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The endurance of the “Islamic World” from the seventh century to the nineteenth century

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The formation and the endurance of a major cultural region.
    1. The expansion of the Islamic world.
    2. A strong element of strength of the Islamic culture.
    3. The main place of the intellectual activity.
    4. The period from the eleventh to the fifteenth century.
  3. Which events could have threatened the Islamic world?
  4. The peculiarities of the Islamic world explaining its longevity.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Works cited.

The expansion in Islam was a long process, occurring through centuries. The conquests were led in the name of the Prophet Muhammad. However, these victories were also the expression of the triumph of a people over the first Empires dominating the Middle East. From the seventh century and the rise of Islam, to the nineteenth century, the "Arab world" or "Islamic World" was one of the major cultural regions. These expressions refer to the Muslim civilization, sharing an Islamic identity which is a "vast network of interacting people and groups, with considerable diversity and some sufficiently common elements so that it is possible to speak of these diverse communities as being part of the Islamic world" . For many westerners, this conception of the Middle East is really new. As Julia Clancy-Smith points out, the West has to "de-exoticize" its perception of the Eastern culture and history . The issue is to understand how it has been possible for this culture to endure such a long time? To answer this question, this paper will further examine the idea announced by Voll in the previous quotation.

[...] However, according to some people, the twentieth century is the one of the rebirth of Islam, as it is nowadays one of the major religions practiced in the world and present in very different places such as Africa, India, Middle East and Europe. Works Cited - Clancey-Smith, Julia, Middle East in the World History?, World History Bulletin 9 (Fall/winter 1992-1993): 30-34; reprinted in Dunn ed., The New World History, 293-300. - Dunn, Ross E. The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: a Muslim Traveller of the 14th Century. [...]

[...] During his life, the Prophet was able to rally a great diversity of people and populations around him. From the very early time, the diversity was prevailing among the Muslim community. After his death, in the name of Islam, people started to build a new Empire, the Caliphate formed of most of the territory of the previous Byzantine Empire, parts of central Asia and Spain. The all Sasanian territory was also conquered. Islamic rulers decided to follow the Sasanian model, tolerating religious diversity. [...]

[...] The setting of that community had allowed the development of intellectual and scientific thoughts, particularly from the eight century to the eleventh. Baghdad was the main place of the intellectual activity, and was names?The Jewel of the World?. The center of learning in the ninth century was Bayt al-Hikma, the House of Wisdom, the library and translation institute during the Abbassid domination. It was from that place that Arab Science and Literature glowed in the Islamic Empire, but also to Europe through the South of Italia and Spain. [...]

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