Islamic History

I've created this page to answer the question everyone always asks and debates.

Is Islam a religion of peace?
You decide for yourself, but I'm not seeing that it is!

As I research different religions, whenever it talks about Islam it uses words like in this next description... 

The rise of Islam with its conquest of most of the Mediterranean coastline (not to mention the arrival of the pagan Slavs in the Balkans at the same time) further intensified this separation by driving a physical wedge between the two worlds.

The history of Islam concerns the religion of Islam and its adherents, Muslims. "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "one who submits to God". Muslims and their religion have greatly impacted the political, economic, and military history of the Old World, especially the Middle East, where its roots lie. Though it is believed by non-Muslims to have originated in Mecca and Medina, Muslims believe that the religion of Islam has been present since the time of the prophet Adam. Muslims believe that prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, among others, were all Islamic prophets, and they have equal veneration in the Qur'an. The Islamic world expanded to include people of the Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization.

Islamic origins

Islam began within the context of Late Antiquity.[13] In pre-Islamic Arabia, Arab people lived on the Arabian Plate. In the south of Hedjaz (principal religious and commercial center of post-classical Arabia), the Arabic tribe of Quraysh (Adnani Arabs), to which Muhammad belonged, had been in existence. Near Mecca, the tribe was increasing in power. The Quraysh were the guardians of the Kaaba within the town of Mecca and was the dominant tribe of Mecca upon the appearance of Islam. The Kaaba, at the time, was used as an important pagan shrine. It brought revenues to Mecca because of the multitude of pilgrims that it attracted. Muhammad was born into the Banu Hashim tribe of the Quraysh clan,[15] a branch of the Banu Kinanah tribe, descended from Khuzaimah and derived its inheritance from the Khuza'imah (House of Khuza'a).

Muhammad Kaaban
Nakkaş Osman, Istanbul (1595)
(Ed., note artists began representing the veil-covered face of Muhammad from the 16th century onwards)

According to the traditional Islamic view, the Qur'an (Koran) began with revelations to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel (when he was 40 years old) in 610. The history of the Qur'an began when its verses were revealed to the Muhammad. The rise of Islam began around the time Muslims took flight in the Hijra, moving to Medina.

In 628, the Makkah tribe of Quraish and the Muslim community in Medina signed a truce called the Treaty of Hudaybiyya beginning a ten-year period of peace. War returned when the Quraish and their allies, the tribe of 'Bakr', attacked the tribe of 'Khuza'ah', who were Muslim allies. In 630, Muslims conquered Mecca. Muhammad died in June 632. The Battle of Yamama was fought in December of the same year, between the forces of the first caliph Abu Bakr and Musailima.

Local populations of Jews and indigenous Christians, persecuted as religious minorities and taxed heavily to finance the Byzantine–Sassanid Wars, often aided Muslims to take over their lands from the Byzantines and Persians, resulting in exceptionally speedy conquests.[23][24] As new areas joining the Islamic state, they also benefited from free trade, while trading with other areas in the Islamic state, so as to encourage commerce, in Islam trade is not taxed, wealth is taxed.[25] The Muslims paid Zakat on their wealth to the poor. Since the Constitution of Medina, was drafted by the Islamic prophet Muhammad the Jews and the Christians continued to use their own laws in the Islamic State and had their own judges.[26][27][28] Therefore they only paid for policing for the protection of their property. To assist in the quick expansion of the state, the Byzantine and the Persian tax collection systems were maintained and the people paid a poll tax lower than the one imposed under the Byzantines and the Persians.

In 639, Muawiyah I was appointed as the governor of Syria after the previous governor Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people.[29][30] To stop the Byzantine harassment from the sea during the Arab–Byzantine wars, in 649 Muawiyah I set up a navy; manned by Monophysitise Christians, Copts and Jacobite Syrian Christians sailors and Muslim troops. This resulted in the defeat of the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean.[31][32][33][34]

When Umar was assassinated in 644, Uthman ibn Affan became the next caliph. As it is well known that Arabic language is written without vowels, and when Qur'an reached the non-Arabic speakers, people began having different dielects and phonics which was changing the exact meaning of verses in the Qur'an. This was brought to the notice of Uthman ibn Affan. Begun in the time of Uthman ibn Affan, the compilation of the Qur'an was finished sometime between 650 and 656, Uthman sent copies to the different centers of the expanding Islamic empire. From then on, thousands of Muslim scribes began copying the Qur'an.[35]

