Islamic civilization

The Islamic civilization or Muslim world designates according to each era. . This article discusses aspects of this civilization at different times, regardless of the Islamic religion.

The Muslim religion was born in Arabia in 610 when Muhammad presented his revelations. In a hundred years, it spreads to an important part of the Mediterranean basin by Arab conquests. After the fall of the Umayyads dynasty (750), the Muslim world is divided into several political entities (caliphate, emirates, sultanates) often rival. In, the irruption of the Seljuk Turks from Central Asia in the Near East and North Africa and causes the Crusades. The Ottoman Empire lasted from 1299 to 1922 with three significant dates: capture of Constantinople in 1453, siege of Vienna in 1529, battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Ottomans aspired to the title of caliph from 1517 and again in 1774; from then on, the Ottoman Sultan would be the official bearer of the caliphate until the abdication of the last of them, Abdülmecid II, in 1924.

Islam – in a context of relative decline of neighboring empires (Byzantine and Persian Empire) – is spreading in North Africa (populated by Berbers for a long time); in the Iberian Peninsula (then led by Germanic peoples); it is also setting up in Western Asia; it conquers Persia (Sassanid) and nibbles gradually, then will later disappear, the Byzantine Empire. Some of these regions, diverse in their population, had known slavery and the slave trade since ancient times and would retain them. The Arab-Muslim culture, the foundations are religious and urban; the use of Arabic and dinar in commercial transactions, as well as the reference to a common code of values, facilitates exchanges, as do pilgrimages to Mecca.

The conquering Islam was firstly the fact of a gathering of many Arab tribes in the Arabian Peninsula and the link between them, the unity of the community, was at least as strong as the new link of Islam. They did not seek to convert the conquered populations. “You are the best community that has sprung up among men; you command good, you forbid evil, you believe in God “(Quran, III, 110). However, their mode of administration (for example, restrictive measures taken against dhimmis, tax reform in favor of mawali) will make many new converts to this religion. Non-Arab converts who are qualified as mawali must affiliate to an Arab tribe by a link of moral dependence (al wala). During the caliphate of Abu Bakr, the first caliph, Islam immediately begins its territorial conquests outside the Arabian Peninsula – after ensuring the order and union of the tribes (Battle of Akraba) – by raids in Mesopotamia in the heart of the Sassanid empire and in Syria-Palestine (except Jerusalem and Caesarea) then under the reign of Byzantium, in 633 and 634. “Already at that time, riches are flowing and an empire is emerging.” Umar (or Omar) ibn al-Khattab, Umar, who succeeded him, remained, in the Muslim tradition, an ardent, holy and wise man who surrounded himself with competent generals. Tradition will also make it the first to organize a rudimentary administration of the conquered countries and to take measures concerning money and taxes. The Muslims who follow him are Bedouins, merchants, craftsmen, businessmen, mystics and warriors. In 635, the city of Damascus is taken and the Persians are defeated near the Euphrates. In 636, the Greek army Heraclius composed of Armenians (who will revolt) and Arab tribes (who will refuse to fight) is defeated in Yarmouk on August 20 ensuring the final capture of Damascus. In 637, the Arab-Muslim armies are in Mesopotamia and name this country Iraq. They take Ctesiphon (capital of the Sassanid empire) and in Syria Baalbek, Homs and Hama. In 638, Jerusalem is taken. Between 639 and 642 North Sinai is taken. The plains of Khuzistan (present-day Iran) are annexed. It is then the turn of Egypt (Pelusium, Bilbays, Heliopolis, Babylon of Egypt, the south and Alexandria) as well as Caesarea in Palestine (south of Haifa, after seven months of siege), the South Nubian, the Libya. In Iraq, the advance of the armies continues towards Armenia and the Caucasus. Mosul and the capital of Armenia, Dvin, are taken in 642. In 638, on a decision of the caliph, Kufa (Iraq) was built and becomes the capital of the empire. The Arab governor of Egypt, Amr ibn al-As, organizes cantonments for each tribal contingent. Mosques and residences are built. Around military establishments, the population, merchants and craftsmen gather and discover the language and religion of the wealthy conquerors. This governor now turns to the Maghreb and in 643 takes the port of Tripoli, from his residence. This advance is temporarily stopped because caliph Umar is assassinated on November 3, 644 by a non-Muslim servant at the instigation of the Persians it seems. The new caliph and “Commander of the Believers” Uthman ibn Affan reigns from 644 to 656 (he is assassinated in Medina in his house by prominent Muslim insurgents). He was also a great conqueror. During his 12-year caliphate, the Muslim navy was created in shipbuilding yards in Alexandria. For four years expeditions, after crossing the Persian Gulf, will venture into Afghanistan and Pakistan nowadays. In 647, Asia Minor is traveled while at the other end of the empire, the Arabs arrive to Tunisia. In 648, the Arab fleets are ready and will conquer Cyprus and Rhodes, and will approach the coast of Sicily. The conquests begun earlier under the previous Caliphate in the East are extended, strengthened and stabilized. In the Mediterranean, the Greek islands are raided, pillaged and / or taken (The “Battle of the Masts” is the first naval victory of the Arabs). “” The far-off West enters the horizon of the Arabs “. The Caliphate (656-661) of Uthman’s successor is troubled and disputed within the Ummah. Ali ibn Abi Talib (Ali), son-in-law (husband of Fatima) and cousin of the prophet, is more of a mystic than a politician. He spent five years in the cantonment of Kufa. The first fitna (discord), the claims and ambitions of the widow of the prophet, Aisha and her allies, the discontents of the religious and garrisons of Uthman profoundly divide the civilization into becoming, forever, in different currents: Sunni, Kharijites and Shiites (or alides). Some cities and conquered countries stand out from the empire that divides into three. At the end of his reign, Ali using sovereign power

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