Muhammad’s Successors

After Muhammad’s death in 632 CE, there to be conflicts among his followers as to who would become his successor, which produced a break-up in Islam between the Sunni and also Shi’a sects.

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Key Takeaways

Key PointsAfter Muhammad ‘s fatality in 632 CE, his friend Abu Bakr was named caliph and ruler the the Islamic community, or Ummah.Sunni Muslims think that Abu Bakr was the appropriate successor, if Shi’a Muslims believe that Ali should have actually succeed Muhammad together caliph.After Muhammad’s death and also the rebellion of several tribes, Abu Bakr initiated several military campaigns to bring Arabia under Islam and into the caliphate.The Rashidun Caliphate (632–661) was led by Abu Bakr, then by Umar ibn Khattab together the second caliph, Uthman Ibn Affan as the 3rd caliph, and also Ali as the 4th caliph.Muslim armies conquered most of Arabia through 633, followed by north Africa, Mesopotamia, and also Persia, considerably shaping the background of the civilization through the spread out of Islam.Key TermsSunni: The branch of Islam the believes that a caliph need to be chosen by Muslims or their representatives and also that Abu Bakr was the very first caliph.Ummah: an Arabic word an interpretation “nation” or “community;” usually refers to the collective community the Islamic peoples.Shi’a: The minority Islamic branch the believes Muhammad appointed his cousin Ali as his successor and the the caliph need to be decided based on this family lineage.caliph: The head that state in a caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah; a follower of Muhammad.

Succession ~ Muhammad’s Death

Muhammad unified the tribes of Arabia right into a single Arab Muslim spiritual polity in the critical years the his life. He developed a new unified Arabian Peninsula, which brought about the Rashidun and also Umayyad Caliphates and the rapid growth of Muslim power over the following century.

With Muhammad’s fatality in 632 CE, disagreement damaged out amongst his followers over deciding his successor. Muhammad’s influential companion Umar ibn al-Khattab nominated Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s friend and collaborator. With added support, Abu Bakr was confirmed as the very first caliph (religious follower to Muhammad) that same year. This choice was questioned by few of Muhammad’s companions, who hosted that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had actually been designated the successor by Muhammad at Ghadir Khumm. Ali to be Muhammad’s an initial cousin and closest living masculine relative, and his son-in-law, having married Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah. Ali would certainly eventually come to be the 4th Sunni caliph. These debates over Muhammad’s true follower led come a significant split in Islam in between what became the Sunni and also Shi’a denominations, a division that still holds come this day.

Sunni Muslims believe and also confirm the Abu Bakr was favored by the community and also that this was the suitable procedure. Sunnis further argue the a caliph should ideally be liked by election or community consensus. Shi’a Muslims think that simply as God alone appoints a prophet, just God has actually the prerogative to choose the follower to his prophet. They believe God decided Ali to it is in Muhammad’s successor and the very first caliph that Islam.

Rise that the Caliphates

After Muhammad’s death, plenty of Arabian tribes rejected Islam or withheld the alms tax created by Muhammad. Many tribes claimed that they had submitted to Muhammad and that through Muhammad’s death, your allegiance had actually ended. Caliph Abu Bakr insisted that they had actually not just submitted to a leader, but joined the Islamic community of Ummah.

To maintain the cohesion that the Islamic state, Abu Bakr split his Muslim military to force the Arabian tribes right into submission. ~ a collection of successful campaigns, Abu Bakr’s general Khalid ibn Walid beat a competing prophet and also the Arabian peninsula was united under the caliphate in Medina. Once the rebellions had actually been quelled, Abu Bakr started a war of conquest. In just a couple of short decades, his campaigns led to one of the largest empires in history. Muslim militaries conquered many of Arabia by 633, adhered to by north Africa, Mesopotamia, and Persia, considerably shaping the history of the civilization through the spread out of Islam.

Rashidun Caliphate (632–661)

Abu Bakr nominated Umar together his follower on his deathbed. Umar ibn Khattab, the second caliph, was eliminated by a Persian called Piruz Nahavandi. Umar’s successor, Uthman Ibn Affan, was chosen by a the supervisory board of electors (Majlis). Uthman was killed by members the a disaffected group. Ali climate took control, yet was no universally embraced as caliph by the governors of Egypt, and later by several of his very own guard. He challenged two significant rebellions and was assassinated by Abdl-alRahman, a Kharijite. Ali’s tumultuous ascendancy lasted only five years. This period is recognized as the Fitna, or the very first Islamic polite war.

