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Chapter 7: Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islam


Chapter 7: Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islam AP World History I Indian/Muslim cultural diffusion Muslims inherit the Indian scientific learning, which rivaled ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 7: Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islam

Chapter 7 Abbasid Decline and the Spread of
  • AP World History I

Spread of Islam Early History
Spread of Islam Abbasid Dynasty
The Late Abbasid Era
  • As early as the third Abbasid Caliph, al-Mahdi
    (775-785), issues related to the decline of the
    Abbasid Caliphate were apparent.
  • Somewhat typical pattern
  • Caliph abandons frugal ways of predecessors
  • Caliph does NOT establish clear pattern of
  • In many cases, wives/concubines became involved
    in the various palace intrigues associated with
    the succession crises.

The Late Abbasid Era
  • Harun al-Rashid (786-809) ascended to the throne
    after the death of al-Mahdi (and the poisoning of
    his eldest son)
  • Harun al-Rashid enjoyed the sumptuous palace
  • Emissaries sent in the 9th century were dazzled
    with the splendor of Baghdad

Harun al-Rashid
  • Power of Royal Advisors grew throughout the rule
    of Harun al-Rashid.
  • Caliphs became pawns in the factional royal court
  • Upon al-Rashids death, full-scale civil war
    broke out amongst those vying for power.
  • While al-Mamum (813-833) was the victorwhat he
    did next truly changed the nature of the

Slave Armies
  • Al-Mamum was convinced to conscript thousands of
    mostly Turkic-speaking slaves as his personal
  • As the number eclipsed 70,000 the slave regiment
    became a power center, in its own right.
  • By 846, they had murdered the reigning caliph,
    and in the coming decades would murder at least
    four more

Abbasid Decline
  • Caliphs struggle to control the Slave Regiments
  • Some Caliphs want to move capital away from
    Baghdad turmoil
  • Increased spending
  • New irrigation
  • Old irrigation and public works fall into
  • Spiraling taxation/pillaging, etc
  • Abandonment of some of the earlier provinces of
    the empire.

Late Abbasid Declinewomen
  • The Harem and the Veil are the twin emblems of
    womens increasing subjugation to men and
  • The Abbasid court created the concept of the
    Harem for the Caliphate.

Further Abbasid Decline
  • The Abbasids were losing territory quickly
  • Egypt and Syria break away from Abbasid rule
  • In once-provincial areas of the Islamic
    Caliphate, independent kingdoms had arose to
    challenge the Abbasids
  • In 945, the Buyids of Persia invade and capture
  • Caliphs became puppets controlled by families,
    like the Buyids.
  • Buyid leaders took the title of sultan meaning
    victorious in Arabic, which will designate
    Muslim rulers.

The Seljuks
  • By 1055, the Buyid control over the Caliphate was
  • In 1055, Central Asian Nomadic warriors known as
    the Seljuk Turks ruled over the Abbasid lands.
  • Staunch Sunniskick Shias out of governmental
  • Resisted the Byzantines who were taking advantage
    of Muslim disunity

Seljuk Turks
  • Defeat of the Byzantines led to the settlement of
    Asia Minor which would eventually become the seat
    of the Ottoman Empire

The Crusades
The Crusades
  • Knights from Western Europe launched crusades to
    capture portions of the Islamic world that made
    up the Holy Land of Biblical times.
  • Muslim divisions and the element of surprise made
    the first Crusade a Christian success.
  • 1099 Christian knights took Jerusalem.
  • Muslim and Jewish inhabitants were massacred

First Crusade
First Crusade
The Crusades
  • For the next two centuries, Europeans would mount
    in excess of 8 crusades.
  • Varying degrees of success
  • When Muslim were united under powerful rule like
    Salah-ud-Din (Saladin) they re-conquer most of
    the lands they lost.
  • The last crusader kingdom fell in Acre in 1291

Third Crusade gets Acre, but then the Europeans
lose it!
Impact of Crusades
  • The Crusaders experiences in the Eastern
    Mediterranean intensified European borrowing
    from the Muslim world.
  • Through increased cultural contacts, Europeans
    began to recover much of the Greek learning lost
    during the waves of nomadic invasions after the
    fall of the Roman Empire

Age of Muslim Learning and Refinement
  • Even though the caliphate was steeped in
    political turmoil, the Muslim Empire still
    experienced growth and prosperity until late in
    the Abbasid era.
  • Declining Revenue
  • Deteriorating conditions in the countryside/town
  • Expansion of the professional classes
  • Muslim/Jewish/Christian entrepreneurs amass great
    fortunes supplying cities with staples
    (grain/barley), essentials (cotton, woolen
    textiles for clothing), and luxury items.
  • Long-Distance trade flourishes

Age of Muslim Learning and Refinement
  • Artists and Artisans benefit
  • Mosques and palaces became more ornate.
  • Tapestries and rugs from Persia were in great
    demand from Europe to China.
  • Persian becomes the language of high culture.
  • Arabic remains language of religion, law, and
    natural sciences
  • Persian was language of literary expression,
    administration, and scholarship.

