A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah. The caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate and the Abbasid Caliphate. In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates. Prior to the rise of Muhammad and the unification of the tribes of Arabia under Islam, Arabs followed a pre-Islamic Arab polytheism, lived as self-governing sedentary and nomadic communities, raided their neighbouring tribes. Following the early Muslim conquests of the Arabian Peninsula, the region became unified and most of the tribes adopted Islam.
The first caliphate, the Rashidun Caliphate, was established after Muhammad's death in 632. The four Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation that some consider to be an early form of Islamic democracy; the fourth caliph, who, unlike the prior three, was from the same clan as Muhammad, is considered by Shia Muslims to be the first rightful caliph and Imam after Muhammad. Ali reigned during the First Fitna, a civil war between supporters of Ali and supporters of the assassinated previous caliph, from Banu Umayya, as well as rebels in Egypt; the second caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate, was ruled by Banu Umayya, a Meccan clan descended from Umayya ibn Abd Shams. The caliphate continued the Arab conquests, incorporating the Caucasus, Sindh, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world; the caliphate had considerable acceptance of the Christians within its territory, necessitated by their large numbers in the region of Syria.
Following the Abbasid Revolution from 746–750, which arose from non-Arab Muslim disenfranchisement, the Abbasid Caliphate was established in 750. The third caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate was ruled by the Abbasids, a dynasty of Meccan origin which descended from Hashim, a great-grandfather of Muhammad, making them part of Banu Hashim, via Abbas, an uncle of Muhammad, hence the name. Caliph al-Mansur founded its second capital of Baghdad in 762 which became a major scientific and art centre, as did the territory as a whole during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. From the 10th century, Abbasid rule became confined to an area around Baghdad. From 945 to 1157, the Abbasid Caliphate came under Buyid and Seljuq military control. In 1250, a non-Arab army created by the Abbasids called. In 1258, the Mongol Empire sacked Baghdad, ending the Abbasid Caliphate, in 1261 the Mamluks in Egypt re-established the Abbasid Caliphate in Cairo. Though lacking in political power, the Abbasid dynasty continued to claim authority in religious matters until the Ottoman conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517.
The fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, was established after their conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517. The conquest gave the Ottomans control over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina controlled by the Mamluks; the Ottomans came to be viewed as the de facto leaders and representatives of the Muslim world. In the Indian subcontinent, dominant powers such as the Delhi Sultanate's Alauddin Khilji, Mughal Empire's sixth ruler Aurangzeb, Mysore's kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan have been heralded as few of the Indian caliphs existed, due to their establishments of Islamic laws throughout South Asia. Following their defeat in World War I, their empire was partitioned by the United Kingdom and French Third Republic, on 3 March 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as part of his reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the caliphate. A few other states that existed through history have called themselves caliphates, including the Isma'ili Fatimid Caliphate in Northeast Africa, the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in Iberia, the Berber Almohad Caliphate in Morocco and the Fula Sokoto Caliphate in present-day northern Nigeria.
The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a caliph may come to power in one of four ways: either through an election, through nomination, through a selection by a committee, or by force. Followers of Shia Islam, believe a caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt. In the early 21st century, following the failure of the Arab Spring and defeat of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State", there has seen "a broad mainstream embrace of a collective Muslim identity" by young Muslims and the appeal of a caliphate as a "idealized future Muslim state" has grown stronger. Before the advent of Islam, Arabian monarchs traditionally used the title malik, or another from the same root; the term caliph, derives from the Arabic word khalīfah, which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of Khalīfat Rasūl Allāh. However, studies of pre-Islamic texts suggest that the original meaning of the phr
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A
Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī was an influential Persian scholar and exegete of the Qur'an from Amol, who composed all his works in Arabic. Today, he is best known for his expertise in Qur'anic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and world history, but he has been described as "an impressively prolific polymath, he wrote on such subjects as poetry, grammar, ethics and medicine."His most influential and best known works are his Qur'anic commentary known as Tafsir al-Tabari and his historical chronicle Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk referred to Tarikh al-Tabari. Although it became extinct, al-Tabari's madhhab flourished among Sunni ulama for two centuries after his death, it was designated by the name Jariri. Tabari was born in Amol, Tabaristan in the winter of 838–9, he memorized the Qur'an at seven, was a qualified prayer leader at eight and began to study the prophetic traditions at nine. He left home to study in 236AH, he retained close ties to his home town. He returned at least twice, the second time in 290AH when his outspokenness caused some uneasiness and led to his quick departure.
