Rise of Islam and The Crusades


The story of psychology is one rich with cultures, traditions, ideas and mind-sets.

The story occasionally featured novel elements such as long drawn physical battles, equally exerting battle of mind-sets and the constant tensions between the existing religions.

This page talks about two such major events in brief detail and finally links them back to the progress of psychology as a discipline.

Rise of Islam and The Crusades

What were the Crusades?


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What were the Crusades?

The Crusades were a series of military campaigns during the time of Medieval England against the Muslims of the Middle East. In 1076, the Muslims had captured Jerusalem, the most holy of the holy places for Christians. Jesus had been born in nearby Bethlehem and had spent most of his life in Jerusalem. He was crucified on Calvary Hill, also in Jerusalem. That’s the reason Jerusalem is called the “ City of God.”

However, Jerusalem was also extremely important for the Muslims as Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim faith, had been, so there was great joy in the Muslim world when Jerusalem was captured. A beautiful dome called the Dome of Rock was built where Muhammad was said to have sat and prayed. Thus, the Christians fought to get Jerusalem back while the Muslims fought to keep Jerusalem. These wars were to last nearly 200 years.



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         The First Crusade: 1096-1099

            The Second Crusade: 1147-1149

         The Third Crusade: 1189-1192

         The Fourth Crusade: 1201-1204

         The Fifth Crusade: 1217- 1221

         The Sixth Crusade: 1228- 1229

         The Seventh Crusade: 1248-1254

         The Eighth Crusade: 1270

                             In 1212, what became known as the Children’s Crusades occurred.


How did the Crusades get its name?

When the first crusades set off (calling themselves `pilgrims’) they wore large red cloth crosses. Hence, the subsequent naming of ‘ crusade’ originally derived from the Latin word ‘ crux’. The term ‘crusades’ never surfaced until a French historic text ‘ L’histoire des croisades’ was published in the the 17th century.

As pilgrims, the original crusades saw themselves as undertaking an armed mission or pilgrimage and the ‘ taking of the crux’ all the way to Jerusalem symbolised their vows that would only be fulfilled upon reaching their destination.


Why did the Crusades begin? 

The reason and the cause of the Crusades was a war between the Christians and the Muslims which was centered around the city of Jerusalem and the Holy places of Palestine. The City of Jerusalem held a Holy Significance to the Christian religion.

There were many causes of the Crusades. First, 3000 Christian pilgrims were massacred in Jerusalem. In the 11th century, the Seljukian Turks, a prominent Tartar tribe and zealous followers of Islam, wrested from the Caliphs almost all their Asiatic possessions. The Christians realized that the power had fallen into new hands. The churches in Jerusalem were destroyed or turned into stables.

Second, the Religious Conviction. If making a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher was meritorious, then it would be a much more pious act to rescue the sacred spot from the profanation of infidels. This conviction changed the pilgrims into warriors.

Third, the Instinct to Fight. The Feudal knights and lords had a rising spirit of chivalry. The restless and adventurous spirit of the Teutonic People of Europe was another cause of Crusades.

Fourth, the Preaching of Peter the Hermit, a native of Picardy, in France. This was the immediate cause of the First Crusade. He recited the sufferings of their brethren at the hands of the infidels, or pictured the profanation of the Holy places, polluted by the presence and insults of the unbelievers.

Fifth, the Threat of the Turks. The Turks were making constant advances in the East and were threatening Constantinople itself. The Greek Emperor (Alexius Comnenus) sent urgent letters to the Pope for aid against the Infidels.

Sixth, Pope Urban II and the Council of Clermont. Pope Urban II, at the Council of Clermont, pictured the humiliation and misery of the provinces of Asia; the profanation of the places made sacred by the presence and footsteps of the Son of God.

Seventh, “It is the will of God”. The exclamation of the eloquent pontiff made the vast assembly keen causing them to cry ,“Dieu le volt! Dieu le volt!” which meant “It is the will of God! It is the will of God”. Thousands immediately pledged of their sacred engagement to go forth to the rescue of the Holy Sepulcher. The fifteenth day of August of the following year (1096) was set for the departure of the expedition- the Crusades had begun.

