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Lecture 18

MMW 12 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Husayn Ibn Ali, Huaisheng Mosque, Al-Azhar Mosque

Making of the Modern World
Course Code
MMW 12
Alexander B Stewart

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MMW 12 Lecture 18 The Realms of Islam
The Realms of Islam
Cordoba, Spain
Turfan, Xijian, China
Xi’an, China
Al Azhar Mosque, Cairo, Egypt
Buwayhid Dynasty (c. 950-1050)
Mercenaries from province near Caspian Sea
Founded military confederacy in western Persia within Abbasid caliphate
o Beginning of military rule
Similar to Rome
o State within a state
Don’t dethrone the caliphs, but achieve autonomy and crown themselves
Adopted Sassanid title Shahanshah king of kings’
o Secular power within the caliphate
o Don’t claim to be the caliph since they don’t want to be intertwined with the
Muslim religious belief
Follow Zaydidi, then eventually follow Twelver imami Shi’ism
o Ashura: commemoration of Husayn’s martyrdom; developed under these rulers
Declining power of caliphs leads to Fatimid and Umayyad challengers in North Africa
and Spain
o Inspired others to declare independence as well
Buwayhid coins bear name of caliph and shahansah
Fatimid Dynasty Rulers
Trace descent to Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima
Are Ismaili Shi’a, but tolerate other sects and religions
Claim title of (Sunni) caliph and Shi’a imam
Establish al-Azhar Mosque and Madrasa in Egypt as center of Islamic learning
o Monumental architecture
o Most mosques are also schools/centers of learning, even today
Umayyad Caliphate in al-Andalus (Spain)
Abd al-Rahman III claims to be legitimate caliph
Sponsors monumental architecture and scholarship
Initially maintains hierarchy with Arabs on top, then Malawi converts, them dhimmis
Many Christians assimilate to Muslim lifestyle, becoming Mozarabs (assimilated
Christians who live side-by-side with Muslims and adapt to some of the Muslim lifestyles;
do not really see a difference between the two religions), but concerns about doctrinal
purity (want to separate the religions) lead to increased separation
o Later conquests lead to tension between the two groups
Rise of the Seljuk Turks
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