Introductory remarks: Very brief snap shut. Many bullets deserve a series of presentations to cover Point of view of a secular person, who has affection to Islam. It is an important part of my culture
Founder: Muhammad Ibn Adbellah Born: 571 AD in Mecca. This year became known as the elephant year. In this year an Ethiopian leader called Abraha (Abraham) attacked Mecca using elephants as armored vehicles Nicknames: Almustapha (the chosen), Alamin (the faithful) Titles: The prophet, the messenger (Alrasul) Tribe: Quraiysh Descendant of Abraham Holy Book is the Quran, derived from the Arabic root ‘read’
The pedigree of Mohammed's family tracing back to Abraham. Son of Abdallah and Amneh. Note uncle Abutalib, viewed as monotheist by many historian, and his son Ali, Mohammed's cousin and ‘body’. Paternal uncle, Abbas, the father of the Abbassids, while the Ummayah dynasty is 3 generations away Uncle Hamzeh, whom Muhammad dearly loved, killed in a battle with Mecca, 627 The grave of his great grandfather, Hashim, is in Gaza
Map of Middle East Arabian Penins, Levant, + Mesopotamia, Egypt The Levant = Present day Syria + Lebanon + Palestine + Jordan Mesopotamia = Present day Iraq The fertile crescent = The Levant + Mesopotamia The Arabian Peninsula or Arabia: Includes Yemen & Oman: Sheba and Himiar, Ethiopia A reservoir for waves of Semitic migration to the north; 1st 3500 B.C., last 7th Century, AD. Brought new faith, Arabized Middle East and N. Africa 3500 BC. E. path: With Sumarins the Babylonians (prev., Accadians). INVENTED THE WHEEL. Later: Assyrians and Caledonians. 3500 BC. W. path thru Alhijaz to Egypt Mixed with the locals and assimilated the Egyptian civilization 2500 BC, Amurians and Canannites in the Levant Coastal Cananites Phoenicians: Alphabet, glass, Navy 1500 BC. Araamites, Levant. Hebrewits, Palestine 500 BC the Nabatians (Pitra). Strategic location of Mecca in the path of trade and commerce: Far East, E, Fertile Crescent, Egypt
Arabia: The inhabitants referred to as Arabs (derived from nomadic) First mention of ‘Arab’ in 854 D.C. (the Assyrian, Schalmannassar) Arabs of the North (mainly nomads), and Arabs of South (mostly urban) Arabs of the North believed to be descendants of Adnan-Ismail-Abraham North, mainly Alhijaz and Najd. The south, Yemen ( Ethiopia) and Oman. Sheba and Himiar civilization, the Maarib Dam Tribal society, nomadic, and sub-farming communities with fierce tribal wars in a pattern of vendetta and counter-vendetta Few tribes were Christians, but many were polytheistic. Jewish presence Separate idols or false gods for each pagan tribe No unifying factor except language and loyalty to the tribe Fading of Yemen and Southern Arabia as trade and business center Mecca became a cultural and business center. It also hosts Alcaaba (= cube), an important holy shrine for all tribes, built by Abraham Power struggle for control of Mecca
The Holly Roman or Byzantine empire in the west (the Levant) and the Sassans or Persian Empire to the east (Persia and parts of Mesopotamia or Iraq) Two Arabian dynasties in Northern Arabia were allies or satellites for either the Byzantine or the Persian Empire Ailing Persian Empire, exhausted from wars with the Byzantines, and with Arabian tribes in East Arabia The Byzantine empire : Capital Constantinople (Istanbul, in present day Turkey). Included the whole Levant, Egypt t and parts of N. Africa Christianity was the state religion since the 3rd century Inhabitants of the Levant were mainly Arabs (or at least Semites), mostly Christians, with some Jews For locals, the Byzantine empire was a foreign occupying power Sectarian conflicts between the people of the Levant and the state Thus, there was a need for a new faith to unify the Arabian tribes, to drive out a foreign and brutal power from the Levant, and to inherit an ailing Persian empire. Economical boom of Alhijaz (Mecca) was an important factor in the spread of Arabism and Islam
571: Lost both parents at early childhood. As a young man,he worked in convoys of trade to and from the Levant 696 : Marries a wealthy Quraiyshian business woman called Khadeejah (age 40) for whom he worked 610: Confessed to Khadeejah. First believers: Khadeejah, uncle Abutalib, Ali, and Abu-bakr 619: Both Khadeejah and Abutalib die 610-622: Muhammad survived several assassination attempts, and the Muslim community narrowly escaped extermination by the powerful city of Mecca 622-632: Fighting a deadly war in order to survive. Soon after he felt his people were safe, Muhammad devoted attention to building a peaceful coalition of tribes. Achieved victory by ingenious and inspiring campaign of nonviolence. 629: Massive conversion of Arabian trubes 632
