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An Early History of Islam

  • Aug 31, 610

    Mohammad Receives Revelation from Angel Gabriel

    Mohammad Receives Revelation from Angel Gabriel
    This event really begins Islam as Mohammed is given the words from Allah that will later comprise the Qur'an.
    This is a picture of a part of the Qur'an from the late 7th Century (600's).
  • Period: Aug 31, 610 to Feb 10, 1258

    Early History or Islam

  • Sep 3, 622

    Mohammad Flees Mecca for Yathrib (Medina). This is the Hijrah

    Mohammad Flees Mecca for Yathrib (Medina). This is the Hijrah
    Mohammad and his friends, discovering an assasisnation attempt that will be made on their lives, flee from Mecca to Yathrib (later to be called Medina which means "the City of the Prophet"). This event is so significant for Muslims that they start their calendar from this event, in much the same way that the Western calendar begins with Christ's birth in 1 AD.
  • Jun 3, 630

    Mohammed and Muslims take the City of Mecca

    Mohammed and Muslims take the City of Mecca
    This picture is one of the Muslims being led by angels on their conquest of Mecca. The Muslims at this point had about 10,000 warriors.
  • Jun 8, 632

    Death of Mohammed and Election of Abu Bakr as First Caliph

    Death of Mohammed and Election of Abu Bakr as First Caliph
    The picture is Mohammed preaching during his Farewell Pilgrimage.
  • Mar 18, 633

    Abu Bakr Re-Unites Arabian Peninsula under Islamic Control

    Abu Bakr Re-Unites Arabian Peninsula under Islamic Control
    The map is one showing early Muslim conquests and raids in the Middle East.
  • Sep 1, 661

    Ali, the Last of the "Rightly Guided Caliphs", Assassinated and Umayyad Dynasty Begins

    Ali, the Last of the "Rightly Guided Caliphs", Assassinated and Umayyad Dynasty Begins
    Even before Ali's death the Islamic community had been splitting apart. After the death of Ali the community split permanently. Muslims who supported Ali's descendants were called Shi'a (Party of Ali) or Shittes. This groups was the minority. The larger group supported Muawiyah (Governor of Syria and cousin to the thrid Caliph Uthman) and became known as the Sunnis. The Umayyads made their capital city Damascus in Syra.
    The map shows the Umayyad Empire at its greatest extent.
  • Aug 6, 750

    Abbasid Family starts a New Caliphate

    Abbasid Family starts a New Caliphate
    The Abbasids, supported by many groups in Islam, overthrew the Ummayad Caliph Marwan II. Most of the Umayyad family were killed except one family member who escaped to Spain where the Umayyads would continue in power.
    However the Abbasids would come to power in 750 and eventually build a new capital city in Baghdad. Islam is often considered to have gone through its "Golden Age" during the time of the Abbasids.
    The map shows the Abbasids at their greatest power in 850.
  • Jul 30, 762

    Al-Mansur Completes Construction of Baghdad

    Al-Mansur Completes Construction of Baghdad
    Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad to serve as capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. It was built as a round city with several layers of defense. It sat at the crossroads of several important trading routes and therefore was (and still remains) one of the great cities of the Islamic World.

    By 900 it had about 1 million inhabitants and was one of the leading cities in the world both for its size, but also due to its being a great center of Islamic learning and culture.
  • Jul 3, 763

    Abd al-Rahman I secures control over Al-Andalus (Spain) for Umayyads

    Abd al-Rahman I secures control over Al-Andalus (Spain) for Umayyads
    After being forced to flee from the destruction of most of the Umayyad family in Damscus when the Abbasids took control of the Caliphate, Abd al-Rahman fled to Spain (Al-Andalus). In Al-Andalus he was able to win many battles and declare himself Emir (meaning leader), although later descendants would take the title Caliph once again.
    Abd al-Rahman would make his capital city at Cordoba. This city would eventually come to rival Baghdad as the greatest in the Islamic world by around 950.
  • Oct 4, 820

