Sunday, 13 April 2014


Islam is an Arabic word which means “submit to Allah (God)”. Islamic History begins with the revelation of Holy Qur’an on Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at the age of 40 years in 610 AD. The followers of Islam are known as ‘Muslims’. Since its beginning, Islam and Muslims play important role in the military, political and economic history of the world, especially the Middle East. Though Islam is not an old religion, but Muslims believe that all the prophets of Allah [from Adam (PBUH) to Muhammad (PBUH)] were Muslims and they all preached Islam, while Judaism and Christianity invented due to misguidance of later people. Thus, Islam is the first and true religion of mankind, according to Muslim’s belief. 

Arabia before Islam

Before the advent of Islam, most of the people in the Arabian peninsular, especially Hejaz, were polytheists. They worshiped different idols and there were 360 idols in Kaaba, which was rebuilt by Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) and his son Ismail (PBUH) for the worship of Allah Almighty. The Arab tribe of Quraysh (Adnani Arabs) was present at Makkah, where Kaaba lies. They were from the lineage of Prophet Ismail (PBUH). Muhammad (PBUH) was also from Quraysh tribe. 

Arrival of Islam

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Makkah in 570 AD. His father (Abdullah) died before his birth. His mother (Aamna) died when he was just 6 years old. Two years later, his grandfather (Abdul Mutalib) also died. Later, he was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib.

At the age of 40 years, in 610 AD, the revelation of Holy Qur’an started to him. He told people that their Lord (Allah) is only one. They should obey him and forbade idolatry. He also criticized them on their evil deeds of bloodshed, looting, immorality, alcohol-drinking, gambling, killing of daughters, usury etc. The Quraysh and other Arabs became very annoyed on his teachings and created problems for him and few of his companions, who accepted Islam. They didn't want to leave their previous religion and bad deeds.

When it became very difficult for his companions to live in Makkah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) allowed few of his companions to migrate Abyssinia (modern day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia). These Muslims (which number about one hundred), migrated in two phases and remained there for sometime with peace. Later, they returned to Medina after Muslims migrated to Medina

Migration to Medina

After more than ten years of revelation of Qur’an, the people of Makkah remain stubborn and took no affect of the true and pious teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Only few people converted to Islam and their lives were made troublesome by the tyranny of the people of Makkah. Now, there were also even talks about the killing of Muhammad (PBUH) by the polytheists. At that time, few people from Yathrib (now Madinah) accepted Islam during Hajj of 620 AD and later in 622 AD, people from Yathrib also invited Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions to Yathrib as many people of the main tribes of Yathrib (Aws and Khazraj) had also accepted Islam.

Now, after disappointment from the people of Makkah, Muhammad (PBUH) decided to migrate to Yathrib in order to establish an Islamic society there. After His (PBUH) permission, Muslims started migration to Yathrib in different phases, so that the Makkans could not know about their migration. In June 622 AD, Muhammad (PBUH) also migrated to Yathrib with his companion Abu Bakr (RA) at the same night when different tribes of Makkah decided to assassinate Him (PBUH). The polytheists tried hard to capture Him (PBUH) but both of them managed to reach Yathrib after about a month of travelling. Yathrib is 320 km north of Makkah. After Muhammad’s arrival, the city was named Madinat-un-Nabi (city of the prophet (PBUH)), but later known as Madinah. 

Islamic Society in Medina

As many people of Medina had already accepted Islam, Islamic society started in Madinah. Muhammad (PBUH) was accepted as a political leader of Medina by not only the Muslim Arab tribes of Aus and Khazraj, but also by the Jews of Medina through Charter of Medina. In Makkah, most of the verses of Holy Qur’an comprised about basic teachings including faith and, individual good and bad deeds. But in Medina, Qur’an also teaches about social issues including political issues, economic issues, judicial matters etc.

Battles against Quraysh

Quresh were unhappy at the formation of an Islamic society in Medina. They believe it will create problems for them in future. Therefore they attacked three times in five years after migration.

In 2 AH, Muslims defeated pagans in the Battle of Badr. The Muslims number only 313, while the Quraysh were numbered around 1000. The Muslims’ true faith in Islam, leadership of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and arrogance of Quraysh turned the battle in Muslims favor.

