Muhammad died in 632. [Immediately after Muhammad’s death, the caliph] Abu-Bakr set about conquering the unreconciled tribes of southern and eastern Arabia for Islam. In 633 Arab armies invaded Syria and Iraq. Three years later the Byzantine forces were driven from Syria and in 638 Jerusalem fell to Islam. Mesopotamia was wrested from the Sassanids in the next couple of years, and at about the same time Egypt was taken from the empire. An Arab fl eet was now created and the absorption of North Africa began. Cyprus was raided in the 630s and 640s; later in the century it was divided between the Arabs and the empire. At the end of the century the Arabs took Carthage, too. Meanwhile, after the Sassanids’ disappearance the Arabs had conquered Khurasan in 655 and Kabul in 664. At the beginning of the eighth century they crossed the Hindu Kush to invade Sind, which they occupied between 708 and 711 .
In 732 , a hundred years after the death of the Prophet, a Muslim army, deep in France, puzzled by overextended communications and the approach of winter, turned back near Poitiers. The Franks who faced them and killed their commander claimed a victory; at any rate, it was the high watermark of Arab conquest in the west, though in the next few years Arab expeditions raided into France as far as the upper Rhône. Whatever brought it to an end (and possibly it was just because the Arabs were not much interested in European conquest, once away from the warm lands of the Mediterranean littoral), the Islamic onslaught in the west remains an astonishing achievement.  

Excerpted from The History of the World, Sixth Edition by J.M. Roberts and O.A. Westad. 
Oxford University Press recently partnered with the ALA and NEH on the “Muslim Journeys” project. To celebrate, we’re sharing resources on the Islamic world from across the press throughout June.
Image credit: Image from The History of the World, Sixth Edition. Do not reproduce without permission. 

Muhammad died in 632. [Immediately after Muhammad’s death, the caliph] Abu-Bakr set about conquering the unreconciled tribes of southern and eastern Arabia for Islam.

In 633 Arab armies invaded Syria and Iraq. Three years later the Byzantine forces were driven from Syria and in 638 Jerusalem fell to Islam. Mesopotamia was wrested from the Sassanids in the next couple of years, and at about the same time Egypt was taken from the empire. An Arab fl eet was now created and the absorption of North Africa began. Cyprus was raided in the 630s and 640s; later in the century it was divided between the Arabs and the empire. At the end of the century the Arabs took Carthage, too. Meanwhile, after the Sassanids’ disappearance the Arabs had conquered Khurasan in 655 and Kabul in 664. At the beginning of the eighth century they crossed the Hindu Kush to invade Sind, which they occupied between 708 and 711 .

In 732 , a hundred years after the death of the Prophet, a Muslim army, deep in France, puzzled by overextended communications and the approach of winter, turned back near Poitiers. The Franks who faced them and killed their commander claimed a victory; at any rate, it was the high watermark of Arab conquest in the west, though in the next few years Arab expeditions raided into France as far as the upper Rhône. Whatever brought it to an end (and possibly it was just because the Arabs were not much interested in European conquest, once away from the warm lands of the Mediterranean littoral), the Islamic onslaught in the west remains an astonishing achievement.  

Excerpted from The History of the World, Sixth Edition by J.M. Roberts and O.A. Westad. 

Oxford University Press recently partnered with the ALA and NEH on the “Muslim Journeys” project. To celebrate, we’re sharing resources on the Islamic world from across the press throughout June.

Image credit: Image from The History of the World, Sixth Edition. Do not reproduce without permission.