He first went to Rayy. A major teacher in Rayy was Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Humayd al-Razi, who had earlier taught in Baghdad but was now in his seventies. While in Ray, he studied Muslim jurisprudence according to the Hanafi school. Among other material, ibn Humayd taught Jarir Tabari the historical works of ibn Ishaq al-Sirah, his life of Muhammad. Tabari was thus introduced in youth to early Islamic history. Tabari quotes ibn Humayd but little is known about Tabari's other teachers in Rayy. Tabari travelled to study in Baghdad under ibn Hanbal, however, had died. Tabari made a pilgrimage prior to his first arrival in Baghdad, he left Baghdad in 242 A. H. to travel through the southern cities of Basra and Wasit. There, he met a number of venerable scholars. In addition to his previous study of Hanafi law, Tabari studied the Shafi'i, Maliki and Zahiri rites. Tabari's study of the latter school was with the founder, Dawud al-Zahiri, Tabari hand-copied and transmitted many of his teacher's works. Tabari was well-versed in four of the five remaining Sunni legal schools before founding his own independent, yet extinct, school.
His debates with his former teachers and classmates were known, served as a demonstration of said independence. Notably missing from this list is the Hanbali school, the fourth largest legal school within Sunni Islam in the present era. Tabari's view of Ibn Hanbal, the school's founder, became decidedly negative in life. Tabari did not give Ibn Hanbal's dissenting opinion any weight at all when considering the various views of jurists, stating that Ibn Hanbal had not been a jurist at all but a recorder of Hadith. On his return to Baghdad, he took a tutoring position from the vizier, Ubaydallah ibn Yahya ibn Khaqan; this would have been before A. H. 244 since the vizier was out of office and in exile from 244 to 248. There is an anecdote told that Tabari had agreed to tutor for ten dinars a month, but his teaching was so effective and the boy's writing so impressive that the teacher was offered a tray of dinars and dirhams; the ever-ethical Tabari declined the offer saying he had undertaken to do his work at the specified amount and could not honourably take more.
That is one of a number of stories about him declining gifts or giving gifts of equal or greater amount in return. In his late twenties, he travelled to Syria and Egypt. In Beirut, he made the significant connection of al-Abbas b. al-Walid b. Mazyad al-'Udhri al-Bayruti. Al-Abbas instructed Tabari in the Syrian school's variant readings of the Qur'an and transmitted through his father al-Walid the legal views of al-Awza'i, Beirut's prominent jurist from a century earlier. Tabari arrived in Egypt in 253AH, some time after 256/870, he returned to Baghdad making a pilgrimage on the way. If so, he did not stay long in the Hijaz. Tabari had a private income from his father while he was still living and the inheritance, he took money for teaching. Among Tabari's students was Ibn al-Mughallis, a student of Tabari's own teacher Muhammad bin Dawud al-Zahiri, he never took a judicial position. Tabari was some fifty years old, he was well past seventy in the year. During the intervening years, he was famous, if somewhat controversial, personality.
Among the figures of his age, he had access to sources of information equal to anyone, except those who were directly connected with decision making within the government. Most, if not all, the materials for the histories of al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi, the early years of al-Muqtadir were collected by him about the time the reported events took place, his accounts are as authentic. Tabari's final years were marked by conflict with the Hanbalite followers of Al-Hasan ibn'Ali al-Barbahari, a student of the students of Ibn Hanbal. Tabari was known for his view that Hanbalism was not a legitimate school of thought, as Ibn Hanbal was a compiler of traditions and not a proper jurist; the Hanbalites of Baghdad would stone Tabari's house, escalating the persecuti
Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar, better known by his regnal title al-Muʿtazz bi-ʾllāh was the Abbasid caliph from 866 to 869, during a period of extreme internal instability within the Abbasid Caliphate, known as the "Anarchy at Samarra". Named as the second in line of three heirs of his father al-Mutawakkil, al-Mu'tazz was forced to renounce his rights after the accession of his brother al-Muntasir, was thrown in prison as a dangerous rival during the reign of his cousin al-Musta'in, he was released and raised to the caliphate in January 866, during the civil war between al-Musta'in and the Turkish military of Samarra. Al-Mu'tazz was capable and determined to reassert the authority of the caliph over the Turkish military, but had only limited success. Aided by the vizier Ahmad ibn Isra'il, he managed to remove and kill the leading Turkish generals, Wasif al-Turki and Bugha al-Saghir, but the decline of the Tahirids in Baghdad deprived him of their role as a counterweight to the Turks. Faced with the assertive Turkish commander Salih ibn Wasif, unable to find money to satisfy the demands of his troops, he was deposed and died of ill treatment a few days on 16 July 869.
