Hot answers tagged

60

First, the easier part on Christianity. As the other reply says, the British were (mostly) unwilling to convert Indians in order to avoid inflaming local religious sentiments. In fact, the British were so cautious on this that they would probably even tolerated the practices of sati and child marriage had some Indian reformers (such as Ram Mohan Roy) not ...


56

The Ottoman Empire was not an Arabian empire, but a Turkish one. So they had no reason to uproot their capital from Turkish lands and move it to an Arabian region. In addition, Constantinople Istanbul was way better than Damascus, Cairo, and Baghdad at everything. It had a strategic position on the Bosphorus Strait, and was also close to Europe, which ...


48

This may be off topic as Wikipedia has a pretty complete article on the Islamic Golden Age. The short answer is yes, while European nobles were sitting on wooden/stone chairs in cold stone buildings, the Arab nobles were laying on comfortable carpets, living a pretty good life quite similar to the old Roman nobles, enjoying many exotic goods and luxuries. ...


47

Columbus was not, in fact, the first to cross the Atlantic. There were Norse communities living in Greenland from the 10th Century. They even had some temporary settlements in North America proper. However, the Norse weren't as good at eking out a living in the North Atlantic as the Inuit, and (after 500 years) eventually got wiped out by some combination of ...


46

There is some very good evidence for captured Muslims who were sold as slaves, but continued to practice their faith. Perhaps the best known individuals were Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, who was enslaved in the eighteenth century and Omar ibn Said who was transported to the US in 1807. Like many Muslims who were enslaved and transported to America as slaves, ...


43

Actually the motivation is pretty well-known. The motivation for the invasion of Spain was similar to that of all Muslim conquest of the period. Islamic armies under the command of the "The Rightly Guided Caliphs" and the following Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs benefited from a unifying religion to form a large and motivated armed forces, out of what had ...


41

The history is a bit sketchy about this period. The most well-known early source, Ibn Abd al-Hakam Conquest of Egypt and North Africa and Spain, was written in 870. Being written about two centuries after the conquest, he had to rely a lot on oral traditions. In addition, many early sources focused on highlighting the Muslim victories and had little ...


33

Most of the information I have found indicates that the Arab Christians were caught in the crossfire between the Muslims and the Christian Crusaders. In fact, they were often slaughtered along with the Muslims. Most likely this was because the Crusaders did not want to risk being infiltrated by Muslims posing as Christians. Ironically, the Crusades ...


32

It depends what period of Medieval History you're talking about (since the term can often be a catch-all referring to everything from late antiquity to the Renaissance, or can specifically refer to the period after the High Middle Ages - 14th/15th centuries), and what specific parts of Europe and the Middle East. Note that Europe was severely depopulated at ...


32

There is some truth in it, but the printing press adoption delay was only a late symptom of an attitude that began much earlier. In short is was more of contempt for the culture and aesthetics of print and the demand for censorship than an outright real, complete ban. The first book in Arabic was published in an Italian town named Fano in 1514. During ...


30

In my History of Islam classes there was some review of Pre-Islamic Arabia and a few things were covered, from my class notes we talked about: Arabia being a part of the major trade route along the Red Sea Coast, from southern Palestine to Yemen. Medina and Mecca were located along this route, Mecca was the more important city where caravans stopped and ...


30

"Islam influence"? "Italian Renaissance was caused by Islamic influence?" Of course these statements are incorrect. There was some influence of SCIENCE which was cultivated by scholars living in Islamic countries. Not the influence of Islam itself. More precisely, this influence was the following: During the Dark Age in Europe, most of the writing of ...


30

Location: it is a strategic point, the central point for which Black Sea trade must pass. If you are under siege and you have a fleet, you can get supplied indefinitely; if the enemy assaults the walls you can flee to the Asiatic mainland. To illustrate this point, think how much did the Byzantine Empire did resist while being just that city. And even then, ...


30

Yes, there were -- and vice versa. There were European (Christian knights) operating as mercenaries for Muslim rulers as well as Muslim knights/mercenaries in Christian courts. Farfanes - Christian Knights as Mercenaries (for Muslim Rulers) Mainly in the Maghreb but it was not ad-hoc. In other words, it was institutionalised - emphasis mine: In the ...


28

Khan is an adopted surname, especially popular in Pakistan and parts of India. It literally means "Leader" in Turkic languages, and can be roughly translated to "King." Genghis Khan can be translated to King Genghis without too much quibbling, so think of the surname Khan to be similar to the English surname King (As in Martin Luther King, Jr.) It came to ...


