The Golden Age of Muslim Civilization The Spread of Islam • Within 150 years of Muhammad’s death in 632 AD, Islam had spread west to North Africa, and into present day Spain. • It also spread north into Persia and east to India and China. Spread of Islam Many New Converts • Arab merchants helped to spread the Islamic religion by trading in many areas. • Arab armies also spread the religion by conquering neighboring lands and converting the defeated people. Reasons for Success • Muslims were able to expand their empire because the major empires that had controlled the area before Muhammad had been defeated. (Romans, Byzantines, Persians) Under Muslim Rule • Unlike the Byzantines, Muslims tolerated other religions. • Muslims allowed Christians and Jews to worship freely and pursue businesses. • Non-Muslim citizens were not allowed to carry weapons or serve in the military. They also paid a special tax. Age of the Caliphs – Golden Age of Muslim Culture (800 – 1100 AD) • Under the rule of the caliphs, the Muslim empire grew rich. The wealth came from both trade and conquering neighboring lands. • Baghdad was the capital of the Muslim empire during the golden age. Harun ar-Rashid: Powerful Caliph • Harun ar-Rashid became caliph of Baghdad in 786 AD. For 23 years, he ruled over the world’s most glamorous court. • His court ate off gold plates and drank from goblets studded with jewels. • Harun paid many artists to live in Baghdad. He treated them very well during his reign. Achievements in Math and Science 1. Made significant contributions to algebra. 2. Organized separate pharmacies, which sold medicines to the public. 3. Ibn Sina - Organized the medical knowledge of the Greeks and Arabs into the Canon of Medicine. Literature • Muslim writers created many lasting works of literature. Poetry considered to be very important. • One group, the Sufis – believed they could draw close to God through prayer, fasting, and a simple life.