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ISBN: 0674013859

Author: Malise Ruthven, Azim Nanji


Publisher: Harvard University Press (May 28, 2004)
Pages: 208 Binding: Hardcover w/ dust jacket

Description from the publisher: Among the great civilizations


of the world, Islam remains an enigma to Western readers.
Now, in a beautifully illustrated historical atlas, noted scholar of
religion Malise Ruthven recounts the fascinating and important history of the
Islamic world.

From the birth of the prophet Muhammed to the independence of post-Soviet


Muslim states in Central Asia, this accessible and informative atlas explains the
historical evolution of Islamic societies. Short essays cover a wide variety of
themes, including the central roles played by sharia (divine law) and fiqh (jurisprudence); philosophy; arts and
architecture; the Muslim city; trade, commerce, and manufacturing; marriage and family life; tribal distributions;
kinship and dynastic power; ritual and devotional practices; Sufism; modernist and reformist trends; the European
domination of the Islamic world; the rise of the modern national state; oil exports and arms imports; and Muslim
populations in non-Muslim countries, including the United States.

Lucid and inviting full-color maps chronicle the changing internal and external boundaries of the Islamic world,
showing the principal trade routes through which goods, ideas, and customs spread. Ruthven traces the impact of
various Islamic dynasties in art and architecture and shows the distribution of sects and religious minorities, the
structure of Islamic cities, and the distribution of resources. Among the book's valuable contributions is the
incorporation of the often neglected geographical and environmental factors, from the Fertile Crescent to the
North African desert, that have helped shape Islamic history.

Rich in narrative and visual detail that illuminates the story of Islamic civilization, this timely atlas is an
indispensable resource to anyone interested in world history and religion.

About the Author --

Malise Ruthven is a former editor with the BBC Arabic Service and World Service in London and is the author of
Islam in the World and Islam: A Very Short Introduction. Azim Nanji is Professor and Director of the Institute of
Ismaili Studies and visiting professor at Stanford University.
HISTORICAL
ATLAS OF THE
ISLAMIC
WORLD
HISTORICAL
ATLAS OF THE
ISLAMIC
WORLD

Malise Ruthven
with
Azim Nanji
Book Copyright © Cartographica Limited 2004

Text Copyright © Malise Ruthven 2004

All rights reserved.

Historical Atlas of the Islamic World


eBook version
Published by Cartographica

Originally published in print format in 2004.

In this informative and beautifully illustrated atlas, noted


scholar of religion Malise Ruthven recounts the fascinating
and important history of the Islamic world.

Short and concise essays cover a wide variety of themes


including philosophy; arts and architecture; the Muslim city;
trade, commerce and manufacturing; marriage and family
life; ritual and devotional practices; the rise of the modern
national state; oil exports and arms imports; and much more.

Rich in narrative and visual detail, the Atlas is of critical


importance to both students and anyone seeking insight into
the Islamic world, history and culture.

● Published/Released: October 2005


● ISBN 13: 9780955006616
● ISBN 10: 0955006619
● Product number: 225062
● Page count: 208 pp.
CONTENTS

Introduction 6 Balkans, Cyprus, and Crete 1500–2000 118


Foundational Beliefs and Practices 14 Muslim Minorities in China 122
Geophysical Map of the Muslim World 16 The Levant 1500–2002 124
Muslim Languages and Ethnic Groups 20 Prominent Travelers 128
Late Antiquity Before Islam 24 Britain in Egypt and Sudan in the 19th Century 132
Muhammad’s Mission and Campaigns 26 France in North and West Africa 136
Expansion of Islam to 750 28 Growth of the Hajj and Other Places of Pilgrimage 138
Expansion 751–1700 30 Expanding Cities 142
Sunnis, Shiites, and Khariji 660–c. 1000 34 Impact of Oil in the 20th Century 146
Abbasid Caliphate under Harun al-Rashid 36 Water Resources 148
Spread of Islam, Islamic Law, and Arabic Language 38 The Arms Trade 150
Successor States to 1100 40 Flashpoint Southeast Asia 1950–2000 152
The Saljuq Era 44 Flashpoint Iraq 1917–2003 154
Military Recruitment 900–1800 46 Afghanistan 1840–2002 156
Fatimid Empire 909–1171 50 Arabia and the Gulf 1839–1950 158
Trade Routes c. 700–1500 52 Rise of the Saudi State 160
Crusader Kingdoms 56 Flashpoint Israel–Palestine 162
Sufi Orders 1100–1900 58 Flashpoint Gulf 1950–2003 164
Ayyubids and Mamluks 62 Muslims in Western Europe 166
The Mongol Invasion 64 Muslims in North America 168
Maghreb and Spain 650–1485 66 Mosques and Places of Worship in North America 170
Subsaharan Africa—East 70 Islamic Arts 172
Subsaharan Africa—West 72 Major Islamic Architectural Sites 176
Jihad States 74 World Distribution of Muslims 2000 180
The Indian Ocean to 1499 76 World Terrorism 2003 184
The Indian Ocean 1500–1900 80 Muslim Cinema 188
Rise of the Ottomans to 1650 84 Internet Use 190
The Ottoman Empire 1650–1920 88 Democracy, Censorship, Human Rights, and Civil Society 192
Iran 1500–2000 92 Modern Islamic Movements 194
Central Asia to 1700 94
Chronology 196
India 711–1971 96
Russian Expansion in Transcaucasia and Central Asia 102 Glossary 200
Expansion of Islam in Southeast Asia c. 1500–1800 106
British, French, Dutch, and Russian Empires 108 Further Reading 203

Nineteenth-Century Reform Movements 110


Acknowledgments and Map List 204
Modernization of Turkey 112
The Muslim World under Colonial Domination c. 1920 116 Index 205
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Introduction
Since September 11th 2001, barely a day pas- nations: Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa,
ses without stories about Islam—the religion Riyadh, Casablanca, Bali, Tunisia, Jakarta,
of about one-fifth of humanity—appearing in Bombay (Mumbhai), Istanbul and Madrid.
the media. The terrorists who hijacked four The list grows longer, the casualties mount.
American airliners and flew them into the The responses of people and their govern-
World Trade Center in New York and the ments are angry and perplexed. The far-reach-
Pentagon near Washington killed some three ing consequences of these responses for inter-
thousand people. This unleashed a “War on national peace and security should be enough
Terrorism” by the United States and its allies, to convince anyone (and not just the media edi-
leading to the removal of two Muslim govern- tors who mold public consciousness to fit their
ments, one in Afghanistan and the other in advertisers’ priorities) that extreme manifesta-
Iraq. It raised the profile of Islam throughout tions of Islam are setting the agenda for argu-
the world as a subject for analysis and discus- ment and action in the twenty-first century.
sion. The debates, in newspaper columns and Muslims living in the West and in the
broadcasting studios, in cafes, bars, and growing areas of the Muslim world that come
homes, have been heated and passionate. within the West’s electronic footprint under-
Questions that were previously discussed in standably resent the negative exposure that
the rarified atmosphere of academic confer- comes with the increasing concerns of out-
ences or graduate seminars have entered the siders. Islam is a religion of peace: the word
mainstream of public consciousness. What is “Islam,” a verbal noun meaning submission
the “law of jihad”? How is it that a “religion
of peace” subscribed to by millions of ordi- JAZIRA RASLANDA
Qarnqi JAZIRA
LUQAGHA
JAZIRA J. SQUSIYYA
nary, decent believers, can become an ideology IRLANDA Aghrims JAZIRAT
DANMARSHA
JAZIRAT
of hatred for an angry minority? Why has Jazira Dans
INQILTARA
Gharkafurt
BILAD
Islam after the fall of communism become so Hastinks
Londras BALUNIYYA
Shant Mahlu Na
Diaba
freighted with passionate intensity? Or, to use Jol
Sin hr
u ARD AFRIZIYYA
ALAMANIN Na h r Danu
Abariz Qaghradun
the title of a best-selling essay by Bernard Faynash Shant
ARD AFLANDRIS
AL AFRANJ Nah r D rawa
BILAD
BU’AMIYYA
Majial
Lewis, the doyen of Orientalist scholars, Kh
a
Janbara
Kradis K
al- ltj

ha
“What went wrong?” with Islamic history, An Liyun

l ij
Shant Ya‘aqub

al-
glis Ankuna

Ba
hin Burdal Raghusa

nad
with its relationship with itself, and with the Nabal

iqa
Bisha
Manubas
Munt Mayur Shaghubiyya Mashiliyya
modern world? Tarakuna J. al-Nar Labiuna
Messina Kashtara
Such questions are no longer academic, but Qartajanna J. Qurshiqa Barsana
al-Mariyya J. Sardaniyya J. Siqilliyya
are arguably of vital concern to most of the Jalfuniyya
Jaza’ir bani
peoples living on this planet. Few would deny Mazjani
Lebda
Fas
that Islam, or some variation thereof— Tarabulus Surt
l Da ran Barqa
whether distorted, perverted, corrupted, or J aba Jabal Daran

hijacked by extremists—has become a force to Mastih


Jabal Tantana
be reckoned with, or at least a label attached to Jabal Ghaghara
ARD Nebranta
a phenomenon with menacing potentialities. KAMNURIYYA al L
uni
a al-Qasaba
Jab
Numerous atrocities have been attributed to Jabal Banbuan ARD GHANA
Nil a l-Sudan Takrur Kuku
and claimed by Islamic extremists, both before
Ghana
and since 9/11, causing mayhem and carnage
in many of the world’s cities and tourist desti-

6
INTRODUCTION

(to God) is etymologically related to the word emies, are accused of viewing Islam through
salaam, meaning peace. The standard greet- the misshapen lens of Orientalism, a disci-
ing most Muslims use when joining a gather- pline corrupted by its associations with impe-
ing or meeting strangers is “as-salaam rialism, when specialist knowledge was
alaikum”—“Peace be upon you.” Westerners placed at the service of power.
who accuse Islam of being a violent religion This is fraught, contested territory and
misunderstand its nature. Attaching the label writers who venture into it do so at their own
“Muslim” or “Islamic” to acts of terrorism is peril. As with other religious traditions, every
grossly unfair. When a right-wing Christian generalization about Islam is open to chal-
fanatic like Timothy McVeigh blew up a US lenge, because for every normative descrip-
federal building in Oklahoma city, the worst tion of Islamic faith, belief, and practice,
atrocity committed on American soil before there exist important variants and consider-
9/11, no one described him as a “Christian” able diversity. The problem of definition is
terrorist. In the view of many of Islam’s made more difficult because there is no over-
adherents, “Westerners” who have aban- arching ecclesiastical institution, no Islamic
doned their own faith, or are blinkered by papacy, with prescriptive power to decree
religious prejudice, do not “understand” what is and what is not Islamic. (Even
Islam. Certain hostile media distort Western Protestant churches define their religious
viewpoints, prejudicing sentiments and atti- positions in contradistinction to Roman
tudes with Islamophobia—the equivalent of Catholicism.)
anti-Semitism applied to Muslims instead of Being Muslim, like being a Jew, embraces
The world according
Jews. Some scholars, trained in Western acad- ancestry as well as belief. People described as to al-Idrisi 549–1154

Ar
da Truiyya
l- Tabunt
ARD LASLANDA Buhayrat Janun
Sinubun
Ku
JANUB BILAD ma
niy
N ah
s

i
AL-RUSIYYA br ya
na
rA

a
Nahr Dnas
t .D mi Majuj
Kaw N Labada l ? Quruqiyya Khagan Majui
Shahadruj Jabal Su Adkash
Rushiyya n?? ARD MAJUJ
Basjirt
?

Bahr Nitas al-Dakhila


Filibus Arsan
Hiraqliyya Askisiyya
al-Qostantino
Atrabezunda
Samandar Bahr Jabal Mazrar
Ard Buhayrat Ghargun
Maqaduniyya Abidus al-Khazar Jajun
ARD
un

Salanik Qashtamuni r Kharba


Akhrida Ladikiyya Tiflis J. Karkuniyya ga YAJUJ
As
Dahistan Buhayrat al Buhayrat
Quniyya Ardabil Khwarazem Jab Jabal Janf Tehama
l Lalan
Nah

Tabriz Nahr
Sha Jaba
Amul
r al

s
Nahr

al-Mawsil l Ashla
th
Fra

Rudus
Jaba
?? D y l

Arkadiyya al- Sha ARD AL-KIMAKIYYA


i

???

m
?

Iskandaruna Tus MIN AL-ATRAK


al

F arg
a

Jazira Qum h
J. Iqritish Antakiyya Sisian
an

Qibris Bukhara Buhayrat


Baghdad Jujar
al- Dimyat
Dimashu Sarakhs Nashran
Iskandariyya
Abadan Yazd Harat BILAD AL-TIBET Khirkhir
Jazira
al-Taghlibiyya MIN AL-ATRAK
Qulzum al Yakut
Laka Buhayrat
Khaybar Bazwan
Jab

Wakhan
Yathrib
al A

al-Multan
la qa

Kashmir al-Kharija
lul

ttam
l Ja

Suhar Qandahar AQSA BILAD Baja


Makka
a
Jab

Asyut AL-HIND Sinis


Aydhab Tabala Kanbaya Lulua BILAD
Sur Daybul Katigura
Jazira Aurshin AL-SIN
M isr

Ba

ARD AL-ABADIYA Jazira


Khanfun Sa’ala
ba

N il Sandan
l- M

NUBIA MIN an MIN AL-YAMAN Jazira Jazira


Manquna da Jazira al-Mand Kulom Mak al-Romi
AL-SUDAN b
Adan Jazira al-
J. Suqutra Qotsoba al-Gharb Jazira Sarandib Jazira al-Qamr
Donqola Aqent Malot Jazira
al-Sila
Jazira Sarandib

ARD SUFALA
ARD AL-ZANJ AL-NABR
ARD AL-WAQWAQ

J ab
7
a l a l- K a m r
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Muslims are religiously observant in different one of his companions, Abu Bakr (r. 624–632),
ways. One can be culturally Muslim, as one who was accepted as Caliph or successor by
can be culturally Jewish, without subscribing agreement of the main leaders in the communi-
to a particular set of religious prescriptions ty after the death of the Prophet. He, in turn,
or beliefs. It would not be inappropriate to appointed Umar (r. 634–644), who on his
describe many nonreligious Americans and deathbed designated Uthman (r. 644–656), after
Europeans as “cultural Christians” given the consultation with leading Muslims. Uthman
seminal importance played by Christianity in was succeeded by Ali (r. 656–661), again with
the development of Western culture. The fact the consent of leading Muslims of the time. In
that the term is rarely, if ever, used is reveal- the view of the Sunni majority the four caliphs
ing of Western cultural hegemony and its constitute a “rightly guided Caliphate.”
pretensions to universality. The Christian Over time the Shiites and Sunni both devel-
underpinning of Western culture is so taken oped distinctive community identities. They
for granted that no one troubles to make it are divided into various branches and organ-
apparent. At the same time the term ized into different movements and tendencies.
“Christian” has been appropriated by While these, and other groups, differed with
Protestant fundamentalists who seek to each other and often fought over their differ-
define themselves in contradistinction to sec- ences, the general tenor of relations, in pre-
ular humanists or religious believers with modern urban societies, allowed for a degree
whose outlook they disagree. of mutual coexistence and intellectual debate.
Similar problems of definition apply in the In recent times, however, there has been a
Muslim world. Just as there are theological tendency for extremist sects and radical
disagreements between Christian churches groups to anathematize their religious oppo-
over all sorts of questions of belief and ritu- nents, or to declare those ruling over them to
al, within the Islamic fold there are groups be outside the pale of Islam. This narrow
which differ among themselves ritualistically perspective may be contrasted with a growing
or in terms of their respective tradition of awareness among the majority of Muslim
interpretation and practice. people of the diversity and plurality of inter-
Among the major groups in Islam, histor- pretations within the Umma.
ically, the two most significant are the Sunni Currently, the climate of religious intoler-
and Shiites. ance manifested in some parts of the Muslim
The Shiites maintain that, shortly before world has complex origins and may be symp-
his death, the Prophet Muhammad (c. tomatic, like the puritan extremism that
570–632 ) designated Ali, his first cousin and flourished in Europe in the seventeenth cen-
husband of his daughter Fatima, as his succes- tury, of the dislocating effects of economic
sor. They further believe that this succession and social changes. As the maps and essays
continued in a line of Imams (spiritual lead- that follow make clear, modernity came to
ers) descendent from Ali and Fatima, each the Muslim world on the wings of colonial
specifically designated by the previous Imam. power, rather than as a consequence of inter-
The larger body of the Shiites, the “Twelvers” nally generated transformations. The “best
or Imamis, believe that the last of these lead- community” decreed by God for “ordering
ers, who “disappeared” in 873, will reappear the good and forbidding the evil” has lost the
as the Mahdi or messiah at some future time. moral and political hegemony it held in what
The Sunnis, on the other hand, maintain that was once the most civilized part of the world
the Prophet had made an indication favoring outside China. When Islam was in the ascen-

8
INTRODUCTION

dant, so was the climate of tolerance it detail. The story of Muhammad’s career as
engendered. Muslim scholars and theolo- Prophet and Statesman (if one can use a
gians polemicized against each other but rather modern term for the leader of the
were careful not to denounce those who movement that united the tribes of the
affirmed the shahada—the declaration of Arabian Peninsula) was constructed from a
faith—and who prayed toward Mecca. As the different body of oral materials. Known as
American scholar Carl Ernst observes, “In Hadith (traditions or reports about the
any society in the world today, religious plu- Prophet’s behavior), they acquired written
ralism is a sociological fact. If one group form after Muhammad’s death.
claims authority over all the rest, demanding The Koran is divided into 114 sections
their allegiance and submission, this will be known as suras (rows), each of which is com-
experienced as the imposition of power posed of varying numbers of verses called
through religious rhetoric.” [Carl Ernst, ayas (signs or miracles). Apart from the first
Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in sura, the Fatiha, or Opening, a seven-verse
the Contemporary World, London and invocation used as a prayer in numerous ritu-
Chapel Hill, p. 206.] als, including daily prayers or salat, the suras
In principle, if not always in practice, a are arranged in approximate order of
Muslim is one who follows Islam, an Arabic decreasing length, with the shortest at the
word meaning “submission” or, more pre- end and the longest near the beginning. Most
cisely, “self-surrender” to the will of God as standard editions divide the suras into pas-
revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. These sages revealed in Mecca (which tend to be
revelations, delivered orally over the period shorter, and hence located near the end of
of Muhammad’s active prophetic career from the book) and those belonging to the period
about 610 until his death, are contained in of the Prophet’s sojourn in Medina, where he
the Koran, the scripture that stands at the emigrated with his earliest followers to
foundation of the Islamic religion and the escape persecution in Mecca in 622, the Year
diverse cultural systems that flow from it. A One of the Muslim era. Meccan passages,
few revisionist scholars working in Western especially the early ones, convey vivid mes-
universities have challenged the traditional sages about personal accountability, reward
Islamic account of the Koran’s origins, argu- and punishment—in heaven and hell—while
ing that the text was constructed out of a celebrating the glories and beauty of the nat-
larger body of oral materials following the ural world as proof of God’s creative power
Arab conquest of the Fertile Crescent. The and sovereignty. The Medinese passages,
great majority of scholars, however, Muslim while replicating many of the same themes,
and non-Muslim, regard the Koran as the contain positive teachings on social and legal
written record of the revelations accumulat- issues (including rules governing sexual rela-
ed in the course of Muhammad’s career. tions and inheritance, and punishments pre-
Unlike the Bible, there are no signs of multi- scribed for certain categories of crime). Such
ple authorship. In contrast to the New passages, supplemented with material from
Testament in particular, where the sayings of the Hadith literature, came to be the key
Jesus have been incorporated into four dis- sources for the development of a legal system
tinct narratives of his life presumed to have known as the Sharia. Different scholars of
been written by different authors, the Koran Muslim thought added other sources to cre-
contains many allusions to events in the ate a methodology for the systematization
Prophet’s life, but does not spell them out in and implementation of the Sharia.

