What Were The Most Important Developments In The Nature Of Islamic States During The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Century?

Developments In The Nature Of Islamic States During The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Century

The most important changes during 13th and 14th century in Islamic states emerged from Mongols invasions. The Mongols established the largest empire and ruled it. Their initial attacks interfered with major trade routes but eventually brought peace in Islamic states that allowed major developments. Mongols have their origin in Central Asian steppes around 1200 CE. Their clan leader Mongol Khan brought unity through his leadership. Temujin (clan leader) led the group in conquering Asia. His organized warriors resembled Chinese models into army groups of 10,000 and 1,000 man brigades. The Seljuks converted to Sunni Islam and acted as Sultans empowering nominal Abbasid Caliphs after capturing Baghdad in 1055 during their periodic control over Mesopotamia (82).

The Descendants of Mongol of Genghis Khan began by invading Persia and killed their rulers using the sword. They migrated west and defeated the Seljuks at Kose Dagh in Anatolia in 1243. The Mongols turned Seljuks into vassals. However, the Syrian Egypt Mamluk force halted the planned invasion to the west in 1260. The Golden Horde accepted Islam and became personalized in a great way. They tampered with excesses of the military rule. Its long lasting legacy was extensive tax system. Mongol administrators adopted the previous practice of collecting land taxes, which was owned by non-Muslims in lieu of salary and granting tax farms, placing measures that expanded revenues and not appealing to rural masses (90).

Before dissolving of Persian ilkhanate in 1336, before Tamerlane conquests (1370-1405), the Mongols left military states with respected authority and with regional autonomy.

Fragmentation and Reunification in the West

Power was divided effectively between Byzantines and Mongols. The Byzantines allied periodically with the Frankish Outremer along Eastern Mediterranean Coastal Littoral. The remains were left belonging to Seljuks was squeezed into the mountainous areas. The Principal areas connecting the West in the 13th century were Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. Holt explains that Syria had a fragmented land at the time of approach by the Crusaders in 1097 autumn. The rulers included men with a narrow vision and of little experience. Mongol invasions and conquests occurring during 13th and 14th century are very influential in the world events. Mongols are nomads from Central Asia who swept east and south. Mongol invasions during the 13th and 14th century destroyed unity among Muslim community through crashing Abbasid and regional dynasties. The group conquered China, India and Middle East, as well as the budding kingdom of Russia. Mongol’s rule brought peace compared to Pax Romana across Roman Empire in the ancient times.

Technology transfer in the chemical industries

Nitric and mineral acids

Islamic alchemist’s prepared mineral acids and named them sharp waters from distils of materials that produced sulphuric, hydrochloric, and nitric acids. Arabic nation and Latin nitrum denoted potassium nitrate in Arabic and Latin alchemy. The solution of sulfur with acids is formed with ingredients such as natrun, alkali salts, live natrun, eggshells, purified and sal ammoniac.

 The rocket technology

Mongols adopted rocket technology from northern China and through employments of rocketry experts as mercenaries for Mongol military. Mongol invasions spread invention through Mongol invasions in Near East and Europe in mid-13th century. Exported gunpowder recipes included 22 of them to make rockets. The rockets made in Ismail states were powerful than those made in China because they lacked a purification process. During the thirteen-century military engineer, Hasan al-Ramah began the first purification process of potassium nitrate. The process involved lixiviation of earth having nitrate in its water, adding ash from wood and crystallizing it. The wood ashes included potassium carbonates acting on calcium nitrate that accompanies potassium nitrate producing potassium nitrate and calcium carbonate. Gunpowder recipes amounted to 107 while 22 of them specifically created rockets. Explosive gunpowder included 75 percent potassium nitrate, 10% sulfur, and 15% carbon.

