Meaning of ISLAMIC WORLD in English

prehistory and history of the Islamic community. Adherence to Islam is a global phenomenon: Muslims predominate in some 30 to 40 countries, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and along a belt that stretches across northern Africa into Central Asia and south to the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. Arabs account for fewer than one-fifth of all Muslims, more than half of whom live east of Karachi, Pak. Despite the absence of large-scale Islamic political entities, the Islamic faith continues to expand, by some estimates faster than any other major religion. The Muslim religion and the life of the Prophet Muhammad are treated specifically in the article Islam. The literature, music, dance, and visual arts of Muslim peoples are treated in the article Islamic arts. Islam is also discussed in articles on individual countries or on regions in which the religion is a factor, such as Egypt, Iran, Arabia, and North Africa. See articles on individual branches or sects and conceptsfor example, Islam, Nation of; Sunnite; Shi'ite; Hadith. A very broad perspective is required to explain the history of today's Islamic world. This approach must enlarge upon conventional political or dynastic divisions to draw a comprehensive picture of the stages by which successive Muslim communities, throughout Islam's 14 centuries, encountered and incorporated new peoples so as to produce an international religion and civilization. In general, events referred to in this article are dated according to the Gregorian calendar, and eras are designated BCE (before the Common Era or Christian Era) and CE (Common Era or Christian Era), terms which are equivalent to BC (before Christ) and AD (Latin: anno Domini). In some cases the Muslim reckoning of the Islamic era is used, indicated by AH (Latin: anno Hegirae). The Islamic era begins with the date of Muhammad's emigration (hijrah) to Medina, which corresponds to July 16, 622, in the Gregorian calendar. The term Islamic refers to Islam as a religion. The term Islamicate refers to the social and cultural complex that is historically associated with Isl am and the Muslims, even when found among non-Muslims. Islamdom refers to that complex of societies in which the Muslims and their faith have been prevalent and socially dominant. Additional reading Surveys The most visionary general work on Islamic history is Marshall G.S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, 3 vol. (1974), which sets Islam into a world historical context. A similar but shorter work, sumptuously illustrated, is Francis Robinson, Atlas of the Islamic World Since 1500 (1982). Regions of Islamdom Peter B. Clarke, West Africa and Islam: A Study of Religious Development from the 8th to the 20th Centuries (1982); Jamil M. Abun-Nasr, A History of the Maghrib, 2nd ed. (1975); Clifford Geertz, Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia (1968, reissued 1971); S.M. Ikram, Muslim Rule in India and Pakistan, 7111858 A.C., rev. ed. (1966); Raphael Israeli, Muslims in China: A Study in Cultural Confrontation (1980); and Nehemia Levtzion (ed.), Conversion to Islam (1979). Periods and aspects of Islamicate history On premodern Islamicate social structure, see Roy P. Mottahedeh, Loyalty and Leadership in an Early Islamic Society (1980); Ira Lapidus, Muslim Cities in the Later Middle Ages (1967); and S.D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza, 4 vol. (196783). Hamilton A.R. Gibb, Studies on the Civilization of Islam (1962, reissued 1982), is a collection of interpretive articles on history, historiography, literature, and philology. Ren Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia (1970; originally published in French, 1939); and John J. Saunders, The History of the Mongol Conquests (1971), deal with the Mongol conquests. John J. Saunders (ed.), The Muslim World on the Eve of Europe's Expansion (1966), combines primary sources on the last three great empires; and the most comprehensive account of modern Islam, with an especially fine treatment of the 18th century, is John Obert Voll, Islam, Continuity and Change in the Modern World (1982). On Muslim women, see, for example, Lois Beck and Nikki Keddie (eds.), Women in the Muslim World (1978); Elizabeth Warnock Fernea and Basima Qattan Bezirgan (eds.), Middle Eastern Muslim Women Speak (1977, reprinted 1984); and Jane I. Smith (ed.), Women in Contemporary Muslim Societies (1980). Collections of primary sources in English translation Eric Schroeder, Muhammad's People (1955); Arthur Jeffery (ed.), A Reader of Islam (1962, reprinted 1980); John Alden Williams (ed.), Islam (1961, reissued 1967), and Themes of Islamic Civilization (1971, reprinted 1982); William H. Mcneill and Marilyn Robinson Waldman, The Islmic World (1973, reprinted 1983); James Kritzeck, Anthology of Islamic Literature (1964, reissued 1975); and Bernard Lewis (ed.), Islam: From the Prophet Muhammad to the Capture of Constantinople, 2 vol. (1974, reissued 1976). Major reference works The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 