HOME

TheInfoList




The early Muslim conquests ( ar, الفتوحات الإسلامية, ''al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya''), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the
Islamic prophet Prophets in Islam ( ar, الأنبياء في الإسلام, translit=al-ʾAnbiyāʾ fī al-ʾIslām) are individuals in Islam who are believed to spread God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, c ...
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
in the 7th century. He established a new unified
polity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cog ...
in the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
which under the subsequent
Rashidun , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.png , caption = Calligraphic Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and executi ...
and
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
s saw a century of rapid expansion. The resulting empire stretched from parts of
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
and
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri La ...

South Asia
, across the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
,
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
, the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
, and parts of Southwest
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
(
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...

Sicily
and the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peni ...

Iberian Peninsula
to the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to ...

Pyrenees
). The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the
Sassanid Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...

Sassanid Empire
and a great territorial loss for the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
. The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight, primarily because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived. Fred McGraw Donner suggests that formation of a state in the Arabian peninsula and ideological (i.e., religious) coherence and mobilization was a primary reason why the Muslim armies in the space of a hundred years were able to establish one of the largest pre-modern empires until that time. Estimates of the total area of the combined territory held by the Islamic Caliphate at its peak have been as high as thirteen million square kilometers, or five million square miles. Most historians agree as well that the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting one another. It has been suggested that some
Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), suc ...

Jew
s and
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...

Christians
in the
Sassanid Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...
and Jews and
Monophysites Monophysitism ( or ) or Monophysism () is a Christological term derived from μόνος ''monos'', "alone, solitary" and φύσις ''physis'', a word that hamany meaningsbut in this context means "nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is ...
in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
were dissatisfied and welcomed the Muslim forces, largely because of religious conflict in both empires. At other times, such as in the
Battle of Firaz The Battle of Firaz ( ar, معركة الفراض) was the last battle of the Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam, a Monotheism, monotheistic Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic religion. The derivation of "Muslim" is from ...
,
Arab Christians Arab Christians ( ar, ﺍﻟﻤﺴﻴﺤﻴﻮﻥ ﺍﻟﻌﺮﺏ ''al-Masīḥiyyūn al-ʿArab'') are Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheis ...

Arab Christians
allied themselves with the Persians and Byzantines against the invaders. In the case of
Byzantine Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ma ...
,
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, these lands had been reclaimed from the Persians only a few years before.


Background

Arabia was a region that hosted a number of different cultures, some urban and others nomadic Bedouin. Arabian society was divided along tribal and clan lines with the most important divisions being between the "southern" and "northern" tribal associations. Both the Roman and Persian empires competed for influence in Arabia by sponsoring clients, and in turn Arabian tribes sought the patronage of the two rival empires to bolster their own ambitions. The Lakhmid kingdom which covered parts of what is now southern Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia was a client of Persia, and in 602 the Persians deposed the Lakhmids to take over the defense of the southern frontier themselves. This left the Persians exposed and over-extended, helping to set the stage for the collapse of Persia later that century. Southern Arabia, especially what is now Yemen, had for thousands of years been a wealthy region that had been a center of the spice trade. Yemen had been at the center of an international trading network linking Eurasia to Africa and Yemen had been visited by merchants from East Africa, Europe, the Middle East, India and even from as far away as China. In turn, the Yemeni were great sailors, travelling up the Red Sea to Egypt and across the Indian Ocean to India and down the east African coast. Inland, the valleys of Yemen had been cultivated by a system of irrigation that had been set back when the Marib Dam was destroyed by an earthquake in about 450 AD. Frankincense and myrrh had been greatly valued in the Mediterranean region, being used in religious ceremonies. However, the conversion of the Mediterranean world to Christianity had significantly reduced the demand for these commodities, causing a major economic slump in southern Arabia which helped to create the impression that Arabia was a backward region. Little is known of the pre-Islamic religions of Arabia, but it is known that the Arabs worshipped a number of gods such as al-Lat, Manat, al-Uzza and Hubal, with the most important being Allah (God). There were also Jewish and Christian communities in Arabia and aspects of Arab religion reflected their influence. Pilgrimage was a major part of Arabian paganism, and one of the most important pilgrimage sites was Mecca, which housed the Kaaba, considered an especially holy place to visit. Muhammad, a merchant of Mecca, started to have visions in which he claimed that the Archangel Gabriel had told him that he was the last of the prophets continuing the work of Jesus Christ and the prophets of
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages o ...

Tanakh
. After coming into conflict with the elite of Mecca, Muhammad fled to the city of Yathrib, which was renamed Medina. At Yathrib, Muhammad founded an Islamic state, and by 630, conquered Mecca. The prolonged and escalating Byzantine–
Sassanid The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...
wars of the 6th and 7th centuries and the recurring outbreaks of bubonic plague (
Plague of Justinian The plague of Justinian or Justinianic plague (541–549 AD) was the first major outbreak In epidemiology, an outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or ...
) left both empires exhausted and weakened in the face of the sudden emergence and expansion of the Arabs. The last of these wars ended with victory for the Byzantines: Emperor
Heraclius Heraclius ( el, Ἡράκλειος, ''Hērakleios''; c. 575 – 11 February 641), sometimes called Heraclius I, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinop ...
regained all lost territories, and restored the
True Cross The True Cross are the physical remnants which, by the tradition of some Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its ...

True Cross
to
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
in 629. The war against Zoroastrian Persia, whose people worshiped the fire god Ahura Mazda, had been portrayed by Heraclius as a holy war in defense of the Christian faith and the Wood of the Holy Cross, as splinters of wood said to be from the True Cross were known, had been used to inspire Christian fighting zeal. The idea of a holy war against the "fire worshipers", as the Christians called the Zoroastrians, had aroused much enthusiasm, leading to an all-out effort to defeat the Persians. Nevertheless, neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they were overrun by the advances of the
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
(newly united by Islam), which, according to James Howard-Johnston, "can only be likened to a human tsunami". According to George Liska, the "unnecessarily prolonged Byzantine–Persian conflict opened the way for Islam". In late 620s
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
had already managed to conquer and unify much of
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
under Muslim rule, and it was under his leadership that the first Muslim-Byzantine skirmishes took place in response to Byzantine incursions. Just a few months after Heraclius and the Persian general
Shahrbaraz Shahrbaraz (also spelled Shahrvaraz or Shahrwaraz; New Persian: ), was shah (king) of the Sasanian Empire from 27 April 630 to 9 June 630. He usurped the throne from Ardashir III, and was killed by Iranian nobles after forty days. Before usurping ...
agreed on terms for the withdrawal of Persian troops from occupied Byzantine eastern provinces in 629, Arab and Byzantine troops confronted each other at the
Battle of Mu'tah The Battle of Mu'tah ( ar, مَعْرَكَة مُؤْتَة ', or ar, غَزْوَة مُؤْتَة, link=no ') was fought in September 629 (1 Jumada al-Awwal 8 AH), near the village of Mu'tah, east of the Jordan River ) , name_nativ ...

Battle of Mu'tah
as a result of Byzantine vassals murdering a Muslim emissary.
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
died in 632 and was succeeded by
Abu Bakr Abu Bakr Abdullah ibn Uthman ( ar, أَبُو بَكْرٍ عَبْدُ ٱللهِ بْنِ عُثْمَانَ; 573 CE23 August 634 CE) was a Sahabah, companion and, through his daughter Aisha, a father-in-law of the Prophets and messengers in I ...
, the first
Caliph A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
with undisputed control of the entire Arab peninsula after the successful
Ridda Wars #REDIRECT Ridda Wars #REDIRECT Ridda Wars The Ridda Wars ( ar, حُرُوب ٱلرِّدَّة), or Wars of Apostasy from Islam, Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr against rebel Arabian tribes during ...
, which resulted in the consolidation of a powerful Muslim state throughout the peninsula. Byzantine sources, such as the Short History written by Nikephoros, claim that the Arab invasion came about as a result of restrictions imposed on Arab traders curtailing their ability to trade within Byzantine territory, and to send the profits of their trade out of Byzantine territory. As a result, the Arabs murdered a Byzantine official named Sergius whom they held responsible for convincing the Emperor Heraclius to impose the trade restrictions. Nikephoros relates that:
The Saracens, having flayed a camel, enclosed him in the hide and sewed it up. As the skin hardened, the man who was left inside also withered and so perished in a painful manner. The charge against him was that he had persuaded Heraclius not to allow the Saracens to trade from the Roman country and send out of the Roman state the thirty pounds of gold which they normally received by way of commercial gain; and for this reason they began to lay waste the Roman land.
Some scholars assert that this is the same Sergius, called "the Candidatus", who was "killed by the Saracens" as related in the 7th century Doctrina Jacobi document.
Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...

Edward Gibbon
writes in ''
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ''The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'' is a six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English historian, writer and Member of Parliament. His most importan ...
'':


Forces


Muslims

In Arabia, swords from India were greatly esteemed as being made of the finest steel, and were the favorite weapons of the ''Mujahideen''. The Arab sword known as the ' closely resembled the Roman ''gladius''. Swords and spears were the major weapons of the Muslims and armour was either mail or leather. In northern Arabia, Roman influence predominated, in eastern Arabia, Persian influence predominated and in Yemen, Indian influence was felt. As the caliphate spread, the Muslims were influenced by the peoples they conquered--the Turks in Central Asia, the Persians, and the Romans in Syria. The Bedouin tribes of Arabia favored archery, though, contrary to popular belief, Bedouin archers usually fought on foot instead of horseback. The Arabs usually fought defensive battles with their archers placed on both flanks. By the Umayyad period, the caliphate had a standing army, including the elite ''Ahl al-Sham'' ("people of Syria"), raised from the Arabs who settled in Syria. The caliphate was divided into a number of ''jund'', or regional armies, stationed in the provinces being made of mostly Arab tribes who were paid monthly by the ''Diwan al-Jaysh'' (War Ministry).


