Islāmic world

Islāmic world

 prehistory and history of the Islamic community.

      Adherence to Islām 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 Karāchi, Pak. Despite the absence of large-scale Islāmic political entities, the Islāmic faith continues to expand, by some estimates faster than any other major religion.

      The Muslim religion and the life of the Prophet Muḥammad are treated specifically in the article Islām. The literature, music, dance, and visual arts of Muslim peoples are treated in the article Islāmic arts (Islamic arts). Islām 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 concepts—for example, Islam, Nation of (Nation of Islam); Sunnite; Shīʾite (Shīʿite); Ḥadīth.

      A very broad perspective is required to explain the history of today's Islāmic 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 Islām'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 Islāmic era is used, indicated by AH (Latin: anno Hegirae). The Islāmic era begins with the date of Muḥammad's emigration (hijrah) to Medina, which corresponds to July 16, 622, in the Gregorian calendar. The term Islāmic refers to Islām as a religion. The term Islāmicate refers to the social and cultural complex that is historically associated with Islām and the Muslims, even when found among non-Muslims. Islāmdom refers to that complex of societies in which the Muslims and their faith have been prevalent and socially dominant.

Prehistory (c. 3000 BCE–500 CE)
      The prehistory of Islāmdom is the history of central Afro-Eurasia from Hammurabi of Babylon to the Achaemenid Cyrus II in Persia to Alexander the Great to the Sāsānian emperor Nūshīrvān to Muḥammad in Arabia; or, in a Muslim view, from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Moses to Jesus to Muḥammad. The potential for Muslim empire building was established with the rise of the earliest civilizations in western Asia. It was refined with the emergence and spread of what have been called the region's Axial Age religions—Abrahamic, centred on the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, and Mazdean, focused on the Iranian deity Ahura Mazdāh—and their later relative, Christianity. It was facilitated by the expansion of trade from eastern Asia to the Mediterranean, and by the political changes thus effected. The Muslims were heirs to the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Hebrews, even the Greeks and Indians; the societies they created bridged time and space, from ancient to modern and from east to west.

The rise of agrarian-based citied societies
      In the 7th century CE a coalition of Arab groups, some sedentary and some migratory, inside and outside the Arabian Peninsula, seized political and fiscal control in western Asia, specifically of the lands between the Nile and Oxus (Amu Darya) rivers—territory formerly controlled by the Byzantines in the west and the Sāsānians in the east. The factors that surrounded and directed their accomplishment had begun to coalesce long before, with the emergence of agrarian-based citied societies in western Asia in the 4th millennium BCE. The rise of complex agrarian-based societies, such as Sumer, out of a subsistence agricultural and pastoralist environment, involved the founding of cities, the extension of citied power over surrounding villages, and the interaction of both with pastoralists.

      This type of social organization offered new possibilities. Agricultural production and intercity trading, particularly in luxury goods, increased. Some individuals were able to take advantage of the manual labour of others to amass enough wealth to patronize a wide range of arts and crafts; of these, a few were able to establish territorial monarchies and foster religious institutions with wider appeal. Gradually the familiar troika of court, temple, and market emerged. The new ruling groups cultivated skills for administering and integrating non-kin-related groups. They benefited from the increased use of writing and, in many cases, from the adoption of a single writing system, such as the cuneiform, for administrative use. New institutions, such as coinage, territorial deities, royal priesthoods, and standing armies, further enhanced their power.

      In such town-and-country complexes the pace of change quickened enough so that a well-placed individual might see the effects of his actions in his own lifetime and be stimulated to self-criticism and moral reflection of an unprecedented sort. The religion of these new social entities reflected and supported the new social environments. Unlike the religions of small groups, the religions of complex societies focused on deities, such as Marduk, Isis, or Mithra, whose appeal was not limited to one small area or group and whose powers were much less fragmented. The relationship of earthly existence to the afterlife became more problematic, as evidenced by the elaborate death rites of Pharaonic Egypt. Individual religious action began to compete with communal worship and ritual; sometimes it promised spiritual transformation and transcendence of a new sort, as illustrated in the pan-Mediterranean mystery religions. Yet large-scale organization had introduced social and economic injustices that rulers and religions could address but not resolve. To many, an absolute ruler uniting a plurality of ethnic, religious, and interest groups offered the best hope of justice.

Cultural core areas of the settled world
      By the middle of the 1st millennium BCE the settled world had crystallized into four cultural core areas: Mediterranean, Nile-to-Oxus, Indic, and East Asian. The Nile-to-Oxus, the future core of Islāmdom, was the least cohesive and the most complicated. Whereas each of the other regions developed a single language of high culture—Greek, Sanskrit, and Chinese, respectively—the Nile-to-Oxus region was a linguistic palimpsest of Irano-Semitic languages of several sorts: Aramaic, Syriac (eastern or Iranian Aramaic), and Middle Persian (the language of eastern Iran).

The Nile-to-Oxus region
      The Nile-to-Oxus region differed in climate and ecology, too. It lay at the centre of a vast arid zone stretching across Afro-Eurasia from the Sahara to the Gobi; it favoured those who could deal with aridity—not only states that could control flooding (as in Egypt), or maintain irrigation (as in Mesopotamia), but also pastoralists and oasis dwellers. Although its agricultural potential was severely limited, its commercial possibilities were virtually unlimited. Located at the crossroads of the trans-Asian trade and blessed with numerous natural transit points, the region offered special social and economic prominence to its merchants.

      The period from 800 to 200 BCE has been called the Axial Age because of its pivotal importance for the history of religion and culture. The world's first religions of salvation developed in the four core areas. From these traditions, for example, Judaism, Mazdeism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, derived all later forms of high religion, including Christianity and Islām. Unlike the religions that surrounded their formation, the Axial Age religions concentrated transcendent power into one locus, be it symbolized theistically or nontheistically. Their radically dualistic cosmology posited another realm, totally unlike the earthly realm and capable of challenging and replacing ordinary earthly values. The individual was challenged to adopt the right relationship with that “other” realm, so as to transcend mortality by earning a final resting place, or to escape the immortality guaranteed by rebirth by achieving annihilation of earthly attachment.

      In the Nile-to-Oxus region two major traditions arose during the Axial Age: the Abrahamic in the west and the Mazdean in the east. Because they required exclusive allegiance through an individual confession of faith in a just and judging deity, they are called confessional religions. The god of these religions was a unique all-powerful creator who remained active in history; and each event in the life of every individual was meaningful in terms of the judgment of God at the end of time. The universally applicable truth of these new religions was expressed in sacred writings. The traditions reflected the mercantile environment in which they were formed in their special concern for fairness, honesty, covenant keeping, moderation, law and order, accountability, and the rights of ordinary human beings. These values were always potentially incompatible with the elitism and absolutism of courtly circles. Most often, as for example in the case of the Achaemenid Empire, the conflict was expressed in rebellion against the crown or was adjudicated by viewing kingship as the guarantor of divine justice.

      Although modern Western historiography has projected an East–West dichotomy onto ancient times, Afro-Eurasian continuities and interactions were well established by the Axial Age and persisted throughout premodern times. The history of Islāmdom cannot be understood without reference to them. Through Alexander's conquests in the 4th century BCE in three of the four core areas, the Irano-Semitic cultures of the Nile-to-Oxus region were permanently overlaid with Hellenistic elements, and a link was forged between the Indian subcontinent and Iran. By the 3rd century CE, crosscutting movements like Gnosticism and Manichaeism integrated individuals from disparate cultures. Similarly organized large, land-based empires with official religions existed in all parts of the settled world. The Christian Roman Empire was locked in conflict with its counterpart to the east, the Zoroastrian–Mazdean Sāsānian Empire. Another Christian empire in East Africa, the Abyssinian, was involved alternately with each of the others. In the context of these regional interrelationships inhabitants of Arabia made their fateful entrance into international political, religious, and economic life.

The Arabian Peninsula
      The Arabian Peninsula consists of a large central arid zone punctuated by oases, wells, and small seasonal streams and bounded in the south by well-watered lands that are generally thin, sometimes mountainous coastal strips. To the north of the peninsula are the irrigated agricultural areas of Syria and Iraq, the site of large-scale states from the 4th millennium BCE. As early as the beginning of the 1st millennium BCE the southwest corner of Arabia, the Yemen, also was divided into settled kingdoms. Their language was a South Arabian Semitic dialect and their culture bore some affinity to Semitic societies in the Fertile Crescent. By the beginning of the Common Era (the 1st century AD in the Christian calendar) the major occupants of the habitable parts of the arid centre were known as Arabs. They were Semitic-speaking tribes of settled, semi-settled, and fully migratory peoples who drew their name and apparently their identity from what the camel-herding Bedouin pastoralists among them called themselves: ʾarab.

      Until the beginning of the 3rd century of the Common Era the greatest economic and political power in the peninsula rested in the relatively independent kingdoms of the Yemen. The Yemenis, with a knowledge of the monsoon winds, had evolved an exceptionally long and profitable trade route from East Africa across the Red Sea and from India across the Indian Ocean up through the peninsula into Iraq and Syria, where it joined older Phoenician routes across the Mediterranean and into the Iberian Peninsula. Their power depended on their ability to protect islands discovered in the Indian Ocean and to control the straits of Hormuz and Aden as well as the Bedouin caravanners who guided and protected the caravans that carried the trade northward to Arab entrepôts like Petra and Palmyra. Participation in this trade was in turn an important source of power for tribal Arabs, whose livelihood otherwise depended on a combination of intergroup raiding, agriculture, and animal husbandry.

      By the 3rd century, however, external developments began to impinge. In 226 Ardashīr I founded the Sāsānian Empire in Fars; within 70 years the Sāsānian state was at war with Rome, a conflict that was to last up to Islāmic times. The reorganization of the Roman Empire under Constantine the Great, with the adoption of a new faith, Christianity, and a new capital, Constantinople, exacerbated the competition with the Sāsānian Empire and resulted in the spreading of Christianity into Egypt and Abyssinia and the encouraging of missionizing in Arabia itself. There Christians encountered Jews who had been settling since the 1st century, as well as Arabs who had converted to Judaism. By the beginning of the 4th century the rulers of Abyssinia and Ptolemaic Egypt were interfering in the Red Sea area and carrying their aggression into the Yemen proper. In the first quarter of the 6th century the proselytizing efforts of a Jewish Yemeni ruler resulted in a massacre of Christians in the major Christian centre of Najrān. This event invited Abyssinian Christian reprisal and occupation, which put a virtual end to indigenous control of the Yemen. In conflict with the Byzantines, the Zoroastrian–Mazdean Sāsānians invaded Yemen toward the end of the 6th century, further expanding the religious and cultural horizons of Arabia, where membership in a religious community could not be apolitical and could even have international ramifications. The connection between communal affiliation and political orientations would be expressed in the early Muslim community and in fact has continued to function to the present day.

      The long-term result of Arabia's entry into international politics was paradoxical: it enhanced the power of the tribal Arabs at the expense of the “superpowers.” Living in an ecological environment that favoured tribal independence and small-group loyalties, the Arabs had never established lasting large-scale states, only transient tribal confederations. By the 5th century, however, the settled powers needed their hinterlands enough to foster client states: the Byzantines oversaw the Ghassānid kingdom; the Persians oversaw the Lakhmid; and the Yemenis (prior to the Abyssinian invasion) had Kindah. These relationships increased Arab awareness of other cultures and religions; and the awareness seems to have stimulated internal Arab cultural activity, especially the classical Arabic, or muḍarī, poetry, for which the pre-Islāmic Arabs are so famous. In the north, Arabic speakers were drawn into the imperial administrations of the Romans and Sāsānians; soon certain settled and semi-settled Arabs spoke and wrote Aramaic or Persian as well as Arabic, and some Persian or Aramaic speakers could speak and write Arabic. The prosperity of the 5th and 6th centuries, as well as the intensification of imperial rivalries in the late 6th century, seems to have brought the Arabs of the interior permanently into the wider network of communication that fostered the rise of the Muslim community at Mecca and Medina.

Formation and orientation (c. 500–634)

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 north–south and west–east routes, in one of the less naturally favoured Arab settlements of the Hejaz (al-Ḥijāz). 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 Quṣayy. During the generations before Muḥammad'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 ḥaram, 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 (ḥajj) to a local shrine, the Kaʾbah (Kaʿbah). The Kaʾbah housed the deities of visitors as well as the Meccans' supra-tribal creator and covenant-guaranteeing deity, called Allāh. 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 Muḥammad's birth. But the Byzantines and Sāsānians 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 Allāh's “daughters” known as al-Lāt, Manāt, and al-ʾUzzāh. Such qualified simplification and inclusivity, wherever they have occurred in human history, seem to have been associated with other fundamental changes—increased 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.

New social patterns among the Meccans and their neighbours
      The sedentation of the Quraysh and their efforts to create an expanding network of cooperative Arabs generated social stresses that demanded new patterns of behaviour. The ability of the Quraysh to solve their problems was affected by an ambiguous relationship between sedentary and migratory Arabs. Tribal Arabs could go in and out of sedentation easily, and kinship ties often transcended life-styles. The sedentation of the Quraysh did not involve the destruction of their ties with the Bedouin or their idealization of Bedouin life. Thus, for example, did wealthy Meccans, thinking Mecca unhealthy, often send their infants to Bedouin foster mothers. Yet the settling of the Quraysh at Mecca was no ordinary instance of sedentation. Their commercial success produced a society unlike that of the Bedouin and unlike that of many other sedentary Arabs. Whereas stratification was minimal among the Bedouin, a hierarchy based on wealth appeared among the Quraysh. Although a Bedouin group might include a small number of outsiders, such as prisoners of war, Meccan society was markedly diverse, including non-Arabs as well as Arabs, slave as well as free. Among the Bedouin, lines of protection for in-group members were clearly drawn; in Mecca, sedentation and socioeconomic stratification had begun to blur family responsibilities and foster the growth of an oligarchy whose economic objectives could easily supersede other motivations and values. Whereas the Bedouin acted in and through groups, and even regularized intergroup raiding and warfare as a way of life, Meccans needed to act in their own interest and to minimize conflict by institutionalizing new, broader social alliances and interrelationships. The market–shrine complex encouraged surrounding tribes to put aside their conflicts periodically and to visit and worship the deities of the Kaʾbah; but such worship, as in most complex societies, could not replace either the particularistic worship of small groups or the competing religious practices of other regional centres, such as aṭ-Ṭāʿif.

      Very little in the Arabian environment favoured the formation of stable, large-scale states. Therefore, Meccan efforts at centralization and unification might well have been transient, especially because they were not reinforced by any stronger power and because they depended almost entirely on the prosperity of a trade route that had been formerly controlled at its southern terminus and could be controlled elsewhere in the future, or exclude Mecca entirely. The rise of the Meccan system also coincided with the spread of the confessional religions, through immigration, missionization, conversion, and foreign interference. Alongside members of the confessional religions, unaffiliated monotheists, known as ḥanīfs, distanced themselves from the Meccan religious system by repudiating the old gods but embracing neither Judaism nor Christianity. Eventually in Mecca and elsewhere a few individuals came to envision the possibility of effecting supra-tribal association through a leadership role common to the confessional religions, that is, prophethood or messengership. The only such individual who succeeded in effecting broad social changes was a member of the Hāshim (Hāshem) clan of Quraysh named Muḥammad (Muhammad) ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʾAbd al-Muṭṭalib. One of their own, he accomplished what the Quraysh had started, first by working against them, later by working with them. When he was born, around 570, the potential for pan-Arab unification seemed nil; but after he died, in 632, the first generation of his followers were able not only to maintain pan-Arab unification but to expand far beyond the peninsula.

The Prophet Muḥammad
Muḥammad's years in Mecca
      Spiritual awakening. Any explanation of such an unprecedented development must include an analysis not only of Muḥammad's individual genius but also of his ability to articulate an ideology capable of appealing to multiple constituencies. His approach to the role of prophet allowed a variety of groups to conceptualize and form a single community. Muḥammad was, according to many students of social behaviour, particularly well placed to lead such a social movement; in both ascribed and acquired characteristics he was unusual. Although he was a member of a high-status tribe, he belonged to one of its less well-placed clans. He was fatherless at birth; his mother and grandfather died when he was young, leaving him under the protection of an uncle. Although he possessed certain admirable personality traits to an unusual degree, his commercial success derived not from his own status but from his marriage to a much older woman, a wealthy widow named Khadījah. During the years of his marriage, his personal habits grew increasingly atypical; he began to absent himself in the hills outside Mecca to engage in the solitary spiritual activity of the ḥanīfs. At age 40, while on retreat, he saw a figure, whom he later identified as the angel (Jibrīl) Gabriel, who forced him to repeat these words: “Recite (Qurʾān): In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. Recite: And your Lord is Most Generous. He teaches by the pen, teaches man what he knew not.” Although a few individuals, including his wife Khadījah, recognized his experience as that of a messenger of God, the contemporary religious life of most of the Meccans and the surrounding Arabs did not prepare them to share in this recognition easily.

      Arabs did recognize several other types of intermediaries with the sacred. Some of the kings of the Yemen are said to have had priestly functions; and tribal leaders, shaykhs, in protecting their tribes' hallowed custom (sunnah), had a spiritual dimension. Tribal Arabs also had their kāhins, religious specialists who delivered oracles in ecstatic rhymed prose (sajʾ) and read omens. They also had their shāʾirs, professionally trained oral poets who defended the group's honour, expressed its identity, and engaged in verbal duels with the poets of other groups. The power of the recited word was well established; the poets' words were even likened to arrows that could wound the unprotected enemy. Because Muḥammad's utterances seemed similar, at least in form, to those of the kāhins, many of his hearers naturally assumed that he was one of the figures with whom they were more familiar. Indeed, Muḥammad might not even have attracted attention had he not sounded like other holy men; but by eschewing any source other than the one supreme being, whom he identified as Allāh (“the god”) and whose message he regarded as cosmically significant and binding, he was gradually able to distinguish himself from all other intermediaries. Like many successful leaders Muḥammad broke through existing restraints by what might be called transformative conservatism. By combining familiar leadership roles with a less familiar one, he expanded his authority; by giving existing practices a new history, he reoriented them; by assigning a new cause to existing problems, he resolved them. His personal characteristics fit his historical circumstances perfectly.

Public recitations
      Muḥammad's first vision was followed by a brief lull, after which he began to hear messages frequently, entering a special physical state to receive them and returning to normalcy to deliver them orally. Soon he began publicly to recite warnings of an imminent reckoning by Allāh that disturbed the Meccan leaders. Muḥammad was one of their own, a man respected for his personal qualities. Yet weakening kinship ties and increasing social diversity were helping him attract followers from many different clans and also from among tribeless persons, giving all of them a new and potentially disruptive affiliation. The fundamentals of his message, delivered often in the vicinity of the Kaʾbah itself, questioned the very reasons for which so many people gathered there. If visitors to the Kaʾbah assumed, as so many Arabs did, that the deities represented by its idols were all useful and accessible in that place, Muḥammad spoke, as had Axial Age figures before, of a placeless and timeless deity that not only had created human beings, making them dependent on him, but would also bring them to account at an apocalypse of his own making. In place of time or chance, which the Arabs assumed to govern their destiny, Muḥammad installed a final reward or punishment based on individual actions. Such individual accountability to an unseen power that took no account whatsoever of kin relationships and operated beyond the Meccan system could, if taken seriously, undermine any authority the Quraysh had acquired. Muḥammad's insistence on the protection of the weak, which echoed Bedouin values, threatened the unbridled amassing of wealth so important to the Meccan oligarchy.

Efforts to reform Meccan society
      Yet Muḥammad also appealed to the town dweller by describing the human being as a member of a polis (city-state) and by suggesting ways to overcome the inequities that such an environment breeds. By insisting that an event of cosmic significance was occurring in Mecca, he made the town the rival of all the greater cities with which the Meccans traded. To Meccans who believed that what went on in their town and at their shrine was hallowed by tribal custom, sunnah, Muḥammad replied that their activities in fact were a corrupt form of a practice that had a very long history with the god of whom he spoke. In Muḥammad's view, the Kaʾbah (Kaʿbah) had been dedicated to the aniconic worship of the one God (Allāh) by Abraham, who fathered the ancestor of the Israelites, Isḥāq (Isaac), as well as the ancestor of the Arabs, Ismāʾīl (Ishmael). Muḥammad asked his hearers not to embrace something new, but to abandon the traditional in favour of the original. He appealed to his fellow Quraysh not to reject the sunnah of their ancestors, but rather to appreciate and fulfill its true nature. God should be worshiped not through offerings but through prayer and recitation of his messages, and his house should be emptied of its useless idols.

      In their initial rejection of his appeal, Muḥammad's Meccan opponents took the first step toward accepting the new idea: they attacked it. For it was their rejection of him, as well as his subsequent rejection by many Jews and Christians, that helped to forge Muḥammad's followers into a community with an identity of its own and capable of ultimately incorporating its opponents. Muḥammad's disparate following was exceptionally vulnerable, bound together not by kinship ties but by a “generic” monotheism that involved being faithful (muʿmin) to the message God was sending through their leader. Their vulnerability was mitigated by the absence of formal municipal discipline; but their opponents within Quraysh could apply informal pressures ranging from harassment and violence against the weakest to a boycott against Muḥammad's clan, who were persuaded by his uncle Ṭālib to remain loyal even though most of them were not his followers. Meanwhile Muḥammad and his closest associates were thinking about reconstituting themselves as a separate community in a less hostile environment. In about 612 some 80 of his followers made an emigration (hijrah) to Abyssinia, perhaps assuming that they would be welcome in a place that had a history of hostility to the Meccan oligarchy and that worshiped the same god who had sent Muḥammad to them; but they eventually returned without establishing a permanent community. During the next decade, continued rejection intensified the group's identity and its search for another home. Although the boycott against Muḥammad's clan began to disintegrate, the deaths of his wife and his uncle, in about 619, removed an important source of psychological and social support. Muḥammad had already begun to preach and attract followers at market gatherings outside Mecca; now he intensified his search for a more hospitable environment. In 620 he met with a delegation of followers from Yathrib (Medina), an oasis about 200 miles to the northeast; in the next two years their support grew into an offer of protection.

Muḥammad's emigration to Yathrib (Medina)
 Like Mecca, Yathrib was experiencing demographic problems: several tribal groups coexisted, descendants of its Arab Jewish founders as well as a number of pagan Arab immigrants divided into two tribes, the Aws and the Khazraj. Unable to resolve their conflicts, the Yathribis invited Muḥammad to perform the well-established role of neutral outside arbiter (ḥakam). In 622, having sent his followers ahead, he and one companion, Abū Bakr, completed the community's second and final emigration, barely avoiding Quraysh attempts to prevent his departure by force. By the time of the emigration a new label had begun to appear in Muḥammad's recitations to describe his followers; in addition to being described in terms of their faithfulness (īmān) to God and his messenger, they were also described in terms of their undivided attention, that is, as muslims, individuals who assumed the right relationship to God by surrendering (islām) to his will. Although the label muslim, derived from islām, eventually became a proper name for a specific historical community, at this point it appears to have expressed commonalty with other monotheists: like the others, muslims faced Jerusalem to pray; Muḥammad was believed to have been transported from Jerusalem to the heavens to talk with God; and Abraham, Noah, Moses, David, and Jesus, as well as Muḥammad, all were considered to be prophets (nabīs) and messengers of the same God. In Yathrib, however, conflicts between other monotheists and the muslims sharpened their distinctiveness.

The forging of Muḥammad's community
      As an autonomous community muslims might have become a tribal unit like those with whom they had affiliated, especially because the terms of their immigration gave them no special status. Yet under Muḥammad's leadership they developed a social organization that could absorb or challenge everyone around them. They became Muḥammad's ummah (“community”) because they had recognized and supported God's emissary (rasūl Allāh). The ummah's members differed from one another not by wealth or genealogical superiority but by the degree of their faith and piety; and membership in the community was itself an expression of faith. Anyone could join, regardless of origin, by following Muḥammad's lead, and the nature of members' support could vary. In the concept of ummah, Muḥammad supplied the missing ingredient in the Meccan system: a powerful abstract principle for defining, justifying, and stimulating membership in a single community.

      Muḥammad made the concept of ummah work by expanding his role as arbiter so as to become the sole spokesman for all residents of Yathrib, also known as Medina. Even though the agreement under which Muḥammad had emigrated did not obligate non-Muslims to follow him except in his arbitration, they necessarily became involved in the fortunes of his community. By protecting him from his Meccan enemies, the residents of Medina identified with his fate. Those who supported him as Muslims received special designations: the Medinans were called anṣār (“helpers”), and his fellow emigrants were distinguished as muhājirūn (“emigrants”). He was often able to use revelation to arbitrate. Because the terms of his emigration did not provide adequate financial support, he began to provide for his community through caravan raiding, a tactic familiar to tribal Arabs. By thus inviting hostility, he required all the Medinans to take sides. Initial failure was followed by success, first at Nakhlah, where the Muslims defied Meccan custom by violating one of the truce months so essential to Meccan prosperity and prestige. Their most memorable victory occurred in 624 at Badr, against a large Meccan force; they continued to succeed, with only one serious setback, at Uḥud in 625. From that time on, “conversion” to Islām involved joining an established polity, the successes of which were tied to its proper spiritual orientation, regardless of whether the convert shared that orientation completely. During the early years in Medina a major motif of Islāmic history emerged: the connection between material success and divine favour, which had also been prominent in the history of the Israelites.