Rise of Islam and The Crusades

The Nine Crusades


Four multitudes of Crusaders were shaped from troops of various Western European districts, driven by Raymond of Saint-Gilles, Godfrey of Bouillon, Hugh of Vermandois and Bohemond of Taranto (with his nephew Tancred). These gatherings withdrew for Byzantium in August 1096. A less sorted out band of knights and normal people known as the “General population’s Crusade” set off before the others under the charge of a famous minister known as Peter the Hermit. Disregarding Alexius’ recommendation to sit tight for whatever remains of the Crusaders, Peter’s armed force crossed the Bosporus toward the beginning of August. In the primary significant conflict between the Crusaders and Muslims, Turkish powers pounded the attacking Europeans at Cibotus.

Another gathering of Crusaders, drove by the famous Count Emicho, did a progression of
slaughters of Jews in different towns in the Rhineland in 1096, drawing far reaching shock and causing a noteworthy emergency in Jewish-Christian relations


Consequences of First Crusade

The first crusade had caused the siege of Antioch in 1098. It also led to the fall of Jerusalem as a major consequence.

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The attack of Jerusalem occurred from June 7 to June 15, 1099, amid the First Crusade. The peak of the First Crusade, the successful siege saw the Crusaders seize Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate and established the frameworks for the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Armies and Commanders
Raymond of Toulouse
Godfrey of Bouillon
Approximately 13,500 men

Iftikhar ad-Daula
Approximately 1000-3000 men.
After the fall of Jerusalem, the Battle of Ascalon was fought.


Second Crusade lasted from 1147-1149.

Who started it?- While it was the main crusader state to be established, it was likewise the first to fall. The second Crusade was reported by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the Crusades to be the driven by European lords, in particular Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, with the assistance of other European nobles.

Where did it begin and end?– While the individuals who took an interest in the Second Crusade had presumably wanted to do as such before hearing the loss of Edessa to Zangi, the direness of the Crusade was likely strengthened by the misfortune.

Pope Eugenius III issued a crusading Bull ( Quantum predecessors) to Louis VII of France.

Failure of the second crusade-

The Second Crusade, though begun under the most favourable auspices, had an unhappy ending. Of the great host that set off from Europe only a few thousands escaped annihilation in Asia Minor at the hands of the Turks. Louis and Conrad, with the remnants of their armies, made a joint attack on Damascus, but had to raise the siege after a few days. This closed the crusade. The strength of both the French and German division of the expedition was wasted in Asia Minor and the crusade accomplished nothing.

THIRD CRUSADE (1187-92) 

After various endeavors by the Crusaders of Jerusalem to catch Egypt, Nur al-Din’s powers (driven by the general Shirkuh and his nephew, Saladin) seized Cairo in 1169 and constrained the Crusader armed force to clear.

Upon Shirkuh’s consequent demise, Saladin expected control and started a battle of triumphs that quickened after Nur al-Din’s passing in 1174.

In 1187, Saladin started a noteworthy battle against the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His troops for all intents and purposes annihilated the Christian armed force at the clash of Hattin, reclaiming the critical city alongside a lot of an area.

Shock over these annihilations roused the Third Crusade, drove by rulers, for example, the maturing Emperor Frederick Barbarossa (who was suffocated at Anatolia before his whole armed force achieved Syria), King Philip II of France, and King Richard I of England (known as Richard the Lionheart).

In September 1191, Richard’s powers vanquished those of Saladin in the clash of Arsuf, which would be the main genuine skirmish of the Third Crusade.

From the recovered city of Jaffa, Richard restored Christian control over a portion of the locale and moved toward Jerusalem, however he declined to lay attack to the city.

In September 1192, Richard and Saladin marked a peace settlement that restored the Kingdom of Jerusalem (however without the city of Jerusalem) and finished the Third Crusade.



The Fourth Crusade, 1202-1204, was a Western European armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III, originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt.

