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NMC Terms
Abbasids:
(750-1258) one of the three caliph empires. Followed the Umayyad Empire. Established its capital in
Baghdad. Reached their highpoint around the 8th-9th century under caliph Harem al-Rashid. This
empire lead to the invention of many key institutions such as democracies and military (which way
influence by the Turkic). This period of time also saw the rise of independent or semi-independent
dynastic states. Saw its end when the Mongols destroyed Baghdad and executed the caliph in 1258
Hijra:
Refers to the migration of the prophet and his followers to the city of Medina in 622. As the prophet
was warned of a plan to assassinate him he fled to the city of Yathrib known today as Medina. Hijra
also refers to the Islamic calendar which is based on a lunar system. The migration of the prophet
marks the first year of the higri calendar
Ahl al-Kitab:
Meaning the people of the book’ and referring to the non-Muslims who adhere to a faith and have a
book of prayers. In the Quran Christianity and Judaism are referred to as people of the book
because they too recognize the God of Abraham as the one and only God. Muslim rulers and
scholars have also included other religions such as Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. In Islam people
of the book practice tawhid (monotheism), recognize life after death, judgment, heaven and angels,
hell, believe in the same prophet and have similar beliefs regarding the creation.
Orthodox/Rashidum caliphs:
One of the three caliph empires. Was founded after the death of the prophet Mohammad in 632.
Medina was its capital and lead to the expansion of Islam through North Africa, Arabian Peninsula
and the Iranian highlands. During this empire the religion of Islam became widespread. Abu Bakr,
Umar, Uthman and Ali are the caliphs that governed this empire.
Shiva/ Shiites:
The second largest denomination of Islam after Sunni Islam. In contrast to the other schools of
thought, Shia Islam holds that Muhammads family and certain Imams (descendents of the prophet)
have special spiritual and political rule over the community. Also believe that Ali was the rightful
successor of Muhammad and reject the other three Rashidum caliphs. Represent roughly 1/10th of
the Islam population and live in majority in Iran and Iraq. Shia divides into different branches with
the Twelvers being the largest one.
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One of the three great Muslim empires from the 1501-1722. One of the most significant ruling
dynasties. They ruled the central Islamic world (Iran) and established the school of Shia Islam as
the official religion of their empire (Twelver). Marking one of the most important points in the
turning history of Islam. Founded by Shah Ismail and had a military system based on the Turkmen
nomads and the Caucasian slave soldiers.
Mughals
An Islamic power that ruled the Indian subcontinent which began in 1530 and ended in 1857.
Founded by Babur (of Turko-mangolian origin). Saw its highpoint under the rule of Akbar.
Language was Persian and Urdu. The religion was Hanafi sunni.
Ottoman:
An empire that lasted from 1350s-1918. Later known as the Republic of Turkey. One of the most
enduring empires in world history. At the height of its power it spanned over three continents. The
Empire was the centre of interaction between the Eastern and Western world for six centuries. Use
the millet system under which religious and ethnic minorities were able to manage their own affairs
with substantial independence from central control.
Conformism:
Is a term used to describe the suspension of an individuals self-determined actions or opinions in
favour of obedience to the mandates or conventions of ones peer group, or defence to the imposed
norms of a super venting authority. Holds that individuals and small groups do best by blending in
with their surroundings and by doing nothing eccentric or out of the ordinary.
Kalam:
The Islamic philosophy of seeking Islamic theological principals through dialect. In Arabic the word
means ‘words, discussion, and discourse. A scholar of kalam is referred to as a mutakallim.
Ijtihad:
Is a technical term of the Islamic law that describes the process of making a legal decision by
independent interpretation of the legal sources, the Quran and the Sunnah. A mujtahid is mainly
associated with the Shia Muslim Jafari School of jurisprudence.
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