9
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

For believing Muslims, the Koran is the Islam beyond Arabia occurred on the basis of
direct speech of God, dictated without human the Arab conquest of the Fertile Crescent and
editing. Muhammad has been described by lands further afield in the century or so fol-
some modern Muslim scholars as a passive lowing the Prophet’s death in 632. Faith in
transmitter of the Divine Word. The Prophet Islam and the Prophet’s divine calling—as
himself is supposed to have been ummi (illiter- well as the desire for booty—united the
ate), although some scholars question this as he Arabian tribes into a formidable fighting
was an active and successful merchant. For a machine. They defeated both the Byzantine
majority of Muslims, the Koran, whose text and Sasanian armies, opening part of the
was written down and stabilized during the Byzantine Empire and the whole of Persia to
reign of the third caliph, Uthman (r. 644–656), Muslim conquest and settlement. At first
was “uncreated” and coeternal with God. Islam remained primarily the religion of the
Hence, for believing Muslims, the Koran occu- “Arab”. Muslim commanders housed their
pies the position Christ has for Christians. God tribal battalions in separate military canton-
reveals himself not through a person, but ments outside the cities they conquered, leav-
The illuminated double page
from the Koran in the Bihari
script. This copy was completed
in 1399, the year after Timur’s
conquest of Delhi. The passage,
from the Al-Tawba (Sura of
Repentance), refers to the
Prophet’s Bedouin allies who are
not to be excused for failing to
join one of his campaigns.

through the language contained in a holy text. ing their new subjects (Christian, Jewish, or
Other religious traditions, including Buddhism, Zoroastrian) to regulate their own affairs so
Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism, and long as they paid the jizya (poll-tax) in lieu of
Zoroastrianism, privilege their foundational military service. The process of Islamization
texts as sacred. Muslim rulers recognized this occurred gradually, through marriage, as the
common principle by granting religious tolera- leading families of the subject populations
tion to the ahl al-kitab (Peoples of the Book). sought to join the Muslim elites. It also
In its initial phase the rapid expansion of occurred as impoverished or uprooted sub-

10
INTRODUCTION

jects found support in the religion of their patterns of state and religious authority that
rulers, or as people disenchanted with their prevailed during the vast sweep of Islamic
former rulers found a congenial spiritual history from the time of the Prophet to the
home in one that honored their traditions present. But it is hoped that they will illumi-
while representing their teachings in a new, nate important aspects of that history by
creative synthesis. The role of early Muslim opening windows into significant areas of
missionaries was also crucial in this process. the distant and recent past, thereby helping
Muslim theology, however, did have one to explain the legacy of conflicts—as well as
dynamic cultural dimension, which may help opportunities—the past has bequeathed to
to explain its evolution of an “Arab” religion the present. Geography is vital for the under-
into a universal faith. As the quintessential standing of Islamic history and its problem-
“religion of the Book,” which represented the atic relationship with modernity.
divine Word as manifested in a written text, As the maps in this atlas illustrate, the cen-
Islam carried with it the prestige of learning tral belt of Islamic territories stretching from A world map drawn in 1571–72
and literacy into illiterate cultures. The cult of the Atlantic Ocean to the Indus Valley was by the al-Sharafi al-Sifaqsi family
the book, like La Rochefoucauld’s definition perennially at the mercy of nomadic or semi- in the town of Sfax, Tunisia.
of hypocrisy, was the homage not of vice to nomadic invaders. In premodern times,
virtue, but of illiteracy to learning. However before gunpowder weapons, air
revelation is perceived—whether proceeding power, and modern systems of
directly from God or by way of an altered communication brought
mental state comparable to the operations of peripheral regions under
human genius—Muhammad’s epiphany came the control of central
in the form of language. Time and again the governments (usually
nomadic peoples on the fringes of the Muslim under colonial aus-
empires would take over the centers of power, pices), the cities were
and in so doing civilize themselves, becoming vulnerable to attack
in turn the bearers of Muslim cultural pres- by nomadic preda-
tige. After the disintegration of the great tors. The genius of
Abbasid Empire, the dream of a universal the Islamic system
caliphate embracing the whole of the Islamic lay in providing the
world (and, indeed, the rest of humanity) converted tribesmen
ceased to be a viable project. The lines of com- with a system of law,
munication were too long for the center to be practice and learning within
able to suppress the ambitions of local a foundation of faith to which
dynasts. But the prestige of literacy, symbol- they became acculturated over time.
ized by the Koran and its glorious calligraphic In his Muqaddima, or “Proglomena” to
elaborations on the walls of mosques and the History of the World, the Arab philoso-
other public buildings, as well as in the metic- pher of history Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406)
ulously copied versions of the book itself, was developed a theory of cyclic renewal and state
powerful. Even Mongol invaders, notorious formation, which analyzed this process in the
for their cruelty, would succumb to the spiri- context of his native North Africa. According
tual and aesthetic power of Islam in the west- to his theory, in the arid zones where rainfall is
ern part of their dominions. sparse, pastoralism remains the principal
The maps in this book do not aim to pro- mode of agricultural production. Unlike peas-
vide a comprehensive account of the shifting ants, pastoralists are organized along “tribal”

11
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

lines (patrilineal kinship groups). They are rel- a common or corporative asabiyya. The
atively free from government control. Enjoying absence of bourgeois solidarity, in which the
greater mobility than urban people, they can- corporate group interests of the burghers
not be regularly taxed. Nor can they be transcend the bonds of kinship, may partly
brought under the control of feudal lords who be traced to the operations of Muslim law.
will appropriate a part of their produce in Unlike the Roman legal tradition, the Sharia
return for extending protection. Indeed, in the contains no provision for the recognition of
arid lands it is the tribesmen who are usually corporate groups as fictive “persons.”
armed, and who, at times, can hold the city to In its classic formulation, Ibn Khaldun’s
ransom, or conquer it. Ibn Khaldun’s insights theory applied to the North African milieu
tell us why it is usually inappropriate to speak he knew and understood best. But it serves as
of Muslim “feudalism,” except in the strictly an explanatory model for the wider history
limited context of the great river valley systems of Western Asia and North Africa, from the
of Egypt and Mesopotamia, where a settled coming of Islam to the present. The theory is
peasantry farmed the land. In the arid regions, based on the dialectical interraction between
pastoralists move their flocks seasonally across religion and asabiyya. Ibn Khaldun’s concept
the land according to complex arrangements of asabiyya, which is central to his outlook
with other users. Usufruct is not ownership. on Muslim social and political history, can be
Property and territory are not coterminous, as made to mesh with modern theories of eth-
they became in the high rainfall regions of nicity, whether one adopts a “primordial” or
Europe. Here feudalism and its offshoot, capi- “interactive” model. The key to Ibn
talism, took root and eventually created the Khaldun’s theory may be found in two of his
bourgeois state that would dominate the coun- propositions singled out by the anthropolo-
tryside, commercializing agriculture and sub- gist and philosopher Ernest Gellner: (1)
jecting rural society to urban values and con- “Leadership exists only through superiority,
trol. In most parts of Western Asia and North and superiority only through group feeling
Africa, in contrast, the peoples at the margins (asabiyya)” and (2) “Only tribes held togeth-
continued to elude state control until the com- er by group feeling can live in the desert.”
ing of air power. Even now the process is far The superior power of the tribes vis-à-vis
from complete in places such as Afghanistan, the cities provided the conditions under which
where tribal structures have resisted the dynastic military government and its variants,
authority of the central government. royal government underpinned by mamlukism
Urban Moroccans had a revealing term for or institutionalized asabiyya, became the
the tribal regions of their country: bled al- norm in Islamic history prior to the European
siba—the land of insolence—as contrasted colonial intervention. The absence of the legal
with bled al-makhzen, the civilized center, recognition of corporative bodies in Islamic
which periodically falls prey to it. The supe- law prevented the artificial solidarity of the
riority of the tribes, in Ibn Khaldun’s theory, corporation, a prerequisite for urban capitalist
depends on asabiyya, a term which is usually development, from transcending the “natural”
translates as group feeling or social solidari- solidarities of kinship. In precolonial times the
ty. This asabiyya derives ultimately from the high cultural traditions of Islam constantly
harsher environment of the desert or arid interacted with these primordial solidarities
lands, where there is little division of labor, or ethnicities: they did not replace them.
and humans depend for their survival on the Formally the ethic of Islam is opposed to
bonds of kinship. City life, by contrast, lacks local solidarities, which privilege some

12
INTRODUCTION

believers above others. In theory there exists eleventh centuries was far ahead of its
a single Muslim community—the umma— Christian competitor eventually fell behind,
under the sovereignty of God. In practice this to find itself under the political and cultural
ideal was often modified by recognition of dominance of people it regarded—and which
the need to enlist asabiyya or tribal ethnicity some of its members still do regard—as infi-
in the “path of God.” Islamic practice stress- dels.
es communitarian values through regular The Islamic system of precolonial times,
prayer, pilgrimage, and other devotional embedded in the memory of contemporary
practices, and given time, generates the urban Muslims, was brilliantly adapted to the polit-
scripturalist piety of the high cultural or ical ecology of its era. Even if the strategy of
“great” tradition. But it does not of itself “waging jihad in the path of God” were
forge a permanent congregational communi- adopted for pragmatic or military reasons,
ty strong enough to transcend the counter- Islamic faith and culture were the beneficiar-
vailing dynamic of local ethnicities. Be they ies. The nomad conquerors and Mamluks
secular—based on differences of tribe, vil- (soldier-slaves), imported from peripheral
lage, or even craft—or sectarian religious— regions to keep them at bay, became Islam’s
based on divisions between different mad- foremost champions, defenders of the faith-
habs (schools of jurisprudence), or the mysti- community and patrons of its cultures and
cal Sufi orders which are often controlled by systems of learning.
family lineages, or the differences between The social memory of this system exercises
Sunnis and Shiites—such divisions militate a powerful appeal over the imaginations of
against the solidarity of the Umma. many young Muslims at this time. This is espe-
Like the Baptist movement in the United cially true when the more recent memory of
States, Islam (especially that of the Sunni modernization through colonization can be
mainstream, comprising about 90 percent of represented as a story of humiliation, retreat,
the world’s Muslims) is a conservative, pop- and betrayal of Islam’s mission to bring univer-
ulist force, which resists tight doctrinal or sal truth and justice to a world torn by division
ecclesiastical controls. While Muslim scrip- and strife. The violence that struck America on
turalism and orthopraxy provide a common September 11th 2001, may have been rooted in
language which crosses ethnic, racial, and the despair of people holding a romantic, ide-
national boundaries—creating the largest alized vision of the past and smarting under the
“international society” known to the world humiliation of the present. While those who
in premodern times—it has never succeeded planned the operation were almost certainly,
in supplying the ideological underpinning for educated, sophisticated men, fully cognizant
a unified social order that can be translated with the workings of modern societies, it does
into common national identity. In the West not seem accidental that most of the fifteen
the institutions of medieval Christianity, hijackers were Saudi citizens, several from the
allied to Roman legal structures, created the province of Asir. This impoverished mountain-
preconditions for the emergence of the mod- ous region close to the modern borders of
ern national state. In Islamdom the moral Yemen was conquered by the Al Saud family in
basis of the state was constantly undermined the 1920s, and still retains many of its links
by the realities of tribal asabiyya. These with the Yemeni tribes. Like all decent people,
could be admitted de facto, but never accord- Ibn Khaldun would have been horrified by the
ed de jure recognition. This may be one rea- indiscriminate slaughter of 9/11: but it is
son why a civilization that by the tenth and doubtful that he would have been surprised.

13
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Foundational Beliefs and Practices


In the majority of Islamic traditions, all nal bliss in the gardens of heaven. Those
Muslims adhere to certain fundamentals. who have failed in their duty will be sen-
The most important is the profession of tenced to the fires of hell.
faith, a creedal formula that states: The Koran also articulates a frame-
“There is no God but God. Muhammad is work of practices which have become
the Messenger of God.” Stated before normative for Muslims over time.
witnesses, this formula—called the One of them is worship, which takes
Shahada—is the sufficient requirement several forms, such as salat (ritual
for conversion to Islam and belonging to prayer), dhikr (contemplative prayer), or
the Umma. dua (prayers of exhortation and praise).
Muslims affirm tawhid (the Unity and Muslims performing salat prostrate
Uniqueness of God). They believe that themselves in the direction of the Kaba,
God has communicated to humanity the cubic temple covered in an embroi-
throughout its history by way of dered cloth of black silk that stands at the
Messengers, who include figures like center of the sacred shrine in Mecca.
Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, and that Salat is performed daily: early morning,
Muhammad was the final Messenger to noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening,
whom was revealed the Koran. In person- or combined according to circumstance.
al and social life, Muslims are required to Prayer may be performed individually, at
adhere to a moral and ethical mode of home, in a public place such as a park or
behavior for which they are accountable street, or in the mosque (an English word
before God. derived from the Arabic masjid, “place of
As well as tawhid, articles of faith prostration”) or other congregational
adhered to by Muslims include the belief places. The call to prayer (adhan) is made
that angels and other supernatural from the minaret which stands above the
beings act as divine emissaries; that Iblis mosque. It includes the takbir (allahu
or Satan, the fallen angel, was cast out of akbar “God is most great”), as well as
heaven for refusing God’s command to shahada and the imperative: “Hurry to
prostrate himself before Adam; and that salat.” In the past, before electronic
Muhammad is the “seal” of the amplification, the beautifully modulated
prophets, the last in a line of human sounds of the adhan were delivered in
messengers sent by God to teach and person by a muezzin from the minarets
warn humanity. The Koran affirms that five times a day. The noon salat on Friday
the recipients of previous revelations— is the congregational service, and is
the Christians and Jews—have corrupted accompanied by a khutba (sermon) spo-
the scriptures sent down to them. It ken by the Imam, or prayer leader or
warns of the Day of Judgement when all other religious notable. In the early cen-
individuals, living or dead, will be turies of Islam, the name of the caliph or
answerable to God for their conduct. ruler was pronounced with the khutba.
The virtuous will be rewarded with eter- When territories changed hands between

14
INTRODUCTION

different rulers (as frequently happened), Another significant ritual practice is


the official indication of a change of gov- the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca, which
ernment came in the form of the procla- practicing Muslims are required to per-
mation of the new ruler’s name in the form at least once in their lifetimes, if
country’s leading mosques. able to do so. Historically the Hajj has
Another foundational practice is been one of the principal means by which
zakat, sharing of wealth (not to be con- different parts of the Muslim world
fused with voluntary charity or sadaqa). remained in physical contact. In pre-
In the past, zakat was intended to foster modern times, before mass transporta-
a sense of community by stressing the tion by steamships and aircraft brought
obligation of the better-off to help the the Hajj within the reach of people of
poor, and was paid to religious leaders or modest or average means, returning pil-
to the government. At present, different grims enjoyed the honored title of Hajji
Muslim groups observe practices specific and a higher social status within their
to their traditions. communities than non-Hajjis. As well as
Sawm is the fast in daylight hours dur- providing spiritual fulfilment, the Hajj
ing the holy month of Ramadan, when sometimes created business opportunities
believers abstain from eating, drinking, by enabling pilgrims from different
smoking, and sexual activity. Abu Hamid regions of the world to meet each other. It
al-Ghazali, the medieval mystic and the- also facilitated movements of religious-
ologian, listed numerous benefits from political reform. Many political move-
the discipline of fasting. These included ments were forged out of encounters that
purity of the heart and the sharpening of took place on the pilgrimage—from the
perceptions that comes with hunger, Shiite rebellion that led to the foundation
mortification and self-abasement, self- of the Fatimid caliphate in North Africa
mastery by overcoming desire, and soli- (909) to modern Islamist movements of
darity with the hungry: the person who is revival and reform. The end of Ramadan
sated “is liable to forget those people is marked by the Id al-Fitr (the Feast of
who are hungry and to forget hunger Fast Breaking), while the climax of the
itself.” Ramadan is traditionally an occa- Hajj involves the Id al-Adha (Feast of
sion both for family reunions and reli- Sacrifice) in which all Muslims partici-
gious reflection. In many Muslim coun- pate by sacrificing animals. These two
tries, the fast becomes a feast at sun- feasts are the major canonical festivals
down—an occasion for public conviviali- observed by Muslims everywhere. There
ty that lasts well into the night. Ramadan are, in addition, many other devotional
is the ninth month in the hijri (lunar cal- and spiritual practices among Muslims
endar) which falls short of the solar year that have developed over the centuries,
by 11 days: thus Ramadan, like other based on specific interpretations of the
Muslim festivals, occurs at different sea- practice of faith and its interaction with
sons over a 35-year cycle. local traditions.

15
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Geophysical Map of the Muslim World


Although lands of the Islamic world now highlands of Yemen and Dhufar, which catch
occupy a broad belt of territories ranging the Indian Ocean monsoons, and the Junguli
from the African shores of the Atlantic to the region lying south of the Caspian Sea under
Indonesian archipelago, the core regions of the northern slopes of the Elburz, which
Western Asia where Islam originated exer- catches moisture-laden air flowing southward
cised a decisive influence on its development. from Russia.
Compared to Western Europe and North Before recent times, when crops such as
America, the region is perennially short on wheat, requiring large amounts of water,
rainfall. During the winter, rain and snow appeared in the shape of food imports, and
underground fossil water (stored for millions
Originally built in the fourteenth of years in aquifers) became available through
century, the mosque at Agades, modern methods of drilling, agriculture was
in Niger, is made of mud. Its highly precarious. A field that had yielded
structure is constantly renewed wheat for millennia would fail when the annu-
by workers bearing new mud al rainfall was one inch instead of the usual
who climb up the wooden posts twenty. Ancient peoples understood this well,
that protrude from the sides and and provided themselves with granaries.
serve as scaffolding. However, agriculture did flourish in the great
river valleys of Egypt and Mesopotamia (now
Iraq). Here the annual flooding caused by the
tropical rains in Africa and melting snows in
the Anatolian and Iranian highlands pro-
duced regular harvests and facilitated the
development of the complex city-based cul-
tures of ancient Sumer, Assyria, and Egypt.
The need to manage finely calibrated systems
of irrigation using the nutrient-rich waters of
the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Nile
required complex systems of recording and
control, making it necessary for literate
priestly bureaucrats to govern alongside the
holders of military power. Together with the
Yellow River in China and the Indus Valley,
the three great river systems of the Fertile
Crescent are at the origins of human civiliza-
born by westerlies from the Atlantic fall in tion. The first states, in the sense of orderly
substantial quantities on the Atlas and Riffian systems of government based on common
Mountains, the Cyrenaican massif, and legal principles, appeared in these regions
Mount Lebanon, with the residue falling more than five millennia ago.
intermittently on the Green Mountain of The limited extent of the soil water neces-
Oman, the Zagros, the Elburz, and the moun- sary for agricultural production had a decisive
tains of Afghanistan. But the only rains that impact on the evolution of human societies in
occur with predictable regularity fall in the the arid zone. Though conditions vary from

16
GEOPHYSICAL MAP OF THE MUSLIM WORLD

one region to another, certain features distin- Unlike peasant cultivators, a portion of
guish the patterns of life from those of the whose product may be extracted by priests in
temperate zones to the north or tropical zones the form of offerings or by the ruler in taxes,
to the south. Where rainfall is scarce and nomadic pastoralists will often avoid the con-
uncertain, animal husbandry—the raising of fines of state power. People are organized into
camels, sheep, goats, cattle, and, where suit- tribes or patrilineal kinship groups descended
able, horses—offers the securest livelihood for from a common male ancestor. Military
substantial numbers of humans. The “pure prowess is encouraged because, where food
deserts” or sand seas of shifting dunes shaped resources are scarce, tribal or “segmentary”
by the wind, which cover nearly one-third of groups may have to compete with each other,
the land area of Arabia and North Africa, are or make raids on settled villages, in order to

As Islam established itself along


the Silk Road, mosques were
built for travelers and local
converts. This mosque in the
Xinjiang province of China
reflects the Central Asian
influence in its design.

wholly unsuitable for human and animal life, survive. Property is held communally, classi-
and have generally been avoided by herdsmen, cally in the form of herds, rather than in the
traders, and armies. But in the broader semi- form of crop-yielding land. Property and ter-
desert regions complex forms of nomadic and ritory are not coterminous (as they tended to
seminomadic pastoralism have evolved. In become in regions of higher rainfall) because
winter the flocks and herds will range far into the land may be occupied by different users at
the wadis or semidesert areas, to feed on the different seasons of the year. Vital resources,
grasses and plants that can spring up after the such as springs or wells in which everyone has
lightest of showers. In the heat of summer an interest, are often considered as belonging
they will move, where possible, to pastures in to God, and are entrusted to the custodian-
the highlands, or cluster near pools or wells. ship of special families regarded as holy.

17
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Muslim Languages and Ethnic Groups


There are approximately one billion Muslim Indonesia could overtake Arabic as the most
people—about one-fifth of humanity—living in widely spoken Muslim language.
the world today. Of these the largest single- In addition to Muslims living in their coun-
language ethnic group, about 15 percent, are tries of ethnic origin, there are now millions of
Arabs. Not all Arabs are Muslims—there are Muslims residing in Europe and North America.
substantial Arab Christian minorities in Egypt, Given that English is the international language
Palestine, Syria, and Iraq, and small numbers of of commerce, scholarship, and science, with sec-
Arabic-speaking Jews in Morocco—although ond-generation European, American, and
the numbers of both these communities have Canadian Muslims speaking English (as well as
rapidly declined in recent decades, mainly French, German, Dutch, and other European
through emigration. As the language of the tongues) the growth of English among Muslims
Koran, of Islamic scholarship and law, Arabic is a significant recent development.
long dominated the cultures of the Muslim The modern nation-state, based on interna-
world, closely followed by Persian—the lan- tionally recognized boundaries, a common lan-
guage of Iran and the Mughal courts in India. guage (in most cases), a common legal system,
The spread of Islam among non-Arab peo- and representative institutions (whether these are
ples, however, has made Arabic a minority lan- appointed or elected) is a recent phenomenon in
guage—although many non-Arab Muslims most of the Muslim world. Often imposed by
read the Koran in Arabic. An ethnographic sur- arrangements between the European powers,
vey published in 1983 lists more than 400 eth- modern boundaries cut across lines of linguis-
nic/linguistic groups who are Muslim. The tic/ethnic affiliation, leaving peoples such as
largest after the Arabs, in diminishing order, Kurds and Pushtuns divided into different states.
are Bengalis, Punjabis, Javanese, Urdu speak- Before the colonial interventions began to lock
ers, Anatolian Turks, Sundanese (from Eastern them into the international system of UN mem-
Java), Persians, Hausas, Malays, Azeris, ber states, Muslim states tended to be organized
Fulanis, Uzbeks, Pushtuns, Berbers, Sindhis, communally rather than territorially. States were
Kurds, and Madurese (from the island of not bounded by lines drawn on maps. The power
Madura, northeast of Java). These groups of a government did not operate uniformly with-
number between nearly 100 million (Bengalis) in a fixed and generally recognized area, as hap-
down to 10 million (Sindhis, Kurds, and pened in Europe, but rather “radiated from a
Madurese). Of the hundreds of smaller groups number of urban centers with a force which tend-
listed, the smallest—the Wayto hunter gather- ed to grow weaker with distance and with the
ers in Ethiopia—number fewer than 2,000. existence of natural or human obstacles.”
However, three of the languages spoken by [Albert Hourani A History of the Arab Peoples
more than 10 million people—Javanese, London, Faber, revised ed. 2002, p. 138.] Patriot-
Sundanese, and Madurese—are in the course ism was focused, not as in Renaissance Italy,
of being overlaid by Bahasa Indonesia, the offi- England, or Holland, on the city, city-state, or
cial language taught in Indonesian schools. nation in the modern territorial sense, but on the
With Indonesians constituting the world’s clan or tribe within the larger frame of the
largest Muslim-majority nation, Bahasa umma, the worldwide Islamic community. Local

20
MUSLIM LANGUAGES AND ETHNIC GROUPS

solidarities were reinforced by endogamous prac- through military power was balanced by the
tices such as marriage between first cousins, a moral force and cultural prestige of Islam.
requirement in many communities. Clan loyalties Time and again in precolonial times the pred-
were further buttressed by religion, with tribal ators were converted into Islam’s most trusted
leaders often justifying their rebellions or wars of defenders. To borrow a phrase of the anthro-
conquest by appealing to the defense of true pologist Ernest Gellner, “the wolves become
Islam against its infidel enemies. sheepdogs.” Just as the Prophet Muhammad
Viewed from the perspective of modern had tamed the Arabian tribes by his personal
Western history the systems of governance that example, the eloquence of the Koran, and the
evolved in the arid region were divisive and system of governance that proceeded from it,
unstable. In Europe, a region of high rainfall, so the Sharia (divine) law and human systems
the state emerged out of constitutional struggles of fiqh (jurisprudence) to which it gave rise
between rulers and their subjects animated by mediated the perennial conflicts between pas-
conflicts between social classes, within ethnical- toral predators, cultivators, and townsfolk.
ly homogeneous populations sharing common The system, embedded in the social memory
national, political, and cultural identities of today’s Muslim populations, was based on
(although these were sometimes contested, as in the duty of the ruler to uphold social justice by A Tuareg policeman in the Sahel
Ireland). In the arid zone dominant clans or trib- governing in accordance with Islamic law. The region south of the Sahara. From
ally based dynasties exercised power over subor- formidable task facing contemporary Muslim their center at Timbuktu, the
dinate groups or tried to ensure their dominance states is to harness political and social tradi- Tuareg controlled the trade
by importing mamluks (slave-soldiers), from dis- tions forged in a very different context from routes between the
tant peripheries, who had minimal social con- modern-day conditions. Mediterranean and West Africa.
tacts with the indigenous populations. Peasant
cultivators and townsfolk remained vulnerable
to the predations of nomadic marauders—the
proverbial “barbarians at the gates.” The
asabiyya (loyalties or group solidarity) that
bound the clans was stronger than urban soli-
darity. Lacking the corporate ethos of their
Western counterparts, the Muslim urban classes
failed to achieve the “bourgeois” or capitalist
revolutions that gave rise to the modern state
systems of Europe and North America.
There is, however, a different way of view-
ing the same historical landscape. Given the
predominance of pastoral nomadism in the
vast belt of territories where Islam took root,
stretching from the Kazakh steppes to the
Atlantic shores (and in similar regions in
northern India and south of the Sahara) the
inability of relatively weak agrarian states to
tax nomadic predators or control them

21
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

B.
LUX. CZECH.
SLOV. UKRAINE
AUS. MOLD.
SWITZ. HUN. ROM.
FRANCE SL. GYPSIES

C a s p
TATARS
B.H.
IT BOSNIANS
YUG. BULG. B l a c k S e a R
A GYPSIES POMAKS

i
Rome GEORG.

a
ALB. RUMELIAN TURKS

LY

n
Istanbul
Madrid ALBANIAN POMAK
AZA. ARM.

