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Islamic Empire

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    Islam is the second largest religion with over 1.6 billion muslims around the world and 3.3 million muslims living in the US. In the last decade, there has been a steep increase in negative sentiments towards muslims and they are often times stereotyped as terrorists. Because of misinformation from the media, many people do not know the true meaning of Islam. The following is a brief history major political and social events of the Islamic Empire since it was established almost 1400 years ago.
  • 570

    Birth of the Prophet Muhammad

    Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
    Prophet Muhammad founded the Islam through his revelations from God. He was born to the Quraysh family in Saudi Arabia in the city of Mecca.
  • Jan 1, 610

    Muhammad receives his first vision

    Muhammad receives his first vision
    In a cave called Hira outside Mecca where Muhammad often took time to meditate, he received a vision from the angel Gabriel. These visions would accumulate into the Quran. Muhammad would spread the messages he received to the people in Mecca, but he was largely rejected and eventually prosecuted by the community; but he was able to establish a small following in the city.
  • Jun 1, 622

    Hijra to Medina

    Hijra to Medina
    After a failed assassination attempt on Muhammad's life, he has his followers leave his home city of Mecca to Yathrib, a city 280 miles north of Mecca. The city was later renamed to Madina. Muhammad and his followers were welcomed in Madina and he created the Constitution of Medina. The emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina is called Hijra and the followers that came to Madina were called Muhajirun, or emigrants.
  • Mar 1, 630

    Conquering of Mecca

    After much conflict, Muhammad is able to conquer the city of Mecca with minimal blood shed. There is the removal idols from the Kabaa and the tribes of Arabia pledged allegiance to Muhammad and many converted to Islam.
  • Jun 8, 632

    Death of Muhammad

    Death of Muhammad
    Muhammad died after several days of flu and sickness. He was either 62 or 63 years old. He passed in his wife, Aisha's, home in Madina. In the image below, Muhammad's burial site is covered by the green dome. The area is now a mosque.
  • Period: Jun 9, 632 to Jan 1, 661


    The Rashidun is the 30-year reign of the four rightly-guided Caliphs after the death of the Prophet.
  • Period: Jun 9, 632 to Aug 23, 634

    First Caliph: Abu Bakr

    Abu Bakr was the close friend and father-in-law of Muhammad. After Muhammad's death, Abu Bakr took over the political duties occupied by Islam, but did not claim leadership of the religious duties because Muhammad was the last Prophet. Abu Bakr is responsible for holding the empire together after the death of Muhammad. Abu Bark also successfully conducted a series of military campaigns called the Ridda Wars in order to subdue tribal rebellions after Muhammad's death.
  • Period: Aug 24, 634 to Nov 3, 644

    Second Caliph: ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab

    ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, or Umar, was a close companion of Muhammad and he took over as the second Caliph after the death of Abu Bakr. Under his caliphate, the empire expanded to the Sassanid and most of the Byzantine empire. Umar allowed Jews into Jerusalem and allowed the practice of Judaism in the empire. His reign ended with his assassination by Persians during the Muslim conquest of Persia.
  • Period: Nov 6, 644 to Jun 17, 656

    Third Caliph: Uthman ibn Affan

    Uthman was another companion of the Prophet Muhammad and became the third caliph at the age of 63. He married two of Muhammad's daughters so clearly, he was very close to Muhammad's family. Under his leadership, the Islamic empire expanded to present day Iran. Uthman was assassinated in his own home one month after the end of his caliphate.
  • Jan 1, 650

    Quran is Transcribed

    Quran is Transcribed
    Under Uthman's caliphate, the Quran is finally transcribed in arabic. Before this time, the Quran was passed on through memorization and recitation. Muhammad was illiterate so he could not write down the messages he received, instead he memorized the lessons given to him. Despite the wide availability of the Quran in book form, it is still common for Muslims to memorize the entirety of the Quran.
  • Period: Jun 27, 656 to Jan 29, 661

    Fourth Caliph: ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib

    Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. He was also the first male to accept Islam. There is much controversy surrounding his reign; in fact his reign is the topic of contention that caused the Shiite/Sunni schism. Shia muslims believe Ali was the rightful caliph because he was Muhammad's son-in-law and Shias reject the previous three caliph's rule. Shiite Muslims only accept descendants of Muhammad's family as rightful leaders of Islamic empire.
  • Period: Jan 29, 661 to Jul 29, 661

