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map of the Silk Roads in the medieval Islamic world

The Muslim Silk and Spice Routes

What became known as the Silk and Spice Routes that extended from Western China into Eastern Europe were not only connected through centuries of trade, but after the advent of Islam they became centers through which Islamic thought and civilization came into contact with the many diverse peoples who came through the cities on the Silk Road. As a result a unique culture of Islamic thought, moral philosophy, and rational inquiry evolved in a way that allowed for Islam as a faith to flourish in heterogeneous social contexts that necessitated a dynamic interpretation of faith and lived theologies.

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