Complete and General Phases of Periodization of the Development of Islamic Civilization

The history of Islam is very closely related to Islam as a guiding religion and guidance for its people, so that Islam in history gives a more important meaning, even determining the life of mankind. The role of Islam in human life has meaning as a rule in life, both in this world and in the afterlife. Therefore, the true history of Islam is based and sourced from the Qur’an and hadith. This is because din has a deep meaning that is more than just what can be covered in religion.

Thus, the understanding of the history of Islamic civilization is a description of the growth and development of Islamic civilization from one time to another, from the time of the birth of Islam until now.

To study the history of Islamic civilization from time to time, we should do the following four steps:

  1. Construction, meaning that history that is valid and still related must be compiled, understood, internalized, and digested.
  2. Interpretation, meaning that history that applies and is still related can be used as a guide and needs to be developed.
  3. Transformation, meaning that the prevailing and related history needs to be transferred and developed in order to be able to fill the demands of globalization.
  4. Reconstruction, means carrying out a coherent and systematic reconstruction so that there is harmony and conformity with the times that global demands should be able to provide a model of Islamic civilization with the aim of being able to deal with local and global problems.

Culture and Civilization Relations

Islamic civilization is a translation of the Arabic word ” al-hadlarah al-Islamiah “. This Arabic word is often translated into Indonesian with Islamic culture. Culture in Arabic is al-Tsaqafah . In Indonesia, as well as in Arab and Western societies, there are still many synonymous words between the word culture (Arabic, al-tsaqafah ; English, culture ) and the word civilization (Arabic, al-hadlarah ; English, civilization ).

In the development of anthropology today, the two terms are distinguished. Culture is a form of expression about the deep spirit of a society, while the manifestations of mechanical and technological progress are more related to civilization. If culture is more reflected in art, literature, religion (religion), and morals, while civilization is reflected in politics, economics, and technology.

Meanwhile, Koentjaraningrat stated that culture has at least the following three forms:

  1. The ideal form, namely the form of culture as a complex of ideas, ideas, values, norms, regulations, and so on.
  2. The form of behavior, namely the form of culture as a complex patterned behavioral activity of humans in society.
  3. The form of objects, namely the form of culture as objects of work.

The term civilization is usually used for the subtle and beautiful parts and elements of culture. According to him, civilization is often also used to refer to a culture that has an advanced and complex system of technology, building art, fine art, state system, and science.

Islam that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad SAW has brought the Arab nation that was originally backward, stupid, not famous, and ignored by other nations, into a developed nation. He quickly moved to develop the world, building a culture and civilization that is very important in human history until now, even the progress of the West initially came from the Islamic civilization that entered Europe through Spain.

Islam is different from other religions. HAR Gibb in his book entitled Whither Islam states, ” Islam is indeed much more than a system of theology, it is a complete civilization “(Islam is actually more than a religion. It is a perfect civilization).


Periodization of the Development of Islamic Civilization

Historians have different opinions regarding the beginning of Islamic history. In general, these differences of opinion can be divided into two. First, some historians argue that the history of Islam began when the Prophet Muhammad was appointed as an apostle. According to this opinion, during the 13 years Muhammad lived in Mecca, a Muslim community was born, even though he was not yet sovereign.

Second, some historians argue that the history of Muslims began when Muhammad migrated to Medina because the new Muslim community was sovereign when Muhammad lived in Medina. Muhammad lived in Medina not only as an apostle, but also as a leader or head of state based on a constitution called the Medina Charter.

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Complete Phases of Periodization of Islamic History

In addition to differences regarding the early history of Muslims, historians also differ in determining the phases or periodization of Islamic history. The full periodization of Islamic history is divided into the following periods:

1. Classic Historical Period (Adam’s time – before the Prophet Muhammad was sent)

This period is a historical phase since the Prophet Adam As and continued with the times of the prophets until before Muhammad SAW was sent.

2. The Historical Period of Muhammad Saw (570 AD–632 AD)

This period started from 570 AD to 632 AD. The explanation in it includes the establishment of an Islamic state led directly by Muhammad Saw, which made Medina al-Munawwarah the initial center of all state activities to cover all of the Arabian peninsula. The history of this period is a history that should be used as an example and role model by Muslims, both rulers and ordinary people.

