Very Short Question With Answer (1 Mark Each)
Q. 1. What was Kaba?
Ans. Kaba was the cube like structure which was situated in Mecca. Idols were placed in it. Tribes outside Mecca also considered Mecca as a holy place. That is why they were making annual pilgrimages to the shrine, i.e., Hajj.
Q.2. Why was the city of Mecca important?
Ans. (i) The city of Mecca was known for its holy ‘Kaba’.
(ii) It was located on the cross roads of a trade route between Syria and Yemen. That is why it was considered important.
Q.3. When did Prophet Muhammad declare himself to be the messenger of God? Which two things did he tell people?
Ans. Prophet Muhammad declared himself to be the messenger of God around 612 CE. He told people the following two things:
(i) Allah alone must be worshipped.
(ii) They must found a community of believers who must be bound by a common set of religious beliefs.
Q.4. What were the people who accepted Prophet Muhammad’s doctrine called? Which two things were they promised?
Ans. The people who accepted Prophet Muhammad’s religious doctrine were called the Muslims. They were promised the following two things:
(i) They were promised salvation on the Judgement Day.
(ii) They would be given a share of the resources of the community while on earth.
Q.5. Why did the Muslims face opposition from affluent people in Mecca?
Ans. The Muslims faced opposition from affluent people in Mecca because these people took offence to the rejection of their dieties and found the new religion a threat to the status and prosperity of Mecca.
Q. 6. What is meant by hijra ? What is its importance in the history of Islam?
Ans. Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina with his followers in 622 CE is called hijra. The year of his arrival in Medina marked the beginning of the Muslim calendar. That is why hijra is important in the history of Islam.
Q.7. How was the institution of Caliphate created?
Ans. There was no one, after the death of Prophet Muhammad in 632 CE, who could legitimately claim to be the next Prophet of Islam. There was also no established rule of succession. That is why Islamic political authority was transferred to the Umma. In this way the institution of Caliphate was created.
Q.8. What were the two main objectives of the institution of Caliphate?
Ans. Following were the two main objectives of the institution of Caliphate:
(i) To retain control over the tribes constituting the Umma.
(ii) To raise resources for the state.
Q.9. Which factors contributed to the success of the Arabs against the Byzantine and the Sasanian empires?
Ans. (i) Military strategy of the Arabs
(ii) Religious fervour of the Arabs
(iii) Weakness of the opposition.
Q. 10. Why was the third Caliph, Uthman assassinated?
Ans. The third Caliph, Uthman was a Quraysh. He filled his administration with his own men to keep a greater control. So other tribes were against him and they assassinated him.
Q. 11. Which wars did the fourth Caliph, Ali fight? What was the result of these wars?
Ans. The fourth Caliph, Ali fought the following two wars:
(i) Ali fought the first war against Muhammad’s wife, Aisha. This war was known as the Battle of the Camels. Aisha was defeated in this war.
(ii) He fought the second war at Siffin in northern Mesopotamia. It ended in a treaty.
Q. 12. Why was Islam divided into two sects? Which were these sects?
Ans. During the Caliph Ali’s regime, two wars were fought against those who represented the Meccan aristocracy. It deepened the rifts among the Muslims and Islam was divided into two sects. These sects were Shias and Sunnis.
Q. 13. By whom and where was Ali assassinated?
Ans. Ali was assissinated by a Kharji in a mosque at Kufa.
Q. 14. When and by whom was the Umayyad dynasty founded? How long did this dynasty last?
Ans. The Umayyad dynasty was founded in 661 CE by Muawiya. This dynasty lasted till 750 CE.
Q. 15. Who were the Abbasids ? How did they legitimate their bid for power?
Ans. The Abbasids were descendants of Abbas, Prophet Muhammad’s uncle. They promised to various Arab groups that a messiah from the family of the Prophet would liberate them from the oppressive Umayyad regime. By this promise, they legitimated their bid for power.
Q. 16. Which two traditions of the Umayyad dynasty were retained by the Abbasids?
Ans. Following two traditions of the Umayyad dynasty were retained by the Abbasids:
(i) They retained the centralised nature of government and the state.
(ii) They maintained the magnificent imperial architecture and elaborate court ceremonials of the Umayyads.
Q. 17. Tell two reasons for weakness of the Abbasid state in the ninth century.
Ans. (i) There was decline in control of Baghdad over the distant provinces.
(ii) There was conflict between pro-Arab and proIranian groups in the bureaucracy and army.
Q.18. Write two functions of the Buyid rulers of Baghdad.