Roman

The infantry of the Roman Army continued to be recruited from within the empire, but much of the cavalry were either recruited from "martial" peoples in the Balkans or in Asia Minor, or, alternatively, were Germanic mercenaries. Most of the Roman troops in Syria were ''indigenae'' (local) and it seems that at the time of the Muslim conquest, the Roman forces in Syria were Arabs. In response to the loss of Syria, the Romans developed the ''phylarch'' system of using Armenian and Christian Arab auxiliaries living on the frontier to provide a "shield" to counter raiding by the Muslims into the empire. Overall, the Roman Army remained a small, but professional force of ''foederati''. Unlike the ''foederati'' who were sent where they were needed, the ''stradioti'' lived in the frontier provinces. The most famous of these units was the
Varangian Guard The Varangian Guard ( el, Τάγμα τῶν Βαράγγων, ''Tágma tōn Varángōn'') was an elite unit of the Byzantine Army The Byzantine army was the primary military body of the Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as ...
made up of Vikings.


Persian

During the last decades of the Sasanian empire, the frequent use of royal titles by Persian governors in Central Asia, especially in what is now Afghanistan, indicates a weakening of the power of the ''Shahinshah'' (King of Kings), suggesting the empire was already breaking down at the time of the Muslim conquest. Persian society was rigidly divided into castes with the nobility being of supposed "Aryan" descent, and this division of Persian society along caste lines was reflected in the military. The '' azatan'' aristocracy provided the cavalry, the ''paighan'' infantry came from the peasantry and most of the greater Persian nobility had slave soldiers, this last being based on the Persian example. Much of the Persian army consisted of tribal mercenaries recruited from the plains south of the Caspian Sea and from what is now Afghanistan. The Persian tactics were cavalry based with the Persian forces usually divided into a center, based upon a hill, and two wings of cavalry on either side.


Ethiopian

Little is known about the military forces of the Christian state of Ethiopia other than that they were divided into ' professional troops and the ' auxiliaries. The Ethiopians made much use of camels and elephants.


Berber

The Berber peoples of North Africa had often served as a ' (auxiliaries) to the Roman Army. The Berber forces were based around the horse and camel, but seemed to have hampered by a lack of weapons or protection with both Roman and Arab sources mentioning the Berbers lacked armour and helmets. The Berbers went to war with their entire communities and the presence of women and children both slowed down the Berber armies and tied down Berber tribesmen who tried to protect their families.


Turks

The British historian David Nicolle called the Turkish peoples of Central Asia the "most formidable foes" faced by the Muslims. The Jewish Turkish
Khazar khanate The Khazars (, ; he, כוזרים, ''Kuzarim''; tr, Hazarlar; az, Xəzərlər; ba, Хазарҙар; tt, Хәзәрләр, ''Xäzärlär''; ''Xazar''; fa, خزر; uk, Хоза́ри, ''Khozáry''; rus, Хаза́ры, ''Khazáry''; ...
, based in what is now southern Russia and Ukraine, had a powerful heavy cavalry. The Turkish heartland of Central Asia was divided into five khanates whose khans variously recognized the shahs of Iran or the emperors of China as their overlords. Turkish society was feudal with the khans only being ''pater primus'' among the aristocracy of ' who lived in castles in the countryside, with the rest of Turkish forces being divided into ' (farmers), ' (servants) and ' (clients). The heavily armored Turkish cavalry were to play a great role in influencing subsequent Muslim tactics and weapons; the Turks, who were mostly Buddhists at the time of the Islamic conquest, later converted to Islam and, ironically, the Turks came to be regarded as the foremost Muslim warriors, to the extent of replacing the Arabs as the dominant peoples in the ''Dar-al-Islam'' (House of Islam).


Visigoths

During the
migration period The Migration Period, also known as the Barbarian Invasions (from the Roman and Greek perspective), is a term sometimes used for the period in the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the ...
, the Germanic Visigoths had traveled from their homeland north of the Danube to settle in the Roman province of Hispania, creating a kingdom upon the wreckage of the Western Roman empire. The Visigothic state in Iberia was based around forces raised by the nobility whom the king could call out in the event of war. The king had his ' and ' loyal to himself, while the nobility had their '. The Visigoths favored cavalry with their favorite tactics being to repeatedly charge a foe combined with feigned retreats. The Muslim conquest of most of Iberia in less than a decade does suggest serious deficiencies with the Visigothic kingdom, though the limited sources make it difficult to discern the precise reasons for the collapse of the Visigoths.


Franks

Another Germanic people who founded a state upon the ruins of the Western Roman empire were the Franks who settled in Gaul, which came to be known afterwards as France. Like the Visigoths, the Frankish cavalry played a "significant part" in their wars. The Frankish kings expected all of their male subjects to perform three months of military service every year, and all serving under the king's banner were paid a regular salary. Those called up for service had to provide their own weapons and horses, which contributed to the "militarisation of Frankish society". At least part of the reason for the victories of
Charles Martel Charles Martel (c. 688 – 22 October 741) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient ...

Charles Martel
was he could call up a force of experienced warriors when faced with Muslim raids.


Military campaigns


Conquest of the Levant: 634–641

The province of Syria was the first to be wrested from
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
control. Arab-Muslim raids that followed the
Ridda wars #REDIRECT Ridda Wars #REDIRECT Ridda Wars The Ridda Wars ( ar, حُرُوب ٱلرِّدَّة), or Wars of Apostasy from Islam, Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr against rebel Arabian tribes during ...
prompted the Byzantines to send a major expedition into southern
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
, which was defeated by the Arab forces under command of
Khalid ibn al-Walid , other_name = ('the Sword of God')Abu Sulayman , image = , alt = , caption = , birth_date = , death_date = 642 , birth_place = Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly s ...
at the
Battle of Ajnadayn The Battle of Ajnadayn ( ar, معركة أجنادين) was fought in July or August 634 ( Jumada I or II, 13 AH), in a location close to Beit Guvrin in present-day Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ...
(634). Ibn al-Walid, had converted to Islam around 627, becoming one of Muhammad's most successful generals. Ibn al-Walid had been fighting in Iraq against the Persians when he led his force on a trek across the deserts to Syria to attack the Romans from the rear. In the "Battle of the Mud" fought outside of Pella in the Jordan river valley in January 635 the Arabs won another victory. After a siege of six months the Arabs took Damascus, but Emperor Heraclius later retook it. At the battle of Yarmuk between 16–20 August 636, the Arabs were victorious, defeating Heraclius. Ibn al-Walid appears to have been the "real military leader" at Yarmuk "under the nominal command of others". Syria was ordered to be abandoned to the Muslims with Heraclius reportedly saying: "Peace be with you Syria; what a beautiful land you will be for your enemy". On the heels of their victory, the Arab armies took
Damascus )), is an adjective which means "spacious". , motto = , image_flag = Flag of Damascus.svg , image_seal = Emblem of Damascus.svg , seal_type = Seal , m ...

Damascus
again in 636, with
Baalbek Baalbek (; ar, , Baʿlabakk, Syriac-Aramaic: ܒܥܠܒܟ) is a city located east of the Litani River in red The Litani River ( ar, نهر الليطاني, ), the classical antiquity, classical Leontes ( grc-gre, Λέοντες, , ), is an imp ...

Baalbek
,
Homs ar, حمصي, HimsiHimsi or Homsi is an Arabic locational surname, which means a person from Homs, Syria.Abu Assali, Sarah. (2012)"The Eye of the Beholder" ''Syria Today Magazine'', October 10. Retrieved on 25 January 2016. The name may refer to ...

Homs
, and
Hama Hama ( ar, حَمَاة ', ; syr, ܚܡܬ, Ḥmṭ, lit=fortress; Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew language, Hebrew, a language in the Can ...

Hama
to follow soon afterwards. However, other fortified towns continued to resist despite the rout of the imperial army and had to be conquered individually.
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
fell in 638,
Caesarea Caesarea () (, he, קֵיסָרְיָה), ''Keysariya'' or ''Qesarya'', often simplified to Keisarya, and Qaysaria, is a town in north-central Israel, which inherits its name and much of its territory from the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima ...

Caesarea
in 640, while others held out until 641. After a two-year siege, the garrison of Jerusalem surrendered rather than starve to death; under the terms of the surrender Caliph Umar promised to tolerate the Christians of Jerusalem and not to turn churches into mosques. True to his word, the Caliph Umar allowed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to remain, with the caliph praying on a prayer rug outside of the church. The loss to the Muslims of Jerusalem, the holiest city to Christians, proved to be the source of much resentment in Christendom. The city of Caesarea Maritima continued to withstand the Muslim siege--as it could be supplied by sea--until it was taken by assault in 640. In the mountains of Asia Minor, the Muslims enjoyed less success, with the Romans adopting the tactic of "shadowing warfare" — refusing to give battle to the Muslims, while the people retreated into castles and fortified towns when the Muslims invaded; instead, Roman forces ambushed Muslim raiders as they returned to Syria carrying plunder and people they had enslaved. In the frontier area where Anatolia met Syria, the Roman state evacuated the entire population and laid waste to the countryside, creating a "no-man's land" where any invading army would find no food. For decades afterwards, a guerrilla war was waged by Christians in the hilly countryside of north-western Syria supported by the Romans. At the same time, the Romans began a policy of launching raids via sea on the coast of the caliphate with the aim of forcing the Muslims to keep at least some of their forces to defend their coastlines, thus limiting the number of troops available for an invasion of Anatolia. Unlike Syria with its plains and deserts — which favored the offensive — the mountainous terrain of Anatolia favored the defensive, and for centuries afterwards, the line between Christian and Muslim lands ran along the border between Anatolia and Syria.