5 vol. (191336), and a new edition, of which 5 vol. appeared from 1960 to 1986; The Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam (1953, reprinted 1974), with articles culled from the Encyclopaedia of Islam; The Cambridge History of Islam, 2 vol. (1970, reprinted in 4 vol., 1980); Jean Sauvaget, Jean Sauvaget's Introduction to the History of the Muslim East: A Bibliographical Guide (1965, reprinted 1982; originally published in French, 2nd ed., 1961), a dated but still useful annotated bibliographic guide; and Clifford Edmund Bosworth, The Islamic Dynasties: A Chronological and Genealogical Handbook, rev. ed. (1980). Jean Jacques Waardenburg, L'Islam dans le miroir de l'Occident, 3rd rev. ed. (1970); and Edward W. Said, Orientalism (1978, reissued 1979), are critiques of Western approaches to Islam. Marilyn R. Waldman Consolidation and expansion (14051683) After the death of Timur in 1405, power began to shift from migrating peoples to sedentary populations living in large centralized empires. After about 1683, when the last Ottoman campaign against Vienna failed, the great empires for which this period is so famous began to shrink and weaken, just as western Europeans first began to show their potential for worldwide expansion and domination. When the period began, Muslim lands had begun to recover from the devastating effects of the Black Death (134648), and many were prospering. Muslims had the best opportunity in history to unite the settled world, but by the end of the period, they had been replaced by Europeans as the leading contenders for this role. Muslims were now forced into direct and repeated contact with Europeans, through armed hostilities as well as through commercial interactions; and often the Europeans competed well. Yet Muslim power was so extensive, and the western Europeans such an unexpected source of competition, that Muslims were able to realize that their situation had changed only after they no longer had the strength to resist. Furthermore, the existence of several strong competitive Muslim states militated against a united response to the Europeans and could even encourage some Muslims to align themselves with the European enemies of others. In this period, long after Islamdom was once thought to have peaked, centralized absolutism reached its height, aided in part by the exploitation of gunpowder warfare and in part by new ways to fuse spiritual and military authority. Never before had Islamicate ideals and institutions better demonstrated their ability to encourage political centralization, or to support a Muslim style of life where there was no organized state, be it in areas where Islam had been long established, or in areas where it was newly arrived. The major states of this period impressed contemporary Europeans; in them some of the greatest Islamicate artistic achievements were made. In this period Muslims formed the cultural patterns that they brought into modern times, and adherence to Islam expanded to approximately its current distribution. As adherence to Islam expanded, far-flung cultural regions began to take on a life of their own. The unity of several of these regions was expressed through empirethe Ottomans in southeastern Europe, Anatolia, the eastern Maghrib, Egypt, and Syria; the Safavids in Iran and Iraq; the Indo-Timurids (Mughals) in India. In these empires, Sunnite and Shi'ite became identities on a much larger scale than ever before, expressing competition between large populations; simultaneously Shi'ism acquired a permanent base from which to generate international opposition. Elsewhere, less formal and often commercial ties bound Muslims from distant locales; growing commercial and political links between Morocco and the western Sudan produced a trans-Saharan Maghribi Islam; Egyptian Islam influenced the central and eastern Sudan; and steady contacts between East Africa, South Arabia, southern Iran, southwest India, and the southern seas promoted a recognizable Indian Ocean Islam, with Persian as its lingua franca. In fact, Persian became the closest yet to an international language; but the expansion and naturalization of Islam also fostered a number of local languages into vehicles for Islamicate administration and high cultureOttoman, Chagatai, Swahili, Urdu, and Malay. Everywhere Muslims were confronting adherents of other religions, and new converts often practiced Islam without abandoning their previous practices. The various ways in which Muslims responded to religious syncretism and plurality continue to be elaborated to the present day. This was a period of major realignments and expansion. The extent of Muslim presence in the Eastern Hemisphere in the early 15th century was easily discernible, but only with difficulty could one have imagined that it could soon produce three of the greatest empires in world history. From the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Balkans to Sumatra, Muslim rulers presided over relatively small kingdoms; but nowhere could the emergence of a world-class dynasty be predicted. In Andalusia only