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Kerala Plus One History Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 4 Islamic Countries of the Middle Ages
There are many sources that give us information about the Islamic Countries of the Middle Ages. Give details.
We get information about the Islamic Countries of the Middle Ages from 600 to 1200 AD for the Chronicles, semi-historical biographies, documents . of the words and deeds of the Prophet and from the interpretations of the Quran. All these were prepared from eye-witness descriptions. Each note of the eye-witness was examined through critical methods and only after ensuring its veracity and the authenticity of the author it was accepted for inclusion in the documents.
Most of the Chronicles and semi-historical biographies are written in Arabic. The best of them is Tareekh-al-Tabari. This is translated into English in 38 volumes. Although the number of Persian Chronicles are few, there are detailed descriptions about Iran and Central Asia. It was only in the 19th century, proper histories of Islam began to be written. Professors in Germany and Netherlands were the ones who initiated this project.
Islam Religion originated in Arabia. Based on this statement, prepare a seminar paper on the origin, faith, community and politics of Islam.
Areas to be considered: The tribal living of the Arabs, Prophet Mohammed, faith and worship, the community of believers, political system.
Islam Religion originated in Arabia. It was started by Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century. By language and culture, Prophet Mohammed was an Arab. His family profession was trade. The Arabs lived in different tribal groups at that time. Each tribe had a tribal head. The heads were chosen on the basis of courage, intelligence, generosity and family relations.
Mohammed was born and brought up in the Quraysh tribe. There was a temple called Kaaba in Mecca. In that, there was a Black Stone and many other idols. The Kaaba temple was in the control of the Quraysh tribe. Even the tribes outside Mecca considered Kaaba a holy temple and placed their own idols here. Mecca is situated on a trade route between Yemen and Syria.
This increased the importance of Mecca. The temple in Mecca was a holy place. Their violence was prohibited. All visitors were given protection. Therefore Mecca was known as a holy city. Mohammed, the founder of Islam, propagated belief in one God and membership in one community (Umma). It was from here that Islam originated.
In 612 AD Mohammed declared that he was the Prophet of God. He formulated a religion which was based on monotheism. He declared that he was asked by God to propagate the worship of only one God. The goal of Prophet Mohammed was establishing a community of believers. This community has to testify its. existence before God and also other religious communities.
The message of Prophet Mohammed attracted the people of Mecca. They had thought that they had lost the advantages, of religion and trade and they were waiting for a new identity. The people who accepted the principles enunciated by Prophet Mohammed were known as Muslims.
They were promised heaven on the Day of Judgment and part of the wealth of the community during their earthly life. Soon the Muslims faced opposition from the nobles of Mecca. The denial of their gods by the Muslims made them worried. They looked at the new religion as a threat to the dignity and progress of Mecca. So they tried to persecute the followers of Mohammed and to kill Mohammed himself.
In 622AD Mohammed and his followers fled Mecca to Medina. This incident is known as ‘Hijra’ and it was a turning point in the history of Islam. A new Muslim calendar was started in the year in which Mohammed reached Medina (622).
The survival of a religion depends on the survival of its followers. The community of the believers should be coordinated internally and it should be protected from external dangers. For such coordination and protection, some political institution like the nation or government is needed. These political institutions can be formed from three sources; a. from the past (traditional), b. borrowing from outside and c. make something new.
Mohammed became the ruler and religious head of Medina and he established a strong administration. With this Islam became stronger. In 630 AD he conquered Mecca. With this, Prophet Mohammed’s prestige spread everywhere as a ruler as well as a religious head. Since Islam started in the difficult circumstances of a desert land, Arabs gave a lot of importance to power and unity.
The most important reform in the Muslim community was the formation of Khalifa rule. Explain.
The most important reform in the Muslim community was the formation of Khalifa rule. According to that the leader of the community became the representative of the Prophet or the Khalifa. Khalifa was the head of the religion and also the head of the Arab nation. The first four Khalifas were relatives of the Prophet. They continued doing things as per the instruction given by him. Khalifas had two aims:
- Control the Tribe and
- Increase the income of the nation.
The followers and opponents of Ali formed two groups in Islam. Examine the validity of this statement.
Ali fought two wars against those who represented the nobles of Mecca and this intensified the differences in Islam. Following this, Ali’s followers and opponent formed two groups in Islam – Shias and Sunnis.
The second round of the unification of the Arab Empire was made possible under the Umayyads. Discuss.
Umayyad was a rich family in the Quraysh tribe. The founder of the Umayyad dynasty was Mu’awiyya, the 1st Khalifa. The Umayyads Carried out many reforms. These helped the Umayyads to strengthen their position. Mu’waiyya, the first Khalifa, moved the capital of the Empire to Damascus.
He accepted the administrative institutions of the Byzantine Empire and the conventions of the royal court. He brought hereditary right to the throne and asked the leading Muslims to accept his son as the next Khalifa. The same paths were followed by his successors.
This helped the Umayyads to rule the Empire for 90 years. After Umayyads came the Abbasids and they were able to continue their rule for 2 centuries because of the reforms they carried out.
The Abbasid revolt brought significant changes in the dynasty and in the political structure and Islamic culture Elucidate.
The Umayyads succeeded in decentralizing the Islamic political and administrative structure. But they had to pay a heavy price for that. In 750, a group called Dawa ousted the Umayyads from power and installed the Abbasids on the throne. The Abbasid family was a rich one in Mecca. They pictured the Umayyad rule as misrule and assured the people that they would bring back-the real Islam preached by the Prophet. The Abbasid revolt caused changes not only in the ruling dynasty but also in the political structure and Islamic culture.