In 3 AH, Muslims have to suffer big loss in the Battle of Uhad, due to their indiscipline attitude. But Quresh were unable to defeat the Muslims properly.

In 5 AH, Muhammad (PBUH) used an Iranian technique of trench to save Medina from large number of fighters from Quraysh and other tribes in the Battle of Khandaq (trench). 

After that, Quresh were never able to attack Medina and in 6 AH (628 AD), Muslims and Quraysh signed an agreement “Treaty of Hudaybiyya” to end battles for next ten years and resolve other issues including conversions and pilgrimage to Ka’aba.

Battles against Jews

After 'Battle of Badr’, Jewish tribe of Banu Qaynuqa became very angry at the defeat of Qraysh. They showed their enmity against Muslims at many occasions. In Shawaal 2 AH (624 AD), they were expelled from Medina due to their immoral behavior against a Muslim woman and other reasons. 

After ‘Battle of Uhud’, Muslims expelled the Jewish tribe of Banu Nudir from Medina in 4 AH (625 AD) due to their conspiracy with the Quraysh. Later, they were completely defeated during Battle of Khayber in 629 AD.

During the ‘Battle of Trench’, the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza helped the attackers, which was a violation of Charter of Medina. Therefore, after their surrender following an invasion from Muslims, all of the men were killed and women and children taken prisoners. The decision was taken according to the teachings of ‘Torah’.

Conquest of Makkah

According to the ‘treaty of Hudaybiyya’, the tribe of Banu Bakr became partners of Quraysh, while another tribe Banu Khuza’ah joined with Muslims. The partner tribes of Muslim and Quresh should also remain peaceful according to the treaty. But in 8 AH (630 AD), Banu Bakr attacked Banu Khuza’ah and killed few of their men. Now, Muhammad (PBUH) demanded from Quraysh to either give compensation of the attack, end relationship with Banu Bakr or end the ‘treaty of Hudaybiyya’. Quraysh initially accepted to end the treaty but later tried to negotiate. But now, Muhammad (PBUH) refused to negotiate further and decided to attack Makkah.

In Ramadan of 8 AH, Muslims attacked and captured Makkah without much bloodshed. Most of the people of Quraysh including their chief Abu Sufiyan accepted Islam. Muhammad (PBUH) purified Kaaba from idols and it became a place for worship of one God (Allah) again.

In 9 AH, Muslims fought two battles. These were Battle of Hunayn and Battle of Tabuk. In 10 AH, Muhammad (PBUH) performed his first and only Hajj pilgrimage, where he gave his famous sermon known as the ‘Farewell Sermon’. Muhammad (PBUH) died in Rabi-ul-Awal 11 AH. 

Rashidun Caliphate
(632-661 AD)

After the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), four caliphs governed the Islamic State. They ruled for almost 30 years. They are known as ‘Rashidun (rightly guided) Caliphs’. They were; Abu Bakr (RA), Umar ibn Khattab (RA), Usman ibn Affan (RA) and Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA).

Abu Bakr (RA):

After the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Abu Bakr (RA) became the first caliph of Muslims. In the very beginning of his reign, he has to face many problems from several tribes of Arabia. Many liars claimed to be prophets and their relative tribes accepted their claim. Few tribes decided not to give compulsory religious tax (Zakat), while few refused to pray (Salat).

Abu Bakr (RA) remained steadfast and fought against the liar prophets. Battles against them are known as Rida Wars. All of them were defeated. He also made other rebel tribes to submit under the Islamic Government.  

After consolidation of his government, Abu Bakr (RA) also sent expeditions against Persian and Roman Empire. Muslim Army under Khalid bin Waleed (RA) conquered Iraqi province of Persia and also defeated Roman Christians in few initial battles in Levant (Al-Sham).

The reign of Abu Bakr (RA) lasted for only two years (632-634 AD), but he not only consolidated the Islamic State during that little period but also laid the foundation for the conquest of Persia and Levant. Abu Bakr (RA) died in 634 AD.