Conquest of Egypt: 639–642

The
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
province of Egypt held strategic importance for its grain production, naval yards, and as a base for further conquests in Africa. The Muslim general 'Amr ibn al-'As began the conquest of the province on his own initiative in 639. The majority of the Roman forces in Egypt were locally-raised Coptic forces, intended to serve more as a police force; since the vast majority of Egyptians lived in the Nile river valley, surrounded on both the eastern and western sides by desert, Egypt was felt to be a relatively secure province. In December 639, al-'As entered the Sinai with a large force and took Pelusium, on the edge of the Nile river valley, and then defeated a Roman counter-attack at Bibays. Contrary to expectations, the Arabs did not head for Alexandria, the capital of Egypt, but instead for a major fortress known as Babylon located at what is now Cairo. Al-'As was planning to divide the Nile river valley in two. The Arab forces won a major victory at the
Battle of Heliopolis The Battle of Heliopolis or Ayn Shams was a decisive battle between Arab Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam, a Monotheism, monotheistic Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic religion. The derivation of "Muslim" is from an A ...
(640), but they found it difficult to advance further because major cities in the Nile Delta were protected by water and because al-'As lacked the machinery to break down city fortifications. The Arabs laid siege to Babylon, and its starving garrison surrendered on 9 April 641. Nevertheless, the province was scarcely urbanized and the defenders lost hope of receiving reinforcements from
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
when the emperor
Heraclius Heraclius ( el, Ἡράκλειος, ''Hērakleios''; c. 575 – 11 February 641), sometimes called Heraclius I, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinop ...
died in 641. Afterwards, the Arabs turned north into the Nile delta and laid siege to Alexandria. The last major center to fall into Arab hands was
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
, which capitulated in September 642. According to
Hugh Kennedy Hugh Edward Kennedy KC (11 July 1879 – 1 December 1936) was an Irish Cumann na nGaedheal Cumann na nGaedheal (; "Society of the Gaels The Gaels (; ga, Na Gaeil ; gd, Na Gàidheil ; gv, Ny Gaeil ) are an ethnolinguistic group native t ...
, "Of all the early Muslim conquests, that of Egypt was the swiftest and most complete. ..Seldom in history can so massive a political change have happened so swiftly and been so long lasting." In 644, the Arabs suffered a major defeat by the Caspian Sea when an invading Muslim army was almost wiped out by the cavalry of the
Khazar Khanate The Khazars (, ; he, כוזרים, ''Kuzarim''; tr, Hazarlar; az, Xəzərlər; ba, Хазарҙар; tt, Хәзәрләр, ''Xäzärlär''; ''Xazar''; fa, خزر; uk, Хоза́ри, ''Khozáry''; rus, Хаза́ры, ''Khazáry''; ...
, and, seeing a chance to take back Egypt, the Romans launched an amphibious attack which took back Alexandria for a short period of time. Though most of Egypt is desert, the Nile river valley has some of the most productive and fertile farmland in the entire world, which had made Egypt the "granary" of the Roman empire. Control of Egypt meant that the caliphate could weather droughts without the fear of famine, laying the basis for the future prosperity of the caliphate.


The War at Sea

The Roman empire had traditionally dominated the Mediterranean and the Black Sea with major naval bases at Constantinople, Acre, Alexandria and Carthage. In 652, the Arabs won their first victory at sea off Alexandria, which was followed by the temporary Muslim conquest of Cyprus. As Yemen had been a center of maritime trade, Yemeni sailors were brought to Alexandria to start building an Islamic fleet for the Mediterranean. The Muslim fleet was based in Alexandria and used Acre, Tyre and Beirut as its forward bases. The core of the fleet's sailors were Yemeni, but the shipwrights who built the ships were Iranian and Iraqi. In the "Battle of the Masts" off Cape Chelidonia in Anatolia in 655, the Muslims defeated the Roman fleet in a series of boarding actions. As a result, the Romans began a major expansion of their navy, which was matched by the Arabs, leading to a naval arms race. From the early 8th century onward, the Muslim fleet would launch annual raids on the coastline on the Roman empire in Anatolia and Greece. As part of the arms race, both sides sought new technology to improve their warships. The Muslim warships had a larger forecastle, which was used to mount a stone-throwing engine. The Romans invented "Greek fire", an incendiary weapon that led the Muslims to cover their ships with water-soaked cotton. A major problem for the Muslim fleet was the shortage of timber, which led the Muslims to seek qualitative instead of quantitative superiority by building bigger warships. To save money, the Muslim shipwrights switched from the hull-first method of building ships to the frame-first method.


Conquest of Mesopotamia and Persia: 633–651

After an Arab incursion into Sasanian territories, the energetic ''shah'' (king)
Yazdgerd III Yazdegerd III (also spelled Yazdgerd III and Yazdgird III; pal, 𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩; was the last Sasanian Empire, Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 632 to 651. His father was Shahriyar (son of Khosrow II), Shahriyar and his grandfathe ...
, who had just ascended the Persian throne, raised an army to resist the conquerors. Many of the ''marzbans'' refused to come out to help the ''shahinshah''. However, the Persians suffered a devastating defeat at the
Battle of al-Qadisiyyah The Battle of al-Qadisiyyah ( ar, مَعْرَكَة ٱلْقَادِسِيَّة; ', fa, نبرد قادسیه ') also spelled Qadisiyah, Qadisiyya, Ghadesiyeh or Kadisiya, fought in 636, was a decisive battle between the Arab Muslim army and ...
in 636. Little is known about the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah other than it lasted for several days by the banks of the river Euphrates in what is now Iraq and ended with the Persian force being annihilated. Abolishing the Lakhmid Arab buffer state had forced the Persians to take over the desert defense themselves, leaving them overextended. As a result of al-Qadisiyyah, the Arab-Muslims gained control over the whole of Iraq, including
Ctesiphon Ctesiphon ( ; Middle Persian: 𐭲𐭩𐭮𐭯𐭥𐭭 ''tyspwn'' or ''tysfwn''; fa, تیسفون; grc-gre, Κτησιφῶν, ; syr, ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢThomas A. Carlson et al., “Ctesiphon — ܩܛܝܣܦܘܢ ” in The Syriac Gazetteer last modi ...

Ctesiphon
, the capital city of the Sassanids. The Persians lacked sufficient forces to make use of the Zagros mountains to stop the Arabs, having lost the prime of their army at al-Qadisiyyah. The Persian forces withdrew over the
Zagros mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس, ''Kuh hā-ye Zāgros;'' Luri language, Luri: کویل زاگروس‎, ''Koyal Zagros;'' Turkish language, Turkish: ''Zagros Dağları;'' ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyakani ...
and the Arab army pursued them across the Iranian plateau, where the fate of the Sasanian empire was sealed at the
Battle of Nahavand The Battle of Nahavand ( ar, مَعْرَكَة نَهَاوَنْد ', fa, نبرد نهاوند '), also spelled Nihavand or Nahawand, was fought in 642 between Arab Muslims Arab Muslims ( ar, مسلمون عرب) are adherents of Islam ...
(642). The crushing Muslim victory at Nahavand is known in the Muslim world as the "Victory of Victories". After Nahavand, the Persian state collapsed with Yezdegird fleeing further east and various ''marzbans'' bending their knees in submission to the Arabs. As the conquerors slowly covered the vast distances of Iran punctuated by hostile towns and fortresses, Yazdgerd III retreated, finally taking refuge in
Khorasan Khorasan may refer to: * Greater Khorasan, a historical region which lies mostly in modern-day northern/northwestern Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan * Khorasan Province, a pre-2004 province of Iran, ...
, where he was assassinated by a local
satrap Satraps () were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Medes, Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to ...
in 651. In the aftermath of their victory over the imperial army, the Muslims still had to contend with a collection of militarily weak but geographically inaccessible principalities of Persia. It took decades to bring them all under control of the caliphate. In what is now Afghanistan--a region where the authority of the ''shah'' was always disputed--the Muslims met fierce guerrilla resistance from the militant Buddhist tribes of the region. Ironically, despite the complete Muslim triumph over Iran as compared to the only partial defeat of the Roman empire, the Muslims borrowed far more from the vanished Sassanian state than they ever did from the Romans. However, for the Persians the defeat remained bitter. Some 400 years later, the Persian poet
Ferdowsi , image = File:Statue of Ferdowsi in Tus, Iran 3 (cropped2).jpg , image_size = , caption = Statue of Ferdowsi in Tus by Abolhassan Sadighi Abolhassan Sadighi ( fa, ابوالحسن صدیقی) (5 October 1894 – 11 December 1995) was an ...

Ferdowsi
wrote in his popular poem ''
Shahnameh The ''Shahnameh'' or ''Shahnama'' ( fa, شاهنامه, Šāhnāme ; ) is a long epic poem written by the Persian literature, Persian poet Ferdowsi for Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni between c. 977 and 1010 CE and is the national epic of Greater Iran ...
'' (''Book of Kings''):
"Damn this world, damn this time, damn this fate, That uncivilized Arabs have come to
Make me a Muslim
Where are your valiant warriors and priests
Where are your hunting parties and your feats?
Where is that warlike mien and where are those
Great armies that destroyed our county's foes?
Count Iran as a ruin, as the lair
Of lions and leopards.
Look now and despair".


