Islamic symbol

The Golden Age of Islam

By aciacco
  • Nov 9, 748

    Abbasid leader Abul `Abbas al-Saffah enters Kufa and declares himself caliph

    A Persian general, Abu Muslim, who supported Abbasid claims to power, led the Abbasid armies. His victories allowed the Abbasid leader Abul `Abbas al-Saffah to enter the Shiite-dominated city of Kufa in 748 and declare himself caliph.
  • Nov 9, 750

    Abbasid Dynasty become the new rulers of the Islamic Caliphate

    In 750, the army of Abu Muslim and al-Saffah faced the Umayyad Caliph Marwan II at the Battle of the Zab near the Tigris River. Marwan II was defeated, fled, and was killed. As-Saffah captured Damascus and slaughtered the remaining members of the Umayyad family (except for one, Abd al-Rahman, who escaped to Spain and continued the Umayyad Dynasty there). The Abbasids were the new rulers of the caliphate.
  • Period: Nov 9, 750 to Nov 9, 1258

    Abbasid Caliphate in power

  • Jul 30, 762

    Capital of the Islamic Empire moved to Baghdad

    One of the earliest, and most important, changes the Abbasids made was to move the capital of the Islamic empire from the old Umayyad power base of Damascus to a new city—Baghdad. Baghdad was founded in 762 by al-Mansur on the banks of the Tigris River. The city was round in shape, and designed from the beginning to be a great capital and the center of the Islamic world. It was built not far from the old Persian capital of Ctesiphon, and its location reveals the desire of the dynasty to connect
  • Period: Nov 9, 786 to Nov 9, 809

    The 5th caliph of the Abbasid dynasty, Harun al-Rashid comes to power

    Harun al-Rashid is remembered as one of history’s greatest patrons of the arts and sciences. Under his rule, Baghdad became the world’s most important center for science, philosophy, medicine, and education. The massive size of the caliphate meant that it had contact and shared borders with many distant empires, so scholars at Baghdad could collect, translate, and expand upon the knowledge of other civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines.
  • Nov 9, 800

    Baghdad Becomes the biggest city in the world

    Baghdad grew quickly with encouragement from the Abbasid state, and it was soon the largest city in the world. At Baghdad, the Persian culture that the Umayyads had attempted to suppress was now allowed to thrive. Art, poetry, and science flourished. The Abbasids learned from the Chinese (allegedly from Chinese soldiers captured in battle) the art of making paper. Cheap and durable, paper became an important material for spreading literature and knowledge.
  • Period: Nov 9, 814 to Nov 9, 833

    al-Ma'mun comes to power

    The successors of Harun al-Rashid, especially his son al-Ma’mun (r. 813–833), continued his policies of supporting artists, scientists, and scholars.
  • Nov 9, 830

    Bayt al-Hikma (The House of Wisdom) is founded in Baghdad

    The House of Wisdom was a library, an institute for translators, and in many ways an early form of university. The House of Wisdom hosted Muslim and non-Muslim scholars who sought to translate and gather the cumulative knowledge of human history in one place, and in one language—Arabic. It also hosted scholars that revolutionized math, geometry, astronomy, optics, and agriculture.
  • Period: Nov 9, 833 to Nov 9, 842

    Reign of Caliph al-Mu'tasim

    The caliph al-Mu`tasim (r. 833–842).
  • Nov 9, 847

    The Great Mosque of Smarra is completed

    The Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq was completed in 847. It combined the hypostyle architecture of rows of columns supporting a flat base, above which a huge spiralling minaret was constructed.
  • Nov 9, 859

    University of Al Karaouine is founded

    University of Al Karaouine, founded in 859, is the world's oldest degree-granting university.
  • Nov 9, 900

    al-Jahiz writes The Book Of Animals

    The al-Hayawan is an encyclopedia of seven volume of anecdotes, poetic descriptions and proverbs describing over 350 varieties of animals. Al-Jāḥiẓ made observations in his book that described evolution.
  • Period: Nov 9, 934 to Nov 9, 940

    Reign of al-Radi

    al-Radi (r. 934–940) is often considered the last caliph to exercise any real authority. From this point on, the Abbasid caliphs became little more than religious figureheads.
  • Nov 9, 964

    Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi discovers the Andromeda Galaxy

    In about 964, Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi writing in his Book of Fixed Stars, described a "nebulous spot" in the Andromeda constellation, the first definitive reference to what we now know is the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest spiral galaxy to our galaxy.
  • Nov 9, 1000

    Laws are passed to keep hospitals open 24 hours a day

    In the medieval Islamic world, hospitals were built in most major cities. Medical facilities traditionally closed each night, but by the 10th century laws were passed to keep hospitals open 24 hours a day, and hospitals were forbidden to turn away patients who were unable to pay. Eventually, charitable foundations called waqfs were formed to support hospitals, as well as schools. This money supported free medical care for all citizens.
  • Nov 9, 1021

    Ibn al-Haytham uses the Scientific Method to write the Book of Optics

    Arab physicist Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) used experimentation to obtain the results in his Book of Optics (1021). He combined observations, experiments and rational arguments to support his intromission theory of vision. He was one of the earliest pioneers of the Scientific Method.
  • Nov 9, 1078

    Ibn Muʿādh al-Jayyānī writes The Book of Unknown Arcs of a Sphere

    In trigonometry, Ibn Muʿādh al-Jayyānī introduced the general Law of sines in his The book of unknown arcs of a sphere. This formula relates the lengths of the sides of any triangle to the sines of its angles.
  • Period: Nov 9, 1180 to Nov 9, 1225

    Reign of caliph al-Nasir

    Caliph al-Nasir (r. 1180–1225)
  • Period: Nov 9, 1242 to Nov 9, 1258

    Caliph al-Mu'tasim

    Caliph al-Mu`tasim (r. 1242–1258),
  • Nov 9, 1258

    Mongols capture Baghdad, end the Islamic Golden Age

    Mongol hordes invaded Baghdad. They captured the city in 1258 and sacked it. They trampled the caliph to death, and completely destroyed the city. They killed somewhere between 100,000 and a million people, destroyed all the books of the House of Wisdom and other libraries, burned down all the great monuments of the city, and left