Ans. (i) The Buyid rulers assumed many titles.One of these titles was ‘Shahanshah.’
(ii) These rulers patronised Shiite administrators, poets and scholars.
Q.19. Who were the Fatimids ? Why did they consider themselves as the sole rightful rulers of Islam?
Ans. The Fatimids belonged to the Ismaili sub sects of Shiism. They considered themselves as the sole rightful rulers of Islam because they claimed that they were the descendents of Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter.
Q. 20. Write two functions performed by Abdal-Malik of the Umayyad dynasty for the development of Arab-Islamic identity.
Ans. (i) Abd-al-Malik introduced an islamic coinage. The coins carried Arabic inscriptions. (ii) He built the Dome of the Rock.
Short Question With Answer (2 Mark Each)
Q. 1. Which was the main shrine of Mecca? What was its importance?
Ans. The main shrine of Mecca was Kaba. It was a cube-like structure, in which idols were placed. Even tribes outside Mecca considered Kaba as holy. They also installed their own idols at Kaba and made annual pilgrimages to it. Kaba was a sanctuary where violence was prohibited and all the visitors were given protection.
Nomadic and settled tribes got opportunities with pilgrimage and commerce, to communicate with each other and share their customs and beliefs. It established unity amongst the Arab tribes.
Q. 2. How did the institution of Caliphate come into existence? What were its objectives?
Ans. Prophet Muhammad passed away in 632 CE. After him, there was no one who could legitimately claim to be the next Prophet. There was no established principle of succession. That is why the political authority of the Prophet was given to the
Umma. It created opportunities for innovations but brought great divisions among the Muslims. One of the biggest innovation was the creation of the institution of Caliphate. In it, the leader of community was given the responsibility of becoming the deputy (Khalifa) of the Prophet. The first four Caliphs (632– 61) had close association with the Prophet and that is why they justified their powers. These Caliphs continued the works of Prophet under the general guidelines given by him.
Objectives : The institution of Caliphate had the following two objectives : (i) To keep or retain control over the tribes constituting the Umma. (ii) To raise resources for the state.
Q. 3. Describe the main features of administrative structure of the Arab Empire under the early Caliphs.
Ans. The Caliphs introduced new administrative structure in all the conquered states. These states were headed by governors (amirs) and tribal chieftains (ashraf). There were two main sources of revenue for central authority-taxes paid by the Muslims and share of the booty obtained from raids. Soldiers of the Caliph were settled in camp cities at the edge of the desert, like Kufa and Basra, so that they could remain within reach of Caliph’s Command as well as their natural habitat. The ruling class and soldiers received their shares of the booty and monthly payments (ata). The non-Muslim people paid taxes called Kharaj and Jiziya. For this, they were free to retain their rights of property and religious practices. Jews and Christians were declared as protected subjects of the state. They were given enough autonomy in conduct of their communal affairs.
Q. 4. Which circumstances were responsible for the assassination of the third Caliph, Uthman?
Ans. Arab tribes completed their work of political expansion and unification very easily. With the territorial expansion, conflicts arose over the distribution of offices and resources of the state. These conflicts became a threat to the unity of the Umma.
Actually the ruling class of early Islamic state mainly belonged to Quraysh tribe of Mecca. The third Caliph, Uthman (644–56 CE) was also a Quraysh. He filled the administration with his men to increase his control over the administration. As a result, conflict intensified among other tribes. Opposition in Iraq and Egypt was coupled with opposition in Medina. That is why Uthman, the third Caliph, was assassinated. After his death, Ali was appointed as the fourth Caliph.
Q. 5. Write a note on the regime of the fourth Caliph, Ali.
Ans. The Caliph Ali (656–61 CE) fought two wars against the people representing the aristocracy of Mecca. As a result, the rifts among the Muslims deepened. Later on Ali’s supporters and enemies formed two main sects of Islam, i.e., Shias and Sunnis. Ali established himself at Kufa. He defeated the army led by Aisha, Muhammad’s wife, in the Battle of Camels in 657 CE. But he was unable to suppress the groups led by Muawiya, a kinsman of Uthman and the governor of Syria. Then Ali fought another battle with him at Siffin (northern Mesopotamia).
This battle ended in a truce. This battle divided his followers into two groups. Some of them remained loyal to him and some of them left him. Those who left him came to be known as Kharjis. Soon after, Ali was assassinated by a Kharji in a mosque at Kufa.
Q. 6. Under which circumstances was the Umayyad dynasty established? Throw light on the regime of the first Umayyad ruler, Muawiya.