one Muslim state, Granada, remained to resist Christian domination of the Iberian Peninsula. The Maghrib, isolated between an almost all-Christian Iberia and an eastward-looking Mamluk Egypt and Syria, was divided between the Marinids and Hafsids. Where the Sahara shades off into the Sudanic belt, the empire of Mali at Gao was ruled by a Muslim and included several Saharan port cities, such as Timbuktu, that were centres of Muslim learning. On the Swahili coast, oriented as always more toward the Indian Ocean than toward its own hinterland, several small Muslim polities centred on key ports such as Kilwa. In western Anatolia and the Balkan Peninsula the Ottoman state under Sultan Mehmed I was recovering from its defeat by Timur. Iraq and western Iran were the domains of Turkic tribal dynasties known as the Black Sheep (Kara Koyunlu) and the White Sheep (Ak Koyunlu); they shared a border in Iran with myriad princelings of the Timurid line; and the neo-Mongol, neo-Timurid Uzbek state ruled in Transoxania. North of the Caspian, several Muslim khanates ruled as far north as Moscow and Kazan. In India, even though Muslims constituted a minority, they were beginning to assert their power everywhere except the south, which was ruled by Vijayanagar. In Islamdom's far southeast, the Muslim state of Samudra held sway in Sumatra, and the rulers of the Moluccas had recently converted to Isl am and begun to expand into the southern Malay Peninsula. Even where no organized state existed, as in the outer reaches of Central Asia and into southern China, scattered small Muslim communities persisted, often centred on oases. By the end of this period, Islamdom's borders had retreated only in Russia and Iberia; but these losses were more than compensated by continuing expansion in Europe, Africa, Central Asia, and South and Southeast Asia. Almost everywhere this plethora of states had undergone realignment and consolidation, based on experimentation with forms of legitimation and structure. Ottomans Continuation of Ottoman rule After the Ottoman state's devastating defeat by Timur, its leaders had to retain the vitality of the warrior spirit (without its unruliness and intolerance) and the validation of the Shari'ah (without its confining independence). In 1453, Mehmed II, the Conqueror, fulfilled the warrior ideal by conquering Constantinople (soon to be known as Istanbul), putting an end to the Byzantine Empire, and subjugating the local Christian and Jewish populations. Even by then, however, a new form of legitimation was taking shape. The Ottomans continued to wage war against Christians on the frontier and to levy and convert (through the devsirme) young male Christians to serve in the sultan's household and army; but warriors were being pensioned off with land grants and replaced by troops more beholden to the sultan. Except for those forcibly converted, the rest of the non-Muslim population was protected for payment according to the Shari'ah and the preference of the ulema (the Turkish spelling of 'ulama'), and organized into self-governing communities known as millets. Furthermore, the sultans began to claim the caliphate because they met two of its traditional qualifications: they ruled justly, in principle according to the Shari'ah, and they defended and extended the frontiers, as in their conquest of Mamluk Egypt, Syria, and the holy cities in 151617. Meanwhile they began to undercut the traditional oppositional stance of the ulema by building on Seljuq and Mongol practice in three ways: they promoted state-supported training of ulema; they defined and paid holders of religious offices as part of the military; and they aggressively asserted the validity of dynastic law alongside Shari'ah. Simultaneously, they emphasized their inheritance of Byzantine legitimacy by transforming Byzantine symbols, such as Hagia Sophia (Church of the Divine Wisdom), into symbols for Islam; and by favouring their empire's European part, called, significantly, Rum. Conversion and crystallization (634870) Social and cultural transformations The Arab conquests are often viewed as a discrete period. The end of the conquests appears to be a convenient dividing line because it coincides with a conventional watershed, the overthrow of the Umayyad caliphs by the 'Abbasids. To illustrate their role in broader social and cultural change, however, the military conquests should be included in a period more than twice as long, during which the conquest of the hearts and minds of the majority of the subject population also occurred. Between 634 and 870 Islam was transformed from the badge of a small Arab ruling class to the dominant faith of a vast empire that stretched from the western Mediterranean into Central Asia. As a result of this long and gradual period of conversion, Arab cultures intermingled with the indigenous cultures of the conquered peoples to produce Islam's fundamental orientations and identities. The Arabic language became a vehicle for the transmission of high culture, even though the Arabs remained a minority; for the first time in the history