Muslim Culture

Summarize Abbasid society, Muslim accomplishments in art and science, and Muslim attitudes toward philosophy and religion.

Muslim social classes

Muslim society was made up of four classes. The higher class included those who were Muslims at birth, while the second class included the converts to Islam. The third class included Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, which were called "the protected people". The lowest class, as usual, consisted of slaves, which were all non-Muslims.

Muslim Literature

The Muslim Literature has been a strong tradition in Arabia. their poetry consisted of celebrating ideals such as bravery, love, generosity, and hospitality. In the Qur'an, it was consisted of Arabic Literaature and poetry. During the age of the Abbasid caliphate, literary tastes expanded to include poems about nature and the pleasures of life and love.

Early Muslim literature was written in Arabic, which was the language of Muhammad. Most of these literature was of religious subjects, since early Muslim communities were focused on establishing the religion of Islam. When the Umayyad empire was esablished, secular Muslim literature developed such as the the Thousand and One Nights.

Later, Persian became one of the main languages of Muslim civilization, and much of the literature is now Persian Literature, such as the poetry of Rumi.


Islamic architecture includes the following elements, which were first established my Muhammad's first mosque in Medina.

• Large courtyards that often merged with a central prayer hall
• Minarets or towers
• a mihrab or niche on an inside wall indicating the direction to Mecca.
• Domes
• Use of iwans to intermediate between different sections.
• Use of geometric shapes and repetitive art Use of decorative Arabic calligraphy.
• Use of symmetry.
• Ablution fountains.
• use of bright color.
• focus on the interior space of a building

Muslim architecture also shows great cultural blending of cultures such as Romanh, Byzantine nd Syrian.


The Abbasids governed during a prosperous period of Muslim histoy. Riches flowed all over the empire and its adjacent continents. they supported the scientiists, mathematicians, and philosophers, the scholars preserved existing knowledge and produced an enormous body of original learning.


under the Abbasids rule

The Muslims thought that the advancements of science were very important because rulers wanted good physicians that would be able to treat the illnesses of their people. They relied on mathematics and astronomy so that the Muslims could be able to calculate the times for prayer and the direction to Mecca.

They also were interested in the truth about the world, Muhammad was a strong believer of the power of learning. His zeal towards learning led to a stronger support of places of leanring by the Muslim leaders. that is why Caliph al-Ma'mun opened in Baghdad the House of Wisdom, based on the combination of an academy, library, and translation center.

Muslim contributions were most outstanding in Medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. A persian named al-Razi wrote an encyclopedia called the Comprehensive Book that drew on knowledge from Greek, Syrian, Arabic, and Indian sources, including his own experiences. He also wrote Treaties on Smallpox and Measles, which was translated into several languages. He believed that his patients were to breath cleaner air, they would recover from their injuries much more faster.


picture of al-Razi

Muslim Society

Muslim is one of the empires that influence people from different part of the world. These mix of culture emerged a international flavor because many belief and way of living were adapted with each other and some people get those ideas to convert it into a new culture.

After Muslim constructed Baghdad, Damascus was the leader of the city. This city was a cultural center of Islamic learning where lots of people learned about Islam beliefs. Around the Baghdad Empire emerged several cities that grew up with the central city and those are: Cordoba, Cairo, and Jerusalem, in which symbolized the power of the caliphate, where it’s very amazing.

^^ this is the caliph's palace


Islamic music is mostly played in public services. Devotional music is enjoyed by contemporary Muslims all over the world. The common music forms include Arab classical and North Indian classical music. The musical preferences of Muslim people have traversed the trade routes. The Sufis are credited with taking the music of the mystics far and wide.

The classic heartland of Islam in Islamic music is the Middle East, North Africa, Iran, Central Asia, and South Asia.Due tot that Islam is a multicultural religion, the musical expression of its followers is varied and diverse. The indigenous musical styles of these areas have shaped the devotional music enjoyed by contemporary Muslims. Also, the muslim music has two modes: Maqam and Dastgah.

The Maqam cultural music is the one that is mostly present in parts of North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and the Maqam is furhter divided into other cultures, the Kurdish, the Persian, the Arabic and the Turkish. While the Dastgah is a musical modal system in traditional Persian art music.


Muslim traditions

Islam beliefs and traditions are sourced from the teachings of the prophet Mohammed. The term Muslim means 'submission to God'. Islam is now recognized as the second-largest world religion. Muslims believe that the Quran is the outcome of dialogs between the God and prophet. The two popular sects in the religion are the Sias and the Sunnis. The latter believe that Mohammed is the restorer of the faith, promoted by previous prophets like Abraham and Jesus Christ. The Sunnis on the other hand, believe in the 'words' of the prophet; words that were spoken by him. This comprises his teachings and revelations. Islam propagates the five laws that are fundamental duties to unite Muslims in spirit. These are:

* Shahadah or the worship of one God only.
* Salah or prayer, at least five times a day.
* Zakat, or donation of alms.
* Sawm, or fasting during Ramadan.
* Haj, the pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca.

Sufism is a mystical form of Islam. The Sufis believe in a direct experience of God via devotion.