Umar bin Khattab (RA)

After the death of Abu Bakr (RA) in 634 AD, Umar (RA) became the second caliph of Islamic State. He was appointed by Abu Bakr (RA). Later, it was proved that the decision of Abu Bakr (RA) was absolutely right. During his reign, Islamic State not only expanded to far flung areas, but also internally it was very prosperous. His laws about social security are even today recognized and acted upon.

Umar (RA) completed the victories against Sassanid Persia and Levant (under the Roman Empire), started by Abu Bakr (RA). During his reign, the borders of Islamic State expanded from Levant, Egypt and Libya in the west to Persia, Azerbaijan and Makran in the east. The Sassanid Empire was completely destroyed, while Roman Empire lost its all areas in Arabia, north Africa and also Eastern Anatolia.  

Umar (RA) ruled for ten years (634-644 AD). He was martyred by a non-Muslim Persian slave on 26th Zulhijjah 23 AH (644 AD).

Usman bin Affan (RA)

Usman bin Affan (RA) was the third caliph of Islamic State after the martyrdom of Umar (RA). He was elected from the committee of six persons, made by Umar (RA) during his last days.

After the death of Umar (RA), many Persian and Roman provinces rebelled. These include former Persian areas of Fars, Khorasan, Kirman and Sistan and former Roman provinces of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Egypt. Usman (RA) successfully crushed these rebellions. Apart from consolidation of power, Usman (RA) also conquered many areas of North Africa, modern day Afghanistan and few areas of Central Asia. Usman (RA) also established Muslim Navy, which was able to capture the islands of Crete, Rhodes and part of Sicily from the Roman Navy.  

Usman (RA) ruled for 12 years (644-656 AD). First half of his rule was the period of victories and prosperity. But during the second half of his reign, a revolt arose due to mischief of few people who want to destabilize the Muslim State. This revolt span on such a big scale that on 18th Zulhijjah 35 AH (656 AD), the Caliph was martyred by the enemies of Islam after siege of Usman’s (RA) house.

Ali bin Abu Talib(RA)

Ali (RA) was the 4th caliph of Islamic State. His reign is marked by internal conflicts and civil wars. First he had to fight against Ayesha (RA) in ‘Battle of Jamal (camel)’ and later against Muawiya (RA) in Battle of Siffin. Both these battles took place for the revenge of Usman (RA). It was thought that the assassins of Usman (RA) have taken oath on Ali’s (RA) hand and they’re under his protection.

After 'Battle of Siffin', Ali (RA) took against Kharijites in the Battle of Nahrawan (659 AD). Muawiya (RA) took advantage of that encounter and his commander Amr bin al-As (RA) captured Egypt. Now, the Islamic State split into two parts, with Levant and Egypt under Muawiya’s (RA) control while Ali (RA) was the ruler of the other areas.

Ali (RA) was martyred by a Kharijite on 21st Ramadhan 40 AH. He ruled for five years (656-661 AD). 

Umayyad Dynasty
(661-750 AD)

After martyrdom of Ali (RA), his elder son Hassan (RA) became the new ruler of Islamic State, with the capital Kufa (Iraq). Muawiya (RA) was the ruler of the north-western part of the state which comprised the area of Levant and Egypt, with the capital Damascus (Syria). Hassan (RA) was a very peace-loving person. In order to end the bloodshed and unite the Islamic State, he signed a treaty with Muawiya (RA). Through this treaty, Muawiya (RA) became the ruler of the whole Islamic State and the civil war ended. Later, Muawiya (RA) became the founder of Umayyad Dynasty.

 Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan (RA)

The reign of Muawiya (RA) started in 661 AD and lasts till his death (680 AD). He shifted the capital of state from Kufa (Iraq) to Damascus (Syria).
After the treaty with Hassan bin Ali (RA), the only internal problem remained was from kharijites. Muawiya (RA) was able to end their rebellion in 43 AH. He then focused his attention towards Byzantine Empire. Along with Army, he also built a strong Navy to fight against them. In every winter and summer seasons, his forces attacked the Romans in order to keep them away from their borders. His Navy captured islands of Cyprus, Rhodes and few parts of Greek islands. Under his rule, Muslims attempted for the first time to conquered Byzantine capital Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). His Army siege Constantinople in 51 AH but could not conquer it due to better defensive measures by Romans. He also conquered Ifriqiya (modern day Tunisia). His reign is known for unity, internal prosperity and external successes. He died in 680 AD.

