Unit 1: Islamic Civilization
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Unit SOLs
WHI.8a Study Map Link: 8a Study Map
  • The revelations of Muhammad form the basis of the Islamic religion, a monotheistic faith
  • Muhammad and his followers spread Islam
  • Islamic traditions and customs developed over centuries and created a distinct Muslim culture
WHI.8b Study Map Link: 8b Study Map
  • In the first three centuries after Muhammad’s death, Muslim rule expanded rapidly, overcoming geographic barriers, and facilitated by weakened political empires
  • Political unity and the Arabic language facilitated trade and stimulated intellectual activity
WHI.8c Study Map Link: 8c Study Map
  • Major historical turning points marked the spread and influence of Islamic civilization

WHI.8d Study Map Link: 8d Study Map
• Early Islamic civilization was characterized by achievements in science and the arts that transformed the Islamic world and contributed to world civilization
Unit Vocabulary
Muhammad: founder of Islam


Mecca: city where Muhammad was born, Muslims make the hajj to this city


Hijra: the departure of Muhammad from Mecca in Sept., 622



Medina: City that was the destination of Muhammad's hijra.


Arabian Peninsula: located in southwestern Asia, homeland of the Arabs, and center of Islam


Allah: Arabic word for God


Qur’an/Koran: Islamic Holy Book


Five Pillars: Belief system of Muslims


Arabic: language of the Arabs


Sunni: one of the two main branches of Islam, believed after Muhammad died, the leader should be chosen based on the person best for the job


Shi’a: one of the two main branches of Islam, believed after Muhammad died, the leader should have been a family member


Battle of Tours: stopped the spread of Islam into Western Europe


Mongols: people of Mongolia


Dome of the Rock: Islamic shrine in Jerusalem, believed to be the rock where Muhammad made his ascent to heaven, also the spot where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac


Arabic Numerals: whole numbers 0-9, replaced Roman numerals

Introductory Summary for Islamic Civilization
The religion of Islam, founded by Muhammad, emerged on the Arabian Peninsula in the 600s. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad was chosen to be the last and greatest prophet of Allah, the one true God. Muhammad devoted his life to spreading Islam. All Muslims embrace five pillars of faith. For Muslims, the Quran is the final authority on all matters of religion and daily life.

Arab armies, inspired by Muhammad's teachings, spread Islam through parts of three continents. In many areas, people welcomed Islamic teachings and the benefits of Muslim rule. After Muhammad's death, a split over leadership arose between the Sunnis and the Shiites. By the 1200s, the Arab empire began to decline due to civil wars and foreign invasions. Even though the empire crumbled, Islam continued to link diverse people across an enormous area.

A vast international trade network helped to support manufacturing and agriculture. During the golden age of Muslim civilization, Muslims of many lands made advances in art, literature, and science. Muslim invasions resulted in the establishment of the Delhi sultanate and Muslim rule over northern India. Some Muslim and Hindu traditions blended, but there were also bloody clashes between the two peoples. Akbar the Great strengthened Muslim rule by instituting a policy of religious toleration. New military technology helped both the Ottomans and the Safavids to create large and powerful empires. Although both empires were united by the beliefs and laws of Islam, at times other religions were tolerated.
(Source: phschool.com)

The Spread of IslamThe map shown below is an interactive map. Click on the link to uncover all of the information found in the key. Map Link: Islam Map
Spread_of_Islam_Map.jpgSpread_of_Islam_questions_map.jpg(Source: phschool.com)

Delhi Sultanate and Mughal EmpireClick on the link next to the map for an audio tour of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire.Delhi_Sultanate.jpg Link for audio tour: Sultanate
Ottoman and Safavid EmpiresClick on the link next to this map for an audio tour of the Ottoman and Safavid Empires.Ottoman_Safavid.jpgLink for audio tour: Empires