His reign marks the apogee of the decline of the Caliphate's central authority, the climax of centrifugal tendencies, expressed through the emergence of the autonomous dynasties of the Tulunids in Egypt and the Saffarids in the East, Alid uprisings in Hejaz and Tabaristan, the first stirrings of the great Zanj Rebellion in lower Iraq. The future al-Mu'tazz was born to the Caliph al-Mutawakkil from his favourite slave concubine, Qabiha. In 849, al-Mutawakkil arranged for his succession, by appointing three of his sons as heirs and assigning them the governance and proceeds of the empire's provinces: the eldest, al-Muntasir, was named first heir, received Egypt, the Jazira, the proceeds of the rents in the capital, Samarra. However, over time the favour of al-Mutawakkil shifted towards al-Mu'tazz. Encouraged by his favourite advisor, al-Fath ibn Khaqan, the vizier Ubayd Allah ibn Yahya ibn Khaqan, the Caliph began contemplating naming al-Mu'tazz as his first heir, excluding al-Muntasir from the succession.
The rivalry between the two princes reflected tensions in the political sphere, as al-Mu'tazz's succession appears to have been backed by the traditional Abbasid elites as well, while al-Muntasir was backed by the Turkish and Maghariba guard troops. In October 861, the Turkish commanders began a plot to assassinate the Caliph, they were soon joined, or at least tacitly supported, by al-Muntasir, whose relations with his father deteriorated rapidly. On 5 December, al-Muntasir was bypassed in favour of al-Mu'tazz for leading the ritual Friday prayer at the end of Ramadan, at the end of which his father's advisor al-Fath and the vizier Ubayd Allah demonstratively kissed his hands and feet, before accompanying him on the return to the palace; as a result, on the night of 10/11 December, the Turks killed al-Mutawakkil and al-Fath, al-Muntasir became caliph. Al-Muntasir sent for his brothers to come and give the oath of allegiance to him. Thus, when the vizier Ubayd Allah, upon being informed of al-Mutawakkil's death, went to the house of al-Mu'tazz, he did not find him there.
The murder of al-Mutawakkil began the tumultuous period known as "Anarchy at Samarra", which lasted until 870 and brought the Abbasid Caliphate to the brink of collapse. Pressured by the Turkish commanders Wasif al-Turki and Bugha al-Saghir, both al-Mu'tazz and al-Mu'ayyad renounced their places in the succession on 27 April 862. However, al-Muntasir died in June 862, without having named any new heir; the Turks now strengthened their hold over the government, selected a cousin of al-Muntasir, al-Musta'in, as the new caliph. The new caliph was immediately faced with a large riot in Samarra in support of al-Mu'tazz; the riot was down by the Maghariba and Ushrusaniyya regiments, but casualties on both sides were heavy. Al-Musta'in, worried that al-Mu'tazz or al-Mua'yyad could press their claims to the caliphate, first attempted to buy them off by offering them an annual subsidy of 80,000 gold dinars. Shortly after, their properties were confiscated—according to al-Tabari, that of al-Mu'tazz was valued at ten million dirhams—and imprisoned under the auspices of Bugha al-Saghir in one of the rooms of the Jawsaq Palace.