The ummah's allies and enemies
      During these years, Muḥammad used his outstanding knowledge of tribal relations to act as a great tribal leader, or shaykh, further expanding his authority beyond the role that the Medinans had given him. He developed a network of alliances between his ummah and neighbouring tribes, and so competed with the Meccans at their own game. He managed and distributed the booty from raiding, keeping one-fifth for the ummah's overall needs and distributing the rest among its members. In return, members gave a portion of their wealth as zakat, to help the needy and to demonstrate their awareness of their dependence on God for all of their material benefits. Like other shaykhs, Muḥammad contracted numerous, often strategically motivated, marriage alliances. He was also more able to harass and discipline Medinans, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, who did not support his activities fully; he agitated in particular against the Jews, one of whose clans, the Banū Qaynuqa, he expelled.

      Increasingly estranged from nonresponsive Jews and Christians, he reoriented his followers' direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca. He formally instituted the ḥajj to Mecca and fasting during the month of Ramaḍān as distinctive cultic acts, in recognition of the fact that islām, a generic act of surrender to God, had become Islām, a proper-name identity distinguished not only from paganism but from other forms of monotheism as well. As more and more of Medina was absorbed into the Muslim community, and as the Meccans weakened, Muḥammad's authority expanded. He continued to lead a three-pronged campaign, against nonsupporters in Medina, against the Quraysh in Mecca, and against surrounding tribes; he even ordered raids into southern Syria. Eventually, Muḥammad became powerful enough to punish nonsupporters severely, especially those who leaned toward Mecca. For example, he had the men of the Qurayẓah clan of Jews in Medina executed after they failed to help him against the Meccan forces at the Battle of the Ditch in 627. But he also used force and diplomacy to bring in other Jewish and Christian groups. Because they were seen, unlike pagans, to have formed ummahs of their own around a revelation from God, Jews and Christians were entitled to pay for protection (dhimmah). Muḥammad thus set a precedent for another major characteristic of Islāmicate civilization, that of qualified religious pluralism under Muslim authority.

Muḥammad's later recitations
      During these years of warfare and consolidation, Muḥammad continued to transmit revealed recitations, though their nature began to change. Some commented on Muḥammad's situation, consoled and encouraged his community, explained the continuing resistance of the Meccans, and urged appropriate responses. Some told stories about figures familiar to Jews and Christians, cast in an Islāmic framework. Though still delivered in the form of God's direct speech, the messages became longer and less ecstatic, less urgent in their warnings if more earnest in their guidance. Eventually they focused on interpersonal regulations in areas of particular importance for a new community, such as sexuality, marriage, divorce, and inheritance. By this time certain Muslims had begun to write down what Muḥammad uttered or to recite passages for cultic worship (ṣalāt) and private devotion. The recited word, so important among the Arab tribes, had found a greatly enlarged significance. A competitor for Muḥammad's status as God's messenger even declared himself among a nonmember tribe; he was Maslamah of Yam)mah, who claimed to convey revelations from God. He managed to attract numerous Bedouin Arabs but failed to speak as successfully as Muḥammad to the various available constituencies.

      Activism in the name of God, both nonmilitary as well as military, would become a permanent strand in Muslim piety. Given the environment in which Muḥammad operated, his ummah was unlikely to survive without it; to compete as leader of a community he needed to exhibit military prowess. (Like most successful leaders, however, Muḥammad was a moderate and a compromiser; some of his followers were more militant and aggressive than he, and some were less so.) In addition, circumstantial necessity had ideological ramifications. Because Muḥammad as messenger was also, by divine providence, leader of an established community, he could easily define the whole realm of social action as an expression of faith. Thus Muslims were able to identify messengership with worldly leadership to an extent almost unparalleled in the history of religion. There had been activist prophets before Muḥammad, and there were activist prophets after him, but in no other religious tradition does the image of the activist prophet, and by extension the activist follower, have such a comprehensive and coherent justification in the formative period.

Islām at Muḥammad's death
      Muḥammad's continuing success gradually impinged on the Quraysh in Mecca. Some defected and joined his community. His marriage to a Quraysh woman provided him with a useful go-between. In 628 he and his followers tried to make an Islāmized ḥajj but were forestalled by the Meccans. At al-Ḥudaybiyah (Ḥudaybiyah, Pact of Al-), outside Mecca, Muḥammad granted a 10-year truce on the condition that the Meccans would allow a Muslim pilgrimage the next year. Even at this point, however, Muḥammad's control over his followers had its limits; his more zealous followers agreed to the pact only after much persuasion. As in all instances of charismatic leadership, persisting loyalty was correlated with continuing success. In the next year the Meccans allowed a Muslim ḥajj; and in the next, 630, the Muslims occupied Mecca without a struggle. Muḥammad began to receive deputations from many parts of Arabia. By his death in 632 he was ruler of virtually all of it.

      The Meccan Quraysh were allowed to become Muslims without shame. In fact, they quickly became assimilated to the actual muhājirūn, even though they had not emigrated to Yathrib themselves. Ironically, in defeat they had accomplished much more than they would have had they achieved victory: the centralization of all of Arabia around their polity and their shrine, the Kaʾbah, which had been emptied of its idols to be filled with an infinitely greater invisible power.

      Because intergroup conflict was banned to all members of the ummah on the basis of their shared loyalty to the emissary of a single higher authority, the limitations of the Meccan concept of ḥaram, according to which the city quarterly became a safe haven, could be overcome. The broader solidarity that Muḥammad had begun to build was stabilized only after his death; and this was achieved, paradoxically, by some of the same people who had initially opposed him. In the next two years one of his most significant legacies became apparent: the willingness and ability of his closest supporters to sustain the ideal and the reality of one Muslim community under one leader, even in the face of significant opposition. When Muḥammad (Muhammad) died, two vital sources of his authority ended—ongoing revelation and his unique ability to exemplify his messages on a daily basis. A leader capable of keeping revelation alive might have had the best chance of inheriting his movement; but no Muslim claimed messengership, nor had Muḥammad unequivocally designated any other type of successor. The anṣār, his early supporters in Medina, moved to elect their own leader, leaving the muhājirūn to choose theirs; but a small number of muhājirūn managed to impose one of their own over the whole. That man was Abū Bakr, one of Muḥammad's earliest followers and the father of his favourite wife, ʾĀʿishah. The title Abū Bakr took, khalīfah (caliph (Caliphate)), meaning deputy or successor, echoed revealed references to those who assist major leaders and even God himself. To khalīfah he appended rasūl Allāh, so that his authority was based on his assistance to Muḥammad as messenger of God.

Abū Bakr's succession
      Abū Bakr soon confronted two new threats: the secession of many of the tribes that had joined the ummah after 630 and the appearance among them of other prophet figures who claimed continuing guidance from God. In withdrawing, the tribes appear to have been able to distinguish loyalty to Muḥammad from full acceptance of the uniqueness and permanence of his message. The appearance of other prophets illustrates a general phenomenon in the history of religion: the volatility of revelation as a source of authority. When successfully claimed, it has almost no competitor; once opened, it is difficult to close; and, if it cannot be contained and focused at the appropriate moment, its power disperses. Jews and Christians had responded to this dilemma in their own ways; now it was the turn of the Muslims, whose future was dramatically affected by Abū Bakr's response. He put an end to revelation with a combination of military force and coherent rhetoric. He defined withdrawal from Muḥammad's coalition as ingratitude to or denial of God (the concept of kufr); thus he gave secession ( riddah) cosmic significance as an act of apostasy punishable, according to God's revealed messages to Muḥammad, by death. He declared that the secessionists had become Muslims, and thus servants of God, by joining Muḥammad; they were not free not to be Muslims, nor could they be Muslims, and thus loyal to God, under any leader whose legitimacy did not derive from Muḥammad. Finally, he declared Muḥammad to be the last prophet God would send, relying on a reference to Muḥammad in one of the revealed messages as khatm al-anbīyāʾ (“Seal of the Prophets”). In his ability to interpret the events of his reign from the perspective of Islām, Abū Bakr demonstrated the power of the new conceptual vocabulary Muḥammad had introduced.

      Had Abū Bakr not asserted the independence and uniqueness of Islām, the movement he had inherited could have been splintered or absorbed by other monotheistic communities or by new Islām-like movements led by other tribal figures. Moreover, had he not quickly made the ban on secession and intergroup conflict yield material success, his chances for survival would have been very slim, because Arabia's resources could not support his state. To provide an adequate fiscal base, Abū Bakr enlarged impulses present in pre-Islāmic Mecca and in the ummah. At his death he was beginning to turn his followers to raiding non-Muslims in the only direction where that was possible, the north. Migration into Syria and Iraq already had a long history; and Arabs, both migratory and settled, were already present there. Indeed some of them were already launching raids when ʾUmar I, Abū Bakr's acknowledged successor, assumed the caliphate in 634. The ability of the Medinan state to absorb random action into a relatively centralized movement of expansion testifies to the strength of the new ideological and administrative patterns inherent in the concept of ummah.

      The fusion of two once separable phenomena, membership in Muḥammad's community and faith in Islām—the mundane and the spiritual—would become one of Islām's most distinctive features. Becoming and being Muslim always involved doing more than it involved believing. On balance, Muslims have always favoured orthopraxy (correctness of practice) over orthodoxy (correctness of doctrine). Being Muslim has always meant making a commitment to a set of behavioral patterns because they reflect the right orientation to God. Where choices were later posed, they were posed not in terms of religion and politics, or church and state, but between living in the world the right way or the wrong way. Just as classical Islāmicate languages developed no equivalents for the words religion and politics, modern European languages have developed no adequate terms to capture the choices as Muslims have posed them.

Conversion and crystallization (634–870)

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 ʿAbbāsids. 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 Islām 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 Islām'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 Muḥammad and Abū Bakr, may have actually been encouraged by persisting minority status. While Muslims were a minority, they naturally formed a conception of Islāmic dominance as territorial rather than religious; and of unconverted non-Muslim communities as secondary members. In one important respect the Islāmic 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 Muḥammad fulfilled and redirected ongoing tendencies in Arabia, the builders of early Islāmicate civilization carried forth and transformed developments in the Roman and Sāsānian territories in which they first dominated. While Muḥammad was emerging as a leader in the Hejaz, the Byzantine and Sāsānian emperors were ruling states that resembled what the Islāmicate empire was to become. Byzantine rule stretched from North Africa into Syria and sometimes Iraq; the Sāsānians 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 languages—various 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 Sāsānian empire declared an official religion, Christianity and Zoroastrian–Mazdaism, respectively. The Sāsānian 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-Ḥīrah, 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 Sāsānians had been in conflict for a century; in the most recent exchanges, the Sāsānians had established direct rule in al-Ḥīrah, further exposing its many Arabs to their administration. When the Arab conquests began, representatives of Byzantine and Sāsānian rule on Arabia's northern borders were not strong enough to resist.

ʿUmar I's (Umar Iʿ) succession
The spirit of conquest under ʿUmar I
      Abū Bakr's successor in Medina, ʿUmar I (ruled 634–644), 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 muqātilah, could generally accomplish much more with Medina's support than without. ʿUmar, one of Muḥammad'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 Khālid ibn al-Walīd. 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 Dār al-Islām, and the zone into which they could and should expand, the Dār al-Ḥarb, the abode of war. The norms of ʿUmar's new elite were supplied by Islām as it was then understood. Taken together, Muḥammad's revelations from God and his sunnah (sunna) (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 (jihād) in the community's behalf.

Forging the link of activism with faithfulness
      ʿUmar symbolized this conception of the ummah in two ways. He assumed an additional title, amīr al-muʾminīn (“commander of the faithful”), which linked organized activism with faithfulness (īmān), the earliest defining feature of the Muslim (Muslim calendar). He also adopted a lunar calendar that began with the emigration (hijrah), the moment at which a group of individual followers of Muḥammad had become an active social presence. Because booty was the ummah's major resource, ʿUmar concentrated on ways to distribute and sustain it. He established a dīwān (divan), or register, to pay all members of the ruling elite and the conquering forces, from Muḥammad's family on down, in order of entry into the ummah. The immovable booty was kept for the state. After the government's fifth-share of the movable booty was reserved, the rest was distributed according to the dīwān. The muqātilah he stationed as an occupying army in garrisons (amṣār) constructed in locations strategic to further conquest: al-Fusṭāṭ in Egypt, Damascus in Syria, Kūfah and Basra in Iraq. The garrisons attracted indigenous population and initiated significant demographic changes, such as a population shift from northern to southern Iraq. They also inaugurated the rudiments of an “Islāmic” daily life; each garrison was commanded by a caliphal appointee, responsible for setting aside an area for prayer, a mosque (masjid), named for the prostrations (sujūd) that had become a characteristic element in the five daily worship sessions (ṣalāts). There the fighters could hear God's revelations to Muḥammad recited by men trained in that emerging art. The most pious might commit the whole to memory. There, too, the Friday midday ṣalāt could be performed communally, accompanied by an important educational device, the sermon (khuṭbah), through which the fighters could be instructed in the principles of the faith. The mosque fused the practical and the spiritual in a special way: because the Friday prayer included an expression of loyalty to the ruler, it could also provide an opportunity to declare rebellion.

      The series of ongoing conquests that fueled this system had their most extensive phase under ʿUmar and his successor ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān (ruled 644–656). Within 25 years, Muslim Arab forces created the first empire permanently to link western Asia with the Mediterranean. Within another century, Muslim conquerors surpassed the achievement of Alexander the Great, not only in the durability of their accomplishment but in its scope as well, reaching from the Iberian Peninsula to Central Asia. Resistance was generally slight and nondestructive, and conquest through capitulation was preferred to conquest by force. After Sāsānian al-Ḥīrah fell in 633, a large Byzantine force was defeated in Syria, opening the way to the final conquest of Damascus in 636. The next year, further gains were made in Sāsānian territory, especially at the Battle of al-Qādisīyah; in the next, the focus returned to Syria and the taking of Jerusalem. By 640, Roman control in Syria was over; by 641, the Sāsānians had lost all of their territory west of Zagros. During the years 642 to 646 Egypt was taken under the leadership of ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ, who soon began raids into what the Muslims called the Maghrib, the lands west of Egypt. Shortly thereafter, in the east, Persepolis fell; in 651 the defeat and assassination of the last Sāsānian emperor, Yazdegerd III, marked the end of the 400-year-old Sāsānian Empire.

ʿUthmān's succession and policies
Discontent in ʿUthmān's (Uthmān ibn ʿAffānʿ) reign
      This phase of conquest ended under ʿUthmān and ramified widely. ʿUthmān may even have sent an emissary to China in 651; by the end of the 7th century Arab Muslims were trading there. The fiscal strain of such expansion and the growing independence of local Arabs outside the peninsula underlay the persisting discontents that surfaced toward the end of ʿUthmān's reign. The very way in which he was made caliph had already signaled the potential for competition over leadership and resources. Perceived as pliable and docile, he was the choice of the small committee charged by the dying ʿUmar with selecting one of their own number. Once in office, however, ʿUthmān acted to establish the power of Medina over and against some of the powerful Quraysh families at Mecca and local notables outside Arabia. He was accused of nepotism for relying on his own family, the Banū Umayyah, whose talents ʿUmar had already recognized. Among his many other “objectionable” acts was his call for the production of a single standard collection of Muḥammad's messages from God, which was known simply as the Qurʾān (“Recitation” or “Recitations”). Simultaneously he ordered the destruction of any other collections. Although they might have differed only in minor respects, they represented the independence of local communities. Above all, ʿUthmān was the natural target of anyone dissatisfied with the distribution of the conquest's wealth, since he represented and defended a system that defined all income as Medina's to distribute.

      The difficulties of ʿUthmān's reign took more than a century to resolve. They were the inevitable result not just of the actions of individuals but of the whole process initiated by Muḥammad's achievements. His coalition had been fragile. He had disturbed existing social arrangements without being able to reconstruct and stabilize new ones quickly. Into a society organized along family lines, he had introduced the supremacy of trans-kinship ties. Yet he had been forced to make use of kinship ties himself; and, despite his egalitarian message, he had introduced new inequities by granting privileges to the earliest and most intensely devoted followers of his cause. Furthermore, personal rivalries were stimulated by his charisma; individuals like his wife ʿĀʾishah, his daughter Fāṭimah, and her husband ʿAlī frequently vied for his affection. ʿUmar's dīḳān had, then, reinforced old inequities by extending privileges to wealthy high-placed Meccans, and it had introduced new tensions by assigning a lower status to those, indigenous or immigrant to the provinces, who joined the cause later (but who felt themselves to be making an equivalent or greater contribution). Other tensions resulted from conditions in the conquered lands: the initial isolation of Arab Muslims, and even Arab Christians who fought with them, from the indigenous non-Arab population; the discouragement of non-Arab converts, except as clients (mawālī) of Arab tribes; the administrative dependence of peninsular Arabs on local Arabs and non-Arabs; and the development of a tax system that discriminated against non-Muslims.

Intra-Muslim conflicts
      The ensuing conflicts were played out in a series of intra-Muslim disputes that began with ʿUthmān's assassination and continued to the end of the period under discussion. The importance of kinship ties persisted, but they were gradually replaced by the identities of a new social order. These new identities resulted from Muslim responses to anti-Muslim activity as well as from Muslim participation in a series of controversies focused on the issue of leadership. Because the ummah, unified under one leader, was seen as an earthly expression of God's favour, and because God was seen as the controller of all aspects of human existence, the identities formed in the course of the ummah's early history could fuse dimensions that secular modern observers are able to distinguish—religious, social, political, and economic. Furthermore, intra-Muslim rivalries changed during the conversion period; the meaningfulness of the new identities expanded as non-Muslims contributed to Islām's formation, through opposition or through conversion, and the key issues broadened as the participating constituencies enlarged. At first the disputes were coterminous with intra-Arab, indeed even intra-Quraysh, rivalries; only later did they involve persons of other backgrounds. Thus the faith of Islām was formed in conjunction with the crises that attended the establishment of rule by Muslims. Muslims might have produced an extremely localized and exclusivistic religion; but in spite of, and perhaps because of, their willingness to engage in continuing internal conflicts, they produced one of the most unified religious traditions in human history.

The four fitnahs (fitnah)
      By the end of the period of conversion and crystallization, Muslim historians would retrospectively identify four discrete periods of conflict and label them fitnahs, trials or temptations to test the unity of the ummah. Many historians also came to view some identities formed during the fitnahs as authentic and others as deviant. This retrospective interpretation may be anachronistic and misleading. The entire period between 656 and the last quarter of the 9th century was conflict-ridden, and the fitnahs merely mark periods of intensification; yet the most striking characteristic of the period was the pursuit of unity.

The first fitnah
      In the first two fitnahs the claimants to the caliphate relied on their high standing among the Quraysh and their local support in either Arabia, Iraq, or Syria. Competition for the caliphate thus reflected rivalries among the leading Arab families as well as regional interests. The first fitnah occurred between ʿUthmān's assassination in 656 and the accession of his kinsman Muʿāwiyah I in 661 and included the caliphate of Alīʿ, the cousin and son-in-law of Muḥammad. It involved a three-way contest between ʿAlī's party in Iraq; a coalition of important Quraysh families in Mecca, including Muḥammad's wife Āʾishahʿ and Ṭalḥah and Zubayr; and the party of Muʿāwiyah, the governor of Syria and member of ʿUthmān's clan, the Banū Umayyah. Ostensibly the conflict focused on whether ʿUthmān had been assassinated justly, whether ʿAlī had been involved, and whether ʿUthmān's death should be avenged by Muʿāwiyah or by the leading Meccans. ʿAlī and his party (shīʿah) at first gained power over the representatives of the other leading Meccan families, then lost it permanently to Muʿāwiyah, who elevated Damascus, which had been his provincial capital, to the status of imperial capital. Disappointed at the Battle of Ṣiffīn (Ṣiffīn, Battle of) (657) with ʿAlī's failure to insist on his right to rule, a segment of his partisans withdrew, calling themselves accordingly Khawārij (Khārijite) (Kharijites; “seceders”). Their spiritual heirs would come to recognize any pious Muslim as leader. Meanwhile, another segment of ʿAlī's party intensified their loyalty to him as a just and heroic leader who was one of Muḥammad's dearest intimates and the father of his only male descendants.

The second fitnah
      The second fitnah followed Muʿāwiyah's caliphate (661–680), which itself was not free from strife, and coincided with the caliphates of Muʿāwiyah's son Yazīd I (ruled 680–683), whom he designated as successor, and Yazīd's three successors. This fitnah was a second-generation reprise of the first; some of the personnel of the former were descendants or relatives of the leaders of the latter. Once again, different regions supported different claimants, as new tribal divisions emerged in the garrison towns; and once again, representatives of the Syrian Umayyads prevailed. In 680, at Karbalāʾ in Iraq, Yazīd's army murdered al-Ḥusayn (Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, al-), a son of ʿAlī and grandson of Muḥammad, along with a small group of supporters, accusing them of rebellion; and even though the Umayyads subdued Iraq, rebellions in the name of this or that relative of ʿAlī continued, attracting more and more non-Arab support and introducing new dimensions to his cause. In the Hejaz, the Marwānid branch of the Umayyads (Umayyad Dynasty), descendants of Marwān I (Marwān I ibn al-Hakam) who claimed the caliphate in 685, fought against Abd Allāh ibn az-Zubayrʿ for years; by the time they defeated him, they had lost most of Arabia to Kharijite rebels.

      During the period of the first two fitnahs, resistance to Muslim rule was an added source of conflict. Some of this resistance took the form of syncretic or anti-Islāmic religious movements. For example, during the second fitnah, in Iraq a Jew named Abū ʿIṣafhānī led a syncretic movement (that is, a movement combining different forms of belief or practice) on the basis of his claim to be a prophet (an option not generally open to Muslim rebels) and forerunner of the messiah. He viewed Muḥammad, as well as Jesus, as messengers sent not to all humanity but only to their own communities; so he urged each community to continue in its own tradition as he helped prepare for the coming of the messiah. In other areas, such as the newly conquered Maghrib, resistance took the form of large-scale military hostility. In the 660s the Umayyads had expanded their conflict with the Byzantine Empire by competing for bases in coastal North Africa; it soon became clear, however, that only a full-fledged occupation would serve their purposes. That occupation was begun by ʿUqbah ibn Nāfiʿ, the founder of al-Qayrawān (Kairouan, in modern Tunisia) and, as Sidi (Saint) ʿUqbah, the first of many Maghribi Muslim saints. It eventually resulted in the incorporation of large numbers of pagan or Christianized Berber tribes, the first large-scale forcible incorporation of tribal peoples since the secession of tribes under Abū Bakr. But first the Arab armies met fierce resistance from two individuals—one a man, Kusaylah, and one a woman, al-Kāhinah—who became Berber heroes. Berber resistance was not controlled until the end of the 7th century, after which the Berbers participated in the further conquest of the Maghrib and the Iberian peninsula.

The emergent Islāmic civilization
      During the caliphate of Abd al-Malikʿ ibn Marwān (ruled 685–705), which followed the end of the second fitnah, and under his successors during the next four decades, the problematic consequences of the conquests became much more visible. Like their Byzantine and late Sāsānian predecessors, the Marwānid caliphs nominally ruled the various religious communities but allowed the communities' own appointed or elected officials to administer most internal affairs. Yet now the right of religious communities to live in this fashion was justified by the Qurʾān and sunnah; as peoples with revealed books ( Ahl al-Kitāb), they deserved protection (dhimmah) in return for a payment. The Arabs also formed a single religious community whose right to rule over the non-Arab protected communities the Marwānids sought to maintain.

      To signify this supremacy, as well as his co-optation of previous legitimacy, ʿAbd al-Malik ordered the construction of the Dome of the Rock, a monumental mosque, in Jerusalem, a major centre of non-Muslim population. The site chosen was sacred to Jews and Christians because of its associations with biblical history; it held added meaning for Muslims, who believed it to be the starting point for Muḥammad's miʿrāj (midnight journey to heaven). Although this and other early mosques resembled contemporary Christian churches, gradually an Islāmic aesthetic emerged: a dome on a geometrical base, accompanied by a minaret from which to deliver the call to prayer; and an emphasis on surface decoration that combined arabesque and geometrical design with calligraphic representations of God's Word. ʿAbd al-Malik took other steps to mark the distinctiveness of Islāmic rule: for example, he encouraged the use of Arabic as the language of government and had Islāmized coins minted to replace the Byzantine and Sāsānian-style coinage that had continued to be used since the conquests. During the Marwānid period, the Muslim community was further consolidated by the regularization of the public cult and the crystallization of a set of five minimal duties (sometimes called pillars).

