Wealthy merchant, but hated the greed of the people
~40 years old heard the voice of Gabriel the Angel
His wife, Khadija, convinces him to be a messenger of God .
From Mecca to Medina
Muhammad is faced with murder threats and moves to the city of Medina (city of the Prophet)
This happened 622 , which is the first year of the Muslim calendar
And back again…
The people welcome Muhammad and his teachings
They create communities of Muslims
Muhammad returns to Mecca in 630
Once there he destroyed the idols in the Kaaba and rededicated it to Islam
Muhammad dies 2 years later in 632.
Abraham’s Kaaba and Muhammad’s
The Qu’ran is the holy text (like the Torah and the Bible)
Does not require priests to mediate
Muslims believe God (Allah) sent other prophets, but Muhammad is the last and the greatest
The Qu’ran is the direct, unchangeable word of God, only in Arabic
The 5 Pillars
There is no God but God, and Muhammad is His messenger
5 times a day towards the Kaaba in Mecca
No food, drink, smoking or sex b/w sunrise and sunset
Give a certain amount of property to charity every year
Travel to Mecca at least once in a lifetime
Back to the regularly scheduled program…
After Muhammad’s death, there is confusion about his successor.
Abu Bakr (father-in-law) became the first Caliph
“ If you worship Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. If you worship God, God is alive.”
The Big Split
Shiite: Muhammad’s son-in-law, Ali , is the true successor.
Descendents of Ali and Fatima are called Imams . They are divinely inspired leaders, like pastors.
Sunni: any male from the sunna , Muslim community, can be a caliph. About 90% of Muslims are Sunni.
The empire moves on
After Ali’s murder the Umayyad empire takes over
It starts in Damascus in Syria, but extends all over the Middle East to Spain.
How could they conquer so much?
Weak empires: Byzantine empire and Persian empire
Fighting with camels and horses
They allowed religious freedom to the “ People of the Book ”
When empires get too big what happens?
Things fall apart, the entire is too hard to control
Our Trip to Saudi Arabia
Strict version of Sunni Islam
Contains both Mecca and Medina
NO freedom of religion
Granted “equality” in the Qu’ran, but given smaller shares of inheritance
Told to dress moderately in the Qu’ran
In Saudi Arabia All women are required to wear a full black cloak, called an abaya , and a headscarf or headcovering. They can be harassed by the religious police if they do not. Many women also wear a niqāb or face veil.