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the founding and expansion of Islam under Mohammed and his successors during or after Jesus Christ's Time

Describe the founding and expansion of Islam under Mohammed and his successors during or after Jesus Christ's Time.
6 to 10 scholarly sources (not Wikipedia), one source must be the primary source.

"What initial conclusions have you drawn at this point in your research?"

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The Rise of Islam:

Let me give you a few ideas and sources (one primary source). Of course, you can pick and choose which approaches you want to stress. The sources here are unified on many things, disagreement can be found on others. Let's stress what they all seem to have in common.

All of this is tentative - just throwing some basic thesis ideas around.

Thesis:
Islam appeared in the vacuum of a retreating Persia and an exhausted Byzantium. It created an Arabic nationalism that turned a weak people to a strong one. Nationalism and control of the caravan trade in Arabia is the key to grasping Islam's early rise.

1. From the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/earlyrise_1.shtml
Tremendous success militarily.
Trading routes meant quite a bit.
Controlling both Mecca and Medina meant that Islam could dictate terms of much global trade
Weak Persia and Byzantium - Islam came to fill the gap.

2. Patricia Crone. Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/crone.asp
A small people - the weak Arabs motivated by a strong idea.
A simple creed - anyone could follow. One God, a few simple rules, the creation of an empire.
Islam a secular phenomenon
Islam developed within the crossroads of global trade - whoever controlled this area controlled the ...

Solution Summary

References are given to guide students about researching the founding and expansion of Islam under Mohammed and his successors during or after Jesus Christ's era.

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