Instead, in April of 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and sacked the Christian (Eastern Orthodox) city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire). For three days, the army pillaged at will, and then the nobles imposed order and began a more systematic looting of the greatest city of Christendom.Around 20,000 Crusaders, 30,000 Byzantines and many civilians lost their lives.

The Fourth Crusade led to the partition of the Byzantine Empire, creation of Crusader State in Balkans, Crusader sack of Constantinople and Establishment of the Latin Empire.

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FIFTH CRUSADE(1217-1221)

In 1213, Innocent III began to plan the 5th Crusade when a six year truce ended in 1217.  While Innocent died on July 16, 1216, his successor Pope Honorius the Third continued the preparations. The Fifth Crusade consisted of various expeditions against Egypt. In 1217-1218, Andrew the Second of Hungary tried to take Acre.

SIXTH CRUSADE(1228-1229)

The Sixth Crusade was of monumental importance to Europe because it managed to achieve what previous Crusades had failed to do- Recapture of The Holy Land. The Crusade which began seven years after the failed Fifth crusade was brought about by Fredrick who sought to assuage his guilt at his lack of leadership of the Fifth Crusade by launching the Sixth Crusade to recover Jerusalem paid for by Holy Roman Empire Funds. It took place in 1228-1229.


The Seventh Crusade was not started by any Pope but by King Louis the Ninth of France who became known later as Saint Louis because of his great devotion to the Christian God.  The year after the Mamluks captured Jerusalem from the Europeans in 1244 A.D., Louis announced the Crusade in 1245.


The eighth Crusade was launched by Louis the Ninth of France against the city Tunis in 1270.  This crusade is sometimes also counted as part of the ninth crusade.

NINTH CRUSADE(1271-1272)

This Crusade is sometimes grouped with the eighth crusade and it is considered to be the last major medieval Crusade to the Holy Land.  It took place in 1271-1272.


As the Crusaders battled, another tradition, known as the Mamluks, plummeted from previous slaves of the Islamic Empire, took control in Egypt. In 1260, Mamluk powers in Palestine figured out how to end the progress of the Mongols, an attacking power drove by Genghis Khan and his relatives, which had risen as a potential partner for the Christians in the district.

Under the heartless Sultan Baybars, the Mamluks devastated Antioch in 1268. Accordingly, Louis sorted out the Eighth Crusade in 1270. The underlying objective was to help the rest of the Crusader states in Syria, yet the mission was diverted to Tunis, where Louis passed on.

Edward I of England went up against another undertaking in 1271. This fight, which is frequently gathered with the Eighth Crusade however is some of the time alluded to as the Ninth Crusade, finished next to no and was viewed as the last noteworthy campaign to the Holy Land.




The Crusading movement came to an end by the close of the 13th century. The emperor Frederick II for a short time recovered Jerusalem by a treaty, but in 1244 A.D. the Holy City again became a possession of the Muslims. After 200 years of conflict, after a vast expenditure of wealth and human lives, the Holy Land remained in Muslim hands.

There were three reasons why Crusades failed. First, there was the inability of Eastern and Western Europe to cooperate in supporting the Holy Wars.

Second, the lack of sea-power worked against their success. They were not able to go to Syria by water directly but had to use a long sea- route.

Third, the Crusaders were never numerous enough to colonize so large a country as Syria and absorb its Muslim population.

The Crusades came to an end because after 2 centuries the old crusading enthusiasm died out and the old ideal of the Crusade as ‘The Way of God’ lost its spell. Men had begun to think less of winning future salvation by visits to distant shrines and to think more of their present duties to the world about them. They came to believe that Jerusalem could best be won as Christ and the Apostles had won it “by love, by prayers, and by the shedding of tears”.

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Although the crusades failed to capture Jerusalem, they had several major impacts on Western Europe. They increased the authority of the king sometimes nobles died in battle without leaving an heir in which the king gets their land. King passed taxes to pay for the crusades.

