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Katapraktoi

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euaar2childrenoftheprophet9kw.jpg



This AAR is best read in 1024 x 768 resolution​



Islam, a religion that has suffered since its creation because of prejudices, both true and untrue. Accurate accusations made by historians, and false designs by enemies of the faith, they all have a part when the view of the East enter the mind of most Europeans and Americans. A mix of the medieval and modern jihad imprint an inaccurate picture of what Islam truly stands for. However, that aside, the modern world would never have developed the way it did if not Islam had been founded that day in the year 610 CE.

Without the Islamic nations, would there have been a need for seafarers and explorers to travel to India but on their way discover America? Possibly not. America would have been discovered no doubt, but under other circumstances as a road to India already existed. The need for a sea-rout would not be necessary until faster ships could be produced in order to out-time the land-rout. But then of course comes the discussion; did the discoveries lead to better ships, or did better ships lead to the discoveries? In any case, history would have developed in another fashion without Islam.

Would there have been the relative peace between the European nations without an Ottoman threat in the European backyard of Balkan? If the Ottoman Empire had not been, Austria would not have two fronts to protect as the Austrian War of Succession took place. The face of Europe would not have been the same without Islam.

Would there have been such a distressing call and spread of Christianity during the Middle Ages without the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem? There was never total peace in Europe as rivalling kings fought each other for petty areas across Europe. But the Islamic threat in the Holy land made the Pope a powerful figure that could call for crusades, excommunicate those who did not join, and send enormous riches to those who participated. Without a threat against European supremacy the kings and emperors would have most likely destroyed each other, but instead they sent their armies across the Mediterranean to fight the infidels.

The truth is impossible to establish, but one can speculate. The fact still remains that the period is one that has fascinated thousands upon thousands and me, the author included, see it as a wet fantasy to truly know what would have become of the world if such major historical events never took place. Or the reverse, what would have happened if it had “gone too far”. This is why I got the idea to play and write this AAR for Europa Universalis 2 as an Islamic nation and try to spread as much as I can to influence the growing powers in Europe.

Before I begin, I would like to thank Alhazen for his indirect and unintentional spur for this AAR. :) There is no denying that especially this AAR’s layout is heavily inspired by his Rome: Sons of Mars AAR, though the story-mode will naturally be a different one. The fact is that I most probably would not have received the idea to write this if it had not been for my reading the Sons of Mars AAR. As I go alone, I will try to mix the updates with part story, part describing of game-play.

And one more thing; a thing I have learned about most Islamic nations is that they were very ingenious and that religion never stopped them from trying new ideas and inventions, except those that clearly went against the teachings of the Qur’an. Compared to conservative Christians who were afraid that new ideas would lead people away from their faith, Islamic leaders could remain god-fearing and still try new ways. This is reflected a bit poorly in the game as the more the player turns to “inventiveness”, the less missionaries he receives. To represent a combined faith in the religion, with a curiosity for inventions, I will actually cheat.

The rules for this cheat are simple. By using LOYOLA, I receive 6 missionaries instantly. The 1 January every ten years, the same day that I change the national policy slider, I will be allowed to enter the cheat once. This, whether I have already used up all, a few, or none of my already gained missionaries from before. With a policy slider to the fullest towards “inventiveness” I will as a Sunni-Moslem nation receive -2 missionaries per year. Thus if I do not act quickly there will not be any missionaries left when I enter the cheat again. It gives me a fair amount of missionaries considering my plan to convert, and still a fairly troubling issue to deal with as they disappear rather quickly. If there are no provinces to convert, I will be forced to wait another 10 years for the next bunch of missionaries to help me out.

With that said, I will now begin this AAR with a classic prologue! Please enjoy.

(Note; any information, story or historical such, may or may not reflect the author’s views. The specific such views will not be mentioned. The following account is written from a Sunni point-of-view as the Ottoman Empire is a Sunni-Moslem nation. Knowing this, I would appreciate if nobody would comment on the specific religious content as it may be very controversial to some people, and the last thing I want is a religious debate. Thank you.)

Katapraktoi
31/1 -06
 

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What a great start and a nice picture as well. Looking forward to your version of the Ottomans and good luck converting :)
 

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not sure if i will post again(maybe if i have some questions), but you can be sure i will follow this one (normally i'am anti-ottoman, but it will be interesting to follow a story of the other side) good luck
 

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Singleton Mosby thank you for your compliment. It took me a long time to work on that picture, but in the end I was satisfied with it. :) I glads me to hear you like the beginning, even though that has nothing to do with my story. My first installment will come soon. You can be sure that I will convert as much as I can possibly afford. :)

Burgundy Sounds great to me, you're welcome to post as much questions as you like as we go along. :) Glad you joined even if you normally don't follow Ottoman AARs. Shows what a good title and stuff can do. :D
 

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I shall be following this one *suscribes*
 

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Children of the Prophet - Vocabulary

EUAAR2ProphetSmall.jpg



List of important Moslem people and places and other vocabulary



Here I was thinking I could list some names and words and their specific meaning according to Islam and also Arabic. Some words will be easier to figure out and some may need a translation or explanation. The list will be expanded through this AARs development so if you would like, please check back now and then to see if anything interesting has been added. I have not added these in any special alphabetical order, instead I tried to add them in a way that correlates with the coming story, and the significance of the person or object.​


Persons/People​

Mohammad – The 25th and last prophet conveying God’s words according to Islam
Abdullah – Mohammad’s father
Aminah – Mohammad’s mother

Halima – a Bedouin woman who took care of Mohammad until his mother’s death
Abd al-Muttalib (real name Shaiba ibn Hashim) – Mohammad’s grandfather
Waraqah – Khadijah’s male cousin, Christian monk who convinced Mohammad of his bond to Allah

Khadijah – Mohammad’s first wife
Aisha – Mohammad’s third wife, daughter of Abu Bakr
Hafsha – Mohammad’s fourth wife, daughter of Umar
Abu Talib – Mohammad’s uncle on his father’s side, head of the Banu Hashim clan, later leader of the Quraysh tribe
Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib – Mohammad’s second uncle, founder of the Abbäsïyün clan

Zainab – Mohammad’s first daughter with Khadijah
Ruqayyah – Mohammad’s second daughter with Khadijah
Umm Kulthum – Mohammad’s third daughter with Khadijah
Fatimah – Mohammad’s fourth daughter with Khadijah

Abu Bakr – Mohammad’s closest male friend, the first Khalïfah after Mohammad’s death, Mohammad’s father-in-law through Aisha
Umar ibn al-Khattäb – A close lieutenant of Mohammad, second Khalïfah succeeding Abu Bakr, Mohammad’s father-in-law through Hafsha
Uthman ibn Affan - A close lieutenant of Mohammad, third Khalïfah succeeding Umar, Mohammad's secretary during the first years
Ali ibn Abi Talib – Mohammad’s cousin on his father’s side, grandson of Abu Talib, Mohammad’s son-in-law through Fatimah
Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan - Fifth Khalïfah, opponent to Ali during the first Fitna, first Khalïfah who was not closely related to Mohammad, although he came from the same tribe
Yazid I – Mu’awiyah’s son, not a very prominent ruler, but the first Islamic Khalïfah to gain his office through succession by family instead of being chosen by a council
Al-Walid – The Umayyad Khalïfah who conquered the Visigoths and established Al-Andalus

Abu al-Abbas Adbullah ibn Mohammad as-Saffah – The first Abbasid Khalïfah

Khalid ibn al-Walid - A converted general, Islam's greatest hero of all time, never losing a single battle
Ikrïmah ibn Abu Jahl - A converted general and Khalid's friend-in-arms, charged with killing Musaylimah
Tariq ibn-Ziyad – A general of Al-Walid, led the Moslem attack on Gibraltar and south Iberia
Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi – A general of Al-Walid, led the continued Moslem attack against northern Iberia and southern France
Abd ar-Rahman – The first Ameer of Al-Andalus, not to be confused with the general Abdul Rahman

Ibrahim – The first prophet, father of Ishmail who was the second prophet and is considered Father of Arabs
Jibrïl (Jewish name Gabriel) – One of the four archangels of God, the angel who contacted Mohammad