Age of Muslim Learning and Refinement
  • Persian writers in the Abbasid era write on many
    subjects from love affairs, to statecraft, to
    incidents from everyday life.
  • Blend of mystical and commonplace.
  • Not only did Muslims revive Greco-Roman
    scientific traditionsthey developed their own
    theories as well!
  • Major corrections to algebraic and geometric
  • Advances in trigonometry

Age of Muslim Learning and Refinement
  • Great advances in chemistry and astronomy.
  • Cairo best hospitals in the world
  • Muslim traders introduce techniques like
    papermaking and silk-weaving that was developed
    in China.
  • Development of cartography

Age of Muslim Learning and Refinement
  • Contradictory trends in Islamic Civilization
  • Social strife and political divisions
  • Vs
  • Expanded trading links and intellectual creativity
  • This was felt in the religious world, as well
  • A resurgence of mysticism
  • Vs
  • Orthodox religious scholars become wary of
    non-Islamic ideas and scientific thinking

Religious contradictions
  • Orthodox religious scholars felt that the revival
    of Greco-Roman philosophical traditions would
    erode the absolute authority of the Quran
  • Sufi movement
  • Sufis are wandering mystics who sought a personal
    union with Allah
  • A reaction against the abstract divinity of the
  • Sufis gain reputations as healers and miracle
    workersgain sizeable followings
  • Some led militant bands that spread Islam to

The End of the Caliphate
  • By the 10th and 11th centuries, the Abbasid
    Caliphate was compromised by many different
  • In the early 13th century, the Mongols, united
    under Chinggis Khan became a powerful force in
    Asia, smashing through Turko-Persian kingdoms to
    the east of Baghdad by 1220 CE.

The End of the Caliphate
  • Genghis dies before conquest of the Islamic
    Heartlands, but his grandson, Hulegu renewed the
    assault on the Islamic lands in the 1250s.
  • By 1258, the Abbasid capital of Baghdad was taken
    by the Mongols

The End of the Caliphate
  • The 37th and last Abbasid Caliph was put to death
    by the Mongols.
  • The Mongol advance was stopped by the Mamluks, or
    Turkic Slaves who ruled Egypt.
  • In 1401, Baghdad suffers from another capture and
    round of pillaging by the forces of Tamerlane.
  • Baghdads glory becomes supplanted by Cairo to
    the west and Istanbul to the North

The Spread of Islam
Islams arrival in South Asia
  • India through the Gupta Empire had been a
    crossroads of migration for Central Asian nomads
    seeking refuge
  • Generally, those people were accepted, and
    assimilated into Indian Society.
  • The arrival of the Muslims in the 7th Century CE,
    will alter that.

The Hindu/Islam mix
  • IndiaHinduism
  • IndiaIslam
  • Open, tolerant, and inclusive of varying forms of
    religious devotion.
  • Search of union with spiritual source of all
  • Social system structured on the caste system
  • Based on doctrines, practices (specific) and
    exclusive worship of a single god.
  • Highly egalitarian in the sight of god.
  • Religious practices are mandatory and obvious

The Hindu/Islam mix
  • Early centuries were characterized by violent
  • However, a good deal of trade and religious
  • In time, peaceful interactions became the norm
  • There were contacts via traders in the Indian
    Ocean Trade network as early as 711 CE
  • Indian overlords who took over land in South Asia
    brought little change to most inhabitants of the
    Indian Subcontinent.
  • Many people welcomed the Arabs because they
    promised lighter taxation and religious tolerance

Early Muslim encounters in India
  • Muslim leaders decided to treat Hindus and
    Buddhists as the dhimmi, or people of the book
    even though they had no connection to the Bible.
  • This meant that Hindus and Buddhists had to pay
    the tax on non-believers, they enjoyed the
    freedom to worship as they pleased.
  • Little effort was put towards conversion, so most
    people remained Hindu or Buddhist.

Indian/Muslim cultural diffusion
  • Muslims inherit the Indian scientific learning,
    which rivaled the Greeks as the most advanced in
    the world.
  • Arabic numerals originated in India
  • Indian learning was transferred to Baghdad in the
    age of the Abbasids.
  • Indian doctors, scientists, etc.
  • Muslims adopt Indian styles of dress, food, and
    ride on elephants as the Hindu rajas (kings) did.
  • Muslims also adopt and infuse Indian
    architectural styles

Move towards Empire
  • Early interactions did little to add territory to
    the Muslim Empire, and in some cases, lost
  • BUT, in 962 CE, a Turkish slave dynasty seized
    power in Afghanistan.
  • Their third ruler, Mahmud of Ghazni, began two
    CENTURIES of Muslim raiding and conquest in
    Northern India
  • Throughout the 11th century, Mahmud defeated one
    confederation of Hindu princes after another in
    the name of Islam.