Yazeed bin Muawiya

Yazeed bin Muawiya was the eldest son of Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan (RA). Muawiya (RA) appointed him as the new ruler of Islamic State just before his death. This decision was not accepted by few prominent Muslims including Hussain bin Ali (RA) and Abdullah bin Zubayr (RA). Second Islamic Civil War (second Fitna) started during his reign due differences over his appointment. Hussain (RA) was martyred in the Battle of Karbala in 61 AH (680 AD), which started a new division between Muslims. Later Abdullah bin Zubayr (RA) became ruler of Hejaz. Yazeed’s forces end his rule in Medina after ‘’Battle of al-Harrah” but he could not be defeated completely due to sudden death of Yazeed in 683 AD.
Abdul Malik bin Marwan

Second Fitna or Second Islamic Civil War started due to appointment of Yazed bin Muawiya. After death of Yazed in 683 AD, his son Muawiya bin Yazed was appointed as ruler but he died just six months later. After his death, a three-sided conflict started between Abdullah bin Zubayr (RA) supported by people of Hejaz, Umayyads led by Marwan bin Al-Hakam and his son Abdul Malik bin Marwan, and Mukhtar Saqafi supported by many shias. The three sides battled each other for control of different regions. Mukhtar was killed by Abdullah’s (RA) brother Mus’ab bin Zubayr in 687 AD, while after defeating Mus’ab bin Zubair in Iraq, Abdul Malik later martyred Abdullah bin Zubayr (RA) in 692 AD after Siege of Makkah. After that, Abdul Malik became the sole ruler of Islamic world and restored the Umayyad dynasty. He died in 705 AD.

Waled bin Abdul Malik

Waled bin Abdul Malik was the eldest son of Abdul Malik bin Marwan and became ruler of Islamic Empire after the death of his father. His reign (705-715 AD) is known as the golden period of unified Islamic Empire in terms of the conquests. His great military commanders stretched the Islamic State from Al-Andulus (Spain & Portugal) in the west to Sindh and Multan (in today’s Pakistan) to the east and Mawarunnahr (most of Central Asia) to the north. Later Umayyad rulers could not conquered much after Waled. He died in 715 AD.

Later Umayyads

During reign (715-717 AD) of Sulayman bin Abdul Malik, Second Muslim Siege of Constantine (717-718 AD) was a major event. It could not be succeeded due to interference of Bulgaria in favor of Roman Empire.

Umar bin Abdul Aziz is known as one of the most pious rulers of Islamic history. During his reign (717-720 AD), he tried to make the system of government like it was in the time of ‘pious caliphs’. He is also known by few as the ‘fifth rightly-guided caliph’ due to his piety and reforms in government.

During the reign (720-724 AD) of Yazeed bin Abdul Malik, Kharjites were defeated in Iraq. Later, his governor Jarrah bin Abdullah conquered Balanjar (North Caucasia) in 723 AD.

Hisham bin Abdul Malik was the 10th ruler of Umayyad dynasty. He ruled for 19 years (724-743 AD). He crushed the rebellion of Hindus in Sindh. His commanders also captured many areas in Anatolia (modern day Turkey). Fierce battles were fought against Khazars in Caucasus but his generals were able to beat Khazars and restore authority in northern Caucasia. In 732 AD, Muslim army in Hispania was defeated in the Battle of Tours against Franks. Muslims could not conquer more area in Hispania after that defeat. A Berber revolt started in 740 AD. Hisham was able to crush that rebellion in 742 AD. He was an honest and simple ruler. He died in February 743.

Due to internal conflicts, three Umayyad rulers passed within the time span of about 1.5 years. Marwan bin Muhammad was the last ruler of Umayyad dynasty. He ruled for six years (744-750 AD). He was an able ruler and tried hard to consolidate the Umayyad rule. But the Abbasids had gained much ground at that time and he was unable to stop them.

In the Battle of Zab (Jan 750), Umayyad were decisively beaten by Abbasids. Later in August 750, Marwan was killed in Egypt. The Abbasids killed almost the whole dynasty of Umayyad. But a talented prince Abdul Rahman I was able to reach Al-Andulus (Iberian Peninsular) and in 756 AD, he established Emirate of Cordoba there. 

