The Early Islamic World’s Political Unity and Division (1480 words)

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Question

For many, the history of the Muslim world from its beginning in the seventh century down to the end of the thirteenth century, has been marked both by a strong sense of unity and deep divisions. Do you agree with that characterization of the Muslim world during that period of time? Indicate why or why not.

The paper should be double space, 3-5 pages long. Use at least a total of 5 academic references (reference journal articles or books) in the paper.

Solution Preview

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From the Islamic conquests led by the Prophet Muhammad’s successor Abu Bakr in the mid-7th century to the end of the Abbasid Caliphate in the 13th century, the Islamic empire was the world’s dominant power. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates stretched from Spain and Morocco in the west to Pakistan in the east. Despite Islam’s remarkable expansion, divisions were always present within the ummah. From the outset, Muhammad’s followers argued over the Prophet’s proper successor. The sect that believed Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s first convert and cousin, should lead the ummah eventually came to be known as Sunni Muslims. A smaller group, who believed that Ali, Muhammad’s son-in law, should lead the ummah were called Shia (Murphy)....

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