    Reign of Hasan ibn Ali

    Hasan, the son of Ali and the grandson of Muhammad, became caliph for a brief period of 6-7 months before abdicating his rule.
  • Period: Jul 29, 661 to Aug 6, 750

    Umayyad Caliphate

    After the Abdication of Hasan, Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan took over the Islamic Empire. He was the second caliph from the Umayyad clan, the first being Uthman ibn Affan, the third caliph. Muawiya was previously the long-time governor of Syria. The Umayyad Caliphate moved the capital of the Islamic empire from Mecca to Damascus.
  • Period: Apr 12, 685 to Oct 8, 705

    Reign of Abd al-Malik

    The 5th Umayyad caliphate, Abd al-Malik's reign was important to the Islamic empire because he established Arabic as the offical state language (instead of Greek or Persian) and he minted the first state currency for the Islamic Empire. This caused conflict with The Byzantine Empire, led by Justinian II.
  • Jan 1, 730

    Muslim Empire reaches furthest extent

    Muslim Empire reaches furthest extent
    Under Umayyad rule, the Islamic empire spans over 11,100,000 km² , or 4,285,734 sq mi. This included all of the Arabic peninsula, Northern Africa, and Anatolia. The Battle of Tours prevented Muslim expansion north into Europe.
  • Period: Jan 1, 750 to Jan 1, 1258

    Abbasid Caliphate

    The Abbasid dynasty claimed to be descended from Muhammad's youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib. During this period, the capital of the empire was moved from Damascus to Baghdad, which become the center of the Islamic Golden age. At the end of the dynasty, the caliphate had little political power but maintained religious authority.
  • Jan 1, 786

    Founding of the House of Wisdom

    Founding of the House of Wisdom
    Built by Harun al-Rashid, the fifth Abbasid caliph, is a large library in Baghdad. The House of Wisdom collected works done by the Translation Movement, in which classical works from other cultures were translated into Arabic and collected in the House of Wisdom. Translations included texts focused on medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy.
  • Jan 1, 786

    Consolidation of One Thousand and One Nights

    Consolidation of One Thousand and One Nights
    One of the most famous stories from the Islamic world, One Thousand and One Nights was compiled formally after passing on through oral tradition in the Islamic Golden age.
  • Jan 1, 800

    Compilation of Hadiths

    Compilation of Hadiths
    Hadiths are reports on the actions, words, or habits of Muhammad, They are important in Islam and can be considered a supplement to the Quran. In the 800s, followers of the prophet began collecting reports of the prophet's hadiths and began separating them according to their authenticity or "strength"; weaker hadiths being less authentic. These were later published in books according to the scholar collecting them and their interpretation.
  • Period: Jan 1, 800 to Jan 1, 1200

    Islamic Golden Age

    During the European Dark ages, Muslim scholars were studying spherical trigonometry, agriculture, physics, medicine, science, and astronomy. There were high literacy rates at this time period, free universal health care, and many influential math concepts were invented, like algorithms. This period ending with the sacking of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 AD.
  • Jan 1, 860

    Invention of Algebra

    Invention of Algebra
    Muhammad bin Musa al-Kwarizmi revolutionizes mathematics by inventing algebra. He published his book The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing, which contains the basis of the topic.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1299 to

    Ottoman Empire

    The Ottoman Empire took over the after the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate. They were at the height of their power in the 16th and 17th century under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent when they were in control of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. The empire reached its down fall after WW1 with the division of its territory to the Allied Powers.
  • Treaty of Karlowitz

    Treaty of Karlowitz
    This treaty confirmed the Ottoman loss of the Battle of Zenta. This is the first significant loss of territory by the Ottoman Empire in Europe after centuries of expansion.
  • Fall of the Ottoman Empire

    Fall of the Ottoman Empire
    At the Armistice of Mudros, the Ottoman Empire was divided by the League of Nations, which have Britain control over Palestine and Iraq and France control of Lebanon and Syria.