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CHAPTER 3, CONQUEST AND CONFLICT AFTER MUHAMMAD The history of the Muslim community to about 700 CE
Views about historicity (cf. previous presentation): 1. Traditional: accept much of what has been reported more or less at face value Sectarian or ideological differences, e. g. Sunni vs Shi‘i, very important in determining which traditional reports are accepted 2. Critical: Little written material for the earlier decades Reports are problematic later: administrative papyri, coins, inscriptions; non-Muslim sources Fullest accounts (e. g. Tabari, d. 922) are late Reports are often contradictory, Reports usually ideological or partisan and tend to be anti-Umayyad. Reports and other evidence properly sifted give main outline of events, though details are less than certain.
F. E. Peters’ viewpoint still holds: “. . . it seems most useful and productive simply to apply a combination of common sense and some modern heuristic devices to the traditional accounts. We must begin with the traditional material and attempt to make some sense out of it. ” (Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, p. 266)
Views about historicity Inward Turmoil / Outward Success Struggle for leadership of the umma. Khulafā’ Rāshidūn (Rightly Guided Caliphs – Sunni view) Umawis (Umayyads) Rapid fatḥ (opening/conquest) of surrounding territory) First stage (632 -660) Second stage (660 - c. 718)
Struggle for leadership of the umma. Initial moves Ghadir Khumm? Meeting in the Hall of the Banu Sa‘ida: Abu Bakr declared leader “Obey me as long as I obey God and His apostle, and if I disobey them you owe me no obedience. ” Ali was not present
Struggle for leadership, ctd. Khulafā’ Rāshidūn (Rightly Guided Caliphs – Sunni view) Abu Bakr (632 -4) “Khalīfat rasūl allāh” ‘Umar (634 -44) “Amīr al-mu’minīn” Wars of Ridda Musaylima et al. defeated Strict in religious and moral matters Main organizational prescriptions Convenes shūrà to choose successor ‘Uthman (644 -56) Authoritative edition of Qur’an Favors relatives, mostly late converts to Islam Revolt against him, killed.
Struggle for leadership, ctd. First Fitna (656 -61) Ali chosen in Medina Mu‘awiya (in Syria) opposes him ‘A’isha, Talha, Zubayr oppose him: defeated by ‘Ali at the Battle of the Camel (656) Battle of Siffin: ‘Ali vs Mu‘awiya (657); arbitration Kharijis secede from ‘Ali / reject ‘Ali and Mu‘awiya Defeated by ‘Ali at Nahrawand (658) ‘Ali assassinated by Khariji (661)
Struggle for leadership ctd Umawīs (Umayyads) Mu‘awiya (661 -80) Yazid ibn Mu‘awiya (680 -3) Second Fitna “Khalīfat allāh” Effective in recognizing and using traditional tribal ways and feelings In fact centralized power and restricted tribal freedom. Designated son as successor: beginning of hereditary “monarchy”. Husayn ibn ‘Ali rebelled, killed at Karbala (680) Ibn Zubayr: rebelled, held Mecca (681 -92) Tawwabun (Repenters) rebel (684) Mukhtar(685 -7) in the name of Ibn al-Hanafiyya Marwan (684 -5, from a different branch of the ‘Umayyads)
Struggle for leadership ctd Umawīs (Umayyads) – Marwanids (Different branch of the family) Marwan (683 -5) ‘Abd al-Malik (685 -705) Major administrative reforms; Dome of the Rock (see later frame) Walid I (705 -15) Sulayman (715 -7) ‘Umar II b. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (717 -20) Yazid II (720 -24) Hisham (724 -43) Walid II (743 -4) Yazid III (744) Ibrahim (744) Marwan II (744 -50)
Fatḥ (opening/conquest): rapid conquest of surrounding territory Muslim world about 660
Fatḥ (opening/conquest): rapid conquest of surrounding territory First stage (to the first Fitna) Confirmation and completion of control of Arabia (under Abu Bakr, 632 -4) Musaylima (Maslama) and other claimed prophets defeated Wars of Ridda Allegiance of other tribes Raids on the northern frontier for booty Al-Hira and other towns (border of Iraq) taken (633) Ajnadayn (634), first encounter with Byzantine army
Fatḥ ctd Second stage (after the first Fitna) Syria ‘Umar (634 -44) Battle of Yarmuk (636) major victory over Byzantines Damascus (635, 636) Jerusalem (638) Conquest of Syria complete (640)
Fatḥ ctd Iraq – Iran (‘Umar, 634 -44) Battle of Qadisiya (637) major victory over Sasanians Ctesiphon, Sasanian capital 637 Battle of Nihavand 641 Mosul (641) Persepolis 649 -50 Marw (650) Death of last Sasanian shah (651) Armenia mostly taken (652) Khurasan, conquest complete 654 Egypt and Maghrib Egypt (641 -6) Tripoli (643) Cyprus 649 from Egypt
Fatḥ ctd Second stage (after the second Fitna) Failure to capture Constantinople (660, 668, 717) North and East Bukhara 709 Samarqand 713 Sind (712 -3) West (magrib) Carthage 698 Qayrawan founded 670 North Africa, conquest complete (712) Andalus/Spain (711 -718 and continuing)
Muslim world about 800
Administrative reforms of ‘Abd al-Malik (and successors) include: Arabic as language of administration Reorganized finances Coins reflecting Islamic motifs Dome of the Rock Can perhaps be seen as the “birth” of a distinctively Islamic culture and civilization (as distinct from Islamic religion).
