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Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

abbasid decline????????????

please tell me anything about the abbasid decline.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Because Islam took over.

    When the Arabs first conquered the middle east, they were a tiny minority, less than 10%. The society they took over though had been steeped in Greco-Roman culture for well over a thousand years. Since the time of Alexander the Great the area they took over had been part of the Hellenistic Greek Culture, and had been Christian for over 300 years overtly, and even longer covertly.

    As such the people of the area had adopted the Greek philosophy, which is based on rationality, reason, and inquiry. Just read Socrates or Aristotle or Plato if you don't believe me. This meant that there was a lot of intelectual debate in the Greco-Roman world, and a fair amount of philosophical and scientific progress. These people were also, incidentally, Christian.

    For the first few generations under Islam the majority of the people remained Christian. Being a minority the Islamic conquereors knew that they couldn't be to harsh and impose Islam by the sword...they would have a revolt and they would loose. However they did, as time went on, begin to place more and more restrictions on the Christians under their control. ( Google Dihimi or go here )

    As time went on, more and more people converted to Islam, just to get away from the discrimination.

    That is where the Abbasid Decline comes in.

    Islam, unlike the Rationalist Philosophy of the Greeks, does not encourage personal inquiry. It can't. Remember the Koran is NOT like the Gospels. The Gospels are what other people wrote about Jesus several decades after he died and returned to Heaven. The Koran is, supposedly, the EXACT WORDS spoken by God, IN ARABIC, to Mohammed. Takes "God said it, I believe it, that settles it" to a whole new level. There is very little room for debate about what something does or does not mean in Islam...after all the Koran has the EXACT words spoken by God right there...the meanings are pretty clear. Logic doesn't leave a whole lot of room for alternate interpretations, and therefore Islam is much more a "shut up and check your brains at the door" religion than Christianity, or Judisim, are.

    An example of this was the library of Alexandria (Egypt). It was the largest collection of books in the world, and contained Aristotle's own collection of books. It was burned down by Amr bin Aas at the behest of the Second Caliph, Umar. The story goes that he was asked by the troops that had conquered Alexandria what they should do with the library. He replied, "If these writing of the Greeks agree with the book of God, they are useless and need not be preserved; if they disagree, they are pernicious and ought to be destroyed". It was, the story continues, thereupon, decided that the books were contrary to the Quran and the whole library was burned down without even opening the books.

    So as more and more of the residents of the Caliphate took up Islam, the Caliphate gradually lost the spirit of intelectual inquiry that is necessary for human progress. Independent thinking stopped, original thinking stopped, invention stopped. Things fell apart, the center could not hold.

    That is what lead to the decline of the caliphate.

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