The Global Tapestry (1200-1450) period also finds the Islamic world in the midst of a massive transition. The glory days of the Caliphates are behind us now and the once great Abbasids have fractured into many different groups (often dominated by the new, rising force in Islam: The Turks). Dar al-Islam literally means ‘House of Islam’, or basically the parts of the world where Islam is a dominant force. The New Kids on the Block are the Ottomans (who will dominate the next two periods in World History), the Seljuk Turks and the Mamluks. Like most of earth in this period, Dar al-Islam had to deal with the Mongols. The Mongols were seen, at the time, as the end of the Islamic World. This led to the Ilkhanate that only lasted for a century or so. In the next period, this area will be the realm of the Land Based Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals. With all of the political disarray, the Islamic World continued to be at the forefront of science, technology, and culture.
Improved commercial practices led to an increased volume of trade and expanded the geographical range of existing trade routes—including the Silk Roads, Trans-Saharan trade network, and Indian Ocean—promoting the growth of powerful new trading cities
The Indian Ocean trading network fostered the growth of states
The growth of inter-regional trade in luxury goods was encouraged by innovations in previously existing transportation and commercial technologies, including the Caravanserai, forms of credit, and the development of money economies as well as the use of the compass, the astrolabe and larger ship designs.
The expansion of empires—including the Mongols—facilitated Afro-Eurasian trade and communication as new people were drawn into their conquerors’ economies and trade networks.
The expansion of empires—including Mali in West Africa—facilitated Afro-Eurasian trade and communication as new people were drawn into the economies and trade networks.
The expansion and intensification of long distance trade routes often depended on environmental knowledge, including advanced knowledge of the monsoon winds. The growth of inter-regional trade was encouraged by innovations in existing transportation technologies.
Muslim rule continued to expand to many parts of Afro-Eurasia due to military expansion, and Islam subsequently expanded through the activities of merchants, missionaries, and Sufis.
In key places along important trade routes, merchants set up diasporic communities where they introduced their own cultural traditions into the indigenous cultures and, in turn, indigenous cultures influenced merchant cultures.
As exchange networks intensified, an increasing number of travelers within Afro–Eurasia wrote about their travels.
Increased cross-cultural interactions resulted in the diffusion of literary, artistic, and cultural traditions, as well as scientific and technological innovation.
Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and the core beliefs and practices of these religions continued to shape societies in Africa and Asia.
Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, and their core beliefs and practices, continued to shape societies in South and Southeast Asia.
Christianity, Judaism, Islam and the core beliefs and practices of these religions continued to shape societies in Europe.
There was continued diffusion of crops and pathogens, with epidemic diseases, including the bubonic plague, along trade routes.
As the Abbasid Caliphate fragmented, new Islamic political entities emerged, most of which were dominated by Turkic peoples. These states demonstrated continuity, innovation, and diversity.
Empires collapsed in different regions of the world and in some areas were replaced by new imperial states, including the Mongol khanates.
In the Americas and in Africa, as in Eurasia, state systems demonstrated continuity, innovation, and diversity, and expanded in scope and reach.
Muslim states and empires encouraged significant intellectual innovations and transfers
Interregional contacts and conflicts between states and empires, including the Mongols, encouraged significant technological and cultural transfers, including during Chinese maritime activity led by Ming Admiral Zheng He.
Demand for luxury goods increased in Afro–Eurasia. Chinese, Persian, and Indian artisans and merchants expanded their production of textiles and porcelains for export;
The fate of cities varied greatly, with periods of significant decline and periods of increased urbanization buoyed by rising productivity and expanding trade networks.
CLIP #1: CARAVANSERAI (from the Iranian Government… and this one is waaay newer, but it’s a decent overview)
CLIP #2: SUFISM (from Oprah?!?)
CLIP #3: SUFI WHIRLING DERVISHES (from Turkey via Viking Cruise lines)
CLIP #4: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SUNNI AND SHIA (from French Press Agency AFP)
CLIP #5: WHAT IS A SULTANATE?
CLIP #6: HOUSE OF WISDOM (narrarated by Ben Kingsley… that’s right… Gandhi himself)
CLIP #7: HOW DID THE TURKS GET TO TURKEY? (from Knowledgia)
CLIP #8: HOW COPERNICUS COPIED NASIR AL TUSI (quick clip from the BBC)
CLIP #9: TRAILER: JOURNEY TO MECCA (Awesome IMAX documentary… it’s on YOUTUBE if you want to watch it. Just google it. But, it’s 45 minutes long. It’s a docudrama originally shown on IMAX screens around the world)
CLIP #10: IBN KHALDUN: THE FATHER OF MODERN ECONOMICS?!?