The end of the ''Rashidun'' conquests

Right from the start of the caliphate, it was realized that there was a need to write down the sayings and story of Muhammad, which had been memorized by his followers before they all died. Most people in Arabia were illiterate and the Arabs had a strong culture of remembering history orally. To preserve the story of Muhammad and to prevent any corruptions from entering the oral history, the Caliph 'Abu Bakr had ordered scribes to write down the story of Muhammad as told to them by his followers, which was the origin of the Quran. Disputes had emerged over which version of the Quran was the correct one and, by 644, different versions of the Quran were accepted in Damascus, Basra, Hims, and Kufa. To settle the dispute, the Caliph 'Uthman had proclaimed the version of the Quran possessed by one of Muhammad's widows, Hafsa, to be the definitive and correct version, which offended some Muslims who held to the rival versions. This, together with the favoritism shown by 'Uthman to his own clan, the Banu Umayya, in government appointments, led to a mutiny in Medina in 656 and 'Uthman's murder. 'Uthman's successor as Caliph, Muhammad's son-in-law, Ali, was faced with a civil war, known to Muslims as the ''fitna'', when the governor of Syria, Mu'awiya Ibn Abi Sufyan, revolted against him. During this time, the first period of Muslim conquests stopped, as the armies of Islam turned against one another. A fundamentalist group known as the ''Kharaji'' decided to end the civil war by assassinating the leaders of both sides. However, the ''fitna'' ended in January 661 when the Caliph Ali was killed by a ''Kharaji'' assassin, allowing Mu'awiya to become Caliph and found the Umayyad dynasty. The ''fitna'' also marked the beginning of the split between
Shia Shia Islam or Shi'ism is the second largest Islamic schools and branches, branch of Islam. It holds that the Prophets and messengers in Islam, Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, Muhammad designated Ali, Ali ibn Abi Talib as his Succession to Mu ...
Muslims, who supported Ali, and
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
Muslims, who opposed him. Mu'awiya moved the capital of the caliphate from Medina to Damascus, which had a major effect on the politics and culture of the caliphate. Mu'awiya followed the conquest of Iran by invading Central Asia and trying to finish off the Roman Empire by taking Constantinople. In 670, a Muslim fleet seized Rhodes and then laid siege to Constantinople. Nicolle wrote the siege of Constantinople from 670 to 677 was "more accurately" a blockade rather than a siege proper, which ended in failure as the "mighty" walls built by the Emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century AD proved their worth. The majority of the people in Syria remained Christian, and a substantial Jewish minority remained, as well; both communities were to teach the Arabs much about science, trade and the arts. The Umayyad caliphs are well-remembered for sponsoring a cultural "golden age" in Islamic history--for example, by building the
Dome of the Rock The Dome of the Rock ( ar, قبة الصخرة, Qubbat aṣ-Ṣakhra) is an Islam, Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City (Jerusalem), Old City of Jerusalem. Its initial construction was undertaken by the Umayyad Caliphate o ...

Dome of the Rock
in Jerusalem, and for making Damascus into the capital of a "superpower" that stretched from Portugal to Central Asia, covering the vast territory from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of China.


Explanations for the success of the early conquests

The rapidity of the early conquests has received various explanations. Contemporary Christian writers conceived them as God's punishment visited on their fellow Christians for their sins. Early Muslim historians viewed them as a reflection of the religious zeal of the conquerors and evidence of divine favor. The theory that the conquests are explainable as an Arab migration triggered by economic pressures enjoyed popularity early in the 20th century, but has largely fallen out of favor among historians, especially those who distinguish the migration from the conquests that preceded and enabled it. There are indications that the conquests started as initially disorganized pillaging raids launched partly by non-Muslim Arab tribes in the aftermath of the
Ridda wars #REDIRECT Ridda Wars #REDIRECT Ridda Wars The Ridda Wars ( ar, حُرُوب ٱلرِّدَّة), or Wars of Apostasy from Islam, Apostasy, were a series of military campaigns launched by the Caliph Abu Bakr against rebel Arabian tribes during ...
, and were soon extended into a war of conquest by the
Rashidun caliphs , image = تخطيط كلمة الخلفاء الراشدون.png , caption = Islamic calligraphy, Calligraphic representation of Rashidun Caliphs , birth_place = Mecca, Hejaz, Arabia present-day Saudi Arabia , known_for ...
, although other scholars argue that the conquests were a planned military venture already underway during Muhammad's lifetime.
Fred Donner Fred McGraw Donner (born 1945) is a scholar A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly those that develop expertise in an area of Studying, study. A scholar may also be an academic, who works as a profes ...
writes that the advent of Islam "revolutionized both the ideological bases and the political structures of the Arabian society, giving rise for the first time to a state capable of an expansionist movement." According to Chase F. Robinson, it is likely that Muslim forces were often outnumbered, but, unlike their opponents, they were fast, well coordinated and highly motivated. Another key reason was the weakness of the Byzantine and Sasanian empires, caused by the wars they had waged against each other in the preceding decades with alternating success. It was aggravated by a plague that had struck densely populated areas and impeded conscription of new imperial troops, while the Arab armies could draw recruits from nomadic populations. The Sasanian empire, which had lost the latest round of hostilities with the Byzantines, was also affected by a crisis of confidence, and its elites suspected that the ruling dynasty had forfeited the favor of the gods. The Arab military advantage was increased when Christianized Arab tribes who had served imperial armies as regular or auxiliary troops switched sides and joined the West Arabian coalition. Arab commanders also made liberal use of agreements to spare lives and property of inhabitants in case of surrender and extended exemptions from paying tribute to groups who provided military services to the conquerors. Additionally, the Byzantine persecution of Christians opposed to the
Chalcedonian creed The Chalcedonian Definition (also called the Chalcedonian Creed or the Definition of Chalcedon) is a declaration of Christ's nature, adopted at the Council of Chalcedon The Council of Chalcedon (; la, Concilium Chalcedonense; grc-gre, Σ ...
in Syria and Egypt alienated elements of those communities and made them more open to accommodation with the Arabs once it became clear that the latter would let them practice their faith undisturbed as long as they paid tribute. The conquests were further secured by the subsequent large-scale migration of Arabian peoples into the conquered lands. Robert Hoyland argues that the failure of the Sasanian empire to recover was due in large part to the geographically and politically disconnected nature of Persia, which made coordinated action difficult once the established Sasanian rule collapsed. Similarly, the difficult terrain of Anatolia made it difficult for the Byzantines to mount a large-scale attack to recover the lost lands, and their offensive action was largely limited to organizing guerrilla operations against the Arabs in the Levant.


Conquest of Sindh: 711–714

Although there were sporadic incursions by Arab generals in the direction of India in the 660s and a small Arab garrison was established in the arid region of
Makran Makran (Balochi language, Balochi/ fa, مكران), mentioned in some sources as Mecran and Mokrān, is the coastal region of Baluchistan. It is a semi-desert coastal strip in Balochistan, in Pakistan and Iran, along the coast of the Gulf of Oman ...
in the 670s, the first large-scale Arab campaign in the Indus valley occurred when the general
Muhammad bin Qasim Muhammad bin Qasim al-Thaqafi ( ar, محمد بن القاسم الثقفي, ''Muḥammad bin al-Qāsim al-Thaqafī''; 715), also known by the '' laqab'' (honorific epithet) of Imad ad-Din ( ar, عماد الدين, ''ʿImād al-Dīn''), was an A ...
invaded
Sindh Sindh (; sd, سنڌ; ur, , ; historically romanized as Sind) is one of the four provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, ad ...

Sindh
in 711 after a coastal march through Makran.T.W. Haig, C.E. Bosworth. Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Sind", vol. 9, p. 632 Three years later the Arabs controlled all of the lower
Indus valley The Indus ( ) is a transboundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rivers, including tw ...

Indus valley
. Most of the towns seem to have submitted to Arab rule under peace treaties, although there was fierce resistance in other areas, including by the forces of
Raja Dahir Raja Dahir (; ''Raja Dahir''; 663 - 712 CE) was the last Hindu Hindus () are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', ...
at the capital city
Debal Debal (Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC: ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region cons ...
. Arab incursions southward from Sindh were repulsed by the armies of
Gurjara Gurjaradesa ("Gurjara country") or Gurjaratra is a historical region in India comprising the eastern Rajasthan and northern Gujarat during the period of 6th -12th century CE. The predominant power of the region, the Gurjara-Pratiharas eventuall ...
and
Chalukya The Chalukya dynasty () was a Classical Indian dynasty that ruled large parts of south India, southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. During this period, they ruled as three related yet individual dynasties. The ear ...
kingdoms, and further Islamic expansion was checked by the
Rashtrakuta empire Rashtrakuta (IAST: ') (r. 753-982 CE) was a royal Indian dynasty ruling large parts of the Indian subcontinent between the sixth and 10th centuries. The earliest known Rashtrakuta Indian inscriptions, inscription is a 7th-century copper plate g ...
, which gained control of the region shortly after.


Conquest of the Maghreb: 647–742

Arab forces began launching sporadic raiding expeditions into
Cyrenaica Cyrenaica ( ; ar, برقة, Barqah; grc-koi, Κυρηναϊκή παρχία Kurēnaïkḗ parkhíā after the city of Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene) is the eastern coastal region of Libya. Also known as ''Pentapolis'' ("Five Cities") in A ...

