Welcome to our Muslim History Quiz. Send answers, comments or ideas for new questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question 9: Water and Blood
X was well respected even by his enemies for his chivalry and magnanimity. However, he could also be brutal against those he felt deserved it, as in the following scene.
X invited Y to sit beside him, and when Z entered in his turn, he seated him next to Y and reminded him of his misdeeds. "How many times have you sworn an oath and violated it? How many times have you signed agreements you have never respected?" Z answered through a translator: "Kings have always acted thus. I did nothing more." During this time Y was gasping with thirst, his head dangling as though drunk, his face betraying great fright. X spoke reassuring words to him, had cold water brought, and offered it to him. Y drank, then handed what remained to Z, who slaked his thirst in turn. X then said to Y: "You did not ask permission before giving him water. I am therefore not obliged to grant him mercy." After pronouncing these words, X smiled, mounted his horse, and rode off, leaving the captives in terror. He supervised the return of the troops, and then came back to his tent. He ordered Z brought there, then advanced before him, sword in hand, and struck him between the neck and the shoulder-blade. When Z fell, he cut off his head and dragged the body by its feet to Y, who began to tremble. Seeing him thus upset, X said to him in a reassuring tone: "This man was killed only because of his maleficence and perfidy".
Who were X, Y and Z? [solution coming soon]
Question 8: Scarface
He was a loyal companion to a famous Muslim ruler. A commander in several battles, he suffered a scar in his face, which earned him a by-name, under which he became known. When the ruler sent him on a mission to regain control of a territory, he was poisoned by agents of an adversary, who would become the next ruler after the current ruler was assassinated, too.
Who was he? [solution]
Question 7: The Road To Mecca
He travelled far and befriended both Muslim rulers and Arab Bedouins, with whom he rode to Mekka for Pilgrimage on a camel. He helped found a political entity and became one of its first embassadors. Later, he wrote a Quran translation and commentary acclaimed for its rationality, and considered the best by many. He lies now buried in a land once ruled by Muslims. A famous city, once besieged by Muslims, has recently named a place after him, the location of which is related to his work.
Who was he? [solution]
Question 6: Sowing Dissent
The two parties had a common goal, but did not trust each other. This weakness he was planning to exploit. He told the second party, that the first party would abandon them to perdition if they did not reach their goal and that they needed a warranty. He told the first party, that the second party was not interested in reaching the goal and would ask for a warranty for the sake of abusing the warranty. Unable to cross the barrier, the two parties were unable to overcome their distrust and ultimately failed.
Who was he, and which goal did he prevent the two parties from reaching? [solution]
Question 5: Joining Forces
Unlike what some might expect, a practising Muslim and two confessing Atheists were remarkably succesfull in joining forces and showing that what seemed to be a weak relationship turned out to be quite electric by discovering communication by two previously unknown types of messengers. This inspired many to think in similar ways and succeeded in adding a strong component. The jury is still out however, on how the movement can reach its ultimate goal and gain weight. Part of the problem is that while some messengers seem to stick to you, others can never be found. The Muslim among the original pioneers was considered by some to be the first Muslim to reach this goal, though others have refused to grand him recognition due to some disagreement over yet another type of messenger.
What was the highest recognition the three pioneers received? [solution]
Question 4: Identity Crisis
The group had an ongoing conflict with the other party, who had doubt in the identity of their leader. When they wanted access to a building under control of the other party, the issue came up once more, who their leader was. Eventually, it was settled, they could access the building, but not at the times they had originally intended to. The disappointment caused a future leader of the group to ask another future leader, whether their current leader was in fact who they were told he was. The current leader could only convince his followers to go along with the agreement after changing his personal style.
Which building did the group want to access? [solution]
Question 3: All That Glitters Can Be Deconstructed
His main teacher lent his name to a movement, and he started another one. Some see his name as the eponym for meaninglessness, but most would agree that some of his works include the most corrosive the world had seen so far, showing that all that glitters can be deconstructed. This inspired many to ask, whether what can be deconstructed, can also be reconstructed? In a different time and place, some one became famous for pretending to be him. Today, some of his tools are still in use, and many would judge the progress of nations based on to what extend they do what he did.
Who was this person, and what do we owe to him? [solution]
Question 2: A new Kind of Place For Prayer
The place could be seen from a ship. His predecessors had made considerable progress, but he would be the first to succeed and pray in this place. The way was blocked by strong walls. A chain forced him to make a detour. But he was well prepared and surprised others by the reach of his new tools, which were too expensive for his competitors to afford. His success shocked the world and inspired many after him to pray in similar places.
Who was this person, and what was the place? [solution]
Question 1: A Visitor and a Theological Dispute
As they were told to expect, the host had treated them well, at least until a visitor came who sought to turn the host against them because of their beliefs. At first, they greatly impressed the host and his staff, but when the visitor pressed on a controversial point, they became hesitant, because they wanted to avoid a dispute with the host. Eventually, they decided to be open about their beliefs, and discovered to their joy - and to the dismay of the visitor - that the host sided with them.
Who was the host, and who was the visitor? [solution]