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THE MUSLIM WORLD Powered By Docstoc

     Chapter 11

  Section 1
The word Islam is an Arabic word that means “the
  act of submitting, or giving oneself over, to the will
  of God.” The Islamic faith was founded by an Arab
  merchant named Muhammad, who came to be
  known as the prophet of Allah (God). He called
  those who followed his faith Muslims, which means
  “followers of Islam.”
The religion brought people from different races and
Mecca was an oasis town. It converted into a market
  town and a pilgrimage center. Muslims came to
  pray at the Kaaba, an ancient shrine believed to be
  created by the prophet Abraham.
In 570, Muhammad was born to a widow in
  Makkah. At the age of 6, after his mother died,
  he went to live with an uncle. At the age of 25,
  he married a rich 40-year old widow named
  Khadija. They had 2 sons that died young,
  and 4 daughters.
Muhammad was very successful in the
 caravan business; however, he was
 troubled by the drinking, gambling, and
 corruption in Mecca. He started spending
 much time alone in a cave outside the
 city. He concluded that there was one
 only one God, Allah, the same god as the
 God of the Jews and the Christians.
At first, the rich people of Mecca laughed at
  Muhammad, but as he kept preaching, they feel
  threatened. They felt that if fewer people were
  coming to Mecca to worship, they would no longer
  run their business, so they started persecuting
  Muhammad and his followers.
In 622, Muhammad left Mecca for Yathrib, a journey
  known as the hijra. The year became the first year
  of the Muslim calendar and the city of Yathrib was
  rename Medina, “the city of the prophet.” The
  people from Mecca attacked Medina several times
  to crush the newly established Muslim community.
  In 628, Muhammad signed a peace treaty with the
  people of Mecca, but in 630, they broke it!
It was that year that
   Muhammad and his
   followers entered the city
   of Mecca without
   interference. Their
   conquest was peaceful.
   Muhammad destroyed
   the idols in the Kaaba and
   within two years, all the
   tribes of Arabia declared
   their faith in Islam and
   their loyalty to
   Muhammad. On June 8,
   632 Muhammad died, but
   the faith continued to
   spread worldwide.
The Quran is the sacred text of Islam, which teaches
  that God is all-powerful and compassionate. It also
  states that people are responsible for their actions.
  The Quran says that people should not eat pork,
  drink liquor, or gamble; it also gives advice on
  marriage, divorce, inheritance, and business. It is the
  final authority on all matters.
The Quran describes the pillars of faith, or the five
  duties all Muslims must fulfill:
- The first duty is the confession of faith (“There is no
  God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.”
- The second pillar is daily prayer. Muslims have to
  pray five times a day facing Mecca each time. On
  Friday, they gather in houses of worship known as
- The third duty has to do with the giving of zakah, or
  charity. Muslims are to give 2.5% of his/her annual
- The fourth pillar deals with fasting from sunrise to
  sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.
- The fifth duty involves is the hajj, or pilgrimage to
  Mecca. All Muslims who are able are expected to
  visit the Kaaba at least once in their lives.
The Quran promises that all believers who fulfill their
  duties will go to Paradise, which has shade, fruit
  trees, beautiful gardens, cold springs, and singing
  birds. Hell is a flame-filled pit where drinking water
  comes from a salty well and where food is a strong-
  smelling plant that causes hunger.
The Quran teaches that Islam is God’s final and
  complete revelation, and that the Torah and Bible
  contain partial revelation from God. To Muslims,
  Jews and Christians are “People of the Book,”
  spiritually superior to polytheistic idol worshippers.
The Quran is the direct, unchangeable word of God.
  Because the meaning of some words reside in
  Arabic, converts learn the language, which helps
  unite Muslims from many regions.
Over time, Muslim scholars developed an immense
 body of law interpreting the Quran and applying its
 teachings to daily life. This Islamic system of law,
 called the Sharia, regulates moral conduct, family
 life, business practices, government, and other
 aspects of a Muslim community. The Sharia
 applies the Quran to all legal situations.
Before Islam, most women under the control of a
 male guardian and could not inherit property.
 Some unwanted daughters were killed at birth.
 Islam affirmed the spiritual equality of women and
 men. The Quran prohibited the killing of daughters.
 The practice of veiling upper-class women and
 secluding them in a separate part of the home
 came from the Byzantines and Persians.

