The Rise of the Muslim World Part 2: The Spread and Split of Islam Expansion and Division Muslims were inspired to spread their religion, believing that they had a duty to carry the ideas of Islam to the world. However, there was division over leadership and eventually this would divide the Muslim world. Despite this, Muslims created an empire that included land on 3 continents. This created cultural blending that continues to this day. Important Dates 632: Muhammad dies, Abu-Bakr becomes the first caliph and conquers Arabia. 634: Abu-Bakr dies, Umar becomes caliph and conquers Syria and lower Egypt. 656: Uthman murdered, civil war begins. 661: Ali assassinated. 732: Berbers defeated at the Battle of Tours. 750-1258: Abbasid caliphate. Islam after Muhammad After the death of Muhammad, there was no clear successor. Using ancient tribal custom, Abu-Bakr was chosen. Abu-Bakr was known as the first caliph (“deputy”). He promised to uphold all that Muhammad had stood for. Some tribes soon abandoned Islam, while others refused to pay taxes or declared themselves prophets. Abu-Bakr declared jihad (“striving”) against nonbelievers, using armed struggle to encourage the expansion of Islam. Rightly Guided Caliphs Abu-Bakr and his three successors, Umar, Uthman and Ali were known as the “rightly guided caliphs” and their rule a caliphate. They had all known Muhammad and used the Qur’an and Muhammad’s actions to guide their actions. Under their rule, Muslims would gain control of Arabia, Syria, Egypt, and parts of the Sassanid (Persian) Empire. By 750, the Muslim Empire stretched 6,000 miles. The Spread of Islam Muslims saw their military victories as evidence of Allah’s support, drawing inspiration and energy from their faith. Armies were welldisciplined and expertly commanded. Additionally, the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires had become weak. Tolerance and Empire Another reason for success was the religious persecution of people under Byzantine or Sassanid rule. Non-Christians/Zoroastrians often welcomed the Muslims and chose to convert to Islam and its message of equality and hope. Muslims also did not pay poll taxes. The Qur’an forbade forced conversion, so Muslims were tolerant of other religions. “People of the book” received special considerationthey had to pay poll taxes or serve in the military, but they could serve in the government. Umayyads After civil war and the death of Ali, a family called the Umayyads came to power. They moved the capital to Damascus, making it easier to rule their territories but alienating Arabs, and embraced a lavish lifestyle. Islam Splits Due to disagreements over leadership and the actions of the Umayyads, Islam split. Sunni (followers of Muhammad’s example): Accepted the Umayyads as rulers. Shi’a (party of Ali): Resisted the Umayyad rule and believed that the caliph needed to be a descendant of Muhammad. Sufi: Rejected the lifestyle of the Umayyads and embraced poverty and devotion to a spiritual path. Sunni v. Shi’a Believe that the first four caliphs were “rightly guided” Believe that Muslim rulers should follow the Sunna, or Muhammad’s example Claim that the Shi’a have distorted the Qur’an Believe that Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law, should have succeeded Muhammad Believe that all Muslim rulers should be descended from Muhammad, do not recognize the authority of the Sunna Claim that the Sunni have distorted the Qur’an Abbasids The Abbasids were part of a larger rebel group that overthrew the Umayyads. They murdered the Umayyad family and moved the capital to the city of Baghdad. This location gave them access to important trade routes. They developed a strong bureaucracy, sent out diplomats, had a treasury to keep track of finances. To support all this, they taxed land, imports, exports and non-Muslim wealth. Berbers and al-Andalus One surviving Umayyad prince fled to Spain and set up a caliphate there. Muslims in Spain were known as Berbers. They had advanced within 200 miles of Paris before they were halted at the Battle of Tours in 732. They established the state of alAndalus. Division of Muslim Lands The Abbasids could not keep complete political control of their empire. Independent states sprung up, with local leaders breaking away. The Fatimid caliphate was formed by Shi’a Muslims in North Africa. Muslim Trade Networks Trade linked all the Muslim kingdoms. Two major sea networks (Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean) linked the Muslim Empire to the world. The land network linked the Silk Roads of China and India with Europe and Africa. One language (Arabic) and one currency (Abbasid dinar) linked the empire. Money changers set up banks in cities, offering letters of credit called sakks. Cities such as Cordoba, Damascus, Cairo and Baghdad blended cultures and promoted the arts and sciences.