Musaylimah ibn Habib al-Hanefi (nicknamed al-Kadhdhaab "the Liar") - A false prophet and enemy to Abu Bakr during the Ridda Wars
Pelayo – An Asturian king, credited with being the first Christian to start war with the Moslems to re-conquer lost land and thus begin the Reconquista

Dhimmi – Arabic name for non-Moslems
Mawali – Arabic name for non-Arab Moslems, distinct difference to Dhimmi
Mamluk – “The owned”, Turkish slaves used by the Abbasid dynasty as a professional army



Factions/Titles


Sunni (short for Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’ah) – The largest of the three Islam branches
Shi’a (short for Shi’at Ali) – An opposing branch to Sunni

Banu Hashim – Mohammad’s, Ali’s, and Abu Talib’s clan, one of the 12 clans of Quraysh residing in Makkah
Quraysh (alt. sp. Quraish) – Local Arabian tribe, Mohammad’s tribe
Banu Hanifa - The largest of the Arabian tribes, Musaylimah's tribe
Banu Makhzum - The clan of military matters within the Quraysh tribe, Khalid's clan
Banu Abd Shams - A clan of the Quraysh tribe, Mu'awiyah's clan

Muhajirun – A name for the Moslems who fled Makkah for Yathrib during the persecutions
Ansar – A name for the Moslems in Yathrib who welcomed and took care of the Muhajirun

Ummah – An Arabic word for "community", in Islam it has the context of the Islamic world or state
Rafidi – Arabic for “Refusers”, a name given to those who refused to accept Abu Bakr as Khalïfah after Mohammad’s death, proclaiming Ali as leader instead
Imam – “Leader”, a religious leader who teaches about the rules and laws of the Qur’an

Khalïfah - Title of the leader of the Ummah
Ameer al-Mumineen – "Prince of the Faithful", alternative title to a Khalïfah
Rashidun - "The Four Righteously Guided Khalïfahs", a name given to the first four leaders of Islam following Mohammad; Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali
Ameer (alt. sp. Emir) – A Moslem general, later also name for a leader of a Moslem leader of a community

Abbäsïyün – A clan descendant from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, the dynasty that overthrew the Umayyads, establishing the Abbasid dynasty



Places/Objects


Makkah – Arabic name for Mecca
Yathrib – Ancient name for Medina
Kaaba – Ancient temple in Makkah, converted to Moslem temple after 630 CE

Hira – A cave near Makkah where Mohammad received his first revelation from Jibrïl
Masjid al-Aqsa – A Mosque in Jerusalem where Mohammad begun his Mi’raj
Masjid al-Nabawi - A Mosque in Yahtrib where Umar was murdered
Badr – A field where the Moslems fought their first battle, the victory at Badr is considered to be extremely important for the survival of Islam

Battle of Yarmük - A crucial battle for the Moslems, Khalid won the battle thanks to betrayal in enemy lines, due to the victory Asia Minor became Islamic land

Zakat - The tax of alms, a low tax for Moslems only
Jizyah - The tax of dhimmi (non-Moslems), a higher tax for those who did not convert in newly occupied Moslem land
Kharaj - The tax of land, a tax paid by all according to land wealth

Diwan – Bureaucratic organisations or structures copied from the Roman Empire to enhance the administration of the Umayyad dynasty



Events/Other


AH (short for "Anno Hijra") - Used in the Islamic calendar to mark time, 1 AH is the same year as 622 CE, the year Mohammad experienced Hijra

Hijra – Name of the Islamic calendar beginning in the year 622 CE, also name of Mohammad’s journey from Makkah to Yathrib
Isra – Mohammad’s first divine journey together with Jibrïl to Jerusalem
Mi’raj – Mohammad’s second divine journey through Heaven and Hell

Fitna - "Disagreement", a name for Islamic civil war, first Fitna lasted 656-661 and ended with Ali's assassination
Ridda Wars - "The Wars of Apostasy", an internal war against non-Moslems, the war spread and became an external war against non-Moslem states in order to spread Islam

The Reconquista – The Christian conquest of Moslem land especially in Spain, but also a name for the Christian opposition to growing Moslem power in the world during the Middle Ages
Battle of Tours – The battle where the Moslems lost to Charles Martel and the Islamic expansion in western Europe stopped
 
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Children of the Prophet - Prologue Chapter One

EUAAR2ProphetSmall.jpg



ONE


The Prophet


Children of the Prophet Theme


* * *


20 April, 570 CE
Makkah, northern Arabia



The child cried deafeningly high as the midwife held him gently in a clean cloth. The priest cut off the navel string with a pair of scissors and the mother could finally hold her baby. She was covered in sweat, lying half-naked in the sultry heat. She did not care though. The only thing on her mind was to hold her child.
“What will the child’s name be?” the priest asked.
The mother could only smile at and stroke her new-born son gently, clearly exhausted. Finally, she answered, “Mohammad. His name is Mohammad ibn Abdullah.”

Being born almost a year after his own father Abdullah’s death, an infant was raised by his mourning mother. This child would be of immense importance for the people of his lands, and more. He was part of an influential, though not very wealthy, Arabian clan, Hashim, which was part of the most powerful tribe in Makkah, Quraysh. The Quraysh tribe ruled Makkah and they guarded the revered and ancient building in the city; Kaaba. It was a stone temple that housed various idols of Arabian tribal gods. For this reason the desert travelling Bedouins came to Makkah for trade and worship. As it was believed that infants would grow strong in the desert, Mohammad’s mother secured her son a place among the Bedouins so that he would grow up a strong and reliable man.

Mohammad would still face tragedies in his early life as his mother died when he was six years old. The custody of Mohammad was given to his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib. Leaving the Bedouins for his old grandfather, Mohammad was taken cared of for but two years before his guardian fell into eternal sleep. Once more the boy had to give up his place of staying to live with his uncle Abu Talib. Abu Talib had recently been given the leadership of the Quraysh tribe and had an enormous influence on the city of Makkah. Using his position he helped Mohammad in his education that now took place. Abu let Mohammad follow him on the yearly journeys across the deserts in search for prospective trading partners. Mohammad followed to many places across the Arabian Peninsula and also north as far as Syria.

Through his numerous journeys, Mohammad came in contact with several foreign cultures and religions and races, making him a knowledgeable man. On one of these journeys Mohammad encountered a widow, Khadijah, older than Mohammad but still raving with vitality and beauty. Being impressed by Mohammad’s natural ability to speak, convince and inspire, it did not take long before she became a regular employer of his services. Not long after, she proposed to Mohammad and he accepted, being infatuated by her. In 595 CE they were married, Mohammad was then 25 years old, Khadijah was approximately 40 years old. Khadijah would be Mohammad’s first wife and with her he gained two sons. The first-born died an infant, the second one named Abdullah after Mohammad’s father survived. They also had four daughters, Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatimah, Fatimah being the youngest.

Already from his young years, Mohammad had been a pious man and he would often visit a cave near Makkah named Hira. He used the cave in order to achieve peace and tranquillity so that he could meditate and think clearly. As Mohammad turned older he visited Hira as he used to, however, he was exposed to something that he had never experienced before. Mohammad was reflecting upon his latest actions in the stillness of the cave when suddenly he heard a mighty voice.
“READ!”
As Mohammad had not been taught how to read or write, he answered truthfully, “I cannot read.”
The voice then again said, “READ!”
Mohammad answered again, “I cannot read.”
The voice then declared for a third time, “READ!”
The emphasis of the third time made Mohammad think his answer through and so he answered, “What can I read?” And the voiced replied.
“Read: In the Name of thy Lord Who createth.
“Createth man from a clot.
“Read: And it is thy Lord the Most Bountiful
“Who teacheth by the pen,
“Teacheth man that which he knew not.”
Then the voice said no more and Mohammad made his way staggering out of the cave, frightened and filled by wonder as to what had truly happened inside the cave. When Mohammed had made it back home he spoke to his wife Khadijah and her good friend and cousin Waraqah. Khadijah comforted Mohammad by telling him that she believed his words to be true, but could not figure out what it meant. Waraqah was, however, confident that it had been the archangel Jibrïl who had spoken to Muhammad. Waraqah was a devout Christian and knew the writings of the Bible well, being a monk.

