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Important dates in the development of Islam

Islam & Terrorism

Issue: "Islam and teroris," Oct. 27, 2001

c. 1900 B.C. Abraham is willing to sacrifice Isaac; Muslims say Ishmael was the almost-sacrifice. c. 30 Christ, crucified, dies, and is resurrected; Muslims say He was a Muslim and did not die. 610 Muhammad rejects both Christianity and Judaism and begins to develop his own monotheistic religion. 622 Muhammad flees Mecca-this becomes year one in the Muslim calendar-and over the next 10 years succeeds as both teacher and general. 632 Muhammad dies without a clear political heir; Muslim infighting begins. 637 Muslims capture Jerusalem and soon possess Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia. 661 Muhammad's nephew Ali is murdered and the Sunni-Shiite division begins. 700 Muslims, sweeping across North Africa and virtually wiping out Christianity there, conquer Algiers. 711 Muslims conquer most of Spain. 732 Muslims are defeated at Tours/Poitiers in what is now southern France; they conquer little more of western Europe. 786 Harun al-Rashid, Caliph in Baghdad, leads the way toward a golden age of Muslim learning. 846 Muslims sack Rome and the Vatican; meanwhile, mathematician and geographer al-Khwarazmi (algorithm is derived from his name) advances knowledge. 900 The writing of 1001 Arabian Nights begins, and the Arab physician Rhases becomes the first to describe smallpox, plague, and other infectious diseases. 963 Al Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars, which mentions nebula, is one indication of Muslim superiority in astronomy. 1006 Muslims settle in northwest India. 1037 Ibn Sina (Avicenna), the most influential Islamic medieval philosopher/physician, dies. 1094 El Cid defeats Muslims in Spain. 1095 Pope Urban II calls for a Crusade. 1099 Crusaders capture and sack Jerusalem. 1187 Muslims under Saladin retake Jerusalem. 1250 First Muslim states in southeast Asia are developing. 1380 Ottoman empire emerges. 1453 Muslims capture Constantinople, renaming it Istanbul, and turn St. Sophia Basilica into a mosque. 1492 Muslim governments, gradually pushed back for centuries, lose their last toehold in Spain. 1529 Muslims besiege Vienna but do not take it. 1571 Battle of Lepanto ends Muslim naval power in the Mediterranean. 1654 Taj Mahal completed. 1669 Muslim rulers in India prohibit Hindu worship. 1683 Muslims besiege Vienna, again unsuccessfully, but over the years control big chunks of southeastern Europe. 1792 Ibn Abdul Wahhab, founder of the radical Islamic movement known as Wahhabism, dies. 1816 British bombard Algiers and force its ruler to end the enslavement of Christians. 1869 The Tunisian government, in debt, accepts European financial control, in one of many changes throughout the century that resulted in north Africa falling under the control of France, England, and Italy. 1918 Ottoman Empire, allied with Germany, collapses. 1928 The radical Muslim Brotherhood is founded in Egypt. 1947 England relinquishes control of India, which is partitioned into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. 1948 England relinquishes control of Palestine, which is partitioned into Jewish and Muslim states. 1967 Israel defeats Arab armies and takes control over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 1979 Iran taken over by Muslim radicals. 1991 U.S. and allies rout Iraqi army. 2001 About 6,000 die in Wahhabi Muslim attack on the United States.

Sources include Gerhard Endress, An Introduction to Islam; Malise Ruthven, Islam; and Bernard Grun, The Timetables of History

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Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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