Cyrenaica
(modern northeast
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
) and beyond soon after their conquest of Egypt. Byzantine rule in northwest Africa at the time was largely confined to the coastal plains, while autonomous
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
polities controlled the rest. In 670 Arabs founded the settlement of
Qayrawan Kairouan ( ar, ٱلْقَيْرَوَان '), also spelled Al Qayrawān or Kairwan (), is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was founded by the Umayyads around 670. In the period of Cal ...
, which gave them a forward base for further expansion. Muslim historians credit the general
Uqba ibn Nafi Uqba ibn Nafi ibn Abd al-Qays al-Fihri al-Qurashi ( ar, عقبة بن نافع بن عبد القيس الفهري القرشي, ʿUqba ibn Nāfiʿ ibn ʿAbd al-Qays al-Fihrī al-Qurashī) was an Arabs, Arab general serving the Rashidun Caliphate ...
with subsequent conquest of lands extending to the Atlantic coast, although it appears to have been a temporary incursion.G. Yver. Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Maghreb", vol. 5, p. 1189. The Berber chief Kusayla and an enigmatic leader referred to as ''
Kahina Dihya or Al-Kahina (''The Prophetess'', ar, الكاهنة) was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic ...
'' (prophetess or priestess) seem to have mounted effective, if short-lived resistance to Muslim rule at the end of the 7th century, but the sources do not give a clear picture of these events. Arab forces were able to capture
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
in 698 and
Tangiers Tangier, ( ar, طنجة, ṭanja; ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, ṭanja) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undispu ...
by 708. After the fall of Tangiers, many Berbers joined the Muslim army. In 740 Umayyad rule in the region was shaken by a major
Berber revolt The Great Berber Revolt of 739/740–743 AD (122–125 AH in the Muslim calendar) took place during the reign of the Umayyad Caliphate, Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and marked the first successful secession from the Arab caliphate (ruled ...
, which also involved Berber
Kharijite The Kharijites ( ar, الخوارج, ''al-Khawārij'', singular , ''khāriji''), also called the al-Shurat (Arabic: الشراة, ''al-Shurāt''), were an Islamic sect that appeared in the first century of Islam during the First Muslim Civil Wa ...
Muslims. After a series of defeats, the caliphate was finally able to crush the rebellion in 742, although local Berber dynasties continued to drift away from imperial control from that time on.


Conquest of Hispania and Septimania: 711–721

The Muslim conquest of
Iberia The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a penin ...

Iberia
is notable for the brevity and unreliability of the available sources.
Évariste Lévi-ProvençalÉvariste Lévi-Provençal (4 January 1894 – 27 March 1956) was a French medievalist, orientalist, Arabist, and historian of Islam. The scholar who would take the name Lévi-Provençal was born 4 January 1894 in Constantine Constantine most o ...
. Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Al-Andalus", vol. 1, p. 492
After the
Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoths, constituted the two major political entities of the Goths within the Roman Empire in late antiquity, or what is kno ...
king of Spain
Wittiza Wittiza (''Witiza'', ''Witica'', ''Witicha'', ''Vitiza'', or ''Witiges''; 687 – probably 710) was the Visigothic The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people who, along with the Ostrogoth ...
died in 710, the kingdom experienced a period of political division. The Visigothic nobility was divided between the followers of Wittiza and the new king Roderic. Akhila, Wittiza's son, had fled to Morocco after losing the succession struggle and Muslim tradition states that he asked the Muslims to invade Spain. Starting in the summer of 710, the Muslim forces in Morocco had launched several successful raids into Spain, which demonstrated the weakness of the Visigothic state. Taking advantage of the situation, the Muslim Berber commander,
Tariq ibn Ziyad Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād ( ar, طارق بن زياد), also known simply as Tarik in English, was a Berbers, Berber Umayyad commander who initiated the Muslim Umayyad conquest of Hispania, Umayyad conquest of Visigothic Hispania (present-day Spain and ...

Tariq ibn Ziyad
, who was stationed in Tangiers at the time, crossed the straits with an army of Arabs and Berbers in 711. Most of the invasion force of 15,000 were Berbers, with the Arabs serving as an "elite" force. Ziyad landed on the Rock of Gibraltar on 29 April 711. After defeating the forces of king
Roderic Roderic (also spelled Ruderic, Roderik, Roderich, or Roderick; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Span ...
at the river Guaddalete on 19 July 711, Muslim forces advanced, capturing cities of the Gothic kingdom one after another. The capital of Toledo surrendered peacefully. Some of the cities surrendered with agreements to pay tribute and local aristocracy retained a measure of former influence. The Spanish Jewish community welcomed the Muslims as liberators from the oppression of the Catholic Visigothic kings. In 712, another larger force of 18,000 from Morocco, led by Musa Ibn Nusayr, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar to link up with Ziyad's force at Talavera. The invasion seemed to have entirely on the initiative of Tariq ibn Ziyad: the caliph, al-Walid, in Damascus reacted as if it was a surprise to him. By 713 Iberia was almost entirely under Muslim control. In 714, al-Walid summoned Ziyad to Damascus to explain his campaign in Spain, but Ziyad took his time travelling through North Africa and Palestine, and was finally imprisoned when he arrived in Damascus. The events of the subsequent ten years, the details of which are obscure, included the capture of
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
and
Narbonne Narbonne (, also , ; oc, Narbona ; la, Narbo ; Late Latin:) is a commune in France, commune in southern France in the Occitanie Regions of France, region. It lies from Paris in the Aude Departments of France, department, of which it is a Subpr ...

Narbonne
, and a raid against
Toulouse Toulouse ( , ; oc, Tolosa ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...

Toulouse
, followed by an expedition into
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organizati ...

Burgundy
in 725. The last large-scale raid to the north ended with a Muslim defeat at the
Battle of Tours The Battle of Tours, also called the Battle of Poitiers and, by Arab sources, the Battle of the Highway of the Martyrs ( ar, معركة بلاط الشهداء, Ma'arakat Balāṭ ash-Shuhadā'), was fought on 10 October 732, and was an importa ...
at the hands of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
in 732. The victory of the Franks, led by Charles Martel, over 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn 'Abd Allah al-Ghafiqi has often been misrepresented as the decisive battle that stopped the Muslim conquest of France, but the Umayyad force had been raiding Aquitaine with a particular interest in sacking churches and monasteries, not seeking its conquest. The battle itself is a shadowy affair with the few sources describing it in poetic terms that are frustrating for the historian. The battle occurred between 18–25 October 732 with the climax being an attack on the Muslim camp led by Martel that ended with al-Ghafiqi being killed and the Muslims withdrawing when night fell. Martel's victory ended whatever plans there may have been to conquer France, but a series of Berber revolts in North Africa and in Spain against Arab rule may have played a greater role in ruling out conquests north of the Pyrenees.


Conquest of Transoxiana: 673–751

Transoxiana Transoxiana or Transoxania is an ancient name referring to a region and civilization located in lower roughly corresponding to modern-day eastern , , southern and southern . Geographically, it is the region between the rivers to its south and ...
is the region northeast of
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
beyond the
Amu Darya The Amu Darya, tk, Amyderýa/ uz, Amudaryo// tg, Амударё, Amudaryo ps, , tr, Ceyhun / Amu Derya grc, Ὦξος, Ôxos (also called the Amu, Amo River, or Jay-hoon, and historically known by its Latin language, Latin name or Greek ) i ...
or Oxus River roughly corresponding with modern-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and parts of Kazakhstan. Initial incursions across the
Oxus river The Amu Darya, tk, Amyderýa/ uz, Amudaryo// tg, Амударё, Amudaryo ps, , tr, Ceyhun / Amu Derya grc, Ὦξος, Ôxos (also called the Amu, Amo River, or Jay-hoon, and historically known by its Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical ...
were aimed at
Bukhara Bukhara (; Uzbek language, Uzbek: /; Tajik language, Tajik: Бухоро, ) is the List of cities in Uzbekistan, fifth-largest city in Uzbekistan, with a population of 247,644 , and the capital of Bukhara Region. People have inhabited the region ...

Bukhara
(673) and
Samarqand fa, سمرقند , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = City , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = , image_flag = ...

Samarqand
(675) and their results were limited to promises of tribute payments. In 674, a Muslim force led by Ubaidullah Ibn Zayyad attacked Bukhara, the capital of Soghdia, which ended with the Sogdians agreeing to recognize the Umayadd caliph Mu'awiaya as their overlord and to pay tribute. In general, the campaigns in Central Asia were "hard fought" with the Buddhist Turkic peoples fiercely resisting efforts to incorporate them into the caliphate. China, which saw Central Asia as its own sphere of influence, particularly due to the economic importance of the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
, supported the Turkic defenders. Further advances were hindered for a quarter century by political upheavals within the
Umayyad caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
. This was followed by a decade of rapid military progress under the leadership of the new governor of
Khurasan Khorāsān ( pal, Xwarāsān; fa, خراسان, , ''Wuchang''), sometimes called Greater Khorasan, is a historical region which formed the northeast province of Greater Iran. The name signifies "the Land of the Sun" or "the Eastern Province". ...

