ISLAMIC HISTORICAL SUBJECTS
Course Code and Name
Major Themes of the Quran
The first and most important theme of the Quran is that of God Himself. This theme is evident in the first chapter of the Quran and runs throughout the Holy book of Islam. Arguably, this is the most important theme in the sense that it provides the most important qualities that Allah would wish that all followers of the Islam religion adhere to in the identification with Him. The most important aspect of this theme is that there is only one God whose characteristics are those of being all powerful and merciful.[Jonathan P. Berkey, The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).]
Man in society is another major theme of the Quran as seen in chapter three. The major focus of this theme is the examination of the manner in which human beings interact amongst one another. The same theme is important as defines the duties that Muslims have to carry out as well as the identification of familial relationships among other major factors that define a sustainable society that is highly sustainable in upholding the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, this theme from the Quran provides guidelines on the manner with which Muslim brethren should deal with issues such as financial management and how wealth would lure individuals into losing focus from God’s teachings.
The third major theme of the Quran is eschatology, which is essentially having the theological concern about death. In this case, the Quran goes deeply into the explanation of the signs of Al-Akhirah, the Day of Judgment. It is God alone who has the power of understanding the final Day of Judgment. However, the Quran warns Muslims that they have to always be ready and aware of their lifetime actions that will eventually define their fate during Al-Akhirah. During this day, the Quran argues that no one individual can have the power to intercede for another. In fact, a person’s organs would also have the power to testify against the person.
The fall of the Christian Byzantine Empire
History has a good way of indicating that no empire is immune to circumstance that would bring them down. However, the common notion is that empires have some degree of power that makes them difficult to be brought down by any means. In fact, it is for the same reason that several empires found themselves coming down within a short period. Although the Eastern Roman Empire wielded insufficient control and power over the powerful Turk empire, history shows that internal wrangles caused the eventual collapse. Specifically, the size and organization of the military controlled by the Byzantine Empire was among its greatest strengths.
In this case, many of the provinces under this empire had the responsibility of sending certain number of troops. This idea, majorly known to be the system, allowed the emperors to effectively mobilize a significant number of troops with a brief period of time. A civil war broke out between the emperor and his son. The two emperors engaged in war between 1321 and 1328. In the 7 year battle, the major concern was about power sharing. With the continuation of the family feud, the Turks remained peaceful as they kept watch until the time to strike started the second civil war.
The second civil war that broke out in 1341 lasted for over half a decade. This war was between different classes characterized of the nobles and the thrones. The Serbs became effective in utilizing the war situation to their advantage by acquiring more territorial places. At the end of more than 5 year war, the Byzantine Empire was losing a significant number of its subjects while its trade networks experienced high levels of disruption. With economic and population decline, the empire met its demise eventually.
The Mongol Invasion in the 13th Century
The invasion of Mongol was perpetrated by the European powers as a means of destroying what was then the ‘East Slavic’ principalities. These principalities included Vladimir and Kiev among others. However, the invasion also took place in Central Europe, and eventually led to the fragmentation of Poland. This fragmentation also resulted to various wars such as the Battle of Mohi and the Battle of Legnica. General Subatai, under the commands of Batu Khan and Kadan planned and executed all these operations. These conquests eventually interrupted the stability that initially existed in the European territory and much of the Golden Horde region. The unfolding events show that the warring European princes came into the understanding that they had to strike a means of cooperating during the Mongol invasion. With this cooperation, wars in the European territories came into halt, only to resume after the withdrawals of the Mongols.[S. Frederick Starr, Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015).]
The European disunity at the time of the Mongol invasion resulted in various changes in the lives of Muslims within the region. For instance, the Mamluks of Egypt had to plead with Berke after learning that the latter was a Muslim. The Mamluks sought the support of Berke Khan in aiding many of the Mongols that suffered throughout the invasion period. Additionally, in the Turkic culture, there began the perception that there existed a relationship between the Muslim Turkic and their Egypt Mumluks brothers. However, this perception was not clear in the definition of the Mongol shamanist Halagu Khan. In this sense, at the time when Hulagu Khan waged war against the Holy Land that the Mamluk controlled, Berke Khan was effectively the person to seek support from in sending armies to fight against his cousin.
Differing Views of Shiites and Sunnis
The Shia and Sunni Muslim communities share common and fundamental issues related to the key aspects of Islamic beliefs. In essence, these are the two major groups of the Islam sub-groups. However, these sub-groups do differ from the point of view of political affiliations and distinctions. Over the centuries, the political differences between these two sub-groups have been effective in resulting to varying practices which have also influenced a significant level of spiritual concept. In the question of leadership and authority, the division becomes evident with the understanding of the death of Prophet Muhammad. The death raised concerns of ‘who was to ...