      Yet the Marwānids also depended heavily on the help of non-Arab administrative personnel (kuttāb; singular, kātib) and on administrative practices (e.g., a set of government bureaus) inherited from Byzantine and, in particular, late Sāsānian practice. Pre-Islāmic writings on governance translated into Arabic, especially from Middle Persian, influenced caliphal style. The governing structure at Damascus and in the provinces began to resemble pre-Islāmic monarchy, and thus appealed to a majority of subjects, whose heritage extolled the absolute authority of a divinely sanctioned ruler. Much of the inspiration for this development came from ʿAbd al-Malik's administrator in the eastern territories, al-Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf ath-Thaqafī (Ḥajjāj, al-), who was himself an admirer of Sāsānian practice.

      The Marwānid caliphs, as rulers of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, had thus been forced to respond to a variety of expectations. Ironically, it was their defense of the importance and distinctiveness of the Arabic language and the Islāmic community, not their responsiveness to non-Muslim preferences, that prepared the way for the gradual incorporation of most of the subject population into the ummah. As the conquests slowed and the isolation of the fighters (muqātilah) became less necessary, it became more and more difficult to keep Arabs garrisoned. The sedentation of Arabs that had begun in the Hejaz was being repeated and extended outside the peninsula. As the tribal links that had so dominated Umayyad politics began to break down, the meaningfulness of tying non-Arab converts to Arab tribes as clients was diluted; moreover, the number of non-Muslims who wished to join the ummah was already becoming too large for this process to work effectively.

      Simultaneously, the growing prestige and elaboration of things Arabic and Islāmic made them more attractive, to non-Arab Muslims and to non-Muslims alike. The more the Muslim rulers succeeded, the more prestige their customs, norms, and habits acquired. Heirs to the considerable agricultural and commercial resources of the Nile-to-Oxus region, they increased its prosperity and widened its horizons by extending its control far to the east and west. Arabic (Arabic language), which occasionally had been used for administrative purposes in earlier empires, now became a valuable lingua franca. As Muslims continued to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, they needed Arabic to reflect upon and elaborate what they had inherited from the Hejaz. Because the Qurʾān, translation of which was prohibited, was written in a form of Arabic that quickly became archaic to Muslims living in the garrisons, and because it contained references to life in Arabia before and during Muḥammad's time, full understanding of the text required special effort. Scholars began to study the religion and poetry of the jāhilīyah, the times of ignorance before God's revelation to Muḥammad. Philologians soon emerged, in the Hejaz as well as in the garrisons. Many Muslims cultivated reports, which came to be known as Ḥadīth, of what Muḥammad had said and done, in order to develop a clearer and fuller picture of his sunnah. These materials were sometimes gathered into accounts of his campaigns, called maghāzī The emulation of Muḥammad's sunnah was a major factor in the development of recognizably “Muslim” styles of personal piety and public decision making. As differences in the garrisons needed to be settled according to “Islāmic” principles, the caliphs appointed arbitrating judges, qāḍīs, who were knowledgeable in Qurʾān and sunnah. The pursuit of legal knowledge, fiqh, was taken up in many locales and informed by local pre-Islāmic custom and Islāmic resources. These special forms of knowledge began to be known as ʿulūm (singular, ʿilm); the persons who pursued them, as ʿulamāʾ (ulama) (singular, ʿālim), a role that provided new sources of prestige and influence, especially for recent converts or sons of converts.

      Muslims outside Arabia were also affected by interacting with members of the religious communities over which they ruled. When protected non-Muslims converted, they brought new expectations and habits with them; Islāmic eschatology is one area that reflects such enrichment. Unconverted protected groups (dhimmīs) were equally influential. Expressions of Islāmic identity often had to take into account the critique of non-Muslims, just as the various non-Muslim traditions were affected by contact with Muslims. This interaction had special consequences in the areas of prophethood and revelation, where major shifts and accommodations occurred among Jews, Christians, Mazdeans, and Muslims during the first two centuries of their coexistence. Muslims attempted to establish Muḥammad's legitimacy as an heir to Jewish and Christian prophethood, while non-Muslims tried to distinguish their prophets and scriptures from Muḥammad and the Qurʾān. Within the emergent Islāmicate civilization, the separate religious communities continued to go their own way; but the influence of Muslim rule and the intervention of the caliphs in their internal affairs could not help but affect them. The Babylonian Talmud, completed during these years, bears traces of early interaction among communities. In Iraq caliphal policy helped promote the Jewish gaons (local rabbinic authorities) over the exilarch (a central secular leader). Mazdeans turned to the Nestorian Church to avoid Islām, or reconceptualized Zoroaster as a prophet sent to a community with a Book. With the dhimmī system (the system of protecting non-Muslims for payment), Muslim rulers formalized and probably intensified pre-Islāmic tendencies toward religious communalization. Furthermore, the greater formality of the new system could protect the subject communities from each other as well as from the dominant minority. So “converting” to Islām, at least in the Nile-to-Oxus region, meant joining one recognizably distinct social entity and leaving another. One of the most significant aspects of many Muslim societies was the inseparability of “religious” affiliation and group membership, a phenomenon that has translated poorly into the social structures of modern Muslim nations. In the central caliphal lands of the early 8th century, membership in the Muslim community offered the best chance for social and physical mobility, regardless of a certain degree of discrimination against non-Arabs. Among many astounding examples of this mobility is the fact that several of the early governors and independent dynasts of Egypt and the Maghrib were grandsons of men born in Central Asia.

      The Marwānid Maghrib illustrates a kind of conversion more like that of the peninsular Arabs. After the defeat of initial Berber resistance movements, the Arab conquerors of the Maghrib quickly incorporated the Berber tribes en masse into the Muslim community, turning them immediately to further conquests. In 710 an Arab–Berber army set out for the Iberian Peninsula under the leadership of Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād (the name Gibraltar is derived from Jabal Ṭāriq, or “Mountain of Ṭāriq”). They defeated King Roderick in 711; raided into and through the Iberian Peninsula, which they called al-Andalūs; and ruled in the name of the Umayyad caliph. The Andalusian Muslims never had serious goals across the Pyrenees. In 732 Charles Martel encountered not a Muslim army but a summer raiding party; despite his “victory” over that party, Muslims continued their seasonal raiding along the southern French coast for many years. Muslim Andalusia is particularly interesting because there the pressure for large-scale conversion that was coming to plague the Umayyads in Syria, Iraq, and Iran never developed. Muslims may never have become a majority throughout their 700-year Andalusian presence. Non-Muslims entered into the Muslim realm as Mozarabs, Christians who had adopted the language and manners, rather than the faith, of the Arabs. Given essentially the same administrative arrangements, the Iberian Christian population was later restored to dominance, while the Syrian Christian population was drastically reduced; but the Iberian Jewish population all but disappeared while the Nile-to-Oxus Jewish population survived.

      The Berbers who remained in the Maghrib illustrate the mobility of ideologies and institutions from the central lands to more recently conquered territories. No sooner had they given up anti-Muslim resistance and joined the Muslim community than they rebelled again; but this time an Islāmic identity, Kharijism (Khārijite), provided the justification. Kharijite ideas had been carried to the Maghrib by refugees from the numerous revolts against the Marwānids. Kharijite egalitarianism suited the economic and social grievances of the Berbers as non-Arab Muslims under Arab rule. The revolts outlasted the Marwānids; they resulted in the first independent Maghribi dynasty, the Rustamid, founded by Muslims of Persian descent. The direct influence of the revolts was felt as late as the 10th century and survives among small communities in Tunisia and Algeria.

The third fitnah
      Meanwhile, in the central caliphal lands, growing discontent with the emerging order crystallized in a multifaceted movement of opposition to the Marwānids. It culminated in the third fitnah (744–750), which resulted in the establishment of a new and final dynasty of caliphs, the ʿAbbāsids. Ever since the second fitnah, a number of concerned and self-conscious Muslims had begun to raise serious questions about the proper Muslim life and the Marwānids' ability to exemplify it, and to answer them by reference to key events in the ummah's history. Pious Muslims tried to define a good Muslim and to decide whether a bad Muslim should be excluded from the community, or a bad caliph from office. They also considered God's role in determining a person's sinfulness and final dispensation. The proper relationship between Arab and non-Arab Muslims, and between Muslims and dhimmīs, was another important and predictable focus of reflection. The willingness of non-Arabs to join the ummah was growing; but the Marwānids had not found a solution that was either ideologically acceptable or fiscally sound. Because protected non-Muslim groups paid special taxes, fiscal stability seemed to depend on continuing to discourage conversion. One Marwānid, Umar IIʿ (ruled 717–720), experimented unsuccessfully with a just solution. In these very practical and often pressing debates lay the germs of Muslim theology, as various overlapping positions, not always coterminous with political groupings, were taken: rejecting the history of the community by demanding rule by Muḥammad's family; rejecting the history of the community by following any pious Muslim and excluding any sinner; or accepting the history of the community, its leaders, and most of its members.

      In the course of these debates the Marwānid caliphs began to seem severely deficient to a significant number of Muslims of differing persuasions and aspirations. Direct and implied criticism began to surface. Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, al-), a pious ascetic and a model for the early ṣūfīs, called on the Marwānids to rule as good Muslims, and on good Muslims to be suspicious of worldly power. Ibn Isḥāq composed an account of Muḥammad's messengership that emphasized the importance of the anṣār, the Yathribi tribes that accepted Muḥammad, and by implication the non-Arab converts (from whom Ibn Isḥāq himself was descended). The Marwānids were accused of bidʿah, new actions for which there were no legitimate Islāmic precedents. Their continuation of pre-Islāmic institutions—the spy system, extortion of deposed officials by torture, and summary execution—were some of their most visible “offenses.” To the pious, the ideal ruler, or imām (imam) (the word also for a Muslim who led the ṣalāt), should, like Muḥammad, possess special learning and knowledge. The first four caliphs, they argued, had been imāms in this sense; but under the Umayyads the caliphate had been reduced to a military and administrative office devoid of imāmah, of true legitimacy. This piety-minded opposition to the Umayyads, as it has been aptly dubbed, now began to talk about a new dispensation. Some of the most vocal members found special learning and knowledge only in Muḥammad's family. Some defined Muḥammad's family broadly to include any Hāshimite; others, more narrowly, to include only descendants of ʿAlī. As the number of Muḥammad's descendants through ʿAlī had grown, numerous rebellions had broken out in the name of one or the other, drawing on various combinations of constituencies and reflecting a wide spectrum of Islāmic and pre-Islāmic aspirations.

      In the late Marwānid period, the piety-minded opposition found expression in a movement organized in Khorāsān (Khurasan) by Abū Muslim, a semisecret operative of one particularly ambitious Hāshimite family, the ʿAbbāsids (Abbāsid Dynastyʿ). The ʿAbbāsids, who were kin but not descendants of Muḥammad, claimed also to have inherited, a generation earlier, the authority of one of ʿAlī's actual descendants, Abū Hāshim. Publicly Abū Muslim called for any qualified member of Muḥammad's family to become caliph; but privately he allowed the partisans (shīʿah) of ʿAlī to assume that he meant them. Abū Muslim ultimately succeeded because he managed to link the concerns of the piety-minded in Syria and Iraq with Khorāsānian discontent. He played upon the grievances of its Arab tribes against the tribes of Syria and their representatives in the Khorāsānian provincial government, and on the millennial expectations of non-Arab converts and non-Muslims disenchanted with the injustices of Marwānid rule.

      When in 750 the army organized and led by Abū Muslim succeeded in defeating the last Marwānid ruler, his caliph-designate represented only one segment of this broad coalition. He was the head of the ʿAbbāsid (Umayyad Dynasty) family, Abū al-ʿAbbās as-Saffāḥ, who now subordinated the claims of the party of ʿAlī to those of his own family, and who promised to restore the unity of the ummah, or jamāʿah. The circumstances of his accession reconfigured the piety-minded opposition that had helped bring him to power. The party (shīʿah) of ʿAlī refused to accept the compromise the ʿAbbāsids offered. Their former fellow-opponents did accept membership in the reunified jamāʿah, isolating the People of the Shīʿah and causing them to define themselves in terms of more radical points of view. Those who accepted the early ʿAbbāsids came to be known as the People of the Sunnah and Jamāʿah. They accepted the cumulative historical reality of the ummah's first century: all of the decisions of the community, and all of the caliphs it had accepted, had been legitimate, as would be any subsequent caliph who could unite the community. The concept of fitnah acquired a fully historicist meaning: if internal discord were a trial sent by God, then any unifying victor must be God's choice.

Sunnites (Sunnite) and Shīʾites
      The historicists came to be known as Sunnites, their main opponents, as Shīʿites (Shīʿite). These labels are somewhat misleading, because they imply that only the Sunnites tried to follow the sunnah of Muḥammad. In fact, each group relied on the sunnah, but emphasized different elements. For the Sunnites, who should more properly be called the Jamāʿi-Sunnites, the principle of solidarity was essential to the sunnah. The Shīʿites argued that the fundamental element of the sunnah, and one willfully overlooked by the Jamāʿi-Sunnites, was Muḥammad's devotion to his family and his wish that they succeed him through ʿAlī. These new labels expressed and consolidated the social reorganization that had been under way since the beginning of the conquests. The vast majority of Muslims now became consensus-oriented, while a small minority became oppositional. The inherent inimitability of Muḥammad's role had made it impossible for any form of successorship to capture universal approval.

      When the ʿAbbāsids denied the special claims of the family of ʿAlī, they prompted the Shīʿites to define themselves as a permanent opposition to the status quo. The crystallization of Shīʿism into a movement of protest received its greatest impetus during and just after the lifetime of one of the most influential Shīʿite leaders of the early ʿAbbāsid period, Jaʿfar aṣ-Ṣādiq (Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad); 765). Jaʿfar's vision and leadership allowed the Shīʿites to understand their chaotic history as a meaningful series of efforts by truly pious and suffering Muslims to right the wrongs of the majority. The leaders of the minority had occupied the office of imām, the central Shīʿite institution, which had been passed on from the first imām, ʾAlī, by designation down to Jaʿfar, the sixth. To protect his followers from increasing Sunnite hostility to the views of radical Shīʿites, known as the ghulāt (“extremists”), who claimed prophethood for ʿAlī, Jaʿfar made a distinction that both protected the uniqueness of prophethood and established the superiority of the role of imām. Since prophethood had ended, its true intent would die without the imāms, whose protection from error allowed them to carry out their indispensable task.

      Although Jaʿfar did develop an ideology that invited Sunnite toleration, he did not unify all Shīʿites. Differences continued to be expressed through loyalty to various of his relatives. During Jaʿfar's lifetime, his uncle Zayd revolted in Kūfah (740), founding the branch of the Shīʿism known as the Zaydīyah (Zaydis), or Fivers (for their allegiance to the fifth imām), who became particularly important in southern Arabia. Any pious follower of ʿČīī could become their imām, and any imām could be deposed if he behaved unacceptably. The Shīʿite majority followed Jaʿfar's son Mūsā al-Kāẓim and imāms in his line through the 12th, who disappeared in 873. Those loyal to the 12 imāms became known as the Imāĩīs or Ithnā ʿAsharīyah (Twelvers). They adopted a quietistic stance toward the status quo government of the ʿAbbāsids and prepared to wait until the 12th imām should return as the messiah to avenge injustices against Shīʿites and to restore justice before the Last Judgment. Some of Jaʿfar's followers, however, remained loyal to Ismāʿīl, Jaʾfar's eldest son who predeceased his father after being designated. These became the Ismāʿīlīyah (Ismāʿīlīte) (Ismāʿīlis) or Sabʿīyah ( Seveners), and they soon became a source of continuing revolution in the name of Ismāʿīl's son Muḥammad at-Tamm, who was believed to have disappeared. Challenges to the ʿAbbāsids were not long in coming; of particular significance was the establishment, in 789, of the first independent Shīʿite dynasty, in present-day Morocco, by Idrīs ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Ḥasan II, who had fled after participating in an unsuccessful uprising near Mecca. Furthermore, Kharijite rebellions continued to occur regularly.

The ʿAbbāsids
      Legitimacy was a scarce and fragile resource in all premodern societies; in the early ʿAbbāsid environment, competition to define and secure legitimacy was especially intense. The ʿAbbāsids came to power vulnerable; their early actions undermined the unitive potential of their office. Having alienated the Shīʿites, they liquidated the Umayyad family, one of whom, ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān I (Abd al-Raḥmān Iʿ), escaped and founded his own state in Andalusia. Although the ʿAbbāsids were able to buttress their legitimacy by employing the force of their Khorāsānian army, by appealing to their piety-minded support, and by emphasizing their position as heirs to the pre-Islāmic traditions of rulership, their own circumstances and policies militated against them. Despite their continuing preference for Khorāsānian troops, the ʿAbbāsids' move to Iraq and their execution of Abū Muslim disappointed the Khorāsānian chauvinists who had helped them. The non-Muslim majority often rebelled, too. Bihʾāfrīd ibn Farwardīn claimed to be a prophet capable of incorporating both Mazdaism and Islām into a new faith. Hāshim ibn Ḥākim (Muqannaʿ, al-), called al-Muqannaʿ (the “Veiled One”), around 759 declared himself a prophet and then a god, heir to all previous prophets, to numerous followers of ʿAlī, and to Abū Muslim himself.

      The ʿAbbāsids symbolized their connection with their pre-Islāmic predecessors by founding a new capital, Baghdad, near the old SāĨānian capital. They also continued to elaborate the Sāsānian-like structure begun by the Marwānid governors in Iraq. Their court life became more and more elaborate, the bureaucracy fuller, the inner sanctum of the palace fuller than ever with slaves and concubines as well as the retinues of the caliph's four legal wives. By the time of Hārūn ar-Rashīd (ruled 786–809), Europe had nothing to compare with Baghdad, not even the court of his contemporary Charlemagne (742–814). But problems surfaced, too. Slaves' sons fathered by Muslims were not slaves and so could compete for the succession. Despite the ʿAbbāsids' defense of Islām, unconverted Jews and Christians could be influential at court. The head ( vizier or wazīr) of the financial bureaucracy sometimes became the effective head of government by taking over the chancery as well. Like all absolute rulers, the ʿAbbāsid caliphs soon confronted the insoluble dilemma of absolutism: the monarch cannot be absolute unless he depends on helpers, but his dependence on helpers undermines his absolutism. Hārūn ar-Rashīd experienced this paradox in a particularly painful way: having drawn into his service prominent members of a family of Buddhist converts, the Barmakids, he found them such rivals that he liquidated them within a matter of years. It was also during Hārūn's reign that Ibrāhīm ibn al-Aghlab, a trusted governor in Tunis, founded a dynasty that gradually became independent, as did the Ṭāhirids, the ʿAbbāsid governors in Khorāsān, two decades later.

      The ʿAbbāsids' ability to rival their pre-Islāmic predecessors was enhanced by their generous patronage of artists and artisans of all kinds. The great 7,000-mile Silk Road from Ch'ang-an (now Sian, China) to Baghdad (then the two largest cities in the world) helped provide the wealth. The ensuing literary florescence was promoted by the capture of a group of Chinese papermakers at the Battle of Talas in 751. The ʿAbbāsids encouraged translation from pre-Islāmic languages, particularly Middle Persian, Greek, and Syriac. This activity provided a channel through which older thought could enter and be reoriented by Islāmicate societies. In the field of mathematics, al-Khwārizmī (Khwārizmī, al-), from whose name the word algorithm is derived, creatively combined Hellenistic and Sanskritic concepts. The word algebra derives from the title of his major work, Kitab al-jabr wa al-muqābalah (“The Book of Integration and Equation”). Movements such as falsafah (a combination of the positive sciences with logic and metaphysics) and kalām (systematic theological discourse) applied Hellenistic thought to new questions. The translation of Indo-Persian lore promoted the development of adab, a name for a sophisticated prose literature as well as the set of refined urbane manners that characterized its clientele. Soon a movement called shuʿūbīyah arose to champion the superiority of non-Arabic tastes over the alleged crudeness of the poetry so dear to Arabic litterateurs. However, the great writer of early ʿAbbāsid times, al-Jāḥiẓ (Jāḥiẓ, al-), produced a type of adab that fused pre-Islāmic and Islāmic concerns in excellent Arabic style. Many of these extra-Islāmic resources conflicted with Islāmic expectations. Ibn al-Muqaffaʾ, an administrator under al-Manṣūr (Manṣūr, al-) (ruled 754–775), urged his master to emulate pre-Islāmic models, lest the law that the religious specialists (the ʿulamāʾ (ulama)) were developing undermine caliphal authority irrevocably.

      The ʿAbbāsids never acted on such advice completely; they even contravened it by appealing for piety-minded support. Having encouraged conversion, they tried to “purify” the Muslim community of what they perceived to be socially dangerous and alien ideas. Al-Mahdī (ruled 775–785) actively persecuted the Manichaeans, whom he defined as heretics so as to deny them status as a protected community. He also tried to identify Manichaeans who had joined the Muslim community without abandoning their previous ideas and practices. ʿAbbāsid “purification of Islām” ironically coincided with some of the most significant absorption of pre-Islāmic monotheistic lore to date, as illustrated by the stories of the prophets written by Al-Kisaʾi, grammarian and tutor to a royal prince. Even though, like the Marwānids, the ʿAbbāsids continued to maintain administrative courts, not accessible to the qāḍīs, they also promoted the study of ʿilm and the status of those who pursued it. In so doing they fostered what Ibn al-Muqaffaʾ had feared—the emergence of an independent body of law, Sharīʿah, which Muslims could use to evaluate and circumvent caliphal rule itself.

      A key figure in the development of Sharīʿah was Abū ʿAbd Allāh ash-Shāfiʿī (Shāfiʿī, Abū ʿAbd Allāh ash-), who died in 820. By his time Islāmic law was extensive but uncoordinated, reflecting differing local needs and tastes. Schools had begun to form around various recognized masters, such as al-Awzāʿī in Syria, Abū Ḥanīfah in Iraq, and Mālik ibn Anas, all of whom used some combination of local custom, personal reasoning, Qurʾān, and Ḥadīth. Ash-Shāfiʿī was born in Mecca, studied with Mālik, participated in a Shīʿite revolt in the Yemen, and was sent to Baghdad as a prisoner of the caliph. After his release he emigrated to Egypt, where he produced his most famous work. Like most other faqihs (students of jurisprudence, or fiqh), ash-Shāfiʿī iewed Muḥammad's community as a social ideal and his first four successors as rightly guided. So that this exemplary time could provide the basis for Islāmic law, he constructed a hierarchy of legal sources: Qurʾān; Ḥadīth, clearly traceable to Muḥammad and in some cases to his companions; ijmāʾ (ijmāʿ) (consensus); and qiyās (qiyas) (analogy to one of the first three).

      The way in which Islāmic law had developed had allowed many pre-Islāmic customs, such as the veiling and seclusion of women, to receive a sanction not given to them in the Qurʾān or the Ḥadīth. Ash-Shāfiʿī did not change that entirely. Law continued to be pursued in different centres, and several major “ways” (madhhabs) began to coalesce among Sunnites and Shīʿites alike. Among Sunnites, four schools came to be preeminent, Shāfiʿīyah (Shafiites), Mālikīyah (Malikites), Ḥanafīyah (Hanafites), and Ḥanābilah (Hanbalites), and each individual Muslim was expected to restrict himself to only one. Furthermore, the notion that the gate of ijtihād (personal effort at reasoning) closed in the 9th century was not firmly established until the 12th century. However, ash-Shāfiʿī's system was widely influential in controlling divergence and in limiting undisciplined forms of personal reasoning. It also stimulated the collecting and testing of ḥadīth for their unbroken traceability to Muḥammad or a companion. The need to verify ḥadīth stimulated a characteristic form of premodern Muslim intellectual and literary activity, the collecting of biographical materials into compendiums (ṭabaqāt). By viewing the Qurʾān and documentable sunnah as preeminent, ash-Shāfiʿī also undermined those in ʿAbbāsid court circles who wanted a more flexible base from which the caliph could operate. The Sharīʿah came to be a supremely authoritative, comprehensive set of norms and rules covering every aspect of life, from worship to personal hygiene. It applied equally to all Muslims, including the ruler, whom Sharīʿah-minded Muslims came to view as its protector, not its administrator or developer. While the caliphs were toying with theocratic notions of themselves as the shadow of God on earth, the students of legal knowledge were defining their rule as “nomocratic,” based only on the law they protected and enforced.

      According to the Sharīʿah, a Muslim order was one in which the ruler was Muslim and the Sharīʿah was enshrined as a potential guide to all; Muslims were one confessional community among many, each of which would have its own laws that would apply except in disputes between members of different communities. The Sharīʿah regulated relations and inequities among different segments of society, freeborn Muslim, slave, and protected non-Muslim. The process that produced Sharīʿah resembled the evolution of Oral Torah and rabbinic law, which the Sharīʾah resembled in its comprehensiveness, egalitarianism, and consensualism, in its absorption of local custom, in its resistance to distinguishing the sublime from the mundane, and in its independence from government. Like many Jews, many ultra-pious Muslims came to view the law as a divine rather than human creation.

