600 ce – 1450 ce the Life of Muhammad



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AP World History Study Guide and Graphic Organizers – Unit 2: Post-classical Period,

600 CE – 1450 CE

1. The Life of Muhammad

Because the life and teachings of Muhammad had such a profound affect on the Post-classical world, knowledge of the major events of his life is required of all AP World History students



  • The life of Muhammad

        • born in 570 in Mecca located in the Arabian peninsula

        • Mecca was important location for commerce and religion (polytheistic shrine: Ka’aba); note relationship between pilgrims and success of merchants

        • Muhammad raised by merchant grandfather and uncle, married widow of merchant

        • ~610: Muhammad receives first revelations from archangel Gabriel; only one god, Allah (already familiar to Arabic peoples)

        • Muhammad’s beliefs and teachings threatened success of merchants thriving on commerce from pilgrims

        • 622: Muhammad and followers flee to Yathrib (Medina) where he was free to practice and teach his faith; flight referred to as the hijrah; start of Muslim calendar

        • Umma: rules that governed daily life and included procedures for the care of widows and orphans as well as mounting an army of defense

        • 629: Muhammad returns to Mecca to visit Ka’aba; pilgrimage referred to as the hajj

        • 630: Muhammad and followers conquer Mecca

        • 632: Muhammad dies without a successor



Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions in the multiple choice section about the events and chronology of Muhammad’s life. You may also need information about his life as background information or examples for an essay question.
Example:

  1. Muhammad

    1. made provisions for the future leadership of Islam

    2. established clear class distinctions for Islamic society

    3. built on the religious traditions of the Arabian peninsula

    4. went against established gender distinctions in the practice of his faith

    5. spoke out against military conquest as a vehicle for the extension of Islam

Knowing about how Muhammad developed the Islamic faith would direct you to the

correct answer choice (c). Muhammad taught that one of the gods already familiar to the

Arabic peoples, Allah, was the one true god



2. Islam

As with other major world religions/belief systems, you will need to know the fundamental beliefs of Islam, as well as the significance of the religion in terms of its cultural, social, and political impact on its followers. Additionally, you will need to know about how Islam expanded from the Arabian Peninsula to India, Southeast Asia, and Africa.




  • Islam

        • term “Islam” means submission, a Muslim is one who submits to the will of Allah

        • Founder: Muhammad; believed his revelations were an extension of Jewish and Christian teachings; believed he was last prophet (Abraham, Moses, Jesus are also prophets of Islam)

        • Major beliefs: “Five Pillars”

          • Faith: proclaim belief in only one god, Allah

          • Prayer: five times a day, facing Mecca

          • Fasting: from dawn to dusk during holy month, Ramadan; commemorates revelations to Muhammad

          • Alms-giving: pay zakat (tithe) to charity

          • Pilgrimage (Hajj): Muslims must travel to Mecca to visit the Ka’aba

  • Holy book: Quran (Koran), completed in 650, revelations and teachings of Muhammad; Hadith is collected sayings of Muhammad; Shariah is moral code for daily life, used to guide politicians and judges (criminal justice)

  • Expansion of Islam

    • Early expansion:

      • spread through military conquest

      • most of Arabian peninsula after death of Muhammad

      • 651: Persia conquered

      • End of 7th century: Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Egypt, Central Asia (around Caspian Sea)

      • 8th century: North Africa, India, Iberian peninsula

      • early Muslim conquerors more concerned with gaining power for Muslim leaders, not so much for the spread of religious beliefs
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