of the Nile-to-Oxus region, a new language of high culture, carrying a great cultural florescence, replaced all previous languages of high culture. Trade and taxation replaced booty as the fiscal basis of the Muslim state; a nontribal army replaced a tribal one; and a centralized empire became a nominal confederation, with all of the social dislocation and rivalries those changes imply. Yet despite continuous internal dissension, virtually no Muslim raised the possibility of there being more than one legitimate leader. Furthermore, the impulse toward solidarity, inherited from Muhammad and Abu Bakr, may have actually been encouraged by persisting minority status. While Muslims were a minority, they naturally formed a conception of Islamic dominance as territorial rather than religious; and of unconverted non-Muslim communities as secondary members. In one important respect the Islamic faith differed from all other major religious traditions: the formative period of the faith coincided with its political domination of a rich complex of old cultures. As a result, during the formative period of their civilization, the Muslims could both introduce new elements and reorient old ones in creative ways. Just as Muhammad fulfilled and redirected ongoing tendencies in Arabia, the builders of early Islamicate civilization carried forth and transformed developments in the Roman and Sasanian territories in which they first dominated. While Muhammad was emerging as a leader in the Hejaz, the Byzantine and Sasanian emperors were ruling states that resembled what the Islamicate empire was to become. Byzantine rule stretched from North Africa into Syria and sometimes Iraq; the Sasanians competed with the Byzantines in Syria and Iraq and extended their sway, at its furthest, across the Oxus River. Among their subjects were speakers and writers of several major languagesvarious forms of Aramaic such as Mandaean and Syriac; Greek; Arabic; and Middle Persian. In fact, a significant number of persons were probably bilingual or trilingual. Both the Byzantine and Sasanian empire declared an official religion, Christianity and ZoroastrianMazdaism, respectively. The Sasanian Empire in the early 7th century was ruled by a religion-backed centralized monarchy with an elaborate bureaucratic structure that was reproduced on a smaller scale at the provincial courts of its appointed governors. Its religious demography was complex, encompassing Christians of many persuasions, Monophysites, Nestorians, Orthodox, and others; pagans; gnostics; Jews; Mazdeans. Minority religious communities were becoming more clearly organized and isolated. The population included priests; traders and merchants; landlords (dihqans), sometimes living not on the land but as absentees in the cities; pastoralists; and large numbers of peasant agriculturalists. In southern Iraq, especially in and around towns like al-Hirah, it included migratory and settled Arabs as well. Both empires relied on standing armies for their defense and on agriculture, taxation, conquest, and trade for their resources. When the Muslim conquests began, the Byzantines and Sasanians had been in conflict for a century; in the most recent exchanges, the Sasanians had established direct rule in al-Hirah, further exposing its many Arabs to their administration. When the Arab conquests began, representatives of Byzantine and Sasanian rule on Arabia's northern borders were not strong enough to resist. 'Umar I's succession The spirit of conquest under 'Umar I Abu Bakr's successor in Medina, 'Umar I (ruled 634644), had not so much to stimulate conquest as to organize and channel it. As leaders he chose skillful managers experienced in trade and commerce as well as warfare and imbued with an ideology that provided their activities with a cosmic significance. The total numbers involved in the initial conquests may have been relatively small, perhaps less than 50,000, divided into numerous shifting groups. Yet few actions took place without any sanction from the Medinan government or one of its appointed commanders. The fighters, or muqatilah, could generally accomplish much more with Medina's support than without. 'Umar, one of Muhammad's earliest and staunchest supporters, had quickly developed an administrative system of manifestly superior effectiveness. He defined the ummah as a continually expansive polity managed by a new ruling elite, which included successful military commanders like Khalid ibn al-Walid. Even after the conquests ended, this sense of expansiveness continued to be expressed in the way Muslims divided the world into their own zone, the Dar al-Islam, and the zone into which they could and should expand, the Dar al-Harb, the abode of war. The norms of 'Umar's new elite were supplied by Islam as it was then understood. Taken together, Muhammad's revelations from God and his sunnah (precedent-setting example) defined the cultic and personal practices that distinguished Muslims from others: prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, charity, avoidance of pork and intoxicants, membership