Islam History: Middle Ages

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Islam History: Middle Ages


In the first place we must mention Al-Mawardi who establishes that the only legitimate power is the figure of a single caliph, regardless of where it will be geographically. It indicates the importance of protecting Muslims and Islamic law, so it also states that protecting the administration and total activity of the State causes that, many times it must move away from the sacred law: the choice of caliph, in this sense,It must be done based on moral and intellectual qualities. 

An argument used to validate the power of sultans about spiritual power. Other authors, such as Ibn Jama’a, even add that the figure of the leader must fulfill the function of establishing and conserving order: groups such as Sunnas and Chiitas caused the opposite. So they endorse that a tyrant sultan is preferable, instead of an anarchy. Other authors based on Plato’s ideas, will issue their desire for the formation of the ideal state, and attribute this title to the Islamic Government. 

And they establish, such as Al-Farabi, that this proposal will only be effective in a state where the role of religious and political power is occupied by the same person. Analyzing the position of IBN Rushd, we can glimpse that thought where it is stated that the existence of a person capable of supporting both powers together. However, it distinguishes that this is unlikely to happen because the concentration of all ideal capacities in the same person is a remote and strange fact. 

So conclude that philosophers must fulfill the role of "Guardians and interpreters of the true content of the Sharía", as successors of the prophet. “The ability of religious guidance and practical knowledge of the law, ability to conduct a theoretical war and knowledge of truth, must be assumed by (at least) another person different from that of the caliph but in turn participates in the trade of the caliphate”(Hernández Godoy 2008, 18). And finally, Ibin Khaldum, influenced by Machiavelli, uses the concept of Asabiyya, that this union in a community in blood kinship or the set of links, share and follow the same idea. In this case, Islam. 


 The prophet Muhammad and the beginning of Islamic political ideas. There is no exact date to determine when Muhammad Ibn Abd Allah was born, also known as Muhammad, although it is known that he was born in 570 in Mecca. In turn, we can affirm that he belonged to the Clan of the Banü Häsim of the Quarays tribe and became an orphan from a very young age, a fact that would mark his life and cause that he will be under the care of different relatives during his childhood and adolescence. 

His economic situation was always impoverished until his first marriage to a woman named Jadíya, who possessed a lot of money. His life under the role of a believer faithful to the cult of his ancestors allowed, when developing under prayer, meditation would occupy an important role in his life. It was precisely during a moment of loneliness and silence, on Mount Hira, near Mecca, where he had his first revelation with the Angel Gabriel. And thanks to his charisma, a short time later, he made the majority of his relatives close to this new belief. 

For the year 613, Muhammad begins to preach Islam based on faith in Allah as the only creator, and rejects any other type of gods and expects divine punishment. Then his successors will finally establish the five pillars of Islam: Allah is the only God, Muhammad is the only prophet;The way to Mecca;the payment of alms;fasting in the Ramadan and the prayer of faith in front of mecca and profession of faith. 

And in turn, Islam establishes that Muhammad is the last great prophet guided by God, to whom he provides the greatest revelation of eternal law. Therefore, this religion accepts belief in other prophets such as Adam, who was the first of them, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus. Likewise, Muhamm’s preaching generates a great controversy due to its rejection of other beliefs that causes certain groups, mainly from the most important economically important sectors, decide to face the prophet, since their political influence grew more every day more every day. 

From what he decides, a short time after the death of his wife and uncle, who took the place of his protector, heading towards Medina: in this way the well -known Muslim calendar begins. The migration to Medina causes Islam to begin to expand even more and that the consolidation of Muhammad as the main religious and political figure begins to devote itself to the same person: “The unification of the spiritual governing principle, that is, monotheism, andHis representation in human society, through theocratic sovereignty ”.

 However, we must bear in mind that the Quran does not establish who owes or what type of authority must govern in the Islamic community. This will be one of the greatest conflicts, and in turn, contributions from Muslims to the political field, which we will mention in greater detail. Although the prophet occupied its corresponding place, the new Islamic had to face a difficult adaptation to that life in Medina, where they lived with other communities. 

For this same reason, there were certain clashes between the different groups, which were defended by Muhammad under reason that opposing Islamic religion was greater sin than any other type of war. Therefore, when Muslims and the Mecca quarsies faced, as a consequence of looting on commercial roads by the former, Muhammad will not hesitate to support their followers and thus start the well -known Holy War. He will die with this type of pilgrimage and struggle, arguing that Islam must comply with jihad, obligation or call to expand Islam in the territory of non -believers. 

At present, there are various conceptions of this concept as fans or jihadists;And also as an introspective monitoring, of trying to spread the word of Allah. We must emphasize that Muhamm’s role as a religious and political leader does not correspond to what we know as Cesaropapism (that concept that refers to the "desire of the Caesars to exercise religious functions within the Catholic Church" (Medrano), especially that characteristictypical of this phenomenon where the ruler imposes on the people the belief they must adhere, and it is this same leader who defines the dogma of the same. 

In this case, Muhammad creates a new religion, and imposes and defines his dogma;However, it is not correct to affirm that it is a case of Cesaropapism because it is, according to the prophet, the will of Allah who establishes that the figure of the Islamic guide must be exercised by the same person, complying with the different roles that thisposition implies. For this reason, it is not the man who decides or has the right to do so, only Allah, God. However, again, we must emphasize that this type of Cesaropapist intentions, similar to those that occurred in the Christian conception, will also happen in Islam, but later we will enter this small relationship or rub. 

The four caliphs. After the death of the prophet, the Islamic community had to face a big problem that continues today: Muhammad dies without determining who his heir would be. Due to which it will be selected by the enriched sectors of the UMMA one of its first disciples, Abu-Bakr As-Siddiq, who acquires the title of Caliph, that is to say successor. A short time later, he dies and one of Muhamm’s in-laws happens: Umar Ibn al-Khattab.

After 10 years of power, thirdly, Uthmann Ibn Affan ascends, who continues the political expansion of his predecessor and consolidates the final and definitive version of the Quran, that is, “a theological sum that exposes the dogma, a legal and social code, a moral treaty and a daily life manual ”. Finally, Alí Ibn Abi-Talib, who was a mahoma cousin and son-in-law, adopts the figure of Caliph. These men are known as well -guided caliphs. 

They were highly respected authorities in their corresponding leadership, and will be the initial basis for the political field of the region. During the third caliphate, the caliph is killed to favor the interests of its clan, the umomeyas. However, with the arrival of the fourth caliphate, the latter is accused of having conspired in the death of the previous one to consecrate with power. Therefore, it is decided that the governor of Damascus, Muawiya Ibn Abi-Sufyan who decides the verdict and grants justice: he holds Alí Ibn Abi-Talib, and as a consequence he is killed and his successor will be Muawiya. As a consequence of this conflict, Islam will be subdivided into three groups that remain in force today. 

The first one is known as Sunnites, or Sunni, who consider that it is not necessary. Muawiya, the new caliph, fulfilled this condition so that his power was accepted by this group. His doctrine is based on tradition and consensus, for this same reason they do not gather the religious and political figure in the same person: religious power does not concentrate on a person, on the contrary, this sphere must be interpreted from the Quranand Islamic laws that must have an interpretation of theologists and jurists.

 Unlike the second group that we will mention later, the Sunnas consider that every Muslim is able to interpret the book revealed without any religious preparation or hierarchy. Today, this group is the one who has the most predominance from the Middle East to Africa. On the other hand, the Shiites are the group that forms the minor. 

His death symbolizes a tragic and sacred fact for this group. They will never recognize the Osmanli or Ottoman dynasty and recognize the Imananto, a theocratic nation led by a magnet, who is defined as a descendant of the prophet Muhammad. Finally, the Jarayíes who rejected the imposition of Muawiya since they considered that, any faithful with the necessary qualities was able to occupy the role of the caliph. His thought was such because most of them came from the impoverished sectors, so their objective was a more equal power. 

At present, they are the group with the lowest predominance. The three groups will initiate an endless confrontation in search of establishing who should be the true guide of the UMMA, this problem arises because in the Qur’an it is not mentioned what type of authority should assume the guide. Therefore, different thinkers will seek to solve this problem studying and analyzing the sacred readings. The existence of two spheres of power, where, as we can also observe in Christian thought, a connection between the earthly and the religious is recognized. 

When the first one is not fulfilled, the breach of the second could mean. As the author Saint Augustine raises and relates to Christianity, under influences of Cicero and Plato, a republic would not be good, if it does not fulfill the religious aspect. Therefore, this will be the greatest confusion and theme that will seek to solve the following Islamic philosophers, but without considering that finally, from a historical point of view, who will obtain victory will be the temporal force. Islamic philosophers: the two spheres of power.

 As the author Jesus Hernández Godoy states in his work "Genesis of Muslim political thought", Islam is a religion that is deeply related to the political aspect, mainly because one of the bases of this belief is jihad, that obligation that possessesMuslims related to the continuous holy war, in order to spread the word of Allah. This causes the struggle of the Islamic community to require the political sphere to achieve its objective. 

For this reason, this group is led by the figure of Caliph, who based on Muhamm’s revelations in the Qur’an, must defend the UMMA. However, the confrontation between political and religious power was an inevitable fact and was not a novelty at the time, since simultaneously the complaint of investiture began to develop. The divisions between Muslims in relation to this conflict seriously influenced, even their ability to dominate. They became experts in the face of continuous expansion and struggles with other peoples.

 We can observe it in its exercise of power over the current Arabia, North Africa and much of Spain and Portugal. However, the internal problems regarding those who corresponded to govern was a question that was beyond. The political ideas developed by the different authors allow us to observe the various positions and visions. The impact that these ideas on development will have will allow us to understand their rapid growth in the aforementioned regions.

 Initially we must highlight the Umayya Caliphate, which was founded by Muawiya, that caliph from Damascus, the year 663. It was characterized by being the most extension caliphate, despite what various revolts and rebellions should have faced, as a result of fragmentation in religion. In 750 he falls and the caliphate is divided: Abderramán will found the Emir de Córdoba, which will later become the Caliphate of Córdoba. He stood out for its political, cultural and religious importance before his confrontations with bordering Christianity.

 I give the region that organization that was needed. And on the other hand, in the East, from Africa to the Middle East, the Abasida Caliphate will be established, which was founded by the prophet’s uncle. For the latter, the Shiite group is consolidated in the area and many support the idea of Imananto. Finally, the Ottoman Empire will be the great heir of this civilization. But to achieve this, the various authors will allow us to know how the Muslim community organized its structure and determined who and how their leaders were. 

The importance of Islam in the Middle Ages. The emergence of this new religion was fundamental to the disorganization and instability of the region;And in turn, its expansionism was favored thanks to the weakening of the Byzantine and Persian empires. This religion was much more than a belief and statements revealed by the prophet: the political and military power exercised in the different conquered territories, who possessed knowledge regarding the offensive strategies of expansion, caused the order and clarity that the population required. 

This is the most important inheritance of Islam, and for what medieval Muslims, defending Allah’s word, faced Christians, and everyone who went against it. As Muhammad had dictated when his followers attacked the Quarays on the roads, the believers expanded, establishing the order. Islam happened a series of political, religious, military, even fiscal systems. The political and religious aspect, and the conflict between the two, will be detailed by the philosophers, historians and Muslim theologians that we mention. 

But with respect to the fiscal system, as the basis of the belief dictates, it is an obligation established by Allah, the payment of taxes is essential and there were a variety of them, such as the payment of land or dawn (fines). They even had species of offices related to external relations and institutions occupied by military and judges, who applied justice. 


 Islamic inheritance, like Christian inheritance, is a true and proven fact: Muslim religion is one of the most important beliefs in the history of humanity, not only because of its rapid growth;but mainly due, to the great impact that has generated in the consolidation of religious power and temporal power. Christian Europe, in the Middle Ages, highlighted before the well -known complaints, and the various clashes between the two spheres. 

The differences between leadership managed to divide the society of the time, even until today. Therefore, I decided to analyze Islam and visualize that impact it has had on the political sphere at the time of its emergence. Disorganization and constant conflict in Arabia disappears after the emergence: the population lived in constant destabilization and disorder, there was no single power that could direct them, from the religious, the political, even the military and economic. 

Islam changed the way of life of this entire region, giving it that desired balance and stability, allowing its exercise of power to extend to other continents. But I would like to distinguish that the internal conflicts between the different groups and the determination of the Islamic leader were a major problem, which modifies the operation and internal organization of this community. 

And in turn, add that the extension of Islam demonstrated its scope and influence, but the decline and loss of power was enough to limit it today, in certain territories of the East and minority in the West. Today, we could affirm that religious power was defeated by temporary power, when Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Attatürk, in 1924, annulled the last Caliph. However, the importance of Islam and the continued sacred war have not disappeared, on the contrary, it has not stopped growing gradually.  

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