Abbasid Dynasty
(750-1258 AD)

Abbasid dynasty started after the downfall of Umayyad dynasty in 750 AD. They were from the line of Abbas bin Abdul Mutallib (RA), the uncle of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They started their campaign against Umayyad during the reign of Hisham bin Abdul Malik (724-743 AD). Their strongholds were Khorasan (modern Iran, Afghanistan etc) and Kufa (Iraq). After Hisham, the Umayyad became weakened due to internal conflicts and battles against Khazars. Abbasid took advantage and control different eastern areas of the state. At last in 750 AD, they defeated Umayyad in the Battle of Zab and became the new rulers of Islamic Empire.

Unlike the Umayyad, the main supporters of Abbasid were non-Arab Muslims, especially Iranians. They replace the capital from Damascus to Baghdad (Iraq), which was much closer to their stronghold areas. Also, they could not keep the unity of Islamic State during their rule, while the state was united under the Umayyad Dynasty. In 756, they lost control of Al-Andulus (Iberian peninsular) to Umayyad prince Abdul Rahman I. They also lost other areas in East and West gradually. Though, except Umayyad, Fatimid and Almohads, all the other ruling families accept their suzerainty. Different ruling families in different areas are shown below.

Political Disunity

Northwest Africa: Idrisids (788-974), Almoravids (1040-1147), Almohads (1147-1269).

Ifriqiya (modern Tunisia, western Libya & eastern Algeria): Aghlabids (800-909), Fatimid (909-973), Zirids (973-1148), Almohads (1148-1229), Hafsids (1229-1574).

Khorasan (modern NE Iran, Afghanistan etc): Samanids (819-999), Ghaznavids (962-1168), Seljuks, Ghurids, Khwarazmians (-1231).

Transoxiana (Central Asia): Samanids (819-999), Karakhanids (999-1212), Khwarazmians (1212-1231).

Egypt & Palestine: Tulunids (868-905), Ikhshidids (935-969), Fatimid (969-1171), Ayyubid (1171-1250), Mamluks (1250-1517).

Al-Jazira (Syria & N Iraq): Hamdanids (890- ), Marwanids & Uqaylids, Seljuks (-1194).

Southwest Iran: Buyids (934-1055), Seljuks (1055-1194).

Golden Age of Knowledge

The reign of Abbasid dynasty is known as the ‘golden age of Islam’ due to prosperity in scientific, literary and philosophical knowledge. The Abbasid rulers built many universities, libraries and also helped the intellectuals in their work. Few examples are given below.

Science & Technology

‘Muhammad bin Musa al-Khwarizmi’ develop algebra in his book “Kitabul Jabr wal Muqabala”. Experimental science was initially developed by ‘Ibn al-Haytham’. He proved ‘intromission theory of light’ in his book “Kitabul Manazir” through experimental proof. ‘Ibn-e-Sina’ wrote famous books on medicine including “Al-Qanun fi Tibb” and “Kitabul Shifa”, which were taught in the renaissance Europe. ‘Al-Battani’ corrected the measurement of precession of the axis of Earth. ‘Jabir bin Hayyan was a great alchemist. He developed ‘distillation techniques’ and many other chemical processes.

The use of technology was also on rise. Few examples are the use of papermaking, gunpowder, windmill, hydro power, petroleum (distillation to kerosene) and many other technical devices.


Alif Laylah wa-Laylah (One Thousand and One Nights) is one of the most famous book of this age, popular in both East and West. Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad are its famous characters.

Laylah and Majnun is the most famous Arabic romantic poetry book. Many later romantic stories were written by taking impression from this story.

Many great Muslim philosophers passed during that age and new philosophies like Kalam, Avicennism, and Mutilazite etc. developed during that age. All the four Sunni school of thoughts also developed during that age.

Political Leaders

Notable rulers of Abbasid dynast include, Abu Ja’far Mansur, al-Mahdi, Haroon al-Rashed, Mamun bin Haroon, Mu’tasim bin Haroon and Mutawakkil bin Mu’tasim.