Results- The result of the crusades

The entire structure of European society changed during 12th and 13th century, and there was a time when this change was attributed largely to the crusades as only one albeit significant factor in Europe’s development.

effect of crusades


1. The crusades had greatly affected the important areas- The medieval society, the structure, the trade and the political system was changed from Feudalism to Monarchy in Europe.

The King, who was leading the crusades were also gaining more power.

Although they ultimately failed to drive the Muslims from either Jerusalem or Byzantium the crusades had considerably social consequences for Europe and Holy hand alike. They also promoted the expansion of trade and learning in Europe.

Major impacts on Western Europe-

1. They helped break down feudalism by increasing the authority of kings.

2. Some nobles died in battle without leaving on heir. Their lands passed to the king.

3. Some nobles add their land in an effort to raise money to pay the special tax levied by the king to offset the cost of the crusades.

4. Some nobles gave their selves a chance to buy their freedom in an effort to raise money they needed to buy armor and weapon.

5. Some men who could by​ their way out of feudal obligation gained the crusades. Many died. That reduced workforce. If a farm failed it passed to the king.

6. From their exposure to superior Muslim technology Europeans learned how to build better ships and use a compass.

7. Western Europe began to express an interest in trade. The crusaders brought back heavy goods. These items were vastly​ ​popular.

Trade – Neighbors.

Goods- silk, spices, sugar, art, literature.

1. Stimulated trade by increasing the demand for middle eastern products.

2. Trade in Middle Eastern.

Rise of Islam and The Crusades




Prophet Mohammad, originally known as Abū al-Qāsim Muhammad ibn Abd Allāh ibn Abd al-Māttalib ibn Hāshim, was born c.570 in Mecca, presently located in Saudi Arabia. This messiah was the proclaimer of the Quran and the founder of Islam – a system that was more than just a religion; it was a binding force among the Arabs.

Prophet Mohammad was orphaned at a very young age, and by Arab custom was unable to inherit anything. He was therefore relatively poor roughly until 595 C.E,

when a rich widow named Khadhija employed him as a steward to go to Syria and manage her trading supplies. He eventually married her.

Although he was wealthy now, he began to spend his time in solitary reflection on the prevalent issues in Mecca where religious principles were deteriorating and there was an atmosphere of general unrest in the city. During this period of solitude, Mohammad heard a voice that said “You are the messenger of God” as he meditated.

He later deemed that he had heard the arch angel Gabriel. His friends were instrumental in convincing him that he was God to the Arabs as Moses and Jesus Christ had done to the Jews and Christians. He continued to receive these holy messages from time to time until his death. These messages were compiled into chapters to form the holy Quran. Over time his followers rapidly increased in number.

At a certain point in his life, he received a message informing him of a plot to assassinate him. On hearing this, he left Mecca along with his companion Abu Bakr for Medina-which was at the time known as Yathrib. This pilgrimage is popularly known as Hegira or Hijrah. During his first pilgrimage in 620 C.E. he narrated the story of Islam and the teachings of the Quran to six men of the Banu Kazraj of Medina, who readily embraced the culture of Islam. On his second pilgrimage in 621 C.E, five of these men brought along seven others with them. These twelve fellow travelers informed Mohammad of the rapid popularity of Islam in Medina.

Eventually these twelve men pledged allegiance at Mohammad’s hand promising to accept him as a prophet and to worship none but one God and to renounce sins such as theft, adultery and murder. This is known as the first pledge of Allah.