    Al-Khwārizmī Invents Algebra

    Al-Khwārizmī Invents Algebra
    The picture is a page taken from al-Khwārizmī's book, "The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing"
  • Nov 6, 925

    Rhazes, Famous Islamic Medical Scholar Dies

    Rhazes, Famous Islamic Medical Scholar Dies
    The picture is from Rhazes' "Book of Medicine".
  • Jan 3, 929

    Abd al-Rahman III Declares Himself Caliph Instead of Emir of Al-Andalus

    Abd al-Rahman III Declares Himself Caliph Instead of Emir of Al-Andalus
    Abd al-Rahman III feeling secure in his power, and not intimidated by the Abbasids of the Middle East, takes back the title of Caliph (Successor of Mohammad) for the Umayyad Family.
    His rule propelled Al-Andalus to the forefront of the Islamic World. Al-Andalus became a center for learning and culture rivaled by very few places in the world at that time.
    This picture is of the Great Mosque of Cordoba (the capital city of Al-Andalus) one of the best examples of Spainish Islamic architecture.
  • Jan 5, 969

    Fatimid Caliphate Captures Cairo and Makes it the Capital of Its Empire

    Fatimid Caliphate Captures Cairo and Makes it the Capital of Its Empire
    The Fatimid Caliphate was Shiite in origin (members claiming descent from Ali's wife and Mohammad's daughter Fatima) and had started a rival Caliphate (to the Abassids and Umayyads) in Tunisia in 909. By 969 they were able to capture Cairo and move thier capital there.
    The Fatimids were known for their tolerance. They even tended to advance Jews and Christians to very high levels of government based on merit.
    The map shows the Fatimid Empire in 969. It ended in 1171.
  • Oct 4, 1021

    Book of Optics by ibn al-Haytham is Published

    Book of Optics by ibn al-Haytham is Published
    The "Book of Optics" made breakthroughs in areas dealing with optics. ibn al-Haytham correctly explained how light waves were received and "seen" with the human eye in his book.
  • Oct 5, 1055

    Seljuk Turks Capture Baghdad From the Fatimid Dynasty For Abassid Caliphs

    Seljuk Turks Capture Baghdad From the Fatimid Dynasty For Abassid Caliphs
    The Seljuks were a nomadic tribe who had converted to Sunni Islam and started to move into Persia (Iran) in the 11th Century. They captured Baghdad and many other areas of the Middle East, while establishing the Greater Seljuk Empire. Baghdad was captured from the Fatimid Caliphate of North Africa. Supposedly this was for the Abassid Caliphate, but soon Turkish rulers would set up their own empire
    This map shows the Seljuk Empire at its greatest extent at the end of Malik Shah's life in 1092.
  • Jul 15, 1099

    Jerusalem is Captured by Crusaders from Western Europe

    Jerusalem is Captured by Crusaders from Western Europe
    Jeruslam is captured by the Crusaders in a very violent and bloody way. One reference refers to at least 10,000 people being slaughtered. This event ends the First Crusade successfully for the Western European Crusaders.

    It also lets the Islamic world realize that there is a new threat in the Middle East and that a united front is needed to expel the Crusaders. Eventually Islamic rulers will wage a holy war or "Jihad" on the Crusader Kingdoms to re-capture the lost territory.
  • Oct 2, 1187

    Saladin, the Muslim Ruler of Egypt and Syria, Re-captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders

    Saladin, the Muslim Ruler of Egypt and Syria, Re-captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders
    After uniting Egypt and Syria under his rule Saladin is able to re-capture the city of Jerusalem. This will eventually result in the Third Crusade being launched.
  • Feb 20, 1258

    Death of Al-Musta'sim the Last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad

    Death of Al-Musta'sim the Last Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad
    Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, has Al-Musta'sim rolled up in a carpet and trampled to death by horses because of the Mongol idea about not "shedding" royal blood. Even though all political power had long since been taken from the Caliph, this in a sense ends the Islamic Golden Age under the Abbasid Caliphate.
    The picture is supposedly one of Hulagu imprisoning Al-Musta'sim.