   Section 2
When Muhammad died in 632, his followers needed a
 new leader. A group of Muslims chose a new leader
 whom they called caliph, which means successor.
Under the first four caliphs, called the Rightly Guided
 Caliphs, Arab armies marched from victory to victory
 as they were sent to different areas (Palestine,
 Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and North Africa) to carry Islam to
 other peoples. They were successful because their
 common faith held them together and they had
 efficient fighting methods.
Muslim armies got as far as Spain, but in 732, they
 were defeated at the battle of Tours. Their advanced
 into Western Europe was halted. They didn’t
 conquered France.
Muslim leaders imposed a special tax to non-Muslims,
  but allowed Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians to
  practice their own faiths. Many people converted
  because the religion had no hierarchies and it
  emphasized the equality of all believers.
The major areas of Islamic influence in Europe were
  Spain and Sicily. Spain flourished as a center of
  Muslim civilization. They eventually were pushed
  into southern Spain, but their culture included many
  great centers of learning and grand buildings, such
  as the Alhambra in Granada.
In Sicily, Muslim ruled didn’t last long, but the Arabic
  culture remained. Many scholars enriched the
  Norman kings.
Soon after Muhammad death, divisions arose within
The Sunni felt that the caliph, whom they saw as a
  political leader, should be elected by leaders of the
  Muslim community. Today, about 90 percent of
  Muslims are Sunni.
The Shiites argued that the only true successors to the
  Prophet were descendants of Muhammad’s
  daughter and son-in-law, Ali, who was the fourth
  caliph. Shiites grew to admire those who died as a
  demonstration of their faith.
The Sufis were Muslim mystics who sought
  communion through meditation, fasting, and other
  rituals. They spread Islam through missionary work.
After the death of the fourth caliph, Ali, the Umayyad
  family set up a dynasty that lasted till 750. From
  that time on, the title of caliph was hereditary. They
  ruled more like kings than religious leaders.
  Muslims disliked the dynasty and after a while, war
  broke out between the Umayyads and a group of
  Muslims called Abbassids. In 750, they defeated
  the old dynasty and created a new one, which
  lasted until 1258. The Abbassid dynasty ended
  Arab dominance and made Islam a universal
  religion. The caliph al-Mansur chose Baghdad as
  the new capital; poets, scholars, and philosophers
  from all over the Muslim world flocked to the
  Abbassid court.
Baghdad received the title of “City of Peace, Gift of
  God, Paradise on Earth.” There were many gardens,
  and above the streets there were domes and
  minarets (slender towers of mosques), which were
  used by a mosque official called a muezzin to climb
  to the top of the minaret and call the faithful to
  prayer. The palace of caliph echoed with the music
  of flutes and tambourines, along with the voices of
  female singers.
The city of Baghdad reached its peak under the reign
  of caliph Harun al-Rashid, who ruled from 786 to
  809. He was admired as a model ruler in Europe and
  the Muslim world. He was viewed as a symbol of
  wealth and splendor.
Starting about 850, the Abbassid control over the
  Arab empire fragmented. In the 900s, the Seljuk
  Turks migrated into the Middle East from Central
  Asia; they adopted Islam and built an empire along
  the Fertile Crescent. The Seljuk sultan, or
  authority, controlled the city, but the caliph was a
The Seljuk threatened the Byzantine empire and
  started the First Crusade, which had a greater
  impact on Europe than on the Muslim world.
As the 1200s drew to a close, the Arab empire had
  fragmented, but Islam continued to link diverse
  people across an area called the Dar al-Islam,
  “Abode of Islam.”

      Section 3
Muslim society was more open than that of
  medieval Christian Europe. People enjoyed a
  certain degree of social mobility, meaning they
  could move up in social class through religious,
  scholarly, or military achievements.
Slavery was a common institution in the cities.
  Slaves were brought from conquered lands in
  Spain, Greece, Africa, and Central Asia. They
  could convert to Islam. Muslims could not be
  enslaved. Islamic law encouraged the freeing of
  slaves. Many slaves bought their freedom, often
  with the help of charitable donations.
Honored merchants built a vast trading network
 across the Islamic world that spread Islam,
 products, and technologies. Extensive and
 successful trade led Muslims to pioneer new
 ways of doing business, such as partnerships,
 bought and sold on credit and formed banks to
 change currency.
Across the Muslim world, artisans produced a
 wealth of fine goods: steel swords from
 Damascus, leather goods from Cordoba, cotton
 textiles from Egypt, and carpets from Persia.
Because the Quran banned the
  worship of idols, artists used
  abstract and geometric patterns.
  The arabesque, an intricate
  designed composed of curves lines
  that suggest floral shapes,
  appeared in rugs, textiles, and
  glassware. Muslim artists perfected
  skills in calligraphy.
Muslim architects adapted the domes
  and arches of Byzantine buildings
  to new uses. Dome of the Rock, in
  Jerusalem, typifies Muslim
Arabic poetry, emphasizing chivalry and the romance
  of nomadic life, came to influence medieval
  European literature and music. Omar Khayyam
  was a famous scholar, astronomer, and poet, best
  known for The Rubaiyat, a collection of four-line
  poems about fate and the fleeting nature of life.
Arab writers prized the art of storytelling. The best-
  known collection of Arab tales is The Thousand
  and One Nights, which include romances,
  adventures, and humorous anecdotes. Later
  versions were renamed “Aladdin and His Magic
  Lamp” or “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”
Both boys and girls were provided elementary
  education. This training emphasized reading and
  writing, especially the study of the Quran. Scholars
  translated Greek works and tried to harmonize them
  with Muslim religious teachings. In Cordoba, the
  philosopher Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes, put all
  knowledge except the Quran to the test of reason.
The mathematician al-Khwarizmi pionered the study of
  algebra. His algebra text became the standard
  mathematics textbook in Europe.
Astronomers studied eclipses, observed the Earth’s
  rotation, and calculated its circumference to within a
  few thousand feet.
Muslims made remarkable advances in medicine and
  public health. In comparison to medicine in Europe,
  Muslim medicine was far more advanced. The
  government set up hospitals, pharmacists and
  physicians had to pass a test before they could
  practice their profession.
Muhammad al-Razi, head physician at Baghdad’s main
  hospital, wrote many books on medicine, including a
  pioneering study of measles and smallpox. He advised
  young doctors to treat the mind as well as the body.
The Persian physician Ibn Sina, known in Europe as
  Avicenna, wrote an encyclopedia about the diagnosis
  and treatment of disease.
Over time, Muslim scholars helped move knowledge
 into Christian Europe through Spain and Sicily.
 European physicians began attending Muslim
 universities in Spain and to translate Arabic
 medical texts.

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