Application and Reflection Questions
What practices and institutions helped Muslims maintain their sense of belonging to a unified religious community, the ummah, after the fall of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad?
By what means was Islam spread beyond the Middle East? What are some of the ways in which the spread of Islam into a new region affected the people living there?
The Ottomans were often described by their European enemies as a non-European power that invaded and occupied European territory, enslaved their non-Muslim population, and encouraged their subjects to convert to Islam. Do you think this assessment of the Ottoman system and the way it functioned is fair? Why or why not? If not, how might you reword the description to make it more accurate?
What opportunities existed for women in the Ottoman Empire? How did these opportunities differ based on class?
How did the declaration of Shia Islam as the state religion shape Safavid government and society? Why was it important for the Safavids to have a state doctrine?
What were the different approaches to religion taken by the Ottoman and Safavid empires? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Ottoman millet system and of the Safavid imposition of a state religious doctrine?