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57 votes

Why did the Ottomans not change their capital to an Arab city?

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 ...
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49 votes
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Were the living standards in Medieval Europe a lot worse than in the Muslim world?

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,...
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45 votes
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Are there records of US slaves who practiced Islam following their import from Africa?

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 ...
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42 votes

How kind were the Muslim occupations of North Africa?

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 ...
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36 votes
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Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

"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 ...
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35 votes
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Did the Ottoman empire suppress the printing press?

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 ...
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34 votes

Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

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 ...
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  • 6,195
32 votes

Were the living standards in Medieval Europe a lot worse than in the Muslim world?

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 ...
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32 votes

Was Islam really responsible for the Italian Renaissance?

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 ...
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32 votes
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Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

Short Answer Yes. Christian knights fought for Muslim rulers as mercenaries, the best known example being El Cid. They also fought with Muslim rulers as allies. This happened both before the crusades ...
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30 votes

Why did the Ottomans not change their capital to an Arab city?

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 ...
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28 votes
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What is the origin of Khans? Is there any link between South Asian Khans and the Mongols?

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 ...
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28 votes
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Were there Muslims in 12th century England?

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 ...
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28 votes
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Why did the pre-Islamic Arabs identify themselves as descendents of Ishmael?

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 ...
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26 votes
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Why is Indonesia a Muslim country?

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 ...
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24 votes
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Why did families in 6th century Mecca send their babies to be raised in the desert?

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 ...
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21 votes
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What historical evidence do we have for the existence of Mohammed?

Your question touches on the problem how one would prove any historical fact when there is no living (and credible) witness or modern forensic analysis. Look at the sources, consider who wrote them, ...
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21 votes

Why did the Ottomans not change their capital to an Arab city?

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 ...
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20 votes
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Is there evidence Muslim soldiers fought in the Continental Army?

Salem Poor and Peter Salem were both freed slaves born in Massachusetts (don't be so surprised, New England prohibitions against slavery weren't always followed), which explains the Salem in their ...
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19 votes

What was Muhammad's religion before becoming a Muslim prophet?

Muhammad was a member of the Quraish tribe, which controlled the Kaaba in Mecca. Prior to Islam, the Kaaba was an important pagan pilgrimage site. So that suggests at least what his cousins and ...
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19 votes
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How were Muslim Turks treated in Byzantine Empire?

Muslim trader presence certainly existed in the Byzantine Empire. I'd split my answer into three parts: Documented Facts: Quoting from the main source: Muslim presence in the Eastern Roman Empire ...
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  • 8,133
19 votes

How kind were the Muslim occupations of North Africa?

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 ...
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  • 103k
17 votes
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What happened to those ethnic Greeks who converted to Islam during the Ottoman empire?

After the war between Greece and Turkey in the aftermath of WW I the two countries agreed on an exchange of minorities. But the question of who was “Greek” and who was “Turkish” was decided entirely ...
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17 votes

What happened to those ethnic Greeks who converted to Islam during the Ottoman empire?

This or other similar questions are very much debated, and does not have a simple answer. One shall start by asking who is a Greek, and who is a Turk. Throughout the history, in the geography where ...
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  • 707
16 votes
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Was it ever deemed illegal to translate the Qu'ran?

Translation of Qu'ran was always problematic question in Islamic theology. In Islamic world there is doctrine called I'jaz that holds that Qu'ran is miraculous, both in content and in form and that no ...
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16 votes

What disruptions were brought about by Islam that the Arabians saw so many victories?

The critical factor all these answers leave out: The Black Death. The Plague of Justinian swept through the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires a few generations before Islam. On the Byzantine side, the ...
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15 votes

Why does some Califate money feature crosses?

The top picture is quite obviously a coin with a crude depiction of a seventh century "byzantine" emperor holding a globe with a cross on top. The early Muslim coins issued in former Roman ...
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14 votes

What is the origin of the subdivisions of Heaven and Hell?

The subdivisions of heaven and the theme of a vision of an ascent to heaven originate from Jewish mysticism. Different parts of the Talmud come from different times, but this idea is very old. ...
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14 votes

What disruptions were brought about by Islam that the Arabians saw so many victories?

Long lasting wars between Sassanians and Byzantine empire had made cripple armed forces of both of them and made their borders vulnerable. Lakhmids were acting as a buffer state between nomad Arabs ...
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  • 849
14 votes

What is the historical explanation behind the name of the French village Ramatuelle?

No, there is no accepted historical explanation for the name at all — and therefore one should exercise caution to firmly assert that the name "is of Arabic origin". It may be, but it seems ...
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