3. Historical Period of the Rashidun Caliphate (632 AD–661 AD)

This period started from 632 AD to 661 AD. At that time there were Islamic conquests in Persia, Sham (Syria), Egypt, and others. During the historical period of the Rashidin Caliphate, people were really in the correct Islamic manhaj (rules).

4. Historical Period of the Umayyad Caliphate (661 AD–749 AD)

This period started from 661 AD to 749 AD. During this time, Islamic rule experienced such a significant expansion. There was only one caliph in such a vast Islamic government. Unfortunately, commitment to Islamic sharia experienced a slight decline compared to the previous period.

5. Historical Period of the Abbasid Caliphate (749 AD–1258 AD)

This period began from 749 AD to 1258 AD. During this time, Islamic education experienced success, although in the second phase there were several independent governments and kingdoms, such as the Saljuk, Zanki, Ayyub, Ghazni, and Murabithun governments. At this time, there was a crusade movement carried out by European countries, which harbored hatred and revenge against the Islamic countries in the East. The Abbasid rule was destroyed with the invasion of the Mongols.

6. Period of Mamluk History (AD 1250–1517)

This period started from 1250 AD to 1517 AD. The most important scratches in Islamic history at this time were the success of stemming the invading waves of Mongolian troops to several parts of Islamic countries and ending the existence of the Crusaders from Islamic countries.

7. Historical Period of the Ottoman Empire (AD 1517–1923)

This period started from 1517 AD to 1923 AD. At first, this government had succeeded in expanding the Islamic area, especially in the Eastern European region. By this time, Hungary, Belgrade, Albania, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria had been conquered. This government was also able to expand its power to the eastern region of the Islamic region.

One of the most glorious strokes of history that was successfully carried out by the Ottoman government was the conquest of Constantinople (which was the capital of the Roman Empire). However, during the last period of Turkish rule, the colonialists succeeded in sowing the seeds of nationalist thinking. This thought then became the trigger for the destruction of the Islamic government and the dismemberment of the Muslims into small, weak and underdeveloped countries.

8. Contemporary Islamic World Period (1922 AD–2000 AD)

This period started from 1922 AD to 2000 AD. This period is the historical period of Muslims since the end of the Ottoman rule until the history of Muslims in the present.

General Phases of Periodization of Islamic History

Harun Nasution and Nourouzaman Shidiqi on the other hand divide Islamic history into three periods, namely the classical period (650 AD–1250 AD), the medieval period (1250 AD–1800 AD), and the modern period (1800–present).

1. The Classical Period

The classical period is divided into two phases, namely the expansion, integration, and progress phase (650 AD–1000 AD) and the disintegration phase (1000 AD–1250 AD). In the progress phase, Islam experienced internationalization. During the Umayyads, Islam began to enter Europe via Spain. Islamic influence then spread from North Africa to Spain in the western hemisphere. Furthermore, this expansion touched the Persians to India in the East.

Citing the book History of Islamic Civilization by Syamruddin Nasution, at this time science and architecture were developing in Spanish cities, such as Cordoba and Granada. Several buildings with magnificent architecture were also built, such as the Az Zahra Cordoba palace and the Granada Alhambra palace.

A number of great scholars appeared in this phase, namely Imam Malik, Imam Abu Anifah, Imam Shafi’i, and Imam Ibn Hanbal in the field of jurisprudence. As for the field of theology, Imam al-Asya’ri, Imam al-Maturidi, Wasil ibn ‘Ata’, Abu Huzail, Al-Nazzam, and Al-Jubba’i appeared.

At this time, the administrative language change from Greek and Pahlavi to Arabic was started by Abdul Malik. Non – Arabs at that time had begun to speak Arabic well. To perfect their knowledge of the Arabic language, especially the knowledge of new converts to Islam from non – Arab nations , attention to the Arabic language, especially its grammar, began to be noticed. This is what prompted Imam Sibawaih to compile al – Ki tab , which later became a reference in the problem of Arabic grammar.

