From Islam to the Great War

Middle East is regarded as one of the earliest home for human civilization which poses a challenge to have a genesis for early history examination and the political structures. Although historians have dug deeper into the existence of political and historical occurrences, there still seem to be more layers undiscovered concerning the political and other historical occurrences in the past in this region that greatly influenced the course of activities and events. The choice of Islam for analysis is justified since it is a distinct feature both politically and religiously in Middle East. Middle East countries have been shaped by how Islam has evolved through rise and evolution of national destinies of various nations (Arthur 12).

The geographical settings of the region potentially contributed to the evolution, rise and spread of Islam in the entire seventeenth century. This however does not make Islam a unique phenomenon since other religious, political socio-cultural and economic phenomenon are influenced by the same factors of geographical settings of a certain region. Islam was born in the seventeenth century in the Arabian Peninsula which was harsh and inaccessible due to its terrains and other geographical features. The only way to access the region was through the use of merchant caravans that traded between the region and Damascus and further went to the North (Arthur 23).

During this time, many civilization processes had been completed and gone through the whole process from birth, death and regeneration. Due to the collapse of the ancient Iranian dynasty, Arabian Peninsula residing along the border of Iran and Iraq initiated plans to restore the dynasty during the reign of Alexander the Great. Besides this civilization, the Byzantine Empire also raised significantly with sizeable powers and occupation where its name was born. Other great cities that also emerged were the Sassanids and Byzantines but later abandoned although there was a notable collapse of the Babylonian Empire at the time (Arthur 26).

By this time there were three other dynasties; the Arabian Peninsula which developed to become Islam, Byzantine in the north which developed to become Christians and the Sassanids which settled in the East and had a combination of several monotheistic religions. The socio-cultural and economic life was organized into three categories. The first one was the urban communities where there were established economies and markets where money economies had been firmly established. In this category, political and administrative apparatus well established. Culturally, religious powers were well instigated with a well established center of authority. Middle East is now divided in Pre-Islamic and Islamic religious groupings. However the rise of Islam is the most predominant in Middle East as opposed to other religion activities which died out slowly with their predominant cities where there were established (Arthur 29).

Population patterns have been influenced by region’s geographical set up of a specific place. The population in major cities was instrumental in the established of a centralized authority to cater for the increased social need and order, maintenance of economic security and provision of physical needs in the society. Provision of social facilities and amenities also facilitated the establishment of big urban centers. This region shared a cultural identity from the political, administrative, social and economic activities (Arthur 31).

The rise and expansion of Islam

Mecca is most known at the center of Islamic growth and its popularity is widely advanced due to two major reasons. First it the host to the place where Abraham is believed to have offered sacrifice to God commonly known as Kaba which has become a famous place for pagans who believe in giving a homage to the most holy site. This was also the central location where caravans of trade used to have a stop from Yemen towards the South and Syria in the North therefore making it an attractive site where traders rested. This city was also known for raiding caravans on their route from the south to the north, however, with time, the city started to organize for trade which further made it an attractive site for not only trade but also recreation and a good resting place (Arthur 35).

 Muhammad was born to the tribe of Qurash which was unfortunately was not the influential. Muhammad also lost his parents at a very tender age and was brought up by his uncle Abu Talib. Muhammad grew up and became like the leader of the city and challenged the social, economic and political set up of Mecca. Muhammad advocated for the economic and political autonomy of Mecca and Medina was the first one to gain significant military and political power in the region. Prophet Muhammad’s entry to Medina was following a treaty signed between the two authorities for the citizens Mecca and Medina would live harmoniously and with peace with one another while maintaining their cultures, laws and customs (Arthur 36).

In case of any dispute and disagreement, Muhammad was the arbitrator in any case. The death of Prophet Muhammad brought mixed reactions in the city of Mecca with several contradictions as well as growth and developments in the cities. Muhammad successors brought great developments with tremendous growth of Islamic armies.

The rise of Ottomans

There were major political shifts in the Middle East in terms of socio-economic, cultural and political administrations. There were major collapses of some dynasties and kingdoms as well as rise of others in the entire Middle East region. One significant and major consequence of these shifts was the rise to power of a small Turkic tribe that was named after one of their earliest elders of the time. The name given to this tribe was the Ottomans which originated from the northwestern sides of Anatolia. While the Saljuqs of Anatolia were declining in power control, the Ottomans were the greatest beneficiaries. Their major chief Osman set course to conquer kingdoms and cities which he did starting with Byzantine Empire and consequently other major defeats followed assuming control of a great region in both control and administration besides control of all the fronts of life; socio-cultural, economic and political fields (Arthur 44).

The kingdom of Ottomans expanded steadily with much conquers not only in Middle East but also crossed over to Europe. The major boost and support for the expansion of Ottomans as historical records indicates was the warm reception that these people received from the masses of the regions initially occupied by other tribes. For instance when they advanced to resettle in Balkan cities where initially it was under the ruler - ship of Anatolians, they never experienced deep resentment of the local people. It is indicated in the records that Balkan peasants encouraged the invasion of Ottomans because they viewed it as liberation from the control of feudal and powerful Christians who were in charge of the region by then (Arthur 49).

The introduction of monastic lands by these feudal Christians had worsened the life in Balkan therefore welcoming the invasion and conquer with a grip of relief which they thought would bring better life and respect for their civil liberties, rights and freedoms.  Ottomans dynast is well described as having passed three important stages to its success. First is the establishment of a dynasty which followed the death of Suleyman resulting to unprecedented growth of prestige, power and territorial size of the empire. Initial kingdoms experienced military weakening, defeats, territorial decays in administrative matters and industrial under development which propelled and assisted the Ottomans to have an easy period in conquering. Lastly, many kingdoms and dynasties experienced incompetent and inexperienced Sultans who were in power during this period (Arthur 55).

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