The Islam and The Islamic Empire Essay

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rompt: List and explore in depth the factors that contributed to the rapid and widespread adoption of the Islamic Faith and the creation of an empire that extended from Spain to the farthest borders of the Persian Empire.

Hook Quote: “The rapidity of military conquest and expansive political domination should not lead one to conclude that suddenly the whole of the known world had converted to Islam. It was not primarily missionary zeal that motivated the troops, but the promise of adventure and booty. That is not to say that their leaders entirely avoided the redirect of heavenly reward for bringing the world into the embrace of Islam, but on the whole, desire for conversion was secondary at best.”(p. 19-20) – 101 Q&A

Thesis: Islam and The Islamic Empire started suddenly and spread rapidly over a 500+ year period because of political, cultural, and religious reasons.
• At age 40, Muhammad had a sudden revelation from God. In 613 CE, Muhammad began his preaching.
• Throughout his life, the Muslim ummah, Arabic for “community” began, which was the basis for the Empire.
Support 1:
• “Roman Empire divided into West and East in the 4th Century” (101 Q&A). Eastern Part (“Byzantium”) gathered power in Middle East and North Africa, same area that the Islamic Empire later controlled.
• Suggests that studying Byzantium gives clues to understanding Islam’s spread.
• Rome fell 476 BC, but Byzantium Empire remained strong.
• Byzantium split into 2 groups: Ghassinids and Lakhmids
• Ghassinids: Christians, controlled southern Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan
• Sasanian Persian Empire: Ruled Iraq and much of Iran, and contained an ethnic groups Lakhmids who were Zoroastrians.
• Islam growing in size an...

... middle of paper ...

... ability to unify “all people in the service of God or Allah” (101 Q&A). “The ultimate goal is a return to the pristine unity in which all creation worships God together” (101 Q&A), this suggests that Islam spread rapidly amongst Jews and Christians because it appealed to their desire to live in a unified reality.
• One thing that was not a primary factor with military conquest, was the religious beliefs of the troops. Most troops who fought to expand the Islamic Empire did so because of “the promise of adventure and booty.”(p. 20) --101 Q&A
• “On the whole, desire for conversion was secondary at best” (p. 20)- 101 Q&A
• Tolerance – Caliphates respected the diets and rituals of “milla”, or religious off- shoots. Certain amount of tolerance within the Islamic Empire that allowed for even balance between the natives and Islamic authorities that took them over.

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