Within just one hundred years of the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, the banners of Islam flew proudly over three continents - from the rim of China to the Pyrenees in Northern Spain. An Islamic empire, greater than that of Ancient Rome at its height, ruled from Spain to Soviet Central Asia, from Sicily to the Southern Sahara. For several hundred years, this Muslim Caliphate ruled over the greater part of the then-known world.
Then it fell into a long,slow decline which finally came to a formal end in 1924 when Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, abolished the Caliphate after nearly thirteen hundred and fifty years of existence.
This Islamic empire nurtured an extraordinarily rich civilization, to which we in the West owe much more than is generally recognized.
It is doubtful, for example, whether the European Renaissance could ever have taken place without vital contributions from this Islamic civilization.
How it was that the Arab tribes in Western Arabia could spread their faith and their sovereignty so wide and so fast?
Was Islam spread by the sword, as popular legend has it?
Why did this empire decline? What happened to Islam when it came into contact with other cultures and practices?
People interviewed in this program: Anis Ahmad, Yusuf Fadl Hassan, Sami al-Angawi, Khalid Ibn al-Walid, Manzoor Ahmed, Anis Ahmeda, Uqba Ibn Nafi, Eva de Vitray, Naguib al-Nattas, Abdurahman Wahid, Harun Nasution, Thomadu & Jeli Yama
Complete Way of Life
The Five Pillars of Islam
Muhammad and His Heirs
The Rise & Fall of the Caliphate
The Magnificent Heritage
Decay or Rebirth?
Ismail & Isaac
Resurgent Islam Today
Voices of the Resurgence
The Immigrant Experience
The Other Face of Eve