ChAPTER 11 -- Part 5: The First Global Civilization: The Rise
The decision from "The Founding later proved to be a major source of division in the Islamic community.
In addition to his courage, caliph or leader of the Muslim faithful warmth, and wisdom, Abu Bakr was well versed in the genealogy of the bedouin tribes, elected after Muhammad's death, which meant that he knew which tribes could be turned against each other.
Renown for his knowledge.
His mandate was very limited.
He did not receive financial support from nomadic tribes.
He had to keep working as a merchant on the Islamic community.
These commanders were able to do it.
The Islamic faithful routed the bedouin tribes after turning back the attacks on Mecca.
Emboldened by the proven skil s of his generals and the swel ing ranks of the and some of larger clans, Abu Bakr oversaw raids to the north of Arabia into the sedentary zones in present unity of Islam.
The unified bedouin forces were supposed to retreat back into the desert.
The Byzantine and Persian empires were found to be vulnerable to the Muslim warriors.
The growing support of the Arab bedouin peoples who had migrated into the Fertile Crescent for centuries encouraged the invaders.
These peoples were the frontier guard ians of the Byzantine and Persian empires.
They joined their brethren in attacking both of them.
Many forces drove the Arab warriors.
The Islamic faith gave them a sense of common cause and strength.
They were able to stand up to the non-Arab rulers who had been playing them against each other and hated them.
The bedouin warriors were drawn to the campaigns of expansion by the promise of a share in the booty to be won in the rich farmlands raided and the tribute that could be exacted from towns that came under Arab rule.
The Arab conquests were not driven by a desire to win converts to their new religion, but by the chance to honor their new religion.
Other than fellow bedouin tribes of Arab descent, the invaders had good reason to avoid mass conversions.
The Sasanian Empire of Persia was the more vulnerable of the two great empires that fought for dominance in the Fertile Crescent transit zone.
The power of the emperor was concentrated in the Sasanian domain.
The emperor was manipulated by a class that exploited the farmers who made up most of the empire.
Zoroastrianism, the religion of the emperor, lacked popular roots.
The religion of a vision ary reformer named Mazdak, which had won considerable support among the peas ants, had been brutally suppressed by the Sasanian rulers in the period before the rise of Islam.
The commanders of the Sasanians had contempt for the Arab invaders and set out against them with poorly prepared forces.
The camp, armored warriors, tories, and siege in progress help us to imagine the Muslim forces that built the first great Arab empire in the 7th century.
The Muslim warriors had entered the heartland.
The collapse of the empire was brought about by Muslim victories.
In the face of the Muslim advance, the rulers and their forces retreated eastward.
The capital was taken, armies were destroyed, and generals were killed.
The destruction of the empire was ensured when the last of the Sasanian rulers was assassinated.
The Byzantines proved to be a stronger adversary than the Muslims despite their impressive string of victories.
Their ability to resist the Muslim onslaught was hampered by the defection of their own frontier Arabs and the support the Muslim invaders received from the Christians of Syria and Egypt.
The area in preference to the Muslims would not only tolerate the Christians but tax them less heavily than the Byzantines did.
Weakened from within and exhausted by the long wars fought with Persia in the decades before in Asia, the Byzantines supported Islamic the Arab explosion.
Europe of the richest provinces of the empire was cut off by Byzantine rule.
The ancient center of learning was invaded by Muslims.
From the point of view of the Byzantines, the desert bedouins were putting together war fleets that challenged the long-standing mastery of the Mediterranean.
The loss of Byzantium's rich provinces in Syria and Egypt was due to the rise of Muslim naval supremacy in the eastern end of the Mediterranean.
The way to further Muslim conquests in north Africa, the Mediterranean islands, and even southern Italy was opened by it.
The Byzantines were able to rally their forces and prevent further inroads into their Balkans and Asia Minor heartlands.
Islamic civilization expanded by both conquest and trade, while the Muslim faith was spread peacefully along ancient trading routes.
The strength of the Byzantine Empire was greatly reduced by the New Faith and New Commerce of the Arab invaders.