The Early Islamic Period

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The early Islamic period has an undeniable impact on shaping the Middle East. In the pre-Islamic age, Sassanid and Byzantine Empires were superior forces in the Middle East, which had their own political autonomy and civilization. However, the emergence of Islamic civilization, the superiority and impact of these two empires broke down, and the Middle East started to be reshaped and ruled by Arab-Muslims. The early Islamic era contributed significant alterations to the Middle East, including the religion of Islam, well-organized administration, urbanism, and social changes. However, according to some scholars, such changes have a pre-Islamic character which implies that reshaping of the Middle East started before the emergence of Islam (Bennison…show more content…
However, they did not attempt to convert conquered population into the Islam. On the one hand, Arab-Muslims considered themselves as missioners whose purpose was to conquer the world, but did not transform its people into Islam (Bennison 2009, pg. 22). They believed that Islam only belonged to them, and it became religious of the ruling elite who were Arab-Muslims. On the other hand, they had “tolerance” to Christian and Jews communities because they were considered as revelations by God. However, there are two main reasons for such “tolerance”: the tax that collected from non-Muslims called jizya, and stability that were ensured by those religions. Thus, in conquered regions of Middle East, religions, especially Christianity, were protected and not entitled to the tax payments. Actually, Islamic empire did not convert most of population in the Middle East into Islam, so they brought an only smaller degree of religious change in the entire Middle…show more content…
In the early Islamic period, transformation to “Islamic city” developed and flourished, including narrow cities and courtyard houses, and Roman style wide streets and temples were broke down (M. Millwright 2010, pg.31). The role of settlements was crucial in bringing physical change to the Middle East. Theaters, temples, and other Roman style architectures were used for industrial aims. In garrisons, an Islamic way of architecture developed, and new buildings, mosques, and oasis were built by Arab-Muslims. The military functions of such settlements incrementally replaced with economic functions, and they began to be central for economic markets. However, even Umayyad dynasty adopted designs of Romans for the imperial style of buildings, including mosques and residences, and most of the physical changes were influenced by Persian and Roman style architecture, so they were characteristically Arab architectures, and not fully new change in the Middle
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