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Within the ‘Abbāsid period (750–1258), Islam developed into a world religion, transcending ethnic boundaries. For five centuries, the ‘Abbāsid caliphs were recognized by most Sunnī Muslims as at least their nominal rulers. Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa became Arabized during this period, while Iran more successfully retained its indigenous identity, experiencing a cultural renaissance in the 10th and 11th centuries. Meanwhile, most dhimmis (a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with the Shari'a law), along with the newly arrived Turks, adopted Islam.

The ‘Abbāsid period began after a rebellion arising in Khurasan in 747 toppled the last Umayyad caliph, replacing him not with a descendant of Muhammad XII, as many expected, but with al-Saffāh (750–754), a descendant of the Prophet's uncle al-‘Abbās. Al-Mansūr ...

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