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Attention to Jahiliah Arabic poetry arose again and new Arab poets began to appear, for example Umar bin Abu Rabi’ah d. 719 AD), Jamil al – Udhri (d. 701 AD), Qays bin al – Mulawwah (d. 699 AD) known as Laila Majnun, al – Farazdaq (d. 732 AD), Jarir (d. 792 AD), and al – Akhtal (d. 710 AD). In addition, attention in the field of interpretation, hadith, jurisprudence, and the knowledge of kalam in this era also began to appear. This is what later gave rise to names such as Hasan al – Bashri , Ibnu Shihab al-Zuhri, and Wasil bin Atha’. Kufa and Basrah in Iraq became the center of these scientific activities.

Unfortunately, during the disintegration phase, the integrity of the Muslim Ummah in the political field began to break. Baghdad was seized and destroyed by Hulagu Khan in 1258. The caliphate as a symbol of political unity began to collapse and was replaced by autonomous governments in various regions.

2. Middle Period

Similar to the classical period, Islamic civilization in the medieval period was also divided into two phases, namely the decline phase and the three great empires phase. In the decline phase (1250 AD–1500 AD), decentralization and disintegration increased.

In this phase also the Islamic world was divided into two. The Arab section centered in Egypt comprises Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. While the Persian part centered in Iran consists of the Balkans, Asia Minor, Persia and Central Asia.

In the phase of the three great empires (1500 AD–1700 AD), attention to science was lacking. As a result, the Muslim community was increasingly backward when the three major empires were under a lot of pressure. Military and political power also decreased. The Safavid empire was destroyed by attacks from the Afghans, the Mughal Empire was attacked by Indian kings, the Ottoman Empire was devastated in Europe, while Egypt was defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte of France.

Historic buildings that were abandoned during this period include the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red Fort, mosques, palaces, and government buildings in Delhi. At this time, the order continues to have a great influence in the lives of Muslims. In addition to Arabia and Persia, Turkey and India emerged as major kingdoms. This is what made Turkish and Urdu language start to appear as important languages ​​in Islam, but the position of Arabic as the language of unity is decreasing.

The progress of Islam in this era was more centered in the political field. In addition, the West also began to rise, especially with the opening of the way to the center of spices and raw materials in the Far East, through South Africa and the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492 AD. However, European power at that time was still weak when compared with Islamic power.

3rd period modern

The modern period (1800 AD–present) is the era of the awakening of Muslims who are beginning to realize that a new, higher civilization has emerged in the West. Napoleon’s expedition in Egypt which ended in 1801 AD opened the eyes of the Islamic world, especially Turkey and Egypt, to the decline and weakness of the Muslim Ummah. Kings and Islamic leaders began to think about how to improve the quality and strength of Muslims again.

Islamic contact with the West since this time is very different from the Islamic contact with the West in the classical period. At that time, Islam was on the rise and the West was in darkness. Now on the contrary, Islam appears in darkness and the West appears to be resplendent.

Thus, something called the thought and flow of renewal or modernization emerged in Islam. Islamic leaders issued ideas on how to make Muslims progress again, as happened in the classical period. Efforts in this direction began to be carried out among Muslims. However, the West, on the other hand, is also advancing in this regard.

The revival of the Islamic Ummah is further divided into two periods, namely the initial revival (1800–1967) and the second revival (1967–present). During the early awakening period, there was an awareness of the importance of renewal in Islam, both politically, militarily, socially, and culturally.

Meanwhile, in the second awakening, the defeat of the Arabs by Israel in 1967 became a point that moved the Ummah. This is what then led to the development of philosophical and methodological thoughts in the framework of Islamic renewal in the contemporary era.

Several figures of reform or modernization in the Islamic world, namely Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab in Arabia; Muhammad Abduh, Jamaluddin al-Afghani, Muhammad Rashid Ridha in Egypt; Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Shah Waliyullah and Muhammad Iqbal in India; H. Abdul Karim Amrullah, KH Ahmad Dahlan, and KH. Hasyim Asy’ari in Indonesia; And many others.

Such is the general description of the periodization of Islamic civilization from the classical, medieval and modern periods as a mirror of the past and as a lesson for those who came later so that they are able to face the future with full optimism and learn from past failures and to avoid pessimism.