Application and Reflection Questions
What were the most important historical influences on the formation of Muhammad’s community, and what was their impact on Islam?
What made Islam different from Judaism and Christianity as a monotheistic religion in the region?
Why were some religious communities of the Middle East accepting of Muslim rule despite not converting to Islam themselves?
What benefits were provided by the early Umayyads’ decision to run their empire like that of the Byzantines and Sasanian Persians? Why did they change?
Who were the minority communities of the early medieval Middle East? What did it mean to be a minority?
What did the process of cultural conversion by non-Muslims during the first centuries of Islamic history look like?