in one community centred at Mecca, and activism (jihad) in the community's behalf. Formation and orientation (c. 500634) The city of Mecca: centre of trade and religion Although the 6th-century client states were the largest Arab polities of their day, it was not from them that a permanently significant Arab state arose. Rather, it emerged among independent Arabs living in Mecca (Makkah) at the junction of major northsouth and westeast routes, in one of the less naturally favoured Arab settlements of the Hejaz (al- Hijaz). The development of a trading town into a city-state was not unusual; but unlike many other western Arabian settlements, Mecca was not centred on an oasis or located in the hinterland of any non-Arab power. Although it had enough well water and springwater to provide for large numbers of camels, it did not have enough for agriculture; its economy depended on long-distance as well as short-distance trade. Mecca under the Quraysh clans Around the year 400 CE Mecca had come under the control of a group of Arabs who were in the process of becoming sedentary; they were known as Quraysh and were led by a man remembered as Qusayy. During the generations before Muhammad's birth in about 570, the several clans of the Quraysh fostered a development in Mecca that seems to have been occurring in a few other Arab towns as well. They used their trading connections and their relationships with their Bedouin cousins to make their town a regional centre whose influence radiated in many directions. They designated Mecca as a quarterly haram, a safe haven from the intertribal warfare and raiding that was endemic among the Bedouin. Thus Mecca became an attractive site for large trade fairs that coincided with pilgrimage (hajj) to a local shrine, the Ka'bah. The Ka'bah housed the deities of visitors as well as the Meccans' supra-tribal creator and covenant-guaranteeing deity, called Allah. Most Arabs probably viewed this deity as one among many, possessing powers not specific to a particular tribe; others may have identified this figure with the God of the Jews and Christians. The building activities of the Quraysh threatened one non-Arab power enough to invite direct interference: the Abyssinians are said to have invaded Mecca in the year of Muhammad's birth. But the Byzantines and Sasanians were distracted by internal reorganization and renewed conflict; simultaneously the Yemeni kingdoms were declining. Furthermore, these shifts in the international balance of power may have dislocated existing tribal connections enough to make Mecca an attractive new focus for supra-tribal organization, just as Mecca's equidistance from the major powers protected its independence and neutrality. The Meccan link between shrine and market has a broader significance in the history of religion. It is reminiscent of changes that had taken place with the emergence of complex societies across the settled world several millennia earlier. Much of the religious life of the tribal Arabs had the characteristics of small-group, or primitive, religion, including the sacralization of group-specific natural objects and phenomena and the multifarious presence of spirit beings, known among the Arabs as jinn. Where more complex settlement patterns had developed, however, widely shared deities had already emerged, such as the trinity of Allah's daughters known as al-Lat, Manat, and al-'Uzzah. Such qualified simplification and inclusivity, wherever they have occurred in human history, seem to have been associated with other fundamental changesincreased settlement, extension and intensification of trade, and the emergence of lingua francas and other cultural commonalties, all of which had been occurring in central Arabia for several centuries. Fragmentation and florescence (8701041) The rise of competitive regions The unifying forces operative at the end of the period of conversion and crystallization persisted during the period of fragmentation and florescence; but the caliphal lands in Iraq became less central. Even though Baghdad remained preeminent in cultural prestige, important initiatives were being taken from surrounding regions: Andalusia; the Maghrib and sub-Saharan Africa; Egypt, Syria, and the holy cities (Mecca and Medina); Iraq; and Iran, Afghanistan, Transoxania, and, toward the end of the period, northern India. Regional courts could compete with the 'Abbasids and with each other as patrons of culture. Interregional and intra-regional conflicts were often couched in terms of loyalties formed in the period of conversion and crystallization, but local history provided supplemental identities. Although the 'Abbasid caliphate was still a focus of concern and debate, other forms of leadership became important. Just as being Muslim no longer meant being Arab, being cultured no longer meant speaking and writing exclusively in Arabic. Certain Muslims began to cultivate a second language of high culture, New Persian. As in pre-Islamic times, written as well as spoken bilingualism became important. Ethnic differences were blurred by the effects of