Sunday, June 12, 2011

Part 1

Contributions of Abbasids:
a.       Women in Abbasid period: In the early past of the Abbasid society, the women enjoyed the same position and liberty as their Umayyad sisters but towards the close of 10th century, they lost their liberty and to observe strict seclusion and absolute segregation of the sexes become general.
The art of tinting the cheeks and lips was in fashion. Anklets and bracelets were in great fashion in the women of that time. Many women excelled in literary and intellectual attainments. Fazl was a gifted poetess in the reign of Mutawakkil. Zainab was a distinguished lawyer. The female generally was fairly educated and they could teach their own children.
b.      Dress: in those days the gentle man’s dress is consisted of wide trousers of Persian origin, shirt, vest and jacket with outer mental. The theologian wore black turbans and mantles. \
c.       Drinks and Dinning:
Drinks were the common feature of the Abbasid society. Even caliphs, judges and wazirs indulged themselves in revelry accompanied with drinks convivial parties and songs. The drinking room was made fragrant.
People dined at the tables placed by the side of Diwan or Sofas.  For each person there was a napkin.
d.      Music:
Music was patronized by the Abbasids. It was a noble profession in the society. Both men and women had great love for music. Princess Ulaya was tan accomplished musician of the time.
e.       Games:
Hunting was the favorite outdoor pastime of all classes of people. Al Amin was found of hunting lions.  Chess was the popular indoor game of Abbasid society. Other games were polo hockey throwing of spears horse racing and wrestling. Racket and tennis was played by both sexes.
f.       Literary gatherings:
The nobles held social reunions and literary gatherings in their houses. Literary clubs had sprung up till the time of Mamun. Where scholar flocked and discussed philosophical subjects.
The book sellers occupied the special and important position in the society.
1.    Education:
The Abbasid period proved it self the golden period of Muslim learning. The Abbasid caliphs not only encouraged learning but also founded schools where besides Arabic literature, theology, philosophy, grammar, mathematics, physics, astrology, astronomy and other branches were studied.
Co education was in vogue in the Abbasid period. Girls and boys of tender age were educated together in the same school. The girls were expected to read the Quran and religious knowledge. A brilliant woman Ammarah used her house as a school.
The benefit of education was equally extended to poor; even slaves were admitted to school some times.
There were three types of teachers’ under Abbasids.
a.       Muallim: they simply teach Quran to the children
b.      Muaddib: they are tutor and it represents a class which was engaged in teaching the sons of the higher strata as well those of princes and caliphs.
c.       Professor of higher learning: they were specialist in the teaching of logic, mathematics and jurisprudence.
During the reign of Haroon and his son, a large number of richly endowed schools were opened, a university was founded and libraries were organized.
Mamun founded an academy named, Bait ul Hikmat.
The real academy in Islam which became the model for later schools of higher learning was the Nizamiyah established by their Persian Wazier, Malik Shah.
It can be safely conducted that the system of education under the Abbasids proved a turning point in the educational history of the modern world.\
2.   Architecture.
During the Abbasid period the Islamic architecture began to develop in its own synthetic and novel designs. Baghdad became the capital of the Abbasids Empire and it was noted for a large number of palaces, mosques and other buildings constructed by the caliphs. It was the capital of the Harun ur Rasheed. Here Mansur founded a round shaped city enclosed by a double wall of four gates.
The main feature of the city was the palace of the caliph, called the Golden Gate. The royal mosque was built with sun burnt bricks, with a roof rested on wooden columns.
In short of the architectural monuments which once adorned the capital city of Baghdad eg palace of eternity, Rusafa palace, Dar us Shajer (Hall of the tree) on account of the golden and silver trees that stood in its pound.
3.    Abbasid’s Administrative Structure.
The Umayyad discriminates on the basis of Arab and non Arab etc and Abbasid effectively exploited it to their advantages.  So in their ruling time they didn’t make such type of discrimination.Henceforth, the non Arabs, as a common subject of a great and civilized empire, assumed their proper place as citizens of Islam, were admitted to the highest employment of state, and enjoyed equal consideration with Arabs.
a.      The Caliphate:
The caliph was the head of the whole empire. He was more a political head then a religious leader although his authority was based on religious factor.Although the caliphate was not a purely religious office like that of the pope, the pious caliph, as the immediate temporal succors of the great Prophet PBUH were the leaders of the pilgrimage, prayer, a good deal of religious elements were attached to their personalities and to their offices.They also nominated the successors without any strict rules and regulations. The nomination of the successors without any regard to the strict rules of inheritance caused civil war as it did under the Umayyads and the house of al Abbas was divided against itself in the very beginning. All the early Abbasid Caliphs, with the exception of the unfortunate Al Amin, were the men of great abilities and worked hard as the chiefs of the entire administration, led the armies in person and acted as the highest court of justice.
b.      The Shura:
In the pre Islamic days their was Council of the Elders to discuss every matter of state, later it became known as the Shura and prophet PBUH and the four rightly guided caliphs consult the subjects through a selected few in all the matters of administration. Al Mamun was the first caliph to constitute a regular council of state representing every community which owed allegiance to him. They have perfect freedom of expression and were not hampered in their discussions.
c.      The Court:
The color of the early Abbasids was Black and it was also the color of their flag bearing in white the inscription, “Muhammad is the messenger of God”.The court staff consisted of the princes of the caliph’s house. The court establishment consumed larger sums but Abbasid caliphs had grand courts.
d.      The Wazir:
Next to the caliph, came the wazir. Although the word is Arabic, the office was of Persian origin. The office of the wazir did not exist under the pious caliphs nor under the Umayyads. It is an Abbasid institution borrowed by the Persians. The first individual to be called wazir under as Saffah was Abu Salman al Khallal.The task of the wazir was by no means easy. He had to please the despotic monarch at the one hand and the fickle populace at the other. The office required an intimate knowledge of administration, principles of taxation and the whole of Muslim law etc.


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