Waraqah meant to tell Mohammad that Jibrïl was the first and foremost messenger of Allah, God. He believed that Mohammad’s encounter with the angel was a sign for him to abandon his tribal beliefs and convert to monotheism and worship God alone. But more than that, he believed Mohammad to be a prophet with a special task set by God himself. He was not just another believer amongst many. He was like Ibrahim, Moses, and Jesus had been, a prophet to convey God’s words to the people. Waraqah foresaw that the people of Makkah would force Mohammad to leave the city if he shouldered this faith, and if so, then Waraqah would follow him. However, Waraqah died only four days after the incident.

Mohammad, however, believed Waraqah’s words to the fullest, and he promised that he would deliver God’s words as he heard them from Jibril. The first to accept the new faith that Mohammad named Islam – “to submit to the will of God” was his wife Khadijah. His most trusted friend Abu Bakr, who had been a fierce believer of the tribal gods, would become his second member. Mohammad’s ten-year-old cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son of Mohammad’s uncle who had taken care of him during his early years, was soon to follow as well.

What differed from the Christian faith was that while Roman-Catholics claimed to be a monotheistic religion, it worshipped the Trinity, the claim that God was three-parted but one and the same at the same time. But Mohammad refused to believe that God could be God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus at the same time. Instead, he named God Allah – “The God”, as a proclamation that there could be only one god, and no other version of him was to be worshipped.

In 613 CE Mohammad began to preach his message to the public, after gaining the courage and support by his close friends and family to do so, for spreading a new message was indeed not an easy job. As Mohammad announced his connection to Allah through Jibrïl, many ignored him and made a fool out of him because of his belief. Few joined him but with time the Moslem ranks bolstered slowly. During this time, Mohammad experienced several more encounters with Jibrïl who encouraged him through his hardships of denial and derision. He continued with his preaching with reassured confidence until 619 CE. As the year went by both his wife Khadijah and his uncle Abu Talib passed away and his tribe the Quraysh withdrew their protection of Mohammad. Since Mohammad had begun preaching, many in his tribe had turned against him. Being the guardians of the Kaaba in Makkah, they frowned upon Mohammad when he claimed that the temple should be cleansed of all the idols inside, and that the temple should instead be used to worship Allah. However, despite that his uncle Abu never converted to his nephew’s belief, he made sure that nothing happened to Mohammad. Once he was dead, the tribe no longer saw the need to support Mohammad and his new faith.

Had the Quraysh accepted Mohammad’s new faith then there would be no more pilgrimages to the Kaaba which they protected. With no pilgrimages, trade would halt and the city would no longer profit from the visitors it enjoyed during the pilgrimage season. Therefore it was imperative for them to stop Mohammad from preaching, or at least make sure he knew he did not have their support any longer and had to carve out his own path in life. In order to do so, Mohammad established connections with the Christian nation of Abyssinia. However, that nation had for long been considered an enemy of the city of Makkah and the population did not take it kindly when Mohammad made friends with them. As punishment, Mohammad and his Moslems were persecuted and there were even attempts on Mohammad’s life by assailants who were never caught. Many from the Moslem conclave in the city fled across the Red Sea to establish an Islamic colony in the friendlier nation Abyssinia. Refused to trade with certain merchants, the Moslems had to endure another year of hardships until Mohammad experienced yet another vision of great importance.

During the year 620 CE, Mohammad awoke one morning in ecstasy. He quickly gathered his followers around him and told them of what he had been through. He had made two divine journeys in but one night. He told them that Jibrïl had come on his winged horse Buraq and taken him with him. The first journey had transported Mohammad from Makkah to Jerusalem and to the mosque Masjid al-Aqsa. From there he began his second journey and he continued towards Heaven and then Hell. On the second journey he met with the previous prophets and also Allah. As he returned, he named his journeys Isra and Mi’raj. Because of the journey, the Moslems now began to consider the al-Aqsa mosque to be sacred.

Two years after his divine travel, Mohammad was the target of yet another assassination attempt, as he and his Moslems were growing stronger and were a serious thorn in the side to the Quraysh tribe. Mohammad barely escaped alive and he now seriously considered leaving Makkah as it was clearly now safe to stay in the city for much longer. He decided to leave the city for a small oasis community known as Yathrib. He knew of some few Moslems who had fled there and established a small group of converts. Going against centuries of Arabian tradition never to leave the tribe and family, Mohammad broke with the Quraysh as he saw nothing in Makkah that would hold him back of his exodus, showing that his faith in Allah was stronger than any family bonds he had ever had. Accompanying him alone on his voyage was his friend and convert Abu Bakr. His journey from Makkah became later known as Hijra and the Moslem calendar would consider this year the beginning of the Islamic time-period.

As Mohammad entered Yathrib, he was welcomed by those who had entered his Islamic circle, but was warned to experience hostilities even in that town. Not so much because of his belief, but because two warring tribes, the Aws and the Khazraj, who performed raids against each other and during these, no one was safe from their warriors. Mohammad saw this as an opportunity to show how benevolent his god was and he made it so that he was invited as a mediator between the two tribes for discussions of peace. Mohammad successfully converted both the leaders of the tribes into Islam, and because of Mohammad’s decree that no Moslem may draw blood of another Moslem, the hostilities ended. With the two tribes on Mohammad’s side, almost the entire community was now Islamic and Mohammad proclaimed that the first Islamic State had been established. Still he was not in total control of the city, yet from there, Islam would spread and the word of Allah would reach even the loneliest of hermits of the Arabian dune seas.

Back in Makkah the destruction or confiscation of the Moslems’ possessions and homes begun which further agitated Mohammad’s relation with the city and he allied with tribes living in the vicinity of Yathrib in order to form raiding parties on Makkah trading caravans. He justified the raiding by saying it was an effect of the Makkahns disrupting Moslem life in the larger city. The raiding also helped the Moslems to find supplies and commodities to live on, making them grow stronger for each month passing. Finally in 2 AH (624 CE), there were around 300 warriors which Mohammad brought with him on a raid against the biggest caravan so far. The defence was too great, however, and Mohammad had to retreat. Intent on destroying the Islamic menace the caravan leaders decided to deal with Mohammad and sent an army thrice the size of Mohammad’s after him towards Yathrib. On 15 March, south of the town at the fields of Badr, a battle ensued where Mohammad and his men fought bravely though outnumbered. In the end, the Moslems were victories however, with only some dozen dead while the caravan raiding party had suffered four times as many casualties and several more prisoners.

Being outnumbered to such an extent, the Moslems saw their victory as a divine such and it proved that Mohammad was indeed a prophet of God, being protected by the forces in Heaven. With the victory over the Makkahn army fresh in mind, the Moslems now expelled a mighty Jewish tribe, the Banu Qainuqa, from Yathrib that made almost everybody left in the town convert to Islam except the conservative Jewish tribes, and Mohammad was in full control finally. Mohammad now remarried the daughter of his friend Abu Bakr, Aisha. He also took the young Hafsha as wife, thus strengthening the bonds to his friend Umar who had been a prominent fighter at the Battle of Badr. In addition, Mohammad married off his own ten-year-old daughter Fatima to his now twenty-five-year old cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, as well as his second youngest daughter Umm Kulthum to the convert Uthman. Uthman had been a member of the Makkahn clan Banu Umayyah of the Quraysh tribe. As he converted to Islam early on he was shunned by the rest of his clan since the Quraysh denied Mohammad as well. Uthman had fled to Abyssinia, then to Yathrib and been part of the Battle of Badr. As Mohammad was illiterate he also acted as constant clerk to the prophet.

A year progressed when another attack made by the Makkahn leadership was launched against the Islamic haven. The general Abu Sufyan tried to attack Mohammad in Yathrib with a force of 3000 men. However, Mohammad had anticipated retaliation after the Battle of Badr and had prepared an army to defend the town. As Sufyan approached the fortified town he set fire to the crop fields to lure Mohammad outside to face him. Many of the Moslems wanted to so just that, but Mohammad tried to convince them that staying inside the city would be more beneficial as they had proper defences and were outnumbered by a large margin. His followers pushed for the idea of a full confrontation, they did have Allah on their side and a repetition of the Battle of Badr would surely ensue. This made Mohammad change his mind and so they marched out of Yathrib on 23 March 3 AH (625 CE). In order to protect his flank from the Makkahn cavalry lead by Sufyan Mohammad placed archers on top of a hill as the first wave of attackers charged him. The Moslems were able to push the attack back fairly easy and a pursuit followed as the Moslems were convinced another victory was at hand. However, the archers on the hill disobeyed their orders to halt and also joined the pursuit, which had devastating effects. Rounding their flank came Sufyan, and without a hail of arrows to disrupt them the cavalry charged into the Moslem line from behind with ease. Now it was the Moslems who suffered losses and Mohammad and his men retreated to their original position while some retreated to Yathrib. Still, as the Moslems had inflicted casualties on the Makkahns and with rumours of Mohammad’s death, Sufyan returned to his home city with the belief that he had won.

