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Al-Mahdi

Third of the Abbasid caliphs; attempted but failed to reconcile moderates amoung Shi'is to Abbasid dynasty; failed to resolve problem of succession

Harun al-Rashid

Most famous of the Abbasid caliphs; renowned for sumptuous and costly living; dependent on Persian advisors early in regin, death led to civil wars over succession

Buyids

Regional splinter dynasty of the mid-10th century; invaded and captured Baghdad; ruled Abbasid Empire under name of sultan; retained Abbasids as figureheads

Seljuk Turks

Nomadic invaders from central Asia via Persia; staunch Sunnis; ruled in name of Abbasid caliphs from mid-11th century

Crusades

Series of military adventures initially launched by western Christians to free Holy Land from Muslims; temporarily succeeded in capturing Jerusalem and establishing Christian kingdoms; later used for other purpose such as commercial wars and extermination of heresy

Saladin

Muslim leader in the last decades of the 12th century; reconquered most of the crusaders outposts for Islam

Ibn Khaldun

A Muslim historian; developed concept that dynasties of nomadic conquerors had a cycle of three generations-strong, weak, dissolute

Rubaiyat

is a collection of poems, originally written in the Persian language and of which there are about a thousand, attributed to Omar Khayyám, a Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer; means "quatrains": verses of four lines.

Shah-Nama

Written by Firdawsi in late 10th and early 11th centuries; relates history of Persia from creation to the Islamic conquests

Sa`di

Persian poet, one of the greatest figures in classical Persian literature.

al- Razi

was a Persian alchemist, chemist, physician, philosopher and scholar; made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of medicine, alchemy, and philosophy, recorded in over 184 books and articles in various fields of science; made numerous advances in medicine through own observations and discoveries.

al-Biruni

one of the major figures of Islamic mathematics. He contributed to astronomy, mathematics, physics, medicine and history.

ulama

Orthodox religious scholars within Islam; pressed for a more conservative and restrictive theology; incresasingly opposed to non- Islamic ideas and scientific thinking

al-Ghazali

Brilliant Islamic theologian; struggled to fuse Greek and Quranic traditions; not entirely accepted by ulama

Sufis

Mystics within Islam; responsible for expansion of Islam to southeastern

Mongols

Central Asia nomadic peoples; smashed Turko- Persian kingdoms; captured Baghdad in 1258 and killed last Abbasid caliph

Muhammad ibn Qasim

Arab general; conquered Sind in India; declared the region and the Indus valley to be part of Umayyad Empire

arabic numerals

Actually an Indian system of numerical notation transported by Arabs to West; central to two scientific revolutions

Harsha

Descendant of Guptas in India; briefly constructed a loose empire in northern Inda between 616 and 657 C.E.

Muhammad of Ghur

Military commander of Persian extraction who ruled small mountain kingdom in Afghanistan; began process of conquest to establish Muslim political control of northern India; brought much of Indus valley, Sind, and northwestern Indiaunder his control

Qutb-ud-din-Aibak

Lieutenant of Muhhamad of Ghur; established kingdom in India with capital at Delphi; proclaimed himself Sultan of India

sati

Ritual in India of immolating surviving widows with the bodies of their deceased husbands

bhaktic cults

Groups dedicated to gods and goddesses; stressed the importance of strong emotional bonds between devotees and the god or goddess who was the object of their veneration; most widely gods were Shiva or Vishnu

Mir Bai

One of the most celebrated writers of religious poetry and songs of worship who was a woman

Kabir

One of the most remarkable mytics; Muslim weaver who played down the significance of religious differences and proclaimed that all could provide a path to spriritual fulfillment

Shrivijaya

Trading emprie centered on Malacca Straits betwwen Malaya and Sumatra; controlled trade of empire; Buddhist government resistant to Muslim missionaries; fall opened up southeastern Asia to Muslim converison

Malacca

Portuguese factory or fortifies trade town located on the tip of the Malayan peninsula; traditionally a center for trade amoung the southeastern Asian islands

Demak

Most powerful of the trading states on north coast of Java, converted to Islam and served as point of dissemination to other ports

Mahmud of Ghazni

was the ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire from 997 until his death;turned the former provincial city of Ghazni into the wealthy capital of an extensive empire which included modern-day Afghanistan, most of Iran as well as regions of north-west India including modern-day Pakistan;the first ruler to carry the title Sultan, signifying his break from the suzerainty of the Caliph

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