Like any other religion in the world, the development and history of Islam has had a major impact on international politics, the economy and military history, both within and beyond the borders of the major geographical areas of influence of this religion.
Islam has its roots in Arabia, in the 7th century, during prophet Muhammad’s lifetime. A century after his death, Islam extended from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Central Asia. However, the empire could not hold together very long and the new government system established collapsed rapidly and resulted in a civil war, known in the Islamic world as Fitna. Ever since this period, many different dynasties have claimed the ultimate caliphate that would unify all the Muslim countries but since each state has only responded to their candidate as main Caliph, this has never been settled and has resulted in countless bloodbaths.
Muslims founded many Islamic centers of culture and science, from which many notable scientists, astronomers, mathematicians, medical doctors and philosophers emerged during the so-called Golden Age of Islam. Technology flourished and there was a great investment in economic and hydrological infrastructure, such as systems of irrigation, canals, etc.
Later on, during the 18th and 19th centuries, Islamic regions fell under the influence of powerful European empires. After the First World War and the subsequent occupation of Constantinople, what was left of the Ottoman Empire was divided into European protectorates. Although affected by many ideologies like communism, during the 20th century, it seems like the Islamic identity has been reinvigorated, as well as its prevalence and impact on political issues, which have seen an increase in the second half of the century and beginning of the 21st century. At the same time, the recent growth of the economic interests of western countries in regions controlled by Islam has resulted in many armed and political conflicts.