The Moslems refused to accept the Makkahn claim for victory in this Battle of Uhud, as the had not been entirely defeated in the battle, even though almost a hundred men out of their one thousand man strong force had been slain. The defeat was a heavy blow to their faith in their own abilities, but in no way a fatal blow to their faith in Allah. Instead, they worshipped him with renewed power, as they were convinced that they had lost the battle because of neglect of their god.

When Sufyan heard of the news that Mohammad had not been killed as was initially thought, he returned in 5 AH (627 CE) in order to finish the job. However, this time Mohammad had dug a mighty trench around the stronghold of Yathrib which made the town easy to defend. The ten thousand man strong army of Quraysh could not cross the trench and had to rely on skilled riders to be able to jump across with their horses. One of these riders, a famed Arabian warrior Amro, made it across and faced the Moslem line. Ali, Mohammad’s cousin and son-in-law then stepped forth and challenged Amro to a duel which he won. With the famous warrior killed the rest of the Quraysh army withdrew. They were pestered by a sandstorm back in their camp which forced them to break off the entire attack and the Moslems claimed victory. A three-thousand strong army had repelled an army greater than thrice their own strength, with very few casualties. Ali was revered as a hero amongst the Moslems and his prestige among his people rose even higher. The Battle of Ahzab ended in total Moslem victory.

After the battle ended, the Moslems turned on their Jewish population in Yathrib. There were still Jewish tribes living in the town after the first Jewish tribe had been forced out. This time the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayzah was charged with treason as they were seen as having been conspirators and allies of the polytheistic Quraysh throughout the battle, though they had not been part of the actual fighting. Mohammad led his warriors through the town districts to where the Jews resided. Seeing their doom approach, the leader of the Jewish tribe spoke to his people, giving them three alternatives how to deal with the Moslems. They could either convert to Islam; kill their own women and children and attack the oncoming mob straight on; or plead for mercy for now and attack the Moslems on the Sabbath. As no agreement could be found before Mohammad reached the Jewish community, the Jews let Mohammad decide their fate. He let the former Jew Sa’d, who had converted to Islam and been part of the recent battle, be the judge using Jewish laws. Being a former Jew, the Jewish community thought he would be lenient, but Sa’d was disappointed with his former allies’ act and sentenced all Jewish men to death. The women and children became Moslem captives but they were spared any physical abuse.

After the Battle of Ahzab, Mohammad spread his faith to surrounding tribes and towns around Yathrib. Growing more powerful, he decreed a year after the victory that the Moslems were now strong enough to march towards Makkah. In 6 AH (628 CE) Mohammad together with 1,600 Moslems made their way toward the city, though not as warriors but pilgrims. In the border town of al-Hudaybiyah between the two city-state communities, Mohammad met with a Makkahn representative where a treaty was signed. Mohammad was allowed to return to Makkah again, though not this year. The hostilities between the two cities would end and Mohammad was allowed to make a pilgrimage to Makkah the following year. However, in 8 AH (630 CE) the Makkahns broke the treaty and refused Mohammad the right to travel to the city through pilgrimages and thus Mohammad attacked the city with an army consisting of more than 10,000 men. The city admitted defeat without ever opposing Mohammad and he was let inside to visit the Kaaba. To repay their kindness Mohammad promised that no one would be harmed and no house would be ransacked.

Seeing how Mohammad’s followers had grew through the years, the majority of Makkah’s inhabitants finally converted to Islam as well and Mohammad was allowed to clear the Kaaba of the idols of tribal gods and dedicate it to Allah. The pilgrimage to Makkah became a Moslem such and only Moslems were now allowed to visit the Kaaba. As Makkah fell to Moslem hands, only a few tribes across the entire Arabian Peninsula did not convert to Mohammad’s faith. These disbelievers were defeated at the Battle of Hunayn by Mohammad and within a year the whole land was a Moslem conglomerate ruled by Mohammad and his close relatives through the decentralised power of the native tribes. However, Mohammad would not live long to see his faith spread. In 10 AH (632 CE), on 8 June, Mohammad died, sixty-three years old. He would leave behind a growing faith, a faith that by now could truly be named religion in itself, and not just a sect of a previous religion. He was the last of the Prophets, and his guidance would bring the true faith and god to more people that he had ever dreamed of in the beginning.​
 
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Katapraktoi

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British Patriot and Duke of Wellington, thank you both very much for your shown interest, I hope that you will not be disappointed as I post the next installmen. :) Just let me inform you, and everybody else naturally, that compared to my In the Footsteps of Magna Charta, the updates will most likely take a longer time to write and thus there will be a few days apart from each such, instead of maybe several updates a day as I sometimes do in my English AAR. But I will of course work as hard as I can to deliver fairly quickly. :)

Mettermrck, I can only bow and say thanks. :) I am pleased that you find my work detailed. As probably many authors do, I take a lot of my information of Wikipedia, even though I am uncomfortable doing so in other cases. I have therefore acquired real books for just this AAR, especially for the prologue. I am thus hoping that I will be able to write a high-quality beginning, though of course there can always be disputing facts in written books as well. But it feels more reliable than Internet, at least for me it does. I hope that you will find the rest of my updates in the same way you did this one, I will try my best. Welcome aboard, don't be a stranger. ^_^
 

coz1

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A very nice start. And you are correct that the existance of the Muslims during the Medieval period certainly made history take the course it did. A what if I find interesting has to do with Muslim scholarship. Without that during the period, it is possible that the Renaissance would not have happened as it did as those Muslim scholars were the ones who continued to study from those ancient Greek and Roman texts. Only the Irish monks that copied many of them down as well can be considered as important as far as that goes.
 

Katapraktoi

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Burgundy, how nice of you to drop by again. :) I don't know if the text really is 100% correct, I doubt it is myself, but I do try to stick to facts so that as much as possible is believable. I hope that you will enjoy the next installment coming up in just a few hours is as entertaining as you found this first one.

coz1 Great to see you read this one as well. ^^ Since my newly found interest in Islam history I did want to write something that may provoke different thoughts from the readers and this subject was found wanting. I do believe myself that Islam has had much to contribute to Europe's history, and I totally agree about the texts you mention. I believe that without the Moslems, those texts would not have been translated as the Roman Empire was falling appart and did not concentrate on old texts in Greek and Latin, and the texts would anyway probably speak against Christian texts so the context would not have been released anyway. In any case, I hope you will be following his one as I continue with the prologue. I'm hoping to cover this stuff pretty quickly so I can begin to play soon! :)
 

Katapraktoi

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Children of the Prophet - Prologue Chapter Two

EUAAR2ProphetSmall.jpg



TWO


The Succession


Children of the Prophet Theme


* * *


9 June, 632 CE (10 AH)
Yathrib, northern Arabia



”The Great Prophet is dead, Peace be upon him. We must mourn his death, but at the same time choose among us a new leader of Islam. One that is strong and able and knowledgeable, who can further spread our faith, one who can defend our faith from alien beliefs.”
“Then there can be no on else but Ali who can succeed him. The Great Prophet clearly stated that Ali, being a hero of Islam and worthy of such title as Successor of the Prophet, should walk in the footsteps of him.”
“But Ali is still young and rash. He may be an able leader, I have no doubt about it. But for such a task as this an older, more experienced leader must be chosen. It cannot be Ali.”
“Then what of Abu Bakr? He must surely be old enough to possess such experience a leadership of this magnitude demands. Being family to the Prophet Mohammad, Peace be upon him, no one else could be more qualified to lead us. What do you say, Abu Bakr?”
“It grieves me that the Great Prophet is dead, and it is with a heavy heart that I reluctantly accept this burden I do not strive for that you all have now laid upon my shoulders.”