Rivalries between the Turkish leaders led to a split in 865, when al-Musta'in, Wasif and Bugha left Samarra for Baghdad, where they arrived on 5/6 February 865. There they were joined by many of their followers, allied with the city's Tahirid governor, Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Tahir, who began fortifying the city; the bulk of the Turks, remained in Samarra. Their position threatened by this coalition, they proclaimed him caliph. On 24 February, al-Mu'tazz placed his brother Abu Ahmad in charge of the army, sent him to lay siege to Baghdad. Abu Ahmad played a leading role in the siege, which created a close and lasting relationship with the Turkish military, that would allow him to eme
Al-Mas‘udi was an Arab historian and traveler. He is sometimes referred to as the "Herodotus of the Arabs". Al-Mas‘udi was one of the first to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work, The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems, a world history. More described as prolific and as a polymath, he was the author of "over twenty" works, which dealt with "a wide variety of religious and secular subjects, including history, the natural sciences and theology." Apart from what Al-Mas‘udi writes of himself little is known. He had been born in Baghdad and was descended from Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, he mentions the names of many scholar associates. The true extent of al-Mas‘udi's travels has met some skepticism, yet conservative estimates hold it was considerable: Al-Mas‘udi's travels occupied most of his life from at least 903/915 CE to near the end of his life, his journeys took him to most of the Persian provinces, Armenia and other regions of the Caspian Sea.
He travelled to the Indus Valley, other parts of India the western coast. He sailed on the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Caspian; some biographies include Sri Lanka and China among his travels, but we know that he received information on China from Abu Zaid al-Sirafi whom he met on the coast of the Persian Gulf. In Syria al-Mas‘udi met the Byzantine admiral convert-to-Islam, Leo of Tripoli, from whom he learned much about Byzantium, he spent his last years in Egypt. In Egypt he found a copy of a Frankish king list from Clovis to Louis IV, written by an Andalusian bishop. Little is known of his means and funding of his extensive travels within and beyond the lands of Islam, it has been speculated that like many travelers he may have been involved in trade. Towards the end of The Meadows of Gold, al-Mas‘udi wrote: The information we have gathered here is the fruit of long years of research and painful efforts of our voyages and journeys across the East and the West, of the various nations that lie beyond the regions of Islam.
The author of this work compares himself to a man who, having found pearls of all kinds and colours, gathers them together into a necklace and makes them into an ornament that its possessor guards with great care. My aim has been to trace the lands and the histories of many peoples, I have no other. We know that al-Mas‘udi wrote a revised edition of Muruj adh-dhahab in 956 CE. Al-Mas ` udi in his Tanbih states. Lunde and Stone provide a detailed reminder of the intellectual environment in which al-Mas‘udi lived: He lived at a time when books were available and cheap. Aside from large public libraries in major towns like Baghdad, many individuals, like Mas‘udi's friend al-Suli, had private libraries containing thousands of volumes; the prevalence of books and their low price was the result of the introduction of paper to the Islamic world by Chinese papermakers captured at the Battle of Talas in 751. Soon afterwards there were paper mills in most large towns and cities; the introduction of paper coincided with the coming to power of the Abbasid dynasty, there is no doubt that the availability of cheap writing material contributed to the growth of the Abbasid bureaucracy, postal system, lively intellectual life.
They note that Mas‘udi encourages his readers to consult other books he has written, expecting these to be accessible to his readership. They note the stark contrast between contemporary European conditions confronting say the author of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and this literate Islamic world. Ahmad Shboul mentions the rich blend of Greek philosophy, Persian literature, Indian mathematics and the rich heritage of the ancient cultures that went into the vigorous life of the day; this enabled the society of the day to manifest a knowledge seeking and analytical attitude. There was a natural association of scholarly minded people in this civilized atmosphere, al-Mas‘udi much took part in this energizing activity. Al-Mas‘udi was a pupil or junior colleague of a number of prominent intellectuals, including the philologists al-Zajjaj, ibn Duraid and ibn Anbari, he was acquainted with famous poets, including Kashajim, whom he met in Aleppo. He was well read in philosophy, knowing the works of al-Kindi and al-Razi, the Aristotelian thought of al-Farabi and the Platonic writings.
Al-Mas‘udi's extant writings do not confirm his meeting with his contemporaries al-Razi and al-Farabi, however such meetings were likely. He does record his meeting with al-Farabi's pupil Yahya ibn Adi. In addition he was familiar with the medical work of Galen, with Ptolemaic astronomy, with the geographical work of Marinus and with the studies of Islamic geographers and astronomers, he indicates training in jurisprudence. He was aware of the work of others. Subki states that al-Mas‘udi was a student of ibn Surayj, the leading scholar of the Shafi'ite school. Al-Subki claimed. Al-Mas‘udi met Shafi'ites during his stay in Egypt, he met Zahirites in Aleppo such as Ibn Jabir and Niftawayh.
