Rise of Islam 7 th c. Muhammad received revelations in Arabic – gathered together into a book Koran- became the basis of a new religion that we know as Islam The Muslim community quickly expanded, uniting many tribes of Arabia These tribes, united by the faith of Islam, swept out of Arabia to conquer the Persian and Byzantine empires
The advance of Islam Charles Martel defeated Muslims at Tours in 732 – checked the Muslim advance into Europe Byzantium also halted the invading armies However, within a century, the new empire stretched from southern Spain to northern India, and from the Caucasus to the Indian Ocean. The empire was ruled by caliphs drawn from the prophet’s family
Islamic civilization A synthesis of the religion and culture of Arabia with the great imperial traditions of the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian empire. This synthesis molded the politics, science, literature, and arts of the people who adopted Islam As a dominant culture of the region, it had a shaping influence on the Armenians and the Jews
The history of Islam Islamic faith was linked to the expansion of Islamic rule Muslim rulers were tolerant of those religions who faith was based on revelation, such as Judaism and Christianity, but forbade them to increase their numbers by conversion The history of Islam is turbulent and violent: Umayyads were overthrown Abassids founded Baghdad, Islam’s imperial city
History of Islam Religious factionalism threatened the caliphate The Muslim community divided between those who believed that the caliphate should remain in the prophet’s bloodlines (shi’ites) and those who insisted only that it remain within his clan, the Quraysh (sunnis)
History of Islam 1210-1220- the Islamic empire was shattered The Mongol Chinghis Khan’s armies, which had already subjugated all of China, swept through Central Asia, and Iraq, leveling cities. 1260- Mamluk rulers of Egypt defeated the Mongols in Palestine and ended the myth of their invincibility Baghdad lost its eminence as the chief city of Islam
History of Islam The Mongol dynasties that succeeded to rule in the Islamic world converted to Islam, and accommodated themselves to Islamic norms of rule 1336-1405-Tamerlane, who claimed descent from the khans, led his armies from Samarkand into Iran, Turkey and Russia The Timurids were the last powerful dynasty to originate in the steppes
History of Islam The world of Islam came to be divided between the Ottomans in the west, the Safavids in Iran, and the Moghuls in India The Ottomans launched the last great conquest, begun in the 14 th c., when they expanded across the Bosphorus into the Balkans, threatening Vienna in 1683
Islamic literature Islam established Arabic as the dominant language of religion, trade, and learning throughout the empire 9 th c-center of translation in Baghdad Greek science and philosophy, Indian mathematics, Chinese medicine, and Persian literature were all translated into Arabic Arabic had become the lingua franca of all the communities of Islam Islam had become a cosmopolitan, international culture
Prose vs. poetry Prose, which had next to no role in pre-Islamic literature of Arabia, came to enjoy exceptional currency because it was a better vehicle than poetry both for religious learning and for the new secular, humanistic learning that was flooding Islam from all sides Though poetry enjoyed precedence over prose in the classical period, as it continued to do until the present day, prose was the accepted vehicle for narrative
What are the characteristics of Islamic literature? Koranic intolerance of fiction, which it categorized as ‘lying’ Prose narratives were strongly didactic or informative –moralistic beast fables The Thousand and One Nights –popular entertainment –not welcomed into the canon Imaginative literature was excluded from religion 10 th c. with the rise of mysticism poetry became a vehicle for spirituality in Islam
The languages of Islam Islamic literature began in Arabic 9 th c. Islamic poetry and prose began to be written in Persian as well Persian poets drew on the pre-Islamic Iranian stories from its national epic tradition to create an extremely rich literature – sufi mysticism The origins of Islamic literature in Turkish can be traced to the 11 th c. 14 th c Islamic poetry in the regional languages of India – Kashmiri, Punjabi etc.
Islam Did Islam appreciate the great masterpieces of the Middle Eastern civilizations?
Islam The Islamic cultural tradition made no effort to accept the pre-Islamic cultural traditions as its own (Greece, Mesopotamia, Palestine)
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