim history; • Damascus (Syria) becomes capital of the Muslim state; • Continuation of territorial expansion in the Atlantic – Indus axis; The Abbasid State 750-1258 • Second major dynasty; • Baghdad (Iraq) becomes capital of the Muslim state; • Corresponds with ‘golden age’ of Islamic culture and civilization; Rise of the Islamic World System HST 142 Muslim World 1000 – 1500 Winter 2019 Dr. Mbengue h d g a f c e b 1.Caspian Sea; 2.Red Sea 3.Persian Gulf 4.Aral Sea; 5.Iberian Peninsula; 6.Arabian Sea; 7.Bay of Bengal 8.Mediterranean Questions on Robert Irving • What was al-Mawardi’s work about? • From which century was al-Mawardi? • Would you see al-Mawardi’s work as descriptive of the ideals or rather the realities of his time? • Why, in your view, would Irvin start his text with alMawardi and his work on political theory? • Is it fair to speak of political unity in the Muslim world of the eleventh century? • Which main political states did Irvin list in his presentation of the Muslim world in the eleventh century? Questions on Robert Irving • In what ways do these political states differ? Give some examples. Internal Forces • Rise of the Ulamas; • Sense of one perennial community (Umma) despite the temporary states/dynasties; • Important lingua-franca (mainly Arabic and relatively Persian); • General consensus on the authority of the Qur’an; • Relative territorial continuity and dominance over major waterways (e.g. Indian ocean). States/Dynasties 10th -13th Centuries • • • • • • • • • • Abbasid; Ghaznavid; Buyid; Fatimid; Umayyad (in Iberia); Almoravid; Almohad; Zengid; Ayyubid; Mameluk. External Challenges • Crusades; • Mongol invasions; • Plague. Mongolian Expansion The World of Ibn Battuta I HST 142 Muslim World, 1000-1500 Winter 2019 Dr. Mbengue d a i e c h b f g h j 1- Deccan Plateau; 2- Anatolia; 3- Khurasan; 4- Aral Sea; 5-Malabar Coast; 6 – Amu Darya; 7- Syr Darya; 8- Caspian Sea; 9. Caucasus; 10. Coromandel Coast; 11. Transoxiana. Questions on D. Ross’s Ibn Battuta • What, according to Dunn, represents the best source to know about Ibn Battuta’s life? • Would you describe the Rihla as an autobiography? Why or why not? • Would you characterize the Rihla as the classical version of the modern travelogue? • What could be considered strength in Ibn Battuta’s work? • What could be considered weakness in Ibn Battuta’s work? Questions on D. Ross’s Ibn Battuta • How did Dunn put together his work on Ibn Battuta? • Do you have any problem with Dunn’s methodology? Why or why not? • In which modern-day nation-state was Ibn Battuta born? • Would you consider the Rihla a good source to study the Muslim world of the fourteenth century? Why or why not? • Are there significant places of the Muslim world that, would you say, Ibn Battuta left out in his travels? Questions on D. Ross’s Ibn Battuta • Was the Rihla a well-established genre in the Muslim world during Ibn Battuta’s time? • According to Dunn, has Ibn Battuta’s own Rihla been well known outside the Muslim world to this day? • To whom in the West, is Ibn Battuta often compared to? • In what ways do the experiences of Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo differ? Questions on D. Ross’s Ibn Battuta • How did Dunn call the period of eastern hemispheric history between 1000 and 1500 C.E.? • Do you agree with that title? • In his introduction, Dunn sets the ‘Middle Period’ Muslim civilization from its counterparts from the same era. In which particular aspect was it different? • What is your understanding of the concept of ‘egalitarian contractualism’? • How do you understand the notion of ‘intercommunicating zone’ used by Dunn in his introduction? The World of Ibn Battuta HST 142 Muslim World, 1000-1500 Winter 2019 Dr. Mbengue 5 4 3 5 2 1 A. Ifriqiya; B. Strait of Gibraltar; C. Iberia; D. Sicily; E. Cyrenaica; F. Tripolitana; Questions on Dunn (chap. 1) • According to Dunn, did Tangier have any geostrategic meaning in the early fourteenth century? • What determine the status of Tangier? • What is your understanding of the Maghrib, after reading Dunn’s chapter 1? • Why did Dunn describe the early fourteenth century as a time of transition for the Maghrib? Questions on Dunn (chap. 1) • What did North Africa and Iberia have in common from the eighth to the thirteenth century? • Who were the Almohads? • What was the 1212 Battle of Las Novas de Tolosa about? What did it signal? • What happened to the Almohad state after their losses in Iberia? • What remained of Muslim presence in Iberia after the retreat of the Almohads? • Did religion play a role in the alliances between the successor states of the Almohads? Questions on Dunn (chap. 1) • Overall, did Tangier specifically gain or lose from the fall of the Almohads? • Where did Tangier’s prosperity come from? • Was the level of education expected from someone like Ibn Battuta typical from any native of fourteenth century Tangier? • How did Dunn describe Islamic education in the ‘Middle Period’? Bou Inania Madrasa court, Fez (Marinid) Mecca and the Hajj HST 142 Muslim World, 1000-1500 Winter 2019 Dr. Mbengue 6 5 4 8 3 1 2 7 a. Najd; b. Empty Quarter; c. Sinai Peninsula; d. Hijaz; e. Bab al-Mandab; f. Strait of Ormuz; g. Nafud desert; h. Syrian desert Questions (Dunn, Chap. 4) • What was the main purpose of Ibn Battuta’s trip to Arabia? • What determined the decision to take the land route to pilgrimage during Ibn Battuta’s time? • From which city did Ibn Battuta formally depart for pilgrimage? • Which city in the Hijaz was the direct destination of Ibn Battuta and his caravan? • Why was Medina important to Ibn Battuta and to Muslims in general? Questions (Dunn, chap. 4) • What was and still is the main religious meaning of Mecca? • Who were ruling Mecca and Medina during the time of Ibn Battuta? • What did the pilgrimage to Mecca entail for states claiming leadership in the Muslim world such as the Mamluks in the fourteenth century for example? • In which ways was the pilgrimage special? • Did the trip to Mecca have any impact on Ibn Battuta’s decision to travel around the Muslim world? Why or why not? ...
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School: UCLA



Islam Defining Moments
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Islam Defining Moments

There are various defining moments in Islam history, especially between the 11th and
16th century. The various events are said to be defined as they had a great impact on Islam as
well as the people they interacted with. Islam history cannot be complete without the mention of
the various major events.
The Great Plague
The first defining moment was the great plague. This occurred between the years 13461348. This was a pandemic outbreak that was caused by strange bacteria. It was referred by
many as the Black Death. This devastating situation led to the death of more than half of the
people that lived in Eurasia at the time. Unfortunately, the immediately affected people would
either die immediately while some survived. People were not able to survive as much as wild
animals. Animals such as rats were seen to carry about the bacteria even after the period had
been deemed to come to an end. As the animals carried about the bacteria, the outbreak could
occur from time to time. This led to the death of about 200 million people around Islam land.
This extended to the European land and therefore caught the attention of the major powers. This

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