Islamic civilizations from the 6th to 15th Centuries





Islamic civilizations from the 6th to 15th Centuries

Birth of Muhammad

570 CE

Amidst political disorder and tribal rivalry, Muhammad is born into the prominent Quraysh tribe of Mecca.
c. 610 CE -622 CE

The start of the Islamic era

In his late forties he receives his commission to spread Islam by archangel Gabriel while in a cave. He successfully shares the prophecies converting people to monotheistic Islam. Upon the death of his uncle Abu Talib, overwhelming dissent causes him and his followers to flee to Yathrib (medina) where he became an arbitrator. The event termed Hijra initiated the Islamic era. He helped fashion the constitution of medina under Islamic principles.

Islamic superiority

Muhammad leads a military campaign against the tribes of Mecca subsequently defeating them. The shrine at kaaba in cleansed. The pilgrimage to the shrine becomes Islamiticized. After conversion, The local Arabian tribes pledge their allegiance and support to Muhammad.

Rashidun caliphate

After Muhammad died he was succeeded by one of his close associates called Abu Bakr. He becomes the first caliph. Abu bakr successful military campaigns known as the Ridda wars that expanded the caliphate into the Sasanian and Byzantine territories. This fortifies his authority and restores allegiance to the faith. Umar the second caliphate facilitated further expansion of the Rashidun caliphate and streamlined the administrative capabilities of the caliphate. He also established welfare institution for the needy.
c. 650 Caliph Uthman has the prophecies of Muhammad written down in the Quran.
656 The third caliphate Uthman is murdered in his old age. And succeeded by Ali Muhammad’s cousin.



Ali is murdered subsequently his son, Hassan hands over power to the governor of Syria Mu’awiya beginning of Umayyad Caliphate (661-750).
680 Death of Husayn at the battle of Barbar inspires a sectarian divide in Islam called the Shia (party of Ali). It is celebrated ever since.
685-705  During the reign of Abd al-Malik the administration of Umayyad caliphate is centralized by the establishment of Arabic as official written language with corresponding coinage.
late 600s Islam is introduced to Africa.
732 The battle of tours led by the Franks impedes further expansion of the Muslim empire Northwards to the rest of Europe.


After the defeat of Umayyad, Abbasid establishes his new capital in Baghdad (Madinat al-Salam, “city of peace”) to be the centre of his empire.
755 Abd ar-Rahman founds an Umayyad Dynasty in Cordoba, Spain.
765 Divisions arise within Shi’a sect. some Shiites aligned with the Imamiyya (Twelvers) who corporate with the Abbasid regime the remainder were under the Isma’iliyaa (Seveners) doctrine. They were the minority but more extreme
813-33  During the Reign of Ma’mun theological controversy as surrounding the divinity of the Qur’an emerged.
940 The twelfth imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, disappears under mysterious circumstances leading to spiritual speculation among the Twelvers of probable ascension. Hitherto, they   await the homecoming of the “Hidden Imam.”
late 900s The larger West Africa is converted to Islam
1099   Jerusalem is taken by Christian Crusaders but ultimately regained.
1258 The Mongols led by the Great Genghis Khan capture Baghdad kills caliph marking the end of Abbasid caliphate and the Golden age of Islam.
1281-1324 Reign of Osman led to the founding of the Great Ottoman Empire. Muslim merchants working in tandem with missionary Sufis are settled in South East Asia.
1453-81 Mehmet Fatih conquers Constantinople renaming it Istanbul. With the two halves of the Ottoman Empire in concert, the sultan gains supremacy over the entire Byzantine empire.


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