Collin College Expansion of I

PART 1: Answer the following prompt in 300 words.

What was the most important result of the expansion of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries?

Primary Sources: (Read two of the following)

Accounts of the Arab Conquest of Egypt (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., 642 CE
The Coptic account from The History of The Patriarchs of Alexandria and an Arab account – Al-Baladhuri: The Conquest of Alexandria

Ibn Abd-el-Hakem: The Islamic Conquest of Spain (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Al Maggari: Tarik’s Address to His Soldiers (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., 711 CE, from The Breath of Perfumes

Anonymous Arab Chronicler: The Battle of Poitiers (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., 732 CE

Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours: Three Accounts (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. 732 CE

PART 2: Respond to TWO CLASSMATES

Classmate 1 (Paul)

The most important result of Islam’s expansion in the 7th and 8th centuries was its eventual defeat in south France. This gave pause to Islam’s interpretation of Allah’s divine domination. It also, saved Christianity in Europe as Islam’s next step would have destruction of the Vatican (Isidore). Let’s review the tape on this critical era.

Since the time of Muhammed’s revelation of Koranic law, religious wars by “the sword of Muhammed” ensued to fulfil Allah’s command to fight against idolatry; “war is commanded to you” (Koran, 216). Islamic force spread westward – across the land and sea, stopping at nothing. By 711 CE, Islam entered Spain through the Straight of Gibraltar to confront the Visigoth Kingdom (Al Maggari). Tarik, the Muslim forces military leader, commanded his troops to “establish the true religion in this country, and the spoils will belong to you” (Tarik). By motivating his troops with the blessings of Allah, Tarik and his men were able to conquer Spain. After twenty years of Muslim occupation, a new military effort was established to extend Islam into Gaul, modern day France. This effort was led by a man named Abderraham who, in 732, led an army of sworded horsemen into the south Gaul kingdom of Aquitaine (modern Bordeaux) (The Battle). They destroyed buildings and burned churches with ease. Feeling confident with Allah’s blessing, they continued north until they reached the French city of Tours. There, the Muslims faced a unique army led by Prince Charles and were roundly defeated in seven days and retreated to Spain. Prince Charles received the nickname “The Hammer” which is called martels in French. That is why, today Prince Charles is called Charles Martels.

The results of this historical allegory taught the Christian world that they can be successfully defend their land and the Muslims leaned the limits of Koranic war. The Tour victory prevented the destruction of Vatican City and Christianity as we know it.

Classmate 2 (Courtney)

Arab conquest in the 7th and 8th centuries marked the beginning of a change in the cultural and religious practices of the people who lived in North Africa and the areas of Spain. Before these conquests, in response to a prophecy that has been revealed to Heraclius in a dream, that finally, a circumcised people will invade his land and conquer it, he looked to the wrong people. Later on, Muhammed would come and conquer the territory of Heraclius unawares because the latter had mistakenly regarded the Jews as the people who were to overthrow the Roman territory (ibn al-Muqaffa, 1998). According to the doctrine of Muhammad, the people living in the region of the Roman empire were primarily Christians whom they considered as infidels and worshippers of idols. They (those under Roman rule) did not worship one God. Muhammad felt it was his duty to finally bring these people back to the true worship of one God by introducing Islam and presenting himself as the apostle of this one God. The process and later conquest that occurred in the 7th century in the conquest of Egypt primarily point to the introduction of a new religion that was based on the teachings of Muhamad.

Ibn al-Muqaffa (1998) recorded the burning churches before these centuries. The extensive practice of Islam during and after the conquest further illustrates that the religion of the people of Egypt did significantly change their faith and culture. The act of negotiating and signing peace treaties further point to Christianity in the areas before the conquest of Islam. Reference is made to the Holy Benjamin, who was the patriarch of the Coptic Christians. Later on, when Amr ibn-al-Asi conquered Alexandria, according to the promise of Amr, the people there were reported to have been converted from their polytheistic beliefs.

Further civilization by the new culture and religious belief brought by the Arabs did not affect only the people of North Africa, as stated above. Even the westerners were also affected by the wars and conquest that were waged and propagated by the Arabs. The battle that led to the death of Rhoderic and his companions can be treated as compensation that Ilya meted for his daughter’s pregnancy. The words that held this sore battle together and the invocation of the high power and authority who was actively involved in the success of the battle provide further insight into the general impact of Islam’sIslam’s conquest and invasions. Despite their fighters (Islam warriors) using deception of cannibalism to instill fear against their foes, they believed that the Almighty God Allah, whose apostle is Muhammad, was fighting for them (Abd-el-Hakem, 1858)

According to Abd-el-Hakem (158), Islam considered their religion to be more superior than that of the people of Spain, commonly referred to them as the people of Andalus. To this effect, conquests and invasions were made in the name of the Almighty, who rendered them successful anytime they engaged in what they called holy wars. By referring to these wars as sacred, the religion of the natives of the land was significantly inferior to them and could not equate that of their God. Therefore, just like the conquest of Egypt in the 7th century, which introduced a new religion and a different culture-based Muhammad’sMuhammad’s teaching, Islam religion was also introduced in Spain. Based on the invocation of Almighty God, who fought their wars against the infidels significantly considered polytheistic, a new religion was introduced that greatly affected the social fabric of the Spanish.