Other major political figures include Abu Muslim Khorasani and the family of Barmakids.

End of Dynasty

With the passage of time, the Abbasid dynasty became very weak due to differences with different political and influential groups and personalities. They lose many areas to different dynasties, as mentioned above. Few of them totally rejected their rule (Umayyad, Fatimid) while others were completely independent although they accept them as Caliphs. In the beginning, they were much dependent on Khorasan but later they chose the newly converted Muslim Turks for their survival and gave many important military statuses to them. But, the Turks proved king-makers and done much harm to the state due to their indiscipline.

The Mongols became a super power in the 13th Century under the leadership of Genghiz Khan. In a short span of time, they conquered all areas around Mongolia including China, Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and others. With the help of Persia and few Christine kingdoms, the Mongols under Hulagu Khan manage Siege of Baghdad in 1258. In February 1258, they defeated the forces securing Baghdad. The last Abbasid king Musta’sim was killed and the whole city of Baghdad was plundered. Around 1 million civilians were killed and the great library of Baghdad was destroyed including thousands of precious books.

Later, the remaining personalities of dynasty fled to Egypt and remained there under the protection of Mamluks who defeated the invading Mongols in the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1960. They remained there till 1517 when Ottoman ruler Salim I conquered Egypt.   

Fragmentation of Islamic State

After the fall of Abbasid Dynasty in Baghdad through the hands of Mongol in 1258, a vacuum created in the Islamic State as there remained no such a big power or influential dynasty to replace them and unite the state. The remaining Abbasid princes, under the protection of Mamluks in Egypt and Levant, were not regarded the Caliphs expect by the Mamluks themselves. At the time, three big Muslim Empires flourished at the same time. These were the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia, Balkans, adjacent Europe, Middle East etc; the Safavid dynasty in Greater Iran and; the Mughal Empire in the Subcontinent.

The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Dynasty was founded by a Turkish lord Osman Khan in 1288. Before that, the Seljuk Turks were in power in the Anatolia region but the invasions of Mongols weakened them a lot in the 13th Century and many small Turkish states formed. The rule of Ottomans started from a small area in northwestern Anatolia and it expanded through later centuries continuously. In 1389, the Ottomans decisively defeated Serbs in the Battle of Kosovo and thus ending their power in the Balkans. In 1396, they defeated the combined forces of Crusaders in the Battle of Nicopolis in modern day Bulgaria. This battle ended the Second Bulgarian Empire and it also proved to be the last major Crusade of that age. In 1444, Ottomans again defeated the combined Christine armies at the Battle of Varna in present day Bulgaria. In 1448, Ottomans gained another major success in the 2nd Battle of Kosovo by defeating forces of Christian Kingdoms of Hungary, Croatia and Wallachia. In 1453, Ottomans captured Constantinople which ended the Byzantine Empire and laid the foundation of Ottoman Empire.

In 1514, Ottomans defeated Safavid dynasty of Persia in the Battle of Chaldiran in today’s NW Iran. In 1517, the Ottomans also gained control over Egypt, Levant and Hedjaz by defeating Mamluks and ending their rule there. After Battle of Mohacs (1526), the Ottomans conquered Hungary and it also ended the Kingdom of Hungary. These victories make the Ottoman Empire as one of the largest empires occupying areas in Anatolia, eastern & central Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

After 1683, the decline of Ottoman Empire started. It started through Battle of Vienna in 1683 in which the Ottomans lost decisively against the combined Christine forces and thus lost control of Hungary after some time. Later, they lost their areas against different European Kingdoms and Empires continuously and at the end of 19th Century, they lost most of their occupied areas in eastern and central Europe, while their control over Middle East and North Africa was also nominal.

Safavid Dynasty

Safavid Dynasty was founded by Ismail I in 1501 when he captured Tabriz and later the whole of modern day Iran. Safavids were Shia and they forcefully converted the whole population of Iran to Twelver Shia. Before them, large population of Iran was Sufi Sunni and Zaydi Shia but the Safvids; through their tactics of killing, imprisonment and exile; were able to make the whole population Twelver Shia. The same tactics were applied in other areas that they captured, especially Azerbaijan and Iraq. This forced the Ottomans to fight against them.

