What were the causes for the weaknesses of the later Abbasid Empire?
Rebellious governers and new dynasties rose to challenge the Abbassid caliphs' claims to be the rightful overlords of the Islamic peoples. (general cause)
How did the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi affect the decline of the Abbasid empire?
Al-Mahdi, the third Abbasid caliph, tried to reconcile the moderates among the Shi'a opposition, but it ended in failure, causing Shi'a revolts and assassination attempts against Abbasid officials. Al-Mahdi also abandoned the frugal ways of his predecessor and established a taste for luxury and monumental building and surrounded himself with a multitude of dependant wives, concubines, and courtiers, causing a greater financial drain in the reigns of later caliphs. Most critically, however, al-Mahdi failed to solve the problem of succession, wavering between which of his older sons would succeed him. However, a successor was finally chosen: Harun-al-Rashid.
How did the reign of caliph Harun-al-Rashid affect the decline of the Abbasid empire?
Harun-al-Rashid shared his father's taste for sumptuous living, and sent the Christians back to Charlemange with presents with items that were literally worth a king's ransom. As time passed by, the caliphs slowly began to lose power and the royal advisors gained power.
After the death of Harun-al-Rashid, how did the fight over succession affect the Abbassid empire?
After the death of Harun-al-Rashid, civil war broke out over succession. The first civil war convinced the sons of al-Ma'mun, the winner, that they needed to build personal armies for the impending fight that would occur once their father was dead. One of the sons, the victor in the next round of succession struggles, recruited a "bodyguard" of about 4000 slaves, and, when he became caliph, increased that numbeer to 70,000. Eventually, this mercenary force became a power center and they murdered the reigning caliph, placing one of his sons on the throne. In the next decade, four more caliphs were assassinated or poisoned by the mercenary forces.
What happened in the later decades of the 9th century that contributed to the fall of the Abbasid empire?
In the lastest decades of the 9th century, the slave armies were brought under control for a time, but at a great cost. Civil violence drained the treasury and alienated the subjects of the Abbasids, The empire's revenues were also dwindling by some caliphs' attempts to escape the turmoil of Baghdad by establishing new capitals near the original one. Construction of palaces, mosques, and public works added to the already large debt, and the expense fell heavily on the already hard-pressed peasantry of the central provinces of the empire. Spiraling taxation and outright pillaging led to the destruction or abandonment of many villages in the richest provinces of the empure. Irrigation fell into disrepair, and in some areas collapsed entirely. Many peasants perished through flood, famine, or violent assault, while others fled to wilderness areas beyond the reach of Abbasid tax collectors and neighboring kingdoms.
What effect did the invasion of the Buyids have on the Abbasid Empire?
Caliphs and their advisors were powerless to prevent further losses of territory in the outer reaches of the empire because of struggles in the central provinces. Areas such as Egypt ad Syria broke away, and, by the mid-10th century, independent kingdoms that had formed in areas that were once provinces of the empire were moving to replace the Abbasids as lords of the Islamic world. In 945, the Buyids of Persia invaded the heartlands of the Abbasid Empire and captured Baghdad. From that point onwards, the caliphs weren't important anymore, and the Buyid leaders took the title of sultan ("victorious" in Arabic). The Buyids controled the caliph and the court, but could not prevent the further deterioration of the empire. In just over a century, the Buyids' control over them was broken.
What happened when the Seljuk Turks invaded the Abbasid Empire?
In 1055, another group of nomadic invaders from central Asia via Persia, the Seljuk Turks, invaded. For the next two centuries, Turkic military leaders ruled the remaining portions of the Abbasid Empire in the name of caliphs. The Seljuks were Sunnis, and moved quickly to purge the Shi'a officials who had risen to power under the Buyids and to rid the caliph's domain of Shi'a influences the Buyids had tried to promote. For a time, the Seljuk military was also able to restore political initiatice to the very reduced caliphate, their victories ending the threat of conquest by a rival Shi'a dynasty centered in Egypt. They also humbled the Byzantines, who had hoped to take advantage of Muslim divisions to regain tome of their long-loast lands. The defeat of the Byzantines opened the way to Asia Minor, or Anatolia, by nomadic peoples of Turkic origins, some of whom would soon begin to lay the foundations of the Ottoman Empire.
What was the position of women in the Abbasid Empire?
The position of women in the Abbasid empire greatly decreased as time passed on, and the two symbols of women's declining position in both family and society was represented by the harem and the veil.
What were the signs that showed that women's position in the Abbasid empire was slowly declining?
