The Muslim Empire

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How it Spread:

  • Origins: Out of Mecca, east to India, west across North Africa, and on into Spain.
  • Growth: to spread Islam to other people
      - Military Conquest- Took about 100 years to expand most of their empire. They were great fighters, if they died in battle, they believed they would go directly into heaven (Jihad). They also treated conquered people fairly- better than previous rulers.                    
      - Trade
  • Battle of Tours: Took place in 732 AD in Southern France. The French Christians, under Charles "The Hammer" Martel, defeated the Muslims and stopped their advance into Europe.

Golden Age:

The Golden Age for the Muslims lasted from 700 to 900 AD and was a time of great learning and cultural diffusion.

Contributions to Our Society:


  • Spread Gupta math ideas
  • Created Algebra and Trigonometry


  • Learned from Greek ideas
  • Study of the stars; created astronomical tables


  • Created hospitals
  • Wrote medical textbooks
  • Doctors were required to pass exams to practice medicine


  • Influenced by Byzantine and Indian styles

"The Umayyad Caliph 'Abd al-Malik of the Islamic Empire is shown on his early coins as a powerful ruler. In AD 696–7, his coinage was reformed. His image was removed, replaced by Qur’anic inscriptions in Arabic. This became standard across the Islamic World for hundreds of years."


  • Used Money
  • Allowed credit (money borrowing) to be used

Islamic Law:

  • Based on Islamic religious laws in the Qur'an
  • Became basis for the political laws in the empire

Preservers of Greek and Roman Culture:

  • Preserved Roman and Greek ideas that they got from their contacts with the Byzantine Empire
  • They improved upon them (i.e. translated Roman writing, etc.)

Why the Muslims Became the Most Influential on European Culture:

  • They were the most influential because of their geographical nearness to Europe; they were centrally located among these empires and the Muslims shared the ideas they obtained from other cultures with Europeans.
  • Great traders with Europe
  • The Crusades

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