The fourth fitnah
      During the reign of al-Maʾmūn (Maʾmūn, al-) (813–833) the implications of all this ʿilm-based activity for caliphal authority began to become clear. Al-Maʾmūn came to the caliphate as the result of the fourth fitnah, which reflected the persisting alienation of Khorāsān. Al-Maʾmūn's father, Hāİūn ar-Rashīd, provided for the empire to be divided at his death between two sons. Al-Amīn (Amīn, al-) would rule in the capital and all the western domains; al-Maʾmūn, from his provincial seat at Merv in Khorāsān, would rule the less significant east. When Hārūn died, his sons struggled to expand their control; al-Maʾmūn won. During his reign, which probably represents the high point of caliphal absolutism, the court intervened in an unprecedented manner in the intellectual life of its Muslim subjects, who for the next generation engaged in the first major intra-Muslim conflict that focused on belief as well as practice. The Muslims, who now constituted a much more sizable proportion of the population but whose faith lacked doctrinal clarity, began to engage in an argument reminiscent of 2nd-century Christian discussions of the logos. Among Christians, for whom the Word was Jesus, the argument had taken a Christological form. But for Muslims the argument had to centre on the Qurʾān and its created or uncreated nature. Al-Maʾmūn, as well as his brother and successor al-Muʿtaṣim (Muʿtaṣim, al-), was attracted to the Muʿtazilah (Mutazilites), whose school had been influenced by Hellenistic ideas as well as by contact with non-Muslim theologians. If the Qurʾān were eternal along with God, his unity would, for the Muʾtazilah, be violated. They especially sought to avoid literal exegesis of the Qurʾān, which in their view discouraged free will and produced embarrassing inconsistencies and anthropomorphisms. By arguing that the Qurʾān was created in time, they could justify metaphorical and changing interpretation. By implication, Muḥammad's position as deliverer of revelation was undermined because ḥadīth was made less authoritative.

      The opponents of the Muʿtazilah, and therefore of the official position, coalesced around the figure of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal. A leading master of ḥadīth, he had many followers, some of them recent converts, whom he was able to mobilize in large public demonstrations against the doctrine of the created Qurʾān. Because viewing the Qurʾān as created would invalidate its absolute authority, Ibn Ḥanbal argued for an eternal Qurʾān and emphasized the importance of Muḥammad's sunnah to the understanding of it. By his time, major literary works had established a coherent image of the indispensability of Muḥammad's prophethood; in fact, just before the Muʿtazilite controversy began, Ibn Hishām had produced his classic recension of the Sīrah, or life, of Muḥammad, composed half a century earlier by Ibn Isḥāq. As in the early Christian Church, these were not merely dogmatic issues. They were rooted in the way ordinary Muslims lived, just as affection for a divine Christ had become popular sentiment by the time Arius and Athanasius debated. Although Muslims lacked an equivalent of the Christian Church, they resolved these issues similarly; like Jesus for the Christians, the Qurʾān for the Muslims was somehow part of God; ḥadīth-mindedness and emulation of Muḥammad's sunnah had become such an essential part of the daily life of ordinary people that the Muʿtazilite position, as intellectually consistent and attractive as it was, was unmarketable. In a series of forcible inquiries called miḥnah, al-Maʾmūn and al-Muʿtaṣim actively persecuted those who, like Ibn Ḥanbal, would not conform; but popular sentiment triumphed and after al-Muʿtaṣim's death the caliph al-Mutawakkil was forced to reverse the stand of his predecessors.

      This caliphal failure to achieve doctrinal unity coincided with other crises. By al-Muʿtaṣim's reign the tribal troops were becoming unreliable and the Ṭāhirid governors of Khorāsān more independent. Al-Muʿtaṣim expanded his use of military slaves, finding them more loyal but more unruly, too. Soon he had to house them at Sāmarrāʾ, a new capital north of Baghdad, where the caliphate remained until 892. For most of this period, the caliphs were actually under the control of their slave soldiery; and even though they periodically reasserted their authority, rebellions continued. Many were anti-Muslim, like that of the Iranian Bābak (whose 20-year-long revolt was crushed in 837); but increasingly they were intra-Muslim, like the Kharijite-led revolt of black agricultural slaves (Zanj (Zanj rebellion)) in southern Iraq (868–883). By 870, then, the Baghdad–Sāmarrāʾ caliphate had become one polity among many; its real rulers had no ideological legitimacy. At Córdoba the Umayyads had declared their independence; and the Maghrib was divided among several dynasties of differing persuasions, the Shīʿite Idrīsids, the Kharijite Rustamids, and the Jamāʿi-Sunnite Aghlabids. The former governors of the ʿAbbāsids, the Ṭūlūnids, ruled Egypt and parts of Arabia; Iran was divided between the Ṣaffārids, governors of the ʿAbbāsids in the south, and the Persian Sāmānids in the north.

      The centrifugal forces represented by these administrative divisions should not obscure, however, the existence of numerous centripetal forces that continued to give Islāmdom, from Andalusia to Central Asia, other types of unity. The ideal of the caliphate continued to be a source of unity after the reality waned; among all the new states, no alternative to the caliphate could replace it. Furthermore, now that Muslims constituted a majority almost everywhere in Islāmdom, conflict began to be expressed almost exclusively in Islāmic rather than anti-Islāmic forms. In spite of continuing intra-Muslim conflict, Muslim worship and belief remained remarkably uniform. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca helped reinforce this underlying unity by bringing disparate Muslims together in a common rite. The pilgrimage, as well as the rise of prosperous regional urban centres, enhanced the trade that traversed Islāmdom regardless of political conflicts; along the trade routes that crisscrossed Eurasia, Islāmdom at its centre, moved not only techniques and goods but ideas as well. A network of credit and banking, caravansaries, and intercity mercantile alliances, tied far-flung regions together. Central was the caravan, then the world's most effective form of transport. The peripatetic nature of education promoted cross-fertilization. Already the faqīr (fakir), a wandering mendicant Ṣūfī dervish, was a familiar traveler. Across Islāmdom, similar mosque–market complexes sprang up in most towns; because municipal institutions were rare, political stability so unpredictable, and government intervention kept to a minimum (sometimes by design, more often by necessity), the Sharīʿah and the learned men who carried it became a mainstay of everyday life and social intercourse. The Sharīʿah, along with the widespread affection for the sunnah of Muḥammad, regulated, at least among pious Muslims, personal habits of the most specific sort, from the use of scent to the cut of a beard. Comprehensive and practical, the sunnah could amuse as well. When asked whether to trust in God or tie one's camel, so a popular ḥadīth goes, the Prophet replied, “Trust in God, then tie your camel.”

      The significance of ḥadīth and sunnah (sunna) is represented by the ending date of the period of conversion and crystallization. No one can say exactly when the majority of Islāmdom's population became Muslim. Older scholarship looks to the end of the first quarter of the 9th century; newer scholarship to the beginning of the third quarter. In 870 a man died whose life's work symbolized the consolidation of Islām in everyday life: al-Bukhārī (Bukhārī, al-), who produced one of the six collections of ḥadīth recognized as authoritative by Jamāʿi-Sunnite Muslims. His fellow collector of ḥadīth, Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj, died about four years later. About the same time, classical thinkers in other areas of Islāmicate civilization died, among them the great author of adab, al-Jāḥiẓ (Jāḥiẓ, al-) (868/869), the great early ecstatic Ṣūfīs Abuʿl Fayḍ Dhuʾn-Nūn al-Miṣrī (861) and Abū Yazīd Bisṭāmī (874), the philosopher Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥaq aṣ-Ṣabāḥ al-Kindī (870), and the historian of the conquests al-Balādhurī (c. 892). Men of different religious and ethnic heritages, they signified, by the last quarter of the 9th century, the full and varied range of intellectual activities of a civilization that had come of age.

Fragmentation and florescence (870–1041)

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 ʿAbbāsids 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 ʿAbbāsid 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-Islāmic 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 Islām.

      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 Islāmicate influence on medieval Europe. Islāmdom continued to expand, sometimes as the result of aggression on the part of frontier warriors (ghāzīs), but more often as the result of trade. The best symbol of this expansiveness is Ibn Faḍlān, 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 1041–1405) in which migratory tribal peoples were once again critically important. In 1041 the reign of the Ghaznavid sultan Masʿūd I ended; by then the Ghaznavid state had lost control over the Seljuq Turks in their eastern Iranian domains and thus inaugurated Islāmdom'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 Islāmdom, illustrated the extent of ʿAbbāsid prestige and the assertion of local creativity. In the beginning of the period, Islāmicate rule was represented by the Umayyads at Córdoba; established in 756 by a refugee from the ʿAbbāsid victory over the Syrian Umayyads, the Umayyad dynasty in Córdoba had replaced a string of virtually independent deputies of the Umayyad governors in the Maghrib. At first the Cordoban Umayyads had styled themselves amīrs, the title also used by caliphal governors and other local rulers; though refugees from ʿAbbāsid hostility, they continued to mention the ʿAbbāsids in the Friday worship session until 773. Their independence was not made official, however, until their best known member, ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān III (Abd al-Raḥmān IIIʿ) (ruled 912–961), adopted the title of caliph in 929 and began having the Friday prayer recited in the name of his own house.

      The fact that ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān declared his independence from the ʿAbbāsids while he modeled his court after theirs illustrates the period's cultural complexities. Like that of the ʿAbbāsids and the Marwānids, ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān'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 Fāṭimids 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 mulūk al-ṭawāʾif, or “party kings”; for it was they who patronized some of Andalusia's most brilliant Islāmicate culture. This florescence also demonstrated the permeability of the Muslim-Christian frontier. For example, the poet and theologian Ibn Ḥazm (994–1064) composed love poetry, such as Ṭawk al-ḥamāmah (The Ring of the Dove), which may have contributed to ideas of chivalric love among the Provençal 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 ʿAbbāsids. The Muslim Arabs had been very different rulers than any of their predecessors—Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, or Byzantines—who 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 Ṣanhājah, 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 Ṣanhājah nominally converted to Islām, 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 Ṣanhājah 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 (Islāmic world)).

      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 ʿAbbāsid intolerance and a maturing ideology of covert revolutionism, the Ismāʿīlī Shīʿites (Shīʿite) had developed mechanisms to maintain solidarity and undertake political action. These mechanisms can be subsumed under the term daʿwah, the same word that had been used for the movement that brought the ʿAbbāsids to power. The daʿwah'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 Ismāʿīlī movement, nicknamed the Qarāmiṭah (Qarmatians (Qarmatian)), had seriously but unsuccessfully threatened the ʿAbbāsids in Syria, Iraq, and Bahrain. Seeking other outlets, a Yemeni operative known as Abū ʿAbd Allāh ash-Shīʿī (Shīʿī, Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-) made contact, on the occasion of the ḥajj, with representatives of a Berber tribe that had a history of Kharijite hostility to caliphal control. The ḥajj had already become a major vehicle for tying Islāmdom's regions together, and Abū ‘Abd Allāh's movement was only one of many in the Maghrib that would be inaugurated thereby.

      In 901 Abū ʿAbd Allāh arrived in Little Kabylia (in present-day Algeria); for eight years he prepared for an imām, preaching of a millennial restoration of justice after an era of foreign oppression. After conquering the Aghlabid capital al-Qayrawān (in present-day Tunisia), he helped free from a Sijilmassa prison his imām, ʿUbayd Allāh, who declared himself the mahdī, using a multivalent word that could have quite different meanings for different constituencies. Some Muslims applied mahdī to any justice-restoring divinely guided figure; others, including many Jamāʿi-Sunnites, to the apocalyptic figure expected to usher in the millennium before the Last Judgment; and still others, including most Shīʿites, to a returned or restored imām. Abū ʿAbd Allāh's followers may have differed in their expectations, but the mahdī himself was unequivocal: he was a descendant of ʿAlī and Fāṭimah through Ismāʿīl's disappeared son and therefore was a continuation of the line of the true imām. He symbolized his victory by founding a new capital named, after himself, al-Mahdīyah (Mahdia) (in present-day Tunisia). During the next half century the “Fāṭimids (Fāṭimid Dynasty)” tried with limited success to expand westward into the Maghrib and north into the Mediterranean, where they made Sicily a naval base (912–913); but their major goal was Egypt, nominally under ʿAbbāsid control. From Egypt they would challenge the ʿAbbāsid caliphate itself. In 969 the Fāṭimid army conquered the Nile Valley and advanced into Palestine and southern Syria as well.

Egypt, Syria, and the holy cities
      The Fāṭimids established a new and glorious city, al-Qahirah (“The Victorious”; Cairo), to rival ʿAbbāsid Baghdad. They then adopted the title of caliph, laying claim to be the legitimate rulers of all Muslims as well as head of all Ismāʿīlīs. Now three caliphs reigned in Islāmdom, where there was supposed to be only one. In Cairo the Fāṭimids founded a great mosque–school complex, al-Azhar (Azhar University, al-). They fostered local handicraft production and revitalized the Red Sea route from India to the Mediterranean. They built up a navy to trade as well as to challenge the Byzantines and underscore the ʿAbbāsid caliph's failure to defend and extend the frontiers. Fāṭimid occupation of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, complete by the end of the 10th century, had economic as well as spiritual significance: it reinforced the caliph's claim to leadership of all Muslims; provided wealth; and helped him keep watch on the West Arabian coast, from the Hejaz to the Yemen, where a sympathetic Zaydī Shīʿite dynasty had ruled since 897. Fāṭimid presence in the Indian Ocean was even strong enough to establish an Ismāʿīlī missionary in Sind. The Fāṭimids patronized the arts; Fāṭimid glass and ceramics were some of Islāmdom's most brilliant. As in other regions, imported styles and tastes were transformed by or supplemented with local artistic impulses, especially in architecture, the most characteristic form of Islāmicate art.

      The reign of one of the most unusual Fāṭimid caliphs, al-Ḥākim (Ḥākim, al-), from 996 to 1021, again demonstrated the interregional character of the Ismāʿīlī movement. Historians describe al-Ḥākim's personal habits as eccentric, mercurial, and unpredictable to the point of cruelty; his religious values, as inconsistent with official Ismāʿīlī teachings, tending toward some kind of accommodation with the Jamāʿi-Sunnite majority. After he vanished under mysterious circumstances, his religious revisionism was not pursued by his successors or by the Ismāʿīlī establishment in Egypt; but in Syria it inspired a peasant revolt that produced the Druze, who still await al-Ḥākim's return.

      When the Fāṭimids expanded into southern Syria, another Shīʿite dynasty, the Ḥamdānid (Ḥamdānid Dynasty), of Bedouin origin, had been ruling northern Syria from Mosul since 905. In 944 a branch of the family had taken Aleppo; under the leadership of their most famous member, Sayf ad-Dawlah (Sayf al-Dawlah) (ruled 945–967), the Ḥamdānids responded aggressively to renewed Byzantine expansionism in eastern Anatolia. They ruled from Aleppo until they were absorbed by the Fāṭimids after 1004; at their court some of Islāmdom's most lastingly illustrious writers found patronage. Two notable examples are the poet al-Mutanabbī (915–965), who illustrated the importance of the poet as a premodern press agent of the court, and al-Fārābī (Fārābī, al-), who tried to reconcile reason and revelation.

      Al-Fārābī contributed to the ongoing Islāmization of Hellenistic thought. Falsafah, the Arabic cognate for the Greek philosophia, included metaphysics and logic, as well as the positive sciences, such as mathematics, music, astronomy, and anatomy. Faylasūfs often earned their living as physicians, astrologers, or musicians. The faylasūf's whole way of life, like that of the adīb, reflected his studies. It was often competitive with that of more self-consciously observant Muslims because the faylasūf often questioned the relationship of revelation to real truth. The faylasūfs felt free to explore inner truths not exposed to the view of ordinary people; they practiced prudent concealment (taqīyah) of their deeper awareness wherever making it public might endanger the social order. The faylasūfs shared the principle of concealment with the Shīʿites; both believed, for rather different reasons, that inner truth was accessible to only a very few. This esotericism had counterparts in all premodern societies, where learning and literacy were severely restricted.

Cultural flowering in Iraq
      By the late 9th and early 10th centuries the last remnant of the caliphal state was Iraq, under control of the Turkic soldiery. Political decline and instability did not preclude cultural creativity and productivity, however. In fact, Iraq's “generation of 870,” loosely construed, contained some of the most striking and lastingly important figures in all of early Islāmicate civilization. Three of them illustrate well the range of culture in late 9th- and early 10th-century Iraq: the historian and Qurʾānic exegete aṭ-Ṭabarī (Ṭabarī, aṭ-) (c. 839–923), the theologian Abū al-Ḥasan al-Ashʿarī (c. 873–c. 935), and the ecstatic mystic al-Ḥallāj (c. 858–922).

      Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr was born in Ṭabaristān, south of the Caspian Sea, and as a young man he traveled to Baghdad. Rarely could a man earn his living from religious learning; unless he found patronage, he would probably engage in trade or a craft. All the more astounding was the productivity of scholars like aṭ-Ṭabarī, who said that he produced 40 leaves a day for 40 years. The size of his extant works, which include a commentary on the Qurʾān and a universal history, testifies to the accuracy of his claim. His history is unique in sheer size and detail and especially in its long-term impact. His method involved the careful selection, organization, and juxtaposition of separate and often contradictory accounts cast in the form of ḥadīth. This technique celebrated the ummah's collective memory and established a range of acceptable disagreement.

      Al-Ashʿarī (Ashʿarī, Abū al-Ḥasan al-), from Basra, made his contribution to systematic theological discourse ( kalām). He had been attracted early to a leading Muʿtazilite teacher, but he broke away at the age of 40. He went on to use Muʿtazilite methods of reasoning to defend popular ideas such as the eternality and literal truth of the Qurʾān, and the centrality of Muḥammad's sunnah as conveyed by the ḥadīth. Where his approach yielded objectionable results, such as an anthropomorphic rendering of God or a potentially polytheistic understanding of his attributes, al-Ashʿarī resorted to the principle of bilā kayfah (“without regard to the how”), whereby a person of faith accepts that certain fundamentals are true without regard to how they are true and that divine intention is not always accessible to human intelligence. Al-Ashʿarī's harmonization also produced a simple creed, which expressed faith in God, his angels, and his books, and affirmed belief in Muḥammad as God's last messenger and in the reality of death, physical resurrection, the Last Judgment, and heaven and hell. Taken together, aṭ-Ṭabarī's historiography and al-Ashʿarī's theology symbolize the consolidation of Jamāʿi-Sunnite, Sharīʿah-minded thought and piety.

      The most visible and powerful 10th-century exponent of Ṣūfism was al-Ḥallāj (Ḥallāj, al-). By his day, Ṣūfism had grown far beyond its early forms, which were represented by al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, al-) (died 728), who practiced zuhd, or rejection of the world, and by Rābiʿah al-ʿAdawīyah (died 801), who formulated the Ṣūfī ideal of a disinterested love of God. The mystics Abū Yazīd Biṣtāmī (died 874) and al-Junayd (died 910) had begun to pursue the experience of unity with God, first by being “drunk” with his love and with love of him, and then by acquiring life-transforming self-possession and control. Masters (called shaykhs or pīrs) were beginning to attract disciples (murīds) to their way. Like other Muslims who tried to go “beyond” the Sharīʿah to inner truth, the Ṣūfīs practiced concealment of inner awareness (taqīyah). Al-Ḥallāj, one of al-Junayd's disciples, began to travel and preach publicly, however. His success was disturbing enough for the authorities in Baghdad to have him arrested and condemned to death; he was tortured and beheaded, and finally his body was burned. Yet his career had shown the power of Ṣūfism, which would by the 12th century become an institutionalized form of Islāmic piety.

The Būyid dynasty
      Long before, however, a major political change occurred at Baghdad. In 945 control over the caliphs passed from their Turkish soldiery to a dynasty known as the Būyids (Būyid Dynasty) or Buwayhids. The Būyids came from Daylam, near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. Living beyond the reach of the caliphs in Baghdad, its residents had identified with Imāmī Shīʿism. By about 930, three sons of a fisherman named Būyeh had emerged as leaders in Daylam. One of them conquered Baghdad, not replacing the caliph but ruling in his name. The fact that they were Shīʿite, as were the Idrīsids, Fāṭimids, and Ḥamdānids, led scholars to refer to the period from the mid-10th to mid-11th century as the Shīʿite century.

      Like other contemporary rulers, the Būyids were patrons of culture, especially of speculative thought (Shīʿism, Muʿtazilism, kalām, and falsafah). Jamāʿi-Sunnite learning continued to be patronized by the caliphs and their families. The Būyids favoured no one party over another. However, their openness paradoxically invited a hardening in Jamāʿi-Sunnite thought. Būyid attempts to maintain the cultural brilliance of the court at Baghdad were limited by a decline in revenue occasioned partly by a shift in trade routes to Fāṭimid Egypt, and partly by long-term neglect of Iraq's irrigation works. The caliphs had occasionally made land assignments (iqṭāʿs) to soldiers in lieu of paying salaries; now the Būyids extended the practice to other individuals and thus removed an important source of revenue from central control. After 983, Būyid territories were split among various members of the family, and pressure was applied to their borders from both the west (by Ḥamdānids and Fāṭimids) and the east (by Sāmānids, Ghaznavids, and Seljuqs; see below).

      The economic difficulties of Būyid Iraq promoted urban unrest, accounts of which provide a rare glimpse into the lives of ordinary Muslim town dwellers. Numerous movements served as outlets for socioeconomic grievances, directed most often toward the wealthy or the military. The concentration of wealth in the cities had produced a bipolar stratification system conveyed in the sources by a pair of words, khāṣṣ (special) and ʿāmm (ordinary). In the environment of 10th- and 11th-century Iraq, an instance of rising food prices or official maltreatment could easily spark riots of varying size, duration, and intensity. Strategies for protest included raiding, looting, and assault. Some movements were more coherently ideological than others, and various forms of piety could reflect socioeconomic distinctions. Some movements were particularly attractive to artisans, servants, and soldiers, as was the case with the proponents of ḥadīth, whose mentor, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal (died 855), was viewed as a martyr because of his suffering at the hands of the caliph. Other forms of piety, such as Shīʿism, could be associated with wealthier elements among the landowning and merchant classes.

      Beneath the more organized forms of social action lay a more fluid kind of association, most often described by the labels ayyārʿ and futūwah. These terms refer to individuals acting in concert, as needed, on the basis of certain rough-hewn concepts of proper male public behaviour. Such associations had counterparts in the late Hellenistic world, just as they have parallels in the voluntary protective associations formed in the 19th and 20th centuries whenever official institutions of protection have been either chronically or temporarily deficient. For some of the Islāmicate “gangs” or “clubs,” thuggery may have been the norm; for others, the figure of the fourth caliph and first imām, ʿAlī, seems to have provided an exemplar. Even though Shīʿites had become a separate group with a distinctive interpretation of ʿAlī's significance, a more generalized affection for the family of the Prophet, and especially for ʿAlī, was widespread among Jamāʿi-Sunnites. ʿAlī had come to be recognized as the archetypal young male (fatā); a related word, futūwah, signified groups of young men who pursued such virtures as courage, aiding the weak, generosity, endurance of suffering, love of truth, and hospitality.

      Premodern Islāmicate societies were characterized by a high degree of fluidity, occasionalism, and voluntarism in the structuring of associations, organizations, loyalties, and occupations. Although all societies must develop ways to maintain social boundaries, ease interaction among groups, and buffer friction, the ways in which Muslim societies have fulfilled these needs seem unusually difficult to delineate. For example, in Muslim cities of the period under discussion, the only official officeholders were appointees of the central government, such as the governor; the muḥtasib, a transformed Byzantine agoranomos who was monitor of public morality as well as of fair-market practice; or the sahib ash-shurtah, head of the police. In the absence of an organized church or ordained clergy, those whose influence derived from piety or learning were influential because they were recognized as such, not because they were appointed; and men of very different degrees of learning might earn the designation of ʿālim. Although the ruler was expected to contribute to the maintenance of public services, neither he nor anyone else was obligated to do so. Though the ruler might maintain prisons for those whose behaviour he disapproved, the local qāḍīs had need of none, relying generally on persuasion or negotiation and borrowing the caliphal police on the relatively rare occasion on which someone needed to be brought before them by force. There was no formalized mode of succession for any of the dynasties of the time. Competition, sometimes armed, was relied upon to produce the most qualified candidate.

      Patronage was an important basis of social organization. The family served as a premodern welfare agency; where it was absent, minimal public institutions, such as hospitals, provided. One of the most important funding mechanisms for public services was a private one, the waqf. The waqf provided a legal way to circumvent the Sharīʿah's requirement that an individual's estate be divided among many heirs. Through a waqf, an individual could endow an institution or group with all or part of his estate, in perpetuity, before his death. A waqf might provide books for a school, candles or mats for a mosque, salaries of religious functionaries, or land for a hospital or caravansary. Waqf money or lands were indivisible, although they might contribute to the welfare of a potential heir who happened to be involved in the waqf-supported activity. The waqf, like other forms of patronage, provided needed social services without official intervention. On other occasions, wealthy individuals, especially those connected with the ruling family, might simply patronize favourite activities. In addition to patronage, many other overlapping ties bound individual Muslims together: loyalties to an occupation—soldier, merchant, learned man, artisan, government worker; loyalties to a town or neighbourhood, or to a form of piety, or to persons to whom one made an oath for a specific purpose; and ties to patron or to family, especially foster-parentage (istināʿ), the counterpart of which was significant in medieval Christendom.

