The Triumph of Islam

Islam is considered one of the world’s great religions. It is based on belief in one god, Allah. Its founder, Muhammed, was exiled from Mecca in 622 AD after claiming to have received revelations from God. These teachings are preserved in the Qur’an (Koran).  Inspired by his teachings, Arab armies swept across the Middle East, wresting Syria and Egypt from the crumbling Byzantine Empire, until the Islamic world reached from France to Southeast Asia.

Compared to medieval Europe, the lands of Islam were far advanced. Islamic scientists taught mathematics and charted the heavens. Persians wrote treatises on medicine, optics, alchemy, music and philosophy. The famous poet Omar Khayyam combined the wisdom of Sufi mystics with a rich poetry. 

The Museum’s Islamic art includes fine ceramics, metalwork, manuscripts, weapons and coins.