As Mohammad died, discussions about who should succeed him in the leadership of the Moslems took place. Some argued that his cousin and son-in-law Ali was to be granted the leadership. He was revered a hero since the Battle of Ahzab, he was closely related to Mohammad both by blood and by marriage, and some claimed that Mohammad had publicly announced that Ali was to be his successor once he died during a sermon in Ghadir Khumm. However, the closest of Mohammad’s followers did not believe that this was true and so they sat down together to argue who was the best possible leader after Mohammad. Many agreed upon the fact that Mohammad’s best friend Abu Bakr would be a suiting successor. He had been a friend of Mohammad since their youth, he had been one of the first converts to Islam, he alone had accompanied Mohammad on his exodus to Yathrib, and he had graciously given his daughter’s hand in marriage to the Prophet, proving once more what a reliable and honourable friend he truly was.

In the end, Abu Bakr was chosen as the new leader of Islam, according to Arabian tribal law. It was custom to gather and discuss a future leader, instead of having the previous leader proclaim a successor by himself. This act of kingship was highly shunned upon and many said that Mohammad had deliberately renounced to pass on his leadership. As the council of Mohammad finally chose Abu Bakr, Ali renounced any claim to Islamic leadership without holding a grouch towards Abu and submitted to the council’s decision. And so the long-time friend of Mohammad became the new leader of the Moslems. He became Khalïfah – “successor”, which would from that moment on be the title of the Islamic leader.

However, despite the fact that Ali stepped down from claiming religious leadership, submitting to his new leader Abu Bakr, some Moslems did not. Their opinion was that Ali was the first to convert to Islam, and not Abu. They also stood by their claim that Mohammad had announced at Ghadir Khumm that Ali was to be his successor. These became known as Rafidi – “Refusers”, as they refused to accept Abu’s ascendance as Khalïfah. A schism took place where the Rafidi created their own party of how to look at the history of Islam and who the true successor of Mohammad would be. Shi’at Ali – “The Advocates of Ali”. However, the majority still stood by the decision made by the social elite amongst the Moslems and that Abu Bakr was the designated leader. They took the name Sunni, from Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama’ah which has its connection to a statement Mohammad had made while still alive. According to the Sunni, Mohammad said that those who do not follow the Jama’ah – “majority”, will not escape Hell. Therefore most Moslems accepted the idea that Abu Bakr should be Mohammad’s successor as the majority of the council had decreed so, even Ali had agreed to it.

Even so, Abu Bakr would face other misfortunes during his reign as Khalïfah. As Mohammad died, several tribes that had been subdued during his lifetime were now renouncing Islam as their religion. They claimed that while the Great Prophet had been alive they were humble Moslems, but with the Prophet dead they no longer saw any reason to continue worship Allah. There were lesser cases where they only refused to pay the tax introduced by Mohammad, the zakat – “tax of alms” (lit. “purify”), though this was offence enough as it was an important part of Islam. Mohammad had stated that all Moslems must pay this tax to the Islamic state so that charity could be run to those in need. To care for the sick, homeless and defenceless was a major message from Mohammad, and with tribes refusing to pay zakat, Abu Bakr took it as an act of disobedience. Unity had to be restored and Abu Bakr saw no other means than hostilities for such a goal. The tribes that fully renounced Islam and stopped the worship of Allah and went back to their idols of native Arabian origin were, however, targeted as traitors and apostates and full-scale war broke out with them. As apostasy was a major sacrilege in Islam, as in any contemporary religion, Abu Bakr had no other choice than to take up arms against the unbelievers. It was the beginning of the Ridda Wars – “The Wars of Apostasy”.

During Mohammad’s later years there had been a delegation from one of the largest Arabian tribes, Banu Hanifa, coming to visit him and embrace Islam. One of the persons in this delegation had been Musaylimah ibn Habib al-Hanefi. As Mohammad was pleased with their offer to convert to Islam, he gave encouraging words to all of them, not the least to Musaylimah who did not have the chance to meet with the prophet in person as he had to guard their caravan. As the rest of the delegation made it back to Musaylimah they conveyed Mohammad’s words to him, but the newly converted Moslem misunderstood them and took it as if he was regarded as highly as Mohammad. When Musaylimah came back to his village and converted the rest of the population to Islam, he began preaching that he was a 26th prophet of Islam and as worthy as Mohammad himself. When Mohammad later died, Musaylimah declared war against Abu Bakr since he had not been given power in the Islamic society despite being a prophet. However, Abu Bakr and his lieutenants never accepted Musaylimah as a prophet as Mohammad had clearly stated that he was the 25th and last of the prophets of Islam. Musaylimah was given the nickname al-Kadhdhaab – “the Liar” as he preached the wrong message of Islam. He would prove the most difficult of all opponents of the new leadership of the Ummah and Abu Bakr. However, Moslem military leadership would give the Moslems final victory, due to an ironic twist of history.

The Battle of Uhud in 3 AH (625 CE) had ended in a stalemate between the then small Moslem community of Yathrib and the oncoming Makkahn force led by the brilliant general Khalid ibn al-Walid who had been in charge of the cavalry that had annihilated the Moslem flank during battle. However, as it turned out when Islam spread during the later years the very same general who had fought against the Moslems would convert and join the Islamic society. Being born in the Banu Makhzum clan of the Quraysh tribe he was a warrior from birth as the Makhzum were in charge of military actions within the tribe. Having been given a splendid military education, Khalid would prove an able general for Abu Bakr to use against the apostates. Together with other tribes of Nejd and Hejaz the false prophet sent his army against Makkah but was repelled by the defenders in the city. Abu Bakr sent out Khalid, and another Moslem general by the name of Ikrïmah ibn Abu Jahl, also a general that had fought against the Moslems at first but later converted, to defeat the fleeing forces of Musaylimah. Khalid was given the task to hunt down the tribes of Nejd and Hejaz while Ikrïmah was to kill the false prophet to prevent any more uprisings. At the Battle of Akrabah Khalid annihilated the Arabian tribes and Ikrïmah was successful in killing Musaylimah at the Battle of Yamämah.

Seeing how successful the campaign was progressing, Abu Bakr wanted to prolong it in order to subdue the tribes north of Arabia as they were still not converted Moslems and thus considered fair game to include in the Ridda Wars. As Arabia was in Moslem control again by the end of 11 AH (633 CE) all Abu Bakr had to do was to march north against the forces in Iraq and Syria. However, while raising another army in order to do so, Abu Bakr fell ill and had to enjoy the comforts of a bed. Sensing that it might be his last days on earth, Abu Bakr called for those close to him and asked them to make Umar ibn al-Khattäb his successor. The council agreed to his wishes and as Abu Bakr died only days later, on 23 August 12 AH (634 CE), they convened and chose Umar as successor. Shi’at Ali protested violently even though Ali himself once again agreed to the choice of Khalïfah, and so the second closest lieutenant of Mohammad had been honoured with the title of Ameer al-Mumineen – “Prince of the Faithful”.

Umar reasoned no different than his predecessor and continued with the preparations that Abu Bakr had begun for an invasion of the northern lands. The campaigns against the Sassanids and Eastern Roman Empire could progress since these two empires were at war and was drained of their resources. As Umar attacked from the south, giving the command to the general Khalid, the Moslem armies would quickly and efficiently counter and destroy any opposition that was thrown against them. In 13 AH (635 CE), Khalid was able to siege and capture the major Roman city of Damascus in Syria. As the Roman Emperor Flavius Heraclius Augustus heard of the conquest of Damascus he ordered an army of 40,000 soldiers to recapture the city. A year after the city had fallen to the Moslems, the Roman army had travelled to Damascus where Khalid was quick to retreat seeing the size of his enemy. Only commanding 20,000 men himself, Khalid found it hard to believe that he could win against such an army, but fortune would be of another mind. As it would have it, the Roman army was in no way as organised or unified as the Moslem one. Consisting of several nationalities, the Ghassanids being the important factor, the Roman army had a hard time cooperating at a required speed with communication problems and waver in loyalties. The Ghassanids had not been paid for their last involvement in the recent war against the Persian Sassanid Empire, and the fact that their Monophysite Christianity was an outlawed such in the Greek-Orthodox Christian Roman Empire and thus persecuted. Bribing the Ghassanids before battle would turn it into favour for the Moslems.