  • The efforts of Mahmud of Ghazni were continued by
    Muhammad of Ghur
  • Assassinated in 1206
  • A slave lieutenant seizes powerQutb-ud-din Aibak

The Delhi Sultanate
  • A new Muslim empire was proclaimed with the
    capital at Delhi, along the Jumna river on the
    Gengetic Plain.
  • For the next 300 years, a succession of dynasties
    known as the Delhi Sultante (literally, princes
    of the heartland) ruled North and Central India

The Delhi Sultanate
  • This was a period of clashing control between the
    sultanate princes themselves, as well as Mongol
    and Turkic invaders.

  • Carriers of the new faith on the subcontinent
    were often merchants and Sufi mystics
  • Sufis shared many characteristics with Indian
    gurus and wandering ascetics.
  • Belief in magical healing powers
  • Accepted lower-caste and outcaste groups into
    Islamic faith
  • Most Muslims were NOT from the Indo-Gangetic
    centers of the Delhi Sultanate, indicating low
    forced conversions

  • Most conversions came from low-caste or Buddhist
  • Buddhism became largely debased as a result of
    corrupt practices
  • Buddhist temples and monasteries became lucrative
    targets for raids, etc.
  • Many lower-caste, untouchables, animistic tribes,
    and Buddhists were attracted to the egalitarian
    nature of Islam

  • Hindus were convinced that Muslims would soon be
    absorbed by the superior religions and more
    sophisticated cultures of India
  • Many things pointed that way!
  • Muslim princes adopted regal styles
  • Muslim rulers claim divine descent
  • Muslim rulers mint coins with Hindu images
  • Muslim communities also became socially divided
    along Caste lines
  • Violation of the original tenets of Islam!

Islam in South Asia at the end of the Sultanate
  • Attempts to fuse Hinduism and Islam soon were
    recognized as impossible.
  • Brahmans soon denounce Muslim leaders, etc.
  • Muslims respond by strengthening their unity
    within the Indian Muslim community
  • After centuries of political domination though,
    South Asia remained one of the least converted
    and integrated of all the areas Islam reached.

Southeast Asia
  • Southeast Asia was CRITICAL to the connection of
    trade from Chinese ports to Indian vessels along
    the Indian Ocean Trade network

(No Transcript)
Southeast Asian contribution
  • Aromatic woods from rainforests of Borneo and
  • Spices cloves, nutmeg from Indonesia
  • From 8th Century onward, coastal trade in India
    became dominated by Muslims

  • As a result, elements of Islam began to filter
    into the southeast Asian region
  • The collapse of the Shrivijaya trading empire
    (Buddhist) in the 13th century opened the door
    for the widespread introduction of Islam

  • Trading contacts paved the way for conversion
  • NOT conquest and force
  • Muslim ships also carry Sufis to the various
    parts of SE Asia
  • Conversion begins in Sumatra, then across the
    Strait of Malacca to Malaya

  • Muslims impressed SE Asians by telling them how
    much of the world had already been converted

  • Mainland conversion was centered on Malacca, a
    powerful trading city
  • Spreads to east Sumatra and to DEMAK on the north
    coast of Java
  • From there, spread to the Celebes and then the
    Spice Islands, then to Mindanao and Southern

The Spice Island(s)
  • Trading was the key to conversion.
  • Regulation of commonality in Muslim laws was good
    to regulate business.
  • Conversion linked centers culturally, and
    economically to Indian merchants and ports in
    India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean

SE Asian Islam
  • Some areas (like Central Java) saw conversion
    take longer than others
  • Hindu-Buddhist dynasties contested its spread
  • Mainland Southeast Asia did NOT see wholesale
    conversion, and remained largely Buddhist
  • Because it was spread primarily by Sufis, SE
    Asian Islam was more dynamic than orthodox Islam
  • Infused with mythical strains
  • Tolerated animist, Hindu, and Buddhist beliefs
    and rituals.
  • Magical powers

Women in SE Asian Islamic Society
  • Women retained a strong position in the family
    and the community
  • Trading in local and regional markets was
    dominated by small-scale female merchants
  • As in Western Sumatra, lineage and inheritance
    was traced through female lines
  • Many cultural elements were blended from SE Asian
    Culture with Muslim Culture.