Early Muslim armies stayed in encampments away from cities because Umar feared that they may get attracted to wealth and luxury. In the process, they may get away from the worship of God and become attracted to wealth and start accumulating wealth and establishing dynasties.[44][45][46][47] "Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope." Qur'an 18:46[48] "O you who have believed, let not your wealth and your children divert you from remembrance of Allah . And whoever does that - then those are the losers." Qur'an 63:9[49] Staying in these encampments away from the cities also ensured that there was no stress on the population and also that the populations remained autonomous and kept their own judges and representatives. Some of these encampments later grew into cities themselves, like Basra and Kufa in Iraq and Fustat in Egypt.[50] Some cities also had agreements with the Muslims, such as during the Siege of Jerusalem in 637 CE.


Main article: Reconquista

Between 711–718 the Iberian peninsula had been conquered by Muslims in the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. Between 722 (see: Battle of Covadonga) and 1492 (see: the Conquest of Granada) the Christian Kingdoms that later would become Spain and Portugal reconquered it from the Moorish states of Al-Ándalus. The notorious Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition were not installed until 1478 and 1536 when the Reconquista was already (mostly) completed. Forces of Muhammed IX, Nasrid Sultan of Granada, at the Battle of La

Universal period and decentralization

Islamic Golden Age

Main articles: Abbasid and Islamic Golden Age

The Abbasid dynasty rose to power in 750, consolidating the gains of the earlier Caliphates. Initially, they conquered Mediterranean islands including the Balearics and, after, in 827 the Sicily.[80] The ruling party had come to power on the wave of dissatisfaction with the Umayyads, cultivated by the Abbasid revolutionary Abu Muslim.[81][82] Under the Abbasids Islamic civilization flourished. Most notable was the development of Arabic prose and poetry, termed by The Cambridge History of Islam as its "golden age".[83] Commerce and industry (considered a Muslim Agricultural Revolution) and the arts and sciences (considered a Muslim Scientific Revolution) also prospered under Abbasid caliphs al-Mansur (ruled 754 — 775), Harun al-Rashid (ruled 786 — 809), al-Ma'mun (ruled 809 — 813) and their immediate successors.[84]

The capital was moved from Damascus to Baghdad, due to the importance placed by the Abbasids upon eastern affairs in Persia and Transoxania.[84] At this time the caliphate showed signs of fracture amid the rise of regional dynasties. Although the Umayyad family had been killed by the revolting Abbasids, one family member, Abd ar-Rahman I, escaped to Spain and established an independent caliphate there in 756. In the Maghreb, Harun al-Rashid appointed the Arab Aghlabids as virtually autonomous rulers, although they continued to recognise central authority. Aghlabid rule was short-lived, and they were deposed by the Shiite Fatimid dynasty in 909. By around 960, the Fatimids had conquered Abbasid Egypt, building a capital there in 973 called "al-Qahirah" (meaning "the planet of victory", known today as Cairo). In Persia the Turkic Ghaznavids snatched power from the Abbasids.[85][86] Abbasid influence had been consumed by the Great Seljuq Empire (a Muslim Turkish clan which had migrated into mainland Persia) by 1055.[84]

Islamic rule and sects of Hinduism (c. 1100-1850 CE)

Main article: Islam in India
Babur visits a Hindu temple.

Though Islam came to Indian subcontinent in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders, it started impacting Indian religions after the 10th century, and particularly after the 12th century with the establishment and then expansion of Islamic rule.[365][366] Will Durant calls the Muslim conquest of India "probably the bloodiest story in history".[367] During this period, Buddhism declined rapidly while Hinduism faced military-led and Sultanates-sponsored religious violence.[367][368] There was a widespread practice of raids, seizure and enslavement of families of Hindus, who were then sold in Sultanate cities or exported to Central Asia.[369][370] Some texts suggest a number of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam.[371][372] Starting with 13th century, for a period of some 500 years, very few texts, from the numerous written by Muslim court historians, mention any "voluntary conversions of Hindus to Islam", suggesting its insignificance and perhaps rarity of such conversions.[372] Typically enslaved Hindus converted to Islam to gain their freedom.[373] There were occasional exceptions to religious violence against Hinduism. Akbar, for example, recognized Hinduism, banned enslavement of the families of Hindu war captives, protected Hindu temples, and abolished discriminatory Jizya (head taxes) against Hindus.[369][374] However, many Muslim rulers of Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire, before and after Akbar, from 12th century to 18th century, destroyed Hindu temples[web 33][375][web 34][note 71] and persecuted non-Muslims.

