POST CLASSICAL: ISLAM

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Bedouin

Nomadic pastoralists of the Arabian Peninsula.
Herded camels and goats.

Social Organization

During a crisis, clans cooperated as tribes.
Individual survival depended upon clan loyalty.
Wealth and status varied within clans.
Leaders/shaykhs - elected by councils, usually wealthy men.

Mecca

Arabian commercial center.
Dominated by Quraysh.
Home of Muhammad.
Future center of Islam.

Medina

Northwest of Mecca.
Asked Muhammad to resolve its intergroup differences.
Hijra - Muhammad's flight to Medina.
622 - Muslim calendar begins.

Umayyads

1st hereditary dynasty of the Muslim caliphs.
Damascus = capital.
Empire extended from Spain to India.
Overthrown by Abbasid caliphate.

Causes For Early Expansion

Weakness of adversaries.
Desire for booty.
A sense of a common cause/united strength.

Ayans

Rural landholding elite.
Emerged in early Abbasid rule.

Sufism

Emphasized mysticism and charismatic worship.

Sunnis

Followers of the majority interpretation of Islam
Umayyads.

Shi'a/Shi'ites

Followers of Ali's interpretation of Islam.

Abbasids

Dynasty that succeeded the Umayyads in 750.
Baghdad = capital.
Reasons for decline: difficulty in moving armies across the empire, disputes over succession, retention of rural identities by population, difficulty of getting local administrators to obey.

Islam

"Submission."
Stressed egalitarianism of believers.

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