An Islam Primer

Everything you always wanted to know, from Islam's 'golden age' to the meaning of 'jihad.'

Continued from page 1


Circa 610: Prompted by what he says are divine revelations, the Prophet Muhammad begins espousing a new version of pure monotheism in pagan Mecca, a town located in what is now Saudi Arabia.


Circa 622: Muhammad migrates to Medina and establishes an Islamic community. The Muslim calendar begins.

Circa 632: Death of Muhammad.

632-661: Islamic rule extends to North Africa, Persia (Iran), Jerusalem, Damascus and Central Asia.

732: Muslim advance into Europe is halted in France by Christian armies.


750-925: Islam's "Golden Age." Under a unified empire, Islamic legal, religious and political thought flowers.

1096: European Christians launch the first Crusade to take the Holy Land from Muslims.

1099: Crusaders conquer Jerusalem.

1258: Mongols conquer the Islamic center of Baghdad.


1291: Islamic forces defeat the last Crusader stronghold in Palestine.

1453: Constantinople (now Istanbul) becomes a Muslim city when it is conquered by the Ottoman Turks.

1492: With fall of Grenada, Muslim rule ends in Spain.

1683: Muslim Turks, controlling much of southeastern Europe, attack Vienna.

1798: The French, under Napoleon, invade Egypt.

1832: French forces occupy Algeria.

1920: European colonial governments control ex-Ottoman lands of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Transjordan.

1932: Saudi Arabia established.

1947: Muslim state of Pakistan established.

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