As Khalid retreated, he managed to defeat the first Roman commander, Theodore, who commanded most of the cavalry, before the other Roman army followed and they were pushed towards the River Yarmük, a tributary river to the River Jordan. In the valley next to the river, Khalid had to make a stand and he sent out skirmish parties consisting of his light Arabian cavalry to harass the Roman infantry as the second general Baänes lacked the proper cavalry to intercept the quick Arabians. By July, a confrontation was inevitable, however, and the two armies met face to face. The battle begun to the disadvantage of the Moslems, but as the Ghassanids turned on their masters the prospect of victory was renewed and the Moslem counter-attacks broke through, finally. Being attacked from both the front by Moslems, and in the back by Ghassanids, the Romans routed in the direction of the ravine and those who were not slaughtered by the pursuing soldiers fell down and died. After the battle, the Roman Empire had no army in its eastern provinces to protect its cities and Khalid was able to quickly recapture Damascus and thus the whole region of Syria became Islamic possession. That same year, the south of the Sassanid Empire was acquired at the Battle of al-Qädisiyyah as Umar led an army himself against the acclaimed Sasanian general Rostam Farrokhzäd and annihilated his enemy with a much smaller force.

After his re-conquest of Damascus, Khalid continued south in order to capture Jerusalem. As it was the city where Mohammad had experienced Isra and Mi’raj, the city was considered very important and without the Roman army Khalid could travel across Asia Minor as he saw fit. After a two-year-long siege, Jerusalem fell in 16 AH (638 CE) and Umar, having joined the besieging army not long before the city fell, graced the city with his presence. As he entered the city it was on foot, and he took part in a mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, though not inside so that he would not endanger the church’s status as a Christian temple. He executed kindness toward his foe and, in fact, Umar had promised the inhabitants in Jerusalem that all Christians and Jews were to be spared. Mohammad had spoken of kindness to Christians and Jews, even though they had misunderstood Allah’s message. According to the wishes of Mohammad, which Umar followed blindly, all Christians and Jews were allowed to keep their churches and synagogues intact, they were allowed to keep on practicing their own religions and their own laws. The only requirement was that they pay a special tax, jizyah, a tax only given to non-Moslems. The wars were increasing the need for a central treasury and the low zakat tax that only Moslems paid together with the all-embracing kharaj tax – “tax on land”, did not cover the expenses that the Moslem army consumed.

Despite the change of rulers, some of the city’s inhabitants welcomed the Arab conquest. The Jews of the city were not only pleased with the new tax that was lower than the former Roman one, but they were now also free from persecution by Greek-Orthodox Christians. In the city there were also Monophysite Christians who were disliked by the Greek-Orthodox Christians and suffered their wrath from time to time. As Umar conquered the city, they also fell under the protection of the Moslems. To mark their submission, and as a gesture of appreciation for not killing them, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sophronius, gave Umar the key to the city. The few who wanted were invited to convert to Islam, but the inhabitants who chose to remain with their native religion and pay a higher tax for it instead, were allowed to do so. This, however, only bolstered the Moslem treasury and made it possible for continued expansion to the south and the north. A small group of Moslems were left in the city to create an aristocracy that would manage the already developed tax system with its new Islamic influences.

After the fall of Jerusalem two armies went separate ways, one towards the Roman province of Aegyptus in Egypt and the other towards the north-east of the Sassanid Empire. Three years later, in 19 AH (641 CE) the whole of Aegyptus fell except for the provincial capital of Alexandria. The following year the northern army had subdued Persia and incorporated it into the growing Islamic state. For the coming battle to capture Alexandria, Umar had decided to relieve Khalid of his commanding status as his popularity became too great for the Khalïfah’s like. Umar was afraid that his popularity could lead people away from the religion as it had clearly done during the first years of the Ridda Wars when Musaylimah had convinced his followers of improper worshipping due to his popularity as a member of the leading tribe. Protesting at first, Khalid understood Umar’s concerns and he only participated in later battles as a regular soldier until his natural death the same year as Persia fell.

Because of the Moslems’ view that the people they conquered were not forced, but rather encouraged instead, to convert to Islam, the conquest of Aegyptus would be a quick such. Yet another Monophysite Christian society lived in Egypt and was in majority across the land. They were the Coptic Christians who rejected the Greek-Orthodox’s claim of Christ’s double nature. As they were persecuted for their beliefs by the Greek-Orthodox Church as in Jerusalem, they received the Moslems who let them keep their faith and religious activities without interference with gratitude. The land fell quickly and Umar’s armies only waited for the city of Alexandria to fall. After a more than two-year-long siege, the Greek-Orthodox patriarch finally capitulated and let the Moslems inside the city. However, the successful reign of Umar would have an abrupt end before he could be informed of the fall of the great Roman city. A slave from newly conquered Persia would find Umar an unbearable master and during the Khalïfah’s prayer in the Masjid al-Nabawi Mosque in Yathrib he stabbed Umar six times, and then committed suicide. Umar miraculously survived the attack itself but was heavily injured by the assassin’s blade and he died on 3 November 22 AH (644 CE), two days after the event. Before his death, he convened a council that would choose his successor but he asked them to consider Uthman ibn Affan, the lieutenant that had followed Mohammad as his secretary and advisor.

The council met, in which both Uthman and Ali were members, and they reasoned that they should adhere to Umar’s wish. The Shi’a were pressing for Ali to become the next Khalïfah for a third time, but as Ali for the third time declined the honour and as the rest of the council had been appointed by Umar, they did not hold high regards to Ali’s ability to lead the Islamic nation as it had grown tremendously during Umar’s reign. Instead they agreed that Uthman should succeed Umar since he was skilled in both the art of writing and reading, and a good administrator.

Uthman’s reign would continue where Umar left off. Uthman had in fact promised to continue in the exact fashion as Abu Bakr and Umar had ruled, and thus the Moslem army that took Alexandria some years later continued to the west along the North African coast laying siege to the various African tribes and remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire’s holdings. To the east, the Moslems conquered the Caucasus and defeated the minor rebellions in Persia that arose. But what Uthman’s rule would signify was not extensive expansion of Islam, but the internal government and rule of the Islamic nation, by some now considered an empire because of its size. As the Ridda Wars had spread from just being a purge of revolting tribes that refused the Islamic religion to a campaign against non-Moslem nations, the revolts against the new Moslem masters became more frequent. More often than not, the conquerors tried to convert the people to Islam, but since Mohammad had clearly specified that one was not allowed to force Islam upon an unbeliever, conversion by force was never an option. Therefore, the people that did not convert had a greater cause for rebelling when the Moslem army had moved along.

To stop this trend in the newly acquired territories, Uthman replaced many governors with kinsmen from his own clan and tribe. By giving the highest positions throughout the realm to those that Uthman was close to, he thought it would be easier to remain in control and avoid rebellions spurred by disloyal provincial rulers. However, despite the efficiency of this system, many Moslem subjects reacted strongly to this new form of rule as it was seen as an attempt to strengthen Uthman’s clan’s claim for further succession of the Islamic leadership. They saw the spread of Uthman’s kin as nepotism and a misuse of his position as Khalïfah in order to favour himself rather than his subjects. The system angered the Moslems so, that a company of soldiers marched from Egypt where they had been stationed to complain to the Khalïfah in person about his unfitting actions. As they reached Yathrib they conveyed their feelings of the matter, and Uthman promised the soldiers that he would mend his ways and announce new governors who were to be chosen in a meritocratic way. Accepting Uthman’s change of rule the soldiers left Yathrib, only to hear that Uthman immediately reverted his decision and was going to stay with his nepotistic way of choosing governors. Insulted by their leader’s change of heart they returned to Yathrib and surrounded Uthman’s house. They refused to let him out unless he upheld his promise. Uthman, who was a very pious man, refused every suggestion that the soldiers outside be removed by force, as Mohammad had stated that no Moslem may draw blood from another. Thus the mob was left alone until it took matters in its own hands. They stormed the house and murdered Uthman as he was reading the Qur’an. After 12 years of successful reign, Uthman died on 17 June 34 AH (656 CE) without having announced a successor, something that the Ummah perhaps would not have adhered to even if he had.