S e a
PORT. BOSNIANS Ankara
POMAK AZERI
SPAIN GREECE TURKMEN
Lisbon M e
d i TURKEY AZERI SHAHSE VAN
t a
r Athens CIRCASSIANS YORUK
Tunis ARABIC
Algiers KURDISH

r
a
n N CH Tehran
e
a
RUMELIAN TURKS
F RE SYRIA LUR
PERS
n
Rabat S e BAKHTIARI
Casablanca LEB. Baghdad
BERBER
a
QASHQA'I
Tripoli ISRAEL
O Alexandria HEBREW
IRAQ
CC
O Cairo JORDAN
R

ALGERIA
O

Al Kuwayt
M

E
A L I B YA ARABIC

N
EGYPT SAUDI
WESTERN R
A

G
Riyadh
SAHARA
B I C U.A.

L
F R E N C H ARABIA
TEBU

I
TEBU BEJA

MAURITANIA
TUAREG S ARABIC
MEIDOB H
BERBER MALI NIGER BILIN
TUKULOR TEBU
MIMI HAUSA
WOLOF FULANI BERI
SENEGAL SONGHAY KANEMBU CHAD ARABIC Khartoum JABARTI
EN
Dakar FULANI SONINKÉ KANEMBU
BUDUMA BUDUMA
MABA
TAMA
MASALIT FUR BERTI
BENI AMER
ERITREA YEM
SERER DIOLA FULANI HAUSA TUNJUR
BAMBARA KURI ARABIC HADDAD
MANDINKA MOSSI SONGHAY F U L A N I
ARABIC
BARMA
DAJU S U DA N TIGRE
SINYAR TUNJUR TAQALI WAYTO
MANDINKA KANURI HADDAD
FULANI BAMBARA
JAHANKA FULANI DYULA SONINKÉ
BURKINA SONGHAY HAUSA KANURI
FULANI KOTOKO
FONGORO FULANI
NUBA
AFAR

SENUFO HAUSA BATONUN


GUINEA SONINKÉ DYULA KAMBERI GBAGYI HAUSA Addis SOMALI
Conakry FULANI GBAYA
SOSO YALUNKA SENUTO MOSSI MOLÉ-DAGBANI SHANGAWA Ababa
NUPE FULANI
TEMNE FULANI DYULA GHANA RESHAWA ARGOBBA
S O M A L I
MENDE MANDINKA
MANDINKA N I G E RIA CENTRAL ETHIOPIA
IVORY YORUBA YORUBA
YORUBA GBAYA
AFRICAN

IA
VAI Lagos GURAGE
COAST AKAN OROMO
N

LIBERIA

AL
REPUBLIC
O

Accra SADAMA
O

Abidjan M
ER
TOGO CA M SO
GANDA OROMO SOMALI
SOGA
O
ONG

UGANDA
A T L A N T I C BENIN NYANKOLE KENYA
REP. C

NORTHEAST BANTU
O C E A N GABON Nairobi
CONGO SWAHILI
NYAMWEZI
Kinshasa
CENTRAL TANZANIAN
TANZANIA
Languages and peoples of Islam Dar es Salaam
SWAHILI
Muslim population, 50% or more Luanda
YAO
ENGLISH Imperial languages still in regional use
YAO
ANGOLA
YAO
A

I
B
ZAM
E

22
MUSLIM LANGUAGES AND ETHNIC GROUPS

K A Z A K H S TA N
A N
I
S MONGOLIA
S KAZAKHS Harbin
U
UYGUR
UZBE
KI
ST KIRGHIZ. UYGUR Shenyang
AN

KIRGHIZ
Beijing
TURK Tianjin N. KOREA
ME TURKMEN
NI TAJIK.
KIRGHIZ TAJIK Seoul
ST
AN

TAJIK QIZILBASH PASHAI S. KOREA


KHO
AIMAQ Kabul
SHING
BALTIS C H I N A Pusan

I A N PERSIANS AFGHAN. HAZARAS KOHISTANIS KASHMIRIS


Lahore
UN
SHT GUJARS
P U BRAHUI Chengdu Shanghai
N

IRAN JAT Wuhan


TA
IS

Delhi
BALUCH K NE
PA PA
L BH.
E MEOS
SINDHIS
URDU
Karachi
N Dhaka
Ahmadabad Guangzhou Taiwan
E. GUJARATIS Calcutta
G H BURMA Hong Kong
INDIA
AN

P A C I F I C
L I S (MYANMAR)
ORISSANS BANGLA-
M

MAHARASHTRIANS O C E A N
DECCANI DESH L
O

Bombay Hainan
A
OS

Hyderabad
VI

Rangoon Luzón
ET

THAILAND
Manila
NA M

MAPPILLA Bangkok
Bangalore Madras
TAMIL
CAMB.
LABBAI
PHILIPPINES
Ho Chi
TAMIL Minh
SRI Mindanao
LANKA
BRUNEI BAJAU
ACEHNESE
GAYO M A L AY S I A
BATAK
I N D I A N O C E A N MINANGKABAU GORONTALESE
TOMINI
Sumatra Borneo Sulawesi
WAND
OGAN-BESEMAH
BUGIS
I N D O
Jakarta N E S I A
N Java
Timor

23
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Late Antiquity Before Islam


The Muslim community emerged in seventh- Byzantines and the Lakhmids, who gave
century Arabia in a region dominated by allegiance to the Sasanian Empire.
ancient civilizations, empires, cultures, and A major influence on intellectual life that
ethnic groups. Traces of Mesopotamian cul- was to emerge in the Muslim world came
ture still survived in the Tigris and Euphrates from the academies and learning institutions
valleys, and the areas bordering the that preserved influences from Persia, Greece,
Mediterranean and the Gulf had long felt the and India. In particular, the Hellenistic and
impact of the adjoining powers that plied the Persian legacies in the fields of medicine, the
maritime trade in these waters. Byzantium, sciences, and philosophy would bring about a
This rock relief from Magshi-i the Eastern Roman and Orthodox state based strong tradition of intellectual inquiry in
Rus Van depicts Ardeshir I, in Constantinople, was the primary Christian Muslim societies.
founder of the Sasanian dynasty, kingdom in the region and The cultures in the regions were influenced
facing a hostile Parthian warrior. at odds with the powerful by the cosmopolitan nature of this
Mediterranean world to
different degrees, preserv-
ing the heritage of classi-
cal antiquity and the
Hellenistic legacy in its
various forms, architec-
tural, philosophical, artis-
tic, urban, and agricultur-
al. Of the major religions
in the region, Christianity
in its orthodox form also
held sway in southern
Arabia while Zoroastrian-
ism predominated in Iran
and Mesopotamia. Juda-
ism had a long history in
Zoroastrian Sasanian Empire based in Persia the Near East and small Jewish communities
(modern Iran). The ebb and flow of conflict had also settled in Yemen and the oases of
between the various major states influenced Arabia, such as Medina. The inherited values,
trade as well as relations with the prosperous literature, and practices of all these traditions
region of Arabia to the south. The history of coexisted in this vast, multifaith and multieth-
some of the ancient Arab kingdoms is still nic milieu, which within a century of the death
preserved in archaeological remains, such as of the Prophet Muhammad would be overtaken
those of the Nabateans at Petra (first century by Muslim conquest. Over time it would form
BC —first century AD ), Palmyra (second— part of a larger set of civilizations linked by the
third century AD), and of the Ghassanids in faith of Islam, while still preserving continuities
later centuries, whose patrons were the with the various heritages of antiquity.

24
LATE ANTIQUITY BEFORE ISLAM

30° 35° 40° 45° 50° 55° 60°


Black Sea Cauca
Constantinople su
s M
40°
t s Arabia before the Muslim conquests
Ankyra Occupied by Sasanians 607–28

Anatolia KALB Arab tribe

E A S T E R N R O M A N
Ardabil Caspian
Attaleia Edessa Dara Sea
Dabiq Harran Nisibis
Aleppo Qazvin
Antioch

Ti
gr
Rayy

is
35°

Hamah
C Y PRU S Eu
ph
Tripoli Homs ra
t
Palmyra es
Jafula
Mediter ranean Nihavand
M
Sea Damascus es
Tyre op
ot Ctesiphon S A S A N I A N E M P I R E
Yarmuk Karbala am
Caesarea Isfahan
Alexandria Kufa ia
Jerusalem
Ajnadain Qadisiya P e r s i a
30°
Mu’tah
al-Fustat
(Cairo) Petra GHASSAN Basra Istahar
LAKHM (Persepolis)
KALB
E M P I R E
Pe

BAKR Siraf
rs

GHATAFAN
N

a
ile

A n
Sahara G
u
l f

Gulf
25°
Desert r
JUHEINA

o
f
Medina
R e

Bedr a Om
Tropic of Ca
an
ncer
KINDA al-Yamama
d

HANIFAH
S e

N O BATI A b
JA

MAZUN
a

S U L AY M
Z
DE

i
SE

Mecca Q U R AY S H
RT

20°
a
NO

HAWAZIN
MA

MA K K U R A
DS

li
ha er
K rt
DES

Dongola
al a
MAHRAH
AZD b qu
Sa
ERT

u y
R pt
san

em
NOM

t he
ian
ADS

15°
A LWA Arabian Sea
De
Ye m

N
pe

AX U M
n
en

en
d

cies 0 200 km

H I M YA R 0 200 miles

25
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Muhammad’s Mission and Campaigns


(r. 644–656), the Koran is composed of 114
chapters, or suras. These are said to have been
revealed in Muhammad’s native city of Mecca,
where he was a respected merchant, and suras
also date from the period of his sojourn in
Medina (622–632).
In Mecca, the Koran’s condemnation of the
sins of pride, avarice, and the neglect of social
duties, its warnings of divine judgement, and
its attacks on pagan deities brought
Muhammad and his followers into conflict with
the leaders of his own tribe, the Quraish. His
fellow clansmen were boycotted, with Muslim
converts subjected to persecution, and a num-
ber took refuge in Axum (Ethiopia). However,
Muhammad’s fame as a prophet and trusted
man of God spread beyond Mecca. He was
invited to act as judge and arbitrator between
the feuding tribal factions of Yathrib, later
renamed Madinat al-Nabi (“the city of the
Prophet”), usually shortened to Medina, an
oasis settlement about 250 miles northeast of
Mecca. The hijra (migration) of the Muslims in
622 marks the beginning of the Muslim era.
The passages in the Koran dating from the
Medina period, when Muhammad was the
effective ruler, contain some of the legislative
material (such as rules regarding marriage and
inheritance) that would form the basis of what
Although Muhammad’s image is Islam is an Arabic noun from the verb aslama, became Islamic law. After a series of campaigns
considered taboo, pictures of the to surrender oneself. In its primary sense the against the Meccans, the Muslims emerged vic-
heroic deeds of his uncle, Hamza, active participle muslim means someone who torious. In the last year of his life Muhammad
and others were circulated to show surrenders himself or herself to God as returned in triumph to Mecca, receiving the
the first epic battles of the
revealed through the teachings of the Prophet submission of the tribes along the way. He
Muslims. This painting from India
Muhammad (c. 570–632). Muhammad is reformed the ancient ceremonies of the hajj
c. 1561–76 is from a series of
believed by Muslims to have communicated (pilgrimage), discarding their animist aspects
large-format illustrations shown to
God’s revelation in the Koran, a text Muslims and reorienting them to what he believed to be
audiences while the epic stories
regard as the final revelation of God to the original monotheism of Abraham. After
were read aloud.
humankind. Collected under the third of further expeditions he returned to Medina. He
Muhammad’s successors, the Caliph Uthman died there after a short illness in 632.

26
MUHAMMAD’S MISSION AND CAMPAIGNS

Muhammad’s Missions and


Campaigns to 632
Muhammad moves to Medina 60°
30° 35° 40° 45° 50° 55°

Campaigns

Conquered by Muhammad to 632

Conquered by Abu Bakr 632–34


A n a t o l i a
Battle site with date

Marash Samosata
Edessa
Dabiq
Harran
Aleppo Mosul Qazvin

Ti
Antioch

gr
Rayy
is
35° Raqqa
Cyp r u s
Hamadan
Tripoli Homs
Jafula S A S A N I A N
E

Mediter ranean Nihavand


Eu
ph
PIR

Sea Damascus
ra

Ctesiphon E M P I R E
t
es

Caesarea
Wasit
Damietta Gaza Kufa Isfahan
E M

Alexandria Jerusalem Qadisiya 636

Heliopolis
30°
E

al-Fustat Basra Kerman


(Cairo)
N

Dumat al-Jandal
I

T Shiraz
B Y Z A N
Pe
rs

Siraf
ia
H
N

n
i le

E
JA

G
u l
25°
f
Z

G
ul
Aswan 625 f o
Medina al-Yamama f Oman
R e

624 A r a b i a 632 Muscat


NOBATIA
d
S e

630
a

Mecca
r
20° l i t e
a r
h
MAKKURA K a
u
a l q
u b t y
R p
e m
t h e
633

ALWA A r a b i a n S e a
15°
Sana N

AXUM
633 0 400 km

0 400 miles

27
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Expansion of Islam to 750 10


° 0°

FR NG
N

A
I
A

N
Muhammad’s death left the Muslim communi-

K
E

AS
SH

I
O

D
C

TU
M
ty without an obvious leader. One of his oldest

AQ
RI
AS

UI
IC
companions, Abu Bakr (r. 632–634), was

TA
T

IN
acknowledged by several leaders as the first

E
N
LA
caliph, or successor. Under Abu Bakr and his

T
A
successor Umar (634–644), the tribes, who had
begun to fall away on the death of Muhammad,
were reunited under the banner of Islam and

Ag
a
di
r
converted into a formidable military and ideo-
Rome
logical force. The Arabs broke out of the penin-

B
E
sula, conquering half the Byzantine provinces

R
B
E
as well as defeating the armies of Sasanian

R
S
Persia. Ctesiphon, the Persian capital, fell in Ca
r
Ka thage
637, Jerusalem in 638. By 646, under Umar’s iro
ua 698

I F
n6
70

S
successor Uthman (r. 644–656), the whole of

R
I Q
The Dome of the Rock in Egypt had come under Arab Muslim control.

I Y
a
Jerusalem, built by the Caliph Acquiring ships from Egypt and Syria, the nomadic preda-

A
Tr
ipo
li 6
47
Abd al-Malik in 691–92, is the Arabs conducted seaborne raids, conquering tors would have

h
first great building to have been Cyprus in 649 and pillaging Rhodes in 654. taken the plunder or
Religious differences between the Byzantine held onto land, dispersing

a
constructed after the Arab
conquest. Embellished with rulers and their subjects in Egypt and Syria as landlords or peasants

r
Koranic quotations proclaiming ensured that the Muslims were met with indif- among the conquered peoples.
the unity of God, the building ference, or even welcomed by fellow monothe- In a farsighted decision Caliph

a
surrounds the rock from where ists embittered by decades of alien Byzantine Umar encouraged the tribes to settle
Muhammad is believed to have rule. But secular factors were also important. with a system of stipends paid from the
embarked on his miraculous The Arabs were motivated by desire for plun- common treasury, which took control of
“night journey” to heaven. der, as well as religious faith. In previous eras the conquered lands. The Arabs were kept
apart from the population in armed camps that
evolved into garrison cities such as Basra and
Kufa in Iraq. Although the tensions over the
distribution of booty would erupt into open
civil war the overall control exercised by the
fledgling Islamic government remained under
dynastic rule. Though individual dynasties
would often be challenged as ruling contrary to
Islamic principles of equality and justice, the
dynastic system of governance fitted the pre-
vailing form of social organization, the patriar-
chal kinship group, and remained the norm
until modern times. Under the Umayyads the
remarkable expansion of Islam continued, with
the Arab raiders reaching as far as central
France and the Indus Valley.

28
EXPANSION OF ISLAM TO 750

10
° 20° 30° 40° 50° 60° 70° 80° 90°

S Expansion to 750
L
A V S Arab advance

B U L G A R S Battle site

Expansion of Islam:
AV
AR Under Muhammad
EM 50°
PI
RE H U N G A R I A N S Under Abu Bakr (632–634)
K
K. OF THE L

H A Under Umar (634–644)


Z A
R Under Uthman (644–656)
E M
S

and Ali (656–661)


L A

P I E S
R E
P L
Under the Umayyads (661–750)
V S
OM

O
BU E
LG P
BAR

AR
IA C
DS

I
K
Aral S yr
Da

R
Black Sea ry
751
a
Sea A

T U
Talas AN
Ca

Con T
B 673–7stantinop R GH
Y 7, 717 le A FER
spi

–18 40°
Z

N
A
an

SO
N ARMENIA
T I Am

X
Tiflis Derbend uD
N E

IA
ary
0
and 71
a

N
E M Samark
Sea

Erzuru

A
P I R m 710
M E A Bukhara
ZE

e
RB

d
AI

i t Tarsu M 664
JA

s Edessa Tabriz Ardabil Mery Balkh


e r Rhod
N

e
ES

r a 654 s
N

Cypr Antioch A
O

n e
Mosul 641 RG r 651 l 664
PO

u
a n 649 s GU Nishapu Kabu
Eu

TA

S e Rayy
ph

LIB a S
YRIA Jalula KHU Herat JAB
PUN
ra

YA Da te s
capital mascus 63 RASAN
IA

from 6 5
58 Kerbela Nehavend
Ram 642
la Yarmu 680 N 1
A an 71
Alex k 636 Ctesiphon N I
andr
ia Fih S A S A Mult 30°
646 Jerusalel
m 638 Kufa Susa I A
al-Fu Ajnada Qadisiya 636 Isfahan E R S
stat 6 in 634 P
Faiyu 70 Heliop
oli DU
m 640 s HIN
FA
us
SEISTAN
TES
Basra
E G 656 R Istahar 648 Ind STA
Y P K
S

Tabuk IR
T
M SI N D
BA

Pe A
HR

rs
N
Nil

ia
AI

AN
n MAKR cer
e

Can
ic of
Gu
Trop
H

lf
EJ

Badr 624 Suhar Sea


AZ

Medina O
Muscat
Arabian
Y

A M
M AN
A
M 20°
M A K

A
Re

Mecca A r a b i a n
622
K U

Dong
d

ola P e n i n s u l a
Se
R

A
a
I

T
N Najran U
A AN
Soba M
R
A OCE
H IAN
ALODIA
H
AD IND
YEMEN

KINGDOM
Aden 0 300 km 10°
OF AXUM

0 300 miles

29
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Expansion 751–1700
Islam expanded by conquest and conversion. (including Zoroastrians) the right to maintain
Although it was sometimes said that the faith of their religious practices provided they paid the
The tower of the great mosque
Islam was spread by the sword, the two are not jizya tax (tribute), a payment in lieu of military
in Kairouan, now in Tunisia,
the same. The Koran states unequivocally, service. Initially Islam remained the religion of
dates from the ninth century.
Built near the site of ancient
“There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). the Arabs, a badge of unity and mark of superi-
Carthage, the design of three Following the precedent established by the ority. When conversions did occur the converts
superimposed towers is based on Prophet, who allowed the Jews and Christians were required to become mawali (clients) of the
the lighthouses and watchtowers to keep their religion if they paid tribute, the Arab tribes, the assumption being that the
of classical antiquity. caliphs granted all the people of the Book Arabs retained a hegemonic role.
Many factors, however, encouraged conver-
sion after the initial conquests. For those
Christians who were tired of centuries of eru-
dite theological wranglings over the precise bal-
ance between Christ’s divine and human
natures, Islam provided the hospitality of a reli-
gion in which Christ had an honored place as a
forerunner to Muhammad. Likewise for Jews
Islam could appear as a reformed faith in the
tradition of Abraham and Moses. Zoroastrians,
deprived of state support for their religion after
the Arab conquest of the Sassanian Empire,
would find in Islam a religion, like theirs, of
individual ethical responsibility and later, in the
Shiite idea of a Mahdi (messiah) from the
House of Ali, a concept similar to the Saoshyant
of Zoroastrian eschatology. Messianic ideas
have a universal appeal, and are found in nearly
all religious traditions. After the Islamic con-
quests in India, the Awaited Imans of the Shiite
eschatology would sometimes be identified with
a forthcoming avatar of Vishnu. In the metro-
politan areas converts from the older traditions
helped to detribalize the Arabian religion by
asserting their rights as Muslims, by emphasiz-
ing the universality of its message, and by stress-
ing its legitimizing function in the establishment
of the new social order and forms of political
power. Further afield the simplicity of the con-
version process (the mere utterance before wit-
nesses of the formula: “There is no god but

30
EXPANSION 751–1700

God. Muhammad is the Messenger of God”) numerous guises: educated, literate mer-
would contrast favorably with the often com- chants, wandering scholar-teachers, charis-
plex conversion procedures of the mystery reli- matic dervishes, native princes with impres-
gions. In Subsaharan Africa local spirits could sive retinues, sophisticated intellectuals and
be Islamized by incorporating them into the dais (missionaries) from esoteric traditions
This Koran, written using
Koranic storehouse of angels, djinns, and devils. who specialized in tailoring their message
muhaqqaq script, was produced
Ancestor cults could be accommodated by and rituals to suit audiences of widely differ- in Baghdad in 1308. The large
grafting local kinship groups onto Arab or Sufi ent cultural backgrounds. Lacking a central- format indicates that this
spiritual lineages. ly directed missionary program, the religion manuscript was a presentation
There were also more worldly considera- has proved itself sufficiently adaptable to copy, used for public recitation
tions behind many conversions. Islamic mar- spread organically. in the mosque.
riage rules are weighted in favor of spreading
the faith, for while a woman from one of the
ahl al-dhimma (protected communities) who
marries a Muslim is not required to change
her religion, the converse does not apply, and
the children are expected to be brought up as
Muslims, ensuring the Islamization of subse-
quent generations. This demographic advan-
tage would have carried considerable weight
in societies where it was customary for the
victors to marry the women of defeated
tribes. More generally, there exists the natu-
ral tendency of bright and ambitious individ-
uals to enter the ranks of the ruling elites. As
Islamic society developed in metropolitan
areas such as the cities of Iran and Iraq,
knowledge of the Law and the Traditions of
the Prophet, alongside secular learning in
such fields as literature, astronomy, philoso-
phy, medicine, and mathematics, became the
mark of distinction among the patrician
classes. Conversions inspired by social ambi-
tion should not be dismissed as mere oppor-
tunism: at its high point in the classical era,
the Islamic world was the most developed
and sophisticated society outside China. The
models of urbane sobriety and order it
offered would have exercised their own
appeal quite apart from conscious missionary
activity. Peoples on the fringes of the core
regions would have encountered the faith in

31
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

165° 150° 135° 120° 105° 90° 75° 60° 45° 30° 15°

70°
Arctic Circ Greenland
le

60°

Iceland
(to Denmark)
50°

Rupert’s Land SCOTLAND

IRELAND
ENGLAND
40° Newfoundland
New France
Nova Scotia FRANCE

British Colonies Madrid


PORTUGAL
30° Azores SPAIN

Madeira
ATLANTIC MOROCCO
Tropic of Cancer Florida
PACIFIC OCEAN Canary Is.
Bahamas S a h
OCEAN
V

20°
ic

e- Cuba
R Hispaniola
oy
al Belize Jamaica ARMA
ty Puerto Rico
of St. Louis
Cape Verde Is.
Ne TERKUR
SONGHAI

Mosquito w S KALI SEGU


10° Coast
pain Potugese
Guinea Mossi
Trinidad MALI states

ASHANTI

Santa Fé Elmina
de Bogotá


Quito
Vi

Recife
ce
-R

10° Lima Bahia


oy

Expansion 750–1700
al

La Paz
ty
of

Muslim expansion to 900


Peru

20° Muslim expansion to 1300


rn
Tropic of Caprico
Muslim expansion to 1500

Muslim expansion to 1700 Santiago

30° Muslim land lost by 1300

Muslim land lost by 1500

Muslim land lost by 1700

40°

50°

60°
165° 150° 135° 120° 105° 90° 75° 60° 45° 30° 15° 0

32
EXPANSION 751–1700

0° 15° 30° 45° 60° 75° 90° 105° 120° 135° 150° 165° 180° 165°
80°

ARCTIC
OCEAN 70°

AY
RW 60°
O
N
&
RK

EN S i b e r i a Okhotsk
DENMA

D
E
W St Petersburg 50°
R U S S I A N E M P I R E
S

Moscow
HOLY
POLAND
ROMAN
EMPIRE NOGAIS 40°
HUNGARY
KIRGHIZ
TU

UZ KALMYKS
RKO

BE
MA

Constantinople KS MANCHU
NS

KOREA JAPAN
PAPAL E CHINESE
STATES R
PI EMPIRE 30°
EM SAFAVID
OTTOMAN EMPIRE TIBET
MU
GH
Cairo A A
ra L Shan PACIFIC
h a r a States
b E Formosa
OCEAN
i MP
IRE 20°
a

Oman
Mecca
LA

ARAKAN AVA
OS

AN
FU

Philippine Is.
NA

YA
NJ

AIR KANEM- Goa


M

DARFUR
HA
ET HI O

BORNU WADAI MARATHA Manila


Yemen
AYUTT

TERRITORY
Hausa Hindu 10°
states AWSA
Kingdoms CAMBODIA
PI
A

OYO SAYLAN

OROMO ACEH
Malacca

Borneo 0°
Islamic
city states Celebes
Mombasa
INDIAN Sumatra Spice Is.