Hinduism underwent profound changes, aided in part by teachers such as Ramanuja, Madhva, and Chaitanya.[365] Followers of the Bhakti movement moved away from the abstract concept of Brahman, which the philosopher Adi Shankara consolidated a few centuries before, with emotional, passionate devotion towards the more accessible Avatars, especially Krishna and Rama.[376] According to Nicholson, already between the 12th and the 16th century, "certain thinkers began to treat as a single whole the diverse philosophical teachings of the Upanishads, epics, Puranas, and the schools known retrospectively as the "six systems" (saddarsana) of mainstream Hindu philosophy."[377][note 72] Michaels notes that a historicization emerged which preceded later nationalism, articulating ideas which glorified Hinduism and the past.[82]

Higueruela, 1431

How did Indonesia end up almost completely Muslim/Islam?
Indian Muslim traders began spreading Islam in Indonesia in the eighth and ninth centuries. By the time Marco Polo visited North Sumatra at the end of the 13th century, the first Islamic states were already established there. Soon afterwards, rulers on Java's north coast adopted the new creed and conquered the Hindu-based Majapahit Empire in the Javanese hinterland. The faith gradually spread throughout archipelago, and Indonesia is today the world's largest Islamic nation.

Indonesia's abundant spices first brought Portuguese merchants to the key trading port of Malacca in 1511. Prized for their flavor, spices such as cloves, nutmeg and mace were also believed to cure everything from the plague to venereal disease, and were literally worth their weight in gold. The Dutch eventually wrested control of the spice trade from Portuguese, and the tenacious Dutch East India Company (known by initials VOC) established a spice monopoly which lasted well into the 18th century. During the 19th century, the Dutch began sugar and coffee cultivation on Java, which was soon providing three-fourths of the world supply of coffee.

By the turn of the 20th century, nationalist stirring, brought about by nearly three centuries of oppressive colonial rule, began to challenge the Dutch presence in Indonesia. A four-year guerilla war led by nationalists against the Dutch on Java after World War II, along with successful diplomatic maneuverings abroad, helped bring about independence. The Republic of Indonesia, officially proclaimed on August 17th, 1945, gained sovereignty four years later.

During the first two decades of independence, the republic was dominated by the charismatic figure of Sukarno, one of the early nationalists who had been imprisoned by the Dutch. General (ret.) Soeharto eased Sukarno from power in 1967. Indonesia's economy was sustained throughout the 1970's, almost exclusively by oil export.

The Asian financial crisis, which broke out in mid-1997, paralyzed the Indonesian economy with the rupiah losing 80% of its value against the US dollar at the peak of the turmoil.

On May 21, 1998, Soeharto resigned after 32 years in power and was replaced by B.J. Habibie following bloody violence and riots. Indonesia held its first democratic election in October 1999, which put Abdurrahman 'Gus Dur' Wahid in the role of president.

Here's the Wikipedia version of it!

The age of Islamic states

The spread of Islam

The earliest accounts of the Indonesian archipelago date from the Abbasid Caliphate, according to those early accounts the Indonesian archipelago were famous among early Muslim sailors mainly due to its abundance of precious spice trade commodities such as nutmeg, cloves, galangal and many other spices.[33]

Although Muslim traders first traveled through South East Asia early in the Islamic era, the spread of Islam among the inhabitants of the Indonesian archipelago dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra.[34] Although it is known that the spread of Islam began in the west of the archipelago, the fragmentary evidence does not suggest a rolling wave of conversion through adjacent areas; rather, it suggests the process was complicated and slow.[34] The spread of Islam was driven by increasing trade links outside of the archipelago; in general, traders and the royalty of major kingdoms were the first to adopt the new religion.[35]

Other Indonesian areas gradually adopted Islam, making it the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century. For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences, which shaped the predominant form of Islam in Indonesia, particularly in Java.[35] Only Bali retained a Hindu majority. In the eastern archipelago, both Christian and Islamic missionaries were active in the 16th and 17th centuries, and, currently, there are large communities of both religions on these islands.[35]

Sultanate of Mataram

Main article: Sultanate of Mataram
The cemetery compound of Mataram Sultans in Kota Gede, Yogyakarta.

The Sultanate of Mataram was the third Sultanate in Java, after the Sultanate of Demak Bintoro and the Sultanate of Pajang.

According to Javanese records, Kyai Gedhe Pamanahan became the ruler of the Mataram area in the 1570s with the support of the kingdom of Pajang to the east, near the current site of Surakarta (Solo). Pamanahan was often referred to as Kyai Gedhe Mataram after his ascension.

Pamanahan's son, Panembahan Senapati Ingalaga, replaced his father on the throne around 1584. Under Senapati the kingdom grew substantially through regular military campaigns against Mataram's neighbors. Shortly after his accession, for example, he conquered his father's patrons in Pajang.

The reign of Panembahan Seda ing Krapyak (c. 1601–1613), the son of Senapati, was dominated by further warfare, especially against powerful Surabaya, already a major center in East Java. The first contact between Mataram and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) occurred under Krapyak. Dutch activities at the time were limited to trading from limited coastal settlements, so their interactions with the inland Mataram kingdom were limited, although they did form an alliance against Surabaya in 1613. Krapyak died that year.

Krapyak was succeeded by his son, who is known simply as Sultan Agung ("Great Sultan") in Javanese records. Agung was responsible for the great expansion and lasting historical legacy of Mataram due to the extensive military conquests of his long reign from 1613 to 1646.

After years of war Agung finally conquered Surabaya. The city surrounded by land and sea and starved it into submission. With Surabaya brought into the empire, the Mataram kingdom encompassed all of central and eastern Java, and Madura; only in the west did Banten and the Dutch settlement in Batavia remain outside Agung's control. He tried repeatedly in the 1620s and 1630s to drive the Dutch from Batavia, but his armies had met their match, and he was forced to share control over Java.

In 1645 he began building Imogiri, his burial place, about fifteen kilometers south of Yogyakarta. Imogiri remains the resting place of most of the royalty of Yogyakarta and Surakarta to this day. Agung died in the spring of 1646, with his image of royal invincibility shattered by his losses to the Dutch, but he did leave behind an empire that covered most of Java and its neighboring islands.

Upon taking the throne, Agung's son Susuhunan Amangkurat I tried to bring long-term stability to Mataram's realm, murdering local leaders that were insufficiently deferential to him, and closing ports so he alone had control over trade with the Dutch.

By the mid-1670s dissatisfaction with the king fanned into open revolt. Raden Trunajaya, a prince from Madura, lead a revolt fortified by itinerant mercenaries from Makassar that captured the king's court at Mataram in mid-1677. The king escaped to the north coast with his eldest son, the future king Amangkurat II, leaving his younger son Pangeran Puger in Mataram. Apparently more interested in profit and revenge than in running a struggling empire, the rebel Trunajaya looted the court and withdrew to his stronghold in East Java leaving Puger in control of a weak court.

Amangkurat I died just after his expulsion, making Amangkurat II king in 1677. He too was nearly helpless, though, having fled without an army or treasury to build one. In an attempt to regain his kingdom, he made substantial concessions to the Dutch, who then went to war to reinstate him. For the Dutch, a stable Mataram empire that was deeply indebted to them would help ensure continued trade on favorable terms. They were willing to lend their military might to keep the kingdom together. Dutch forces first captured Trunajaya, then forced Puger to recognize the sovereignty of his elder brother Amangkurat II. The kingdom collapsed after a two-year war, in which power plays crippled the Sunan.

The Sultanate of Banten

In 1524–25, Sunan Gunung Jati from Cirebon, together with the armies of Demak Sultanate, seized the port of Banten from the Sunda kingdom, and established The Sultanate of Banten. This was accompanied by Muslim preachers and the adoption of Islam amongst the local population. At its peak in the first half of the 17th century, the Sultanate lasted from 1526 to 1813 AD. The Sultanate left many archaeological remains and historical records.[36]

Mar 4, 2015   Rev - 16