The situation that arose from Uthman’s murder escalated into full civil war. With all three of Mohammad’s lieutenants having preceded Ali to the throne of Khalïfah, the Shi’a were now in uproar and pleaded to Ali for him to secure his rightful place among Moslems. But Ali had become horrified by the murder and did not want to profit from another’s death, especially not Uthman who he revered as he had been a close friend of Mohammad. But as hostilities arose around him, with several non-legitimate persons fighting for the leadership, and with the land tearing apart, Ali saw no other choice than to adhere to his followers’ persistent wishes for him to claim the title of Khalïfah. As he did so, he entered the bloody war that came to be known as the Fitna – “disagreement, division” as factions within the Islamic state clashed to support their own leader. Ali confronted each of the leaders and fought them with success. He even had to face Aisha, Abu Bakr’s daughter who fought to restore her father’s lineage. At the Battle of Bassorah, also known as the Battle of the Camel, as Aisha directed her army from the back of a camel, Ali defeated Aisha’s with ease. Ali refused to harm her though, and he sent her to Yathrib under his protection. However, Ali would not rule for long and always with constant rebellions which occupied his time. After a year of war, Ali was finally faced with the army of Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan in 35 AH (657 CE). Mu’awiyah had been the governor of Syria during Umar’s reign and he was a close family member of Uthman. By the time of Uthman’s death he had raised an army in the intention to claim the caliphate by himself. Also being successful in his campaign, the only true opposing force left was Ali’s army as they met near Siffin.

After initial skirmishes, Mu’awiyah made his soldiers hold up copies of the Qur’an as they approached Ali’s army. Seeing the holy book the soldiers could not attack and thus Mu’awiyah could propose a peaceful solution. Both leaders should send one representative each who would settle who of the two would become the next Khalïfah. That way no Moslem would be forced to draw another’s blood and they would adhere to the word of Mohammad. As the two representatives met in private, they both agreed that neither Mu’awiyah nor Ali should be allowed to become the successor of Uthman. However, as they announced their decision they did so in turn with Ali’s representative going first. He proclaimed that Ali neither Ali nor Mu’awiyah should be Khalïfah, but as the second representative approached he broke the agreement and proclaimed Mu’awiyah as leader. Most of Ali’s army then denounced him as successor, saying that “none by God shall judge”, and these left the battlefield. Ali was basically left alone and forced to flee when he could not face Mu’awiyah. Ali found his way to the city of Kufa where he years later accepted Mu’awiyah’s claim to become Khalïfah. However, he would not live long after as an assassin was sent against him.

The men that had left Ali on the battlefield formed an opinion of their own that the Islamic state was not going to be ruled by a Khalïfah or any other centralised power. They resented the idea and were against Mu’awiyah’s rise as new leader of the Ummah. They became known as the Kharijites – “those who leave (lit. those who go out)”. They agreed upon that both Ali and Mu’awiyah be assassinated and so two assassins were sent towards Kufa and Yathrib. Mu’awiyah’s assassin was caught and killed, but Ali was caught off guard as he was praying during the Ramada in January in 39 AH (661 CE). With Ali died the fourth Khalïfah of close relationship to Mohammad and thus the Rashidun – “The Four Righteously Guided Khalïfahs” consisting of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali was ended. As of 39 AH, Mu’awiyah would claim the title of Khalïfah and become Mu’awiyah I, the founder of the Umayyad Dynasty, and rule for almost twenty years until his death.​
 
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Ah, the schisms begin. It's a busy period in that history and you covered it well.
 

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Children of the Prophet - Prologue Chapter Three

EUAAR2ProphetSmall.jpg



THREE


La Reconquista


Children of the Prophet Theme


* * *


1 February, 661 CE (39 AH)
Yathrib, northern Arabia



”Most Supreme ruler, what will your bidding be? We have lost our newly acquired North African provinces due to the war. Only Egypt is holding back, and in the north our armies are exhausted from repelling the Persian rebel armies.”
“My lord, you must think of the population. Do not give the positions for governor to your kin, or else the very same fate that Khalïfah Uthman went through will haunt you as well.”
“Fine. Then I shall give these positions to men that deserve them through skill, leadership, and wits. Those who can rule without favour, but with a just hand, they shall be rewarded with a governor title.”

As Mu’awiyah tried to consolidate his power in a nation that was falling apart, he was constantly reminded by his aides not to make the same mistake that his predecessor Uthman ibn Affan had made, appointing his kin for the powerful positions within the Ummah. To avoid another war against rebellious and unsatisfied subjects, Mu’awiyah was careful to appoint able magistrates and governors throughout his realm so that he would not face his people’s wrath, seeing how it could turn out. He was especially good at finding able Christian administrators in the provinces that had formerly belonged to the Roman Empire. With an already elaborate administration, the Christians only had to change the sources of income in order to utilise their well-working system. The benefits of hundreds of years of development by the Romans were transferred to the Islamic state in just a few years. But it was not only because of the efficiency of the Roman economic system that Mu’awiyah gave the Christians high positions, but more because of the fact that the new territories in the north-west were populated by a majority of them as they refused to convert. To please the Christians, fearing a riot, the new Khalïfah showed a new level of tolerance towards non-Moslems that had not been practiced before, even if the former ways had been barbaric in any way. This new tolerance solidified his power especially in the province of Syria, his old governor district.

Because of the conquests in the Roman Empire and the many bureaucratic influences, in Arabic called diwan, that Mu’awiyah transferred into his own empire, several new organisations could be founded, such as the royal chancellery and the postal service, which immensely improved the communications, a necessity in such a vast realm. However, it would not be the introduction of the diwan that would characterise Mu’awiyah’s reign, but the fact that from his death in 6 May 58 AH (680 CE) a new dynastic way of appointing the successor was introduced. Before his death after almost 20 years of internal improvements and exterior expansion, trying to reach the Roman capital of Constantinople, Mu’awiyah chose to appoint his own son as leader of the Caliphate, instead of following the Arabian tradition of letting a council gather and choose a successor. Not to upset the populace, Mu’awiyah made a council gather anyway, but with their allegiance sworn to his son Yazid before his death. This way he could control their chose of leader in order for his lineage to continue. This way of appointing the succession would become used by all Khalïfahs for many hundreds of years to come, as it was an effective way to preserve one’s own dynasty on the throne.

Yazid, becoming Yazid I as he rose to the throne, would not sit for long though, as he died during a battle against rebels three years later. From 58 AH until 128 AH (750 CE) the Umayyad dynasty ruled as Khalïfahs in the Islamic state, however, internal intrigues and plots left no Khalïfah ruling more than two or three years, or in some rare cases but a month, before being overthrown by another of their own kin. This made the Ummah unstable throughout the dynasty’s reign and only during short periods of time could leaders consider themselves established enough to expand. During the last six years of the Umayyads, Marwan II ruled from Damascus, trying to hold together an empire destined to fall apart. Already before his time, a clan descending from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, a brother to Mohammad’s father Abdullah, were stirring up trouble for the Umayyad leader in the north-eastern provinces. This clan called themselves Abbäsïyün, naming themselves after Abbas, and cried accusations against the Umayyad caliphate that they were not the righteous leaders of the Ummah, as they descended from the Umayyad clan of the Quraysh tribe, a clan that did not have any relation by family to Mohammad. Instead they proclaimed themselves the leaders as they belonged to Mohammad by blood, being of the same clan in the tribe.

During the time of constant change of Khalïfahs, the Islamic state did manage to expand, however, despite the internal struggles and uneasy tensions between kinsmen. Even though the reign of some Khalïfahs was short, it did not in any way signify that it was not successful. During the late 680s CE the Khalïfah Abd al-Malik expanded into the now uncontrolled Egypt and took it back, as well as pushing forth into North-western Africa. His son Al-Walid I would continue his pursuit for land and sent his Berber general Tariq ibn-Ziyad in the front of a massive invasion force against the Visigothian kingdom of Hispania in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. On 19 May in 89 AH (711 CE) the Moslem army defeated the Visigothian army led by their king Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete. The Moslems had been invited into Hispania by a contender for the Visigothian crown, the count of Ceuta, Julian. The count was a strict monotheistic Christian while the Visigothian king was a devout Trinitarian Catholic. When the Moslems had landed in Gibraltar and were confronted with the king’s army, Julian, who commanded the flank, attacked his king at the same time as the Moslems rode forth against the enemy lines. However, with the king removed, Julian did not gain access to the throne as the Moslems would not allow it and they instead rampaged through Hispania, cities falling by the dozens in their wake. They continued north into Frankish-controlled land until they were repelled by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 110 AH (732 CE). However, before their raid was stopped the Moslems managed, under the command of Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, to plunder Bordeaux and almost reach Poitiers before being faced by Martel. Rahman died during the battle which led to a rout and the Frankish leader claimed victory. The Moslems had to settle in the central and southern parts of the Iberian Peninsula instead, creating an emirate dependant on the Khalïfah in Damascus. It would by the fall of the Caliphate turn into the Emirate of Al-Andalus.

