Shiites

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Who are mawali? Medieval Islam

By |2017-07-26T22:57:59-07:00July 26th, 2017|History, Islam|

Shiite shrine at Karbala (from the 1800s AD): the tomb of Ali's son Hussein Mawali is the Arabic name for people all over the Islamic Empire who were not Arab but converted to Islam anyway. The mawali might be Syrians, Iranians, Egyptians, or Iraqis, but they weren't from the Arabian peninsula so they weren't Arabs. Legally, Mawali were the [...]

The Umayyads – Early Islamic History

By |2017-07-25T17:04:54-07:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Tomb of Ali, the first Imam and the fourth caliph, in Iraq (it was rebuilt about 1500 AD by the Safavids) Mohammed died in 632 AD. His second wife's father, a rich man named Abu Bakr, took over as caliph. He became the leader of the new religion of Islam, and of the newly united Arab [...]

Buddhism and Islam – Central Asian religion

By |2018-04-16T14:00:45-07:00June 1st, 2017|Central Asia, Religion|

Bamiyan Buddhas (Afghanistan, ca. 500 AD, now destroyed by the Taliban) Central Asia's wide steppe is so easy to ride horses or camels over or walk over that there have always been a lot of people coming and going through Central Asia, and they bring their religious beliefs with them. So people in Central Asia [...]

The Silk Road to the Great Game – Central Asian History

By |2017-05-30T17:31:17-07:00May 30th, 2017|Central Asia, History|

A melon stall in Central Asia After Tamerlane died in 1405, his Altaic people kept on ruling Central Asia, but not as one big empire. There were lots of little countries all across Central Asia. These countries did well at first, but the collapse of the Mongol Empire soon brought sad changes to [...]

Ibn Battuta

By |2018-04-11T23:50:08-07:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

The travels of Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta was born in Morocco, in North Africa, in 1304 AD. He was from a rich Muslim family, and he went to the best schools in his hometown of Tangier. When Ibn Battuta was twenty years old, in 1325, he went on hajj to Mecca, as many rich young [...]

History of Islam

By |2018-04-09T23:10:26-07:00May 18th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

The religious faith of Islam, as it was practiced between about 650 and 1500 AD, was closely related to Judaism and Christianity. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims believed that there was only one God, whom they called 'Allah'. Muslims believed that Moses and Jesus had both existed, and that they were important holy men, and that Mohammed [...]