Ascendancy can be described as a process or event by which power shifts from one orientation to another. Usually the less dominant force assumes authority by overpowering the dominant force. The process is not usually a smooth one rather; it involves the power struggle among the involved parties with each having their own interest at heart. As such, it has widespread consequences that are both beneficial and costly for the society. From the surface view, it may be difficult to assess the impact of such an overhaul given the fact that most of the underlying factors are restricted to the objective eye that is quick to criticize minor changes that are apparent. Now, in our specific question it entails the Muslim culture in the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is to be noted before this time, the Islam religion was scarce and held very little dominance. In fact, it is correct to say that the Christian religion was the more dominant religion among the two considering that a significant proportion of the population were Christians. This influence could be attributed to the dominion enjoyed by the Roman Empire, which a strong force was promoting Christianity. Although Islam was present in a number of countries, its influence was mainly characterized in countries located in North Africa and some parts of Easter Asia (Avari, 2013, pp.4-87). Its absence in Europe made it seem less dominant in respect to the ability to influence the way of life of a given group of people. However, this changed in the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries when the influence of the religion became significant especially in the European countries where it previously was not. In the analysis of the happenings around that period, several strong arguments can be raised, and an assessment of the points is sure to assist in forming a strong conclusion on the ways in which that period marked the ascendancy of the Muslim history.
Ever since history, Islam, and Christianity have been in constant conflict. While Christianity was associated to Europeans, Muslim was more common in current Arab region. A significant proportion of these battles for supremacy can be associated with the desire to influence a bigger population than the other. Well, for quite a significant period, Christianity assumed dominance over the Islam religion, thanks to the major ruling authorities who promoted the belief. Matters of fact, some rulers are noted to have publicly disclaimed Islam to the extent of even persecuting the individuals in the Islam faith. The obvious outcome of such an era would be a massive transformation to Christianity at the hope of saving their lives. In addition the, possibility of spreading Islam were reduced greatly as most of the evangelists would fear for their own lives and ought to abscond their duties. Therefore, conversions were slow at around the 11th century (Esposito, 1998, pp.17-23). A few rebels were strong enough to fight the oppressive rules and stand for their beliefs. In fact, it is this group of brave Islam individuals that at is associated with keeping the movement alive at such trying times. Furthermore, their extraordinary bravery inspired a few conversions from Christianity. Some Christian populations saw major flaws in their belief and sought refuge in Islam. A number are noted to have considered the Christian religion weak considering that its philosophies were easily compromised for selfish reasons. Others felt that individuals at high authorities took advantage of their subjects by manipulating some Biblical texts.
Around the start of the thirteenth century, most Christian based empires seemed to be crumbling with some of them existing merely as shells composed of the military commanders and the authorities. A significant number of the subjects were resisting the authority that they once served. In contrast to the occurrence, the Muslim was gradually picking up with units from different geographical segments coming together in unity, resulting in bigger forces that possessed both military capability and the population numbers. Their connections were quickly spreading further supported by the eastern trade routes where their presence as merchants was growing. From the trading activities, the Muslim people amassed a great deal of wealth, which they used to acquire significant resources. The caliph on Baghdad was among one of the symbols that promoted unity among the Muslim group (Shahid, 2008, pp.23-57). In addition to being a religious symbol for the Islam religion, it also served as a political symbol of unity among the people of that faith. This was a reasonable cause for the strengthening of the Muslim dominance at the time. It was manifested through an increase in the number of successful converts.
Given the timing of the decline of the Muslim dominance, among the factors that can be identified to have led to the fall is political disintegration, military losses, falling economy, as well as social interference (Esposito, 1998, pp.63-97). Although some of the factors leading up to the decline are external and instigated by the Europeans, quite a significant number of can be associated to internal conflicts among the Muslim authorities. It is clear that their overwhelming victories blinded their objectives failing to administer proper authority over their subjects. However, it should also be noted that the increase in competition for manufactured goods from European countries offered a major setback to the growth of the empires as the European products seemed rather more appealing. Nevertheless, the period between the thirteenth century and the seventeenth century serves as the history of Islam supremacy followed by its decline in the following century.
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Egger, V. (2008). A history of the Muslim world since 1260: the making of a global community. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Esposito, J. L. (1998). Islam: the straight path (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Guillaume, A. (1956). Islam (2nd ed.). Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books.
Shahid, F. H. (2008). Prophecy and the fundamentalist quest: an integrative study of Christian and Muslim apocalyptic religion. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.