Although the seclusion of women had been practiced by other empires in ancient times, the harem was a creation of the Abbasid court. The wives and concubines of the caliphs were restricted to the forbidden quarters of the palace. Many concubines were slaves, because the growing wealth of the Abbasid elite created a great demand for female and male slaves. The slaves, however, were always prized for their beauty and intelligence; some of the best-educated men and women in the Abbasid Empire were slaves. As such, caliphs and high officials usually spent more time with their clever and talented concubines than with their less well-educated wives.
What were the differences between the different classes of women; how were they treated?
Slave concubines and servants often had more personal liberty than freeborn wives. They could go to the market, and did not have to wear the veils and robes that were required for free women in public places. Although women from the lower classes farmed, wove clothing and rugs, or raised silkworms to support their families, rich women were allowed almost no career outlets beyond the home. Often married at puberty (legally set at age 9), they were raised to devote their lives to running a household and serving their husbands. But at the highest levels of society, wives and concubines plotted with eunuchs and royal advisors to advance the interests of their sons as successors to the current caliph. Despite these brief incursions into power politics, by the end of the Abbasid era, the freedom and influence that women had enjoyed in the first centuries of Islamic expansion had been severely decreased.
Describe the economy of the later Abbasid Empire.
The economy of the later Abbasid Empire was a very failing economy as the empire slowly began to fall deep into debt. When the caliphs suddenly began living very lavish lifestyles, the empire began to plunge slowly into debt. As the power of the caliphs began to decrease and mercenary forces created to protect the caliphs, more money was needed to pay them. Constant civil violence also drained the treasury, and previous caliphs' attempts to move the capital near the original one as they built mosques, palaces, and many public works also added to the already exorbitant costs of maintaining the court and imperial administration. These expenses fell heavily on the already hard-pressed peasantry class, causing taxation to rise to rather amazing new heights. Also, the irrigation works that had, for centuries, been essential to their land fell into disrepair, causing the economy to worsen.
What threat did the Seljuks face soon after seizing power over the Abbasid Empire?
Soon after seizing power, the Seljuks faced a very different challenge to Islamic civilization, which came from Christian crusaders. They were knights from western Europe who were determined to capture the portions of the Islamic world that made up the Holy Land of biblical times. In the years 1096 to 1099, much of the Holy Land was capsured and divided into Christian kingdoms. In June 1099, Jerusalem, the main objective of the Crusade, was taken, and its Muslim and Jewish inhabitants were massacred by the rampaging Christian knights.
How did the Seljuks react towards the Crusades?
For nearly two centuries, the Europeans, who eventually mounted eight Crusades, maintained their precarious hold on the eastern Mediterranean region. However, they posed little threat to the Muslim princes, disregarding the Christians by quarreling maong themselves despite the intruders' aggressions. When united under a strong leader, such as Salah-ud-Din (known as Saladin in Europe) in the last decades of the 12th century, the Muslims rapidly reconquered most of the crusader outposts. Saladin's death in 1193 and following breakup of his kingdom gave the remaining Christian citadels some delay. But the last of the crusader kingdoms was lost with the fall of Acrew in 1291.
What were the effects of the Christian Crusades?
The impact of the Crusades was much greater on the Christians who launched them than on the Muslim peoples who had to fend them off. The crusaders' firsthand experiences in the eastern Mediterranean intensified European borrowing from the Muslim world that had been going on for centuries. Muslim weapons, such as the damascene swords (named after the city of Damascus), were highly prized and sometimes copied by the Europeans, who were always eager to improve on their methods of making war. Muslim techniques of building were adopted by many Christian rulers, as can be seen in castles built in Normandy and coastal England my William the Conquerer and his successors in the 11th and 12th centuries. Richard the Lionhearted prefered Muslim physicians over Christian ones, showing the Europeans' avid interest in the superior scientific knowledge of the Muslims.
How was Europe affected by Muslim and Jewish ways?
From Muslims and Jews in Spain, Sicily, Egypt, and the Middle East, the Europeans recovered much of the Greek learning that had been lost to northern Europe during the nomadic invasions after the fall of Rome. They also mastered Arabic numerals and the decimal sustem, and benefited from the great advances Arab and Persian thinkers had made in mathematics and many of the sciences. Demand for Middle Eastern rugs and textiles rose and adorned the homes of the European upper classes during the Renaissance period.
How did the Muslim influences affect both the elite and popular cultures of much of western Europe in this period?