From the 9th century, the Abbasid rule began to weaken. Describe the reasons for the collapse of the Khalifa rule.
From the 9th century onwards the Abbasid dynasty began to weaken. The reason for this was the weakening of the control of Baghdad over the provinces and the increased internal conflicts. The Pro-Arab group and the pro-Iranian group in the army and bureaucracy quarrelled bitterly during this period.
In 810 there was an internal war between the followers of al-Amin and al-Mamun, the sons of Khalifa Harun al-Rashid. This further strengthened the division and there developed a strong powerful section of Turkey slave officials. There was also a fight for power between the Shia and Sunni sects.
Between 950 arid 1200, the Islamic society of the Middle Ages stood united because of certain common economic and cultural factors. Evaluate this statement.
Between 950 and 1200, the Islamic society of the Middle Ages stood united not because of any political order or because of the one-language (Arabic) culture, but because of certain common economic and cultural factors. Even in the midst of political differences what maintained the unity was the separation between nation and society. The growth of Persian language and the intelligent discussions between different traditions nurtured this unity.
Scholars, artists, and merchants travelled freely in the various Islamic countries and propagated their ideas, Through the converts, some of these ideas reached even remote villages. There was a big growth in the Muslim population. As a religion and as cultural system, the identity of Islam attracted members of other religion, making conversions meaningful.
The coming of Sultanates was another turning point in Islamic history. Examine the validity of this statement.
The rise of the Sultanates in the 10th and 11th centuries was another important turning point in Islamic history. “With this, a new racial group was added to the Arabs and Iranians. Turks were a nomadic tribal group from the Central Asian grassy plains of Turkistan. Gradually they accepted Islam. They were good riders and warriors. They had served Abbasid, Samanid and. Buyid dynasties as slaves and warriors. Many of them had reached high positions because of their valour and loyalty.
“The cause for the Crusades was religious.” Do you agree with this.statement? Give details.
The main goaf of the Crusades was recapturing Jerusalem which is the holy land of the Christians. Christians believe that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus took place here. Thus Jerusalem is their most holy land. Jerusalem was once part of the Byzantine Empire. In 638, the Arabs captured it. But the Christians were given full protection by them.
There was no ban on visiting places including Jerusalem by Christian merchants, pilgrims, diplomats, and travellers. But in 1076, Seljuk Turks captured Jerusalem and from then they started persecuting the Christians there. This increased the enmity of Christians towards Muslims
Many Normans, Hungarian, and Slavs became Christians around this time. Muslims Were the only rivals of Christians, The Peace of God movement in Europe also made the circumstances rife for the Crusades This Movement recognized and encouraged the fight against the enemies of the Christian God and nonbelievers in Christianity.
Gradually the Crusaders lost their zeal. Based on this statement; analyse the results of the Crusades.
The Crusaders gradually lost their zeal. They gave themselves to a life of luxury. Moreover, Christian rulers began to fight among themselves to get more territory. In the meantime, Salah ad-din (Saladin) built an Egyptian-Syrian Empire and gave a call for Jihad (holy war) against Christians. In 1187 he defeated the Crusaders and recaptured Jerusalem. Thus one century after the First Crusade, Jerusalem again came under the Turks.
Saladin treated the Christiansguite humanely. They allowed them to keep the area of the sepulcher of Jesus. But, at the same time, he converted many Christian Churches into mosques. Once again Jerusalem became a Muslim city The 3rd Crusade took place in 1189. It was the loss of the city of Jerusalem that prompted the Pope to give a call for another battle.
In this war, the Crusaders did not get much benefit. They were able to capture some cities along the shores of Palestine. Christian pilgrims were given the right to visit Jerusalem at will. But in 1291 the Mamluks of Egypt, the rulers there, drove away all the Crusaders from Palestine. Europe slowly lost its interest in the Crusades. European nations began to give emphasis to their internal political and cultural development.
During the Islamic rule, urbanization developed fast Explain.
During the Islamic rule, many cities grew and many new cities were founded. The new cities were built to give residences to the Arab soldiers who were the backbone of the Provincial administration. These military cities were known as Misr. Kufa and Basra in Iraq and Fustar and Cairo in Egypt were the most famous of them. During the Abbasid Khalifas, the population of Baghdad reached 1 million and it became an important city. Old cities like Damascus, Isfahan, and Samarkhand also developed. The cities were interconnected.
Main military cities:
Kufa, Basra, Fustar, Cairo.
Baghdad (capital city)
Damascus, Isfahan, Samarkhand (old cities)
In the heart of the city, there used to be two blocks of buildings. They were the centres for cultural and economic activities. One of them would be a mosque. It was big enough to be noticed from far. Another was a central market. In one row there would be shops, the residences of the merchants and a place, for changing money.
The rise of Sufism was a turning point in Islam. Discuss the ideas of Sufism.
The rise of Sufism was an important event in the history of Islam in the Middle Ages. It is a reformist movement that was influenced by the Holy Quran and the life of the Prophet. The Sufis tried to understand God through asceticism and mysticism. They denied the love of luxury shown by the society. They rejected such a world placing their faith in God. The Sufis were mystics and believed in Pantheism. They gave importance to love and prayer.
Pantheism is the belief in one God and his creations. It means man’s soul should ultimately reach the Creator. Deep love for God is the main means of becoming one with God it was a lady ascetic called Rabia in Basra who propagated this idea. She lived in the 9th century. She propagated the love of God through her poems.
It was an Iranian Sufi Bayasid Bisthami that taught the importance of man’s soul getting united with God. To get bliss and to raise emotions of love and devotion the Sufis used musical rhythms like Qawwali.