The African and Middle Eastern World, 600-1500
The history of the African and Middle Eastern world is, to a large extent, the story of a religion-Islam-and how it claimed millions of followers across empires and kingdoms. First proclaimed by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century, Islam quickly spread, through trade and conquest, from the Arabian Peninsula to vast sections of Asia and Africa and even to parts of Europe. The cast of characters in this story is fascinating: from the Prophet himself to Abu Bakr Muhammad ar-Razi, a Persian physician who compiled a multivolume medical encyclopedia; Mehmed II, an Ottomon sultan who conquered Constantinople and brought the Byzantine Empire to an end; Mansa Musa, a West African emperor who distributed gifts of gold all along the route to Mecca; and Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan Berber whose travels through the Islamic world in the 14th century covered 75,000 miles.The pages of The African and Middle Eastern World tell not only about these figures and many others but also about Islamic principles and laws, the religion's different branches (including the Sunnis and Shiites), and the widely varied geography and cultural practices of this world. Also covered are people like the Shona of Southern Africa, who remained outside of Islam's long reach. Numerous primary sources-including excerpts from an eighth-century biography of Muhammad, "The Tale of King Sinbad and the Falcon" from The Thousand and One Nights, and a story about leadership from the West African oral tradition-further illuminate this history.
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The Arabian Peninsula Around 600
Muhammad and the Beginning of Islam
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14th century Abbasid caliphs Abdallah Abu Bakr Al-Andalus al-Ma'mun al-Tabari Ali's Allah Anatolia ancient Arab Arabia Arabian Peninsula army Asia Awdaghost Axum Baghdad Bantu battle Bedouin believed Benin Berbers Bini built Byzantine called camels caravan Christian clan coast Constantinople converted to Islam court Damascus desert East African eastern Egypt forest Ghana God's gold grasslands historian History houses Ibn Battuta idols Indian Ocean Iraq Islamic law Jenne Ka'ba Kharijite Kilwa king kingdom lands leader lived Mali Mandinka Mansa Musa Mecca Medina merchants Morocco mosque Muawiyah Muslims Mutazilites Mwenemutapa Niger River North Africa Oduduwa oral tradition Orhan palace Persian Portuguese Quran Recite Red Sea religion religious Roxelana rule ruler Sahara Sanhaja Sassanid scholars shaykh Shiite Shona slaves Songhay Spain stone stories Sudan Sufis Suleyman sultan Sundiata Swahili Syria Timbuktu took town trade trans traveler tribal tribes ulama Umar Umayyad Uthman walls West Africa Yoruba Zimbabwe