After Mohammad himself had successfully established the new faith through conversion and conquest of those that stood against him there was rapid expansion of the Islamic State.  United by their faith in God and a commitment to political consolidation and supported by the first Caliph Abu Bakr,the Merchant elite of Arabia succeeded in consolidating their power throughout the Arabian peninsula and began to expand north towards Syria.  Political upheavals also favored the cause of Islam. Owing to the prolonged series of wars between the Byzantine and the Persian empires and the exhaustion caused despite the Byzantine victory led to Muslim Triumphs in Easter regions such as Iraq, Egypt and Africa. As a result of their remarkably efficient and flexible governance in the newly conquered areas even the unbelievers became interested in this new religion in increasing numbers. In addition to the obvious power held by the new leaders a personal tax was imposed on all the non Muslims which compelled many to convert.  Islam gained further popularity as it tended to embrace people of different colours and cultures without any bias. After the death of the third caliph Muawiyah, a self- proclaimed caliph who happened to be a relative of Mohammad, made Damascus his capital and established the Umayyad dynasty. Umayyad military campaigns were continuously successful but were defeated for the first time at Constantinople which was under the aid of Greek fire. However they continued to have success across the West. The next logical expansion for Islam was into the weak kingdom of the Visigoths of Spain which took a total of seven years to accomplish. Meanwhile, the Muslims continued to expand eastward into Central Asia such as Turkestan and the Indus valley(in India).

Islam first established itself in India during the life of Muhammad the Prophet by erecting mosques and organizing missionary endeavors in 17 CE. Trade with the Arabs further led to the spread of Islam as a religion. Islam in India had the unique experience of having to coexist with other religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism all of which had their origins in India. With time, the successive waves of Muslim forces that made their way into India further expanded Muslim political domains without altering the religious or social structure of Indian society. Ironically, they helped in making the presence of another religion felt. Wandering teachers further brought Islam to the masses.

Thus the spread of Islam has had a huge impact on the culture, traditions and mind-sets of people across the globe.


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Islam had a profound global impact not only in terms of the religious structure but also in the fields of language, mathematics, astronomy and medicine, whose effects can be seen to this day. The Arabians are often credited with the concept of algebra, derived from the word al-jabr meaning to restore or complete.

Islam requires its followers to pray facing what would be the general direction of Mecca, the birthplace of Prophet Mohammad, which encouraged them to find scientific ways to determine their exact geographic locations.

They were initially criticised for the same and referred to as false-soothsayers. Their findings, however, were supported by the translations of Greek scientific works, such as those of Ptolemy.  Ibn al-Shatir is said to have developed the planetary theory and studied the radius of Mercury’s orbit, information that would later be used by Copernicus. Unfortunately, many scientific discoveries were lost when Bhagdad was invaded and sacked by Mongol forces.

Islam had a tremendous impact on India culturally.

It brought in elements such as the purdah system, language, dance, music, art and architechture. Islam played a major role in starting up the Bhakti movement by attempting to abolish the brahminical monopoly over the Hindu  society.

This gave rise to the “bhakti cult “ and produced saints like Ramanand,Kabir, Nanak and many more.


Psychology is said to be borne out of philosophy and theology. Considering that both the Crusades and the rise of Islam are fairly theological in nature

Islam not only contributed in terms of the religion or culture, it also helped in the progress of intellectual life. One of the most prominent philosophers, Avicenna was interested in the teachings of the Greeks, in particular those of Aristotle. Now this links back to psychology, in the sense that Greek philosophies are considered to be an essential precursor of psychological development.

Another significant outcome of the Crusades and the rising religion of Islam is that many Greek teachings that had been lost over the years due to the lack of documentation had been written, stored and perpetuated through the countries in the middle east. This act of war resulted in the onset of exchange of information and ideas between the cultures. Recovery of Greek writings, meant revival of ideas such as will, body-mind dualism and many other concepts that are still integral to the discipline of psychology.

Now, it is also known that the Romans had carried forwards the Greek works in philosophy, which is considered to be the mother of psychology. However, the downfall of the Roman empire lead to a stop in progression of psychology as a subject. The fall of the Roman empire meant that there was an increased belief in faith.

The role science or even psychology had to play was not taken into consideration. Psychology turned out to be a piece of the ethical teachings on conduct educated by the congregation, and psychology progressed toward becoming inundated in the folklore of Christian practice. Mental clarifications of any action needed to affirm to the fundamentals of Christianity.

Psychological instabilities and social deviancy were viewed as detestable condemnations or demonic possessions. Remedies to these dysfunctional behaviours did not include understanding it, it used prayers to god.