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Spread of Islam: Mecca, Medina and Battle of Poitiers

1. Discuss the spread of Islam, the importance of Mecca and Medina, the Caliph Abu Bakr and the extremely important battle of Poitiers in 732.

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1. Discuss the spread of Islam, the importance of Mecca and Medina, the Caliph Abu Bakr and the extremely important battle of Poitiers in 732.

From about 620, Mecca became actively hostile, since much of its revenues depended on its pagan;shrine, the Kaaba, under the protection of the Quraysh, and an attack on the existing;Arab religion was an attack on the prosperity of Mecca. Following the death of Khadija in 621, Muhamed married eleven other women. Tradition relates that he and his followers were invited to the town of Yathrib by Jewish and Christian tribes after they were no longer welcome in Mecca. In 622, the first year of the Muslim calendar, they set out on the Hijra, the emigration to Yathrib; later renamed Medina, meaning "the city" where Muhamed concluded a treaty with the tribes of Medina. A large number of Medinans, known as the Ansar (helpers) were attracted to Muhamed's cause.

The following battles also helped the spread of Islam:

1. Battle of Badr - In 624 Muhamed learned of a war party of the Quraysh, who were setting out to Medina to avenge the apparenly accidental death of one Hadrami, a relative of the leader of the Quraysh. Muhamed and his army, aided by the ansar auxiliaries, rode out to meet them at Badr. This battle, related in the Quran, is often called the first battle of Islam, but in fact there had been several skirmishes before Badr. Despite the numerical superiority of the Qurayshites, the Battle of Badr was apparently a clear victory for Muhamed. The Quraysh lost about 70 warriors and leaders and 70 captured (these "round" numbers may be historical conventions) out of a fighting force of about a thousand.

2. Battle of Uhud -The Qurayshites prepared better for the battle of Uhud, fought in the following year. They gathered a force of some 3,000 men, including a strong cavalry contingent led by Khalid Ibn Walid, later a famus general of Islam. The battle was fought in the vallyof Aqiq, north of Yathrib (Medina) in the shadow of Mount Uhud. Though the Muslims had the initial advantage, they fell to looting the camp of the Meccans and abandoned a good archery position in the high ground. This allowed Khalid ibn Walid to save the day for the Qurayshites and inflict heavy losses on the Muslims. Tradition relates that the Muslims lost 70 men in this battle. Uhud is often called the second battle of Islam, because it is the second battle referred to in the Quran, or perhaps because it was the second Ghazwa. A Ghazwa is a large scale raid that was led by Muhamed in person.

3. Battle of The Trench - ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the spread of Islam, including the importance of Mecca and Medina, the Caliph Abu Bakr and the extremely important battle of Poitiers in 732. Supplemented with an article and other links on the spread of Islam for further reading.

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