The followers of Ali later came to be the Shi’a minority sect of Islam, which rejects the legitimacy the the very first three caliphs. The pendant of all 4 Rashidun caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and also Ali) came to be the majority Sunni sect. Under the Rashidun, each region (Sultanate) the the caliphate had its very own governor (Sultan). Muawiyah, a loved one of Uthman and also governor (Wali) that Syria, became one that Ali’s challengers, and after Ali’s assassination managed to get rid of the various other claimants come the caliphate. Muawiyah revolutionized the caliphate into a hereditary office, thus starting the Umayyad dynasty. In locations that were formerly under Sassanid Persian or byzantine rule, the caliphs lowered taxes, noted greater neighborhood autonomy (to their delegated governors), granted greater religious freedom because that Jews and also some indigenous Christians, and brought peace to peoples demoralized and also disaffected through the casualties and also heavy taxation that resulted from the years of Byzantine-Persian warfare.

Expansion Under the Umayyad Caliphates

The Umayyad Caliphate, the second of the four significant Arab caliphates developed after the death of Muhammad, increased the territory of the Islamic state to among the largest realms in history.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe Umayyad Caliphate, which arised after the Rashidun Caliphate collapsed, was defined by hereditary elections and territory expansion.The Umayyad Caliphate came to be one the the largest unitary claims in history and one of the few states to ever before extend direct rule over three continents.When the Abbasid dynasty revolted versus the Umayyads and also killed plenty of of their ruling household members, a couple of Umayyads escaped to the Iberian peninsula and also founded the Cordoba Caliphate, defined by relaxed diplomacy, religious tolerance, and social flourishing.Key TermsAl-Andalus: also known together Muslim Spain or Islamic Iberia, a middle ages Muslim territory and social domain occupying in ~ its peak most of modern-day Spain and Portugal.Dome of the Rock: A shrine located on the temple Mount in the Old City that Jerusalem.Umayyad Caliphate: The second of the four major Arab caliphates created after the fatality of Muhammad.

Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)

The Umayyad Caliphate was the 2nd of the four major Arab caliphates created after the fatality of Muhammad. This caliphate was focused on the Umayyad dynasty, hailing indigenous Mecca. The Umayyad family had an initial come to power under the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan (r. 644–656), but the Umayyad routine was established by Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time branch of Syria, after ~ the end of the first Muslim Civil war in 661 CE. Syria remained the Umayyads’ key power basic thereafter, and also Damascus was their capital.

Under the Umayyads, the caliphate territory thrived rapidly. The Islamic Caliphate ended up being one the the biggest unitary claims in history, and also one of the few states to ever before extend straight rule over 3 continents (Africa, Europe, and Asia). The Umayyads integrated the Caucasus, Transoxiana, Sindh, the Maghreb, and the Iberian Peninsula ( Al-Andalus ) into the Muslim world. In ~ its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate spanned 5.79 million square miles and included 62 million people (29% that the world’s population), making it the fifth largest empire in history in both area and proportion that the world’s population. Although the Umayyad Caliphate did not rule all of the Sahara, nomadic Berber people paid homage come the caliph. However, back these vast areas may have recognized the supremacy of the caliph, de facto power was in the hands of neighborhood sultans and emirs.

Expansion the the caliphate: This map shows the extension of Islamic dominion under Muhammad, the Rashidun Caliphate, and also the Umayyad Caliphate

The Umayyad dynasty was no universally sustained within the Muslim community for a range of reasons, consisting of their hereditary election and also suggestions the impious behavior. Part Muslims felt that just members that Muhammad’s Banu Hashim clan or those of his own lineage, such together the progeny of Ali, have to rule. Some Muslims believed that Umayyad taxation and also administrative practices were unjust. When the non-Muslim population had autonomy, their judicial matters were encountered in accordance v their own laws and by your own religious heads or your appointees. Non-Muslims payment a poll tax for policing to the main state. Muhammad had proclaimed explicitly during his life time that each religious minority need to be enabled to practice its very own religion and govern itself, and the policy had on the totality continued.

There were plenty of rebellions versus the Umayyads, as well as splits within the Umayyad ranks, i beg your pardon notably contained the rivalry between Yaman and also Qays. Allegedly, The Sunnis eliminated Ali’s kid Hussein and his family members at the battle of Karbala in 680, solidifying the Shi’a-Sunni split. Eventually, pendant of the Banu Hashim and also the pendant of the family tree of Ali united to carry down the Umayyads in 750. However, the Shiʻat ʻAlī, “the Party that Ali,” to be again disappointed when the Abbasid empire took power, together the Abbasids to be descended indigenous Muhammad’s uncle `Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, and not indigenous Ali.