These influences included Persian and Arabic words, and games such as chess (like numbers, which were passed down from India), chivalric ideals and troubadour ballads, as ewll as foods such as dates, coffee, and yogurt. Some of this imports, mostly the songs of the troubadours, can be traced directly to the contacts the crusaders made in the Holy Land. However, most were part of a process of exchange that extended over centuries, and was largely a one-way process. Arab traders imported some manufacures, like glass and cloth, and raw materials from Europe. However, Muslim peoples in this era showed little interest in the learning of institutions of the West. Even so, the Italian merchant communities, which remained after the political and military power of the crusaders had been extinguished in the Middle East, contributed quite a bit more to these ongoing interchanges than all the forays of Christian knights.
How did trading change with other empires and areas in the late Abbasid period?
Despire the declining revenue base of the caliphate and crumbling conditions in the countryside, there was a great expansion of the professional classes, particularly doctors, scholars, and legal and religious experts. Muslim, Jewish, and in some areas Christian entrepreneurs amassed great fortunes supplying the cities with grain and barely, essentials like cotten and woolen textiles for clothes, and luxury items like precious gems, cirtus fruits, and sugar cane. Ling-distance trade between the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe and between coastal India and island southeast Asia, in addition to the overland caravan trade with China, flourished through much of the Abbasid era.
How did artists and artisans affect the late Abbasid period?
They continued great achievements in architecture and the crafts that had begun in the Umayyad period. Mosques and palaces grew larger and more ornate in the majority of the empire. Even in outlying areas, Muslim engineers and architects created some of the great architectural treasures of all time. The tapestries and rugs of Muslim peoples, such as the Persians, were in great demand from Europe to China. Muslim rugs have rarely been matched for their exquisite designs, vivid colors, and the skill with which they were woven. Muslim articans also produced fine bronzes and superb ceramics.
What effect did the Persians have on literature and language in the Abbasid empire?
Persian gradually replaced Arabic as the primary written language at the Abbasid court. Arabic remained the language of religion, law, and natural sciences. Persian was favored by Arabs, Turks, and Muslims of Persian secrent as the language of literary expression, administration, and scholarship. Persian became the language of "high culture", of polige exchanges between courtiers, poetic musings, and mystical revalations. Perhaps the single most important work written in Persian of the Abbasid age was the lengthy epic poem Shah-Nama (Book of Kings), written by Firdawsi in the late 10th and early 11th centuries. In addition to historical epics, Persian writers in the Abbasid era wrote in many subjects from doomed love affairs and statecraft to incidents from everyday life and mystical striving for communion with the divine. THe blend of the mystical and commonplace was widely adopted in the literature of this period, epitomized in the Rubaiyat, which concerns finding the meaning of life and the path to union with the divine.
What scientific achievements were accomplished in the late Abbasid era?
Muslim peoples increasingly became creators and inventors in their own right. For several centuries, Islamic civilization outstripped all others in scientific discoveries, new techniques of investigation, and new technologies. Many Muslim accomplishments in there areas include major corrections to the algebraid and geometric theories of the ancient Greeks and great advances of the basic concepts of trigonometry (sine, cosine, tangent). Two discoveries in chemistry were the creation of the objective experiment and al-Razi's scheme of classifying all material substances into three categories: animal, vegetable, and mineral. In the 11th century, al-Biruni was able to calculate the specific weight of 18 major minerals. This sophistication was also manifested in astronomical instruments made through cooperation with Muslim scholars and skilled artisans. The astronomical table and maps of the stars were in great demand aming scholars of other civilizations.
What other effects did the scientific breakthroughs of the Muslims have in practical applications?
Muslim cities such as Cairo boasted some of the best hospitals in the world. Doctors and pharmacists had to follow a regular course of study and pass a formal examination before they were allowed to practive. Muslim scientists did important work on optics and bladder ailments. Muslim traders introduced into the Islamic world and Europe many machines and techniques, such as papermaking, silk-weaving, and ceramic firing, that had been devised earlier in China. Muslim scholars also made some of the world's best maps.
What were some religious trends in the Abbasid empire?
The contradictory strends in Islamic civilization (social strife and political divisions vs. expanded trading links and intellectual creativity) were strongly reflected in patterns of religious developments in the later centuries of the caliphate. On one hand, a resurgence of mysticism injected Islam with a new vibrancy; on the other, orthodox religious scholars, such as the ulama, grew increasingly suspicious and hostile to non-Islamic ideas and scientific thinking.
What effects did the Crusades have on these religious trends?
