The article discusses the emergence of Islam in the 7th century and its impact on the world. It highlights the formation of a new empire under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad, the expansion and dissent within the empire, the rise of the Umayyad Dynasty and later the Abbasid Rule, and the eventual fall of the empire. Despite its decline, the Islamic Empire left a lasting legacy through its language, religion, and intellectual ideas.
The article tells the story of Baucis and Philemon, an elderly couple who show kindness and hospitality to two strangers who turn out to be gods in disguise. As a reward for their hospitality, their humble cottage is transformed into a grand temple, and they are granted their wish to care for the temple and die together. In the end, they are transformed into trees, symbolizing their enduring love and hospitality.
The article follows the journey of siblings Hisham and Asma as they prepare for the hajj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, in 791 CE. Despite a last-minute mishap with a sick camel, they are able to find a solution and make their final preparations for the journey, which holds personal hopes for both of them.
The article discusses the unique situation in the late 14th century when there were three popes. The origins of this predicament can be traced back to conflicts between the Church and the French monarchy. The schism lasted for 39 years until the Council of Constance in 1417, when a new Pope was elected and the schism was finally resolved.
This lesson discusses utilitarianism and how it can be used to decide between saving two groups of passengers in an interstellar disaster, considering their age and the amount of life they have lived. It also touches on the idea that those who are worse off should be given priority, and the suggestion to flip a coin in order to give each individual an equal chance of being saved.