      The Qurʾān and Sharīʿah discouraged corporate responsibility in favour of individual action; even the legal scope of partnership was limited. Yet the unstable political realities that had militated against the emergence of broad-based institutions sometimes called for corporate action, as when a city came to terms with a new ruler or invader. In those cases, a vaguely defined group of notables, known usually as aʿyān (aynʿ), might come together to represent their city in negotiations, only to cease corporate action when the more functional small-group loyalties could safely be resumed. Within this shifting frame of individuals and groups, the ruler was expected to maintain a workable, if not equitable, balance. More often than not the real ruler was a local amīr (emir) of some sort. For this reason, the de facto system of rule that emerged during this period, despite the persistence of the central caliphate in Baghdad, has sometimes been referred to as the aʿyān–amīr system.

      The city's physical and social organization reflected this complex relationship between public and private, and between individual and group: physically separated quarters; multiple markets and mosques; mazelike patterns of narrow streets and alleys with dwellings oriented toward an inner courtyard; an absence of public meeting places other than bath, market, and mosque; and the concentration of social life in private residences. The qāḍī and adīb at-Tanūkhī provides a lively and humorous picture of 10th-century Baghdad, of a society of individuals with overlapping affiliations and shifting statuses: saints and scoundrels, heroes and rogues, rich men and poor. This mobility is illustrated by at-Tanūkhī's boast to a rival, “My line begins with me while yours ends with you.” The prose genre of maqāmah, said to have been invented by al-Hamadhānī (died 1007), recounted the exploits of a clever, articulate scoundrel dependent on his own wits for his survival and success.

Iran, Afghanistan, and India
      In the middle of the “Shīʿite century” a major Sunnite revival occurred in eastern Islāmdom in connection with the emergence of the second major language of Islāmicate high culture, New Persian. This double revival was accomplished by two Iranian (Iran) dynasties, the Sāmānids and the Ghaznavids; Ghaznavid zeal even spilled over into India.

The Sāmānids
      The Sāmānid Dynasty (819–999) stemmed from a local family appointed by the ʿAbbāsids to govern at Bukhara and Samarkand. Gradually the Sāmānids had absorbed the domains of the rebellious Ṭāhirids (Ṭāhirid Dynasty) and Ṣaffārids (Ṣaffārid Dynasty) in northeastern Iran and reduced the Ṣaffārids to a small state in Sīstān. The Sāmānids, relying on Turkic slave troops, also managed to contain the migratory pastoralist Turkic tribes who continually pressed on Iran from across the Oxus River. In the 950s they even managed to convert some of these Turkic tribes to Islām.

      The Sāmānid court at Bukhara attracted leading scholars, such as the philosophers Abū Bakr ar-Rāzī (died 925) and Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā; 980–1037), who later worked for the Būyids; and the poet Ferdowsī (died c. 1020). Though not Shīʿites, the Sāmānids expressed an interest in Shīʿite thought, especially in its Ismāʿīlī form, which was then the locus of so much intellectual vitality. The Sāmānids also fostered the development of a second Islāmicate language of high culture, New Persian (Persian language). It combined the grammatical structure and vocabulary of spoken Persian with vocabulary from Arabic, the existing language of high culture in Iran. A landmark of this “Persianizing” of Iran was Ferdowsī's (Ferdowsī) epic poem, the Shāh-nāmeh (“Book of Kings”), written entirely in New Persian in a long-couplet form (masnavi) derived from Arabic. Covering several thousand years of detailed mythic Iranian history, Ferdowsī brought Iran's ancient heroic lore, and its hero Rustam, into Islāmicate literature and into the identity of self-consciously Iranian Muslims. He began to compose the poem under the rule of the Sāmānids; but he dedicated the finished work to a dynasty that had meanwhile replaced them, the Ghaznavids.

The Ghaznavids
      The Ghaznavid Dynasty was born in a way that had become routine for Islāmicate polities. Sebüktigin (ruled 977–997), a Sāmānid Turkic slave governor in Ghazna (now Ghaznī), in the Afghan mountains, made himself independent of his masters as their central power declined. His eldest son, Maḥmūd, expanded into Būyid territory in western Iran, identifying himself staunchly with Sunnite Islām. Presenting himself as a frontier warrior against the pagans, Maḥmūd invaded and plundered northwestern India, establishing a permanent rule in the Punjab; but it was through ruling Iran, which gave a Muslim ruler true prestige, that Maḥmūd sought to establish himself. He declared his loyalty to the ʿAbbāsid caliph, whose “investiture” he sought, and expressed his intention to defend Sunnite Islām against the Shīʿite Būyids. Although he and his regime were proud of their Turkic descent, Maḥmūd encouraged the use of New Persian, with its echoes of pre-Islāmic Iranian glory, for administration and for prose as well as poetry. This combination of Turkic identity and Persian language would characterize and empower many other Muslim rulers.

      To Ghazna Maḥmūd brought, sometimes by force, writers and artisans who could adorn his court. Among these was al-Bīrūnī (Bīrūnī, al-) (973–c. 1050), whose scholarly achievements no contemporary could rival. Before being brought to Ghazna, al-Bīrūnī had served the Sāmānids and the Khwārazm-Shāhs, a local dynasty situated just west of the Oxus River. Al-Bīrūnī's works included studies of astronomy (he even suggested a heliocentric universe), gems, drugs, mathematics, and physics; but his most famous book, inspired by accompanying Maḥmūd on his Indian campaigns, was a survey of Indian life, language, religion, and culture.

      Like most other rulers of the day, Maḥmūd styled himself amīr and emphasized his loyalty to the caliph in Baghdad; but he and later Ghaznavid rulers also called themselves by the Arabic word, suḷtān (sultan) (sultan). Over the next five centuries the office of sultan would become an alternative to caliph. The Ghaznavid state presaged other changes as well, especially by stressing the cleavage between ruler and ruled and by drawing into the ruling class not only the military but also the bureaucracy and the learned establishment. So tied was the ruling establishment to the ruler that it even moved with him on campaign. Ghaznavid “political theory” shared with other states the concept of the circle of justice or circle of power; i.e., that justice is best preserved by an absolute monarch completely outside society; that such a ruler needs an absolutely loyal army; and that maintaining such an army requires prosperity, which in turn depends on the good management of an absolute ruler.

      Buʾl-Faẓl-i Bayhaqī (995–1077) worked in the Ghaznavid chancery and wrote a remarkable history of the Ghaznavids, the first major prose work in New Persian. He exhibited the broad learning of even a relatively minor figure at court; in his history he combined the effective writing skills of the chancery employee, the special knowledge of Qurʾān and ḥadīth, and the sophisticated and entertaining literature—history, poetry, and folklore—that characterized the adīb. He provided a vivid picture of life at court, graphically portraying the pitfalls of military absolutism—the dependence of the monarch on a fractious military and a large circle of assistants and advisors, who could mislead him and affect his decision making through internecine maneuvering and competition. In the reign of Maḥmūd's son, Masʿūd I, the weaknesses in the system had already become glaringly apparent. At the Battle of Dandānqān (1040), Masʿūd lost control of Khorāsān, his main holding in Iran, to the pastoralist Seljuq Turks; he then decided to withdraw to Lahore in his Indian domains, from which his successors ruled until overtaken by the Ghūrids in 1186.

The decline of the caliphate and rise of emirates
      By the end of Masʿūd's reign, government in Islāmdom had become government by amīr. Caliphal centralization had lasted 200 years; and even after the caliphal empire became too large and complex to be ruled from a single centre, the separate emirates that replaced it all defined their legitimacy in relation to it, for or against. In fact, the caliphate's first systematic description and justification was undertaken just when its impracticality was being demonstrated. As the Ghaznavids were ruling in Iran as “appointed” defenders of the caliph, a Baghdadi legal scholar named al-Māwardī (Māwardī, al-) retrospectively delineated the minimal requirements of the caliphate and tried to explain why it had become necessary for caliphal powers to be “delegated” in order for the ummah's security to be maintained. Whereas earlier legists had tied the caliph's legitimacy to his defense of the borders, al-Māwardī separated the two, maintaining the caliph as the ultimate source of legitimacy and the guardian of pan-Islāmic concerns, and relegating day-to-day government to his “appointees.” Al-Māwardī may have hoped that the Ghaznavids would expand far enough to be “invited” by the caliph to replace the uninvited Shīʿite Būyids. This replacement did occur, three years before al-Māwardī's death; however, it was not the Ghaznavids who appeared in Baghdad but rather the migratory pastoralist Turks who had meanwhile replaced them. The Seljuqs joined many other migrating groups to produce the next phase of Islāmicate history.

Migration and renewal (1041–1405)
      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 Islāmicate 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.

      For almost 400 years a succession of Turkic peoples entered eastern Islāmdom from Central Asia. These nearly continuous migrations can be divided into three phases: Seljuqs (1055–92), Mongols (1256–1411), and neo-Mongols (1369–1405). 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.

Seljuq Turks
      The Seljuqs were a family among the Oğuz Turks, a label applied to the migratory pastoralists of the Syrdarya–Oxus basin. Their name has come to stand for the group of Oğuz families led into Ghaznavid Khorāsān after they had been converted to Sunnite Islām, probably by Ṣūfī missionaries after the beginning of the 11th century. In 1040 the Seljuqs' defeat of the Ghaznavid sultan allowed them to proclaim themselves rulers of Khorāsān. Having expanded into western Iran as well, Toghrïl Beg, also using the title “sultan,” was able to occupy Baghdad (1055) after “petitioning” the ʾAbbāsid caliph for permission. The Seljuqs quickly took the remaining Būyid territory and began to occupy Syria, whereupon they encountered Byzantine resistance in the Armenian highlands. In 1071 a Seljuq army under Alp-Arslan defeated the Byzantines at Manzikert north of Lake Van; while the main Seljuq army replaced the Fāṭimids in Syria, large independent tribal bands occupied Anatolia, coming closer to the Byzantine capital than had any other Muslim force.

Policies of Niẓām al-Mulk
      The Seljuqs derived their legitimacy from investiture by the caliph, and from “helping” him reunite the ummah; yet their governing style prefigured the emergence of true alternatives to the caliphate. Some of their Iranian advisers urged them to restore centralized absolutism as it had existed in pre-Islāmic times and in the period of Marwānid–ʾAbbāsid strength. The best known proponent was Niẓām al-Mulk, chief minister to the second and third Seljuq sultans, Alp-Arslan and Malik-Shāh. Niẓām al-Mulk explained his plans in his Seyāsat-nāmeh, one of the best known manuals of Islāmicate political theory and administration. He was unable, however, to persuade the Seljuq sultans to assert enough power over other tribal leaders. Eventually the Seljuq sultans, like so many rulers before them, alienated their tribal supporters and resorted to the costly alternative of a Turkic slave core, whose leading members were appointed to tutor and train young princes of the Seljuq family to compete for rule on the death of the reigning sultan. The tutors were known as atabegs; more often than not, they became the actual rulers of the domains assigned to their young charges, cooperating with urban notables (aʾyāė) in day-to-day administration.

      Although Niẓām al-Mulk was not immediately successful, he did contribute to long-term change. He encouraged the establishment of state-supported schools ( madrasahs); those he personally patronized were called Niẓāmīyahs. The most important Niẓāmīyah was founded in Baghdad in 1067; here Niẓām al-Mulk gave government stipends to teachers and students whom he hoped he could subsequently not only appoint to the position of qāḍī but also recruit for the bureaucracy. Systematic and broad instruction in Jamāʾi-Sunnite learning would counteract the disruptive influences of non-Sunnite or anti-Sunnite thought and activity, particularly the continuing agitation of Ismāʾīlī Muslims. In 1090 a group of Ismāʾīlīs established themselves in a mountain fortress at Alamūt in the mountains of Daylam. From there they began to coordinate revolts all over Seljuq domains. Nominally loyal to the Fāṭimid caliph in Cairo, the eastern Ismāʾīlīs confirmed their growing independence and radicalism by supporting a failed contender for the Fāṭimid caliphate, Nizār. For that act they were known as the Nizārī Ismāʾīlīs. They were led by Ḥasan-e Ṣabbāḥ and were dubbed by their detractors the hashīshīyah (assassins (Assassin)) because they practiced political murder while they were allegedly under the influence of hashish.

      Niẓām al-Mulk's madrasah system enhanced the prestige and solidarity of the Jamāʾi-Sunnite ʿulamāʾ without actually drawing them into the bureaucracy or combating anti-Sunnite agitation, but it also undermined their autonomy. It established the connection between state-supported education and office holding, and it subordinated the spiritual power and prestige of the ʿulamāʾ to the indispensable physical force of the military amīrs. Niẓām al-Mulk unintentionally encouraged the independence of these amīrs by extending the iqṭāʿ system beyond Būyid practice; he regularly assigned land revenues to individual military officers, assuming that he could keep them under bureaucratic control. When that failed, his system increased the amīrs' independence and drained the central treasury.

      The madrasah system had other unpredictable results that can be illustrated by al-Ghazālī (Ghazālī, al-), who was born in 1058 at Ṭūs and in 1091 was made head of the Baghdad Niẓāmīyah. For four years, to great admiration, he taught both fiqh and kalam (kalām) and delivered critiques of falsafah and Ismāʾīlī thought. According to his autobiographical work Al-Munqidh min aḍ-ḍalāl (The Deliverer from Error), the more he taught, the more he doubted, until his will and voice became paralyzed. In 1095 he retreated from public life, attempting to arrive at a more satisfying faith. He undertook a radically skeptical reexamination of all of the paths available to the pious Muslim, culminating in an incorporation of the active, immediate, and inspired experience of the Ṣūfīs into the Sharīʾah-ordered piety of the public cult. For his accomplishments, al-Ghazālī was viewed as a renewer (mujaddid), a role expected by many Muslims to be filled by at least one figure at the turn of every Muslim century.

Ṭarīqah fellowships
      In the 12th century Muslims began to group themselves into ṭarīqah (tariqa), fellowships organized around and named for the ṭarīqah (“way” or “path”) of given masters. Al-Ghazālī may have had such a following himself. One of the first large-scale orders, the Qādirīyah, formed around the teachings of ʾAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī of Baghdad. Though rarely monastic in the European sense, the activities of a ṭarīqahoften centred around assembly halls (called khānqāh, zāwīyah, or tekke) that could serve as places of retreat or accommodate special spiritual exercises. The dhikr, for example, is a ceremony in which devotees meditated on the name of God to the accompaniment of breathing exercises, music, or movement, so as to attain a state of consciousness productive of a sense of union with God. Although shortcuts and excesses have often made Ṣūfism vulnerable to criticism, its most serious practitioners have conceived of it as a disciplined extension of Sharīʿah-minded piety, not an escape. In fact, many Ṣūfīs have begun their path through supererogatory fulfillment of standard ritual requirements.

      Thousands of ṭarīqahs sprang up over the centuries, some associated with particular occupations, locales, or classes. It is possible that by the 18th century most adult Muslim males had some connection with one or more ṭarīqahs. The structure of the ṭarīqah ensued from the charismatic authority of the master, who, though not a prophet, replicated the direct intimacy that the prophets had shared with God. This quality he passed on to his disciples through a hierarchically ordered network that could extend over thousands of miles. The ṭarīqahs thus became powerful centripetal forces among societies in which formal organizations were rare; but the role of the master became controversial because followers often made saints or intercessors of especially powerful Ṣūfī leaders and made shrines or pilgrimage sites of their tombs or birthplaces. Long before these developments could combine to produce stable alternatives to the caliphal system, Seljuq power had begun to decline, only to be replaced for a century and a half with a plethora of small military states. When the Frankish (Frank) crusaders arrived in the Holy Land in 1099, no one could prevent them from quickly establishing themselves along the eastern Mediterranean coast.

The call for the Crusades
      At the Council of Clermont in 1095 Pope Urban II responded to an appeal from the Byzantine emperor for help against the Seljuq Turks, who had expanded into western Anatolia just as the Kipchak Turks in the Ukraine had cut off newly Christian Russia from Byzantium. The First Crusade, begun the next year, brought about the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099. The Christian Reconquista (reconquest) of Spain was already under way, having scored its first great victory at Toledo in 1085. Ironically, modern historiography has concentrated on the crusades that failed and virtually ignored the ones that succeeded. In the four centuries between the fall of Toledo and the fall of Granada (1492), Spanish Christians replaced Muslim rulers throughout the Iberian Peninsula, although Muslims remained as a minority under Christian rule until the early 17th century. In the 200 years from the fall of Jerusalem to the end of the Eighth Crusade (1291), western European crusaders failed to halt the Turkish advance or to establish a permanent presence in the Holy Land. By 1187 local Muslims had managed to retake Jerusalem and thereby contain Christian ambitions permanently. By the time of the Fourth Crusade (1202–04) the crusading movement had been turned inward against Christian heretics such as the Byzantines.

Effect of the Crusades in Syria
      The direct impact of the Crusades on Islāmdom was limited largely to Syria. For the century during which western European Christians were a serious presence there, they were confined to their massive coastal fortifications. The crusaders had arrived in Syria at one of its most factionalized periods prior to the 20th century. Seljuq control, never strong, was then insignificant; local Muslim rule was anarchic; the Seljuq regime in Baghdad was competing with the Fāṭimid regime in Egypt; and all parties in Syria were the target of the Nizārī Ismāʾīlī movement at Alamūt. The crusaders soon found it difficult to operate as more than just another faction. Yet the significance of the crusaders as a force against which to be rallied should not be underestimated any more than should the significance of Islāmdom as a force against which Christendom could unite.

      The crusaders' situation encouraged interaction with the local population and even assimilation. They needed the food, supplies, and services available in the Muslim towns. Like their Christian counterparts in Spain, they took advantage of the enemy's superior skills, in medicine and hygiene, for example. Because warfare was seasonal and occasional, they spent much of their time in peaceful interaction with their non-Christian counterparts. Some early-generation crusaders intermarried with Arab Muslims or Arab Christians and adopted their personal habits and tastes, much to the dismay of Christian latecomers. An intriguing account of life in Syria during the Crusades can be found in the Kitāb al-Iʾtibār (“Book of Reflection”), the memoirs of Usamah ibn Munqidh (1095–1188). Born in Syria, he was a small boy when the first generation of Franks controlled Jerusalem. As an adult he fought with Saladin (see below) and lived to see him unite Egypt with Syria and restore Jerusalem to Muslim control. In this fine example of Islāmicate autobiographical writing, Usamah draws a picture of the Crusades not easily found in European sources: Christians and Muslims observing, and sometimes admiring, each others' skills and habits, from the battlefield to the bathhouse. Although the Franks in Syria were clearly influenced by the Muslims, the Crusades seem to have contributed relatively little to the overall impact of Islāmicate culture on Europe, even though they constituted the most prolonged direct contact.

      Although the crusaders never formed a united front against the Muslims, Syrian Muslims did eventually form a united front against them, largely through the efforts of the family of the amīr Zangī, a Turkic slave officer appointed Seljuq representative in Mosul in 1127. After Zangī had extended his control through northern Syria, one of his sons and successors, Nureddin (Nūr al-Dīn) (Nūr ad-Dīn), based at Aleppo, was able to tie Zangī's movement to the frontier warrior (ghāzī) spirit. This he used to draw together urban and military support for a jihād against the Christians. After taking Damascus, he established a second base in Egypt. He offered help to the failing Fāṭimid regime in return for being allowed to place one of his own lieutenants, Saladin (Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb), as chief minister to the Fāṭimid caliph, thus warding off a crusader alliance with the Fāṭimids. This action gave Nureddin two fronts from which to counteract the superior seaborne and naval support the crusaders were receiving from western Europe and the Italian city-states. Three years before Nureddin's death in 1174, Saladin substituted himself for the Fāṭimid (Fāṭimid Dynasty) caliph he theoretically served, thus ending more than 200 years of Fāṭimid rule in Egypt. When Nureddin died, Saladin succeeded him as head of the whole movement. When Saladin died in 1193, he had recaptured Jerusalem (1187) and begun the reunification of Egypt and Syria; his successors were known, after his patronymic, as the Ayyūbids (Ayyūbid dynasty). The efforts of a contemporary ʾAbbāsid caliph, an-Nāṣir, to revive the caliphate seem pale by comparison.

      The Ayyūbids ruled in Egypt and Syria until 1250, when they were replaced first in Egypt and later in Syria by the leaders of their own slave-soldier corps, the Mamlūks (Mamlūk). It was they who expelled the remaining crusaders from Syria, subdued the remaining Nizārī Ismāʾīlīs there, and consolidated Ayyūbid holdings into a centralized state. That state became strong enough in its first decade to do what no other Muslim power could: in 1260 at ʾAyn Jālūt (Ayn Jālūt, Battle ofʿ), south of Damascus, the Mamlk army defeated the recently arrived Mongols (Mongol) and expelled them from Syria.

      The Mongols were pagan, horse-riding tribes of the northeastern steppes of Central Asia. In the early 13th century, under the leadership of Genghis Khan, they formed, led, and gave their name to a confederation of Turkic tribes that they channeled into a movement of global expansion, spreading east into China, north into Russia, and west into Islāmdom. Like other migratory peoples before them, Arabs, Berbers, and Turks, they had come to be involved in citied life through their role in the caravan trade. Unlike others, however, they did not convert to Islām before their arrival. Furthermore, they brought a greater hostility to sedentary civilization, a more ferocious military force, a more cumbersome material culture, a more complicated and hierarchical social structure, and a more coherent sense of tribal law. Their initial impact was physically more destructive than that of previous invaders, and their long-term impact perhaps more socially and politically creative.

First Mongol incursions
      The first Mongol incursions into Islāmdom in 1220 were a response to a challenge from the Khwārezm-Shāh (Khwārezm-Shāh Dynasty) ‘Alā' ad-Dīn Muḥammad, the aggressive reigning leader of a dynasty formed in the Oxus Delta by a local governor who had rebelled against the Seljuq regime in Khorāsān. Under Genghis Khan's (Genghis Khan) leadership, Mongol forces destroyed numerous cities in Transoxania and Khorāsān in an unprecedented display of terror and annihilation. By the time of Genghis Khan's death in 1227, his empire stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Sea of Japan. A later successor, Möngke, decided to extend the empire in two new directions. From the Mongol capital of Karakorum, he simultaneously dispatched Kublai Khan to southern China (where Islām subsequently began to expand inland) and Hülegü to Iran (1256). Hülegü had already received Sunnite ambassadors who encouraged him to destroy the Ismāʾīlī state at Alamūt; this he did and more, reaching Baghdad in 1258, where he terminated and replaced the Caliphate. The ʾAbbāsid (Abbāsid Dynastyʿ) line continued, however, until 1517; the Mamlūk sultan Baybars I, shortly after his defeat of the Mongols, invited a member of the ʾAbbāsid house to “invest” him and to live in Cairo as spiritual head of all Muslims.

      The Mongol regimes in Islāmdom quickly became rivals. The Il-Khans (Il-Khanid Dynasty) controlled the Tigris–Euphrates valley and Iran; the Chagatai dominated the Syrdarya and Oxus basins, the Kābul mountains, and eventually the Punjab; and the Golden Horde was concentrated in the Volga basin. The Il-Khans ruled in the territories where Islām was most firmly established. They patronized learning of all types and scholars from all parts of the vast Mongol empire, especially China. Evincing a special interest in nature, they built a major observatory in Azerbaijan. Just as enthusiastically as they had destroyed citied life, they now rebuilt it, relying as had all previous invaders of Iran on the administrative skills of indigenous Persian-speaking bureaucrats. The writings of one of these men, ʾAṭā Malek Joveynī (Joveynī, ʿAṭā Malek), who was appointed Mongol governor in Baghdad in 1259, described the type of rule the Mongols sought to impose. It has been called the military patronage state because it involved a reciprocal relationship between the foreign tribal military conquerors and their subjects. The entire state was defined as a single mobile military force connected to the household of the monarch; with no fixed capital, it moved with the monarch. All non-Turkic state workers, bureaucratic or religious, even though not military specialists, were defined as part of the army (asker); the rest of the subject population, as the herds (raʾīyah). The leading tribal families could dispose of the wealth of the conquered populations as they wished, except that their natural superiority obligated them to reciprocate by patronizing whatever of excellence the cities could produce. What the Ghaznavids and Seljuqs had begun, the Mongols now accomplished. The self-confidence and superiority of the leading families were bolstered by a fairly elaborate set of tribal laws, inherited from Genghis Khan and known as the Yasa, which served to regulate personal status and criminal liability among the Mongol elite, as did the Sharīʾah among Muslims. In Il-Khanid hands, this dynastic law merely coexisted but did not compete with Sharīʾah; but in later Turkic regimes a reconciliation was achieved that extended the power of the rulers beyond the limitations of an autonomous Sharīʾah.