LUNDA LUBA
CONGO New Guinea
OCEAN MATARAM
Luanda Comoro Is.
Timor
10°
Mozambique

ROZWI
Madagascar
Mauritius
Bourbon
(Réunion) 20°
Delagoa Bay Fort Dauphin
New Holland

Cape Town
30°

40°

50°

60°
0° 15° 30° 45° 60° 75° 90° 105° 120° 135° 150° 165° 180° 165°

33
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Sunnis, Shiites, and Khariji 660–c. 1000


The major divisions of Islam, revolving decision to seek a compromise with
around the question of leadership, go back Muawiya provoked a rebellion among his
to the death of the Prophet but were intensi- more militant supporters, who came to be
fied by the first civil war (656–661) and its known as Kharijis (seceders). Though Ali
aftermath in the following generation defeated the Kharijis in July 658, enough of
(680–81). The first caliph, Abu Bakr, had them survived to continue the movement,
been one of the Prophet’s oldest companions which has lasted to this day in a moderate
and the father of his youngest wife, Aisha. version known as Ibadism. One of the
On the Prophet’s death he had been chosen Khariji leaders, Ibn Muljam, avenged his
by acclamation with the powerful support of comrades by murdering Ali in 661. Ali’s
Umar, an early convert and natural leader. elder son Hasan made an accommodation
When Abu Bakr died Umar’s caliphate was with the victorious Muawiya, who became
generally acknowledged, and it was during the first Umayyad caliph. On Muawiya’s
his ten-year reign that the Muslim state death in 680, when the succession passed to
began to take shape. Under Umar the ten- Muawiya’s son, Yazid, Ali’s younger son
sions resulting from the conquests, over the Hussein made an unsuccessful bid to restore
distribution of booty and the status of trib- the caliphate to the Prophet Muhammad’s
al leaders in the new Muslim order, began to closest descendants. The massacre of
surface. The tensions were kept in check Hussein and a small group of followers at
under Umar’s stern and puritanical rule but Karbala in 680 by Yazid’s soldiers provoked
would surface disastrously during the reign a movement of repentance among Ali’s sup-
of his successor, Uthman, who was mur- porters in Iraq. They became known as the
dered in Medina by disgruntled soldiers Shiites, the “partisans” of Ali.
returning from Egypt and Iraq. Though
renowned for his commitment to the new
religion as an early convert, Uthman was
linked to the Umayyad clan in Mecca that
had originally opposed Muhammad’s mes-
sage. He was accused of favoring his fellow
clansmen at the expense of more pious
Muslims. The latter congregated around The Mughal emperors and their descendants had
Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and closest surviv- an abiding interest in the history and wisdom of
ing male relative, who was already regarded their faith. This was expressed both in their
by some of his followers as the originally memoirs and in their paintings. By the mid-
designated successor to the Prophet, and 1600s, the Emperor Jahangir’s artists had
who now assumed the role of caliph. Ali’s developed a format in which two or more sages,
failure to punish Uthman’s assassins pro- or holy men, were depicted seated in discussion.
voked a rebellion by two of Muhammad’s Mughal artists did not shrink from depicting
closest companions, Talha and Zubayr, sup- fabled holy men from the past as if they were
ported by Aisha. Though he defeated Talha still alive. The figures in this painting represent
and Zubayr, Ali failed to overcome the Muslim orthodoxy, with the only
Uthman’s kinsman Muawiya, the governor nonconformist being the bare-headed dervish
of Syria, at the Battle of Siffin. His eventual seated at the lower left.

34
SUNNIS, SHIITES, AND KHARIJI 660–c. 1000

35
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Abbasid Caliphate under Harun al-Rashid


Byzantines kept them at bay. Upon becoming
caliph in 764, Harun established diplomatic
relations with Charlemagne (r. 742–814) and
the Byzantine emperor. Diplomatic and com-
mercial ties were also established with China.
Harun’s reign is often referred to as the Gold-
en Age, a period of significant cultural and lit-
erary activity during which the arts, Arabic
grammar, literature, and music flourished under
his patronage. Al-Rashid
figures prominently in the 20° 10°

famous literary compila-


tion One Thousand and
One Nights. Among his

40
°
courtiers were the poet
Abu Nuwas (d. 815), who
was renowned for his Li
sb
on
wine and his love poetry, Um
756 ayya To
–10 ds led
and the musician Ibrahim Sev 31 o
ille
al-Mawsili (d. 804). Abu Ta
Cor
Uma dova, c
ngi y ap
er Gib yad Em ital of
’l Hasan al-Kisai (d. 805), Rab ral irate
tar
at
who was tutor to al- Id
Tle
mc
789 risids en
–92
Rashid and his sons, was 6 Rus
Ma
rrak S 776 tamids
esh ijilmas –906
the leading Arabic gram- 30° sa

marian and Koran reciter


of his day. The classical
texts were translated from
Greek, Syriac, and other
A romanticized nineteenth- The reign of caliph Harun al-Rashid (r. languages into Arabic.
century portrait of Harun al- 764–809) marked the height of military con- Harun was famous for his
Rashid with an Ottoman-style quests and territorial acquisition under the largesse: a well-turned
mosque in the background. The Abbasids, with the caliphate extending from the poem could earn the gift
revival of the caliphate by the
boundaries of India and Central Asia to Egypt of a horse, a bag of gold, 20°

Ottoman sultans was intended


and North Africa. or even a country estate.
to grant them rights over the N
Harun rose through the ranks as a military His wife Zubaida was
Muslim subjects of European
commander before assuming the caliphate from famous for her charities,
powers to balance the rights
his murdered brother al-Hadi (r. 785–86) and especially for causing
claimed by the latter over the
sultan’s Christian subjects.
served variously as governor of Ifriqiya (mod- numerous wells to be dug
ern-day Tunisia), Egypt, Syria, Armenia, and on the pilgrimage route
Azerbaijan. His military campaigns against the from Iraq to Medina.

36
ABBASID CALIPHATE UNDER HARUN AL-RASHID

Sufism (Islamic mysticism) flourished under Barmaki family, led to a period of political
Abbasid Empire
the caliph. The famous ascetic and mystic and territorial decline. Harun’s decision to c. 850
Maruf al-Karkh (d. c.815) was among the lead- divide the empire between his two sons al- Extent of Abbasid Empire 786–809

ing expositors of Sufism in Baghdad. By con- Amin and al-Mamun, appointing the elder al- Other Muslim dynasties

trast, Harun instituted a policy of repressing the Amin (r. 809–813) as his successor, con- Islamic expansion 750–850
Shiites, who were thought to challenge this rule. tributed to a two-year civil war that was fol-
Byzantine Empire
The latter half of Harun’s reign was lowed by periods of continued instability and
Abbasid campaigns
marked by political instability. The granting insurrection. The reign of al-Mamun (r.
Islamic naval attacks
of semiautonomy to the governor of Ifriqiya, 813–833), though intellectually brilliant, was
Saffarid incursions
Ibrahim b. al-Aghlab, in 800, followed by marked by territorial decline and the waning
Qarmation expansion
Harun’s destruction of the all-powerful al- of Abbasid influence.

° °
0° 10° 20° 30° 40° 50° 60° 70 80

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831 M
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Messina o 821– ST
Tunis
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Kairo 762–805 Edessa A t a han arid
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Aghla SY m a
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800–9bids
878 i Sus 867
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Baghdsid capital
ri

870 871
876
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er ra uz
r a 825 us 762 905 Bas IA rm
Damasc S Ho
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PE
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t
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ab
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Tulunids
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868–905
EGYPT
H dh
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JA Med s
ation
Z Qarm–1200 ul
a
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n Pen
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e Mec Ara
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Tropic of Cancer
N
S a h S
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a r a a OC
D e s e r t IA
N
D
IN
EN
A EM
F Y n
R A Ade
I C Khartou
m

37
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Spread of Islam, Islamic Law, and Arabic Language


The rapid spread of Islam acted as a formida- Being the language of the Koran, Arabic
ble force of change in the Old World. By the was carried to the new converts. Becoming
end of the reign of Umar ibn al-Khattab (d. the lingua franca of medieval Islam, the dis-
644), the whole of the Arabian Peninsula was tinctiveness of Arabic was evident in all
conquered, together with most of the Sasan- spheres of high culture, from religious to
ian Empire, as well as the Syrian and Egyptian legal, official, intellectual, and literary dic-
provinces of Byzantium. Following the tragic tions. While in the western provinces Arabic
Battle of Karbala, which led to the death of dominated the vernacular dialects, Persian
Imam al-Hussein (AD 680), a new phase was remained in use eastward; witnessing a liter-
ushered in with the making of the Umayyad ary revival in the tenth century AD with the
Empire (661–750), which eventually extended unfurling of an Arabo-Persian idiom, which
its dominion from the Ebro River in Spain to became prevalent across Iran as well as
the Oxus Valley in Central Asia. Claiming uni- Transoxiana and northern India.
versal authority over far-reaching frontiers, A theme that recurs in this formative peri-
the Umayyad dynasty took Damascus as its od of Islamic thought is the relationship,
capital city, and remained virtually unchal- often tense, between revelation and reason.
lenged in its reign until the rise of the Abbasid Under the Abbasid caliph al-Mamun (r.
caliphate with its capital in Baghdad 813–833) there existed a group of theologians
(749–1258). While Spain continued to be known as the Mutazila. They had absorbed
under Umayyad rule (756–1031), new regional the work of Greek philosophers and adopted
powers confronted the Abbasid hegemony, like a rationalist style of argumentation that
the Fatimids in Egypt (909–1171), and the equated God with pure reason. For the
Saljuqs in Iran and Iraq (1038–1194), along Mutazila the world created by God operated
with waves of Crusader invaders in the Levant. according to rational principles humans could
Numerous traditions in thought flourished, understand by exercising reason. As free
like the Sunni schools of legal reasoning agents, humans were morally responsible for
(hanafi, maliki, shafii, hanbali) and the their actions, and since good and evil had
“Twelver Shiite” lineage descending from the intrinsic value, God’s justice was constrained
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661). The upsurge in by universal laws. They held to the view that
intellectual activities was also marked by the the Koran was created in time, inspired by
founding of the mutazila and ashari methods of God in Muhammad, but not part of his
kalam, in addition to the maturation of philos- essence. Their opponents, the hadith scholars,
ophy, the sciences, and mysticism. Many insisted that the Koran was “uncreated” and
notable centers of learning were established, coeternal with God. They believed it was not
along with associated productions of manu- for man to question God’s injunctions or
scripts, like al-Azhar in Cairo, the Zaytuna in explore them intellectually, and that all
Tunis, the Qarawiyyin in Fez, the coteries of human action was ultimately predetermined.
Córdoba in Andalusia, the schools of Najaf and The Mutazili view, buttressed by the mihna
Karbala in Iraq, and those of Qumm and Mash- (an “inquisition” or test applied to ulama and
had in Iran. public officials), held sway for a period. How-

38
SPREAD OF ISLAM, ISLAMIC LAW, AND ARABIC LANGUAGE

ever, it was reversed under


his successor al-Mutawakil
(r. 847–61) as a result of
populist pressures focused
on the heroic figure of
Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855)
who resisted imprisonment
and torture to defend the
“uncreated” Koran. A kind
of compromise between
reason and revelation was
reached in the work of Abul
Hasan al-Ashari (d. 935).
He used rationalistic meth-
ods to defend the “uncreat-
ed” Koran and allowed for a
degree of human responsi-
bility. However, the conse-
quences of the Mutazili
defeat were far reaching.
The caliphs ceased to be the
ultimate authorities in doc-
trinal matters. Mainstream
Sunni theologians espoused
the command theory of
ethics: an act is right
because God commands it,
God does not command it
because it is right. Mutazil-
ism is a term of abuse for
many conservative Islamists,
especially in Saudi Arabia,
which follows the Hanbali
tradition in law.

The courtyard at al-Azhar in


Cairo, founded by the Shiite
Fatimids in 970. Al-Azhar became
the foremost center of Sunni
scholarship and an important
source of manuscripts.

39
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Successor States to 1100


autonomy in return for an annual tribute,
founded a dynasty that lasted until 909. The
puritanical Kharijis, who held to the princi-
ple of an elected imam or caliph, established
independent states based in Wargala oasis,
Tahert, and Sijilmassa. Of Tahert, destroyed

10°
Ta
he Ro
rt
me

Tu
nis

Ifriqiy
This clay model clearly shows
the physical features that Arab
and Persian commentators noted
as typical of the Turkish soldiers M

a
Tr ed
ipo
recruited by the caliphs. li it
er
ra
A ne
an
f
Even at its maximum extent the Abbasid
r
Empire failed to contain the whole Islamic
world. In Spain an independent dynasty had i
been founded by an Umayyad survivor, Abd c
al-Rahman I (r. 756–788). A grandson of the a
Caliph Hisham, he escaped the massacre of
his kinsmen and after various adventures
made his way to the peninsula. Here he per-
suaded feuding Arabs and Berbers to accept Post-Imperial Successor
him as their leader, instead of the governor Regimes late 10th Century
sent by the Abbasids. In what is now Moroc- Abbasid Caliphate c. 900

co, a descendant of Ali and Fatima, Idris bin Byzantine Empire

Abdullah, who escaped from Arabia after Fatimids


the failure of a Shiite revolt in 786, arrived at
Hamadanids
the old Roman capital of Volubilis. Here he
Buyids
formed a tribal coalition, which rapidly con-
Samanids
quered southern Morocco. His son Idris II
founded Fez in 808. In Tunisia (Ifriqiya) the Ghurids

descendants of Ibrahim ibn Aghlab, Harun


al-Rashid’s governor, who had been granted

40
SUCCESSOR STATES TO 1100

by the Fatimids in the tenth century, the At the heart of the empire, however, polit-
chronicler Ibn Saghir wrote: ical and religious tensions were rife. The dis-
“There was not a foreigner who stopped in puted succession between Harun’s sons
the city but settled among them and built in Amin and Mamun led to a civil war that last-
their midst, attracted by the plenty there, the ed a decade, weakening the Abbasid armies
equitable conduct of the Imam, his just behav- and the institution of the caliphate. Though
ior toward those under his charge, and the Mamun won the war, his attempt to impose
security enjoyed by all in person and property.” the Mutazili doctrine of the “created” Koran

20° 30° 40° 50° 60° 70° 80°


E u 50°
r o
p e
Vo

i a
lga

A s
Blac
k Se
Con a
stan
BY tino
ple
Aral
ZA Sea
NT
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Ath IN na
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ens E E
Sm
p ian

yrn MP Khwarizm r
a
IRE A rm eni a Fa us)
(Ox gar
Tiflis Kash 40°
Sea

arya
Tr ns Sy
rD
a ox Samarkan
d
Bukhara ia n
a
A

Alepp Tabriz
m

u
Se o Mosul D
ar
a Syria Daylam ya
Balkh
Eu

Tabaristan Khurasan Kabul


ph

Alex
Tig r
ra

and
ria
te

Rayy Ghazni
s
is

Samarra
Qom Herat
Jerus Baghdad
Afghanistan
alem
Cair Karbala
o Isfahan
Iraq an
Egy
pt Basra Mult
Ahwaz 30°
Sistan
us

Shiraz
Ind

Pe Fa Kirman Indi
a
rs
ia rs
n
A r a b Gu
i a Bahrain lf
R e

He

r
f Cance
jaz

Medina
Tropic o
d

O
ma
n
S e

Mecca
a

Arabian 20°
Nu Sea N
bia

t
au
am
d hr
Ha
Y
em

e n

41
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

met with strong resistance from the populist Mamun’s most effective general, Tahir,
ulama (religious scholars) grouped around established a hereditary governorate. To off-
Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. For the latter, who saw set the power of the Tahirids Mamun’s suc-
the divine text as “uncreated” or eternal, the cessor Mutasim relied increasingly on merce-
doctrine of the created Koran derogated naries recruited from Turkish-speaking
from the idea of the Koran as God’s speech. tribes in Central Asia—a practice that has-
They looked to the Koran and the emerging tened the breakup of the empire and the
corpus of hadiths (traditions or reports establishment of de facto tribal dynasties.
about the Prophet Muhammad) as the sole The construction of a new capital at Samar-
sources of religious authority, with them- ra further isolated the caliph from his sub-
selves as qualified interpreters. They regard- jects. By the end of the tenth century the
ed the caliph as the executive of the will of Abbasid caliphs were mainly titular mon-
the community, not the source of its beliefs. archs, their legitimacy challenged by
As the caliph’s religious authority weak- claimants in the line of Ali. The most radical
ened, so did his political and economic con- of these movements, the Qaramatians,
trol. In cultivated regions including Iraq the fomented peasant and nomad rebellions in
system of iqta (tax-farming) built up a class Iraq, Syria, and Arabia in the name of a mes-
of landlords at the expense of central gov- siah descended from Ali through his descen-
ernment. In Iran and the eastern provinces dant Ismail bin Jaafar. In the 920s the Qara-

Ta 10° 20° 30° 40° 50° 60° 70° 80°


he Ro E u 50°
rt me r o
p e
a
BY

Tu
Vo

nis s i
l ga
Ifriqiy

A
Z

Blac
A

N Con k Se
a
T stan
IN tinop Aral
le Sea
Ath E
Ca s

M ens EM
Tr a
ipo ed Smy han
p ian

PI Khwarizm rg
a

li rna RE A rm eni a Fa
it

ya
er Tiflis gar 40°

ar
Kash
Sea

D
Tr

A ra Sy
r
ne ns
a

an ies Bukhara ox Sa markand


t
f Se Local dynas ia n
a
A

a Alepp Mosul Tabriz m


u
o Da
r Syria Daylam ry a
Merv Balkh
Eu

Ale Tabaristan Kabul


ph

i xan Khurasan Ghazni


ra

dria te
s Samarra Rayy
c Jerus Baghdad Qom Herat
alem an
a Cair Karbala Afghanist
o Isfahan
Iraq an
Egy Basra Mult
pt Ahwaz 30°
Post-Imperial Successor Sistan
s

Shiraz
du

Regimes early 11th Century


In

Pe Fa Kirman Indi
a
rs
ia rs
Byzantine Empire A r a b n
Gu
i a
R e

Bahrain lf
He

r
Medina of Cance
jaz

Fatimids Tropic
O
d

ma
n
Qarkhanids Mecca
S e

Arabian 20°
a

Buyids Nu N
bia Sea

Ghaznavids
t
au
m
ra
dh
Ha
Y
em

en

42
SUCCESSOR STATES TO 1100

matians, who created an independent state in Turkish tribe of Qarluqs, led by the
Bahrain, shocked the whole Muslim world by Qaraqanid dynasty, which he did his best to
pillaging Mecca and carrying off the Black confine to the Oxus basin in the north. Mah-
Stone. In 969 Egypt—already semi-inde- mud crossed the Indus Valley, establishing
pendent under Ibn Tulun and his successors, permanent rule in the Punjab, and conducted
the Ikhshids—was taken over by the Ismaili raids into northwestern India, plundering
Fatimids, who established a new caliphate cities and destroying numerous works of art
under a “living imam” descended from Ali as idolatrous. This earned him a fearsome
and Ismail. In northern Syria and the Upper reputation as a ghazi against the infidel. On
Tigris the bedouin Arab Hamdan family— his western front, in the lands of “old Islam”
also Shiite—ruled a semi-autonomous, he pushed the Buyids back almost to the fron-
sometimes independent, state. In Khurasan tiers of Iraq.
and Transoxiana the Samanid family
replaced the Tahirids as defenders of the
mixed Arab-Persian high culture against
incoming nomadic tribes. Even in the central
heartlands of the empire—Iraq and western
Iran—the caliphs were virtual prisoners of
the Shiite Buyids, a warrior clan from Day-
lam, south of the Caspian.
In Inner Asia, where the Samanids had
established a flourishing capital in Bukhara,
the adoption of Islam by Turk-
ish-speaking tribes subverted the
role of the Samanids as ghazis.
These were frontier warriors
entrusted with the defense of
Islam against nomadic incur-
sions. The practice of recruiting warrior-
slaves, known as mamluks or ghulams, from
mountainous or arid regions hastened the
disintegration of the empire. When
power declined at the center, the
mamluks went on to establish
their own “slave-dynasties.”
Thus the Ghaznavids who supplant-
ed their former Samanid overlords in
Mahmud of Ghazna crosses the Ganges. The
Khurasan started as slave-soldiers in the fron- Ghaznavids, Turkish military governors, enjoyed great
tier region of Ghazna, south of Kabul. When renown in later times as the first to extend Muslim
the Samanid regime collapsed in 999, Mah- power into India. This image is from the Compendium of
mud of Ghazna (r. 998–1030), son of a slave- Chronicals, composed for the vizier Rashid al-Din in the
governor, divided their territory with the early fourteenth century.