The Abbasid victors desecrated the tombs of the Umayyads in Syria, sparing only that that Umar II, and also most the the continuing to be members the the Umayyad household were tracked down and also killed. As soon as Abbasids declared amnesty because that members that the Umayyad family, eighty gathered to receive pardons, and also all were massacred. One grandson of Hisham, Abd al-Rahman I, survived and established a kingdom in Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia), proclaiming his household to it is in the Umayyad Caliphate revived.

Umayyad empire in Cordoba, Spain

The renewal of the Umayyad Caliphate in Al-Andalus (what would certainly become modern-day Spain) was called the Caliphate of Córdoba, i beg your pardon lasted until 1031. The duration was identified by an expansion of trade and culture, and also saw the construction of masterpieces the al-Andalus architecture.

The caliphate appreciated increased prosperity throughout the 10th century. Abd-ar-Rahman III joined al-Andalus and also brought the Christian kingdoms of the north under regulate through force and diplomacy. Abd-ar-Rahman stopped the Fatimid advance into caliphate floor in Morocco and al-Andalus. This duration of prosperity was marked by enhancing diplomatic connections with Berber people in north Africa, Christian kings from the north, and France, Germany, and Constantinople.

Córdoba was the social and intellectual center of al-Andalus. Mosques, such together the great Mosque, to be the focus of plenty of caliphs’ attention. The caliph’s palace, Medina Azahara, was on the outskirts of the city, and also had numerous rooms filled through riches indigenous the East. The library of Al-Ḥakam II was one of the largest libraries in the world, housing at least 400,000 volumes, and Córdoba own translations of ancient Greek texts right into Arabic, Latin and Hebrew. During the Umayyad Caliphate period, relations between Jews and also Arabs were cordial; Jewish stonemasons helped develop the columns of the great Mosque. Al-Andalus was subject to eastern cultural influences as well. The musician Ziryab is credited with pass hair and clothing styles, toothpaste, and deodorant from Baghdad to the Iberian peninsula. Advances in science, history, geography, philosophy, and language occurred during the Umayyad Caliphate as well.


Mosque: interior of the Mezquita (Mosque), one of the ideal examples that Umayyad architecture in Spain.

Legacy of the Umayyad Caliphate

The Umayyad caliphate was marked both by territorial expansion and also by the governmental and social problems the such expansion created. Regardless of some notable exceptions, the Umayyads had tendency to donate the civil liberties of the old Arab families, and also in details their own, over those of newly converted Muslims (mawali). Therefore, they hosted to a less universalist conception the Islam than did countless of your rivals.

During the period of the Umayyads, Arabic became the administrative language, in i m sorry state documents and currency to be issued. Massive conversions brought a large influx of Muslims to the caliphate. The Umayyads additionally constructed famous structures such together the Dome of the absent at Jerusalem and also the Umayyad Mosque in ~ Damascus.

According to one usual view, the Umayyads changed the caliphate from a spiritual institution (during the Rashidun) to a dynastic one. However, the Umayyad caliphs do seem to have taken themselves together the representatives of God on Earth.

The Umayyads have met v a largely an unfavorable reception from later Islamic historians, who have accused castle of fostering a kingship (mulk, a term v connotations the tyranny) rather of a true caliphate (khilafa). In this respect that is remarkable that the Umayyad caliphs referred to themselves no as khalifat rasul Allah (“successor that the messenger of God,” the title wanted by the tradition), however rather together khalifat Allah (“deputy the God”).

Many Muslims criticize the Umayyads for having actually too many non-Muslim, previous Roman administrators in their government. St. Man of Damascus was likewise a high administrator in the Umayyad administration. Together the Muslims took end cities, they left the people’s political representatives and also the Roman taxation collectors and administrators. The people’s politics representatives calculated and negotiated taxes. The main government and the local governments got paid respectively because that the solutions they provided. Plenty of Christian cities provided some of the taxes to preserve their churches and also run their own organizations. Later, the Umayyads were criticized by some Muslims for not reducing the count of the people who convert to Islam.

Spread the Islam

In the years complying with the Prophet Muhammad’s death, the growth of Islam was brought out by his follower caliphates, who increased the region of the Islamic state and sought converts indigenous both polytheistic and also monotheistic religions.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the spread of Islam and identify how the caliphs kept authority over dominated territories.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe development of the Arab realm in the years complying with the Prophet Muhammad ‘s death led to the production of caliphates, who occupied a large geographical area and sought converts to Islamic faith.The civilization of the Islamic people created numerous sophisticated centers of culture and scientific research with far-reaching mercantile networks, travelers, scientists, hunters, mathematicians, doctors, and philosophers.Historians distinguish in between two different strands of switch of the time. One is animists and polytheists of tribal cultures of the Arabian Peninsula and the productive crescent; the various other is the monotheistic populations of the middle Eastern agrarian and urbanized societies.The Arab conquerors generally respected the traditional middle-Eastern sample of religious pluralism with regard to the overcame populations, respecting the practice of other faiths in Arab territory, although widespread conversions to Islam came around as a an outcome of the malfunction of in the history religiously arranged societies.Key TermsZoroastrianism: an old Iranian religion and spiritual philosophy that developed in the eastern ancient Persian Empire, when the spiritual philosopher Zoroaster streamlined the pantheon of early on Iranian gods into two opposing forces.Imam: an Islamic management position, most commonly in the context of a worship leader the a mosque and also Sunni Muslim community.