Khurasan
,
Qutayba ibn Muslim Abū Ḥafṣ Qutayba ibn Abī Ṣāliḥ Muslim ibn ʿAmr al-Bāhilī ( ar, أبو حفص قتيبة بن أبي صالح مسلم بن عمرو الباهلي; 669–715/6) was an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِ ...
, which included the conquest of Bukhara and Samarqand in 706–712. The expansion lost its momentum when Qutayba was killed during an army mutiny and the Arabs were placed on the defensive by an alliance of
Sogdia Sogdia () ( sog, soɣd) or Sogdiana was an ancient Iranian peoples, Iranian civilization between between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, and in present-day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Sogdiana was also a province of the Ac ...
n and
Türgesh The Türgesh or Türgish ( otk, 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰏𐰾:𐰉𐰆𐰑, Türügeš budun, Türgesh people; , Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics ...
forces with support from
Tang China The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and fol ...
. However, reinforcements from Syria helped turn the tide and most of the lost lands were reconquered by 741. Muslim rule over Transoxania was consolidated a decade later when a Chinese-led army was defeated at the
Battle of Talas The Battle of Talas or Battle of Artlakh (; ar, معركة نهر طلاس, translit=maerakat nahr talas, Nastaliq: ) was a military engagement between the Abbasid, Abbasid Caliphate along with its ally, the Tibetan Empire, against the Chinese ...

Battle of Talas
(751).


Afghanistan Area

Medieveal Islamic scholars divided the area of modern-day Afghanistan into two regions – the provinces of Khorasan and
Sistan Sistān ( fa, سیستان), known in ancient times as Sakastān ( fa, سَكاستان, "the land of the Saka The Saka, Śaka, Shaka, Śāka or Sacae ( ; Kharosthi The Kharosthi script, also spelled Kharoshthi or Kharoṣṭhī (Kh ...

Sistan
. Khorasan was the eastern
satrapy Satraps () were the governors of the provinces of the ancient Medes, Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic empires. The satrap served as viceroy to ...
of the
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...

Sasanian Empire
, containing Balkh and Herat. Sistan included a number of Afghan cities and regions, including
Ghazna Ghazni ( prs, غزنی, ps, غزني), historically known as Ghaznin () or Ghazna () and also transliterated as Ghuznee, is a city in southeastern Afghanistan Afghanistan (; /: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Af ...
,
Zarang Zaranj or Zarang (Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** ...
, Bost,
Qandahar Kandahar (; ps, کندهار; prs, قندهار; known in older literature as Candahar) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds ...
(also called al-Rukhkhaj or
ZamindawarZamindawar is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographic areas which at some point in time had a cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in hu ...
),
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , translit=Kābəl, ; prs, , translit=Kābol, ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capital ...

Kabul
,
Kabulistan Kabulistan (Pashto language, Pashto/ fa, کابلستان) is a historical regional name referring to the territory that is centered on present-day Kabul Province of Afghanistan. In many Greek and Latin sources, particularly editions of Ptolemy's ...
and
Zabulistan Zabulistan ( fa, زابلستان ''Zābulistān''/''Zābolistān''/''Zāwulistān'' or simply ''Zābul'', ps, زابل ''Zābəl''), was a historical region in southern Afghanistan roughly corresponding to the modern provinces of Zabul Provin ...
. Before Muslim rule, the regions of
Balkh ), named for its green-tiled ''Gonbad'' ( fa, گُنبَد, dome), in July 2001 , image_flag = , flag_size = , image_seal = , seal_size = , image_shield ...

Balkh
(
Bactria Bactria (BactrianBactrian may refer to *Bactria Bactria ( Bactrian: , ), or Bactriana, was an ancient region in Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the ...
or ''Tokharistan''),
Herat Herāt (; Dari Dari (, , ), or Dari Persian (, ), is a political term used for the various dialects of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) i ...

Herat
and
Sistan Sistān ( fa, سیستان), known in ancient times as Sakastān ( fa, سَكاستان, "the land of the Saka The Saka, Śaka, Shaka, Śāka or Sacae ( ; Kharosthi The Kharosthi script, also spelled Kharoshthi or Kharoṣṭhī (Kh ...

Sistan
were under Sasanian rule. Further south in the Balkh region, in , indication of Sasanian authority diminishes, with a local dynasty apparently ruling from
late antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
, probably
Hepthalites The Hephthalites ( xbc, ηβοδαλο, translit=Ebodalo), sometimes called the White Huns, were a people who lived in Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the ...
subject to the
Yabgu Yabghu ( otk, 𐰖𐰉𐰍𐰆, yabγu, Traditional Chinese Traditional Chinese characters are one type of standard Chinese character Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A wri ...
of the
Western Turkic Khaganate The Western Turkic Khaganate () or Onoq Khaganate ( otk, 𐰆𐰣:𐰸:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, On oq budun, Ten arrow people) was a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at le ...

Western Turkic Khaganate
. While Herat was controlled by the Sasanians, its hinterlands were controlled by northern Hepthalites who continued to rule the
Ghur Ghōr (Dari (, , ) or Dari Persian (, ) is the political term used for the dialect of Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo- ...
id mountains and river valleys well into the Islamic era. Sistan was under Sasanian administration but Qandahar remained out of Arab hands. Kabul and Zabulistan housed Indic religions, with the
Zunbils Zunbil, also written as Zhunbil, or Rutbils of Zabulistan, was a royal dynasty south of the Hindu Kush in present southern Afghanistan region. They ruled from circa 680 AD until the Saffarid conquest in 870 AD. The Zunbil dynasty was founded by Rut ...
and Kabul Shahis offering stiff resistance to Muslim rule for two centuries until the
Saffarid The Saffarid dynasty ( fa, صفاریان) was a Persian dynasty from Sistan that ruled over parts of Greater Iran, with its capital at Zaranj (a city now in southwestern Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: ...
and
Ghaznavid The Ghaznavid dynasty ( fa, غزنویان ''Ġaznaviyān'') was a Persianate society, Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic peoples, Turkic ''mamluk'' origin, ruling, at its greatest extent, large parts of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana ...
conquests.


Other campaigns and the end of the early conquests

In 646 a Byzantine naval expedition was able to briefly recapture Alexandria. The same year
Mu'awiya Muawiyah I ( ar, معاوية بن أبي سفيان, Muʿāwiya ibn Abī Sufyān; –April 680) was the founder and first caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate and fifth Caliph of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in En ...
, the governor of Syria and future founder of the
Umayyad dynasty The Umayyad dynasty ( ar, بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ, Banū Umayya, Sons of Umayya) or Umayyads () were the ruling family of the Muslim caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Isla ...

Umayyad dynasty
, ordered construction of a fleet. Three years later it was put to use in a pillaging raid of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...

Cyprus
, soon followed by a second raid in 650 that concluded with a treaty under which Cypriots surrendered many of their riches and slaves. In 688 the island was made into a joint dominion of the caliphate and the Byzantine empire under a pact which was to last for almost 300 years. In 639–640 Arab forces began to make advances into Armenia, which had been partitioned into a
Byzantine province The themes or ( el, θέματα, , singular: , ) were the main military/administrative divisions of the middle Byzantine Empire. They were established in the mid-7th century in the aftermath of the Slavic invasion of the Balkans and Muslim con ...
and a . M. Canard. Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Arminiya", vol. 1, pp. 636–637 There is considerable disagreement among ancient and modern historians about events of the following years, and nominal control of the region may have passed several times between Arabs and Byzantines. Although Muslim dominion was finally established by the time the Umayyads acceded to power in 661, it was not able to implant itself solidly in the country, and Armenia experienced a national and literary efflorescence over the next century. As with Armenia, Arab advances into other lands of the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
region, including
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
, had as their end assurances of tribute payment and these principalities retained a large degree of autonomy. C.E. Bosworth. Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Al-Qabq", vol. 4, pp. 343–344 This period also saw a series of clashes with the
Khazar The Khazars; he, כוזרים, Kuzarim; la, Gazari, or ; zh, 突厥曷薩 ; 突厥可薩部 ''Tūjué Kěsà bù'' () were a semi-nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fi ...
kingdom whose center of power was in the lower
Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

Volga
steppes, and which vied with the caliphate over control of the Caucasus. Other Muslim military ventures were met with outright failure. Despite a naval victory over the Byzantines in 654 at the
Battle of the Masts The Battle of the Masts ( ar, معركة ذات الصواري, Ma‘rakat Dhāt al-Ṣawārī) or Battle of Phoenix was a crucial naval battle Naval warfare is human combat in and on the sea, the ocean, or any other battlespace involving a m ...
, the subsequent attempt to besiege
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
was frustrated by a storm which damaged the Arab fleet. Later sieges of Constantinople in 668–669 (674–78 according to other estimates) and were thwarted with the help of the recently invented
Greek fire #REDIRECT Greek fire #REDIRECT Greek fire#REDIRECT Greek fire Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Ro ...
. In the east, although Arabs were able to establish control over most Sasanian-controlled areas of modern
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
after the fall of Persia, the Kabul region resisted repeated attempts at invasion and would continue to do so until it was conquered by the
Saffarids The Saffarid dynasty ( fa, صفاریان) was a Persian dynasty from Sistan Sistān ( fa, سیستان), known in ancient times as Sakastān (, "the land of the Saka"), is a historical and geographical region in present-day Eastern Iran ...

Saffarids
three centuries later. By the time of the
Abbasid revolution The Abbasid Revolution, also called the Movement of the Men of the Black Raiment, was the overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE), the second of the four major Caliphates in early History of Islam, Islamic history, by the third, the A ...
in the middle of the 8th century, Muslim armies had come against a combination of natural barriers and powerful states that impeded any further military progress. The wars produced diminishing returns in personal gains and fighters increasingly left the army for civilian occupations. The priorities of the rulers also shifted from conquest of new lands to administration of the acquired empire. Although the Abbasid era witnessed some new territorial gains, such as the conquests of
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographi ...
and
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...
, the period of rapid centralized expansion would now give way to an era when further spread of Islam would be slow and accomplished through the efforts of local dynasties, missionaries, and traders.


