This chapter discusses the origins and early development of Islam and the rise and maturation of the Islamic-Arab empire. The basic ideals and ideas of the Islamic worldview derived from a single prophetic revelatory event: Muhammads proclamation of the Quran. The Arab community developed a sense of unity as Muslims, or submitters to God. This new civilization was sustained by diverse older cultures that were conquered by Muslim armies and yet accepted the new vision of Islamic society. In addition to placing the principles of Islam in their historical context, this chapter explains how these principles evolved and changed as the Arab empire evolved and changed.
After reading this chapter you should be able to:
Discuss the origins of Islam
Describe the early Arab conquests and their causes
Trace the development of the new Islamic order
Describe Classical Islamic society and the culture of Abbasid times