The Rise and Spread of Islam The Rise and Spread of

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					The Rise and Spread
      of Islam

       Chapter 6
The Arabian Peninsula

            • Mostly desert
            • Inhabited by
              BEDOUIN or
              nomadic cultures in
              “scrub zones” and
            • Coastal, rocky,
              regions have
              agriculture and cities
              based on trade
 Life of the Arabian People before
Desert Clans:

-Bedouin herders (camels and goats)
-live in family groups, (warrior families and slave
    families) move often, tent encampments
--part of larger tribal groupings headed by Shaykhs
    (men with many herds, children, wives and slaves)
-harsh conditions lead to loyalty to ones family for
-Also led to fighting over fertile land and water
              Clan Warfare
Pretexts for clan violence (murder)
- taking water from another clan’s well
- Stealing a horse
- Insulting a warrior
- defeating another clan in a horse race

Battles over these issues could be fought by the
 whole clan, led to century long clan feuds and
 eventually weakened the Bedouins, allowing them
 to be manipulated and set against each other
   Pre-Islamic Arabian towns

-Found near the Red
-farmers and small
  town dwellers
-not very large or
  powerful ( victims of
  MANY invasions
  over the centuries)
-Based on Trade
              Mecca and Medina
        Mecca                            Medina
•   Most important trade city   •   Northeast of Mecca
•   In mountainous region       •   In an Oasis
    along Red Sea               •   Grew wheat, and date
•   Founded by Umayyad              palms
    Clan                        •   Part of a long distance
•   Wealthy Merchants               Caravan through Arabia
•   Site of Ka’ba (most         •   Controlled by two
    revered religious Shrine)       Bedouin and three Jewish
•   Site of obligatory truce        clans
    between inter-clan feuds    •   Resulted in making the city
                                    a poor second to Mecca
    Customs in Pre-Islamic Arabia
       Marriage and Family                  Culture beyond family
• -women had more power ( milked      • Not highly developed ( nomadic)
  camels, weaved cloth, wrote poems
  =$)                                 • Oral poetry very important ( no
                                        written language)
• Lineage through mothers
                                      • Religion was a blend of
• Men required to pay bride-price       polytheism and Animism,
                                        focused on gods of night and
• Both men and women allowed
  multiple marriage partners
                                      • Religion had little to do with
• Were not secluded
                                      • Not OVERLY important in
• Varied among clans                    Arabian life

• Less power in villages              * but some gods worshiped a
                                         supreme god named Allah
        Rise of Muhammad
• TWO factors influenced the rise of Islam in
  a divided Arabia:
            Empire AND Monotheism

• Led to a number of Arab Prophets urging
  Bedouins to rely on a single God

• Muhammad responded to both these
           Muhammad’s life
• Born in 570 CE to a powerful clan
• Both mother and father died young
• Lived in Bedouin encampments until age 6
• His uncle ( Abu Talib) and grandfather
  took him on his first caravan to Syria where
  he would meet Christians and Jews who
  would later influence his teachings
     Muhammad’s life continued
• Moved to Mecca in his early twenties
• Worked for a woman Khadijah, who he later
• Traveled in caravans, making him aware of clan
  rivalries, disparities in wealth and the spread of
  monotheistic ideas
• Grew dissatisfied with life focused on material gain
• Began to meditate in the hills and receive
 The Revelations of Muhammad
• Believed that Allah transmitted revelations
  through the angel Gabriel
• These revelations were later written in Arabic and
  collected in the Qur’an.
• Began to preach these teachings to small groups
• His message was later clarified through more
• Eventually posed a threat to those in charge in
  Mecca, the Umayyads, so he fled
          Muhammad’s flight
• Fled to Medina where he was invited to
  mediate disputes
• Disguises allowed him to safely make it from
  Mecca to Medina in the HIJRA, later
  determined to be the first year of the Islamic
• In Medina he became very successful,
Settled disputes, won new followers, began to
  attack Meccan caravans
           Fighting continues
• Muhammad became and able leader and fighter
• Eventually he won and signed a treaty with the
  Ummayads/Quraysh in 628 CE, allowing
  Muslims to visit the Shrine of Ka’ba in Mecca
• He returned with 10,000 followers to Mecca in
  629, smashed the idols in the Shrine of Ka’ba and
  converted the Umayyads and other Meccans to
  his new faith
          Spread of Islam
• Parallels to Christianity, which focused on
  Jewish Conversion
• Muhammad focused on converting the
  clansman and other peoples of Arabia
• It was distinctly Arab and helped to unite
• Appealing because their were no
  intermediaries, Only god and messengers, no
  saints, angels, priests etc.
• Helped to end clan warfare
• Led to unrivaled conquest of the Middle East
• Provided ethics stressing equality of all believers in
  the eyes of Allah
• Promoted moral code stressing he responsibility of
  the wealthy and powerful for the poor and weak
• Stressed a zakat or tax for charity
• Must be kind to dependents, including slaves
• Could not exploit the poor
• Muslims were held accountable for Islamic law on
  earth so that they would live in a manner that would
  prepare them for the last Judgement
• God was compassionate and strict
• Monotheistic
• Had highly developed legal codes
• Egalitarian
• Community based

Islam was a refinement of earlier Jewish and
   Christian teachings
               Islam Continued
• The Five Pillars:
Principles that must be accepted and followed by all
   1) There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his
   2) One must pray, facing the holy city of Mecca five
      times a day
   3) One must fast during the month of the Ramadan to
      enhance community solidarity
   4) One must tithe in the Zakat for charity
   5) One must make a Hajj or pilgrimage to the holy city of
      Mecca to worship Allah ad the Ka’ba