Mister Richardson's
Church History Class

Chapter 8

A. Mohammad & Islam
1. The Arabs were descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son by Hagar.
2. Mohammad was born in Mecca in 570.
3. He became a merchant and traveled throughout the Middle East.
4. Mohammad then began to receive revelations from the angel Gabriel.
5. These messages were later collected and written down to form the Koran, the holy book of Islam.
6. Mohammad began to spread the message of the one true god (Allah) in Mecca.
7. He was opposed by the people of Mecca because they were polytheists.
8. In 622, Mohammad and his followers were forced to flee to Medina - this is called the Hegira and the Muslim calendar starts with this event.
9. In 630, the Muslims were able to re-take Mecca by force and impose the worship of Allah alone.
10. Mohammad died in 632 and his followers continued to spread Islam by force throughout the Middle East, north Africa, western Asia, and parts of Europe.

B. The Battle of Tours
1. By the 700's, the Muslims had invaded western Europe.
2. They came across the Strait of Gibraltar and up the Iberian Peninsula.
3. In 732, the Muslims met the Franks in battle at Tours.
4. When the Arab attack on the Franks failed, they retreated south of the Pyrenees into Spain.
5. The Frankish commander was Charles, who was given the surname Martel (the Hammer) after this battle.
6. This marked the first major defeat of Islamic forces and kept them out of western Europe for over 1200 years.

C. Losses to Islam
1. The 100 years after Mohammad represent the single greatest loss of territory and churches in the history of Christianity.
2. Lands that were once strongholds of the Church became strongholds of Islam and continue so today.
3. Missionary activity to China and the Orient were also blocked by the Muslim conquests.
4. The lands lost were: all of the Middle East, all of north Africa, most of southwestern Asia, and quite a bit of southeastern Europe.

D. Reasons for Defeat
1. The Christian lands were militarily weak.
2. The churches had failed to teach the doctrines of the Bible sufficiently.