I have included only a few items concerning the history of this empire. A good source for more details can be
found on Wikipedia or in history books.
EARLY YEARS: Muhammad was a leader of the Banu Hashim tribe (Quraysh clan). The Quraysh
were guardians of the Kabaa in Mecca.
In 610 AD, Muhammad became a prophet who reported receiving personal revelation at age 40 from God through the angel
Gabriel. These revelations and others were compiled in the
Qur'an (holy book of Islam). In 622 AD, Muhammad and his father-in-law,
Abu Bakr, escaped an assassination attempt. They and Muhammad's followers made a hijra (migration or journey) from
Mecca to Yathrib (modern
Blood feuds, previously common among the Arabs, became less frequent under Islam. Muhammad initiated a
10-year truce (Treaty of Hudaybiyyah) between Medina and the Quraish tribe of Mecca in 628 AD. Muhammad's followers
made the First Pilgrimage back to Mecca in 629 AD. Muslims conquered Mecca in 630 AD and Muhammad died in
June 632 AD.
Umar lived in a mud hut to ascertain the needs of poor people, and instituted the Bayt al-mal
(House of Wealth) to provide welfare assistance. He also introduced benefits and pensions for
needy children and the elderly. During his reign, Islamic forces conquered
Egypt and the Sassanid Empire.
The Qur'an also was standardized. In 644 AD, assassins killed Umar.
Many indigenous people aided Muslims to overthrow Byzantines
and Sassanids, which helped spread Islamic faith and dominion. The Arab-Byzantine wars (629-1050s AD) were
sanguinary and eventually ended when Muslim troops breached the Theodosian Walls
and ended the Siege of Constantinople in 1453 AD.
Mehmed II led the Ottoman host and directed use of
large cannons to pound city walls.
Abbasid rule declined after the death of Al-Mutawakkil and devolved into
regional states by 1180 AD. The
Fatimid Caliphate (909-1171 AD) ruled much
of the former Abbasid territory. Islam's Golden Age ended with Mongol
invasions that started in 1219 AD. Baghdad fell in 1258 AD to the army of
Hulagu Khan, that slaughtered a minimum of 90,000 people.
In 1250 AD, Mamluks in Egypt overthrew the Ayyubids and
defeated Mongol invaders in the Battle of Ain Jalut.
Despite such setbacks, Islam continued to spread throughout Africa and Asia, exemplified in the
Mughal Empire (1526-1857 AD) of India.
Its greatest example of architecture was the Taj Mahal.