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The Abbasid Empire at its Peak

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1 Chapter 7: Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islamic Civilization to South & Southeast Asia

2 The Abbasid Empire at its Peak

3 Middle and Late Abbasid Era
Abbasid disintegrated between 9th and 13th centuries Harun al-Rashid: Most famous of the Abbasid caliphs ( CE) – renowned for sumptuous and costly living recounted in The Thousand and One Nights Rulers became dependent on Persians advisors; continual civil violence drained the imperial treasury. Costly new imperial centers, heavy tax burdens, bandits

4 Seljuk Turks – nomadic invaders; a Sunni Muslim dynasty that ruled in the name of the Abbasids; ruled parts of Central Asia & Middle East from the 11th-14th centuries

5 Declining Position of Women
The harem and the veil became the twin emblems of women’s subjugation to men Seclusion of elite women, wives, and concubines The Islamic culture retained much of its male dominated nature despite the Quran’s teaching on the equality of women Women intrigued for advancement of their sons Abbasid wealth generated demand for concubines and male slaves in non-Muslim neighboring lands.

6 Buyids – Persian invaders of the 10th c
Buyids – Persian invaders of the 10th c.; captured Baghdad and acted as sultans through Abbasid figureheads. Sultan: Word meaning “victorious”; came to designate Muslim rulers. Crusades: invasions of western Christians into Muslim lands, especially Palestine; captured Jerusalem and established Christian kingdoms enduring until 1291. Saladin: 13th c. Muslim ruler; re-conquered most of the crusader kingdoms

7 Impact of the Crusades:
Christian knights invaded Muslim territory 1096 Established small, rival kingdoms The last fell 1291 and reunited under Saladin Europeans borrowed sophisticated technology, architecture, medicine, mathematics, science and general culture from Muslim lands

8 Age of Learning: Great ages of human creativity Rapid urban growth Artists and artisans created mosques, palaces, tapestries, rugs, bronzes and ceramics Persian replaced Arabic as primary written language of the Abbasid courts Persian became language of “high culture” Rubaiyat: Epic poem of Omar Khayyam; seeks to find meaning in life and a path to union with the divine

9 Ulama: Islamic religious scholars; pressed for a more conservative and restrictive theology; opposed to non-Islamic thinking Sufis: Islamic mystics; spread Islam to many Afro-Asian regions. Mongols: Central Asian nomadic peoples; captured Baghdad in 1258 and killed the last Abbasid caliph Chinggis Khan: Born in 1170, elected leader of all Mongol tribes in 1206; responsible for the conquest of northern kingdoms of China territories as far west as the Abbasid regions; died in 1227, prior to the conquest of most of the Islamic world

10 Arrows = routes by which Islam spread to South & Southeast Asia


12 Chinggis Khan Early 13th c. - Chinggis Khan destroyed the Turkic Persian kingdoms east of Baghdad. His grandson, Hulegu, continued the assault. The last Abbasid ruler was killed when Baghdad fell in The once-great Abbasid capital became an unimportant backwater in the Muslin World.

13 Islam Comes to South Asia (India)
Hindu religion – dominated by caste system Muslims rulers governed Hindu subjects Muhammad ibn Qasim: Arab general who conquered Sind and made it part of the Umayyad Empire Muhammad of Ghur: Persian ruler, invaded and conquered Northern India

14 Rajas: term used for Hindu Kings
Sultans of Delhi: Title of the Islamic imperial houses of India, which means princes of the heartland. military states; ruled north-central India for the next 300 years Sati: Hindu ritual for burning windows with their deceased husbands Malacca: Flourishing trading city in Malaya; established a trading empire after the fall of Shrivijaya

15 Latten sails: Large triangular sails that are attached to the masts by long booms or yard arms which extend diagonally high across both the fore and aft portions of the ship Eunuchs: A castrated man in charge of a harem or high officer of a court of emperor.

16 Mamelukes: Turkic slave-warriors who ruled Egypt and defeated the Mongols to prevents their entry into northern Africa Mameluke was a slave soldier who converted to Islam and served the Muslim caliphs during the Middle Ages ( Mameluke Empire They became a powerful military caste and on more that one occasion seized power for themselves, example (Egypt)

17 The Mamluk system gave rulers troops who had no link to any established power structure. The local warriors were often more loyal to their tribal sheiks, their families or nobles other than the sultan or caliph. The slave-troops were strangers of the lowest possible status who could not conspire against the ruler and who could easily be punished if they caused trouble, making them a great military asset. Mamluks were frequently used as mercenaries.

18 Muslim Presence in India – The greatest majority of the population remained Hindu
By the close of he sultanate period there were two distinct religious communities. South Asia remained the least converted and integrated of all areas receiving the message of Islam. Southeast Asia had been a middle ground where the Chinese part of the Eurasian trading complex met the Indian Ocean zone. By the 8th c. Muslims gained control of Indian commerce, Islamic culture reached southeast Asia Peaceful contacts and voluntary conversion were more important to the spread of Islam than were conquest and force. Trading prepared the way for conversion, with the process carried forward by Sufis.

19 Islam spread From Malacca to Malaya, Sumatra and Java.
Coastal cities were the most receptive to Islam. Buddhist dynasties were present in many regions, but since Buddhist conversions were limited to the elite, the mass of population was open to the message of the Sufis. The Island of Bali and mainland southeast Asia, where Buddhism had gained popular support, remained impervious to Islam

20 Religions have a core belief that allow adherents to maintain a sense of common identity and flexible enough to allow retention of important aspects of local culture.

21 Sufi Mystics – were tolerant of the indigenous peoples’ Buddhist and Hindu beliefs.
Many pre-Muslim beliefs were incorporated into Islamic ceremonies Women held a stronger familial and societal position than they had in the Middle East or India

22 Global Connections: Islam – A Bridge Between Worlds
Expanding Muslim world linked ancient civilizations through conquest and commercial (trade) networks. Its cultural contributions diffused widely from great cities and universities. Political divisions caused exploitable weaknesses in many regions. The increasing intellectual rigidity of the Ulama caused Muslims to become less receptive to outside influences at a time when the European world was transforming.

23 Conclusion Chapter Summary:
9th c. Abbasids losing control – Empire too vast to move armies Seljuk Turk invasions in 11th century Mongol invasions in the 13th century Islamic civilization reached new cultural heights and Islam expanded widely in the Afro- Asian world through conquest and peaceful conversion

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