Islamic Golden Age
The Islamic Golden Age was a period of cultural and scientific flourishing in the history of Islam, traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 14th century. This period is traditionally understood to have begun during the reign of the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid with the inauguration of the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, where scholars from various parts of the world with different cultural backgrounds were mandated to gather and translate all of the world's classical knowledge into the Arabic language; this period is traditionally said to have ended with the collapse of the Abbasid caliphate due to Mongol invasions and the Siege of Baghdad in 1258 AD. A few contemporary scholars place the end of the Islamic Golden Age as late as the end of 15th to 16th centuries; the metaphor of a golden age began to be applied in 19th-century literature about Islamic history, in the context of the western aesthetic fashion known as Orientalism. The author of a Handbook for Travelers in Syria and Palestine in 1868 observed that the most beautiful mosques of Damascus were "like Mohammedanism itself, now decaying" and relics of "the golden age of Islam".
There is no unambiguous definition of the term, depending on whether it is used with a focus on cultural or on military achievement, it may be taken to refer to rather disparate time spans. Thus, one 19th century author would have it extend to the duration of the caliphate, or to "six and a half centuries", while another would have it end after only a few decades of Rashidun conquests, with the death of Umar and the First Fitna. During the early 20th century, the term was used only and referred to the early military successes of the Rashidun caliphs, it was only in the second half of the 20th century that the term came to be used with any frequency, now referring to the cultural flourishing of science and mathematics under the caliphates during the 9th to 11th centuries, but extended to include part of the late 8th or the 12th to early 13th centuries. Definitions may still vary considerably. Equating the end of the golden age with the end of the caliphates is a convenient cut-off point based on a historical landmark, but it can be argued that Islamic culture had entered a gradual decline much earlier.
The various Quranic injunctions and Hadith, which place values on education and emphasize the importance of acquiring knowledge, played a vital role in influencing the Muslims of this age in their search for knowledge and the development of the body of science. The Islamic Empire patronized scholars; the money spent on the Translation Movement for some translations is estimated to be equivalent to about twice the annual research budget of the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council. The best scholars and notable translators, such as Hunayn ibn Ishaq, had salaries that are estimated to be the equivalent of professional athletes today; the House of Wisdom was a library established in Iraq by Caliph al-Mansur. During this period, the Muslims showed a strong interest in assimilating the scientific knowledge of the civilizations, conquered. Many classic works of antiquity that might otherwise have been lost were translated from Greek, Indian, Chinese and Phoenician civilizations into Arabic and Persian, in turn translated into Turkish and Latin.
Christians the adherents of the Church of the East, contributed to Islamic civilization during the reign of the Ummayads and the Abbasids by translating works of Greek philosophers and ancient science to Syriac and afterwards to Arabic. They excelled in many fields, in particular philosophy and theology. For a long period of time the personal physicians of the Abbasid Caliphs were Assyrian Christians. Among the most prominent Christian families to serve as physicians to the caliphs were the Bukhtishu dynasty. Throughout the 4th to 7th centuries, Christian scholarly work in the Greek and Syriac languages was either newly translated or had been preserved since the Hellenistic period. Among the prominent centers of learning and transmission of classical wisdom were Christian colleges such as the School of Nisibis and the School of Edessa, the pagan University of Harran and the renowned hospital and medical academy of Jundishapur, the intellectual and scientific center of the Church of the East.
The House of Wisdom was founded in Baghdad in 825, modelled after the Academy of Gondishapur. It was led with the support of Byzantine medicine. Many of the most important philosophical and scientific works of the ancient world were translated, including the work of Galen, Plato, Aristotle and Archimedes. Many scholars of the House of Wisdom were of Christian background. Among the various countries and cultures conquered through successive Islamic conquests, a remarkable number of scientists originated from Persia, who contributed immensely to the scientific flourishing of the Islamic Golden Age. According to Bernard Lewis: "Culturally and most remarkable of all religiously, the Persian contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of immense importance; the wo
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental