Middle East COT 600-1450

Posted by Paul Davis on 11/18/2017

Dearest WHAP'ers,

                 Here I sit as Connor sleeps reading another textbook called Th Earth nad its Peoples  by Bulliet and many others. It is a seventh edition of a textbook that is utilized by other WHAP classes around the world (yes, people take WHAP in other countries as well at American schools). I did'nt want to make Strayer jealous but wanted to get a grip on what others are reading about in Dar Al Islam ( gotta see what your competition is up to). His conclusion on page  266 of chapter 9 was that the Persian Sassanid and Byzantine empires in the 7th century held sway with dominant religios which "forged strong relations between the ruler and dominant religion". He mentions that this caused conflict between these two empires leading to division and a vacuum of authority which gave rise to Islam under the leadership of Muhammad. This reminded me of the Conrad-Demarest model of the rise of empires. Islam took adavantage of the vacuum and after Muhammad died the Ummuyaad and later Abbasid took the environmental mosaic that was the trade routes, adopting ideas from Persian bureaucracy to Greco-Roman Indian Scholarship and trading negotiations which would include items like joint stock companies, banking and checking caravanaseris, the use of the Dhow and lateen sail for trade connection across the seven seas ( Persian Gulf,Indian Ocean,Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Arabian Sea and Caspian Sea) and a period of golden age punctuated by tolerance ( Dimmi), laws ( Sharia) and unity ( Umma) that transcened color, language and ethnicity. As you probably remember from Friday's class, that which goes up invariably comes crashing down. This not only happens with teh Abbasid reversing patterns of tolerance, elevating the status of women and hiring corrupt advisers who would unscrupliously use the wealth for their own decadent reasons. Ultimately, nomadic invaders like the Turks and Mongols would by the deathknell for these once great Empires as Berbard Lewis will identify in the book "What went Wrong".  Professor Lewis has been targeted by some for teh purpose of minimizing Islam's role in the world today working for the government perhaps for the purpose of sending troops to Iraq in 2001 . There are always individuals who claim scholarly articles and books have a purpose for something other than the historical inquiry as we have seen 19th century scholars maintain an Eurocentric tone while others have a very biblical analysis. Its always important to realize and look for the varied perspective and multiple viewpoints historical before you come to your own decision. Well, enough of my stream of consciousness its time to provide what you are looking for...

I From 600-1450 in teh Middle East the banner of Islam would maintain religious and cultural unity despite political fragemntation, trade would increase due to the regulation of trade and Muslim diasporic communities and the once great Golden Age of Islam in the Abbasid Caliphate would crumble and fall due to the reversal of tolerance, elevation of women and corruption of rulers.

II. The Muslim Umma or community would transcend cultural and language boundaries and unite its adherents through the 5 pilars, hadith, Koran and Sharia. These concepts provided stability, order and followers to identify themselves not as being led by a ruler but followers of a larger relgious coommunity uniting all society.

III. Trade which existed over the Mediterranean and Silk and Indian routes would now incraese amongst Muslim diasporic communities in South Asia, West Africa, Central Asia and West Europe governed and managed by the laws and culture of Islam. Individuals would redistribute wealth through the Zakat ( charity) and would feel welcome as merchant travelers and greeted in Mosques and Madrassas ( schools) where trade would be fair and regulated using innovations like banking, joint ventures, and shipping utilizingdhows with their lateen sails.

IV. The rise of the Abbasid and all its innovations in science, math, trade, agriculture and justice would be reversed by Harun Al Rashd's decadents lifestyle, corrupt adviserss like Jafar and the seclusion of the women in the harem. The inability to propeerly maintain the day to day management of governing an empire by administering justice and fair taxation led to the fragmentation after his death with harem political infighting, agricultural degradation and the final blow of nomadic invaders leading to the toppling of the Caliphate and the assassination of the last Caliph by the nomads.

Well, I hope you find this helpful. Don't forget that a COT can be throughout the time periodization where you may pick and choose what supports your argument through evidence and analysis ( thats what I hope you find liberating and makes you a better writer). Practice makes better and while my writing is not very good, it just illustrtates that one should consistenly read and write with consistent practice. Thats  just my two cents so have a great weekend and don't forget to be awesome!!!!! Ok Connor is up now its time to continue the real job....parenting!!!!!