Collin College Expansion of I

PART 1: Answer the following prompt in 300 words.

What was the most important result of the expansion of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries?

Primary Sources: (Read two of the following)

Accounts of the Arab Conquest of Egypt (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., 642 CE
The Coptic account from The History of The Patriarchs of Alexandria and an Arab account – Al-Baladhuri: The Conquest of Alexandria

Ibn Abd-el-Hakem: The Islamic Conquest of Spain (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Al Maggari: Tarik’s Address to His Soldiers (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., 711 CE, from The Breath of Perfumes

Anonymous Arab Chronicler: The Battle of Poitiers (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., 732 CE

Arabs, Franks, and the Battle of Tours: Three Accounts (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. 732 CE

PART 2: Respond to TWO CLASSMATES

Classmate 1 (Jeremy)

Islamic expansion was very swift and overwhelming. They used a strong armed method of quickly converting masses of individuals and using those individuals to fight against infidels or nonbelievers. They rapidly expanded and credited all of their victories to God, which allowed for more to convert since they saw the mounting amounts of victories credited to their religion. The expansion of the Islamic Empire was rapid and expansive, but it was mostly a disunified group of people sharing the same set of beliefs rather than national identity.

The first account, The accounts of the Arab Conquest of Egypt, discusses on how Heraclius, the Byzantine Emperor at the time of Arab invasion and the eventual sacking of Alexandria, had a vision where his city will vanquish him and conquer all of his lands by the hand of those who are circumcised. Obviously he interpreted this to mean he would fall to the hands of the Jews, a religion with circumcision as a rite. But later a man from Arabia, who goes by Muhammad, declared that his new religion was right and he was sent from God to lead those who did not know the right way. He conquered Damascus and Syria and continues his rapid expanse southward. After swift victories against the Romans protecting the city, the Muslims captured the city and razed it to the ground.

In the second article, Ibn Abd-el-Hakem reflects on the Islamic conquest of Spain. This article discusses the Islamic infiltration into Spain, and how they gave their victories to God. They Muslims gained a massive amount of treasures, riches, and land in their brief presence in Spain. Also importantly in the article it states that the Muslims took natives captive and boiled them and ate them. This may have been true, but it also could have been a myth made by the Spanish in order to spread misinformation about the Muslims.

Classmate 1 (Karson)

The Islam expansion in the early centuries in the world is now more often studied in the history classes I have taken more than any other religion expansion, including Judaism and Christianity. Interestingly, most classes did not look into Islam in-depth, but now the study of Islam is even with Christianity or done more so. In most of my studies, I have changed my opinion that the soldiers of ancient times were necessarily brutal for the most part because I had previously believed that there was truly no good reason behind ancient wars and attacks that seemed intellectual. With further studies of prominent ancient civilizations, even if I think their motivations were not intellectual, I have to consider that they did, which was the dealings they used to solve their problems. On that note, the Islamic religion at its core had many routes in fighting and wars compared to that of Buddhism and other faiths. For this discussion, I read the primary sources Tarik’s address to His Soldiers, 711 CE, From The Breath of Perfumes and The Anon Arab Chronicler: The Battle of Poitiers, 732 CE.

Of course, my peers may disagree with everything I have to say, but in both of the primary sources, I chose I felt as though there was a continuation in a theme of strength and pleasure. So, the most important result of the Islamic expansion of the 7th and 8th centuries is that persons belonging to the Muslim faith have an abundance of pride and a need for pleasure to be taken in life. In Tarik’s address to His Soldiers, 711 CE, From The Breath of Perfumes, the overall tone is courage and that the ‘spoils go to the victor’ from the military leader, Tarik. Furthermore, Tarik states that “in this country, there are a large number of ravishingly beautiful Greek maidens, their graceful forms are draped in sumptuous gowns on which gleam pearls, coral, and purest gold, and they live in the palaces of royal kings. The Commander of True Believers, Alwalid, son of Abdalmelik, has chosen you for this attack from among all his Arab warriors; and he promises that you shall become his comrades and shall hold the rank of kings in this country.” The inclusion of “Greek maidens,” riches, and places of kings implies that Arab men are in the same status bracket as kings, meaning they have a lot of pride and are allowed to take romantic pleasure (in other ethnicites at that). Additionally, within The Anon Arab Chronicler: The Battle of Poitiers, 732 CE , the theme of strength, winning (overall victory in battles and war), and having access is reinforced.

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