peripatetic education and shared languages. Physical mobility was so common that many individuals lived and died far from their places of birth. Cultural creativity was so noticeable that this period is often called the Renaissance of Islam. Economic changes also promoted regional strengths. Although Baghdad continued to profit from its central location, caliphal neglect of Iraq's irrigation system and southerly shifts in the trans-Asian trade promoted the fortunes of Egypt; the opening of the Sahara to Maghribi Muslims provided a new source of slaves, salt, and minerals; and Egyptian expansion into the Mediterranean opened a major channel for Islamicate influence on medieval Europe. Islamdom continued to expand, sometimes as the result of aggression on the part of frontier warriors (ghazis), but more often as the result of trade. The best symbol of this expansiveness is Ibn Fadlan, who left a provocative account of his mission in 921, on behalf of the Baghdad caliph, to the Volga Bulgars, among whom he met Swedes coming down the river to trade. By the beginning of the period of fragmentation and florescence the subject populations of most Muslim rulers were predominantly Muslim, and nonsedentary peoples had ceased to play a major role. The period gave way to a much longer period (dated 10411405) in which migratory tribal peoples were once again critically important. In 1041 the reign of the Ghaznavid sultan Mas'ud I ended; by then the Ghaznavid state had lost control over the Seljuq Turks in their eastern Iranian domains and thus inaugurated Islamdom's second era of tribal expansion. Because localism and cosmopolitanism coexisted in the period of fragmentation and florescence, the period is best approached through a region-by-region survey that underscores phenomena of interregional significance. Andalusia, the Maghrib, and Sub-Saharan Africa Andalusia, far from the centre of Islamdom, illustrated the extent of 'Abbasid prestige and the assertion of local creativity. In the beginning of the period, Islamicate rule was represented by the Umayyads at Crdoba; established in 756 by a refugee from the 'Abbasid victory over the Syrian Umayyads, the Umayyad dynasty in Crdoba had replaced a string of virtually independent deputies of the Umayyad governors in the Maghrib. At first the Cordoban Umayyads had styled themselves amirs, the title also used by caliphal governors and other local rulers; though refugees from 'Abbasid hostility, they continued to mention the 'Abbasids in the Friday worship session until 773. Their independence was not made official, however, until their best known member, 'Abd ar-Rahman III (ruled 912961), adopted the title of caliph in 929 and began having the Friday prayer recited in the name of his own house. The fact that 'Abd ar-Rahman declared his independence from the 'Abbasids while he modeled his court after theirs illustrates the period's cultural complexities. Like the 'Abbasids' and the Marwanids', 'Abd ar-Rahman's absolute authority was limited by the nature of his army (Berber tribesmen and Slav slaves) and by his dependence on numerous assistants. His internal problems were compounded by external threats, from the Christian kingdoms in the north and the Fatimids in the Maghrib (see below). The Umayyad state continued to be the major Muslim presence in the peninsula until 1010, after which time it became, until 1031, but one of many independent city-states. Nowhere is the connection between fragmentation and florescence more evident than in the courts of these muluk al-tawa'if, or party kings; for it was they who patronized some of Andalusia's most brilliant Islamicate culture. This florescence also demonstrated the permeability of the MuslimChristian frontier. For example, the poet and theologian Ibn Hazm (9941064) composed love poetry, such as Tawk al-hamamah (The Ring of the Dove), which may have contributed to ideas of chivalric love among the Provenal troubadours. In 870 the Maghrib was divided among several dynasties, all but one of foreign origin, and only one of which, the Aghlabids, nominally represented the 'Abbasids. The Muslim Arabs had been very different rulers than any of their predecessorsPhoenicians, Romans, Vandals, or Byzantineswho had occupied but not settled. Their interests in North Africa had been secondary to their objectives in the Mediterranean, so they had restricted themselves to coastal settlements, which they used as staging points for trade with the western Mediterranean or as sources of food for their metropolitan population. They had separated themselves from the Berbers with a fortified frontier. The Arabs, however, forced away from the coast in order to compete more effectively with the Byzantines, had quickly tried to incorporate the Berbers, who were also pastoralists. One branch of the Berbers, the Sanhajah, extended far into the Sahara, across which they had established a caravan trade with blacks in the Sudanic belt. At some time in the 10th century the Sanhajah nominally converted to Islam, and their towns in the Sahara began to assume Muslim characteristics. Around 