During the same time a lone noble, one of the few who had survived the Battle of Guadalete, had managed to create a kingdom by himself in the north-western corner o the Iberian Peninsula. This noble, Pelayo, had been a prisoner of the Moslems instead of being executed. Six years after his defeat he managed to escape and flee to Austrias where he defeated the current king and took his place. Angered at their own mistake, the Moslem Ameer sent an army against the kingdom that was now growing stronger under Pelayo’s rule. In 90 AH the Battle of Covadonga took place in the Asturian mountains. Pelayo had no more than 300 men, but with the mountains protecting his flanks, and with his small army cutting off the narrow passage the Moslem forces could not use their superior numbers to their advantage. The Iberians won the battle and begun a war that would wage on and off through centuries until its completion in 1492 CE. La Reconquista, the purge of non-Christians and battle for supremacy on the Iberian Peninsula, had begun. It would later lead to the greatest clashes between Christians and Moslems ever as the Pope would announce holy war against all unbelievers, and especially the Saracens as they would become known.

In the heartlands of Islam, the Abbasid clan was continuing with their proclamation to rise against the caliphate during the conquest of Iberia. To strengthen their position, the Abbasids appealed to all mawali – “non Arab-Moslems” who were considered the lowest caste in the Umayyad Islamic society just above slaves. From the time of Mu’awiyah the view of non-Moslems had changed and was not as appreciated any more. The Abbasids played on this fact and they were successful in raising a rebellion in 125 AH (747 CE) in the province of Khorasan with the Imam Ibrahim leading them. Despite initial success Ibrahim was captured during battle and died in prison. The leadership was passed to his brother Abdullah who faced Marwan II three years later on 25 January at the banks of the River Zab in Iraq. Despite the larger caliphate army, Marwan did not possess any extra ordinary military abilities to lead his troops into an inspiring battle. Many companies abandoned the battle which gave the fanatical Shi’ite and Abbasid warriors a well-needed advantage. Marwan was chased off the field with most of his army slaughtered in the rout that ensued. The Khalïfah managed to flee from the battle alive and tried to escape the Abbasids via Egypt. However, the Abbasid leader Abdullah had put out a warrant for his death and as Marwan crossed the Nile he was recognised and killed. The throne stood empty as most of the Umayyads had participated in the Battle of the Zeb and been killed. Abdullah ascended as new Khalïfah and as the founder of a new dynasty that would remain for almost half a millennia. As he was crowned Khalïfah he named himself Abu al-Abbas Adbullah ibn Mohammad as-Saffah.

There was, however, a sole survivor of the Umayyad clan that managed to escape the same way without being recognised. His name was Abd ar-Rahman. He was the grandson to Abd al-Malik and thus a legitimate successor of the Umayyads. He made his way to Iberia and the Emirate of Al-Andalus which had come under the control of the Abbasids through their ascension to the Caliphate. Rahman fought the Abbasid leader and six years after his own family’s downfall in Asia Minor, he founded a new independent emirate which became known as the Emirate of Córdoba. The Umayyad dynasty remained because of him and became an opposing power to the true leadership of the Islamic state to the current ruling Abbasid dynasty. But foreign powers would not be the only thing that plagued the Abbasid once they had come to power. While the revolts had vigorously been called for by the Abbasids, many Shi’a Moslems had answered, seeing a chance to overthrow a dynasty that was not connected to Mohammad by family from the throne. Their support gave the Abbasids the victory, but once in power, Abu al-Abbas as-Saffah pledged himself to the Sunni branch of Islam, repelling the Shi’a and thus losing their loyalty. Instead of rewarding them for their service he decided to persecute them and the Shi’a had to flee to Morocco where they established the kingdom of Idrisid and the Kharijites immigrated to Egypt after seeing that armed revolts were easily crushed by the Abbasid army.

Forced to commit several armies just in order to repel rebellions in the realm, the Abbasid dynasty was not prepared to counter the attacks of the Roman Empire as it once more lashed out at the Moslems, seeing how the recent change of leadership had weakened the Islamic state. Fighting for supremacy in Anatolia and Syria, as-Saffah’s brother Abu Ja’far Abdallah ibn Mohammad al-Mansur, who had succeeded him after his death in 132 AH (755 CE), decided to move the capital from Damascus to Baghdad to disallow the Romans to capture it. The severe fighting that took place around the whole realm forced the Abbasids to commit the greatest, and at the same time the most devastating decision of their rule. Under the leadership of Abu Ja’far al-Ma’mun ibn Harun who ascended the throne in 191 AH (813 CE), Turkish, Slav, and Caucasian slaves were captured at young years and given a thorough military training. Their lives were dedicated for battle and their loyalty was only reserved for the Khalïfah. They became known as Mamluk – “the owned” as they acted as the Khalïfah’s private army. They distinguished from ordinary bodyguards as they were captured in the thousands and comprised a full standing army instead of just a body of private guards, intent on saving the Khalïfah’s life. The Mamluk were not Moslems which made it possible to use them against Moslems to suppress rebellion without breaking Mohammad’s word not to kill a fellow Moslem. With the help of these Mamluk warriors the disintegration of the Ummah came to a halt.

The culmination and reverse of rebellions because of the efficient Mamluk army made the rulers of the Islamic state able to look to other nations for expansion and conquest again. The descendants of al-Mansur used the Mamluks to launch an invasion of Italy in 224 AH (846 CE) which landed close to the port-city of Ostia, Rome’s naval buoy to the rest of the world. The garrison fled as they saw the 15,000 man strong Saracen army approach and instead an army comprising of pilgrims with no battle experience had to stop the Moslem advance. They were annihilated with minimal loss of Moslem lives which made it possible for the invasion to continue to Rome itself. The Pope Sergius II could only watch as the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul were sacked of their riches before the Moslem army moved on to the north. They crossed the Alps and made their way towards French Provence where they besieged and captured the port-city of Fraxentum. From there the Saracens could launch naval attacks against Italy and helped in the amphibious invasion of Naples. The city of Bari was captured from the Roman Empire and used as capital in the newly established emirate in southern Italy and Sicily. By 256 AH (878 CE) the last resisting city on Sicily, Syracuse, fell to the Moslems and a third of the peninsula was controlled by the Abbasid dynasty.

Despite successes against the Christians, and a well-organised army consisting of the Mamluk, the Abbasids would suffer a huge loss in Egypt to the Fatimid dynasty in the late 10th century. The Fatimids had risen in the kingdom of Idrisid and taken control over large parts on North-western Africa, spreading towards Egypt in the 970s. They defeated the ruling dynasty that was subjects of the Abbasids and took control of the rich land by themselves. They established the capital of al-Qahira and pushed further into Syria. They also went across the Mediterranean and took possession of the Abbasid land in Naples and Sicily. During the same time, the emirate in Córdoba announced their claim to the throne of the Ummah and converted from an emirate into a caliphate, intent of securing Islam power to themselves. The Islam world had divided into three strong caliphates; Córdoba, situated in Córdoba, Fatimid, situated in al-Qahira, and Abbasid, situated in Baghdad, all claiming their right to the leadership of the whole Islamic community. However, before there even was a chance for the three great Islamic powers to contend for absolute power, foreign influences would turn the hostilities from the leaders’ fellow Moslems to a threat that cared neither if they were Arabs, Persians, or Egyptians, the important thing was that they were Moslems and opposed themselves against the Christian Church. The Christian crusades were the European answer to a too powerful Moslem control of the Palestine.​
 

KuzuX

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woderful aar :cool:
(deja-vu no:10.66)
i will follow this
 

coz1

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You are still covering this rather difficult history well. And it's always amazed me how the spread of Islam happened as those who lead it were battling with each other.
 

stnylan

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It is all very interesting. I very much liked your initial speculations in the first post.