Q4: Lesson #2 - The Spread of Islam
We'll continue a bit with the "introduction" today, but most of our time will be spent preparing for tomorrow's lesson. Basically, half of the class will work on one topic, and the rest on another. More below on that. By the way, according to the trusty Internet, we hare in the year 1429 AH on the Islamic calendar.
Here's a quote to get us started...
"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level. It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. . . . It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history."
from Michael H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc., 1978, p. 33.
Here's the complete and updated list of "The 100" from Hart's most recent edition of the book.
Just because it's interesting, here's a different list from a recent book. The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived: How Characters of Fiction, Myth, Legends, Television, and Movies Have Shaped Our Society, Changed Our Behavior, and Set the Course of History
Remind me to also show you an interesting omission (or maybe you don't think it is one) in our textbook's coverage of Muhammad's return to Mecca.
We'll also do a quick review of the Five Pillars of Islam.
The Impact of Islam: There are two major topics we need to cover next - the spread of Islam and its significance in world history. Chapter 10 nicely divides those two topics between Section 2, "Islam Expands," and Section 3, "Muslim Culture." I also have a pair of DBQ (document based question) activities that are roughly divided the same way.
Here's how we are going to do this. First, we'll divide into 2 groups.
* One group will be responsible for Section 2, "Islam Expands," and DBQ #6, "Spread of Islamic Civilization." The main question you will be addressing: How did Islamic civilization spread so widely and so quickly?
* The other will be responsible for Section 3, "Muslim Culture," and DBQ #7, "Islamic Culture: Its Contributions to World Culture." The main question you will be addressing: What were the most important Islamic contributions to world culture and knowledge?
You'll have the rest of today to work on this. Tomorrow, we'll also give you fifteen minutes as a group at the beginning of the hour. Following that, we'll spend approximately 30 minutes on the material related to each of the two questions.
Your group will be expected to do the following in their consideration of the "big question" and its related issues.
* Introduce us to the most important points and information from the section in the textbook. (You might think in terms of five central points or something like that.)
* Discuss the specific documents you were assigned and explain how they link to the "big question" and what they can teach us.
* Develop a position on the "big question" that you can communicate effectively to us. (You might think of this as "talking an essay" to us that addresses your particular issue.
* Obviously, groups should use their time effectively, and I'd expect that everyone will make a contribution to the discussion on Wednesday.
Each group can receive up to 10 points for their section of class tomorrow. (Don't make this more than it is. We don't need PowerPoints and handouts. You can certainly get us what we need through use of the information in your text and the documents. If you want to do a little Internet research to round out your knowledge, that's fine, but what I have provided you should be the base.)
HOMEWORK for tomorrow: Wednesday, April 2nd
Obviously, you should be ready to help contribute to your group's effort tomorrow. In addition, I'd like people to finish reading Chapter 10 for class. Yes, that means doing BOTH Section 10.2 and Section 10.3. (At an absolute minimum, of course, you should have the section you are working on read before class.)