List of Muslim empires and dynasties

Scholars debate what exactly constitutes an empire. Generally, they may define an empire as a state that extends dominion over areas and populations distinct culturally and ethnically from the culture/ethnicity at the center of power.

This list is intended to show some of the States, Empires, or Dynasties that were ruled by a Muslim elite, or were in some way central to or a part of the Empire. Many Muslim empires had strong influences on the visual arts, architecture, music and food.


In the centuries after the life of Muhammad, Muslim armies poured out into all surrounding areas, bringing the lands from India to Spain under their control. With this huge amount of land under their control, the Umayyad (and later, the Abbasid) Caliphates allowed merchants and scholars to travel easily through western Eurasia, bringing goods and knowledge which the Muslims greatly expanded upon through the Caliphate and outward to less advanced regions, such as Western Europe. In 751, papermaking from China made its way to the West through Muslims. Trade introduced Islam to the Africans. In the Middle East, the success of Islam meant that culture would be changed forever. Even after the decline of the Abassid Caliphate, Islam would remain as one of the base institutions of the region. Future states of the region, such as the Safavid, Seljuk, and Ottoman and Mughal Empires, were all "Islamic Empires".


Umayyad Empire at its greatest extent

Regional empires

Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha

Europe and Russia



Middle East


Central Asia

Africa & Spain

Excluding Egypt, which is considered part of Middle East

South Asia

Taj Mahal

Southeast Asia


  1. History of the Muslims Empires of Islam
  2. All Empires History Forum (Archive)

See also

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