Festivals and Marriage

Muslim festivals are all centered around the events in the life of Prophet Mohammed. Festivals like Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha and Lailat al Miraj are classic examples of the influence of religion in the lives of Muslim people. According to Muslim culture, marriage is, in the words of Mohammed, 'half of religion'. The bonding of two souls in holy matrimony is looked upon as a legal bond and social contract.


By ely

The Qur'an says, " Men are the managers of the affairs of women", and "Righteous women are therefore obedient". However, the Qur'an also declares that men and women , as believers, are equal.The shari'a gave Muslim believers specific legal rights concerning marriage, family, and property. Thus, Muslim women had more economic and property rights than European, Indian, and Chinese women of the same period.Nonetheless, Muslim women were still expected to submit to men. Responsibilities of Women varied with the income of their husbands.The wife of a poor man would often work in the fields with her husband. Wealthier women supervised the household and its servants.

Within the context of Islamic faith, women are esteemed as wives and mothers, and it was as such that historical sources present most women. Moreover, as the Muslims expanded out of Arabia, conquering societies with strong patriarchal restrictions on women’s movement in public, such as the Safavid empire of Iran and the Byzantine empire of the Levant, notions of veiling and seclusion became more widespread among Muslims. The Abbasid period saw the disappearance of women from public records and events, as the ideal of secluding women became more fashionable for men who wanted to demonstrate their power. Women’s social value was viewed as lower than that of men by many in power.Women were largely excluded from religious authority, despite the Qur’anic declaration that men and women were equal in the eyes of God and the role of the female Companions in transmitting the hadith. Patriarchal values became increasingly codified in the sharia, or Islamic law, as well as in the daily life of Muslim women.

Although they became less apparent in the historical record as the Islamic conquests spread, women in the Islamic empires continued to be vital members of society. Their responsibilities of bearing and raising children, providing food and clothing for their families, and instilling religious and social values within their households made them fundamental partners with men in the development of Islamic civilizations. Moreover, women in Islamic history gained strength from a legacy of strong and influential women in the founding years of their faith, as well as a tradition that, although culturally patriarchal, granted them ultimate equality in the eyes of the deity in which they believed.

The Abbasids

The Abbasid Caliphate was the third of the Islamic Caliphates of the Islamic Empire. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphs from all but Al Andalus. It was founded by a descendant of Muhammad's youngest uncle. The Abbasids distinguished themselves from the Umayyads by attacking their moral character and administration in general.The first change the Abbasids made was to move the empire's capital from Damascus, in Syria, to Baghdad in Iraq. The Abbasids had depended heavily on the support of Persians in their defeat of the Umayyads.


Muslim Architecture

To the early architects of the mosque we may attribute the development of the pointed arch, the brick dome, and brick vaulted arcades. Unique to Islamic architecture are the minaret , a tower from which the faithful are called to worship, and the gumbat, turbe or tomb tower .

Muslim Philosophy

Some of the major achievements of Muslim philosophers were the development of a strict science of citation; the development of a method of open inquiry to disprove claims; the willingness to both accept and challenge authority within the same process; recognition that science and philosophy are both secondary to morality, and that moral choices are earlier to any investigation or concern with either; the separation of theology and law during the early Abbasid period, a precursor to secularism; the distinction between religion and philosophy; the beginning of a review process; early ideas on evolution; the beginnings of the scientific method, an important contribution to the philosophy of science; the first forms of non-Aristotelian logic and the introduction of temporal modal and inductive logic; the beginning of social philosophy; the beginning of the philosophy of history; the development of the philosophical novel and the concepts of empiricism and tabula rasa; and distinguishing between essence and existence.

World History Book, by: McDougal Littell…/lesson3.php?s=0


The Al-Qanun fit Tib served as the medical science guide in the West from the twelfth to seventeenth century. It contained over a million words that evaluate the entire medical knowledge available from ancient Muslim sources. Ibn Sina’s contributions included advances as recognition of the contagious nature of tuberculosis and phthisis. The book also describes 760 drugs. Ibn Sina was the first to describe meningitis and contributions in anatomy, gynecology and child health. The idea of blood circulation and the foundation of the earliest pharmacy are some of the advances of Muslims in medicine.

The Muslims produced some of the most out-standing mathematicians. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, the founder of modern algebra, sine, cosine and trigonometrical tables. His book on algebra Hisab al-Jabr waal-Muqabalah (The Calculation of Integration and Equation) was used until the 16th century European universities principal textbook.

The religion and philosophy of Islam, is has the belief that Allah transmitted knowledge to Muhammad (and other prophets (Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus). The followers of Islamic religion, muslims, believe that this revelation to humanity was written down in the Quran, which is the exact word of God. Islamic philosophy benefited . by the translations of ancient Greek philosophy into Arabic in the eighth century a.d.
Muslim art is very complex and colorful but most of it never has a living being. Muslim thought that if living beings where on the paintings they might not worship Allah but the human figure. Instead artists discovered other ways of expresing their imagination. For example :

  • Caligraphy: wich was important to them due that it is considered a way to display Allah's glory. This painting mainly consist of letters of their alphabet.
  • Geometric Patterns: which involves and focuses only geometric figures. This is very common since it can be found from pottery to architecture.
  • Arabesque: is a complex ornate design. It usally has flower , leaves, and geometric patterns.
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