990 a black kingdom in the Sudan, Ghana, extended itself as far as Audaghost, the Sanhajah centre in the Sahara. Thus was black Africa first brought into contact with the Muslim Mediterranean, and thus were the conditions set for dramatic developments in the Maghrib during the 12th and 13th centuries (see below, Migration and renewal). In the late 9th century the Maghrib was unified and freed from outside control for the first time. Paradoxically, this independence was achieved by outsiders associated with an international movement of political activism and subversion. Driven underground by 'Abbasid intolerance and a maturing ideology of covert revolutionism, the Isma'ili Shi'ites had developed mechanisms to maintain solidarity and undertake political action. These mechanisms can be subsumed under the term da'wah, the same word that had been used for the movement that brought the 'Abbasids to power. The da'wah's ability to communicate rapidly over a large area rested on its traveling operatives as well as on a network of local cells. In the late 9th century an Isma'ili movement, nicknamed the Qaramitah (Qarmatians), had seriously but unsuccessfully threatened the 'Abbasids in Syria, Iraq, and Bahrain. Seeking other outlets, a Yemeni operative known as Abu 'Abd Allah ash-Shi'i made contact, on the occasion of the hajj, with representatives of a Berber tribe that had a history of Kharijite hostility to caliphal control. The hajj had already become a major vehicle for tying Islamdom's regions together, and Abu Abd Allah's movement was only one of many in the Maghrib that would be inaugurated thereby. In 901 Abu 'Abd Allah arrived in the Little Kabylie (in present-day Algeria); for eight years he prepared for an imam, preaching of a millennial restoration of justice after an era of foreign oppression. After conquering the Aghlabid capital al-Qayrawan (in present-day Tunisia), he helped free from a Sijilmassa prison his imam, 'Ubayd Allah, who declared himself the mahdi, using a multivalent word that could have quite different meanings for different constituencies. Some Muslims applied mahdi to any justice-restoring divinely guided figure; others, including many Jama'i-Sunnites, to the apocalyptic figure expected to usher in the millennium before the Last Judgment; and still others, including most Shi'ites, to a returned or restored imam. Abu 'Abd Allah's followers may have differed in their expectations, but the mahdi himself was unequivocal: he was a descendant of 'Ali and Fatimah through Isma'il's disappeared son and therefore was a continuation of the line of the true imam. He symbolized his victory by founding a new capital named, after himself, al-Mahdiyah (in present-day Tunisia). During the next half century the Fatimids tried with limited success to expand westward into the Maghrib and north into the Mediterranean, where they made Sicily a naval base (912913); but their major goal was Egypt, nominally under 'Abbasid control. From Egypt they would challenge the 'Abbasid caliphate itself. In 969 the Fatimid army conquered the Nile Valley and advanced into Palestine and southern Syria as well. Migration and renewal (10411405) During this period, migrating peoples once again played a major role, perhaps greater than that of the Arabs during the 7th and 8th centuries. No other civilization in premodern history experienced so much in-migration, especially of alien and disruptive peoples, or showed a greater ability to assimilate as well as to learn from outsiders. Nowhere has the capacity of a culture to redefine and incorporate the strange and the foreign been more evident. In this period, which ends with the death in 1405 of Timur (Tamerlane), the last great tribal conqueror, the tense yet creative relationship between sedentary and migratory peoples emerged as one of the great themes of Islamicate history, played out as it was in the centre of the great arid zone of Eurasia. Because this period can be seen as the history of peoples as well as of regions, and because the mobility of those peoples brought them to more than one cultural region, this period should be treated group by group rather than region by region. As a general term migrating peoples is preferable because it does not imply aimlessness, as nomadic does; or herding, as pastoralist does; or kin-related, as tribal does. Migrating focuses simply on movement from one home to another. Although the Franks, as the crusaders are called in Muslim sources, differed from other migrating peoples, most of whom were pastoralists related by kinship, they too were migrating warriors organized to invade and occupy peoples to whom they were hostile and alien. Though not literally tribal, they appeared to behave like a tribe with a distinctive way of life and a solidarity based on common values, language, and objectives. Viewing them as alien immigrants comparable to, say, the Mongols, helps to explain their reception: how they came to be assimilated into the local culture and drawn into the intra-Muslim factional competition and fighting that was under way in Syria when