Aftermath


Significance

Nicolle wrote that the series of Islamic conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries was "one of the most significant events in world history", leading to the creation of "a new civilisation", the Islamicised and Arabised Middle East. Islam, which had previously been confined to Arabia, became a major world religion, while the synthesis of Arab, Roman, and Persian elements led to distinctive new styles of art and architecture emerging in the Middle East.


Socio-political developments

The military victories of armies from the Arabian Peninsula heralded the expansion of the Arabs' culture and
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...
. The conquests were followed by a large-scale migration of families and whole tribes from Arabia into the lands of the Middle East. The conquering Arabs had already possessed a complex and sophisticated society. Emigrants from Yemen brought with them agricultural, urban, and monarchical traditions; members of the
Ghassanid The Ghassanids ( ar, الغساسنة, al-Ghasāsinah, also ''Banū Ghassān'' "Sons of Ghassān"), also called the Jafnids, were an Arab tribe which founded a kingdom. They emigrated from Yemen in the early 3rd century to the Levant region. S ...
and
Lakhmid The Lakhmids ( ar, اللخميون) referred to in Arabic as al-Manādhirah () or Banu Lakhm () were an Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233 ...

Lakhmid
tribal confederations had experience collaborating with the empires. The rank and file of the armies was drawn from both nomadic and sedentary tribes, while the leadership came mainly from the merchant class of the
Hejaz The Hejaz (, also ; ar, ٱلْحِجَاز, al-Ḥijāz, lit=the Barrier, ) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia. It includes the cities of Mecca, Medina, Jeddah, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, Tabuk, Yanbu and Taif. It is also known as the "Western P ...

Hejaz
. Two fundamental policies were implemented during the reign of the second caliph
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب; 3 November 644), also spelled Omar, was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, reigning from 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second caliph ...

Umar
(634–44): the bedouins would not be allowed to damage agricultural production of the conquered lands and the leadership would cooperate with the local elites. To that end, the Arab-Muslim armies were settled in segregated quarters or new garrison towns such as
Basra Basra ( ar, ٱلْبَصْرَة, al-Baṣrah) is an Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Basra
,
Kufa Kufa ( ar, الْكُوفَة ), also spelled Kufah, is a city in Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَا ...

Kufa
and
Fustat Fustat ( ar, الفسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ'', ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt The current capital of Egypt is Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic: ⲕⲁϩ ...
. The latter two became the new administrative centers of Iraq and Egypt, respectively. Soldiers were paid a stipend and prohibited from seizing lands. Arab governors supervised collection and distribution of taxes, but otherwise left the old religious and social order intact. At first, many provinces retained a large degree of autonomy under the terms of agreements made with Arab commanders. As the time passed, the conquerors sought to increase their control over local affairs and make existing administrative machinery work for the new regime. This involved several types of reorganization. In the Mediterranean region, city-states which traditionally governed themselves and their surrounding areas were replaced by a territorial bureaucracy separating town and rural administration. In Egypt, fiscally independent estates and municipalities were abolished in favor of a simplified administrative system. In the early eighth century, Syrian Arabs began to replace Coptic functionaries and communal levies gave way to individual taxation. In Iran, the administrative reorganization and construction of protective walls prompted agglomeration of quarters and villages into large cities such as
Isfahan Isfahan ( fa, اصفهان, Esfahān ), from its Achaemenid empire, ancient designation ''Aspadana'' and later ''Spahan'' in Sassanian Empire, middle Persian, rendered in English as ''Ispahan'', is a major city in Greater Isfahan Region, Is ...

Isfahan
,
Qazvin Qazvin (; fa, قزوین, , also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken ...

Qazvin
, and
Qum Qom lso spelled as "Ghom", "Ghum", or "Qum"( fa, قم ) is the seventh largest metropolis and also the seventh largest city in Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a c ...
. Local notables of Iran, who at first had almost complete autonomy, were incorporated into the central bureaucracy by the ʿ
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...
period. The similarity of Egyptian and Khurasanian official paperwork at the time of the caliph
al-Mansur Al-Mansur or Abu Ja'far Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mansur (; ar, أبو جعفر عبدالله بن محمد المنصور‎; 95 AH – 158 AH (714 AD – 6 October 775 AD) was the second Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَل ...

al-Mansur
(754–75) suggests a highly centralized empire-wide administration. The society of new Arab settlements gradually became stratified into classes based on wealth and power. It was also reorganized into new communal units that preserved clan and tribal names but were in fact only loosely based around old kinship bonds. Arab settlers turned to civilian occupations and in eastern regions established themselves as a landed aristocracy. At the same time, distinctions between the conquerors and local populations began to blur. In Iran, the Arabs largely assimilated into local culture, adopting the Persian language and customs, and marrying Persian women. In Iraq, non-Arab settlers flocked to garrison towns. Soldiers and administrators of the old regime came to seek their fortunes with the new masters, while slaves, laborers and peasants fled there seeking to escape the harsh conditions of life in the countryside. Non-Arab converts to Islam were absorbed into the Arab-Muslim society through an adaptation of the tribal Arabian institution of clientage, in which protection of the powerful was exchanged for loyalty of the subordinates. The clients (''
mawali Mawlā ( ar, مَوْلَى, plural ''mawālī'' ()), is a polysemous Classical Arabic, Arabic word, whose meaning varied in different periods and contexts.A.J. Wensinck, Encyclopedia of Islam 2nd ed, Brill. "Mawlā", vol. 6, p. 874. Before the ...
'') and their heirs were regarded as virtual members of the clan. The clans became increasingly economically and socially stratified. For example, while the noble clans of the acquired Persian cavalry units as their mawali, other clans of the same tribe had slave laborers as theirs. Slaves often became mawali of their former masters when they were freed. Contrary to the belief of earlier historians, there is no evidence of mass conversions to Islam in the immediate aftermath of the conquests. The first groups to convert were Christian Arab tribes, although some of them retained their religion into the Abbasid era even while serving as troops of the caliphate. They were followed by former elites of the Sasanian empire, whose conversion ratified their old privileges. With time, the weakening of non-Muslim elites facilitated the breakdown of old communal ties and reinforced the incentives of conversion which promised economic advantages and social mobility. By the beginning of the eighth century, conversions became a policy issue for the caliphate. They were favored by religious activists, and many Arabs accepted the equality of Arabs and non-Arabs. However, conversion was associated with economic and political advantages, and Muslim elites were reluctant to see their privileges diluted. Public policy towards converts varied depending on the region and was changed by successive Umayyad caliphs. These circumstances provoked opposition from non-Arab converts, whose ranks included many active soldiers, and helped set the stage for the civil war which ended with the fall of the Umayyad dynasty.


Conversions and tax reforms

The Arab-Muslim conquests followed a general pattern of nomadic conquests of settled regions, whereby the conquering peoples became the new military elite and reached a compromise with the old elites by allowing them to retain local political, religious, and financial authority. Peasants, workers, and merchants paid taxes, while members of the old and new elites collected them. Payment of taxes, which for peasants often reached half of the value of their produce, was not only an economic burden, but also a mark of social inferiority. Scholars differ in their assessment of relative tax burdens before and after the conquests.
John Esposito John Louis Esposito (born May 19, 1940) is an Italian American Italian Americans ( it, italoamericani or ''italo-americani'', ) are citizens of the United States of America who are of Italians, Italian descent. The majority of Italian American ...

John Esposito
states that in effect this meant lower taxes. According to
Bernard Lewis Bernard Lewis, (31 May 1916 – 19 May 2018) was a British American British American usually refers to Americans Americans are the Citizenship of the United States, citizens and United States nationality law, nationals of the United ...
, available evidence suggests that the change from Byzantine to Arab rule was "welcomed by many among the subject peoples, who found the new yoke far lighter than the old, both in taxation and in other matters". In contrast,
Norman Stillman Norman Stillman, Bar-Ilan University Norman Arthur Stillman, also Noam (נועם, in Hebrew), b. 1945, is emeritus Schusterman-Josey Professor and emeritus Chair One of the basic pieces of furniture, a chair is a type of seat. Its primary fea ...
writes that although the tax burden of the Jews under early Islamic rule was comparable to that under previous rulers, Christians of the Byzantine Empire (though not Christians of the Persian empire, whose status was similar to that of the Jews) and Zoroastrians of Iran shouldered a considerably heavier burden in the immediate aftermath of the conquests. In the wake of the early conquests taxes could be levied on individuals, on the land, or as collective tribute. During the first century of Islamic expansion, the words ''
jizya Jizya or jizyah ( ar, جِزْيَة; ) is a per capita ''Per capita'' is a Latin phrase literally meaning "by heads" or "for each head", and idiomatically used to mean "per person". The term is used in a wide variety of social sciences and sta ...
'' and ''
kharaj Kharāj ( ar, خراج) is a type of individual Islamic tax on agricultural land and its produce developed under Islamic law Sharia (, ar, ), Islamic law, or Sharia law, is a religious law Religious law includes ethical and moral co ...
'' were used in all three senses, with context distinguishing between individual and land taxes. Regional variations in taxation at first reflected the diversity of previous systems. The
Sasanian Empire The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Ērānshahr The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its ...