The Crusades had promoted the latter trend, and was particularly true regarding Muslim borrowing from ancient Greek learning, which the ulama associated with the aggressive civilizations of Christian Europe. Many orthodox scholars believe that the questioning that characterized the Greek tradition would undermine the absolute authority of the Qur'an. Thinkers such as al'Ghazali, perhaps the greatest Islamic theologian, struggled to fuse the Greek and Qur'anic traditions.
What effect did the Sufist movement have on the Abbasid Empire?
Like the Buddhist and Hindu ascetics earlier in India, Sufis (title derives from wooden robes they wore) were wandering mystics who sought a personal union with Allah. Including both Sunni and Shi'a manifestations, Sufism was a reaction against the impersonal and abstract divinity that many ulama scholards argued was the true god of the Qur'an. The Sufis and their followers tried to see beyong what they believed to be the illusion of everyday life and to delight in the presence of Allah in the world. Most Sufis insisted on a clear distinction between Allah and humans, but, in some Sufist teachings, Allah permeated the universe in ways that appeared to compromise his transcended status.
What were some of the Sufis known for, and what was their overall effect on the Abbasid empire?
Some Sufis gained reputations as great healers and workers of miracles; others led militant bands that tried to spread Islam to nonbelievers. Some Sufis used asceticism or bodily denial to find Allah; others used meditation, songs, drugs, or (in the case of the famous dervishes) ecstatic dancing. Most Sufis built up a sizeable following, and the movement as a whole was a central factor in the continuing expansion of the Muslim religion and Islamic civilization in the later centuries of the Abbasid empire.
What brought about the end of the caliphate?
In the 10th and 11th centuries, the Abbasid domains were divided by growing numbers of rival successor states. In the early 13th century, another central Asian nomadic people, the Mongols, united by their great war commander, Chinggis Khan, first raised in the 1200s and then smashed the Turko-Persian kingdoms that had developed in the regions east of Baghdad. Chinggis Khan died before the heartlands of the Muslim world were invaded; his grandson, Hulegu, renewed the Mongol assault on the rich centers of Islamic civilization in the 1250s. In 1258, the Abbasid capital was taken by the Mongols, and much of it was sacked. The 37th and last Abbasid caliph was put to death by the Mongols.
What other nomadic invaders caused the Abbasid empire to fall?
The Monguls were finally defeated my the Mamluks (Turkic slaves), who then ruled egypt. Baghdad never recovered from the Mongol attacks, and, in 1401, it suggered a second capture and another round of pillaging by the even fiercer forces of Tamerlane. It eventually became a provincial backwater, and was gradually supplanted by Cairo to the west and then Istanbul to the north.
What situation was India in before the Muslims arrived?
All through the millennia when a succession of civilizations from Harappa to the brahmanic empire of the Guptas developed in south Asia, foreigners had entered India in waves of nomadic invaders or as small bands of displaced peoples seeking refuge.Those who chose to remain were assimilated into the civilizations they encountered, converting to the Hindu or Buddhist religion, finding a place in the caste heirarchy, and adopting the dress, foods, and lifestyles of the farming and city-dwelling peoples. This resulted from the strength and flexibility that India's civilizations. As a result, the presisten failure of Indian rulers to unite against agressors meant periodic disruptions and localized destruction but not fundamental challenges to the existing order. All of this changes with the arrival of the Muslims in the last years of the 7th century.
What were the differences between the Muslims and the Indians, and what were the differences between their religions?
The peoples of India encountered a large-scale influx of bearers of a civilization as sophisticated, if not as ancient, as their own. They were also contronted by a religious system that was in many ways the very opposite of the ones they had nurtered. Hinduism (the dominant religion in India at the time) was open, tolerant, and inclusive of widely varying forms of ligious devotion, containing idol worship to medidation in search of union with the spiritual source of all creation. In contrast, Islam was doctrinaire and impractical, proselytizing, and committed to the exclusive worhip of a single, transcendent god.
What were the social differences and tensions between Hindus and Muslims?
Socially, Islam claimed all believers equal in the sight of God. In contrast, Hindu beliefs valued the caste hierarchy, resting on the acceptance of inborn differences between individuals and groups. As such, the faith of the invading Muslims was religiously more rigid than that of the Hindus, but Hinduism was much more closed than the society of the Muslims. Because growing numbers of Muslims, traders, Sufi mustics, and ordinary farmers and herders entered south Asia and settled there, interaction between invaders and the indigenous peoples was inevitable. In the early centuries of Muslim influx, conflict, often violent, predominated. But there was also quite a bit of trade and even religious interchange between them. As time passed, peaceful interaction became the norm. Hindu and Muslim mystics tried to find areas of agreement between their two faiths. However, tensions remained, and periodically they erupted into communal rioting or warfare between Hindu and Muslim lords.
