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Islamic world

Arab Empire

A mosque built during the Abbasid eraA mosque built during the Abbasid eraThe Arab Empire was built up in the 7th and 8th centuries AD. Inspired by the Prophet Mohammed, the founder of the Islamic religion, the Arabs conquered vast territories. At its height, the empire stretched from Spain, through North Africa and across Asia as far as India. In the following centuries, the empire experienced a golden age, when Islamic mathematicians, astronomers, inventors and doctors made great breakthroughs. Aboard their ships, known as dhows, Arab merchants traded goods around the Mediterranean Sea and between Africa and Asia.

Rise of the Arab Empire

The growth of the Arab EmpireThe growth of the Arab EmpireFollowing the Prophet Mohammed’s death in AD 632, a series of leaders, known as caliphs (meaning "successors") took control of Arabia. Under their command, Arab armies invaded the countries that bordered Arabia, hoping to spread the word of the Prophet. People were not usually forced to convert to the Islamic faith, but over time many chose to do so. People across the empire also began to speak the language of the caliphs, Arabic. The empire expanded fast. Within 200 years, it stretched from Spain in the west to India in the east.

During Arab rule, there were 3000 mosques in the Spanish city of Córdoba alone, besides the Great Mosque.

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