The expansion of the Arab empire in the years following the Prophet Muhammad’s fatality led to the creation of caliphates occupying a vast geographical area. Conversion come Islam was boosted by missionary activities, specifically those of Imams, who easily intermingled with regional populace come propagate spiritual teachings. These beforehand caliphates, coupled through Muslim economics and also trading and the later development of the footrest Empire, led to Islam’s spread out outwards native Mecca in the direction of both the Atlantic and also Pacific oceans and the production of the Muslim world. Trade played an essential role in the spread out of Islam in several components of the world, notably southeast Asia.

Muslim dynasties were shortly established and subsequent realms such together those that the Abbasids, Fatimids, Almoravids, Seljukids, and also Ajurans, Adal and also Warsangali in Somalia, Mughals in India, Safavids in Persia, and also Ottomans in Anatolia were amongst the largest and most an effective in the world. The people of the Islamic human being created numerous advanced centers of culture and scientific research with far-reaching mercantile networks, travelers, scientists, hunters, mathematicians, doctors, and also philosophers, all contributing to the golden age of Islam. Islamic growth in South and also East Asia cultivated cosmopolitan and eclectic Muslim societies in the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China.

Within the an initial century the the establishment of Islam upon the Arabian Peninsula and the subsequent rapid growth of the Arab Empire during the Muslim conquests, among the most significant empires in world history was formed. For the topics of this brand-new empire, formerly subjects of the greatly reduced Byzantine and obliterated Sassanid empires, not much adjusted in practice. The objective of the occupations was that a practical nature an ext than something else, as fertile land and water were scarce in the Arabian Peninsula. A actual Islamization thus only came around in the succeeding centuries.

Conversions to Islam

Historians distinguish in between two different strands of switch of the time. One is animists and polytheists that tribal cultures of the Arabian Peninsula and the productive crescent; the various other is the monotheistic populaces of the center Eastern agrarian and urbanized societies.

For the polytheistic and pagan societies, apart from the religious and spiritual factors each individual may have actually had, conversion come Islam “represented the solution of a tribal, pastoral populace to the require for a larger structure for political and economic integration, a more stable state, and also a much more imaginative and encompassing ethical vision come cope v the troubles of a blatant society.” In contrast, for sedentary and often already monotheistic societies, “Islam was substituted because that a byzantine or Sassanian political identity and also for a Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian spiritual affiliation.” Initially, conversion was neither forced nor necessarily wished for: “ walk not need the counter as much as the subordination that non-Muslim peoples. At the outset, lock were hostile to conversions because new Muslims diluted the economic and status advantages of the Arabs.”

Only in subsequent centuries, with the advancement of the religious doctrine that Islam and with that the knowledge of the Muslim Ummah, did mass conversion take place. The brand-new understanding by the religious and political management led in many instances to a weakening or failure of the social and religious structures that parallel spiritual communities such as Christians and Jews. With the weakening of many churches, for example, and also with the donate of Islam and also the hike of considerable Muslim Turkish populations right into the locations of Anatolia and also the Balkans, the “social and cultural relevance the Islam” were amplified and a large number of peoples were converted.

During the Abbasid Caliphate, expansion ceased and also the central disciplines that Islamic philosophy, theology, law, and also mysticism became more widespread, and also the steady conversions that the populaces within the empire occurred. Far-ranging conversions likewise occurred beyond the extents of the empire, such as that that the Turkic tribes in main Asia and peoples life in regions south that the Sahara in Africa through contact with Muslim traders active in the area and Sufi orders. In Africa it spread along three routes—across the Sahara via trading communities such together Timbuktu, increase the Nile Valley through the Sudan as much as Uganda, and throughout the Red Sea and down eastern Africa through settlements such together Mombasa and Zanzibar. This initial conversions to be of a functional nature.

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The Arab-Muslim occupations followed a general pattern the nomadic conquests of cleared up regions, through which conquering peoples came to be the new military elite and reached a compromise with the old elites by enabling them come retain local political, religious, and also financial authority. Peasants, workers, and merchants payment taxes, when members the the old and brand-new elites accumulated them.