Islamic Culture, the artistic and intellectual accomplishments in the countries conquered by the Muslim Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. Its golden age is considered to have been 750 to 950, when the Arab world was politically united under a caliph in Baghdad. A decline came with the breakup of the Muslim empire and invasions of the Turks. There were notable cultural contributions in later centuries, however, even in areas under Turkish rule.

When the Muslim armies burst out of the Arabian peninsula in 633, they spread their religion and language rapidly over vast areas of the world. Reaching out from their homeland in the southwestern part of Asia, the Arabs within a century brought under their rule vastly differing territories. These were Persia, southwestern India, Afghanistan, Transoxiana (Russian Turkestan), Syria, Palestine, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain.

Although the Arabians did not use force to convert conquered peoples to Islam, their religion became the official one throughout their empire. Because Muslims were freed from paying tribute, most of the new subjects became converts. The Arabic language was widely adopted also, eventually becoming the common tongue of most of the conquered areas. section “Major Languages of the World” [Arabic].)

Before their conquest, the Arabians were simple desert dwellers, with little art and science or refinements in daily living. However, they had their own literature and poetry. As they spread their religion and language, they also broadened their knowledge and understanding of the way of life, the scholarly fields, and the arts and crafts of the people they conquered. From exposure to various cultural influences, mainly Greek and Persian, the Arabians derived new tastes and interests.