Ans. The Caliphate based in Medina was destroyed with the conquest of large territories and was replaced with an increasingly authoritarian polity. In 661, Muawiya declared himself as the next Caliph and founded Umayyad dynasty. Umayyads took certain political steps with which their leardership was consolidated within the Umma.
First Umayyad Caliph Muawiya made Damascus as his capital. He adopted the administrative institutions and court ceremonies of the Byzantine Empire. The tradition of hereditary succession was also introduced by him. He also convinced the leading Muslims to accept his son as his successor. These new changes were also adopted by the Caliphs who followed him. As a result, Umayyads retained power for almost 90 years.
Q. 7. Discuss main features of the Umayyad state after Muawiya.
Ans. Main features of the Umayyad state after Muawiya were as follows:
(i) The Umayyad state was now one of the powerful states. Now it was not directly based on Islam and ran on the basis of state craft and on the loyalty of Syrian troops.
(ii) The Christian advisers, Zoroastrian scribes and bureaucrats were also included in the administration. Even then, Islam remained a base of legitimacy of Umayyad rule. The Umayyads always appealed for unity and they used to suppress the rebellions in the name of Islam.
(iii) They also maintained their Arabian social identity. During the reign of Abd al-Malik (685–705 CE) and his successors both the Arabian and Islamic identities were greatly emphasised. That is why Abd al-Malik made Arabic as the language of the administration. He also introduced Islamic coinage. The gold dinar and silver dirham which were in circulation within the country, were the copies of Iranian and Byzantine coins. These coins had the symbols of crosses and fire altars. These symbols were removed and the coins now carried the Arabic inscriptions. Abd al-Malik build the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and gave a great contribution in the development of an Arab-Islamic identity.
Q. 8. What were the main features of Abbasid rule? Were Abbasid rulers able to abolish monarchy ?
Ans. Following were the main features of Abbasid rule :
(i) Arab influence declined under the Abbasid rule. On contrary to it, importance of Iranian culture increased.
(ii) The Abbasids established their capital at Baghdad.
(iii) The Abbasids reorganised the army and bureaucracy on a non-tribal basis. It ensured the more participation of Iraq and Khurasan in army and bureaucracy.
(iv) The religious status and functions of the Caliphate were strengthened by the Abbasid rulers. They also patronised Islamic institutions and scholars.
Abbasid Rulers and Monarchy. No, Abbasid rulers were not able to abolish monarchy. Needs of government and empire forced them to retain the centralised nature of the state. They not only maintained the magnificent imperial architecture but also maintained the court ceremonies of the Umayyads. In this way, the Abbasid rulers, who claimed to bring down the monarchy, were forced to establish the monarchy again.
Q. 9. Who were the Saljuq Turks? How did they establish and expand the Turk authority?
Ans. The Saljuq Turks were non-Muslims from the far east. They entered Turan as soldiers in the armies of the Samanids and Qarakhanids. Then later on, under the leadership of two brothers, Tughril Beg and Chaghri Beg, they established themselves as a powerful group. They took advantage of the chaos after the death of Mahmud of Ghazni and conquered Khurasan in 1037 CE. They made Nishapur as their first capital. Then they concentrated on Western Persia and Iraq. They restored Baghdad to Sunni rule in 1055 CE. The Caliph, al-Qaim became very happy and conferred the title of Sultan to Tughril Beg. The Saljuq brothers ruled together according to the tribal notion of rule by the family. After Tughril Beg, his nephew Alp Arsalan became his successor. Under the reign of Alp Arsalan, the Saljuq empire expanded to Anatolia, i.e., modern Turkey.
Q. 10. Who were the Turks? How was the Turkish authority established and strengthened in Ghazni?
Ans. The Turks were nomadic tribes of Central Asian steppes of Turkistan. They adopted the Islam. They were very good warriors and riders. They began working as slaves and soldiers under the Abbasid, Samanid and Buyid administrations. Just because of their loyalty and military abilities, they rose to high positions.
In 961 CE, a Turk Alptegin established the Ghaznavid Sultanate. It was consolidated by Mahmud of Ghazni (998–1030). The Ghaznavids, like the Buyids, were also a military dynasty. They had a professional army of Turks and Indians. But Khurasan and Afghanistan were their centres of power. For them, the Abbasid Caliphs were a source of legitimacy. Mahmud was the son of a slave. That is why, he wanted to receive the title of Sultan from the Caliph. On the other hand, the Caliph also wanted to support the Sunni Ghaznavids against the Shiite power. So the Abbasid Caliphs became a source of legitimacy to the Turkish authority in Ghazni.