43
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

The Saljuq Era


Despite challenges to their authority and the loss Khurasan, laying the foundations of the Saljuq
of military and effective political power, the Empire. Defeating the Buyids in 1055 they took
Abbasid caliphs retained immense prestige in the control of Baghdad, where the caliph crowned
eyes of most townspeople and many of the tribes their leader Tughril Beg Sultan in acknowledg-
as the lawful successors to the
Prophet and heads of the Muslim 20° 30°
HU
NG
community. The division of the AR
Y
world into Dar al-Islam and Dar
ZE
( S E TA
al-Harb facilitated the spread of RB
IA)
Islam centripetally as well as cen- H E N
P E C
trifugally: when tribes from the
40°
margins who encountered Muslim Sof
ia
merchants, scholars, or wandering Sal
oni Co
ka nst Blac
Sufis, accepted Islam the caliphs ant
ino k
ple
tended to legitimize their rule, Sino
pe
appointing their leaders as gover-
nors. Conversion civilized the
SA L
J UQ
nomadic and pastoral peoples by fro m
S OF
RUM
1095
subjecting them formally (if not
always in practice) to the Sharia M
ed
Following the rapid advance of law, reducing the cultural differences between ite Antioch
rra
ne
the Saljuqs into Anatolia, Konya the peoples of the desert and steppes and those an
Sea
(formerly Iconium) became their of the cities and settled regions. Tribes recently 30°
capital. This elaborately converted often became the greatest builders and S U Acre
decorated portal from the Ince L A
patrons of Islamic high culture in art, architec- Y N Jerus
alem
Minare Madrasa shows the
ture, and literature. At the same time conversion
extraordinary richness of the Cairo
made it difficult for rulers to defend their heart-
Saljuq style. The “Slender E g
lands from nomadic predators, since if the y p
Minaret” from which the school t
nomads were no longer infidels the jihad (strug- FA T
IMID
takes its name was partially CA L
gle or “holy war”) launched against them lost its IPH
destroyed by lightning in 1900. AT E
Trop
ic of R
raison d’être. Can
cer
e
Two Turkish-speaking peoples, the Qarluqs
d
Nile

and the Oghuz, established states that made sig-


nificant contributions to this process. In Tran- 20°

soxiana the Qaraqanid dynasty accepted the N

nominal authority of the Abbasid caliphs,


becoming the patrons of a new Turkish culture
derived in part from Arab and Persian models.
After defeating the Ghaznavids the Oghuz peo-
ple, led by the Saljuq family, became the rulers of

44
THE SALJUQ ERA

ment of his supreme authority. In exchange for Crusade in 1096. Although the Saljuqs con-
formal recognition, the sultans agreed to uphold quered half of Anatolia, laying the foundations
Islamic law and defend Islam from its external for later Ottoman-Turkish rule, their system of
enemies. The massive defeat inflicted by the authority was too fragmented to maintain the
Saljuqs on the Byzantine army at Manzikert in unity of the empire, or to defend the frontiers of
1071 was one of the factors leading to the First Islam against further nomadic incursions.

40° 50° 60° 70° 80° 90°

E G S
Sarkel
Vo

1028–38 S
U R
lg
a

G H
t o C h e r n i g ov U I
K H A Z
A R S
Aral
Sea Sea
gar
r rya Kash
Otra Da
Ca

.A

Ca yr

S
mu D

uc
a su Urgench kent
sp

Trebizo sM Tash
nd
a

ry
ia

ou a
nta
n

D A NI ins d
SHME rkan
ND Sama
Se

EMIR
na
soxia
AT E
Dandangan Bukhara Tran
a

from 109 sh
5 Manzikert
108 Ku
0 1071
du
in
Merv H
Aleppo Mosul Balkh
l
Kabu war
Homs Nishapu
r Pesha
Eu

1042
ph

ot
ra

Damasc
te
s
Rayy Sialk
2
us 1040–4

Hamadan
Baghdad Kermanshah
Isfahan
I r a q
s
du

Shiraz
In

A R A B
Pe

S
rs

a
i

n Siraf
G
ul
Medina f The Saljuq Era
Major Saljuq campaign
A O Muscat
r a b i m Saljuq sultanate at its
a a n maximum extent, c. 1090

Mecca Byzantine Empire, c. 1095


S

Sea Territory lost to Byzantine


bian
e

Ara Empire and Crusader


states, 1097–99
a

Extent of the Khwarizm


Shahdom, c. 1220

45
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Military Recruitment 900–1800


The recruitment of armies from the peripher- military rulers had no ethnic, cultural, lin-
al regions, mainly from the steppelands of guistic, or historical connection with the peo-
inner Asia, the Caucasus, and the Balkans, ples over whom they ruled, society tended to
became the most distinctive feature of the develop outside the purview of the state, with
Islamic systems of governance until modern the ulama—the religious scholars and experts
times. Known as mamluks—“owned ones”— on law—merging with merchant and
these warriors were purchased as slaves from landowning families to form elites of nota-
the highlands and steppes or captured from bles whose prestige was dependent on reli-
defeated tribes. Brought in as the sultan’s pri- gious knowledge. While allowing a form of
vate armies and palace bodyguards, they were civil society to develop separately from the
taught the rudiments of the Islamic faith and military state, the practice of mamlukism
culture and trained in the military arts. militated against the type of communal loy-
Attaching the word “slave” to mamluks (as in alties or patriotisms that would emerge in
“slave-warriors” or “slave-dynasties”) is Western Europe at a later period. The pattern
somewhat misleading. Though mamluks and
ghulams (household slaves) were bought and
0° T H E 15°
sold as personal property, their social position
Paris H O LY R O M A N
reflected that of their masters, rather than E M P I R E Buda
AT L A N T I C
their own servile status. Eventually manumit- FRANCE
OCEAN
Venice
ted they became freedmen, clients of their for-
Milan
mer masters entitled to property rights, mar-
Santiago Marseilles
riage, and personal security, with some of
Corsica Rome
them rising to become rulers. Madrid Barcelona
PORTUGAL Naples
The practice of mamlukism started with S PA I N Balearic Is. Sardinia
Lisbon
the Abbasid caliphs, who recruited tribes i t
e d e
from Transoxiana, Armenia, and North M r
r
Sicily
Algiers Tunis a
Africa to offset the power of the Tahirids. Ceuta n
ALGIERS TUNIS e
They balanced these tribes with Turkish ghu- a

lams who were purchased individually before


being trained and drafted into regiments
5 A F R I C A
under individual commanders. Since they
were housed in separate cantonments, with
their own mosques and markets, their alle- S a h a r a
giance was to their commanders, rather than
to the caliphs. In the breakup of the empire Military Recruitment c. 1500
after 945 the practice was adopted by the de- Movements of troops
facto rulers who inherited the political power
1 Janissaries, from Balkans
of the Abbasids. All the post-Abbasid states
in the East—the Buyids, Ghaznavids, Qara- 2 Circassians, from Caucasus

qanids, and Saljuqs—were created by ethnic 3 Turkic nomads, from Central Asia
minorities, including mercenaries from the
4 Al-Qaitis, from Yemen
Caspian region, and Turkish and other
nomadic peoples from inner Asia. Since new 5 South Atlas, from South Atlas Mountains

46
MILITARY RECRUITMENT 900–1800

of recruiting erstwhile nomadic predators to the Circassians in the Caucasus) the Egyptian
defend society against other nomads—of mamluks resisted becoming absorbed into the
making “wolves into sheepdogs”—is found ranks of the indigenous elites. For the most
throughout the Muslim heartlands, from the part they remained a one-generation aristoc-
Maghreb to the Indus Valley. racy, without ties of blood to the rest of
The system of military slavery reached its Egyptian society.
fullest development in Egypt, a densely popu- Under the Ottomans military slavery
lated country of peasant cultivators without evolved in a somewhat different direction.
an indigenous military class. The system was From the late fourteenth century the sultans
institutionalized so successfully that mamluk began to offset the power of their sipahi cav-
rule lasted for more than two and a half cen- alry units levied from the estates of the nobil-
turies (1250–1517), and resurfaced in a mod- ity or recruited as mercenaries from Arabic,
ifed form under the Ottomans (1517–1811). Kurdish, and Farsi-speaking nomads, an
By constantly replenishing their ranks from infantry corps of “new troops”, Janissaries,
abroad (firstly from among the Kipchak levied mainly from its Christian provinces in
Turks from Central Asia, later from among the Balkans. The levy (known as the

30° 45° 60° 75° 90°


POLAND-LITHUANIA Sarai-Berke
MOLDAVIA
Pest KHANATE
KHANATE
HUNGARY OF CRIMEA
OF ASTRAKHAN
Crimea Aral 15°
Sea
1 WALLACHIA
2 Caspian MONGOLISTAN
Sofia B l a c k S e a
Tiflis Sea 3
Constantinople Kucha
C

a Shemakha Tashkent
O u
ca U Z
T su Baku B E K H S
T s
O M E
A N E M PIR
SA Balkh Kashgar
Morea Athens
Adalia F A Tabriz
Aleppo V
Mosul I Kabul
Crete
D

Cyprus
a n
S
KHORASAN KASHMIR
e a
Baghdad E Isfahan PUNJAB
TIBET
M LO
P DI
Alexandria IR SU
E
LT

MULTAN 30°
AN

EMP IRE OF Cairo


TE
A
Pe

Delhi NEPAL
Bandar Abbas OF
rs

MA MLUK E S DE
LHI
i

a RAJPUTANA
N A r a b i a n Hormuz
Gul BIHAR
ile

f
Re

SIND
BUNDEL-
d

MALWA KHAND
Muscat BENGAL
GUJERAT
Se

Mecca Diu
a

Arabian
Damah BERAR
Suakin Sea
ORISSA Bay of
UT AHMADNAGAR BIDAR GOLCONDA Bengal
MA Hyderabad
RA BIJAPUR
YEMEN DH
HA 45°
4
VIJAYANAGAR
ABYSSINIA

47
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

devshirme) was conducted in the villages


about every four years: the towns were usual-
ly exempt, as the sons of townsfolk were con-
sidered too well educated or insufficiently
hardy. Boys between 13 and 18 were selected
(although there are reports of children as
young as 8 being chosen). Since married men
were exempt, the Orthodox peasants often
married off their children very young to avoid
the levy. The selected boys (estimates are put
at around 20 percent) were given Muslim
identities and trained in the arts of war, with
the brightest selected for personal service to
the sultan, where they often rose to be rulers
of the empire. Although slave recruitment
ceased in the 1640s the Janissaries continued
to prosper, with increasing numbers of Mus-
lim-born boys joining their ranks. Having
substantial commercial interests, salaries, and
state-funded pensions they became a privi-
leged and tyrannical elite, resistant to change.
In 1826 Sultan Mahmud II used his newly
formed military force to slaughter most of
them at a muster in Istanbul.

The Janissary corps, dressed in their gold finery, parade at


a court reception. Originally recruited from the Christian
Balkans, the Janissaries became a formidable power
within the state. Sultan Mahmud II abolished the
Janissaries in 1826, as part of his program of
modernization.

48
MILITARY RECRUITMENT 900–1800

49
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Fatimid Empire 909–1171


10°

The Shiite Ismaili caliphate of the Fatimids was the Fatimid caliphate

established in Ifriqiya in the Maghreb when a embarked on its decline.
group of Kutama Berbers accepted the claims of Northern Syria was
Abdallah al-Mahdi to be the rightful descen- irrevocably lost in
dant of Ali and Fatima and rose against the 1060. By then,

a l-
An
Aghlabids in 909. By 921, al-Mahdi had settled the Fatimids

da

rd

lus
in his new capital city of Mahdiyya on the were con-

ob
E

a
AT
coastline of Ifriqiya. As successors to the Agh- fronted E MI
R
D
labids, the Fatimids also inherited their fleet and with the YA
AY
UM

Ag
the island of Siqilliyya (Sicily). By the end of al- grow-

a
di
r
M
Mahdi’s reign (909–934), the Fatimid state ing

ag
hr
extended from present-day Algeria and Tunisia

eb
to the Libyan coast of Tripolitania. The third

F
A
Fatimid caliph al-Mansur (r. 946–953) built a
Tu Sicil

T
n
new capital city named Mansuriyya after him- Ka is
iro
y

I
ua
n
self. Situated near Sabra to the south of M

M
ah
diy
ya
Qayrawan, Mansuriyya served as the Fatimid

I
capital from 948 until 973.

D
S Tr
ipo
Fatimid rule was firmly established in North a li

C
Africa only during the reign of the fourth mem- h

A
ber of the dynasty al-Muizz (r. 953–975), who

L
a
transformed the Fatimid caliphate from a menace r
regional power into a great empire. He suc- of the Saljuq a
ceeded in subduing the entire Maghreb, with Turks, who were
the exception of Sabra, before concerning him- laying the foundations
self with the conquest of Egypt, an objective of a new empire. In 1071,
attained in 969. A new Fatimid capital city was Damascus became the capital of
built outside Fustat; it was initially called the new Saljuq principality of Syria and
Mansuriyya, but renamed al-Qahira al- Palestine. By the end of al-Mustansir’s rule, of
Muizziyya (Cairo), “The Victorious City of al- the former Fatimid possessions in Syria and
Muizz,” when the caliph took possession of his Palestine, only Ascalon and a few coastal
new capital in 973. The extension of Fatimid towns, like Acre and Tyre, still remained in
power in Syria became the primary foreign pol- Fatimid hands. By 1048, the Zirids, ruling over
icy objective of al-Muizz’s son and successor al- Ifriqiya on behalf of the Fatimids, placed them-
Aziz (r. 975–996). By the end of his reign, the selves under Abbasid suzerainty. By 1070, when
Fatimid Empire had attained, at least nominal- they lost Sicily to the Normans, Barqa had
ly, its greatest extent, with Fatimid suzerainty become the western limit of the Fatimid Empire,
being recognized from the Atlantic and the which soon became effectively limited to only
western Mediterranean to the Red Sea, the Egypt. Ascalon, the last Fatimid foothold in
Hejaz, Syria, and Palestine. By 1038, the Syria-Palestine, was lost to the Franks in 1153.
Fatimids had also extended their authority to Fatimid rule ended in 1171, when Salah al-Din
the emirate of Aleppo. (Saladin), who became the last Fatimid vizier
In the long reign of al-Mustansir (1036–94), after taking over Egypt, had the khutba (ser-

50
FATIMID EMPIRE 909–1171

mon) read in Cairo in the name of the reigning


Fatimid Empire and other
Abbasid caliph while the last Fatimid caliph, al- Islamic States c.1000
Adid (r. 1160–71), lay dying in his palace.
Fatimid Empire c. 1000

Abbasid caliphate at its


greatest extent
Ceramic bowl from Fustat (Cairo), tenth–eleventh
Abbasid caliphate, c. 900
century. The lusterware design has
10°
characteristically Fatimid motifs, with a hare Major battle

at the center and the sides decorated


with stylized plants.
20°

80°
30°
BY

70°
40°
ZA

50° 60°
N
T
IN

KHAZAR
E

B l a S Aral S yr
Talas
Da
Ca

c k
S e a TURKS Sea r

ya
40°
sp

Con
stant
inople
ia

Am
u
n

Da
r ya
EM Tiflis Derbend
PI and
RE Samark
M
Bukhara
Se

e Erzurum
D S
d
A N I
a

i t Tarsu
e s S A M
r r
Tabriz Ardabil Balkh
Ale Merv
Antio ppo Edess
a n
Bar a
Ti

qa e a ch
gr

is
n Mosul r
Nishapu l
Kabu
S e
a
Eu

Rayy
ph

I Herat ni
Jalula Ghaz
at
r

Tyre Dama es Nehavend


P scus
Acr BUWAYHID EMIRATES
H Asca e Kerbela 30°
Alex lo
andr n ZN I
Je -d OF GHA Mult
an
MAHMUD
A ia 977 rusalem Baghda Isfahan
Helio Susa
T Cair p o lis
E Faiy o 969
um
971 Basra
s
u

Istakar
Ind

Tabu
k
Pe
rs
Nil

ncer
of Ca
ia
Tropic
e

n
KA

RM Gu
lf
AT
r

Medina IA Sea
Arabian
Badr NS Suhar
Muscat
a

20°
b

M AK
KURA
Re

Mecca
i

Dong
d

ola
Se

a
a

Najran AN
Soba OCE
IAN
IND
N

0 300 km
10°
Aden 0 300 miles

51
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Trade Routes c. 700–1500


Muhammad is said to have traveled outside the frequency with which such measures were
Arabia as a merchant. His tribe, the Quraish, denounced as illegal, oppressive, and unjust
who led the Arab conquests, were among the indicates that the general temper remained
foremost traders in the peninsula. Merchants favorable to mercantile activity, even under
continued to be held in high esteem, often adverse political conditions.
marrying into the families of ulama, who they Initially the Arab conquest had the effect of
supported by endowing their educational bringing two oceanic trade routes—through
institutions. Islamic rituals favor commercial the Persian Gulf and Red Sea—within a single
activity. Mosques are often adjacent to mar- market based on common law, language, and
kets, and though Friday is the day for congre- currency. Under the Abbasids the most attrac-
gational prayer, it was not treated as a sab- tive route for goods from East and South Asia
bath until recent times. Markets opened to the Mediterranean went up the Tigris to
before and after the noonday prayer. Since the Baghdad, or up the Euphrates to an easy
whole male population was gathered in town, portage to Aleppo and from there to a Syrian
Fridays were good days for doing business. port such as Antioch. The towns along these
Similarly, the pilgrimages to Mecca (umra and routes depended on the exchange of commodi-
hajj), where Muslims from distant parts of ties for their existence.
the world meet each other, have always been a The Mesopotamian cities absorbed luxury
facilitator of trade. Pilgrims would finance goods from India and China. These were sold
the long and arduous journey (which in pre- in the markets alongside necessities such as
modern times could take half a lifetime) by food grains, fuel, timber, and cooking oils.
trading goods or working as artisans. Mer- Mesopotamia was also the terminus of the
chants would join the pilgrim caravans to sell chief land route to China and India as well as
their goods in the Hejaz. north to the Volga basin and the well-watered
By bringing vast areas of territory and lands of Eastern Europe, sources of fur, amber,
coastlands under a single government, the metal goods, and hides. In the earliest period
Arab conquests created an enormous area of Muslim ships from ports such as Basra or
free trade, facilitating the expansion of trade Hormuz went all the way to China, returning
far beyond the empire’s borders. The extent of after two or three years with cargoes such as
this trade has been revealed by archaeology, silk, porcelain, jade, and other valuables. How-
with significant numbers of coins from ever, as the trade became more sophisticated
Abbasid times discovered in Scandinavia, and merchants no longer traded directly with
Chinese silks and ceramics found in burial sites Guangzhou (Canton) and Hangzhou, but
in western Asia. Muslim merchants were not acquired goods from China at ports in Java,
subject to tariffs within the empire. Foreign Sumatra, or the Malabar coast.
merchants who entered the lands of Islam were Muslim merchants from the Maghreb
subject to the same rates imposed on Muslim were active in the gold trade, which took
merchants in their homelands. The new elite of them across the Sahara Desert to the Sahel
the caliphal courts, with their demand for lux- cities of Timbuktu and Gao, and beyond, to
ury goods, boosted trade. Though the breakup the goldfields of western Africa. The chain
of the empire led to economic decline in some of commercial centers established by Muslim
areas, with rival dynasties augmenting their traders on the east African coast, including
budgets by imposing extra taxes and tariffs, Lamu, Malindi, and the island of Zanzibar,

52
TRADE ROUTES c. 700–1500

extended as far south as Sofala in modern The land routes linking western Asia and
Mozambique. Intrepid Muslim travelers the Mediterranean with eastern and south-
penetrated the African interior in search of ern Asia were just as important as the mar-
gold, slaves, ivory, rare woods, and precious itime routes. With many cities landlocked or
stones centuries before Europeans followed distant from rivers and oceans, even bulky
in their paths. items had to be carried by animals. Careful
When the decline of Abbasid power and planning was needed before the caravans set
the incursions of Turkish tribesmen made out on long journeys. Food had to be pro-
the trans-Syrian route less secure the alter- cured for animals and humans, and nomadic
native water route, via the Red Sea and the tribes had to be hired as guards. In remote
Nile, came into prominence. It was the more areas networks of khans (overnight resting

By the 1500s, the Ottoman


Empire, with its capital at Con-
stantinople, had become one of
the Islamic world’s most impor-
tant trading centers. The sultan’s
court, together with his advisors,
took careful account of annual
trade.

difficult as the land route from the Gulf of places) or khaniqas (Sufi lodges) provided
Suez to the Nile was more arduous than the food and hospitality. Some were built like
route across Syria, except for a brief period fortresses for defense against Bedouin
when the Mamluk sultans revived an ancient marauders. The vast distances over rough
canal originally dug by the pharaohs. Red terrain, combined with the breakdown in
Sea ports such as Aden, Jidda, Aydhab, and territorial authority, made road construction
Qulzum benefited from this trade, as did impracticable. Even by late Roman times,
Cairo and Alexandria. Trade on the Indian wheeled traffic had all but disappeared. The
Ocean was monopolized by Muslims until results can be seen in many of the cities of
the arrival of the Portuguese, followed by western Asia and North Africa. Before mod-
the English and Dutch from the sixteenth ern times few of them had boulevards broad
century onward. enough for carts or carriages.

53
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

30° 15° 0° 15° LAPP R E I N DE


30°E R 45° 60°
H E R DE R S

Iceland

WA -
NOR ARK
(Denmark)

Y
EN
ED

M
SW

DEN
60°
RU S S I A
SCOTLAND

ARS
TAT
ENGLAND POLAND-
KA ZAN
HOLY LITHUANIA
ROMAN
A T LA N T I C O CE AN NOG
EMPIRE AIS
AN
HUNGARY
A KH
S
FRANCE TR AR Astrakhan
45°
Venice AS TAT

TUR
Pisa O
Marseille Rome TT Edirne
OM

KO
VENICE Constantinople
AN

M
PAPAL
SPAIN NS

A
STATES Amalfi Bursa EMP
PORTUGAL IRE
Azores Denia Ardabil
(Port.) Cordoba Konya Tabriz
Algiers Tunis Palermo Izmir Lajazzo Nishapur
Almeria
ALGIERS Kairouan
Mahdia Crete Cyprus Samarra Damghan
Tlemcen Damascus
Fez TUNIS Baghdad S A F AV I D
Meknes Tripoli
Marrakech TRIPOLI Jerusalem
Basra
EMPIRE
30° MOROCCO Cairo

A
Siwa

R
Canary Is. Sijilmasa

A
(Spain)

B
Ghat
N
Tropic of Cancer Kubra Medina O M
C A M E Muscat
L A
N O M D OMAN
A D Mecca S
S
Suakin GHARRA
FUNJ
Timbuktu MAHRA
Cape Verde Is. Sanaa
15° (Port.) SENEGAL SONGHAI KANEM-
Soba HADRAMAUT
Abeche
YEMEN
Cacheu BORNU
(Portugal) MOSSI Aden
MALI STATES HAUSA WADAI DARFUR
STATES Zaila
ADAL
AKAN

OYO ETHIOPIA
N
NI

Benin
BE

Elmina Galla
(Portugal) Fernando Póo DROMO
(Port.)
Mogadishu

Lamu

LUBA Mombasa
(Portugal)
CONGO LUNDA Zanzibar
ISLAMIC
CITY-STATES

15°
Madagascar

54
TRADE ROUTES c. 700–1500

75° 90° 105° 120° 135° 150° 165°

Trade Routes and Empires


c. 1500
SIBERIAN REINDEER HERDERS Empires Routes
Portuguese Trading routes

Spanish Gold trade

State society Silk road


SIBIR TATARS
Other

EURASIAN S AINU HUNTER-


TEPPE AN
D DESE
RT NOMA GATHERERS
DS MONGOLS
KI
RG
UZ HI KALMYKS
BE Z
KS
Tashkent
Chiwa
Bukhara
Samarkand Kashgar
Merv Schar-i-Sabz KOREA

N
A
Balkh P
MUGHAL JA
Herat EM TIB E T MING
Lahore CHINESE
PI

EMPIRE
ISL

Delhi
E
AM
IC

A RAJPUTANA
N
D
HI
ND
U ST BURMESE
Taiwan
Kambaya AT E S BENGAL KINGDOMS P A C I F IC OCE AN
Thana LAOS
Goa ORISSA
(Portugal) PEGU
AN

A
NA
Y
HA

VIJAYANAGARA
Philippine
TT

Islands
CAMBODIA
Kulum Mali
AY U

SAYLAN
Colombo Ceylon
(Portugal)
ACEH
Malacca
(Portugal)
MALACCA Borneo

I NDI A N O C E AN Sumatra M
AL
AYA New Guinea
N IS L A M
N
IC STATES
Java
Timor
(Port.)

