ChAPTER 11 -- Part 6: The First Global Civilization: The Rise
The problem of succession and the Sunni-Shi'a split was overshadowed by the rise of an Arab empire.
Although these divisions were often generations old and the result of personal animosities, resentments had begun to build over how the booty from the conquests should be divided among the tribal groups that made up the Islamic community.
After two decades after the death of the prophet, tensions broke into open violence.
The third caliph and member of the mutinous warriors returned from Egypt.
His death was a signal to the supporters of Ali that he was the Caliph.
Uthman's unpopularity among many of the tribes, particularly those from mutinous warriors returning from Medina and the prophet's earliest followers, was due to the fact that he was the first caliph to Egypt.
When Uthman's assassins were not punished, followers of Ali and the Umayyads swore revenge.
There was warfare between the two groups.
Ali was a renowned warrior and experienced commander, and his deeply committed support ers soon gained the upper hand.
After his victory at the Battle of the Camel, most of the Arab garrisons moved to his side against the Umayyads, whose supporters were concentrated in the province of Syria and the holy city of Mecca.
His cause was killed in mediation.
His supporters had to be suppressed violently because they had to give up his leadership.
While representatives of both parties tried unsuccessfully to work out a compromise, the Umayyads regrouped their forces and added Egypt to the provinces backing Ali's party.
The leader of the Umayyad clan was pressured by the Umayyads into renouncing his claims to the caliphate after Ali was assassinated a year later.
In the decades after the prophet's death, there were deep divisions in the war with Ali.
Ali's supporters are the most fundamental in the Islamic world.
Hostility between the two branches of the Islamic faithful was heightened after Ali's death.
Differences in belief have compounded factional disputes about who had the right to succeed Muhammad with the son of Ali.
There is a caliphate in these divisions.
The sequence of Arab conquest was renewed in the last half of the 7th century after a pause to settle internal disputes.
There is a rivalry between Buddhism and Muslims in the region that continues to this day.
The southern part of the advance reached northwest India by the early 8th century.
The Arab armies crossed the Straits of Gibraltar to conquer Spain and threaten France.
Although the Muslim advance into western Europe was blocked by the hard fought victory of Charles Martel and the Franks at Poitiers in 732, the Arabs did not fully retreat into Spain until decades later.
The conquest of key islands such as Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia in the 9th century solidified the position of Muslim warriors and sailors, who dominated much of the Mediterranean.
The Umayyads ruled an empire that stretched from Spain in the west to central Asia in the east.
Not since the Romans had an empire of this size been built so quickly.
A succession of Umayyad caliphs tried to build a bureaucracy that would bind together the vast domains they claimed to rule.
The empire was an Arab conquest state.
In the Arabian peninsula and parts of the Fertile Crescent, a small Arab and Muslim aristocracy ruled over peoples who were neither Arab nor Muslim.
Muslims were the first class citizens of this empire.
The core of the army and imperial administration was made up of them.
They could only be taxed for charity.
The Umayyads wanted to separate the Muslim warrior elite from the local population.
Intermarriage meant conversion and the loss of taxable subjects, so it was hoped that isolation would keep them from assimilating to the subjugated cultures.
Muslim subjects were not likely to succeed.
It was difficult to get important positions in the army or bureaucracy after they received no share of the booty.
They weren't considered full members of Zoroastrians and hindus.
The Umayyad era had a low number of conversions.
It was applied to Christians and Jews who shared the Bible with Muslims.
Although they had to pay taxes, their communities and legal systems were still intact and they were allowed to worship as they pleased.
This approach made it easier for these peoples to accept Arab rule because they had been mistreated by their pre- Muslim overlords.
Significant shifts in the position of women within the family and in society at large were brought about by the changes within the Umayyad Age Broader social changes within the Arab and widening Islamic community.
In the first centuries of Arab expansion, the position of women under Islam was greatly strengthened and they were able to live in a more secluded lifestyle.
The Jews are in a synagogue.
Jews were allowed to worship ethical dimensions of marriage and build impressive synagogues.
Jewish merchant families amassed great prophet displayed for his own wives and daughters did much to wealth, often in partnership with Muslims, and Jewish scholars were revered strengthen the bonds between husband and wife and the nuclear from Spain to Baghdad for their many contributions to learning.