Sasanian Empire
had a general tax on land and a poll tax having several rates based on wealth, with an exemption for aristocracy. This poll tax was adapted by Arab rulers, so that the aristocracy exemption was assumed by the new Arab-Muslim elite and shared by local aristocracy who converted to Islam. The nature of Byzantine taxation remains partly unclear, but it appears to have been levied as a collective tribute on population centers and this practice was generally followed under the Arab rule in former Byzantine provinces. Collection of taxes was delegated to autonomous local communities on the condition that the burden be divided among its members in the most equitable manner. In most of Iran and Central Asia local rulers paid a fixed tribute and maintained their autonomy in tax collection. Difficulties in tax collection soon appeared. Egyptian Copts, who had been skilled in tax evasion since Roman times, were able to avoid paying the taxes by entering monasteries, which were initially exempt from taxation, or simply by leaving the district where they were registered. This prompted imposition of taxes on monks and introduction of movement controls. In Iraq, many peasants who had fallen behind with their tax payments converted to Islam and abandoned their land for Arab garrison towns in hope of escaping taxation. Faced with a decline in agriculture and a treasury shortfall, the governor of Iraq, al-Hajjaj, forced peasant converts to return to their lands and subjected them to the taxes again, effectively forbidding them from converting to Islam. In Khorasan, a similar phenomenon forced the native aristocracy to compensate for the shortfall in tax collection out of their own pockets, and they responded by persecuting peasant converts and imposing heavier taxes on poor Muslims. The situation where conversion to Islam was penalized in an Islamic state could not last, and the devout Umayyad caliph
Umar II Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz ( ar, عمر بن عبد العزيز, ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz; 2 November 682 – ), commonly known as Umar II (), was the eighth Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْ ...
(717–720) has been credited with changing the taxation system. Modern historians doubt this account, although details of the transition to the system of taxation elaborated by Abbasid-era jurists are still unclear. Umar II ordered governors to cease collection of taxes from Muslim converts, but his successors obstructed this policy and some governors sought to stem the tide of conversions by introducing additional requirements such as circumcision and the ability to recite passages from the Quran. Taxation-related grievances of non-Arab Muslims contributed to the opposition movements which resulted in the
Abbasid revolution The Abbasid Revolution, also called the Movement of the Men of the Black Raiment, was the overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE), the second of the four major Caliphates in early History of Islam, Islamic history, by the third, the A ...
. Under the new system that was eventually established, kharaj came to be regarded as a tax levied on the land, regardless of the taxpayer's religion. The poll-tax was no longer levied on Muslims, but the treasury did not necessarily suffer and converts did not gain as a result, since they had to pay
zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving to the Muslim Ummah treated in Islam as a religious obligation, which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer (''salat ...

zakat
, which was probably instituted as a compulsory tax on Muslims around 730. The terminology became specialized during the Abbasid era, so that ''kharaj'' no longer meant anything more than land tax, while the term ''jizya'' was restricted to the poll-tax on
dhimmi ' ( ar, ذمي ', , collectively ''/'' "the people of the covenant") or Mu'ahid is a historical term for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al ...
s. The influence of jizya on conversion has been a subject of scholarly debate. Julius Wellhausen held that the poll tax amounted to so little that exemption from it did not constitute sufficient economic motive for conversion. Similarly,
Thomas Arnold Thomas Arnold (13 June 1795 – 12 June 1842) was an English educator and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from th ...
states that jizya was "too moderate" to constitute a burden, "seeing that it released them from the compulsory military service that was incumbent on their Muslim fellow subjects." He further adds that converts escaping taxation would have to pay the legal alms, zakat, that is annually levied on most kinds of movable and immovable property.
online
Other early 20th century scholars suggested that non-Muslims converted to Islam ''en masse'' in order to escape the poll tax, but this theory has been challenged by more recent research. Daniel Dennett has shown that other factors, such as desire to retain social status, had greater influence on this choice in the early Islamic period.


Policy toward non-Muslims

The Arab conquerors did not repeat the mistakes which had been made by the governments of the Byzantine and Sasanian empires, which had tried and failed to impose an official religion on subject populations, which had caused resentments that made the Muslim conquests more acceptable to them. Instead, the rulers of the new empire generally respected the traditional middle-Eastern pattern of religious pluralism, which was not one of equality but rather of dominance by one group over the others. After the end of military operations, which involved sacking of some monasteries and confiscation of Zoroastrian
fire temple A fire temple, Agiary, Atashkadeh ( fa, آتشکده), Atashgah () or Dar-e Mehr () is the place of worship for the followers of Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is one of the world's oldest continuously practiced religion Reli ...

fire temple
s in Syria and Iraq, the early caliphate was characterized by religious tolerance and peoples of all ethnicities and religions blended in public life. Before Muslims were ready to build mosques in Syria, they accepted Christian churches as holy places and shared them with local Christians. In Iraq and Egypt, Muslim authorities cooperated with Christian religious leaders. Numerous churches were repaired and new ones built during the Umayyad era. The first Umayyad caliph
Muawiyah Mu‘āwīyya or Muawiyah or Muaawiya () is a male Arabic given name of disputed meaning. It was the name of the first Umayyad caliph. Notable bearers of this name include: * Muawiyah I (602–680), first Umayyad Caliph (r. 661–680) * Muawiya I ...
sought to reassure the conquered peoples that he was not hostile to their religions and made an effort to enlist support from Christian Arab elites. There is no evidence for public display of Islam by the state before the reign of
Abd al-Malik Abdullah Malik ( ar, عبد الملك) is an Arabic (Muslim or Christian) male given name and, in modern usage, surname. It is built from the Arabic words '' Abd'', ''al- ( ar, ٱلْـ), also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in ling ...
(685–705), when Quranic verses and references to Muhammad suddenly became prominent on coins and official documents. This change was motivated by a desire to unify the Muslim community after the second civil war and rally them against their chief common enemy, the Byzantine empire. A further change of policy occurred during the reign of Umar II (717–720). The disastrous failure of the siege of Constantinople in 718 which was accompanied by massive Arab casualties led to a spike of popular animosity among Muslims toward Byzantium and Christians in general. At the same time, many Arab soldiers left the army for civilian occupations and they wished to emphasize their high social status among the conquered peoples. These events prompted introduction of restrictions on non-Muslims, which, according to Hoyland, were modeled both on Byzantine curbs on Jews, starting with the
Theodosian Code The ''Codex Theodosianus'' (Eng. Theodosian Code) was a compilation of the laws Law is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. ...
and later codes, which contained prohibitions against building new synagogues and giving testimony against Christians, and on Sassanid regulations that prescribed distinctive attire for different social classes. In the following decades Islamic jurists elaborated a legal framework in which other religions would have a protected but subordinate status. Islamic law followed the Byzantine precedent of classifying subjects of the state according to their religion, in contrast to the Sasanian model which put more weight on social than on religious distinctions. In theory, like the Byzantine empire, the caliphate placed severe restrictions on paganism, but in practice most non-Abrahamic communities of the former Sasanian territories were classified as possessors of a scripture (''ahl al-kitab'') and granted protected (''
dhimmi ' ( ar, ذمي ', , collectively ''/'' "the people of the covenant") or Mu'ahid is a historical term for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al ...
'') status. In Islam, Christians and Jews are seen as "Peoples of the Book" as the Muslims accept both Jesus Christ and the Jewish prophets as their own prophets, which accorded them a respect that was not reserved to the "heathen" peoples of Iran, Central Asia and India. In places like the Levant and Egypt, both Christians and Jews were allowed to maintain their churches and synagogues and keep their own religious organizations in exchange for paying the ''jizya'' tax. At times, the caliphs engaged in triumphalist gestures, like building the famous Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem from 690-692 on the site of the Jewish Second Temple, which had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD--though the use of Roman and Sassanian symbols of power in the mosque suggests its purpose was partly to celebrate the Arab victories over the two empires. Those Christians out of favor with the prevailing orthodoxy in the Roman empire often preferred to live under Muslim rule as it meant the end of persecution. As both the Jewish and Christian communities of the Levant and North Africa were better educated than their conquerors, they were often employed as civil servants in the early years of the caliphate. However, a reported saying of Muhammad that "Two religions may not dwell together in Arabia" led to different policies being pursued in Arabia with conversion to Islam being imposed rather than merely encouraged. With the notable exception of Yemen, where a large Jewish community existed right up until the middle of the 20th century, all of the Christian and Jewish communities in Arabia "completely disappeared". The Jewish community of Yemen seems to have survived as Yemen was not regarded as part of Arabia proper in the same way that the Hejaz and the Nejd were. Mark R. Cohen writes that the jizya paid by Jews under Islamic rule provided a "surer guarantee of protection from non-Jewish hostility" than that possessed by Jews in the Latin West, where Jews "paid numerous and often unreasonably high and arbitrary taxes" in return for official protection, and where treatment of Jews was governed by charters which new rulers could alter at will upon accession or refuse to renew altogether. The
Pact of Umar The Pact of Umar (also known as the Covenant of Umar, Treaty of Umar or Laws of Umar; ar, شروط عمر or or ), is a treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually ente ...
, which stipulated that Muslims must "do battle to guard" the dhimmis and "put no burden on them greater than they can bear", was not always upheld, but it remained "a steadfast cornerstone of Islamic policy" into early modern times.


See also

* Ghazi *
History of Islam The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Muslim world, Islamic civilization. Most historians believe that Islam originated in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century CE. Muslims regar ...
*
Spread of Islam The spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and ...


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * *
Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...

Edward Gibbon
, ''
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ''The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'' is a six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (; 8 May 173716 January 1794) was an English historian, writer and Member of Parliament. His most importan ...
''
Chapter 51
* * * * * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Muslim Conquests Arab Wars involving the Rashidun Caliphate Wars involving the Umayyad Caliphate History of the Levant Islam in Egypt History of the Mediterranean 8th century in Al-Andalus 7th century in Iran 8th century in Iran