History Alive
Chapter 9
Muslim Innovations and Adaptations
9.3 City Building and Architecture
• Development of new
cities developed Muslim
• New architecture
• Jobs
City of Baghdad
• Caliph al-Mansur moved
capital from Damascus to
• Closer to his empire
• Today, Baghdad located
between Tigris & Euphrates
• Crossroads of trade roots
connecting the empire
City of Baghdad
• Glorious Muslim cities
• 4 years to build new
• 100,000 architects,
workers and craftspeople
• Called “the round city”
The Mosque
• Muslim house of
• Inside is a prayer room
• Worshippers sit on
carpets on the floor
• Imam gives the sermon
from a raised pulpit
called the minibar
• Niche in the wall to
show direction of prayer
toward Makkah
9.4 Scholarship & Learning
• Highly valued
• Arabic was accepted language of Islam
• Shared language and love of learning allowed
scholars (students) in Europe, North Africa &
the Middle East to exchange ideas
Scholarship & Learning:
House of Wisdom
• Baghdad became a major center of
• Caliph al-Ma’mun founded the
House of Wisdom (830)
• Scholars from many lands gather
there to do research
• Translated texts from Greece,
Persia, India & China
Scholarship & Learning:
Great Centers of Learning
• Fatimid dynasty built the Cairo capital in Egypt
(similar to Baghdad)
– Most advanced university in the Muslim world
– Hall of Wisdom – scholars and ordinary people
can visit their library to read
• Muslim capital, Cordoba in Spain became a
large and wealthy city
– Jews, Christian, & Muslims studied there
Scholarship & Learning
Philosopher – scholar, teacher or thinker
who seeks knowledge
• Muslims studied books & ancient Greek
thinkers, such as the philosophers:
– Plato
– Aristotle
• Muslim philosophers used reason &
logic (common sense) to try to prove
important truths
Scholarship & Learning: Al-Kindi
• Al-Kindi – a 9th century Arab
• Said “Humans had two sources of
knowledge: reason & revelation by
• Use reason to understand faith
• Some truths are knows only through
God’s word
– need to be belief in things that cannot be
Scholarship & Learning: Ibn Sina
• Ibn Sina – Persian who is Islam’s most famous
– Known as Avicenna in Europe
– Believed all knowledge came from God
– Truth can be known through revelation & reason
• Believed soul was immortal (able to live
• Translated & influenced many
medieval European thinkers
9.5 Science & Technology
• Qur’an instructed
Muslims to learn more
about the world God
• Muslims advanced in
science & technology
Science & Technology: Zoology
Evolution – slow process of change in plants and
animals from simpler forms to more complex forms
Zoology – scientific study of animals
• Books written on structure of animals’ bodies
• Studied how to make medicines from animals’
• al-Jahiz presented theories about the evolution
of animals
• Created zoos
Science & Technology: Astronomy
Astronomy – study of objects in the universe
Muslims wanted to learn about the universe
• Navigational tools created to locate the direction
of Makkah
• Worshippers far from the holy city can pray facing
the right direction
• Found accurate times for prayer and the length of
the month of Ramadan
• Realized Earth rotates rather than the Earth being
the center of the universe
Science & Technology:
Irrigation & Underground Wells
Water was scarce & land was hot and dry
Build dams & aqueducts
Improved canals & underground wells
Used water wheels to bring water up from
canals & reservoirs