What happened when the first Muslim intrusion came to India?
The first Muslim intrusion, which came in 711, resulted indirectly from the peaceful trading contacts that had initally brought Muslims into contact with Indian civilization. After Arab seafarers converted to Islam, they cotinued to visit the ports of India. An attack by pirates prompted the viceroy of the eatern provinces of the Umayyad Empire to launch an expedition against the king of Sind. An Arab general, Muhammad ibn Qasim, only 17 years old when the campiagn began, lets more than 10,000 horse- and camel-mounted warriors to Sind to avenge the assault on Arab shipping. After victories in many fiercely fought battles, Muhammad ibn Qasim declared the region, as well as the Indus valley to the northeast, provinces of the Umayyad Empire.
What effect did the coming of the Muslims have in the early centuries of the invasion?
In these early centuries, the coming of Islam brought little change for most inhabitants of India. In fact, in many areas, local leaders and the populace surrendered towns and districts willingly to the conquerors because they promised lighter taxation and greater religious tolerance. Although they were obliged to pay special taxes, non-Muslims, such as Jews and Christians, enjoyed the freedom to worship as they pleased. As in other areas conquered by the Arabs, most of the local officials and notables retained their positions, which did much to reconcile them to Muslim rule. The brahmans privileges and status were respected. Nearly all Arabs who made up only a tiny minority in the population lived in cities or special towns. Because little effort was expended in converting the peoples of the conquered areas, they remained overwhelmingly Hindu or Buddhist.
How did other civilizations affect Arab sciences and mathematics?
Islamic civilization was enriched by the skills and discoveries of great civilizations in the Middle East. Islamic scientific learning rivaled that of the Greeks. Hindu mathematicians and astronomers traveled to Baghdad after the Abbasids came to power in the mid-8th century. Their works on Algebra and geometry were translated into arabid, and their instruments for celestial observation were copied and impoved by Arab astronomers. Arab thinkers in all fields began to use the numerald that Hindu scholars had devised centuries earlier. We call them Arabic numbers, but they originated in India. This system of numerical notation had proved central to two scientific revolutions. From the 16th century to the present, it has brought fundamental transformations to both Europe and much of the rest of the world.
What other effects did India have on Arab culture, besides on mathematics and science?
In addition to science and mathematics, Indian treatisies on subjects ranigng from medicine to music were translated and studied by Arab scholars. Insian physicians were brought to Baghdad to run the hospitals that the Christian crusaders found a source of wonderment and cause for envy. On many occasions, Indian doctors were able to cure Arab rulers and officials who Greek physicians had pronounced beyond help. Indian works in statecraft, alchemy, and palmistry were also translated into Arabic. Indian musical instruments and melodies made their way into the repertoires of Arab performers, and the Indian game of chess became famous. The people also often adopted Insian dress and hairstyles, and Indian foods.
What new threat did the people under Mahmud of Ghazni pose to the Arabs?
Disputes between the Arabs and the Umayyads and later Abbasid caliphs gradually weakened with the Muslim hold on the area. However, a new series of military invasions recersed the gradual Muslim retreat. A Turkish slave dynasty that in 962 had siezed power in Afghanistan to the north of the Indus valley was responsible for this. The third ruler of this dynasty, Mahmud of Ghazni, led a series of expeditions that began nearly two centuries of Muslim raiding and conquest in northern India. Mahmud repeatedly raided northwest India for the first decades of the 11th century for their welth and to spread the Muslim faith, defeating one confederation of Hindu princes after another. These raids gave way in the last decades of the 12th century.
What happened then the leader of the raids changed from Mahmud of Ghazni to Muhammad of Ghur?
The raids changed to sustained campaigns aimed at seizing political control in north India, the key figure of this transition being tenacious military commabder of Persian extraction, Muhammad of Ghur. He put together a string of military victories that brought the Indus valley and much of north central India under his control. His conquests were extended along the Gangetic plain as fair as Bengal. After Muhammad was assassinated in 1206, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, one of his slave lieutenants, seized power.
What did the position of the capital show graphically to others, and what did people do to try and gain it?
The capital of the new Muslim empire was at Delhi along the Jumna River. Its location in the exact center of northern India graphically proclaimed that a Muslim dynasty rooted in the subcontinent itself, not an extension of a Middle-Eastern Asian empire, had been founded. For the next 300 years, a succession of dynasties ruled much of north and gentral india. Of Persian, Afghan,Turkic, and mixed descent, they proclaimed themselves the sultans of Delhi (princes of the heartland). They fought each other, Mongol and Turkic invaders, and the indigenous Hindu princes fot control of the Indus and Gangetic heartlands of Indian civilization.
How did the Sufis help people converse to the Islamic religion?
Muslim interaction with the indigenous poeples soon came to be dominated by accomodation and peaceful exchanges. Sizeable Muslim comminuties developed in different areas, the largest being in Bengal to the east and north-western areas of the Indus valley. Very few of these converts were won forcibly. The main carriers of the new faith often were merchants, but were most especially Sufi mystics. They shared much with Indian gurus and wandering ascetics in both style and message. Their mosques and schools often became centers of regional political power, and the belief in their healing powers increased their following. They organized their devotees in militias to fend off bandits or rival princes, oversaw the clearing of forests for farming and settlement, and welcomed low-caste and outcaste Hindu groups into Islam.
What did the state of Indian Buddhism do to promote the conversion to Islam?
Most of the indigenous converts were drawn from specific regions and social groups. Small numbers of converts were found in the venters of Muslim political power, a fact that suggests the very limited importance of forced conversions. Most Indians who converted to Islam were from Buddhist or low-caste groups. In areas like Bengal, where Buddhism had survived as a popular religion until the era of the Muslim invasions, esoteric rituals and corrupt practices had debased Buddhist teachings. This decline was accelerated by Muslim raids on Buddhist temples and monestaries. Without monastic supervision, local congregations sank further into orgies and experiments with magic, all opposing Buddha's social concerns and religious message. Indian Buddhism was no match for the new religion of Islam.
Whtat type of people made up the majority of the people who converted to Islam?
Buddhists probably made up the majority of Indians who covnerted to islam. But untouchables and low-caste Hindus, as well as animistic tribal peoples, also converted to Islam. Some conversions resulted from the desire of Hindus or Buddhists to escape the head tax the Muslim rulers placed on unbelievers. Muslim migrants swelled the size of the Islamic community, particularly true in the periods of crisis in central Asia. In the 13th and 14th centuries, for example, Turkic, Persian, and Afghan peoples retreated to the safety of India in the face of the Mongol and Timurid conquests.
How did Islam affect Hinduism in the beginning, and how did they react to this?
Initially, Islam made little impression on the Hindu community as a whole. The Hindus saw them as bearers of an upstart religion and polluting outcastes. Many Hindus were willing to take positions as administrators in the bureaucracies of Muslim overlords or as soldiers in their armies and to trade with Muslim merchants, but they remained socially aloof from their conquerors. Genuine friendships between members of high-caste groups and Muslims were rare.
What happened to the social castes in Hinduism?
During the early centuries of the Muslim influx, the Hindus were convinced that the Muslims would soon be absorbed by the superior religions and more sophisticated cultures of India, and many signs pointed to that outcome. Hindus made up a good portion of the armies of Muslim rulers. Also, Muslim princes adopted regal styles and practices that were Hindu-inspired and against the Qur'an. Muslim communities became socially divided along caste lines. Recently arrived Muslims were on top of the heirarchies that developed. High-caste Hindu converts came next, followed by "clean" artisan and merchant groups. Lower-caste and untouchable converts remained at the bottom of the social heirarchy.
What effect did the Muslim influx have on women?
The Muslim influx had unfortunate consequences for women in both Muslim and Hindu communities. The invaders increasingly adopted the practice of marrying women at the earlier ages favored by the Hindus and the prohibitions against the remarriage of widows found especially at the high-caste levels of Indian society. Some upper "caste" Muslim groups even performed the ritual of sati, the burning of widoes on the same funeral pyres as their deceased husbands, which was found among some high-caste Hindu groups.
How did the Hindus react when they saw that Islam was gaining popularity?
Muslim migrants to India held to their own distinctive religious beliefs and rituals. The Hindus found Islam impossible to absorb and soon realized that they were confronted by a religion with great appeal to large segments of the Indian population. In retaliation, the Hindus placed greater emphasis on the devotional cults of gods and goddesses that had earlier proved so effective in neutralizing the challenge of Buddhism. Membership in these bhaktic cults was open to all, including women and untouchables. Some of the most celebrated writers of religious poetry and songs of worship were women, such as Mira Bai. Saints from low-caste origins were revered by warriors, brahmans, farmers, merchants, and outcastes. One of the most remarkable of the mystics was a weaver named Kabir, who played down the significance of religious differences and proclaimed that all could provide a path to spiritual fulfillment.
