History of Arabia
Arabia is home to the Arabs, who herded animals as nomads for thousands of years. In 610, Muhammad, an Arab from Mecca, claimed that God was speaking to him. The early Arabs worshipped many gods, but Muhammad said that there was only one God. Muhammad founded the religion of Islam, and his followers, called Muslims, conquered Arabia by war. After Muhammad died in 632, men called caliphs ruled the Muslims in empires called caliphates. These include the Rashidun, Umayyad, and Abbasid caliphates. Some parts of Arabia, including Oman, were not always part of the caliphates. Rulers from the 900s to the 1200s included the Fatimid Caliphate, Seljuk Empire, and Ayyubid dynasty. Islam was divided into two forms called Sunni and Shi'a, who fought wars against each other. Yemen and Oman were ruled by different people at times, including the Rasulid dynasty in Yemen.
Sharifs ruled the Hejaz (Western Arabia) region starting in the 900s. The Mamluk Empire from Egypt had control over the Sharifs in the 1300s. In 1517, the Ottoman Empire from Turkey conquered the Mamluks. The Ottomans took control in the Hejaz, Yemen, and other parts of Arabia. However, European countries wanted to control more of Arabia, so they fought wars against the Ottomans. Europeans, mainly the Portuguese, won some cities on the coast in the 1500s and 1600s. Persia won control in Oman, but Oman also built its own empire. In the 1700s, a new form of Islam called Wahhabism spread to nomads in central Arabia. In the 1800s Wahhabis led by the House of al-Saud went to war against the Ottoman Empire. Britain helped the Wahhabis and gave them countries along the Persian Gulf. Britain also took part of Yemen into the British Empire. In World War I, the Allied Powers fought against the Ottomans. The Ottomans lost the war, so the Allied Powers broke up their empire into smaller countries. In 1932 Ibn Saud, from the House of al-Saud, founded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Related pages[change | change source]
Sources[change | change source]
- Salibi, Kamal S. A History of Arabia. E-book, Delmar, N.Y.: Caravan Books, 1980, https://hdl-handle-net.libproxy.berkeley.edu/2027/heb.00934. Accessed 10 Feb 2021.