Conversion of Mongols to Islām
      For a time the Il-Khans tolerated and patronized all religious persuasions, Sunnite, Shīʾite, Buddhist, Nestorian Christian, Jewish, and pagan. But in 1295 a Buddhist named Maḥmūd Ghāzān (Ghāzān, Maḥmūd) became Khan and declared himself Muslim, compelling other Mongol notables to follow suit. His patronage of Islāmicate learning fostered such brilliant writers as Rashīd ad-Dīn, the physician and scholar who authored one of the most famous Persian universal histories of all time. The Mongols, like other Islāmicate dynasties swept into power by a tribal confederation, were able to unify their domains for only a few generations. By the 1330s their rule had begun to be fragmented among myriad local leaders. Meanwhile, on both Mongol flanks, other Turkic Muslim powers were increasing in strength.

 To the east the Delhi sultanate of Turkic slave soldiers withstood Mongol pressure, benefited from the presence of scholars and administrators fleeing Mongol destruction, and gradually began to extend Muslim control south into India, a feat that was virtually accomplished under Muḥammad ibn Tughluq. Muslim Delhi was a culturally lively place that attracted a variety of unusual persons. Muḥammad ibn Tughluq himself was, like many later Indian Muslim rulers, well read in philosophy, science, and religion. Not possessing the kind of dynastic legitimacy the pastoralist Mongols had asserted, he tied his legitimacy to his support for the Sharīʾah, and he even sought to have himself invested by the ʾAbbāsid “caliph” whom the Mamlūks had taken to Cairo. His concern with the Sharīʾah coincided with the growing popularity of Ṣūfism, especially as represented by the massive Chishti (Chishtīyah) ṭarīqah. Its most famous leader, Niẓām ad-Dīn Awliyāʾ, had been a spiritual adviser to many figures at court before Muḥammad ibn Tughluq came to the throne, as well as to individual Hindus and Muslims alike. In India, Ṣūfism, which inherently undermined communalism, was bringing members of different religious communities together in ways very rare in the more westerly parts of Islāmdom.

      To the west, the similarly constituted Mamlūk state continued to resist Mongol expansion. Its sultans were chosen, on a nonhereditary basis, from among a group of freed slaves who acted as the leaders of the various slave corps. At the death of one sultan the various military corps would compete to see whose leader would become the next sultan. The leaders of the various slave corps formed an oligarchy that exercised control over the sultan. Although political instability was the frequent and natural result of such a system, cultural florescence did occur. The sultans actively encouraged trade and building, and Mamlūk Cairo became a place of splendour, filled with numerous architectural monuments. While the Persian language was becoming the language of administration and high culture over much of Islāmdom, Arabic alone continued to be cultivated in Mamlūk domains, to the benefit of a diversified intellectual life. Ibn an-Nafīs (died 1288), a physician, wrote about pulmonary circulation 300 years before it was “discovered” in Europe. For Mamlūk administrative personnel, al-Qalqashandī composed an encyclopaedia in which he surveyed not only local practice but also all the information that a cultivated administrator should know. Ibn Khallikān composed one of the most important Islāmicate biographical works, a dictionary of eminent men. Sharīʾah-minded studies were elaborated: the ʿulamā' worked out a political theory that tried to make sense of the sultanate, and they also explored the possibility of enlarging on the Sharīʾah by reference to falsafah and Ṣūfism.

      However, in much the same way as ash-Shāfiʾī had responded in the 9th century to what he viewed as dangerous legal diversity, another great legal and religious reformer, Ibn Taymīyah (Ibn Taymiyyah), living in Mamlūk Damascus in the late 13th and early 14th century, cautioned against such extralegal practices and pursuits. He insisted that the Sharīʾah was complete in and of itself and could be adapted to every age by any faqih who could analogize according to the principle of human advantage (maṣlaḥah). A Ḥanbalī himself, Ibn Taymīyah became as popular as his school's founder, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal. Like him, Ibn Taymīyah attacked all practices that undermined what he felt to be the fundamentals of Islām, including all forms of Shīʾite thought as well as aspects of Jamāʾi-Sunnite piety (often influenced by the Ṣūfīs) that stressed knowledge of God over service to him. Most visible among such practices was the revering of saints' tombs, which was condoned by the Mamlūk authorities. Ibn Taymīyah's program and popularity so threatened the Mamlūk authorities that they put him in prison, where he died. His movement did not survive, but when his ideas surfaced, in the revolutionary movement of the Wahhābīyah (Wahhābī) in the late 18th century, their lingering power became dramatically evident.

      Further west, the Rūm Seljuqs at Konya submitted to the Mongols in 1243 but survived intact. They continued to cultivate the Islāmicate arts, architecture in particular. The most famous Muslim ever to live at Konya, Jalāl ad-Dīn ar-Rūmī (Rūmī), had emigrated from eastern Iran with his father before the arrival of the Mongols. In Konya, Jalāl ad-Dīn, attracted to Ṣūfī activities, attached himself to the master Shams ad-Dīn. The poetry inspired by Jalāl ad-Dīn's association with Shams ad-Dīn is unparalleled in Persian literature. Its recitation, along with music and movement, was a key element in the devotional activities of Jalāl ad-Dīn's followers, who came to be organized into a Ṣūfī ṭarīqah named the Mevleviyah ( Mawlawīyah) after their title of respect for him, Mevlana (“Our Master”). In his poetry Jalāl ad-Dīn explored all varieties of metaphors, including intoxication, to describe the ineffable ecstasy of union with God.

Ascent of the Ottoman (Ottoman Empire) Turks
      It was not from the Rūm Seljuqs, however, that lasting Muslim power in Anatolia was to come, but rather from one of the warrior states on the Byzantine frontier. The successive waves of Turkic migrations had driven unrelated individuals and groups across central Islāmdom into Anatolia. Avoiding the Konya state, they gravitated toward an open frontier to the west, where they began to constitute themselves, often through fictitious kinship relationships, into quasi-tribal states that depended on raiding each other and Byzantine territory and shipping. One of these, the Osmanlıs, or Ottomans, named for their founder, Osman I (ruled 1281–1324), was located not on the coast, where raiding had its limits, but in Bithynia just facing Constantinople. In 1326 they won the town of Bursa and made it their first capital. From Anatolia they crossed over into Thrace in the service of rival factions at Constantinople, then began to occupy Byzantine territory, establishing their second capital at Edirne on the European side. Their sense of legitimacy was complex. They were militantly Muslim, bound by the ghāzī spirit, spurred on in their intolerance of local Christians by Greek converts and traveling Ṣūfīs who gravitated to their domains. At the same time, ‘ulamāʾ from more settled Islāmic lands to the east encouraged them to abide by the Sharīʾah and tolerate the Christians as protected non-Muslims. The Ottomans also cast themselves as deputies of the Rūm Seljuqs, who were themselves originally “deputized” by the ʾAbbāsid caliph. Finally they claimed descent from the leading Oğuz Turk families, who were natural rulers over sedentary populations. Under Murad I (ruled c. 1360–89) the state began to downplay its warrior fervour in favour of more conventional Islāmicate administration. Instead of relying on volunteer warriors, Murad established a regular cavalry, which he supported with land assignments, as well as a specially trained infantry force called the “new troops,” Janissaries (Janissary), drawn from converted captives. Expanding first through western Anatolia and Thrace, the Ottomans under Bayezid I (ruled 1389–1403) turned their eyes toward eastern and southern Anatolia; just as they had incorporated the whole, they encountered a neo-Mongol conqueror expanding into Anatolia from the east who utterly defeated their entire army in a single campaign (1402).

Timur's (Timur) efforts to restore Mongol power
      Timur (Tamerlane) was a Turk, not a Mongol; but he aimed to restore Mongol power. He was born a Muslim in the Syrdarya valley and served local pagan Mongol warriors and finally the Chagatai heir-apparent; but he rebelled and made himself ruler in Khwārezm in 1380. He planned to restore Mongol supremacy under a thoroughly Islāmic program. He surpassed the Mongols in terror, constructing towers out of the heads of his victims. Having established himself in Iran, he moved first on India and then on Ottoman Anatolia and Mamlūk Syria; but before he could consolidate his realm, he died. His impact was twofold: his defeat of the Ottomans inspired a comeback that would produce one of the greatest Islāmicate empires of all time, and one of the Central Asian heirs to his tradition of conquest would found another great Islāmicate empire in India. These later empires managed to find the combination of Turkic and Islāmic legitimacy that could produce the stable centralized absolutism that had eluded all previous Turkic conquerors.

      When the Fāṭimids conquered Egypt in 969, they left a governor named Zīrī in the Maghrib. By 1041 the dynasty founded by Zīrī (Zīrid Dynasty) declared its independence from the Fāṭimids, but it too was challenged by breakaways such as the Zanātah in Morocco and the Ḥammādids in Algeria. Gradually the Zīrids were restricted to the eastern Maghrib. There they were invaded from Egypt by two Bedouin Arab tribes, the Banū Halīl and the Banū Sulaym, at the instigation (1052) of the Fāṭimid ruler in Cairo. This mass migration of warriors as well as wives and children is known as the Hilālian invasion. Though initially disruptive, the Hilālian invasion had an important cultural impact; it resulted in a much greater spread of the Arabic language than had occurred in the 7th century and inaugurated the real Arabization of the Maghrib.

Berbers (Berber)
      When the Arab conquerors arrived in the Maghrib in the 7th century, the indigenous peoples they met were the Berbers, a group of predominantly but not entirely migratory tribes who spoke a recognizably common Hamito-Semitic language with significant dialectal variations. Berber tribes could be found from present-day Morocco to present-day Algeria, and from the Mediterranean to the Sahara. As among the Arabs, small tribal groupings of Berbers occasionally formed short-lived confederations or became involved in caravan trade. No previous conqueror had tried to assimilate the Berbers, but the Arabs quickly converted them and enlisted their aid in further conquests. Without their help, for example, Andalusia could never have been incorporated into the Islāmicate state. At first only Berbers nearer the coast were involved, but by the 11th century Muslim affiliation had begun to spread far into the Sahara.

The Ṣanhājah confederation
      One particular western Saharan Berber confederation, the Ṣanhājah, was responsible for the first Berber-directed effort to control the Maghrib. The Ṣanhājah were camel herders who traded mined salt for gold with the black kingdoms of the south. By the 11th century their power in the western Sahara was being threatened by expansion both from other Berber tribes, centred at Sijilmassa, and from the Soninke state at Ghana to the south, which had actually captured their capital of Audaghost in 990. The subsequent revival of their fortunes parallels Muḥammad's revitalization of the Arabs 500 years earlier, in that Muslim ideology reinforced their efforts to unify several smaller groups. The Ṣanhājah had been in contact with Islām since the 9th century, but their distance from major centres of Muslim life had kept their knowledge of the faith minimal. In 1035, however, Yaḥyā ibn Ibrāhīm, a chief from one of their tribes, the Gudālah, went on ḥajj. For the Maghribi pilgrim, the cultural impact of the ḥajj was experienced not only in Mecca and Medina but also on the many stops along the 3,000-mile overland route. When Yaḥyā returned, he was accompanied by a teacher from Nafis (in present-day Libya), ʾAbd Allāh ibn Yasīn, who would instruct the Berbers in Islām as teachers under ʾUmar I had instructed the Arab fighters in the first Muslim garrisons. Having met with little initial success, the two are said to have retired to a ribāṭ, a fortified place of seclusion, perhaps as far south as an island in the Sénégal River, to pursue a purer religious life. The followers they attracted to that ribāṭ were known, by derivation, as al-murābiṭūn (“the people of the retreat”); the dynasty they founded came to be known by the same name, or Almoravids in its Anglicized form. In 1042 Ibn Yasīn declared a jihād against the Ṣanhājah tribes, including his own, as people who had embraced Islām but then failed to practice it properly. By his death in 1059, the Ṣanhājah confederation had been restored under an Islāmic ideology; and the conquest of Morocco, which lacked strong leadership, was under way.

The Almoravid dynasty
      Ibn Yasīn's spiritual role was taken by a consultative body of ʿulamāʾ. His successor as military commander was Abū Bakr ibn ‘Umar. While pursuing the campaign against Morocco, Abū Bakr had to go south, leaving his cousin Yūsuf ibn Tāshufīn as his deputy. When Abū Bakr tried to return, Ibn Tāshufīn turned him back to the south, where he remained until his death in 1087. Under Ibn Tāshufīn's leadership, by 1082, Almoravid control extended as far as Algiers. In 1086 Ibn Tāshufīn responded to a request for help from the Andalusian party kings, unable to defend themselves against the Christian kingdoms in the north, such as Castile. By 1110 all Muslim states in Andalusia had come under Almoravid control.

      Like most other Jamāʾi-Sunnite rulers of his time, Ibn Tāshufīn had himself “appointed” deputy by the caliph in Baghdad. He also based his authority on the claim to bring correct Islām to peoples who had strayed from it. For him “correct” Islām meant the Sharīʾah as developed by the Mālikī faqihs, who played a key role in the Almoravid state by working out the application of the Sharīʾah to everyday problems. Like their contemporaries elsewhere, they received stipends from the government, sat in the ruler's council, went on campaign with him, and gave him recommendations (fatwas) on important decisions. This was an approach to Islām far more current than the one it had replaced, but still out of touch with the liveliest intellectual developments. During the next phase of Berber activism, newer trends from the east reached the Maghrib.

      A second major Berber movement originated in a revolt begun against Almoravid rule in 1125 by Ibn Tūmart, a settled Maṣmūdah Berber from the Atlas Mountains. Like Ibn Yasīn, Ibn Tūmart had been inspired by the ḥajj, which he used as an opportunity to study in Baghdad, Cairo, and Jerusalem, acquainting himself with all current schools of Islāmic thought and becoming a disciple of the ideas of the recently deceased al-Ghazālī. Emulating his social activism, Ibn Tūmart was inspired to act on the familiar Muslim dictum, “Command the good and forbid the reprehensible.” His early attempts took two forms, disputations with the scholars of the Almoravid court and public chastisement of Muslims who in his view contradicted the rules of Islām; he went so far as to throw the Almoravid ruler's sister off her horse because she was unveiled in public. His activities aroused hostility and he fled to the safety of his own people. There, like Muḥammad, he grew from teacher of a personal following to leader of a social movement.

      Like many subsequent reformers, especially in Africa and other outlying Muslim lands, Ibn Tūmart used Muḥammad's career as a model. He interpreted the Prophet's rejection and retreat as an emigration (hijrah) that enabled him to build a community, and he divided his followers into muhājirūn (“fellow emigrants”) and anṣār (“helpers”). He preached the idea of surrender to God to a people who had strayed from it. Thus could Muḥammad's ability to bring about radical change through renewal be invoked without actually claiming the prophethood that he had sealed forever. Ibn Tūmart further based his legitimacy on his claim to be a sharīf (sharif) (descendant of Muḥammad) and the mahdī, not in the Shīʾite sense but in the more general sense of a human sent to restore pure faith. In his view Almoravid students of legal knowledge were so concerned with pursuing the technicalities of the law that they had lost the purifying fervour of their own founder, Ibn Yasīn. They even failed to maintain proper Muslim behaviour, be it the veiling of women in public or the condemning of the use of wine, musical instruments, and other unacceptable, if not strictly illegal, forms of pleasure. Like many Muslim revitalizers before and since, Ibn Tūmart decried the way in which the law had taken on a life of its own, and he called upon Muslims to rely on the original and only reliable sources, the Qurʿān and ḥadīth. Although he opposed irresponsible rationalism in the law, in matters of theological discourse he leaned toward the limited rationalism of the Ashʾarite school, which was becoming so popular in the eastern Muslim lands. Like the Ashʿarites, he viewed the unity of God as one of Islām's fundamentals and denounced any reading of the Qurʿān that led to anthropomorphism. Because he focused on attesting the unity of God (tawḥīd), he called his followers al-Muwaḥḥidūn ( Almohads), “those who attest the unity of God.” Ibn Tūmart's movement signified the degree to which Maghribis could participate in the intellectual life of Islāmdom as a whole; but his need to use Berber for his many followers who did not know Arabic also illustrates the limits of interregional discourse.

The Almohad dynasty
      By 1147, 17 years after Ibn Tūmart's death, Almohads had replaced Almoravids in all their Maghribi and Andalusian (Andalusia) territories. In Andalusia their arrival slowed the progress of the Christian Reconquista. There, as in the Maghrib, arts and letters were encouraged: an example is an important movement of falsafah that included Ibn (Ibn al-ʿArabī) Ṭufayl, Ibn al-ʾArabī, and Ibn Rushd (Latin Averroës), the Andalusian qāḍī and physician whose interpretations of Aristotle became so important for medieval European Christianity. During the late Almohad period in Andalusia the intercommunal nature of Islāmicate civilization became especially noticeable in the work of non-Muslim thinkers, such as Moses Maimonides, who participated in trends outside their own communities even at the expense of criticism from within. By the early 13th century, Almohad power began to decline; a defeat in 1212 at Las Navas de Tolosa (Navas de Tolosa, Battle of Las) by the Christian kings of the north forced a retreat to the Maghrib. But the impact of Almohad cultural patronage on Andalusia long outlasted Almohad political power; successor dynasties in surviving Muslim states were responsible for some of the highest achievements of Andalusian Muslims, among them the Alhambra palace in Granada. Furthermore, the 400-year southward movement of the Christian–Muslim frontier resulted, ironically, in some of the most intense Christian–Muslim interaction in Andalusian history. The Cid could fight for both sides; Muslims, as Mudejars, could live under Christian rule and contribute to its culture; Jews could translate Arabic and Hebrew texts into Castilian. Almohads were replaced in the Maghrib as well, through a revolt by their own governors: the Ḥafṣids in Tunis and the Marīnid Berber dynasty in Fès. There too, however, Almohad influence outlasted their political presence: both towns became centres, in distinctively Maghribi form, of Islāmicate culture and Islāmic piety.

Continued spread of Islāmic influence
      As the Maghrib became firmly and distinctively Muslim, Islām moved south. The spread of Muslim identity into the Sahara and the involvement of Muslim peoples, especially the Tuareg, in trans-Saharan trade provided several natural channels of influence. By the time of the Marīnids, Ḥafṣids, and Mamlūks, several major trade routes had established crisscrossing lines of communication: from Cairo to Timbuktu, from Tripoli to Bornu and Lake Chad, from Tunis to Timbuktu at the bend of the Niger River, and from Fès and Tafilalt through major Saharan entrepôts into Ghana and Mali. The rise at Timbuktu of Mali, the first great western Sudanic empire with a Muslim ruler, attested the growing incorporation of sub-Saharan Africa into the North African orbit. The reign of Mansa Mūsā, who even went on pilgrimage, demonstrated the influence of Islām on at least the upper echelons of African society.

      The best picture of Islāmdom in the 14th century appears in the work of a remarkable Maghribi qāḍī and traveler, Ibn Baṭṭūṭah (1304–1368/77). In 1325, the year that Mansa Mūsā went on pilgrimage, Ibn Baṭṭūṭah also left for Mecca, from his hometown of Tangiers. He was away for almost 30 years, visiting most of Islāmdom, including Andalusia, all of the Maghrib, Mali, Syria, Arabia, Iran, India, the Maldive Islands, and, he claimed, China. He described the unity within diversity that was one of Islāmdom's most prominent features. Although local customs often seemed at variance with his notion of pure Islāmic practice, he felt at home everywhere. Despite the divisions that had occurred during Islām's 700-year history, a Muslim could attend the Friday worship session in any Muslim town in the world and feel comfortable, a claim that is difficult if not impossible to make for any other major religious tradition at any time in its history. By the time of Ibn Baṭṭūṭah's death, Islāmdom comprised the most far-flung yet interconnected set of societies in the world. As one author has pointed out, Thomas Aquinas (c. 1224–74) might have been read from Spain to Hungary and from Sicily to Norway; but Ibn al-ʾArabī (Ibn al-ʿArabī) (1165–1240) was read from Spain to Sumatra and from the Swahili coast to Kazan on the Volga River. By the end of the period of migration and renewal, Islām had begun to spread not only into sub-Saharan Africa but also into the southern seas with the establishment of a Muslim presence in the Straits of Malacca. Conversion to Islām across its newer frontiers was at first limited to a small elite, who supplemented local religious practices with Muslim ones. Islām could offer not only a unifying religious system but also social techniques, including alphabetic literacy, a legal system applicable to daily life, a set of administrative institutions, and a body of science and technology—all capable of enhancing the power of ruling elements and of tying them into a vast and lucrative trading network.

      The period of migration and renewal exposed both the potentiality and the limitations of government by tribal peoples. This great problem of Islāmicate history received its most sophisticated analysis from a Maghribi Muslim named Ibn Khaldūn (1332–1406), a contemporary of Petrarch. His family had migrated from Andalusia to the Maghrib, and he himself was born in Ḥafṣid territory. He was both a faylasūf and a qāḍī, a combination more common in Andalusia and the Maghrib than anywhere else in Islāmdom. His falsafah was activist; he strove to use his political wisdom to the benefit of one of the actual rulers of the day. To this end he moved from one court to another before becoming disillusioned and retiring to Mamlūk Cairo as a qāḍī. His life thus demonstrated the importance and the constraints of royal patronage as a stimulant to intellectual creativity. In his Muqaddimah (the introduction to his multivolume world history) he used his training in falsafah to discern patterns in history. Transcending the critiques of historical method made by historians of the Būyid period, such as al-Masʾūdī, Miskawayh, and as-Suli, Ibn Khaldūn established careful standards of evidence. Whereas Muslim historians conventionally subscribed to the view that God passed sovereignty and hegemony (dawlah) from one dynasty to another through his divine wisdom, Ibn Khaldūn explained it in terms of a cycle of natural and inevitable stages. By his day it had become apparent that tribally organized migratory peoples, so favoured by much of the ecology of the Maghrib and the Nile-to-Oxus region, could easily acquire military superiority over settled peoples if they could capitalize on the inherently stronger group feeling (ʾaṣabīyyah) that kinship provides. Once in power, according to Ibn Khaldūn, conquering groups pass through a phase in which a small number of “builders” among them bring renewed vitality to their conquered lands. As the family disperses itself among sedentary peoples and ceases to live the hard life of migration, it becomes soft from the prosperity it has brought and begins to degenerate. Then internal rivalries and jealousies force one member of the family to become a king who must rely on mercenary troops and undermine his own prosperity by paying for them. In the end, the ruling dynasty falls prey to a new tribal group with fresh group feeling. Thus did Ibn Khaldūn call attention to the unavoidable instability of all premodern Muslim dynasties, caused by their lack of the regularized patterns of succession that were beginning to develop in European dynasties.

Consolidation and expansion (1405–1683)
 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 (Europe, history of) 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 (1346–48), 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 Islāmdom 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 Islāmicate 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 Islām 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 Islāmicate artistic achievements were made. In this period Muslims formed the cultural patterns that they brought into modern times, and adherence to Islām expanded to approximately its current distribution. As adherence to Islām expanded, far-flung cultural regions began to take on a life of their own. The unity of several of these regions was expressed through empire—the Ottomans in southeastern Europe, Anatolia, the eastern Maghrib, Egypt, and Syria; the Ṣafavids in Iran and Iraq; the Indo-Timurids (Mughals) in India. In these empires, Sunnite and Shīʿite became identities on a much larger scale than ever before, expressing competition between large populations; simultaneously Shīʿism 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 Islām; Egyptian Islām 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 Islām, with Persian as its lingua franca. In fact, Persian became the closest yet to an international language; but the expansion and naturalization of Islām also fostered a number of local languages into vehicles for Islāmicate administration and high culture—Ottoman, Chagatai, Swahili, Urdu, and Malay. Everywhere Muslims were confronting adherents of other religions, and new converts often practiced Islām 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 Mamlūk Egypt and Syria, was divided between the Marīnids and Ḥafṣids. 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 Islāmdom's far southeast, the Muslim state of Samudra held sway in Sumatra, and the rulers of the Moluccas had recently converted to Islām 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, Islāmdom'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 (Ottoman Empire)
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 Sharīʿah (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 devşirme) 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 Sharīʿah and the preference of the ulema (the Turkish spelling of ʿulamāʾ), 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 Sharīʾah, and they defended and extended the frontiers, as in their conquest of Mamlūk Egypt, Syria, and the holy cities in 1516–17. 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 Sharīʿah. Simultaneously, they emphasized their inheritance of Byzantine legitimacy by transforming Byzantine symbols, such as Hagia Sophia (Church of the Divine Wisdom), into symbols for Islām; and by favouring their empire's European part, called, significantly, Rūm.