AUSTRALIAN
ABORIGINAL
HUNTER-GATHERERS

55
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Crusader Kingdoms
35°
The Crusades occurred at a time of
Islamic disunity and retreat.
SALJUQS OF RUM There were Christian
County advances in Spain—
Gargar
GREAT
Behesni
Toledo fell in 1085—
Marash
SALJUQ
of
Samosata
and in Sicily, which
Sis EMPIRE
Cilicia Rancular
the Normans con-
Aintab
Saruj
quered in 1091–92.
Adana
Tarsus Turbessel
Eu
Economically, the
Ravendam
BYZANTINE EMPIRE decline of the Abbasid

ph
Alexandretta

rate
1097 Edessa
ch
t io

s
Asas caliphate and the Saljuq inva-
An

Antioch
sions had diverted the East Asian
of

St. Simeon Kafr Aleppo


it y

1097 Tab
trade away from Baghdad and
p al
n tes
n ci

Cerep
Constantinople. Sending it through Egypt
Or o
P ri

Latakia 1103 and into the hands of Italian merchant shipping, it


Nicosia Jabala 1109 enriched the Italian cities. Harassed by Muslim
Cyprus Famagusta Valania 1109
35°
Maraclea 1102 Masyaf
pirates, Pisa and Genoa destroyed Mahdia, the polit-
Rafaniyan
Tortosa 1102 ical and commercial capital of Muslim North Africa
Limassol
in 1087. The fluctuating frontiers between the
oli

Homs
ri p

Mediterranean Tripoli 1109 Byzantine and Fatimid Empires allowed the cities of
T
of

Botron 1104 Syria and Palestine considerable autonomy, making it


ty
un

Gibelet 1104 Baalbek


Sea difficult for them to unite against the invaders. The
Co

Beirut 1110 defeat of the Byzantine army at Manzikert in 1071


ni

opened the rich Anatolian pastures to migration by


ta

Sidon 1110
Li

Damascus
bands of Oghuz Turks, not all of them under Saljuq
Tyre 1124
control. Alarmed at the danger to Christendom
Acre 1104 Lake posed by the Turks as well as by Norman attacks on
Haifa 1099 Tiberias
Tiberias Byzantine lands in Italy, Pope Urban II launched a
EMIRATE
Caesarea 1101 OF Holy War for the defense and unity of Christendom.
DAMASCUS
The movement was stimulated by charismatic, pop-
Arsur 1101
Jo r d a n

Jaffa 1099
Nablus ulist preachers such as Peter the Hermit and by the
as-Salt
growing popularity of the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as
Ascalon Jerusalem
Gaza Dead
a way of earning spiritual merit or as an act of atone-
Darum
Hebron Sea
ment for sins such as murder.
Krak des
Moabites Christian Crusades In the event, the knights from the Latin West,
Segor First Crusade, Norwegian
FATIMID (including England, Scandinavia, Germany, Italy,
1099–1100 Crusade, 1107–40
CALIPHATE KINGDOM OF
N JERUSALEM
Territory held
by Crusaders to
Crusades of Pope and France) supported by ragtag armies of towns-
Calixtus II, 1122–26
Montréal
1100 folk and peasants lured by the promise of indul-
Crusaders’ Crusade of 1128–29
S i n a i gains, 1100–44 gences, were not wholly interested in saving
1110 Date of Crusaders’
Crusaders’
D e s e r t losses, 1144–45
conquest Christendom by helping their Orthodox brethren.
0 50 km

Muslim territory
Maximum range of (They actually sacked Constantinople in 1204,
0 50 miles Egyptian warfleet
Aila
Other Christian inflicting untold damage on the capital of Eastern
territory Prevailing wind
Christianity.) They wanted to carve out feudal

56
CRUSADER KINGDOMS

domains in the well-watered lands of the 35°

Mediterranean littoral. The remarkable success of


the First Crusade, culminating in the capture of SALJUQS SULTANATE OF KONYA

Jerusalem from the Fatimids in 1099, contained the


seeds of the Byzantine Empire’s eventual demise.
The need to support the intrusive Latin states whose
Sis
existence depended on Muslim disunity overrode M E N I A
A R
the need to maintain Byzantium’s eastern frontiers. F
O
For the most part the Franks, as the invaders were M Tarsus Mamistra
D O
known, were hated as oppressors by Muslims and K I N G Corycus
Alexandretta
Syrian
Gates
Trapezac
local Christians alike—not to mention the Jews, Gaston
Principality
who lost the protection they had enjoyed under of Antioch
Antioch Aleppo
St. Simeon
Muslim rule, and were massacred in Palestine as Cursat

they had been in Europe. Far from checking the Saone


SYRIA

Orontes
Turkish advance on Christian domains, the
Kyrenia Latakia
Crusaders’ attacks on Byzantium helped to destroy Nicosia Gastria Jabala
Apamea

the only polity that could have prevented it. Though 35°
KINGDOM Famagusta
Margat Shaizar
OF CYPRUS Maraclea Masyaf Hamah
the Latin kingdoms were eventually eliminated, Tortosa Coible
Mamluk tributary from 1260
Limassol
their existence damaged the previously good rela- 1270 Mamluk fleet
Christian until 1302 Ruad
Chastel Blanc Krak des Chevaliers
founders off Limassol Coliat County Homs
tions that had existed between the eastern churches, Villejargon of Halba
Tripoli

E
their Muslim protectors, and local Islamic commu- Nephin Tripoli
Gibelcar

Botron
nities, leaving a legacy of mistrust of the West that

T
Gibelet Baalbek
has lasted to the present.
Beirut

ni
a
Lit

A
KINGDOM ANTI
OF LEBANON
Entry of the Crusaders into Damietta, Egypt, in June 1249. Sidon
JERUSALEM
Damascus

N
After losing Jerusalem, the Crusaders made several attacks Belfort Tibnin
e tt a Tyre
Belinas
mi
on Egypt in the hope of regaining territory in the Holy Da Toron
Chastel Neuf
Montfort
rf om

A
Jacob’s Ford
Land. From an illuminated manuscript painted in Acre Acre Safad (Saphet)
Hammon Tiberias
Haifa GALILEE L. Tiberias
Château Pèlerin Nazareth
T
shortly after 1277. This school of illuminators was probably Zir’in
Meggido Jisr al-Majami
founded by Louis IX during his stay in Palestine, 1250–54. Caesarea Belvoir
Bethsan
L

Mediterranean Caco Jenin


Nablus
Arsur
Jo r d a n

SAMARIA

Sea Jaffa al-Awja

Jericho
S

Ascalon Jerusalem
Bethleem
Gaza Dead
Darum Hebron Sea
K
The Mamluk conquest
U Kerak of the coast
(Krak des
L Moabites) 1263–1291
Muslim conquests
N M 1263–1271
A Montréal Muslim conquests
M 1285–1290

Muslim conquests, 1291

Christian territory
after 1291
0 50 km
Aila Castle
0 50 miles

57
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Sufi Orders 1100–1900


The Sufi orders were and remain the most spiritual guidance of Sufi masters from
important organized expression of Islamic whose baraka (blessedness or charismatic
spirituality. The word Sufism (from the spiritual power) they derived benefit. Further
Arabic Sufi, one who wears wool), is afield the Sufi orders were instrumental in
thought to derive from the coarse woolen spreading Islam in peripheral regions such as
garments worn by early Muslim ascetics the Malay archipelago, Central Asia, and
who sought to develop an inner spirituality. Subsaharan Africa. Access to the normative,
This was sometimes expressed as the quest textual Islam of the ulama, based on the
for union with God and it set them apart Koran, hadith, fiqh (jurisprudence), and
from believers who were content with the tafsir (hermeneutics), required knowledge of
formal observance of Islamic law and ritual. Arabic, restricting its appeal. The Sufi
Early adepts, sometimes known as “drunk- shaikhs and pirs, however, were adept at
en” Sufis, cultivated mental states that spiritual improvisation and were able to con-
would lead them to experience annihilation vey Islamic teachings verbally, using local
of the self in the divine presence. The desire languages. The esoteric Sufi rituals, known
for ecstatic union with the divine, and the as dhikrs (ceremonies held in remembrance
pain of separation from it, is the theme of of God), allowed them to develop spiritual
much Sufi poetry. Drunken Sufism some- techniques that meshed with practices
times displayed itself in extravagant displays derived from non-Islamic traditions such as
aimed at demonstrating contempt for the ritual dances or controlled yoga-style breath-
flesh, such as piercing the body with iron ing practiced in India. In Africa Sufis and
rings or handling dangerous animals. Sober Marabouts (from the Arabic murabit) were
Sufism—exemplified in the teachings of Abu able to propagate Islam by assimilating local
Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111)—insisted that deities or spirits to the numinous forces such
the path to spiritual fulfillment lay firmly as djinns and angels referred to in the Koran.
within the boundaries of normative legal Ancestor cults could be accommodated by
and ritual practice. adding local kinship structures onto Arab
Present from the beginnings of Islam, all lineages or Sufi silsilas, chains of spiritual
Sufi movements would claim to have their authority linking the shaikhs and Marabouts
origins in the religious experience of to the Prophet and his Companions. In
Muhammad and his closest Companions peripheral regions such as the High Atlas
Abn Bakr and Ali. Organized Sufism, how- these silsilas provided a quasi-constitutional
ever, was consolidated in the twelfth and framework through which segmentary tribal
thirteenth centuries, gaining ground rapidly groups achieved a basic minimum of cooper-
in Asia in the aftermath of the Mongol ation, with leaders of saintly families acting
invasions, when the institutional fabric of as arbiters in intertribal conflicts. In all parts
Muslim life was severely dislocated. of the Muslim world Sufi holy men (and
Internally the Sufi orders cemented the occasionally women) became the objects of
sociopolitical order by providing rulers with popular veneration. In due course such cults
popular sources of religious legitimacy, sup- became the targets of reformers who regard-
plementing the formal authority conferred ed the excessive devotion given to saintly
by the ulama. Many rulers were patrons of mediators as a violation of the Islamic pro-
Sufi orders and placed themselves under the hibition on idolatry.

58
SUFI ORDERS 1100–1900

A group of Mevlevi Sufis or


dervishes (mendicants)
perform their traditional
whirling ritual. The
“dance,” a dhikr, or
“remembrance of God,”
brings the adept closer to
the divine, balancing
spiritual ecstasy with
formal discipline. The
Mevlevi order was founded
by Jalal al-Din Rumi
(1207–73), the famous Sufi
poet and mystic.

59
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

In contrast to the ulama, who tended to in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
reflect the consensus of the learned, the Sufi The term “neo-Sufism” is sometimes applied
tariqas developed elaborate hierarchical to movements that strive to balance “out-
organizations with spiritual power concen- ward” political activity with “inner” spiritu-
trated into the hands of the leader—known al experience, with the structure of the
variously as the shaikh, murshid, or pir. tariqa providing the vehicle for the transmis-
Murids (members or aspirants) were bound sion and implementation of ideas. A well-
by the baya, oath of allegiance, to the leader known example is the Nurculuk movement
or murshid who headed a hierarchy of ranks in Turkey founded by Said Nursi (1876–
within the order based on ascending spiritu- 1960). A Naqshbandi-trained preacher and
al stages. Although the systems varied con- writer, he sought to revitalize Islamic
siderably, with some tariqas being more thought by integrating science, tradition,
exclusive and tightly controlled than others, theology, and mysticism in a new version of
the combination of devotion to the leader the Naqshbandi slogan of “the hand turned
and rankings within the organization made to work and the heart turned to God.” In
it possible for the tariqas to convert them- contrast to the Muslim Brotherhood in
selves into formidable fighting forces. In the Egypt, which was also influenced by Sufi
Caucasus the Imam Shamil waged his cam- ideas, the movement works with the grain of
paign against the Russians from 1834 to 1839 Turkey’s secular state.
under the spiritual authority of his murshid In recent decades Sufi ideas and devotion-
and father-in-law Sayyid Jamal al-Din al- al practices have come under attack from two
Ghazi-Ghumuqi, shaikh of the Khalidiyya quarters—modernists, who regard Sufism as
branch of the Naqshbandiyya. In North retrograde, and Wahhabi-inspired Islamists,
Africa Abd al-Qadir, a shaikh of the who have taken over many Islamic insitutions
Qadiriyya, took the lead in the struggle with financial support from Saudi Arabia
against the French; in Cyrenaica the and other oil-rich countries. Though the two
Sanusiyya were at the forefront of resistance agendas are somewhat different, the conse-
against the Italian occupiers. In other region- quences are the same. Modernists, adapting
al contexts, however, the tariqas ran with the the ideas of the European Enlightenment,
flow of colonial power. In Morocco during began with demands for a “rational” reli-
the late nineteenth and early twentieth cen- gion. They ended by turning against religion
turies the influential Tijaniya order accepted altogether. The Islamists, reacting against the
lavish subsidies from the French, who used modernists, are caught in the same “all-or-
the order to further their colonial interests. nothing” attitudes.
In Senegal the Muridiya order founded by Sufism occupies the middle ground
Amadu Bamba (c. 1850–1927) turned away between modernism and fundamentalism,
from resistance to develop a work ethic enabling religion to accommodate itself to
based on peanut cultivation that brought changing social conditions. Without the medi-
economic stability to the country under the ating, adaptive power of Sufism, it is unlikely
French-dominated regime. that the advocates of political Islam (or
The tariqas, in many cases, provided the “Islamism”) will succeed in accommodating
leadership for the reform and revival move- the variegated strands of Islam within the
ments that swept through the Islamic world “restored” Islamic order that they seek.

60
SUFI ORDERS 1100–1900

Order Founding Saint Site Location


Suhrawardiyya Shihab al-din Abu Hafs Umar (1145–1234) Baghdad

Rifaiyya Ahmad ibn Ali al-Rifai (1106–82) Umm Abida


Sufi Orders 1145–1389
Qadiriyya Abd al-Qadir al-Jifani (1077–1106) Baghdad
Shrine of founding saint of most important Orders
Shadhiliyya Abu Madyan Shuaib (1126–97) Tiemcan
Egyptian and North African tradition derived from Iraqi tradition
Abul Hasan Ali al-Shadhili (1196–1258)
Iranian and Central Asian traditions from al-Junaid and al-Bistami Pupil of a pupil of Abu Madyan who gave
his name to the Order
Iraqi tradition from al-Junaid
Badawiyya Ahmad al-Badawi (1199–1276) Tanta
RIFAIYA Major Order in development of institutional Sufism. All subsequent Orders
Kubrawiyya Najm al-din Kubra (1145–1221) Khiva
trace their lineage back to one or more of these Orders. Located where they
first developed, although by 1500 they had spread widely beyond these
regions except for Mawlawiyya, Qadiriyya, and Chishtiyya Yasawiyya Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali of Yasi (((d. 1166) Turkestan

Mawalawiyya Jalal al-din Rumi (1207–73) Konya


Alwaiya Other Orders of importance in 1500, located where they were most prominent
Naqshbandiyya Muhammad Baha al-din al-Naqshbandi (1318–89) Bukhara
Abd al-Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (d. 1220) is regarded
as the first organizer of the Order

Chishtiyya Muin al-din Hasan Chishti (1142–1236) Ajmer


15° 0° 15° 30°

60°
45° 60° 75° 900°

0 200 km
20

0 200 miles

Aral Laka Balkhash


45°
Sea YASAWIYYA
Black Se a Turkestan
Caspian
Sea Khiva
Bektashiyya Khalwatiyya
Shamsiyya Safawiyya Rukniyya KUBRAWIYYA
MAWLAWIYYA Bukhara
Haidariyya
Medite Konya NAQSHBANDIYYA
rr Ightishashiyya
an Yunusiyya
ean Dhahabiyya
Tiemcen Sayyadiyya QADIRIYYA
Sea Nurbakshiyya
Shuaibiyya SHADHILIYYA Baghdad
Hahiyya Sadiyya SUHRAWARDIYYA
Hazmiriyya Tanta Umm Abida
Sanhajiyya Dasuqiyya RIFAIYYA 30°
Nimatailahiyya Hamadaniyya
BADAWIYYA
Pe

Ashtalfiyya
rs
ia

n
Gu Ajmer Shaltariyya
Wafaiyya lf
Firdawsiya
Tropic of Cancer CHISHTIYYA
Humalthira
Re
dS

Alwaiyya Ba y o f
ea

Alwaniyya Ben ga l
15°
A ra b i a n S e a

INDIAN OCEAN

61
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Ayyubids and Mamluks


Having established themselves in a fragment- Fatimid caliphs. He and his descendants, the
ed part-Muslim world, the Crusader king- Ayyubids, broadened the appeal of Sunnism
Saladin, depicted here as the doms eventually stimulated a united in Egypt by allowing scholars from the differ-
archetypically heroic Saracen by response. The revival can be traced to the ent legal schools to work alongside each
Gustave Doré (1884), was seizure of Aleppo by the Saljuq governor of other, while popular devotion to the House of
equally admired by the Muslims Mosul, Zangi, in 1128. His son Nur al-Din, Ali was permitted at the mosque of Hussein,
and his Crusader foes for his who ruled in Damascus from 1154 to 1174, where the martyr’s head is buried. From Egypt
sense of honor and humanity. consolidated his power in Syria and Meso- Saladin conquered Syria and upper Meso-
His reputation in the West was potamia, sending his Kurdish general Salah potamia, restoring a unified state in the East
enhanced by the popularity of al-Din (Saladin) to take control of Egypt in for the first time since the early Abbasids. In
Sir Walter Scott’s novel The 1169. Two years later Saladin assumed power 1187 he crowned his achievement by taking
Talisman (1825). symbolically by deposing the last of the Jerusalem from the Franks.
Saladin’s Ayyubid dynasty, however, was not
to endure. In 1250 the last Ayyubid sultan was
killed by his Turkish mamluk soldiers. They
proclaimed their own general sultan, initiating
more than two and a half centuries of mamluk
rule. Ten years later the brilliant mamluk gen-
eral Baybars defeated the Mongol invaders at
Ayn Jalut in Syria. By 1291 his successors had
reunited Syria, expelled the last Crusaders, and
expanded the boundaries of their empire into
the upper Euphrates valley and Armenia. The
mamluks kept their Turkish names and the
exclusive right to ride horses and to own other
mamluks as slaves. For the most part they mar-
ried the female slaves who had been imported
with them. If they married local women or
took on Muslim-Arab names, they lost caste
among themselves. When the supply of
Kipchak Turkish slaves began to run out the
Kipchak mamluks (known as Bahris) were
replaced by Circassians (known as Burjis).
Though most of the sultans tried to establish
dynasties, their efforts were rarely successful,
since minors or weaklings were invariably
ousted by more powerful rivals. Nevertheless
they demonstrated their devotion to Islam by
patronizing scholarship and the Sufi orders,
and by the magnificent buildings, including
mosques, seminaries, and inns, which they lav-
ished on Cairo in the distinct and ornate style
that carries their name.

62
AYYUBIDS AND MAMLUKS

25° Adrianople 30° 35° 40° 45° 50°


Constantinople Black Sea
G E Tiflis
Nicaea O
40° Trebizond R
G
aly
s Amasia I A
BYZANTINE H (Amasya)
Shemakha
Sebastia
EMPIRE SELJUQS (Sivas)
OF RUM
T U R K O M A N S K
Smyrna
Caesarea U ARMENIANS
Ephesus Myriokephalon (Kayseri) Melitene (Malatya)
R Caspian
Iconium A Z E R BA I JA N Sea

D
(Konya)
ARM E NIA Tabriz
Maras

S
Adalia Mayyafariqin
Tarsus Edessa Maragha
1144 Zangi D I YA R BA K I R ISMAILIS
Aleppo takes Edessa Mosul Alamut
CRETE Antioch Sinjar 1127 Zangi appointed
35° 1128 Zangi Raqqa
atabeg of Mosul
takes Aleppo 1171 Mosul recognizes
Hamah
CYPRUS Masyaf suzerainty of Nur al-Din
Limassol ISMAILIS Homs
Tripoli Euphr Hamadan

at e

Tig
SYRIA

s
Kermanshah

ris
M e d Damascus
i t e r r a n e a n S e a Hattin
Acre 1154 Nur al-Din Baghdad
takes Damascus
I R A N
Jaffa Rama Hilla
Damietta Ascalon
Alexandria Jerusalem Kufa IRAQ

Tig
30° S Eup
hra

ris
Cairo t es
1169–1171
Saladin overthrows
N Basra

Fatimid caliphate
I
E G Y P T
U
O

Pe
D

rs
E A R A B I A an

i
B
N

Gu
ile

lf
Qus
25°

Medina
Aswan Yenbo
R
e

HEJAZ
d

Ibrim Aydhab
NUBIA
Jedda
S

Mecca
20°
e
a

The Muslim Near East


1127–1174
Suakin
Territory of Zangi, c.1145
Alwa
Territory of Nur al-Din, c.1174
N
ile
N

Other Muslim territory, c.1174


ite

Wh
Christian territory, c.1174 Sada 0 100 km
Dahlak
15° Seat of caliphate (Abbasid) Islands 0 100 miles
Massawa
Seat of caliphate (Fatimid) Sana

YEMEN

63
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

The Mongol Invasion


Unlike the deserts of Arabia the steppelands of clear rules of succession. The descendants of
inner Asia are comparatively well watered, with Ghenghis Khan competed for his legacy, creating
extensive grazing for horses. The horseback several independent, sometimes mutually hostile,
Ghenghis Khan in state nomads who dwelt there were organized along states. They included present-day Mongolia,
surrounded by his attendants. similar lines to the Arabs in patrilineal tribal for- northern China, the realm of the Golden Horde
However luxurious his court, as mations. Like the Arab and Turkish nomads they (centered in the Volga basin), the Chaghatay
shown by this lavishly decorated were able to construct large federations for suc- Khanate in the Oxus (Amu Darya) region,
yurt, the Great Khan remained a cessful raids on cities and areas of cultivation, and the Ilkhan dynasty, which invaded
nomad to the end of his life. creating substantial empires under formidable Iran and destroyed Saljuq power in

Ri
PO

ga
leaders: Attila, who Anatolia.

