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MMW 12 Study Guide - Final Guide: Muawiyah I, Zhu Xi, Sufism

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

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MMW 12 Study Guide Practice Final Questions
Hijra was the process of Muhammad and his followers leaving Mecca in order to found
their new community in Medina. Medina was the new city that Muhammad and his
followers created due to persecution and increasing tensions in Mecca following the
death of Muhammad’s uncle. The hijra was a trip to Medina from Mecca. This is
significant because the move to Medina allowed Muhammad and his followers to
practice their new religion in peace, without interference from the Quraysh.
Shamanism is a religious practice that had its roots in early Japanese and Korean
culture. It focused on the use of shamans, or religious professionals, as agents for
healing and communicating between this world and the spiritual one. Mantras and
mandalas are features of mystic Buddhism. Mantras are chants of sacred texts, and
mandalas are sacred geometric figures; both are used in order to focus concentration,
as a form of meditation. These two terms are related because shamanism, over time,
began to blend in with Buddhism as Buddhism became more common in Japanese and
Korean cultures. This allowed for the development and use of mantras and mandalas in
these sacred forms of the religion, since they were similar to shamanistic practices. This
is significant because the spread of mantras and mandalas to Japan and Korea from
Tibet showcases the interconnectedness of the Asian continent during this period.
Abu Bakr was Muhammad’s successor, a Rashidun caliph. Shura, or ‘consultation’, is a
way of choosing the new caliph based on the consensus of the community. Abu Bakr
was chosen as successor by shura. This is significant because many did not approve of
him becoming the caliph, which caused disagreement over succession for centuries,
eventually leading to the Sunni/Shi’a split.
The Soga clan was a Japanese family that gained a lot of power during the Yamato
period through strategically inserting themselves into high governmental roles. Buddhism
is a religious practice that originated in southeast Asia, focusing on ending the cycle of
reincarnation. The Soga clan said that they would support Buddhism when they took
over, leading many Buddhists to support their rebellion and rise to power. This is
significant because the Soga clan can be compared to the Fujiawara clan later on, who
practiced a similar way of gaining power, strategically marrying princes in order to be in
the government.
The Taika reforms were policies designed to reform Japan after the Soga clan’s uprising.
These reforms were aimed at centralizing the government, copying China’s equal field
system and bureaucratic structure. The equal field system was a Chinese practice where
the government took control of all of the land and redistributed it among the people
according to household labor. The equal field system was one of the Taika reforms
adopted in Japan. This is significant because it showcases China’s influence over
The Constitution of Media was a charter outlining the rules for the settlers of the new
city, including the ways in which the people of different religions were meant to act with
one another. Ansar were the people who took in emigrants to Medina while their houses
were being constructed. The Constitution of Medina established the city of Medina, and
while it was being built and these laws were being upheld, the ansar helped people
settle into their new lives under this code. This can be compared to the Edict of Milan,
which similarly outlined religiously tolerant practices, but did not feature resettling of a
new city.
Yue Fei was a general under the Song Dynasty who led the empire against the Jurchen
invaders and even negotiated a treaty with them. Huizong was the Song Emperor during
this time, who had Yue Fei as one of his generals. Huizong allowed Yue Fei to be killed
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when he disagreed with the policies concerning the struggle with the Jurchens. This is
significant because Yue Fei becomes a symbol of patriotism later on in China.
Tenmu was the first Japanese emperor. Kami are Shinto spirits that are said to be
present in everything. When Tenmu took the throne, he claimed that he and his family
were descendants from the kami of the sun goddess. This is significant because it deals
with one of the overarching themes of this period, secular and religious government.
Tenmu combined the two, saying that the emperor was a religious and secular authority
becaue of family ancestry.
Hadith are accounts of Muhammad’s life that were compiled and written after his death.
Aisha was Muhammad’s favorite wife, and is credited with composing many of the
hadith. This is significant because it shows that women had some say in Islamic religion.
This can be contrasted to Christianity with the Gospel of Mary, which is seen as non-
canonical, perhaps because a woman, Mary Magdalene, wrote it.
An Lushan was a general who rebelled against the dynasty after discovering that his
position might be compromised after the emperor’s death. Yang Guifei was a consort of
the emperor, and is said to be one of the four beauties of China who caused demise of a
dynasty in one way or another. During An Lushan’s rebellion, the emperor was fleeing
the city, and his troops ordered that Yang Guifei be killed, blaming her and her family for
the rebellion. This is significant because the rebellion and downfall of the dynasty was
blamed on a woman having control over the emperor. Compare to Empress Wu.
Tendai Buddhism focused on the belief that all things have a Buddha nature. Shintoism
was a native Japanese religion that focused on spirits (kami) inhabiting all things. Tendai
Buddhism’s belief that Buddha was in all things can be compared to Shintoism’s belief in
kami being in all things. This is significant as it shows a clear example of religious
syncretism between Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan.
Hata were Buddhist immigrants in Japan that came from China. Trade Buddhism was
the process of Buddhism being spread by merchants and commoners to the elite. Hata
came to Japan and spread Trade Buddhism to the lower classes. This is significant
when comparing Buddhism in Japan to Christianity, which also spread among the lower
classes before reaching the elite.
The Fujiwara clan was a powerful family in Japan that strategically married their
daughters into the government in order to continually obtain the post of regent in the
Japanese government. The shogun was a position in Japanese government, meaning
‘general-in-chief’; the shogun was the real power behind the throne, and had a puppet
emperor in place. In order to keep power away from the Fujiwara clan, many emperors
abdicated the throne and left their sons in charge, which left a lot of competition between
factions as the Japanese government constantly went through rulers. One clan, the
Minamoto clan, defeated all others, and established themselves as the shogun. This is
significant when comparing the role of the regent in Japan to that of the regent in China.
In China, regents sometimes amassed a lot of power behind the throne, but it was the
eunuchs who wound up squandering the throne, not clans.
Pope Leo III was a controversial pope, since he came from peasantry and was convicted
of committing several sinful acts. Charlemagne was a warrior in Europe, and supported
Pope Leo III so that he could keep the papacy. This led to Leo later crowning
Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor. This is significant because it gave the pope
a lot of authority since he was the one who crowned the emperor, which contributed to
the period’s theme of religious vs secular power.
Wu Zetian was China’s first and only female emperor. The Feng and Shan sacrifices
were Chinese practices in which the emperor would pay homage to heaven and earth.
While she was the wife of the emperor, before becoming the emperor herself, she had
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