Motives for conquests and reasons for success Desire for booty Opportunity Adequate ideology To support a continuing rule To guide policy in a general way Tolerance Weakness of Byzatines and Sasanians Disaffection of many subject peoples Necessary for a small elite to rule a large populace Migration of Arabs into conquered lands
Motives, ctd. Religious obligation/desire to spread Islam / God’s rule confidence in God’s support encouraged discipline “Know, O Muslims, that you have never seen an army of Rome as you see now. If Allah defeats them by your hand, they shall never again stand against you. So be steadfast in battle and defend your faith. Beware of turning your backs on the enemy, for then your punishment will be the Fire [on Doomsday]. Be watchful and steady in your ranks, and do not attack until I give the order. ” (Khalid ibn al -Walid at Ajnadayn)
Immediate results Arab-Muslim Political Control Wealth flows to Arabia Arab immigration to conquered lands A small elite ruling a large subject (dhimmī) population Islam as Arab religion (? ) Tolerance and taxation of dhimmis Some reluctance to seek converts Converts must be affiliated to tribes
Dome of the Rock / Ḥaram al-Sharīf Courtesy of Israel Ministry of Tourism (www. goisrael. com)
Dome of the Rock / Ḥaram al-Sharīf Unique: nothing quite like it before or since: not a mosque A monument to Muslim success and greatness, to its relation to the Greco-Iranian past and its superseding of it. Political and culturally replaces and transcends the previous empires Religiously re-presents and transcends the former prophetic religions
Dome of the Rock ctd Some features: As a whole, meant to be seen from afar. Individual elements of design, construction and decoration derive from late Antiquity but no building of late antiquity building like it. Mosaics depicting jewelry etc of pre-Muslim rulers – (commemorating Muslim victory over them? ) Inscriptions inside, Qur’anic and other: God is One without associate Muhammad is Messenger of God Jesus is Messenger of God, but not son of God, not part of a Trinity.
Dome of the Rock ctd Connections with sacred history Site of Temple of Israel (symbolism relating to King/Prophet Sulayman) Site of Isra’ and Mi‘raj (evident for direct association not till 12 th or 13 th century) Caliph ‘Umar worshipped there after conquest of Jerusalem Some possible uses (no predominant use) devotions, ṣalāh and teaching. focus of pilgrimage (ziyāra) to Jerusalem as third sanctuary in Islam. Built to replace Ka‘ba as goal of pilgrimage during revolt of Ibn Zubayr. (? )
Pre-Islamic to Islamic Arabia in the light of the Axial Age theory Pre-Islamic Arabia Early Islamic Ultimate Reality Allah (transcendent but somewhat marginal) Allah only Supernatural Jinn, spirits, gods – connected with nature Jinn, angels, etc. – creatures of Allah Mediator kāhins (poets) Prophet Action, Ritual Sacrifice, divination, circumambulation, etc. Ṣalah, du‘ā’ pilgrimage Ethical Sunna of tribe Sunna of the umma, prophet Religious actors Diverse: kahins, tribal leaders, others, (hanifs) marginal Khalīfa, (later) ‘ulamā‘, imāms (for ṣalah), Qur’an reciters Social Group Tribe, clan Umma Individual immersed in group (some exceptions) Group is important, individual less “immersed” Future Life No Yes, for individual