In 1514, Ottomans defeated Safavids in the Battle of Chaldiran and thus gained permanent control over eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq. After Ottoman-Safavid War (1532-55), ‘Treaty of Amasya’ was signed through which Ottoman gained control over Iraq, Western Armenia and Kurdistan while Safavids were able to take the control of Tabriz. 

During the reign of Abbas I (1588-1629), the Safavids regained control of Iraq and South Caucasus region. They also defeated Mughals and Portuguese during his reign. The Ottomans were able to regain control of Iraq in 1638 AD.
In 1722, the Safavid Dynasty was ended through the hands of Hotaki Dynasty of Afghanistan. 

The Safavids did much harm to Ottomans as they halt their expansion in the Europe at the time when the Ottomans were at the peak of their reign. Their rule was also disastrous for Sunni Muslims of different areas who had to face sectarian-based killing, exile and forceful conversions from Sunni Islam to Shiaism. They were the first and most powerful dynasty of Greater Iran after Sassanid Empire.  

Mughal Empire

Shahab-ud-Din Ghori was the first Muslim ruler who made Delhi his capital after defeating Prithviraj III in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 AD. Later, his Turkish slaves laid the foundation of first Muslim Dynasty in India. It is known as Delhi Sultanate. Different dynasties ruled after them over most part of northern and central India including the Khilji (1290-1320), the Tughlaq (1320-1414), the Sayyid (1414-51) and the Lodhi (1451-1526).

In April 1526, Babur established Mughal Empire in India after defeating Ibrahim Lodhi in the First Battle of Panipat. Later Babur consolidated his rule by defeating Hindu ruler Rana Sanga in 1527.

Babur’s son Humayun lost against a Pashtun noble Sher Shah Suri in 1540 but later regained the Empire in 1555 AD. Humayun’s son Akbar was the most competent ruler of Mughal Empire. He conquered most parts of subcontinent through military campaigns and through his policy of matrimonial alliances with Rajput Hindu princesses. He also introduced a new religion Din-e-Ilahi, which was not accepted by most of the people. Aurangzeb was the sixth Mughal ruler. During his reign (1658-1707 AD), the Mughal Empire reached at its zenith as he captured almost the whole of Indian Subcontinent. He was also a very devout Muslim ruler.

After Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire started to decline as it was difficult for the successors of Aurangzeb to take full control of the vast empire. As a result, Hindu Marathas establish their control over most of central India while many small dynasties flourished in the east and south of the Subcontinent and the rule of Mughals was weakened miserably. The British and Portuguese also took advantage of the situation and annexed many areas. In 1857, the British were able to defeat all the other elements of power and conquest the subcontinent. The last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah II was exiled in Burma.

This section of “Islamic History” is up to 19th Century. More details can be found in the sections of 20th Century and 21st Century


  1. It is a known fact that Abraham (Ibrahim) was born 2600 BC in Ur and lived in Hebron. Mecca (Makah) was founded circa 3rd century AD. The Kaaba at Mecca, a copy of the Kaaba in Yemen, was a temple to the rock god, who still resides in the east wall of the Kaaba.
    While the Koran is the word of Allah, it only comprises 14% of Islamist texts, the Sira (Life of Mohammad) and the Haditha (customs or practices of Mohammad) being 86%. The Shahada is located in the Haditha (not the Koran). Mohammad is the ideal Muslim whose actions and proclivities are to be copied by the followers of Islam. Reading the Sira and Haditha will explain the actions of present day Mohammadans. Islam therefore is really the religion of Mohammad; Allah is only 14% of the texts.

    1. If there is any Kaaba in Yemen then why we can't say that this Kaaba in Yemen is the copy of Kaaba at Makkah because the Holy Quran (on which we believe) says that The first place of worship built on earth was that Kaaba in Makkah.
      Holy Quran is the foundation of Islam and it gives basic teachings while Hadith (sayings) and Sunnah (practices) of Muhammad (PBUH) explains Quran. Therefore, it is understandable that Hadith and Sunnah makes major portion of Islam.
      But anyway, this post is about Islamic History from the birth of prophet (PBUH) to 19th Century, not earlier than that.