Reign of Süleyman I
      The classical Ottoman system crystallized during the reign of Süleyman I, the Lawgiver (ruled 1520–66). He also pushed the empire's borders almost to their furthest limits, to the walls of Vienna in the northwest, throughout the Maghrib up to Morocco in the southwest, into Iraq to the east, and to the Yemen in the southeast. During Süleyman's reign the Ottomans even sent an expedition into the southern seas to help Aceh against the Portuguese colonizers. In theory, Süleyman presided over a balanced four-part structure: the palace household, which contained all of the sultan's wives, concubines, children, and servants; the bureaucracy (chancery and treasury); the armed forces; and the religious establishment. Important positions in the army and bureaucracy went to the cream of the devşirme, Christian youths converted to Islām and put through special training at the capital to be the sultan's personal “slaves.” Ulema who acquired government posts had undergone systematic training at the major medreses (madrasahs) and so in the Ottoman state were more integrated than were their counterparts in other states; yet they were freeborn Muslims, not brought into the system as slaves of the sultan. The ruling class communicated in a language developed for their use only, Ottoman, which combined Turkic syntax with largely Arabic and Persian vocabulary. It was in this new language that so many important figures demonstrated the range and sophistication of Ottoman interests, such as the historian Mustafa Naima, the encyclopaedist Kâtip Çelebi, and the traveler Evliya Çelebi. The splendour of the Ottoman capital owed not a little to Süleyman's chief architect, the Greek devşirme recruit Sinan, who transformed the city's skyline with magnificent mosques and medreses.

The extent of Ottoman administration
      Even in North Africa and the Fertile Crescent, where Ottoman rule was indirect, the effect of its administration, especially its land surveys and millet and tax systems, could be felt; remnants of the Ottoman system continue to play a role in the political life of modern states such as Israel and Lebanon, despite the fact that Ottoman control had already begun to relax by the first quarter of the 17th century. By then control of the state treasury was passing, through land grants, into the hands of local aʿyān (aynʿ), and they gradually became the real rulers, serving local rather than imperial interests. Meanwhile discontinuance of the devşirme and the rise of hereditary succession to imperial offices shut off new sources of vitality. Monarchs, confined to the palace during their youth, became weaker and participated less in military affairs and government councils. As early as 1630, Sultan Murad IV was presented by one of his advisers with a memorandum explaining the causes of the perceived decline and urging a restoration of the system as it had existed under Süleyman. Murad IV tried to restore Ottoman efficiency and central control, and his efforts were continued by subsequent sultans aided by a talented family of ministers known as the Köprülüs. However, during a war with Austria and Poland from 1682 to 1699, in which a major attack on Vienna failed (1683), the Ottomans suffered their first serious losses to an enemy and exposed the weakness of their system to their European neighbours. They signed two treaties, at Carlowitz in 1699 and at Passarowitz in 1718, that confirmed their losses in southeastern Europe, signified their inferiority to the Habsburg coalition, and established the defensive posture they would maintain into the 20th century.

Ṣafavids (Ṣafavid Dynasty)
      The Ṣafavid state began not from a band of ghāzīwarriors but from a local Ṣufī ṭarīqah of Ardabīl in Azerbaijan. The ṭarīqah was named after its founder, Shaykh Ṣafī od-Dīn (1252/53–1334), a local holy man. As for many ṭarīqahs and other voluntary associations, Sunnite and Shīʿite alike, affection for the family of ʿAlī was a channel for popular support. During the 15th century Shaykh Ṣafī's successors transformed their local ṭarīqah into an interregional movement by translating ʿAlid loyalism into full-fledged Imāmi Shīʿism. By asserting that they were the Ṣūfi “perfect men” of their time as well as descendants and representatives of the last imām, they strengthened the support of their Turkic tribal disciples (known as the Kizilbash, or “Red Heads,” because of their symbolic 12-fold red headgear). They also attracted support outside Iran, especially in eastern Anatolia (where the anti-Ottoman Imāmi Bekṭāshī ṭarīqah was strong), in Syria, the Caucasus, and Transoxania. The ability of the Iranian (Iran) Shīʿite state to serve as a source of widespread local opposition outside of Iran was again to become dramatically apparent many years later, with the rise of the ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islāmic Republic in the late 1970s.

Expansion in Iran and beyond
      By 1501 the Ṣafavids were able to defeat the Ak Koyunlu rulers of northern Iran, whereupon their teenage leader Ismāʿīl I (ruled 1501–24) had himself proclaimed shah, using that pre-Islāmic title for the first time in almost 900 years and thereby invoking the glory of ancient Iran. The Ṣafavids thus asserted a multivalent legitimacy that flew in the face of Ottoman claims to have restored caliphal authority for all Muslims. Eventually, irritant became threat: by 1510, when Ismāʿīl had conquered all of Iran (to approximately its present frontiers) as well as the Fertile Crescent, he began pushing against the Uzbeks in the east and the Ottomans in the west, both of whom already suffered from significant Shīʿite opposition that could easily be aroused by Ṣafavid successes. Having to fight on two fronts was the most difficult military problem any Muslim empire could face. According to the persisting Mongol pattern, the army was a single force attached to the household of the ruler and moving with him at all times; so the size of an area under effective central control was limited to the farthest points that could be reached in a single campaign season. After dealing with his eastern front, Ismāʿīl turned west. At Chāldirān (Chāldirān, Battle of) (1514) in northwestern Iraq, having refused to use gunpowder weapons, Ismāʿīl suffered the kind of defeat at Ottoman hands that the Ottomans had suffered from Timur. Yet through the war of words waged in a body of correspondence between Shah Ismāʿīl and the Ottoman sultan Selim I, and through the many invasions from both fronts that occurred during the next 60 years, the Ṣafavid state survived and prospered. Still living off its position at the crossroads of the trans-Asian trade that had supported all previous empires in Iraq and Iran, it was not yet undermined by the gradual emergence of more significant sea routes to the south.

      The first requirement for the survival of the Ṣafavid state was the conversion of its predominantly Jamāʿī-Sunnite population to Imāmi Shīʿism. This was accomplished by a government-run effort supervised by the state-appointed leader of the religious community, the ṣadr. Gradually forms of piety emerged that were specific to Ṣafavid Shīʿism; they centred on pilgrimage to key sites connected with the imāms, as well as on the annual remembering and reenacting of the key event in Shīʿite history, the caliph Yazīd I's destruction of Imām al-Ḥusayn at Karbalāʾ on the 10th of Muḥarram, AH 61 (680 CE). The 10th of Muḥarram, or ʾĀshūrāʾ (Āshūrāʾʿ), already marked throughout Islāmdom with fasting, became for Iranian Shīʾites the centre of the religious calendar. The first 10 days of Muḥarram became a period of communal mourning, during which the pious imposed suffering on themselves to identify with their martyrs of old, listened to sermons, and recited appropriate elegiac poetry. In later Ṣafavid times the name for this mourning, taʿzīyeh, also came to be applied to passion plays performed to reenact events surrounding al-Ḥusayn's martyrdom. Through the depths of their empathetic suffering, Shīʿites could help to overturn the injustice of al-Ḥusayn's martyrdom at the end of time, when all wrongs would be righted, all wrongdoers punished, and all true followers of the imāms rewarded.

Shah ʿAbbās I
      The state also survived because Ismāʿīl's successors moved, like the Ottomans, toward a type of legitimation different from the one that had brought them to power. This development began in the reign of Ṭahmāsp (Ṭahmāsp I) (1524–76) and culminated in the reign of the greatest Ṣafavid shah, Abbās Iʿ (ruled 1588–1629). Since Ismāʿīl's time, the tribes had begun to lose faith in the Ṣafavid monarch as spiritual leader; now ʿAbbās appealed for support more as absolute monarch and less as the charismatic Ṣufī master or incarnated imām. At the same time he freed himself from his unruly tribal amīrs by depending more and more on a paid army of converted Circassian, Georgian, and Armenian Christian captives. Meanwhile he continued to rely on a large bureaucracy headed by a chief minister with limited responsibilities; but, unlike his Ottoman contemporaries, he distanced members of the religious community from state involvement while allowing them an independent source of support in their administration of the waqf system. Because the Shīʿiteʿulamāʾ had a tradition of independence that made them resist incorporation into the military “household” of the shah, ʿAbbās' policies were probably not unpopular; but they eventually undermined his state's legitimacy. By the end of the period under discussion, it was the religious leaders, the mujtahids, who would claim to be the spokesmen for the hidden imām. Having shared the ideals of the military patronage state, the Ottoman state became more firmly militarized and religious, as the Ṣafavid became more civilianized and secular (secularism). The long-term consequences of this breach between government and the religious institution were extensive, culminating in the establishment of the Islāmic Republic of Iran in 1978.

      ʿAbbās expressed his new role by moving his capital in about 1597–98 to Eṣfahān in Fārs, the central province of the ancient pre-Islāmic Iranian empires and symbolically more Persian than Turkic. Eṣfahān, favoured by a high and scenic setting, became one of the most beautiful cities in the world, leading its boosters to say, “Eṣfahān is half the world.” It came to contain, often thanks to royal patronage, myriad palaces, gardens, parks, mosques, medreses, caravansaries, workshops, and public baths. Many of these still stand, including the famed Masjed-e Shah, a mosque that shares the great central mall with an enormous covered bazaar and many other structures. It was here that ʿAbbās received diplomatic and commercial visits from Europeans, including a Carmelite mission from Pope Clement XIII (1604) and the adventuring Sherley brothers from Elizabethan England. Just as his visitors hoped to use him to their own advantage, ʿAbbās hoped to use them to his, as sources of firearms and military technology, or as pawns in his economic warfare against the Ottomans, in which he was willing to seek help from apparently anyone, including the Russians, Portuguese, and Habsburgs.

      Under Ṣafavid rule, Iran in the 16th and 17th centuries became the centre of a major cultural flowering expressed through the Persian language and through the visual arts. This flowering extended to Ṣafavid neighbour states as well—Ottomans, Uzbeks, and Indo-Timurids. Like other Shīʿite dynasties before them, the Ṣafavids encouraged the development of falsafah as a companion to Shīʿite esotericism and cosmology. Two major thinkers, Mīr Dāmād and his disciple Mullā Ṣadrā, members of the Ishrāqī, or illuminationist, school, explored the realm of images or symbolic imagination as a way to understand issues of human meaningfulness. The Ṣafavid period was also important for the development of Shīʿite Sharīʿah-minded studies, and it produced a major historian, Iskandar Beg Munshī, chronicler of ʿAbbās' reign.

Decline of central authority
      None of ʿAbbās' successors was his equal, though his state, ever weaker, survived for a century. The last effective shah, Ḥusayn I (1694–1722), could defend himself neither from tribal raiding in the capital nor from interfering mujtahids led by Mohammad Bāqir Majlisī (whose writings later would be important in the Islāmic Republic of Iran). In 1722, when Maḥmūd of Qandahār led an Afghan tribal raid into Iran from the east, he easily took Eṣfahān and destroyed what was left of central authority.

Indo-Timurids (Mughals (Mughal Dynasty))
Foundation by Bābur
      Although the Mongol-Timurid legacy influenced the Ottoman and Ṣafavid states, it had its most direct impact on Bābur (1483–1530), the adventurer's adventurer and founder of the third major empire of the period. Bābur's father, ʿUmar Shaykh Mīrzā (died 1494) of Fergana, was one among many Timurid “princes” who continued to rule small pieces of the lands their great ancestor had conquered. After his father's death the 11-year-old Bābur, who claimed descent not only from Timur but also from Genghis Khan (on his mother's side), quickly faced one of the harshest realities of his time and place—too many princes for too few kingdoms. In his youth he dreamed of capturing Samarkand as a base for reconstructing Timur's empire. For a year after the Ṣafavid defeat of the Uzbek Muḥammad Shaybānī Khān, Bābur and his Chagatai followers did hold Samarkand, as Ṣafavid vassals; but when the Ṣafavids were in turn defeated, Bābur lost not only Samarkand but his native Fergana as well. He was forced to retreat to Kābul, which he had occupied in 1504. From there he never restored Timur's empire; rather, barred from moving north or west, he took the Timurid legacy south, to a land on which Timur had made only the slightest impression.

      When Bābur turned toward northern India, it was ruled from Delhi by the Lodī sultans, one of many local Turkic dynasties scattered through the subcontinent. In 1526 at Pānīpat, Bābur met and defeated the much larger Lodī army. In his victory he was aided, like the Ottomans at Chāldirān, by his artillery. By his death just four years later, he had laid the foundation for a remarkable empire, known most commonly as the Mughal (i.e., Mongol). It is more properly called Indo-Timurid because the Chagatai Turks were distinct from the surviving Mongols of the time and because Bābur and his successors acknowledge Timur as the founder of their power.

      Bābur is also remembered for his memoirs, the Bābur-nāmeh. Written in Chagatai, then an emerging Islāmicate literary language, his work gives a lively and compelling account of the wide range of interests, tastes, and sensibilities that made him so much a counterpart of his contemporary, the Italian Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527).

Reign of Akbar
      Süleyman's and ʿAbbās' counterpart in the Indo-Timurid dynasty was their contemporary, Akbar (ruled 1556–1605), the grandson of Bābur. At the time of his death, he ruled all of present-day India north of the Deccan Plateau and Gondwana, and more: one diagonal of his empire extended from the Hindu Kush to the Bay of Bengal; the other, from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea. Like its contemporaries to the west, particularly the Ottomans, this state endured because of a regularized and equitable tax system that provided the central treasury with funds to support the ruler's extensive building projects as well as his manṣabdārs, the military and bureaucratic officers of the imperial service. For these key servants, Akbar, again like his counterparts to the west, relied largely on foreigners who were trained especially for his service. Like the Janissaries, the manṣabdārs were not supposed to inherit their offices, and, although they were assigned lands to supervise, they themselves were paid through the central treasury to assure their loyalty to the interests of the ruler.

      Although Akbar's empire was, like Süleyman's and ʿAbbās', a variation on the theme of the military patronage state, his situation, and consequently many of his problems, differed from theirs in important ways. Islām was much more recently established in most of his empire than in either of the other two, and Muslims were not in the majority. Although the other two states were not religiously or ethnically homogeneous, the extent of their internal diversity could not compare with Akbar's, where Muslims and non-Muslims of every stripe alternately coexisted and came into conflict—Jacobites (members of the Monophysite Syrian church), Ṣūfīs, Ismāʿīlī Shīʿites, Zoroastrians, Jains, Jesuits, Jews, and Hindus. Consequently, Akbar was forced even more than the Ottomans to confront and address the issue of religious plurality. The option of aggressive conversion was virtually impossible in such a vast area, as was any version of the Ottoman millet system in a setting in which hundreds if not thousands of millets could be defined.

      In some ways Akbar faced, in exaggerated form, the situation that the Arab Muslims faced when they were a minority in the Nile-to-Oxus region in the 7th–9th century. Granting protected status to non-Muslims, even those who were not really “peoples of the book” in the original sense, with an organized religion of their own, was legally and administratively justifiable; but unless they could be kept from interacting too much with the Muslim population, Islām itself could be affected. The power of Ṣūfī ṭarīqahs like the influential Chishtis, and of the Hindu mystical movement of Gurū Nānak, were already promoting intercommunal interaction and cross-fertilization. Akbar's response was different from that of the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Maḥdi. Instead of institutionalizing intolerance of non-Muslim influences, and instead of hardening communal lines, Akbar banned intolerance and even the special tax on non-Muslims. To keep the ʿulamāʾ from objecting, he tried, for different reasons than had the Ottomans and Ṣafavids, to tie them to the state financially. His personal curiosity about other religions was exemplary; with the help of Abuʾl-Faẓl (Abu al-Faḍl ʿAllāmī), his Ṣūfī adviser and biographer, he established a kind of salon for religious discussion. A very small circle of personal disciples seems to have emulated Akbar's own brand of tawḥīd-i ilāhī (“divine oneness”). This appears to have been a general monotheism akin to what the ḥanīfs of Mecca, and Muḥammad himself, had once practiced, as well as to the boundary-breaking pantheistic awareness of great Ṣūfīs like ar-Rūmī and Ibn al-ʿArabī, who was very popular in South and Southeast Asia. Akbar combined toleration for all religions with condemnation of practices that seemed to him humanly objectionable, such as enslavement and the immolation of widows.

Continuation of the empire
      For half a century, Akbar's first two successors, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān, continued his policies. A rebuilt capital at Delhi was added to the old capitals of Fatehpur Sīkri and Āgra, site of Shāh Jahān's most famous building, the Tāj Mahal. The mingling of Hindu and Muslim traditions was expressed in all the arts, especially in naturalistic and sensuous painting; extremely refined and sophisticated design in ceramics, inlay-work, and textiles; and in delicate yet monumental architecture. Shāh Jahān's son, Dārā Shikōh (1615–59), was a Ṣūfī thinker and writer who tried to establish a common ground for Muslims and Hindus. In response to such attempts, a Sharīʿah-minded movement of strict communalism arose, connected with a leader of the Naqshbandī ṭarīqah named Shaykh Aḥmad Sirhindī (Aḥmad Sirhindī, Shaykh). With the accession of Aurangzeb (ruled 1659–1707) the tradition of ardent ecumenicism, which would reemerge several centuries later in a non-Muslim named Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi, was replaced with a stricter communalism that imposed penalties on protected non-Muslims and stressed the shah's role as leader of the Muslim community, by virtue of his enforcing the Sharīʾah. Unlike the Ottoman and Ṣafavid domains, the Indo-Timurid empire was still expanding right up to the beginning of the 18th century; but the empire began to disintegrate shortly after the end of Aurangzeb's reign, when Ṣafavid and Ottoman power were also declining rapidly.

      Between the 15th and 18th century the use of coffee, tea, and tobacco, despite the objections of the ʿulamāʾ, became common in all three empires. Teahouses became important new centres for male socializing, in addition to the home, the mosque, the marketplace, and the public bath. (Female socializing was restricted largely to the home and the bath.) In the teahouses men could practice the already well-developed art of storytelling and take delight in the clever use of language. The Thousand and One Nights (Alf laylah wa laylah), the earliest extant manuscripts of which date from this period, and the stories of the Arabian hero ʿAntar must have been popular, as were the tales of a wise fool known as Mullah Nasroddin in Persian (Nasreddin), Hoca in Turkish, and Juḥā in Arabic. The exploits of Nasroddin, sometimes in the guise of Ṣūfī dervish or royal adviser, often humorously portray centralized absolutism and mysticism: “Nasroddin was sent by the King to investigate the lore of various kinds of Eastern mystical teachers. They all recounted to him tales of the miracles and the sayings of the founders and great teachers, all long dead, of their schools. When he returned home, he submitted his report, which contained the single word ‘Carrots.' He was called upon to explain himself. Nasroddin told the King: ‘The best part is buried; few know—except the farmer—by the green that there is orange underground; if you don't work for it, it will deteriorate; there are a great many donkeys associated with it.' ”

Trans-Saharan Islām
      When the Ottomans expanded through the southern Mediterranean coast in the early 16th century, they were unable to incorporate Morocco, where a new state had been formed in reaction to the appearance of the Portuguese. The Portuguese were riding the momentum generated by their own seaborne expansion as well as by the fulfillment of the Reconquista and the establishment of an aggressively intolerant Christian regime in the centre of the Iberian Peninsula. In Morocco, it was neither the fervour of warriors nor Shīʿite solidarity nor Timurid restoration that motivated the formation of a state; rather it was a very old form of legitimacy that had proved to be especially powerful in Africa, that of the sharīf (sharif)s, descendants of Muḥammad. It had last been relied on with the Idrīsids; now the sharīfs were often associated with Ṣūfī holy men, known as marabouts. It was one such Ṣūfī, Sīdī Barakāt, who legitimated the Saʾdī family of sharīfs as leaders of a jīhad that expelled the Portuguese and established an independent state (1511–1603) strong enough to expand far to the south. Meanwhile the greatest Muslim kingdom of the Sudan, Songhai (Songhai empire), was expanding northward; and its growing control of major trade routes into Morocco provoked Moroccan interference. Invaded in 1591, Songhai was ruled as a Moroccan vassal for 40 years, during which time Morocco itself was experiencing political confusion and instability. Morocco was reunited in 1668 by the ʿAlawite sharīfs. A holy family of Sijilmassa, they were brought to power by Arab tribal support, which they eventually had to replace with a costly army of black slaves. Like the Saʾdīs, they were legitimated in two ways: by the recognition of leading Ṣūfīs and by the special spiritual quality (barakah) presumed to have passed to them by virtue of their descent from the Prophet through ʿAlī. Although they were not Shīʿites, they cultivated charismatic leadership that undermined the power of the ʿulamāʾ to use the Sharīʾah against them. They also recognized the limits of their authority as absolute monarchs, dividing their realm into the area of authority and the area of no authority (where many of the Berber tribes lived). Thus the Moroccan sharīfs solved the universal problems of legitimacy, loyalty, and control in a way tailored to their own situation.

      While the Saʾdī dynasty was ruling in Morocco, but long before its incursions into the Sahara, a number of small Islāmic states were strung from one end of the Sudanic (Sudan) region to the other: Senegambia, Songhai, Aïr, Mossi, Nupe, Hausa, Kanem-Bornu, Darfur, and Funj. Islām had come to these areas along trade and pilgrimage routes, especially through the efforts of a number of learned teaching-trading families such as the Kunta. Ordinarily the ruling elites became Muslim first, employing the skills of Arab immigrants, traders, or travelers, and taking political and commercial advantage of the Arabic language and the Sharīʿah without displacing indigenous religious practices or legitimating principles. By the 16th century the Muslim states of the Sudanic belt were in contact not only with the major Muslim centres of the Maghrib and Egypt, but also with each other through an emerging trans-Sudanic pilgrimage route. Furthermore, Islām had by then become well enough established to provoke efforts at purification comparable with the Almoravid movement of the 11th century. Sometimes these efforts were gradualist and primarily educational, as was the case with the enormously influential Egyptian scholar as-Suyūṭī (Suyūṭī, al-) (1445–1505). His works, read by many West African Muslims for centuries after his death, dealt with numerous subjects, including the coming of the maḥdī to restore justice and strengthen Islām. He also wrote letters to Muslim scholars and rulers in West Africa more than 2,000 miles away, explaining the Sharīʿah and encouraging its careful observance.

      Other efforts to improve the observance of Islām were more militant. Rulers might forcibly insist on an end to certain non-Muslim practices, as did Muḥammad Rumfa (ruled 1463–99) in the Hausa city-state of Kano, or Muḥammad I Askia, the greatest ruler of Songhai (ruled 1493–1528). Often, as in the case of both of these rulers, militance was encouraged by an aggressive reformist scholar like al-Maghīlī (flourished 1492), whose writings detailed the conditions that would justify a jihād against Muslims who practiced their faith inadequately. Like many reformers, al-Maghīlī identified himself as a mujaddid, a figure expected to appear around the turn of each Muslim century. (The 10th century of the hijrah era began in 1494.) To the east in Ethiopia, an actual jihād was carried out by Ạhmad Grāñ (Aḥmad Grāñ) (c. 1506–43), in the name of opposition to the Christian regime and purification of “compromised” Islām. Further to the east, a conquest of Christian Nubia by Arab tribes of Upper Egypt resulted in the conversion of the pagan Funj to Islām and the creation of a major Muslim kingdom there. Although most indigenous West African scholars looked to foreigners for inspiration, a few began to chart their own course. In Timbuktu, where a rich array of Muslim learning was available, one local scholar and member of a Tukulor learned family, Aḥmad Bābā, was writing works that were of interest to North African Muslims. Local histories written in Arabic also survive, such as the Taʿrīkh al-fattāsh (written by several generations of the Kāti family, from 1519 to 1665), a chronological history of Songhai, or as-Saʿdī's Taʾrīkh al-Sūdān (completed in 1655). By the end of the period of consolidation and expansion, Muslims in the Sudanic belt were being steadily influenced by North African Islām but were also developing distinctive traditions of their own.

Indian Ocean Islām
      A similar relationship was simultaneously developing across another “sea,” the Indian Ocean, which tied South and Southeast Asian Muslims to East African and south Arabian Muslims the way the Sahara linked North African and Sudanic Muslims. Several similarities are clear: the alternation of advance and retreat, the movement of outside influences along trade routes, and the emergence of significant local scholarship. There were differences, too: Indian Ocean Muslims had to cope with the Portuguese threat and to face Hindus and Buddhists more than pagans, so that Islām had to struggle against sophisticated and refined religious traditions that possessed written literature and considerable political power.

      The first major Muslim state in Southeast Asia, Aceh, was established around 1524 in northern and western Sumatra in response to more than a decade of Portuguese advance. Under Sultan Iskandar Muda (ruled 1608–37), Aceh reached the height of its prosperity and importance in the Indian Ocean trade, encouraging Muslim learning and expanding Muslim adherence. By the end of the 17th century, Aceh's Muslims were in touch with major intellectual centres to the west, particularly in India and Arabia, just as West African Muslims were tied to centres across the Sahara. Because they could draw on many sources, often filtered through India, Sumatran Muslims may have been exposed to a wider corpus of Muslim learning than Muslims in many parts of the heartland. Aceh's scholarly disputes over Ibn al-ʿArabī were even significant enough to attract the attention of a leading Medinan, Ibrahim al-Kurani, who in 1640 wrote a response. The same kind of naturalization and indigenization of Islām that was taking place in Africa was also taking place here; for example, ʿAbd ar-Raʾūf of Singkel, after studying in Arabia from about 1640 to 1661, returned home, where he made the first “translation” of the Qurʾān into Malay, a language that was much enriched during this period by Arabic script and vocabulary. This phenomenon extended even to China. Liu Chih, a scholar born around 1650 in Nanking, created serious Islāmicate literature in Chinese, including works of philosophy and law.

