Innovations and Adaptations in the Medieval Islamic Renaissance

They improved ways of doing things that influenced the Scientific Revolution in Europe centuries later. Introduction In the Middle Ages, Muslim people developed a rich culture. Here are many contributions made by Muslims to world civilization. By 750 C.E., Muslims ruled Spain, North Africa, the Middle East, and much of central Asia. Over the next[…]

A History of the Origins and Spread of Islam

Exploring how the Islamic faith quickly spread throughout Arabia and beyond. Introduction Muhammad was born around 570 C.E. He taught the faith called Islam, which became one of the major religions of the world. Muhammad’s birthplace, Makkah (Mecca), was an ancient place of worship. According to tradition, many centuries before Muhammad was born, God tested[…]

Hindus and Muslims under the Delhi Sultanate in Medieval India

The Delhi Sultanate, which lasted from 1206 to 1526, is known as a period of cultural intermixing. By Christopher Klune The Republic of India stands as one of the most pluralistic nations in the modern world, with many people of varying faiths co-existing under one national identity. Part of the origin of this pluralism can[…]

Medieval Islamic Caliphates

The caliphate soon became a hereditary institute when the dynastic system of rule was introduced to the Islamic world by the Umayyads. By Syed Muhammad KhanHistorian Introduction Caliphate (“Khilafat” in Arabic) was a semi-religious political system of governance in Islam, in which the territories of the Islamic empire and the people within were ruled by[…]

Muhammad and the Early Medieval Birth and Rise of Islam

What started as a feeble group of followers soon turned into an empire. By Syed Muhammad KhanHistorian Introduction Muhammad ibn Abdullah (l. 570-610 CE) is venerated today as the Prophet of Islam and the “seal of Prophets” by his followers – the Muslims. Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last – hence the “seal” –[…]

Muslims and the First Recorded Slave Revolt in the New World, 1522

Charles V blamed the revolt on their radical ideology rather than the harsh realities of living a life of slavery. On Christmas Day, 1522, 20 enslaved Muslim Africans used machetes to attack their Christian masters on the island of Hispaniola, then governed by the son of Christopher Columbus. The assailants, condemned to the grinding toil[…]

Zaida, Medieval Muslim Princess and Spanish Ancestor of the British Royal Family

The inter-marriage of Muslim families and the mingling with Christianity provides us with an interesting back story to a Muslim ancestor of the current British monarch. Zaida, a Muslim princess living in 11th-century Seville, is one of the most extraordinary ancestors of the British royal family. Zaida’s bloodline reached the English shores through her engagement[…]

A History of the Shi’a-Sunni Divide

Examining the centuries’-old sectarian Shia-Sunni divide. Tensions between Sunnis and Shias have been flaring up, with several incidents of violence reported in recent months: Most recently a suicide bomber killed at least 29 people when he blew himself up at the largest Shiite Muslim mosque in Afghanistan’s Herat province on Tuesday, August 1. Earlier in June, the Islamic[…]

The Rise and Expansion of Islam in the Medieval World

The region had been freed from lingering influences of the Byzantine empire and was left to develop on its own. Introduction Although Islam is a sister religion of Christianity and Judaism, Christians are generally ignorant and contemptuous of its origins and beliefs. One might note that Muslims hold education and learning in high esteem. Like[…]

Convivencia: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Medieval Spain

Examining the inter-relationship of religion and culture in the time period of medieval Spain known as the convivencia. By Lindsey Marie Vaughan Abstract Few time periods in world history offer as unique a glimpse into cultural cohabitation as the one in medieval Spain following the Arabic invasion and preceding the Christian Reconquest ended in 1492.[…]