Islam Origins of Islam Islam is also a code for social conduct. Holy Day is Friday. Mosque. – Muslim place of worship. Muhammad is the last prophet. Descendant of Abraham – Abraham, father of all prophets, is the first Muslim – Christians and Jews also trace their heritage back to Abraham. The Life of Muhammad Born about 570 AD to the leading tribe in Mecca. – Orphan and raised by an Uncle. He was a caravan manager for a wealthy widow, Khadija, whom he eventually married. – Muhammad was 25 and Khadija was about 40. At the age of 40, he claims to receive visions and messages from Angel Gabriel. He is not seen as a god or a savior. He is the messenger of God. The Life of Muhammad The angel Gabriel commanded Muhammad to “recite”! Citizens of Mecca were hostile to the message. Muhammad fled north to Yathrib (Medina). Muhammad leads 10,000 back to Mecca and captures the city. He destroys the idols in the Kaaba. Most of Arabia were converted to Islam by the time of his death in 632. Muhammad‟s Teachings Each person is responsible for their own behavior. All are should be humble, show mercy and give. All believers are spiritually equal. Allah will judge each person and based upon their actions. – Allah will send them to heaven or hell for eternity. Muhammad promoted education even though he could not read or write. The Quran Islam‟s holy book Also spelled “Koran” God‟s word spoken through Muhammad. The direct words of Muhammad‟s teachings. 114 Chapters. The Quran Confirms most narratives and prophets of the Jewish and Christian faiths. – Special place for the Virgin Mary, the only female, the Chapter of Mary. – Moses and Jesus are seen as prophets. Allah is the word for God used by Christian and Muslim Arabs. One and only one God, no trinity. Arabic is the true language of the Quran. Understanding the Arabic Language Written Arabic isn‟t spoken Spoken Arabic isn‟t written Arabic is the language of the Quran and all Arabic speakers insist they speak Arabic Arabic has also been divided into 5-6 distinct languages. The Five Pillars of Islam 1. The declaration of faith: – "There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God“ 2. Prayer: – Five obligatory prayers each day. – A direct link between the worshiper and God. – No hierarchical authority or priesthood 3. Zakat: – “Purification" by setting aside a portion (2.5%) for the needy – Obligatory charitable giving. – Wealth belongs to God and it is held in trust by humans. The Five Pillars of Islam 4. Fasting: – From sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan 5. Pilgrimage (Hajj): – A pilgrimage to Mecca – Must be completed once in a Muslims lifetime, unless a person is physically unable. – The people must march around the Kaaba seven times and then kiss the Black Stone. A Way of Life The Islamic system of law is called Sharia. – Regulated moral conduct. – Family life. – Business practices. – Government. – Other aspects of a Muslim community. Unlike the law codes that evolved in the West, the Sharia does not separate religious matters from criminal or civil law. Beyond the Belief 7th Century Middle East The Arabian Peninsula – The origins of Arabs – Mostly desert, few urban areas – Mecca is an urban trading center – Mainly tribal society – Religions Christianity, Judaism, and polytheism The Persian Empire The Byzantine Empire – Christianity is the state religion since the 3rd century – A foreign occupying power – Conflicts with the locals The Schism: The Division of Islam Reasons for the division: – Succession to Caliphate. Successors of Muhammed. – Incorporation of non-Koranic elements into Islam. – Worldliness of Caliphs, discrimination against non-Arab Muslims. Sunnis and Shiites Sunni – 90% of Muslims – Follow the Quran as we have it is today, and as interpreted by the Sunni scholars Shiites – Came to be as a sect after 680 A.D. – Believe in the Quran, like Sunni – However, they place Ali very high as a holy figure, and think „main stream‟ – Islam discriminated against him – Today Shittes is mainly in Iran (90%), Iraq (55%) and Lebanon (40%) Muslim Conquest The Byzantine and Persian empires were weak from years of fighting each other. People in the Fertile Crescent welcomed Arab conquerors as liberators. The Arabs used bold, efficient fighting methods, which overwhelmed traditional armies. The common faith of Islam united a patchwork of tribes into a determined, unified state. The Decline of the Muslim Empire Around 850, the caliphs became unable to maintain centralized control and the empire fragmented. In the 900s, Seljuk Turks invaded the Middle East and built a large empire in the Fertile Crescent. In the 1200s and 1300s, Mongol invaders dominated the Middle East.
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