      In the early 17th century another Muslim commercial power emerged when its ruler, the prince of Tallo, converted; Macassar (now Makassar) became an active centre for Muslim competition with the Dutch into the third quarter of the 17th century, when its greatest monarch, Ḥasan ad-Dīn (ruled 1631–70), was forced to cede his independence. Meanwhile, however, a serious Islāmic presence was developing in Java, inland as well as on the coasts; by the early 17th century the first inland Muslim state in Southeast Asia, Mataram, was established. There Ṣūfī holy men performed a missionary function similar to that being performed in Africa. Unlike the more seriously Islāmized states in Sumatra, Mataram suffered, as did its counterparts in West Africa, from its inability to suppress indigenous beliefs to the satisfaction of the more conservative ʿulamāʾ (ulama). Javanese Muslims, unlike those in Sumatra, would have to struggle for centuries to negotiate the confrontation between Hindu and Muslim cultures. Their situation underscores a major theme of Islāmicate history through the period of consolidation and expansion; that is, the repeatedly demonstrated absorptive capacity of Muslim societies, a capacity that was soon to be challenged in unprecedented ways.

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 Islāmdom. 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 Khaldūn, 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 Islāmdom, 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 routes—and, accidentally, a new source of wealth in the Americas. In Europe, centralized absolutism, though an ideal, had not been the success it was in Islāmdom. Emerging from the landed classes rather than from the cities, it had benefited from and been constrained by independent urban commercial classes. In Islāmdom, 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 (capitulation).

      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 Islāmic or Islāmicate symbols and motifs. The power of Islām 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 (1683–1818)
      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 control. Responses to decline, sometimes official and sometimes unofficial, sometimes Islāmizing, sometimes Europeanizing, fell into two categories, as the following examples demonstrate.

      In some areas, leaders attempted to revive existing political systems. In Iran, for example, attempts at restoration combined military and religious reform. Around 1730 a Turk from Khorāsān named Nāder Qolī Beg reorganized the Ṣafavid army in the name of the Ṣafavid shah, whom he replaced with himself in 1736. Nāder Shāh (Nādir Shāh) extended the borders of the Ṣafavid state further than ever; he even defeated the Ottomans and may have been aspiring to be the leader of all Muslims. To this end he made overtures to neighbouring rulers, seeking their recognition by trying to represent Iranian Shīʿīsm as a madhhab alongside the Sunnite madhhabs. After he was killed in 1747, however, his reforms did not survive and his house disintegrated. Karīm Khān Zand, a general from Shīrāz, ruled in the name of the Ṣafavids but did not restore real power to the shah. By the time the Qājārs (1779–1925) managed to resecure Iran's borders, reviving Ṣafavid legitimacy was impossible.

      In the Ottoman Empire, restoration involved selective imitation of things European. Its first phase, from 1718 to 1730, is known as the Tulip Period, because of the cultivation by the wealthy of a Perso-Turkish flower then popular in Europe. Experimentation with European manners and tastes was matched by experimentation with European military technology. Restoration depended on reinvigorating the military, the key to earlier Ottoman success, and Christian Europeans were hired for the task. After Nāder Shāh's defeat of the Ottoman army, this first phase of absolutist restoration ended, but the pursuit of European fashion had become a permanent element in Ottoman life. Meanwhile, central power continued to weaken, especially in the area of international commerce. The certificates of protection that had accompanied the Capitulations arrangements for foreign nationals were extended to non-Muslim Ottoman subjects, who gradually oriented themselves toward their foreign associates. The integration of such groups into the Ottoman state was further weakened by the recognition, in the disastrous Treaty of Küƈük Kaynarca (Küçük Kaynarca, Treaty of) (1774), of the Russian tsar as protector of the Ottoman's Greek Orthodox millet. A second stage of absolutist restoration occurred under Selim III, who became sultan in the first year of the French Revolution and ruled until 1807. His military and political reforms, referred to as the New Order ( nizam-ı cedid), went beyond the Tulip Period in making use of things European; for example, the enlightened monarch, as exemplified by Napoleon himself, became an Ottoman ideal. Here, as in Egypt under Muḥammad ʾAlī (reigned 1805–48), the famed core of Janissaries (Janissary) that had been a source of Ottoman strength was destroyed and replaced with European-trained troops.

      In other areas, leaders envisioned or created new social orders that were self-consciously Islāmic. The growing popularity of westernization and a decreasing reliance on Islām as a source of public values was counterbalanced in many parts of Islāmdom by all sorts of Islāmic activism, ranging from educational reform to jihād. “Islāmic” politics often were marked by an oppositional quality that drew on long-standing traditions of skepticism about government. Ṣūfism could play very different roles. In the form of renovated ṭarīqahs it could support reform and stimulate pan-Islāmic awareness. Ṣūfīs often encouraged the study of ḥadīth so as to establish the Prophet Muḥammad as a model for spiritual and moral reconstruction and to invalidate many unacceptable traditional or customary Islāmic practices. Ṣūfī ṭarīqahs provided interregional communication and contact and an indigenous form of social organization that could even lead to the founding of a dynasty, as in the case of the Libyan monarchy.

       Ṣūfism could also be condemned as a source of degeneracy. The most famous and influential militant anti-Ṣūfī movement arose in the Arabian Peninsula and called itself al-Muwaḥḥidūn (“the Monotheists”); but it came to be known as Wahhābīyah (Wahhābī), after its founder, Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb (Wahhāb, Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-) (1703–92). Inspired by Ibn Taymīyah (see above Migration and renewal (1041–1405) (Islāmic world)), Ibn al-Wahhāb argued that the Qurʾān and sunnah could provide the basis for a reconstruction of Islāmic society out of the degenerate form in which it had come to be practiced. Islām itself was not an inhibiting force; “traditional” Islām was. Far from advocating the traditional, the Wahhābīs argued that what had become traditional had strayed very far from the fundamental, which can always be found in the Qurʾān and sunnah. The traditional they associated with blind imitation (taqlīd); reform, with making the pious personal effort (ijtihād) necessary to understand the fundamentals. Within an Islāmic context, this type of movement was not conservative, because it sought not to conserve what had been passed down but to renew what had been abandoned. The Wahhābī movement attracted the support of a tribe in the Najd led by Muḥammad ibn Saʿūd. Although the first state produced by this alliance did not last, it laid the foundations for the existing Saudi state in Arabia and inspired similar activism elsewhere down to the present day.

      In West Africa a series of activist movements appeared from the 18th century into the 19th. There as in Arabia, Islāmic activism was directed less at non-Muslims than at Muslims who had gone astray. As in many of Islāmdom's outlying areas, emergent groups of indigenous educated, observant Muslims, such as the Tukulor, were finding the casual, syncretistic, opportunistic nature of official Islām to be increasingly intolerable. Such Muslims were inspired by reformist scholars from numerous times and places—al-Ghazālī, as-Suyūṭī, Maghili; by a theory of jihād comparable to that of the Wahhābīs; and by expectations of a mujaddid as the Islāmic century turned in AH 1200 (AD 1785). In what is now northern Nigeria, the discontent of the 1780s and '90s erupted in 1804, when Usman dan Fodio declared a jihād against the Hausa rulers. Others followed, among them Muhammad al-Jaylani in Aïr, Shehuh Ahmadu Lobbo (Shehu Ahmadu Lobbo) in Macina, al-Ḥajj Umar Talʿ (a member of the reformist Tijānī ṭarīqah) in Fouta Djallon, and Samory in the Malinke (Mandingo) states. Jihād activity continued for a century; it again became millennial near the turn of the next Muslim century in AH 1300 (AD 1882), as the need to resist against European occupation became more urgent. For example, Muḥammad Aḥmad declared himself to be the mahdī (Mahdī, al-) in the Sudan in 1881.

 In the Indian Ocean area, Islāmic activism was more often intellectual and educational. Its best exemplar was Shāh Walī Allāh (Walī Allāh, Shāh) of Delhi (1702–62), the spiritual ancestor of many later Indian Muslim reform movements. During his lifetime the collapse of Muslim political power was painfully evident. He tried to unite the Muslims of India, not around Ṣūfism as Akbar had tried to do, but around the Sharīʿah. Like Ibn Taymīyah, he understood the Sharīʿah to be based on firm sources—Qurʾān and sunnah—that could with pious effort be applied to present circumstances. Once again, the study of ḥadīth provided a rich array of precedents and inspired a positive spirit of social reconstruction akin to that of the Prophet Muḥammad.

Dependency (1818–1962)
      The many efforts to revive and resist were largely unsuccessful. By 1818, British hegemony over India was complete; and many other colonies and mandates followed between then and the aftermath of World War I. Not all Muslim territories were colonized, but nearly all experienced some kind of dependency, be it psychological, political, technological, cultural, or economic. Perhaps only the Saudi regime in the central parts of the Arabian Peninsula could be said to have escaped any kind of dependency; but even there oil exploration, begun in the 1930s, brought European interference. In the 19th century westernization and Islāmic activism coexisted and competed. By the turn of the 20th century secular ethnic nationalism had become the most common mode of protest in Islāmdom; but the spirit of Islāmic reconstruction was also kept alive, either in conjunction with secular nationalism or in opposition to it.

      In the 19th-century Ottoman Empire, selective westernization coexisted with a reconsideration of Islām. The program of reform known as the Tanzimat, which was in effect from 1839 to 1876, aimed to emulate European law and administration by giving all Ottoman subjects, regardless of religious confession, equal legal standing and by limiting the powers of the monarch. In the 1860s a group known as the Young Ottomans tried to identify the basic principles of European liberalism and even love of nation with Islām itself. In Iran, the Qājār shahs brought in a special “Cossack Brigade,” trained and led by Russians, while at the same time the Shīʿite mujtahids viewed the decisions of their spiritual leader as binding on all Iranian Shīʿites and declared themselves to be independent of the shah. (One Shīʾite revolt, that of the Bāb [died 1850], led to a whole new religion, Bahāʿī.) Like the Young Ottomans, Shīʿite religious leaders came to identify with constitutionalism in opposition to the ruler.

      Islāmic protest often took the form of jihād against the Europeans: by Southeast Asians against the Dutch; by the Sanūsī ṭarīqah (tariqa) over Italian control in Libya; by the Mahdist movement in the Sudan; or by the Ṣaliḥī ṭarīqah in Somalia, led by Sayyid Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh Ḥasan, who was tellingly nicknamed the Mad Mullah by Europeans. Sometimes religious leaders, like those of the Shīʿites (Shīʿite) in Iran, took part in constitutional revolutions (1905–11). Underlying much of this activity was a pan-Islāmic sentiment that drew on very old conceptions of the ummah as the ultimate solidarity group for Muslims. Three of the most prominent Islāmic reconstructionists were Jamāl ad-Dīn al-Afghānī, his Egyptian disciple Muḥammad ʿAbduh (Abduh, Muḥammadʿ), and the Indian poet Sir Muḥammad Iqbāl (Iqbāl, Sir Muḥammad). All warned against blind pursuit of Westernization, arguing that the blame for the weaknesses of Muslims lay not with Islām, but rather with Muslims themselves, because they had lost touch with the progressive spirit of social, moral, and intellectual reconstruction that had made early Islāmicate civilization one of the greatest in human history. Although al-Afghānī, who taught and preached in many parts of Islāmdom, acknowledged that organization by nationality might be necessary, he viewed it as inferior to Muslim identity. He further argued that Western technology could advance Muslims only if they retained and cultivated their own spiritual and cultural heritage. He pointed out that at one time Muslims had been intellectual and scientific leaders in the world, identifying a Golden Age under the ʿAbbāsid caliphate and pointing to the many contributions Muslims had made to “the West.” Like al-Afghānī, Iqbāl assumed that without Islām Muslims could never regain the strength they had possessed when they were a vital force in the world, united in a single international community and unaffected by differences of language or ethnos. This aggressive recovery of the past became a permanent theme of Islāmic reconstruction. In many regions of Islāmdom the movement known as Salafīyah also identified with an ideal time in history, that of the “pious ancestors” (salaf) in the early Muslim state of Muḥammad and his companions, and advocated past-oriented change to bring present-day Muslims up to the progressive standards of an earlier ideal. In addition to clearly Islāmic thinkers, there were others, such as the Egyptian Muṣṭafā Kāmil (Kāmil, Muṣṭafā), whose nationalism was not simply secular. Kāmil saw Egypt as simultaneously European, Ottoman, and Muslim. The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 was followed by a period in which similarly complex views of national identity were discussed in the Ottoman Empire.

Recovery (1922 to the present)
Progress of secular nationalism
      Despite the ideological appeal of such positions, the need to throw off European control promoted the fortunes of secular (secularism) nationalism and other narrower forms of loyalty. Especially after Japan's defeat of Russia in 1905, nationalist fervour increased. Sometimes it was associated with related ideologies, such as pan-Arabism, pan-Turkism, or Arab socialism. Many nationalists enthusiastically admired things European despite the fact that they were committed to resisting or removing European control. Often accepting European assessments of traditional religion as a barrier to modernization, many nationalists sought an identity in the pre-Islāmic past. Kemal Atatürk (Atatürk, Kemal) looked to the Turkic past in Central Asia and Anatolia to transform Ottomanism (Ottoman Empire) into a Turkish identity not dependent on Islām. “Islāmic” dress was discouraged. Muslim males, who prayed with covered heads, were now asked to replace the fez, which could be kept on during prayer, with the brimmed hat, which could not. Arabic script, too closely associated with Islām, was replaced with the Roman, after the Cyrillic (the alphabet of Central Asian Turks) had been considered and rejected. In Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi argued that the Islāmic period was but an accidental interlude in the continuous history, since Achaemenid times, of Iran as a unified entity. The Egyptian Taha Hussein (Ṭāhā Ḥusayn) connected his country's national identity with Pharaonic times and with Mediterranean–European culture; and therefore it could easily partake of modern Western civilization. Christians were thus as much Egyptians as were Muslims; the accompanying development of a standard literary Arabic, fuṣḥā, emphasized the unity of all Arabs, regardless of confession. These approaches allowed, indeed required, all religious communities to partake of a single legal and societal system, at the price of denying the public relevance of a primary loyalty for the majority of the population.

      Other nationalists made more of Islām. In Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for example, Islām played a primary role in the formation of a national identity. In Pakistan it provided, according to the statesman Mohammed Ali Jinnah (Jinnah, Mohammed Ali), an alternative for Muslims who would otherwise have to share in an identity defined by a Hindu majority. In many Arab countries, especially in the Maghrib, secular nationalism's downgrading of Islām was muted by a qualified acceptance of Islām as one, but not the only, important source of loyalty. At the same time there were Muslims who opposed nationalism altogether. In India, Mawlanā Abuʿl-ʾČīāʾ Mawdūdī, who was the founder of the Jamāʿat-i Islāmī, opposed both secular and religious nationalism and argued for the Islāmization of society and an Islāmic alternative to nationalism. In Egypt, Sayyid Quṭb and Ḥasan al-Bannāʾ, who were the mentors of the Muslim Brotherhood, fought for the educational, moral, and social reform of an Islāmic Egypt and indeed of all Islāmdom.

Creating national identities
      Only a few existing states where Muslims predominate, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, had no colonial interval; most became independent after World War II. An even larger number of countries have Muslim minorities. Like the citizens of many new nations, Muslims have not found the creation of national identities to be easy, especially considering the pace at which it has had to occur. More than two-thirds of the world's nations have come into existence since the end of World War II; foreign dependency is a living memory for many of their citizens, or at least for the parents and grandparents of their citizens. Many of them are not nation-states—that is, states established by a group of people who decided that they belonged together and therefore went about acquiring sovereignty over a territory—but rather are state-nations, composed of groups of people who acquired or were given sovereignty over a territory and then had to develop a sense of nationality. The most obvious state-nations are Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. All resulted from the interaction of intra-European (Europe, history of) rivalry and diplomacy with the aspirations of a prominent Ottoman-Hāshimite sharifian family in Mecca to create a single Arab state in the East. Instead of a single state, however, three monarchies emerged: the kingdom of Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī in the Hejaz (to be replaced by the Saudis), the kingdom of Fayṣal I in Iraq (because he had to be compensated for being ousted from Syria), and the kingdom of Abdullah (Abdullāh Iʿ) in Transjordan. Lebanon was carved from French Syria with borders that would establish a bare Christian majority loyal to the French. In Ottoman Palestine, Jewish nationalists clashed with Arab nationalists at a time when both groups felt betrayed by the British. In subsequent armed clashes, Zionist groups defended a set of boundaries as artificial as many others, creating a state that has remained a target for anti-imperialist sentiment. Eventually, Jewish nationalism spawned another nationalism, that of the Palestinians, inchoate before the founding of Israel but crystallized by the failure of any party to the conflict—Arab states, foreign powers, Palestinian leaders, or Israel itself—to make a place for most of the former Arab residents of Palestine. However, in September 1993 a peace agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel established Palestinian self-rule in Israeli-occupied territory, although implementation proved to be arduous.

      Many Muslim countries were united by negative nationalism, aimed at ejecting a common enemy; but turning negative into positive has been difficult. Rarely have the groups that achieved independence survived. Often, as in Libya or Iraq or Egypt, further revolutions have occurred, in many cases led by the military, whose role as a vehicle for modernization cannot be underestimated. Subsequent governments have had to deal with the social and economic problems that plague all developing countries, as well as with regional rivalries and conflicts. Almost nowhere did the colonizers leave an infrastructure sufficient to support the growth of population that European medicine and hygiene had produced.

Relation of religion and nationality
      Given the multi-communal structure of premodern Muslim societies, the relation between religion and nationality has been another major problem. Nationalism has frequently led to competition and rivalry among a new nation's religious communities. As they became independent, citizens of the nations of Islāmdom could draw on no direct equivalent of national identity. The broadest identity was provided by membership in a pan-territorial community like the ummah of all Muslims or the Greek Orthodox Church or the Turkic tribes; the narrowest, family or neighbourhood. In the middle of the spectrum was membership in a local confessional community, with all its implications of status, occupation, manners, and customs. Citizens of the new nations would theoretically have to find an identity that could subsume and supersede all others; and the rulers of new nations would have to take the unprecedented step of declaring all citizens subject to the same law, rather than members of quasi-autonomous, self-governing religious communities with their own legal systems. Yet the significance of being a member of a religious community could not easily be undone or replaced.

      Many countries inherited a relatively simple form of this problem: the people within their borders were primarily of one faith, Islām, and of one form of that faith, the Sunnite. That majority adherence could in some way be associated with or bolster the national identity, while discomfiting only a small number of people. Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Indonesia, Yemen, and all the states of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula fall into this category. Even so, religious minorities in these countries (such as the Armenians) suffered and shrank; for Jews communal lines were hardened by the emergence of the state of Israel, the hostility it evoked from most Arab states, and its aggressive efforts at ingathering. The self-consciously Islāmic government in Iran has also introduced a religious intolerance that, while it is discouraged by the Sharīʿah, is encouraged by local sentiment as well as by the staunch nationalism Iran shares with secular states. The leaders of the Islāmic Republic of Iran have associated being Iranian with being Muslim.

      Farther from the centre of Islāmdom, Islām plays various roles as a minority religion. Among Turks in the Central Asian (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) states, for example, Islām is an important source of identity. Muslims living in western Europe and the Americas are generally able to form communities and practice their religion as they will: in Canada, for example, Ismāʾīlī Muslims, under the guidance of Aga Khan IV, form a cohesive group that promotes the economic and cultural development of its members. In the United States, tenets of Islām were embraced by the founders of the American Muslim Mission (originally called Nation of Islam) in the early 1930s. As the community has developed, its leaders have increasingly emphasized the Qurʿān and Muḥammad's example as sources of authority.

Survival of Islāmic activism
      Although Islāmic activism never disappeared during the years in which Muslim countries were becoming independent, other ideological orientations seemed more important between the end of World War II and the declaration of the Islāmic Republic of Iran in 1979. Many Westerners or westernized Muslims expected religion to recede as modernization progressed. Already in the 1950s, however, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt called for an exclusively Islāmic state in place of the secular multi-communal state that Gamal Abdel Nasser had founded. In the early 1960s new circumstances were beginning to foster increased Islāmic activity, some popular, some supported by official institutions. In these years critics of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi began to rally around the exiled ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (Khomeini, Ruhollah); the writings of ʿAli Shariʿati began to influence Muslims inside and outside Iran; and two great pan-Islāmic organizations were formed, the Muslim World League (1962) and the Organization of the Islāmic Conference (Islamic Conference, Organization of the) (1971). Although Westerners have become most familiar with activism's violent forms, its educational, cultural, pietistic, and political dimensions have been more extensive. All these developments occurred in the wake of the formation of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in 1961 and culminated in Egypt's success in its war with Israel in 1973. The resurgence of economic and military power was not the only factor that could foster those who had maintained an interest in Islām all along. In a few parts of the Muslim world, petroleum-based prosperity promoted increased international influence and pride; elsewhere modernization was producing widespread educational and economic cleavages and populations with very low median ages. As dissatisfaction with the material failures of secular modernization grew, so did disenchantment with the Western ideologies that had undergirded it. While these other ideologies were being tried and discredited, Islām had remained relatively peripheral to public policy and thus unassailable. All the while, citizens of Muslim countries were echoing the anti-imperialist rhetoric increasing throughout the developing world.

Situation of Muslim women
      For women, modernization is especially problematic. Urged on the one hand to be liberated from Islām and thereby become modern, they are told by others to be liberated from being Western through being self-consciously Muslim. There is little information on the situation of ordinary women in premodern Islāmdom, but evidence from the modern period underscores the enormous variety of settings in which Muslim women live and work, as well as the inability of the stereotype of meek, submissive, veiled passivity to reflect the quality of their lives. As always, Muslim women live in cities, towns, villages, and among migratory pastoral tribes; some work outside the home, some inside, some not at all; some wear concealing clothing in public, most do not; for some, movement outside the home is restricted, for most not; and, for many, public modesty is common, as it is for many Muslim men. For many, the private home and the public bath continue to be the centres of social interaction; for others, the world of employment and city life is an option. As always, few live in polygamous families. Strict adherence to the Sharīʿah's provision for women to hold their property in their own right has produced Muslim women of great wealth, in the past as well as today. Clearly, any simple description of the lives of Muslim women is misleading.

Modern Islām's unifying forces
      Modern Islāmdom can appear so diverse as to defy description, yet it is also held together by stronger centripetal forces than almost any other pan-national solidarity group. The ḥajj attracts more than 1,000,000 Muslims annually; and, despite significant religious cleavages, Islām remains one of the least sectarian of world religions. Most Muslims live in societies in which the force of tradition is very strong and in which modernization has also penetrated to some extent. The majority of Muslims remain, as they have always been, agricultural. A very small minority are migratory pastoralists; a larger minority are village, town, and city dwellers. In all settings tradition, including religious tradition, is being drawn upon as a source of change and modernization, with the consequence that the Western equation of modernization and secularization has been severely tested and even undermined.

      Yet the role of tradition varies. Some Islāmic activists rely on a kind of secularized “cultural” Islām, somewhat like cultural Judaism, that depends very little on personal piety or the observance of Islāmic law or the many customs that have come to be associated with being Muslim, while others cling to the customs associated with Islām with little awareness of Islām's more learned side. Labels such as Shīʿite, which always carried an oppositional quality, may be formerly nonessential attributes that have become salient in the wake of the success of the ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. When disadvantaged persons who happen to be Shīʿites find an opening for communal protest, or when those for whom Shīʿite theology means little find its vision of justice and radical revolution appropriate to their specific circumstances, an old label acquires a new valence.

      Like any other explanatory system, Islām has always had to provide a way of talking about the world, of establishing identity in the world, and of managing the world's affairs. In performing these functions, Islām has from its inception been forced to compete with other explanatory systems for the “mental space” of its adherents and simultaneously to define its stance toward preexisting and ongoing extra-Islāmic influences. Islām continues to compete, aided unwittingly by the weaknesses of its competitors, spurred on by the freshness of its own demands for public attention, and fueled by the remarkable ability of many of its adherents to respond to the connection between the mundane and spiritual that has been the hallmark of all religious life.

Additional Reading

The most visionary general work on Islāmic history is Marshall G.S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, 3 vol. (1974), which sets Islām 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 Islāmdom
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, 711–1858 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 Islāmicate history
On premodern Islāmicate 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. (1967–83). 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. René 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 Islām, 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 Islâmic 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. (1913–36), 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 Islām.Marilyn R. Waldman

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