LA
N
D
W Legn 1
ravaged central Europe The Mongols were not

ar ica
sa
M

w
12 nica
in
in the fifth century just ruthless and violent sk

4
Leg 241
ITIES

1
PAL
with his Huns, is a nomads. Their sys- R I N I
C
P
AN

Mo 241 NGA
SSI

1 U
hi
well-known example. tem of communi- RU

H
Ki
The Chinese emperors ev

RY
BYZANT
understood the dan- O
de
ssa
gers of these large for-

NE EI
mations of horse-

MP
Co Bl
ns ac

IR E
ta
borne invaders, and nt
in
op
kS
ea
le
used their forces to
break them up when- SAL
J UQ
TUR
ever strong enough to KS
GE
OR
Tif
lis
GI
De
rbe
do so. The Great Wall Al AZ
A nt
ex ER
an
had been built as a dr
ia
Da
m Al
ep
BA
IJ A
as po N
Ain cu Ta
defensible barrier to Ca
iro J
12 alut
s bri
z
60 Mo
keep them out. sul Ala
AY TE
Y U B I D S U L T A NA mu
Early in the thir- t
Nile

Qa
zvi

E u ph r
n
teenth century a Ba
Ra
i
ates
gh
da
new formation d
Qo
m
R e d Se a

A
developed CA BBAS
LI
PH ID
among the AT
E

Mongols in
A r

a remote region bordering the Siberian


P er
a b

sia

forests under Ghenghis Khan (c. 1162–1227).


nG

A clever and ruthless leader, he took command of


ul
i a

a wide grouping of tribes from about 1206. By


OM

N
the time of his death he had dominated most of
AN

northern China and his armies had reached the


shores of the Caspian. Divided between his sons,
the empire continued to expand, overwhelming
the rest of northern China and sweeping through
eastern Europe as far as Germany. As with other
nomadic formations, however, there were no

64
THE MONGOL INVASION

cations and knowledge of the latest warfare families of notables actively collaborated, and
Mongol Invasions 1206–59
techniques were sophisticated enough to enable even encouraged attacks on their Muslim ene-
OIROTS Original tribe
them to wreak unprecedented levels of destruc- mies in order to gain favor with the conquerors.
Homeland of the Mongol
tion. In the initial conquests, entire populations Members of the ulama rose to prominence and tribes
of cities were massacred, without regard to age power. For instance, the Sunni historian al- Mongol Empire, 1206
or gender. Buildings were leveled, rotting heads Juvaini accompanied the Mongol army under
Mongol Empire, 1236
stacked in gruesome pyramids. Mongol cruelty the warlord Hulegu to Alamut, where the last
was a form of psychological warfare designed to Ismaili stronghold to survive the fall of the Mongol Empire, 1259

send the message that resistance was useless. As Fatimids was destroyed in 1256. After the con- Area paying tribute or under
loose Mongol control
a strategy, terror was highly effective: the quest of Baghdad two years later, al-Juvaini
Mongol campaign
30

amirs who governed in the Iranian high- became its governor. Within a few generations
°

°
60
N

lands hastened to demonstrate the western Mongols had converted to Islam, City sacked by Mongols
ov


14
go

40
°
ro

Ya
their homage. The local opening a brilliant new era in the story of
d

ro
sla
vl
50
bureaucrats and its development. 130
°

a
°

tsk
Se
kk of
ho
M Vl na
os ad ° e
co im 60° 120 L

O
Ry w ir
az
an 70° 110°
80° 100°
90°

°
50
Bu
Ye

lg
n is

G O ar
L D
ey

E
N
H
O Am
R
Volga

ur
D BURYATS

LS
O
E NG
MO
I rty
sh

OIROTS
ITS

Ol
RK

dS ME R
era
i KERAITS TAR S
TA

NS
IMA
NA
A

m
Karakoru
Caspian

N g
EM

Aral IA 1235 yan


Sea

X capital from Liao Sea 40°


Sea SO A
AN O L I PIR
E
P

M O N G
of n
TR EM
IRE

a
CHAGA IN Jap
Otrar
TAI CH
KHANA
OF TH

TE
Tash Balasaghun
ken t ing son
g
Pek ijing)
ng (Be Kae
Nish EM PIRE Dato
Bukh Kokend NIXIA ong
E KHWARIZM

apur ara Sam ggy


ark and low Ton
Ho

xia ng
Ning Jini Yel ea
an
ng

Kashgar
1226 Taiyu S
a

Amu
Hu

D ary a
Balk u
ang cho
h Pingy Zai
ng
Hera Kabu Kaife
t l
A 30°
Hsian N t
IR LA I Eas na
Ghaz M DA H chou
i
Ch ea
ni SH C Han
SHA

KA KH S
T I B E T R E
P I
H

Chengdu E M
G
S U N
u s
Ind Lhasa
SULTA ng
ia

NATE O ncer
of Ca
J

F DELHI
ng

Tropic
Cha

Delhi
n
Arab Cantongzhou)
ian Gan
ges ASSAM (Gua
Sea T
RA
JE
GU BENGAL
YADAVA Hanoi
A Daluo
ISS
OR
Bay of Bengal

65
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Maghreb and Spain 650–1485


e
10° 0° Tours 10° 20

ATLANTIC 732 Poitiers


FRANKISH EMPIRE
OCEAN AVAR
Limoges
Lyon

KI
~ Bordeaux

N
La Coruna Venice

G
Turin Po

Rhône
Oviedo AQUITAINE O

D
718 Santander
CANTA
BRIAN Genoa M
S BASQ Toulouse O
U ES 721 Nice

F
Eb Florence
Marseille Frejus Ancona

Ti
ro
Oporto

ber
Ad
40° ria
713

T
U

tic

H
Zaragoza Corsica Se

E
713 LO a
Madrid Barcelona Rome M
M

from
gus BA
Ta
Toledo RD

711
Lisbon 711
712 Sardinia Naples S
Valencia Taranto
A

Palma s
Cordoba 711 nd
s la
c I
Y

Baleari
712 711

from
Granada Cartagena
Cádiz
Y

711
Gibraltar Sicily
Tangier
Bône
652–6
8 B
A

Tunis 698
Tahant
D

Meknès Kairouan
Taza 683 670 M
Fes 698
e
C d i
A t
L P H A
Gabès

Aghmat T E Tripoli
Sijilmasa 647
30°
Misurata

E R B E
B R
Wargla
S
Muslim conquests in North Ghadamés
Africa and Europe El Galsa
634 to 732
Conquests under Muhammad

By 644
Garama
By 720

Major Muslim campaign In Saleh Zawilah


Murzuk
Further campaigns
S a Ghat
Muslim raids h a r a
Tropic of Ca D e
ncer s e r t
Muslim victory

Muslim defeat 0 300 km

Trans-Saharan trade routes


20° 0 300 miles

66
MAGHREB AND SPAIN 650–1485

0° 30° 40°

EMPIRE
C a u c a s u s M t
s Baku
LAZICA
by 66
BULGARIA 1
B l a c k S e a
be
D anu
B a l k a n s Varna

Resht
Qu
izi
E
l U zun

Constantinople 716
7 R
–7
Salonika 670 I
A n a t o l i a
Hamadan

Aegean
P Mosul
4
by 64
Sea
M Mts

Ti
Smyrna Konya us
E

gri
Adana
r

s
Ta u

Athens Aleppo

E Hama
I N
Y Z A N T Cyprus
Homs
Tripoli
Euphrate s
Crete Candia Beirut Basra
Damascus

a Haifa
S e
e r r a n e a n
Jerusalem

Gaza
642
Ajdabiya Alexandria
646 Tanta

al-Fustat
al Giza (Cairo) A R A B I A
al Faiyum Under Muhammad
Awjilah 640
644
al Minya
E g y p t
N
ile

R
Luxor
e

al Kharga Medina
d
S

W
ad
e

ia
sS
a

Aswan ub
Aidnab ai
ny a
di Ra
Jedda Mecca Wa
N
Kuffra W

to Dongola
652 NUBIANS
Suakin

67
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Islamic Spain c. 1030


Al-Andalus is the Arabic name for territories region in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Christian states
in the Iberian Peninsula that came under They were the Almoravids (1056–1147) and
Caliphate of Córdoba to 1031
Muslim rule and influence for nearly 800 the Almohads (1130–1269). By the end of
Granada Islamic kingdoms after 1031

Archdiocese
years. The first Muslim contact with the Almohad rule, various Christian rulers had
Important Jewish community region came in 711. A Muslim army crossed united to begin the period of reconquista.
Population the Straits of Gibraltar from North Africa Except for the rule of the Nasrids in Granada
Christian
and by 716 a number of cities and kingdoms until 1492, most of the Iberian Peninsula was
Mostly Berber and converts had been defeated. The nature and extent of lost to Muslim authority.
Mostly Arab Muslim rule in the area was dramatically After the 1492 defeat of Granada, most
Muslims and Jews fled to
North Africa to avoid the
N
F R A N C E Inquisition. Some submitted
and converted to Christianity,
Bilbao
Oviedo Vizcaya Guipuzcoa while a small number were
1 02 8–
C a 3 5 r uled b

Santiago de
Pamplona
Compostela
NAVARRE ARAGON BARCELONA 42°
allowed to retain their faith,
San Marcos
s t y Cas

de León but under much more con-


Vich
i l tile

L E Ó N e Saragossa Barcelona
S a ra g o ssa strained circumstances. By the
Zamora
Oporto sixteenth century, however, the
Salamanca As
Sahla process of conversion and
n ds 40°
la
a

Alpuente Is
expulsion of Muslims was
ci

ic
Toledo ar
n

B a d a j o z e Valencia e
a l - A n d a l u s Val B
al almost complete and the pres-
ence of Islam in the region
Lisbon Badajoz
Denia
38°
Merida
Córdoba
Alicante remained only through cultural
Murcia
Seville Córdoba Granada Murcia Mediterranean Sea traces.
Mertola Ecija
Lucena Almería Cartagena The civilization engendered
Ben i Niebla
Muzai n Bah r i s Seville Moron Granada
in Muslim Andalusia was
a

Ronda
g

36°
Cádiz
la
Málaga linked to the broader develop-
M á
9° Gibraltar ments in the Middle East and
6° 3° 0° 3°
North Africa, but was distinc-
tive in several respects. The art
F A T I M I D S
0 100 km
and architecture associated
0 100 miles
with the cities of Córdoba,
Granada, Seville, and Toledo
affected by the collapse of the Damascus- remain as landmarks. The literary heritage
based Umayyad dynasty in 750. A member of that flowered in the later period was also dis-
the family fled to Spain, becoming a governor tinctive in its contribution to Romance litera-
before initiating a new Umayyad dynasty, ture. But perhaps the most enduring legacies
which eventually declared Iberia and North were reflected in the philosophical, theologi-
Africa as a separate caliphate. cal, and legal writings of Muslims and Jews,
Inspired by a more orthodox vision of which would exercise a great influence on
Muslim rule, the two movements arriving in subsequent Latin scholasticism in Europe.
North Africa established control over the Among this tradition’s most outstanding

68
MAGHREB AND SPAIN 650–1485

The court of the lions in the


Alhambra palace in Granada.
The kingdom of Granada, the
reference points were Ibn Rushd (also last Islamic outpost in Western
known as Averroës), who died in 1198 and Europe, held out for 250 years in
Ibn Arabi (d. 1240), who wrote many mysti- the face of the Christian
cal works that influenced succeeding gener- Reconquista. Despite the
ations. The great Jewish thinker Moses external pressures, under the
Maimonides (d. 1204) also worked in this Nasrid dynasty it remained a

most intellectually invigorating and cultur- sophisticated and tolerant center

ally resplendent milieu. where Islamic and Western


cultures were blended in a
brilliant, creative synthesis.

9° 6° 3° 0° 3°
B a y o f B i s c a y F R A N C E
A s t u r i a s Guipuzcoa
Vizcaya Cerdagne
G a l i c i a
KINGDOM Roussillon
Santiago de R.
Compostella
Eb
ro OF
Burgos
NAVARRE
o L e ó n A r a g ó n
Miñ
R.
O l d C a t a l o ñ a
42° Mallén Saragossa
Castrotorafe
KINGDOM OF ARAGÓN
C a s t i l e
Belchite
Castronuño Caspe
Tarragona
R . D ou
ro Penausende

Alfambra
KINGDOM C A S T I L E Culla
Pulpis Peñiscola
Villel
Onda
OF Consuegra Libros
Valencia ds
Soure Ocaña l an
40° Bétera Is
PORTUGAL Alconétar Toledo Olocau Valencia ic
Mora ar
Alcázar de e
San Juan Torrente
Silla B al
Belver N e w C a s t i l e Sueca
Malagón
s

Alhambra Anna The Christian


gu

Montánchez a
Ta ia n
ua d
Lisbon
R.
Coruche R. G Calatrava Reconquest
la Vieja Montiel Enguera
Almagro Murcia Date of reconquest
Almada Alange
Palmela Socovos
Evora Hornachos Yeste Cieza 1080
Setúbal Usagre Segura Moratalla Ricote 1130
Santiago Moura A n d a l u s i a Caravaca Cehegin
1210
de Cacem Llerena Baeza 1250
38° Setefilla u i vi
r
alq Aledo 1275
Aljustrel Serpa uad
Lora .G Martos Muslim
Alcaudete
R

Mértola domination
Estepa 1275
Marachique Seville Archdiocese
Muslim
a

Osuna Benameji Granada


Albufeira Cacela retaken
e

Military orders
Morón
S

G R A N A D A Hospital
Cote
n Santiago
a N lif
e Che
Caltrava
n Alcántra
Medina Sidonia Alcalá de los Gazules
r r a
Avis
Vejer i t e Cristo
0 100 km M e d
Montesa
36°0 Ceuta
100 miles
Tangier
S U L T A N A T E O F M O R O C C O

69
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Subsaharan Africa—East
From the time of the ancient pharaohs the prestigious of all Islamic lineages in the form of
Upper Nile regions of East Africa had belonged Quraishi pedigrees, a trend that would emerge
The southernmost outpost of
to the same cultural universe as Egypt. Ethiopia among other religious and tribal leaders. While
Dar al-Islam until modern times,
was Christianized by Coptic missionaries from Arabic and—in some cases—Persian brought by
Kilwa had a population of about
the fourth century, and according to the earliest mariners retained their prestige as the language
10,000 in 1505, when the
Portuguese took the island by
Islamic sources, the Christian Negus gave of “True Islam,” vernacular languages devel-
storm. The first Muslim refuge to a group of persecuted Muslims from oped rich oral literatures that would eventually
occupants were mariners and Mecca even before the Hijra. The Arab con- acquire written form. The first Swahili text
merchants from the Persian Gulf querors of Egypt reached Aswan in 641 and for dates from 1652. The Swahili culture that dom-
who settled around AD 800. centuries continued to move southward, giving inates the thousand-mile coastal strip from
Mogadishu to Kilwa is the fruit of many cen-
PLAN OF THE GREAT MOSQUE AT KILWA turies of interaction between the ideas brought
by Arab-Persian merchants, traders, and set-
tlers, and the indigenous peoples of the eastern
seaboard with whom they intermarried.
After Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape
of Good Hope in 1498 the Portuguese sys-
tematically destroyed the prosperous
Swahili cities that had sprung up along
the coast. In 1505 Kilwa was captured and
Mombasa was sacked. By 1530 the
Portuguese controlled the entire coast
from their fortresses on Pemba, Zanzibar,
and other islands. In the 1650s, however,
the Omanis who were Ibadi Muslims
0 15 m expelled them from Muscat, restoring the
N

0 50 ft eastern part of the Indian Ocean to Muslim


rule. The Omanis built up the trade in cloth,
the Upper Nile region its predominantly Arabic ivory, and slaves between East Africa and
character. The Funj sultanate, which main- India. In the nineteenth century, under the sul-
tained a monopoly on the gold trade that last- tan Sayyid Said bin Sultan (1804–56), Muscat
ed until about 1700, was created by herders and Zanzibar were briefly united under a sin-
moving downstream along the Blue Nile. It gle ruler, opening the way to settlement by
consolidated the Arabic influence by attracting new waves of Muslim immigrants from South
legal scholars and holy men (known locally as Arabia. Much of Zanzibar was turned over to
faqis) from Egypt, the Maghreb, and Arabia. the commercial production of cloves and other
The Arab character of East African Islam spices, using slave-plantation methods similar
was reinforced by the proximity of the coastal to those employed in the United States. After
regions to the Hejaz and Yemen. From an early the division of the empire between the sons of
period Somali cattle-breeders acquired the most Sultan Said, Zanzibar came under increasing

70
SUBSAHARAN AFRICA—EAST

Mediterranean pressure to abolish the slave trade by


Sea
the British, who used their navy to
Alexandria

30° Cairo enforce the antislave trade laws and


MA M LU K to pursue their own commercial
EMPIRE
interests. After becoming a British
N
Libyan ile
Desert
R Qusayr protectorate, Zanzibar played host
ive

Muscat
R
r

to a new wave of immigrants from


ed

Tropic of Cancer Aswân


Se

British India. Many of these


a

Faras Jedda A r a b i a
Mecca
migrants were Muslims from minor-
N ubian Desert
20° ity communities including Momens,
Suakin T
Old Dongola ALWA Berber A
U Ithnashari Khojas, and Ismailis.
M
A
R
an

Dahlak H
D
of

Soba A
rd

Dibarwa H Shihr
F U NJ Y E MEN
Ko

DARFUR Sennar Axum Mocha


ile R.

Bl u e N

Aden Socotra
h i te N

Lalibela
i

e Saylac
l

R.
AGAU
ETHIOPIA Berbera Ras Xaafuun
10°
W A DA L
Debre Libanos Debre Birhan
S OM A L I
Bernra Dakar
y

OR OM O
e
l l

NILOTES
V a

Lake
Turkana
Jasiira Mogadishu
f t

Baraawe I N D I A N
Equator Bigo S WA H I L I

i

C I T Y S TAT E S
R

Lake
Victoria O C E A N
Shanda
Ungwana Manda
Gedi Malindi
Mombasa
N
Pemba
Lake
Tanganyika Zanzibar
Kikulu
Sanga Kamilamba Mafia
Kalongo
Kilwa Kisiwani
10° 0 300 km
Comoro
Is. 0 300 miles
Lake
Nyasa
Vohémar
SHONA
W

Zamb ez i River
L
K I East African Slave Trade The entrance to a private house in Stone
MWENEMU TA PA to 1500
Town, Zanzibar. The decorated portals
Tananarive Slave trading states
20° Great carved from local hardwoods or trees
Khami Sofala
Zimbabwe Approximate area
TORWA imported from the mainland symbolized the
Madagascar supplying slaves
Mapungubwe Manekweni Chibuene social status of the house’s owner. The walls
Li m popo R Slave routes
Tropic of Capricorn iver
Other kingdoms and states
are made from coral rag and need constant
maintenance to prevent destruction by
30° 40° 50°
torrential monsoon rains.

71
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Subsaharan Africa—West
The expansion of Islam in West Africa was reunited the petty principalities of al-Andalus
largely peaceful. The introduction of camels for to ward off the threat of the Christian recon-
Detail from a fourteenth-century
transportation into the Sahara sometime before quest. There were some forcible conversions of
Catalan map showing a king
AD 600 had established a growing network of Africans south of the Sahara, but these were
enthroned, with his royal regalia.
The portrait may be of Mansa
caravan routes between the Maghreb and the mostly rare. The earliest converts were usually
Musa of Mali, whose wealth Sahil (shore), the vast belt of grassy steppelands the royal families that had always relied on reli-
made a great impression on his that lies between the Sahara and the tropical gious prestige to extract taxes or military serv-
contemporaries when he traveled forests of Guinea. The principal export from the ice from subordinate clans and communities. As
to Mecca in 1324–25. south was gold from Bambuko on the Senegal Muslim merchants settled in Sahil cities (most
River, which was of which had their own Muslim quarters by the
for centuries the late tenth century) the royals would seek to ben-
principal source efit from the cultural prestige they carried by
of gold for the adopting Islam as the court religion.
Maghreb, West For the most part local kingdoms continued
Asia, and Europe. to form and re-form under different tribal
Gold—along dynasties, with Islamic rituals and practice
with slaves, hides, intermingling with tribal customs. With each
and ivory—was new state the capital would become a center of
exchanged for wealth and Islamic learning, as rulers sought
copper, silver, prestige by patronizing religious scholarship.
handcrafted arti- The most spectacular cultural center was the
cles, dried fruits, Tuareg city of Timbuktu on the Niger. The
and cloth. More Tuaregs were a camel-borne elite who grew
significant than rich from the trans-Saharan trade, using slaves
the trade, how- to exploit the salt mines and settling serfs
ever, was the dif- from African tribes to cultivate the oases
fusion of ideas. along their routes.
Islam was brought south by merchants, teachers, The most celebrated Muslim ruler from
and Sufi mystics the French had named Subsaharan Africa was Mansa Musa (1307–32),
Marabouts Arabic Murabits. The latter were king of Mali. He made the pilgrimage to Mecca
often members of saintly families who acted as in 1324–25 in the grandest possible style, leav-
hereditary arbiters among rural tribesfolk. ing an impression that would last for genera-
In the eleventh century Murabits from the tions. Unlike the Nilotic Sudan where the
Lamtuna Berber group established a center in Arabic language took root, Islam was diffused
Mauretania for the propagation of Islam, from in local vernaculars from a relatively early
where they launched a jihad against the kings of stage. From around 1700 (and possibly earlier)
Ghana, rulers of the largest and wealthiest of scholars and teachers developed a modified ver-
the West African states. The reforming zeal of sion of Arabic script to convey Islamic teach-
the Murabits (known as Almoravids in Spanish) ings in Fulfulde and Hausa, the leading lan-
carried them northward to Iberia, where they guages of the western Sahil.

72
SUBSAHARAN AFRICA—WEST

Ghana and Mali Empires 10° 0°


Gharnata
(Granada)
Ghana Empire, c. 1000
Algiers
Almoravid state, 1055 Tangier Tunis

Almoravid state, 1100 Tlemcen


Fez
Mali Empire, c. 1350

Travels of Ibn Battuta, 1352 MOROCCO

Trade route
Marrakesh
Sijilmasa
Alluvial gold 30°

Ghadamés

Canary Islands

Tuat

S a h a r a D e s e r t
Tropic of Cance
r

Taghaza

Wadan
(Ouadane)
B E R B E R S
Ribat Chinguetti T U A R
20° E G

SANHAJA
LAMTUNA

Awdaghust Tadmekka
Walata
SONINKÉ
Timbuktu
TOKOLOR Gao
Se
ne
g al Kumbi Saleh MOSSI Koukya
R. Ghana Empire capital Azelik
G am BAM
b ia
R. B INKE
Jenne SONGHAY
SOSSO MAL Sokoto
UK
O

Kirina Niamey
Ni
ge
r

R.
Niani
BURE

10°

Volt
a
Sassandra R.

Akan goldfields
R.

