Islamic empires from Muhammad to the Ottoman Empire
Islam was born at a time of cultural and political division on the Arabian peninsula and conflict among empires after the fall of the Roman Empire. The simple message of Islam -- there is one God, and Muhammad is his messenger -- and its promise of social justice fueled its rapid expansion, so that by 750 it extended from Spain almost to India. In the following years, under the Abbasids, Islam made cultural and scientific contributions that remain inspirational and relevant. Uniting Islam politically proved difficult, however. The Ottomans were the last great Islamic empire to bring together Muslims on three continents over hundreds of years, ending only with their defeat in World War 1.
Vocabulary: Basic terms (Islam)