Islam: Empire of Faith

Narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley, A three-part series, re-creates the spectacular sweep of Islamic power and faith during its first 1,000 years, from Muhammad's birth to the Ottoman Empire under Suleyman the Magnificent. Evocative re-enactments and art, artifacts, and architecture combine with scholarly interviews to recount the rise and glory of Islamic civilization.

The demonization of Islam by the West has a long history, stretching back to the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century. This documentary redresses the balance by showing the riches of Islamic culture and the vital role played by Islam in preserving and building upon ancient wisdom from East and West at a time when most of Europe was stumbling through the Dark Ages. Muslim physicians, mathematicians, and astronomers stretched the boundaries of human knowledge, and Muslim architects created some of the most beautiful buildings in the world.  Directed by Robert H. Gardner and written by Jonathan Grupper. (For more information please click here)

Part 1: The Messenger

The first episode in a three-part history of Islam, focusing on the historical truth behind the extraordinary life of the prophet Muhammad, the early writings of the Koran, the creation of the first mosque, and the battle to establish the new religion. The rapid expansion of Islam overwhelmed the empires of Persia and Byzantium, creating a new empire larger than Rome.

Part 2: The Awakening

The second episode in a three-part history of Islam focuses on the profound impact that Islamic civilisation has had on Western culture and the course of world history. Muslim scholars from Baghdad's House of Wisdom developed our system of numerals, and acted as a channel for the intellectual legacies of Greece, Egypt and China, bringing about advances in literature, the arts, science and medicine.

Part 3: The Ottomans

The concluding episode of a three-part history of Islam, which tells the dramatic story of how the Ottomans established a Muslim empire more far-reaching than any that had come before. The programme focuses on the harem, the centre of dynastic power, where selected peasant boys could be educated for higher office, creating a caste whose only loyalty was to the Sultan.

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