28

There is almost no direct historical evidence that openly-practicing Muslims were LIVING in the British Isles in the decades and centuries after the Norman Invasion. But I guess I'll start this post by highlighting the one prominent fringe hypothesis that would say otherwise (note that I mean hypothesis in a loose scientific sense here, as in a well-...


25

Time and again India has seen some reformers who revolutionize the thoughts of the masses. When Buddhism was in full force in India, Adi Shankara was born to revive Hinduism. During the Mughal Period, Tulsidas, Surdas and others deeply imposed the faith of Hindus in God. Tulsidas wrote Ram Charitra Manas whereas Surdas composed many devotional songs about ...


25

That is actually a false perception that All Arabs consider themselves to be descendants of Ishmael. According to Arab traditions, Arabs categorized themselves into two main branches1: Adnanites عدنانى Qahtanites - قَحْطَانِي Among these two, only the Qahtanites, those who are believed to have originated in Southern tips of Arabian peninsula (Mainly ...


24

The short answer to your question is that the general avoidance of consuming pork meat is not unique to Islam, and dates back at least roughly to the ancient Egyptians. The oldest confirmed evidence of pigs domesticated and kept for pork meat come from Hallan Cemi in Southeastern Turkey from about 8000 BC. Shortly thereafter, the consumption of pork appears ...


24

It's because Hindusim is not a religion at all.Even if it is now considered as a major religion in India, it is having features of a culture more than a religion. The term "Hinduism" was coined recently. The culture in India is known as "Sanathana Dharama", which means "eternal dharma" or "eternal order". Actually it is a culture passed by ancient rishis ...


24

Because they believed their infant would have a better chance of surviving in the desert. The child mortality rate from disease and malnutrition in Arab settlements was horrendously high, and it was believed that sending the child into the healthier environment of the desert increased the child's chance of survival. - Gabriel, Richard A. Muhammad: ...


22

The question as it was posed is not entirely accurate. The Sephardic Jews are, rightly, the most famous Jewish community of the Ottoman Empire. However, in Istanbul, you could find synagogues and associations belonging to Ashknazi immigrants from Europe. These were all pre-Zionist immigrants from, if memory serves, Russia. In fact, there was a power struggle ...


22

Because this question has been edited many times I have to clarify that I am answering the version that asks: What caused the Iranian 1979 revolution to become Islamic? Short Answer (more suited for causal conversations in bars): It was easier to portray the Shah as anti Islamic ruler in league with the Western powers bent on destroying Islam in an Islamic ...


22

Sure, it's possible. Many things are possible. Likely, however, is another question. The link you posted describes a vague story of sailing west into the Atlantic, finding an island, trading with the locals, and returning home. Could the island be in the New World? It could, but it could just as easily be one of the islands in the Atlantic. For me to ...


22

The Muslim religion started making its way into modern Indonesia in the 13th century. That's when various rulers in North Sumatra, then Java, started converting to that religion, as a result of contact with Muslim traders, and converted their subjects. The religion got a big boost in the 15th century when the Sultan of Malacca (modern west Malaysia) ...


22

There are a number of references to European mercenaries serving in various Muslim armies, but in most cases it is unclear whether any of them were knights and many of the examples are after the start of the Crusades. However, one good example of Christian knights serving a Muslim ruler is this one European mercenaries served in Muslim armies, notably in ...


21

The two claims are not incompatible. There was certainly a very large Islamic influence on the Italian Renaissance. Many classical texts are largely known to us through transmission via the Islamic world. For example, see Wikipedia's article on the Transmission of the Greek Classics. Interpretations of the classical texts, like those of Aristotle, were ...


21

Two more factors: The Ottoman Turks considered themselves to be the successors of the Roman Empire. Before they captured Constantinople, their territory was known as the Sultanate of Rum. After capturing Constantinople, Mehmed II called himself the Caesar of Rome (Kayser-i Rum). Constantinople had been the capital of the Roman Empire for more than a ...


19

This Jewish source characterizes Muslim rule in Spain during the Middle Ages as being "kind" by contemporary standards, but not by modern standards. Jews and Christians in Spain lived in a "second class citizenship," denied certain prvileges, but also free of "ghettoes," forced conversions, and outright persecution. Their fate in Moslem Spain was much better ...


17

There are only approximately 20,000 Zoroastrians in Iran, which is about 0.026% of the total population. I would not say Zoroastrianism is strong in Iran in terms of the total population. The only way Zoroastrianism can be said to be strong in Iran is because it has the second-largest Zoroastrian population after India (~69,000). See List of countries by ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible