Class 11 History
Rise of Islam
Question 1: What were the features of the lives of the Bedouins in the early seventh century?
Answer: The nomadic people of deserts of the Arabian world are called Bedouins. There were many Bedouin tribes in the North African desert. Their main occupation was herding the camels. A tribe was a closely knit community based on kinship. The head of the tribe was partly selected on the basis of his family connections but more on his courage, wisdom and generosity. Some of the tribes often shifted to a settled agricultural life.
Question 2: What is meant by the term ‘Abbasid revolution’?
Answer: The Abbasids started a well-organised movement, called dawa, that brought down the Umayyad rule in 750. The Abbasids legitimized their bid for power by promising that a messiah (mahdi) from the family of the Prophet would liberate them from the oppressive Umayyad regime. Under the Abbasid rule, the Arab influence declined and the Iranian influence increased. The new capital was established at Baghdad. In order to ensure greater participation by Iraq and Khurasan, the army and bureaucracy were reorganized on a non-tribal basis. Islam was patronized and the religious status and functions of the caliphate was strengthened. But the Abbasids were forced to retain the centralized nature of the state. They also maintained the magnificent imperial architecture and elaborate court ceremonials of the Umayyads.
Question 3: Give examples of the cosmopolitan character of the states set up by Arabs, Iranians and Turks.
Answer: A place where people from many regions and cultures live in peaceful cohabitation is called cosmopolitan. Following examples show the cosmopolitan character of the states set up by Arabs, Iranians and Turks:
- There were Christian administrators, and Zoroastrian scribes and bureaucrats.
- People from different regions lived in cities to carry out their respective occupation.
Question 4: What were the effects of the Crusades on Europe and Asia?
Answer: After the third crusade, Europe gradually lost military interest in Islam and focused on its internal political and cultural development. The Crusades left a lasting impact on two aspects of Christian- Muslim relations. The Muslim state developed a harsher attitude towards its Christina subjects. A greater influence of Italian mercantile communities developed in the trade between the East and the West.
Question 5: How were Islamic architectural forms different from those of the Roman Empire?
Answer: Islamic architecture evolved from pre-existing styles of architecture and hence shows impacts of various other architectural forms. The arches and the domes came from the Roman style. While the Roman public buildings were multi-storied, the Islamic public buildings were single-storied. While human figures adored the murals of Roman buildings, calligraphy and geometric patterns were used to decorate Islamic buildings. As Islam rejected depiction of human or animal figures for decorating religious buildings, calligraphy and geometric art developed to a new level. Another striking feature of Islamic architecture was the presence of a fountain or a pond within the courtyard of the building.