they arrived. Turks For almost 400 years a succession of Turkic peoples entered eastern Islamdom from Central Asia. These nearly continuous migrations can be divided into three phases: Seljuqs (105592), Mongols (12561411), and neo-Mongols (13691405). Their long-term impact, more constructive than destructive on balance, can still be felt through the lingering heritage of the great Muslim empires they inspired. The addition of tribally organized warrior Turks to the already widely used Turkic slave soldiery gave a single ethnic group an extensive role in widening the gap between rulers and ruled. Reform, dependency, and recovery (1683 to the present) The history of the Muslims in modern times has often been explained in terms of the impact of the West. From this perspective, the 18th century was a period of degeneration and a prelude to European domination, symbolized by Napoleon's conquest of Egypt in 1798. Given the events of the 1980s, however, it is possible to argue that the period of Western domination was an interlude in the ongoing development of indigenous styles of modernization. In order to examine that hypothesis, it is necessary to begin the modern period with the 18th century, when activism and revival were present throughout Islamdom. The three major Muslim empires did experience a decline during the 18th century, as compared to their own earlier power and to the rising powers in Europe; but most Muslims were not yet aware that Europe was partly to blame. Similar decline had occurred many times before, a product of the inevitable weaknesses of the military conquest state turned into centralized absolutism, overdependence on continuous expansion, weakening of training for rule, the difficulty of maintaining efficiency and loyalty in a large, complex royal household and army, and the difficulty of maintaining sufficient revenues for an increasingly lavish court life. Furthermore, population increased, as it did almost everywhere in the 18th-century world, just as inflation and expensive reform reduced income to central governments. Given the insights of Ibn Khaldun, however, one might have expected a new group with a fresh sense of cohesiveness to restore political strength. Had Muslims remained on a par with all other societies, they might have revived. But by the 18th century one particular set of societies in western Europe had developed an economic and social system capable of transcending the 5,000-year-old limitations of the agrarian-based settled world as defined by the Greeks (who called it Oikoumene). Unlike most of the lands of Islamdom, those societies were rich in natural resources (especially the fossil fuels that could supplement human and animal power) and poor in space for expansion. Cut off by Muslims from controlling land routes from the East, European explorers had built on and surpassed Muslim seafaring technology to compete in the southern seas and discover new sea routesand, accidentally, a new source of wealth in the Americas. In Europe, centralized absolutism, though an ideal, had not been the success it was in Islamdom. Emerging from the landed classes rather than from the cities, it had benefited from and been constrained by independent urban commercial classes. In Islamdom, the power of merchants had been inhibited by imperial overtaxation of local private enterprise, appropriation of the benefits of trade, and the privileging of foreign traders through agreements known as the Capitulations. In Europe independent financial and social resources promoted an unusual freedom for technological experimentation and, consequently, the technicalization of other areas of society as well. Unlike previous innovations in the Oikoumene, Europe's technology could not easily be diffused to societies that had not undergone the prerequisite fundamental social and economic changes. Outside of Europe, gradual assimilation of the new, which had characterized change and cultural diffusion for 5,000 years, had to be replaced by hurried imitation, which proved enormously disorienting. This combination of innovation and imitation produced an unprecedented and persisting imbalance among various parts of the Oikoumene. Muslims' responses paralleled those of other non-Western peoples but were often filtered through and expressed in peculiarly Isl amic or Islamicate symbols and motifs. The power of Islam as a source of public values had already waxed and waned many times; it intensified in the 18th and 19th centuries, receded in the early 20th century, and surged again after the mid-20th century. Thus European colonizers appeared in the midst of an ongoing process that they greatly affected but did not completely transform. Pre-colonial reform and experimentation (16831818) From the mid-17th century through the 18th and early 19th centuries certain Muslims expressed an awareness of internal weakness. In some areas, Muslims were largely unaware of the rise of Europe; in others, such as India, Sumatra, and Java, the 18th century actually brought European contro

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