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On the external border of Latin world, in Spain, North Africa and neighboring Byzantium in Egypt and Syria, was the humanity of Islam. For several years, Islam was a menace and the foundation of new ideas to the Latin west and Greek East. During the seventh and twelfth centuries, Islam became the midpoint of a shining civilization and of a large artistic, scientific and philosophic culture. Though its verbal communication was neither Latin nor Greek, Islam engrossed a big deal of Greek culture which later it managed to maintain for the Latin West. Generally, it can be stated that Islam engrossed and added its culture to the inheritance of Judaism, Greece, Near East, Rome and Christianity. At the beginning, the Muslims were cautious and open; they integrated various elements and borrowed other cultures into their own. The fresh religion of Islam adopted various elements of pagan, Christian religious and Jewish practices and beliefs. The Muslims coped well with religious minorities within regions they had conquered because these minorities acknowledged Islamic political rule, paid their taxes, and never proselytized among Muslims. However, the Muslims were cautious to guard the purity of their law, language and religion from any foreign pressure. Due to increased conflict with western and eastern Christians and the passage of time, this defending instinct developed stronger. At the end, the Islamic culture failed to penetrate in the west in a similar way that Germanic culture did, though would remain extraordinary as well as menacing to the West.
The large amalgamating agent in Islamic civilization was that of Muhammad. His birth place was at Mecca and brought up by family of humble means, who latter died when he was six years old. During his time of birth, Mecca was among the most wealthy caravan cities. Nonetheless, Mecca was still attached to the customary religious and social life of the Arabian world. This means that, it was ruled by the ethnic societies of the desert. Every member of the ethnic group was resolute by blood descent. Following this order, the welfare of the individual was always secondary to those of the ethnic group. Each ethnic group worshipped its own gods in the shape of objects from nature such as domestic animals, sky or moon, but the entire tribe of Arabs worshipped one similar object by the name Kaaba which is a huge black stone preserved at Mecca. It was this black stone that made Mecca noteworthy as a center of pilgrimage and worship.
Within the early seventh century, Muhammad together with successive caliphs took up the Arabic tradition of making incursion against their enemies. The holy book of Qur'an called these incursions the jihad although the jihad was not carried out as a way to change others for the easy reason that acts of change to the Islamic faith were voluntary. The Persians and Byzantine were the primary group to feel the pressure of Arab incursion but the Muslims defeated the Byzantine army. Some years later, the Muslims had subjugated the whole Persian Empire and Muslim expansion in Europe regions came to an abrupt close down.
A major problem that confronted the Islamic world was the option of caliph. When one of Muhammadâ€™s sons-in-law was murdered, Muawiyah, a communal, became the caliph. Muawiyah developed the caliphate inherited in his own family, hence generating the Umayyad dynasty. The first thing Muawiyah did was to shift the capital of Muslim world from Medina to Damascus in Syria. Consequently, internal discord over the caliphate brought about a division in Islam between the Shiites, who only acknowledged the offspring of Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, as being the true rulers and the Sunnites, who asserted the offspring of the Umayyad, as the true rulers. This division exists to this current day.
At around the eighth and ninth centuries, under the control of Abbasid caliphs, Islamic civilization entered a golden age. The Arabic, Indian and Persian cultural traditions were also integrated. While in Europe, education seemed to be at its lowly point, the Muslims generated what was considered as a high civilization. In fact, not only did the Muslim scholars maintain the heritage of Greek philosophy and science, they also added to it by writing glosses and commentaries, hence adding to what finally became the western intellectual tradition. All through the Qur'an, one can find a strong prominence on the value of information and wisdom in the Islamic faith. The holy book of Qur'an encourages Muslims to study and get hold of information, stemming from, but not restricted to, the Muslim stress on knowing the unison of God. Reasoning being the Muslims believes that, Allah is all-knowing; they also believe that the mankind worlds pursue for information and wisdom leads to further knowing of Allah.
Characteristics of Islamic civilization.
Islam was generally ordained to become a globe religion and to produce a civilization which stretched out from one end of the world to the other. Previously during the early Muslim caliphates, initially the Arabs, followed by the Persians and afterward the Turks set about to generate classical Islamic civilization. Later on, in the thirteen century, both India and Africa became large centers of Islamic civilization and after a while the Muslim kingdoms were well-known in the Malay-Indonesian world while the Chinese Muslims prospered throughout China.
Islam is a well recognized religion for all people from whatsoever background or race they might be. This is why the Islamic civilization is based on a unison which stands wholly against any ethnic or racial discrimination. Such main ethnic and racial groups as the Chinese, Arabs, Indians and Africans in addition to various smaller units held the Islam and added up to the building of Islamic civilization. Furthermore, Islam was not opposed to studying from the former civilizations and integrating their culture, education, and science into its own world outlook, as long as they did not go against the principles of Islam. Every racial and ethnic group which embraced the Islam made its contribution to the one and only Islamic civilization to which every person belonged. The logic of brotherhood and sisterhood was so much stressed that it overcame all local connection to a particular language, race or tribe all of which became compliant to the worldwide Brotherhood and sisterhood of Islam.
The global civilization that was created by the Islam allowed people of different ethnic culture to work together in cultivating range of sciences and arts. Although the civilization was strongly for Islamic, even the non-Muslim people engaged in the intellectual activity whose yield belonged to everybody. This civilization also succeeded in motivating the thoughts and mind of everyone who entered its fold. The custom of logical activity was concealed at the commencement of recent times due to the weakening of their faith combined with outside domination. Currently this activity started a fresh in various parts of the Islamic world now that they have recovered their political independence.