Bito

0 300 km

0 300 miles

73
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

Jihad States
From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century merging with the local elites prior to the French
a series of jihad movements occurred in West conquest. The most famous of the West African
Africa that led to the creation of a number of jihad leaders was Uthman Dan Fodio
Islamic states and transformed the presence of (1754–1817) a mallam (religious scholar) from a
Islam in the region. Most of these jihads well-established family of scholars in the inde-
involved rebellions by nomadic tribesmen pendent Hausa kingdom of Gobir. After attack-
against nominally Islamic rulers who held to ing the king for mixing Islamic and
traditional African concepts of divine kingship, pagan practices, Dan Fodio fol-
10°
mixing rituals of pagan origin with symbols lowed the classical Muhammadan
scenario of making the hijra
Mudbaked mosque at
beyond the borders of the king-
Djenne, Mali. Designed in
dom, before waging jihad
the local vernacular style,
against the king and other Fez
the building fabric is
Hausa rulers in

O
constantly renewed from the Marrakesh
the name of C
material of which it is made. C
a purified O
R
O
M

BANNU
HASSAN
Ouadane
Argvin MASINA
Chinguetti
derived from Islam. The leadership of these 1810
movements usually came from the literate class
of ulama—scholars, teachers, and students— Oualata
Timbuktu
WALO KAARTA
who had studied with Sufi masters locally or St. Louis
FU

CAYOR SEGU
TA

had acquired their reformist ideas in Mecca and Gao


Gorée
BOAL 177
TO

6 Segu Jenne
RO

Medina. Their followers were Fulani cattle- Fort James


BONDU Mali MOSSI
herders moving south in search of pasture, who 1688 MANDINGO Bamako STATES
resented taxes imposed on them by the Hausa FUTA Ouagadougou
Cachea
JALLON FULA KONG
kings, joined by disgruntled peasants, runaway 1725 EMPIRE
slaves, and other outcasts. Ibrahim Musa Bunce Island Kong

(Karamoko Alfa d. 1751), a Fulani torodbe


SUSU ASANTE
(scholar), waged a struggle against the local OYOLA
Kumasi
rulers. This resulted in the creation of the state
Little Accra
of Futa Jallon in the uplands of Senegambia. N Cestos
Axim
Elmina
The jihad movement (which Ibrahim Musa’s
descendants exploited to capture slaves for
export and work in plantations) spread to Futa 0 200 km

Toro in the Senegal River valley. Here torodbes 0 200 miles


formed an independent Islamic state, before

74
JIHAD STATES

Islam. His preaching conveyed a powerful mes- expanded to include most of what is now Jihad States c. 1800
sage of social justice in the classic manner of northern Nigeria and the northern Camer-
Extent of Islam, c. 1800
Muhammad, mixing theological attacks on oons. In 1817 Dan Fodio retired to a life of
Center of Islamic learning
idolatry with denunciations of illegal taxes, reading, writing, and contemplation, leaving
European trading post,
sequestration of property, compulsory military the empire to his son Muhammad Belo, who 1600–1800

service, and the enslavement of Muslims. By became the Sultan of Sokoto—the most power- Arab trading post or city

1808 the movement had overthrown most of the ful Muslim emirate in what eventually became States established by jihad
Hausa kingdoms; in the next two decades it with date
the British colony of Nigeria.
SAN Major tribe

0° 10° 20° 30° 40°


50°

Tunis
Tlemcen

E
ALGIERS M e di te rr ane an S e a
Tunis

R
Alexandria
Tr 30°
ip

I
oli ic a
Cy rena Cairo P
O Egyp t
T M
T E
O M A N Asyut
Re
d

T U A R E G Medina
Aswan Tropic of Cancer
Se
a

Mecca
Jedda
20°

AIR C H A D
Dongola
A R A B S Suakin

FUNJ

Massawa
Hodeida
HAUSA BO RN U WADAI
STATES DARFUR Sennar Axum Zabid
KAN E M
Kukuwa Gondar AWSA Aden
Wara El Fasher
S Ngarzagmu
O Kano Awsa
ETHIOPIA Saylae
BA

K
BORGU O INGALA GI
RM
Berbera 10°
MAHI O
T
O 1 I
OY 804
DAHOMEY OLD –17
Harer
A LI
Lagos BENIN
IGBO S OM
Benin
BOBANGI GALLA
Old Calabar NILOTES
Brass OROMO
Bohney
Porto Novo
BABWA Mogadishu
Quida
Baraawe
Equator

75
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

The Indian Ocean to 1499


Before the advent of Islam the Indian Ocean (Socotra), to northeast Africa (Adulis and
was part of an overlapping and interconnect- Opone in Axum/Ethiopia), and down the
ed local, regional, and transcontinental net- coast of East Africa by way of Menouthias
work of trade routes stretching between near Pemba as far as Rhapta (whose site is yet
China, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the to be discovered, but may be Bagamoyo on the
Mediterranean. coast of modern Tanzania). The other route
The Periplus (Circuit) of the Erythrean
Sea, a Greek-language merchant-mariner’s 40°

20

30
Al

°
ex Al Tif
an ep
guide of the first century, describes two mar- dr
ia An po lis
tio
ch
itime trade routes commencing from ports on Ca Ta
bri
iro Mo z
Qu sul
the Red Sea (i.e., Myus Hormus, Leuke Jer

Tigris
lzu u
m sal
em
Kome, and Berenike). These connected mer-

E u ph r
Ay
la Ba
gh
chants of the classical Greco-Roman world

ates
da
d

engaged in the trade of items such as textiles, N


Bas
He ra
copper, spices, and slaves to their partners on ja
Ya
z
nb
the western Indian Ocean littoral. One route Ay
dh
u Shir
az
ab Jed Me
din

P e rs
went down through the Red Sea to southern d a a
Me Bah
rain

ia n
cca

R e d
Arabia by Muza (Mocha) and Dioscurides

Gu
f

l
A

Sea
Suha
Dhow is a generic term for a variety of R O r
A m
B an
lateen-rigged craft that plied the Indian I A
Ocean. Designed for seasonal San
’a
monsoons, the dhows stayed close to the Mo
Ax ch a Shih
coast, planning their runs to coincide um r
Ad
Zay en
A la
with the monsoon cycles.
f r
Ber
i c ber
a Soco
a Islan tra
d

Mo
Mo gad
ishu
mb
asa
Zan
ziba Pem
r ba is
land

Kilw
a

Madagascar

76
THE INDIAN OCEAN TO 1499

veered toward India’s northwestern shores by powered navigation, the northeast monsoon
Barygaza (Broach) and then south to Muziris allowed the large lateen-rigged sails of the
Cranganore and Komar (Cape Comorin). Arabian, Persian, and Indian dhows to sail
The movements of people and goods were such routes as Aden to Cochin with the sails
regulated by the Indian Ocean’s predictable trimmed to keep the ship pointing as closely as
monsoon cycle. The benign northeast or win- possible into the direction of the wind. They
ter monsoon lasts approximately half the year traded up the Malabar coast of India on the
(from November to March). Before the days of opposite tack before returning with their sails

° ° °
50° 60° 70° 80° 90° 100° 110° 120 130 40° 140
Caspain Sea

A
Se ral rum
a Karako
Trade routes to 1500
Urg Trade routes
ench

a Under Islamic control


ary
Buch S yr D g
ara Sama
rkand Beijin

e
low

gH
Kashgar Yel ea
A

an
uD S

Hu
ary
30°
a
ng
P E Hera Kaife
R S t
ou
I A Luoy
ang nzh
Ha

A
I N
Hor
muz C H er
Canc
ic of
u s
ng Trop
Ind Multan Lhasa Jia
ng

zhou
Cha

Quanchou)
Mu an
sca t
Delhi (Chu 20°
Daybul
n
Ahmedabad Cantou)
Gan
ges
ngzho
Mus
Cambay
Is. ira
Broach (Gua
Diu
Surat Chittagong Hanoi
A r a Daman
b
S e ai a n Annam
I N D I uth
A Burma
M e So
kon

h ina
g

C
a
Champa Se 10°
Mala

B a y o f B e n g a l
bar C

Khmer Min
dana
o
Sulu
oast

Calicut Sea

Quillon Gulf
of bes
Cape Siam Cele a
Comorin
Se


Maldive
Islands

Malacca eo
Born
S
u
m
a
t
I N D I A N r
a
s Sea
Java Sea Flore
O C E A N
10°
Java

77
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

full and their yard arms swinging free before trade routes were caught up in increasing
the wind. The southwest monsoon, which rivalry between the Byzantine and Sasanian
brings rain to western India and generates (Persian) Empires. The Byzantines supported
more turbulent weather, was best avoided. Ethiopian raids on South Arabia from ports
By the seventh century, the trading worlds on the Red Sea, while the Persians secured
described in The Periplus had long disap- their control over the Persian Gulf (Bahrain)
peared. Western Indian Ocean ports and and southern Arabia at Aden, Suhar, and

Saljuq ruler on his throne.


Their position at the western
end of the Silk Road enabled the
Saljuq sultans to indulge their
taste for luxuries, such as the
finest Chinese silks and jewels,
from Central Asia.
Manuscript, 13th century.

78
THE INDIAN OCEAN TO 1499

Daba. In between the two empires were the Political and economic control over Indian
Quraish, who would become the first Ocean trade routes by Muslim dynasties based
Muslims engaged in land-based trade at their in the Middle East was complemented by the
sanctuary at Mecca. growth of Muslim communities, mercantile
The early trajectory of Muslim conquest centers, and independent states around the lit-
and expansion was away from the Indian toral, many of which have complex and multi-
Ocean and toward the Mediterranean. But stranded histories that have yet to be studied.
successive Muslim dynasties made efforts to The eastern African coast, and its Swahili-
gain political and economic control over the speaking peoples, had multiple connections to
Indian Ocean. The Umayyad conquest and the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, and
occupation of Daybul in Sind in 712 was a India. Muslim settlements (mosques and bur-
first step in this direction. Subsequently, the ial sites) at Shanga date to the latter half of
Abbasids’ founding of their capital Baghdad the eighth century and there is evidence to
in 762 near the Tigris, with its access via support the presence of local Muslim dynas-
Basra to the Persian Gulf, provided further ties and their control of island settlements on
impetus to Muslim maritime trade and settle- Pemba, Zanzibar, Mafia, and Kilwa between
ment from the shores of East Africa to south- c. 1000 and 1150. Many of these communities
ern China. Mariners’ reports collected in the were thriving when Ibn Battuta visited the
Akhbar al-Sin Wal-Hind (c. 850) provide a region by way of Mogadishu in 1331.
glimpse into what a typical round-trip mer- Ibn Battuta is also a source of information
cantile sea voyage from Siraf (south of for the presence of Muslims along China’s
Shiraz) to Canton would have been like in southern coastline up to Quanzhou (Zaitun),
Abbasid times. Contemporary maritime which he reached in 1347. At Quanzhou, buri-
activity in the southwestern Indian Ocean, als and a mosque (c. 1009) mark the presence
from Arabia to East Africa (Bilad al-Zanj), is of a Muslim community at the trading port.
attested to in the Muruj al-Dhahab of al- The histories of Muslim communities in
Masudi (d. 928). Southeast Asia are also informed by
In 969, the Fatimids conquered Egpyt and transoceanic trade. By the fifteenth century, it
founded Cairo, posing a serious political and was the entrepot of Malacca on the Malay
commercial challenge to the Abbasids. The coast that emerged as a major maritime cen-
Fatimids succeeded in diverting trade in the ter in the larger Muslim Indian Ocean trading
western Indian Ocean from Baghdad and the network, eclipsing centers on Java and
Persian Gulf to Fustat and the Red Sea. The Sumatra. Malacca had a sizeable Muslim
commercial importance of Egypt and the Red population that had strong connections to
Sea trade route to the western Indian Ocean western Indian merchants and ports such as
was maintained by the Fatimids’ successors, Cambay (Gujarat). Ironically, Ibn Majid, the
the Ayyubids and Mamluks. Documents from mariner credited with piloting Vasco da Gama
the Cairo Geniza collection offer evidence of through the Indian Ocean in 1498, provides an
the complex network of Fustat-based traders, unfavorable description of Malacca. The port
stretching between North Africa and India via fell to the Portuguese in 1511, marking the
the western Indian Ocean, operating between firm establishment of the first European mar-
the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. itime power in the Indian Ocean.

79
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

The Indian Ocean 1500–1900


The forts guarding the entrance Vasco da Gama’s voyage around the Cape of

Red Sea
to the harbor of Muscat were Good Hope in 1498 was an epoch-making 20
°
originally built by the event, putting an end to the Muslim mono-
Portuguese in the sixteenth poly of trade in the Indian Ocean and open-
century on the site of earlier ing the way for the British and Dutch
strongholds. After surviving Empires in South Asia and the East Indies.
Ottoman attacks, the The era of European imperialism began with
Portuguese garrisons merchant adventurers who established trad-
surrendered to the Omani Imam ing posts in the southern seas, which became
Sultan bin Saif in 1650. the bases for further expansion. The
Portuguese were the pioneers, taking Kilwa
and sacking Mombasa in 1505 before
establishing bases in Zanzibar and Pemba.
In 1509 they defeated a combined
Egyptian-Indian fleet to take Goa on the
Malabar coast. In 1515 they conquered
40
°
Malacca and in the same year Hormuz
on the Persian Gulf. Portuguese hegemony
O
TT

was soon replaced by that of the Dutch,


OM

whom the Portuguese had tried to exclude


AN EM

30
° from the lucrative pepper and spice trade.
PIR

SA
FA
Red Sea

VI
20 (PE D EM
Indian Ocean
Per

c. 1580 ° RS P
IA) IRE
A r

Bah
sia

151 rain I
Portuguese possession 5 Ban HU
Tro –1622 MANC
n

.
da
a b

with date of acquisition Hor r Abba


G

Ma pic
u

of C lf m s 150
ssa anc 1515– uz 7–16
22
i a

Portuguese factory wa er 1622


152 Delhi
0–2
Portuguese town 2 Agra
Mas
k
1550– at
Portuguese trade routes 1650 MOGUL
A Ade Cambay1539
n1 Diu Hooghly
f 524– Arab 1535 Surat 1540–1 1537–1640
r 38 ia 615 BU RM A
Gu Sea n 1530 Bom Daman 15

A
i lf o f A d e n bay 58

N
c Chaul EMPIRE
N
a 1509 Bay of –1613
Syriam 1520
A
Soc
1516 otra I. Bengal

M
–11 Masulipatam SI A M
1505 A a
njediva 1570–1605 Ayutthay
1560–16
37 Bhatka
1510–16 i
16 Cannanor Mangalore Singapor
e
Mo e Cal
Bar g icut 1510–1616 1526
aw adishu 1502 Cochin
a Jaffna 1560
M Quilon Malacca
Mo alind 1512 Colombo Batticaloa
1511–1641
mb i 152 1519–1638
Pem sa 150 0
a 1518
5–2 Galle Sri Lanka Pasei
Zan ba I.
1 8 Maldiv
1518–1640 1518 1514–1641 Atjeh 1520–24
Kilw zibar I 520
e Is.
aK .1503 Pidie
i
1505 siwan 1509
i I N Baros Su
to M D I 1519 m
oçam A N N a
biqu O C E tr
e 150 A N a
7
0 500 km
Bantam
Equato 0 500 miles 1512–96
r

80
THE INDIAN OCEAN 1500–1900

AN U
G
)
OTTOMAN EMPIR

(J AN
AP
P
ZI
a
him
ki aS
SA asa neg
FA E Nagshima) Ta 2
VI P IR (De –1859 154
(PE D EM U EM 1
164 t
MANCH
Per

RS P A )
IA) IRE
E

N Easna
(CHI i ng)
sia

Ch ea elu
S (Ke
A r

or
n

Tro vad
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pic
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u

of C lf
sa)
Ft. 2–62 Formo
a b

anc
er
Delhi 164 wan (
Tai 62
i a


Agra dore
s Is. 1624
1602 Pesca 1622–24 dia N
eelan EA
Ft. Z 1624–62
Ahmedabad
1612 Maca 5
o OC
1 5 5 C
Diu 1640 Hooghly FI
1530–1 15 Surat 1618–83 Serampore CI
664 Port 35 A
BU RM P A
Daman 15 1616 1 Lambok I.
1661 En . Bombay
Gu
lf o f A d e n 58
Arab glish Pipli A Ph 1674–92 (Dutch protectorate)
ia Chaul MOGUL N
Sea n 1509–17 1637 i l
–49
Bay of ip Sumbawa I.
37 EMPIRE h
Syriam 1635 Sout a pi 1669–75 (Dutch protectorate)

N
Bengal
Chin ne

A
Masulipatam 1605–1781 Neth. SI A M Sea I 2 Kupang

M
1637 N a s.
eth., 16 1510 Goa
Armagon 1620 1611 English Ayutthay 1640 Port.
38 En 1607 anao
1565–17 glish Bhatkal Madras Pulicat 1609 a n I.
M /1642
in d 1653 Neth.
81 Manga 163 9 Sadras 1658 la w
1596
P a
lo
1663 Canna re Tranquebar 1616
nore Negapatam 1658
1663 Cochin rch.
Su /46–63
Jaffna 1658 l u A
1661 Quilon 3 8 ilalo era
Tutticorin Trin coma li 1639 1 6 o Dja almah21
Negombo 1640 ttani 1602 enad 7 H –16 Ne nea
w
1522
1658 Pa M 5
Colombo 16
ah 1642 ui

ds
1656 Galle Sri Lanka ei K ed 7 7 G
1657/
1601 English Atjeh Pas mudra a n
Perak 1655
Maldiv Sa l
e Is. 1640 1644–1795/1815 1649 Neth.
Is
Pidie 1520–1640 9–50
a
41 cc Is.
alaccare161641
I.
M S a m bas 160n e o olu am
Cer 8/52 Aru 3
Tiku Jahogapore1526 r M I. 0 1 6 2
s 1641 Sin tan I. B o
ana be s r u
Bu 2/58 16
I N 1519–1668 Port. Baro Bin Sukad7–35 Neth. Cele 162 Is. I.
0 bar
D 1668 Neth. 1628–175 a I. 160
Su

I A N m 2 En gl ish kassar uton67 etar I.


/ W 75
anim
a t 1615 biB1668 illiton I. 161
B
Ma 67 Port. 1613 1672
gk T
N O 1641 PriamanPadang
an
16 16
C E A N 1659 r aDjam B 1545– 70 English 0
1663 Painan em b an g 1668 S e a 1601– –15 Neth. o r 152
P al 1607 7 Neth. ntuka m
Indrapura 1616
Java
1648/6 rt Lara 1667
Ti
0 500 km 1659 to Neth. Fo 2
Batavia
1630–64 English 1610
Ja va 1 a w a Is.
AN U

b
Equato d Sum
0 500 miles ok an
G
)

r Lamb
(J AN

Indian Ocean c. 1650


AP
P
ZI

a Dutch possessions

ega
Sh
im
The Dutch defeated the Portuguese at
n
Ta 2 Portuguese possessions
Easna
t 154 Amboyna in 1605, taking Banda in 1621,
i
E Ch ea Spanish possessions
P IR S Ceylon (Sarandib, now Sri Lanka) in 1640,
EM gpo
Nin –45 and Malacca in 1641. Batavia (now Jakarta), British possessions
1533
A) which would become the capital of the Danish possessions
IN
(CH Factory
gcho
w Dutch East Indies, was founded in 1619.
Chan47–49
15
Can t o n N Although the process was a gradual one,
hn I. ow Shan)
EA
o S t J o OC the Portuguese intervention introduced
Maca 5 (Shangc
h
155 FIC
1555 CI
PA changes in the patterns of trade and in the
Ph political economies of the Muslim states in
h
Sout a ili
Chin
pp
in
the region. By the end of the seventeenth cen-
Se a e
Is
. tury England and Holland, two small coun-
tries perched on the western periphery of
e Is.
Spic 1621 21
– –16 Eurasia, had become (with France) the domi-
1512 1522
e r nate
ado T
Men1540 nant forces in world trade. Cargoes of raw
1564 an I. commodities—timber, grain, fish, and salt—
Batj 1558 .
na I
orneo boi
B es
Am 1–99
15 1 replaced the traditional trade in luxury
C eleb
goods. The shift in cargoes heralded even
ssar
Maka 667 more far-reaching changes, whereby the
1545–
1 520
Sea a or 1
Java ntuk Tim
Lara 1557 world would be divided between colonies
Fort
Ja va
producing raw materials and industrial and

81
HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD

As the British began to


establish themselves in India,
they imported their own
architectural styles, as shown
in a watercolor of a house
built at Chapra in 1796.

commercial centers producing high-value (these had included the Venetians and 30
°
goods and services. Viewed from the perspec- Genoese who plied the waters of the eastern
tive of the twenty-first century, Vasco da Mediterranean as well as the Muslim Eg
yp
Gama’s voyage represents the beginnings of a traders who carried goods by land). The t

process that culminates in “globalization.” gunpowder revolution—like the revolu- 20


°
Two technological factors drove these tion in sailing techniques—was grad-
changes: better sails and gunpowder. Their ual, but reached equally far in its An
Eg glo-
yp
position on the eastern shore of the Atlantic consequences. With the develop- Su tian
da
n
had encouraged the Portuguese to develop ment of cannon, stone fortresses
powerful naval vessels capable of riding the ceased to be impregnable, lend-
Atlantic storms and sailing closer to the ing the military advantage to ET
HI
OP
wind than the lateen-rigged Arab dhows. well-organized central powers IA

The Portuguese ships were larger and stur- that could afford to make the
dier than their Arab and Persian counter- costly investment in artillery Bri
tis
hE
parts, and thus able to hold more cargo and and firearms. As military Af
ric
ast
a
engage in longer runs. The new route around technology advanced, a shift
Ge
rm
southern Africa to the Indies bypassed the took place in the balance of Af
an
Ea
ric st
West Asian trade routes, bringing goods power between the tradi- a
Za
nzi
bar
from South Asia and the Indies—spices, tional warrior classes, for
cloths, and other valuable commodities— whom military prowess was vested
directly to Lisbon, enriching the merchants in notions of tribal solidarity, honor,
there but cutting out the intermediate benefi- prestige, and courage (classic virtues of the
ciaries of the trade between Europe and Asia nomadic conquerors), and economic powers

82
THE INDIAN OCEAN 1500–1900

with sophisticated administrative centers


capable of keeping up with the latest military Indian Ocean 1800 – 1900

technology. Under European pressure the frag- European, U.S., and Spheres of influence,
Japanese territories in Asia c. 1907
mented Muslim states that followed in the Russian Empire,
British British 1855
wake of Arab caliphate and the Mongol inva- Allied to British To Russia
French by 1900
sions were consolidated into larger units dom- administration
French Occupied by
inated by the three great “gunpowder Russian Russia, 1900
Dutch
empires”: Ottoman Eurasia, Shiite Iran, and German
Portuguese Treaty Port in China,
Mughal India. Japanese with date of opening
German
Major railway
United States

0
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Sam I A M P
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ep
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po A Kaza
Se ral nlins Sea f
N

Da Ba a k o n
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ru scu Kra T u i a ang Jap


sa s sno g o l chw
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IRE
e s t r
912 aut 18 8 Arthu oul ea
PIRE

sk Khiv a n (1
S a t Se or a
Bukh amarkan
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gh yr Darya 1858 K Os

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d ara d R. S chow ei
ad 190
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d
Hami Tung fo o ih a i w
ak i
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(Beijin
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ussi Na
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an s Kashgar Peking Tientsin 185 och 9


189 61
pher Kia
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SE
e S i n k i a n g g
u Yarkand kin g 18
Ku Naninkian ai 1842 895
Ho

D a rya
wa

NE
it P Ch hangh ou 1
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E A FG Kabu Khotan an S ngch 842


R l R. Hu Ha gpo 1 1895
Kashmir SianfuA

PA
S H AN Peshaw
M Ba I A ISTA ar N Ninenchou876
P er

ed 186 hrai N
C H I i c)
in a 7 Br n publ Ichang ko w W uhu 1 JA