Major Empires of the Asian Continent Essay

Major Empires of the Asian Continent Essay

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During the period of 1500CE through 1750CE, there three major empires that existed in the southwest corner of the Asian continent. The Ottoman Empire was the most powerful, the Persian Empire made rugs profitable, and the Mughal Empire formed trade alliances with the West. The thing that all three had in common was the Islamic Faith, they were all bound by the verses of the Qur'an and their shared love and devotion to Allah. There were two major sects of Islam, Sunni and Shi'ia. Sunni Islam was the largest sect, followed by Shi'ia, which had a significantly lesser following. The Ottomans Had Sunni Islam as their state religion and the Mughals embraced Sunni Islam along with other religions brought in from the traders around the world. Despite being a minority religion, Shi'ite Islam was brought forward and made into a state religion when Ismail founded the Safavid Dynasty of Persia.

To begin understanding the Shi'ite faith and its path to its status as a state religion, it is important to first understand the beginning of Islam in general. The prophet Muhammad was born to a powerful branch of the Quraysh in approximately 570 CE in Mecca. It was here that he was raised in the traditional way, including a period of time in the desert learning pure Arabic from the Bedouins. As an adult, Muhammad served as an arbiter and judge, settling many disputes and ensuring the local and regional laws were carried out. After many years of serving publicly along the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Muhammad went out into the desert for prayer. It was during this time, around the year 610, that he had a powerful revelation. There the angel Gabriel gave him the verses of the Qur'an. This would be the foundation for the Islamic faith.

Shi'...


... middle of paper ...


...y. Though Persia itself is long gone, Iran in its place, the people of the region still maintain their beliefs, thus influencing the politics of the region through modern history following the decline of the Safavid Dynasty and into the 21st century.



works cited

McKay ET AL., A History of World Societies: Volume B From 800 to 1815. Boston, MA. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. Print.

“Muhammad.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011. Web. 24 Apr 2011.

“Sunni – Shia: Brief History.” Huda Dodge. Islamicity.com, 21 Jan 2008.Web. Accessed 24 Apr 2011.

“The History of the Shia.” N.A., N.P. IslamicWeb.com, N.D. Accessed 24 Apr 2011.

Roshd.org. Web. Accessed 24 Apr 2011.

“Ismaili Islam.” Austin Cline. Atheism.About.com 2011. Web. Accessed 24 Apr 2011.

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