What did the Hindus do to make their religion seem more appealing than Islam, to gain more converts or to prevent their own people from being converted?
The songs written by people such as Mira Bai and Kabir were more accessible to the common people and became more prominent expressions of popular culture in many areas. Bhakti mystics and gurus stressed the importance of strong emotional bond between the devoteeand the god or goddess who was the object of veneration. Chants, dances, and in some instances drugs were used to reach the state of spiritual intoxication that was the key to individual salvation. All past sins were removed and caste distinctions were rendered meaningless once one had achieved the state of ecstasy that came through intense emotional attachment to a god or goddess. The most widely worhiped gods were Shiva and Vishnu, as well as the goddess Kali. By increasing popular involvement in Hindu worhip and by enriching and extending the modes of prayer and ritual, the bhakti movement may have done much to stem the flow of converts to Islam.
After sensing the long-term threat to Hinduism posed by Muslim political dominance and conversion efforts, what did the Hindus do in response?
The attempts to minimize the differences between Hindu and Islamic beliefs and worship won over only small numbers of the followers of either faith, and were also strongly repudiated by the guardians of orthodoxy in each religious community. The brahmans denounced the Muslims as infidel destroyes of Hindu temples and polluted meat-eaters. Later Hindu mystics (like 15th century holy man Chaitanya) composed songs that focused on love for Hindu gods and set out to convince Indian Muslims to renounce Islam in favor of Hinduism.
What did the Muslims do in responese to the Hindus stressing their own religion?
Muslim ulama grew increasingly aware of the dangers Hinduism posed for Islam, and attempts to fuse the two faiths were rejected. If one played down the reachings of the Qur'an, prayer, and pilgrimage, one was no longer a Muslim. The ulama and even some Suki stressed the teachings of Islam that seperated it from Hinduism, working to promote unity within the Indian Muslim community.
Overall, how did Islam spread through south Asia, and what was the eventual outcome of this?
After centuries of invasion and migration, a large Muslim community had been established in India. Converts had been won, political control had ben established througout much of the area, and strong links had been forged with Muslims in other lands such as Persia and Afghanistan. But non-Muslims (mostly Hindus) remained the overwhelming majority of the population of the vast and diverse lands south of the Himalayas. Unlike the Zoroastrians in Persia or the animistic peoples of the Maghrib and the Sudan, most Insiands showed little inclination to convert to the religion of the Muslim conquerors. After centuries of Muslim political dominance and missionary activity, south Asia remained one of the least converted and integrated of all the areas Muhammad's message had reached.
What was southeast Asia's role in world history before Islam came?
Southeast Asia had always been a "middle ground" in world history, the zone where the Chinese segment of the Euro-Asian trading complex met the Indian Ocean trading zone to the west. Goods from China were transderred from eas Asian vessels to Arab or Insian ships. Products from as far west as Rome were loaded into the emptied Chinese ships to be carried to east Asia. By the 7th and 8th centuries A.D., sailors and shipts from areas of southeast Asia had become active in the seaborne trade of the region. Its products had also become improtant exports to China, Insia, and the Mediterranean region. Many of these products were luxury items, like aromatic woods from rainforests and spices such as cloves, nitmeg, and mace from the far end of Indonesia. These trading liks were to prove even more critical to the expansion of Islam in southeast Asia than they had earlier been to the spread of Buddhism and Hinduism.
What helped to truly begin the spread of Islam through southeast Asia?
From the 8th century onward, the coastal trade of India came increasingly to be controlled by Muslims from regions in various parts of south India. As a result, elements of Islamic culture began to fulter into southeast Asia. But only in the 13th century, after the collapse of the trading empire of Shrivijaya, was the way open for the widespread introduction of Islam. Idian traders, Muslim or otherwise, were welcome to trade in the chain ports controled by Shrivijaya. But because the rulers and officials of it were Buddhists, there was little incentive for the traders and sailors of southeast Asian ports to convert to Islam, the religion of growing numbers of the merchants and sailors from India. With the fall fo the Shrivijaya, incentives increased for the establishment of Muslim trading centers and efforts to preach the faith to the coastal peoples.
Where did Islam first spread to in southeast Asia, and how did it get there?
Peaceful contacts and voluntary conversion were far more important than conquest and force in spreading the Islamic faith in southeast Asia. Trading contacts paved the way for conversion. Muslim perchants and sailors introduced local peoples to the ideas and tiruals of the new faith and impressed on them how much of th eknown world had already been converted. Muslim ships also carried Sufis to various parts of southeast Asia, where they played as a vital role in conversion as they had in India. The first areas fo be won to Islam in the late 13th century were several small port centers on the northern coast of Sumatra.