Arms and armor were introduced in Islamic states during the Mamluk period (1250-1517) in Egypt and Syria (Ottoman Empire). The Islamic armor was lighter and less extensive compared to European weapons. The weapons gave heavy protection and speed during their use in the hot chaotic climate of Islamic rule. The Islamic armor is conical-shaped helmets. Trade and armed conflict in east and west introduced firearms in the Islamic world. They included the plate, helmet, short vambraces, and greaves is Amon. The Islamic armor is conical-shaped helmets (107).

Institutions and mathematics

The golden age in Islamic world introduced institutions such as the public hospitals that replaced healing and sleep temples. Psychiatric hospital, public library, lending library, academic degree-granting university, and astronomical observatory research institute introduced. The first universities issued diplomas to Islamic students qualified to practice as doctors.

Among the scholars included polymath scholars in the 14th century known as Hakeem. The students contributed to religious and secular learning. During the Islamic Golden age, polymath scholars gained wide skills and knowledge, then scholars who specialized in other fields.

 Notable medieval Muslim polymaths included al-Biruni, al-Jahiz, Ibn Sina among others. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi developed Algebra, algorithms and Hindu-Arabic numerals. Islamic geometric patterns and symmetry assuming many art forms such as girth tiling introduced in the 14th century. The patterns were formed using five sets of shapes such as decagon, hexagon, bow tie, rhombus, and the regular pentagon. The sides of the tiles have similar lengths with angles of 36 degrees offering five and ten fold. The tiles have strap work lines decorations that are visible than tile boundaries(108).


Ibn Muadh al-jay developed trigonometry attributed to the law of sines. Calculus was a sum formula discovering the fourth power through a method determining the sum of integral power. Calculus found the volume of a paraboloid. The Islamic world imported ready-made rock objects into Europe. The French began importing raw materials around 13th century from the Islamic world. Their carvings copied pear-shaped Egyptian sewers but the surface decorations did not fully copy Islamic objects. The decorations concentrated in the silver-gilt mounts that featured Gothic ornaments in their fashion. Europe admired sophisticated Islamic ware and imported rock crystal and ivory from the Islamic world. Local artisans received commissions to copy them in most familiar styles. Muslims produced fine carpets and exported them to Europe.

Luxurious furnishings were bought in churches and palaces. European societies changed greatly during middle ages including the growth of towns, cities, and increase in population. City life and money attracted people to London. People were grouped into prayers (churchmen, monks, and priests), fighters (aristocratic, knights and warriors), and workers (serfs and peasants (109-11).

The Mamluks development

Mamluk era covers 1250-1382 and 1382-1517. The former is Bahri period while the latter is the Burji period. Muslims referred the two divisions as the Turkish and Circassia periods. The Mamluk dominated during the Turkish Sultans and fell into prolonged declining phase under Circassia’s. Mamluk saved Arabic-Islamic civilizations from destruction. Mongols destroyed Caliphate revived during Mamluk era and later established Caliph under Cairo surveillance. Mamluk supported industries and crafts and restored Egypt as principal trade and transit route between Mediterranean and Orient. Mamluk supported agriculture and trade. Culturally, Mamluk was appreciated for its support in historical writings and architecture. Most Mamluk historians were prolific chroniclers, encyclopedists, and biographers (114).

Agriculture transformed during the Islamic golden age. The Arab Agricultural revolution among Muslim traders enabled diffusion of many crops and techniques for use in farming. Crops not grown in Islamic worlds such as Sorghum, citrus fruits from china, rice, cotton, and sugarcane from India transported to Islamic states. There was increased agriculture mechanization that grew the economy. Urban migration and increased population levels are major results of high-tech agriculture. Bagdad city became the learning and trade center in the world because of increased urbanization. People of different ethnic groups separated narrow city streets developed as neighborhoods (121).

 Mamluk religious policies included endowment of madrasahs and extension of jurist authority and schools of law. Christian crusaders received a threat from Mamluk. The rise of Mamluk regime in the middle of the thirteenth century established many developments between religious and political authority. Mamluk secularized the political authority and the regime and protected Islam from Mongols and crusaders. It provided infrastructure and religious authority at home (138).

Works cited

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