On the mainland, where did the spread of Islamic civilization begin, and where did it spread to?
On the mainland, the key to widespread conversion was the powerful trading city of Malacca, whose smaller trading empire had replaced the fallen Shrivijaya. Islam spread along the coasts of Malaya to east Sumatra and to the trading center of Demak on the north coast of Java. Muslim faith spread to other Javanese ports from Demak. After a long struggle with a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom in the interior, the rest of the island was eventulaly converted. From Demak, Islam was also carried to the Celebes and the spice islnds in the eastern archipelago, and from the latter to Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
What does this progress of Islamic conversion show about the importance of ports, and what how does it affect ties with other places?
This progress of Islamic conversion shows that port cities in coastal areas were particularly receptive to the new faith. Here trading links were critical. When one of the key cities in a trading cluster converted, it was in the best interest of others to follow suit to enhance personal ties and provide a common basis in Muslim law to regulate business deals. Conversion to Islam also linked these centers, culturally and economically, to the merchants and ports of India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.
What areas did Islam make close progress in southeast Asia, and why?
Islam made slow progress in areas like Java, where Hindu-Buddhist dynasties contested its spread. But the fact that the earlier conversion to these Indian religions had been confined mainly to the ruling elites left openings tor mass conversions to Islam that the Sufis eventually exploited. The island of Bali, where Hinduism had taken deep root at the popular level, remained largely impervious to the spread of Islam. The same was trie of most of mainland southeast Asia, where venturies before the coming of islam, Buddhism had spread from India and Ceylon and won the fervent adherence of both the ruling elites and the peasant masses.
How did the Sufis help spread Islam in southeast Asia?
Because Islam came to southeast Asia first from India and was spread in many areas by Sufis, it was often infused with mustical strains and tolerated earlier animist, Hindu, and Buddhist beliefs and rituals. The Sufis who spread Islam in southeast Asia varied widely in personality and approach. Most were believed by those who followed them to have magical powers, and nearly all Sufis established mosque and school centers from which they traveled in neighboring regions to preach the faith.
How did the converts to Islam through the Sufis look at Islamic culture?
In winning converts, the Sufis were willing to allow the inhabitants of southeast Asia to retain pre-Islamic beliefs and practices that orthodox scholars would have found ontrary to Islamic doctrine. Pre-Islamic customary law remained important in regulating social interaction, whereas Islamic law was confined to specific sorts of agreements and exchanges. Women retained a much stronger position, both within the family and society, than they had in the Middle East and India--trading in loval and regional markets continued to be dominated by small-scale female buyers and sellers. In some areas, lineage and inheritance continued to be traced through the female line after the coming of Islam, despite its tendency to promote male dominance and descent. Pre-Muslim religious beliefs and rituals were incorporated into Muslim ceremonies. Indigenous cultural staples were refined, and they became even more central to popular and elite beliefs and practices than they had been in the pre-Muslim era.
What long-lasting impacts did Islam have on the globe?
Even though problems of political control and succession continued to plague the kingdoms and empires that divided the Muslim world, the ventral position of islamic civilization in global history was solidified during the centuries of Abbasid rule. As Arab trading networkd expanded to new areas, its role as the go-between for the more inciant civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere grew. It enriched the lives of the nomadic peoples, from the Turks and Mongols of central Asia to the Berbers of north Africa and the camel herders of Sudan. Islam's original contributions ot the growth and refinement of live greatly increased. Islam pioneered patterns of organization and thinking that would affect the development of human societies and major ways because of its many accomplishments in the fine arts, sciences, and literature to its vibrant religious and philosophical life.
What things would put the Muslim peoples at a slowly growing disadvantage, and how would this affect the religion of Islam?
However, in the midst of all the achievement, there were tendencies that would put the Muslim poeples at a growing disadvantage, particularly in relation to their European rivals. Muslim divisions would leave openings for political expansion that the Europeans would eagerly exmpoid, beginning with the south Asian extremeties of the islamic world and then moving across noth India. The growing orthodoxy and intolerance of the ulama, as well as the Muslim belief that the vast Islamic world contained all requirements for civilized life, caused Muslim peoples to grow less receptive to outside influences and innovations. These tendencies became increasingly pronounced at precisely the time when their Christian rivals were entering a period of unprecedented curiosity, experimentation, and exploration of the world beyond their own heartlands.