Abu-Bakr: “ He who worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad have died. He who worshipped God, God is immortal” Omar Ibn Elkhattab “ Since when you can enslave humans who were born free ?!” A remarkable personality with attributes of legendary dimensions. His exemplary modesty, justice and competence are in the collective memory of Arabs Alyarmuk (20 Aug, 636), decisive defeat of the Byzantine Alqadisyah (31 May, 637), decisive defeat of the Persians The pledge to the Jerusalemites
Center of the empire and its capital move out of Arabia to the Levant; Damascus Muawyia (661-680) as a top leader and strategist Power Struggle continues between Damascus, Alhijaz (Madeenah) and S. Iraq The Ummayah Caliphs succeed in brutally liquidating all rivals Karbalaa in S. Iraq (10 Nov, 680) and the emerge of the Sheeha Addelmalek Ben Marwan (685-705) builds Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock (691) in Jerusalem Expansion continues westward to include all N. Africa (to the Atlantic) and the Iberian Peninsula in the W, and reached the wall of China in the E, and much of central Asia (Caspian sea) in the N. 711: Arabs Conquer Spain and Portugal. Tariq Bin Ziad Expansion into Western Europe blocked by Charles Martell in France, 732 Massive translation of Greek and Indian writings Arabization of the empire Bloom of architecture, arts, agriculture, and science
Center of the Empire moves from Levant to Iraq and Iran At 762, Almansur (2nd Caliph) builds Baghdad, his capital Science, technology, arts, architecture, and wealth at their peaks Baghdad, with over 2 Million people, is the glamorous center of the world Lighted streets, public bathes, public libraries and hospitals everywhere After 900, Caliphs lost real power became in the hands of various Asian power groups Other dynasties emerged in Egypt, Spain, and various parts of the Levant. Symbolic loyalty remained to the Abbassid Caliph A second Ummayah dynasty in Spain in the 9th century Qurtoba competes with Baghdad as center of the world At 968 Cairo is built. Later, Alazhar University
Middle-Eastern origin of all monotheistic faiths Judaism (in Palestine) reformed old Egyptian monotheism, Christianity (in Palestine) reformed Judaism, and Islam reformed both Judaism and Christianity
Note that Jihad is not one of 5 pillars Faith: Emphasize God (not Allah) Prayer: Facing Jerusalem (Alquds or Beit-elmaqdis) till 629, then facing Mecca Ablution or wash: One should wash and clean his/her body before prayer No priesthood or mass service. Imam serves no function during prayer. Direct link between the person who pray and God Zakat The only ‘No excuse’ pillar Fasting I fasted
Spell out bullets 1-4. Very strict about proper conduct of war Very strict about treatment of war prisoner A person who enter homes of Muslim leaders is safe
One of my favorite Hadiths
2. A Muslim is not a true Muslim without acknowledging and respecting them 3. “Mary” Chapter, and Mary’s father chapter 4. Absolutely one deity. Good prophets of God cannot be killed, God takes their soul to Heaven 5. 6.
2. Abdelmalek and the Christians in his literary circles. St. John of Damascus (the golden mouth), Alakhtal 3, 4. Keys of the Holy Sepulcher are until today with a Muslim family, and they consider it an honor to guard and serve (clean) Christianity’s holiest shrine few of many specific instructions to soldiers: When Abu Bakr stood on the borders of Syria he gave very specific instructions to his soldiers: “In the desert,” he said, “you will find people who have secluded themselves in cells; let them alone, for they have secluded themselves for the sake of God.” Likewise, when Omar went to Syria, he actually stayed with the Bishop of Ayla and went out of his way to meet the Christian Holy Men in the town.
Empowered by this equality, women took active role in Islam. Many examples, such as Asma, Fatima, Aiyshah
I will mention part of the list of those whose works were translated to Latin languages and directly influenced later European renaissance Alrazi: Mention his story
Xx xx xx Arab scientists did not come up with the quantum, but, ….
In my mind, the decimal system of numbers is the most fundamental after the alphabet Imagine we still use Roman numerals. Computers? Arabic numerals and # of angles Tables of trigonometry. Literary translation of the Arabic terms
I should have put “calculated” rather than measured Influenced Kepler George Kennedy
Currently there are 7 Arab US Congressmen
Anthony Quinn converted to Islam after he stared in Alressalah (the Message). In an interview he was asked, “name something you regeret”, his repply was, “I regret I did not become a muslim much earlier”.
Islam: History, values and culture Shahbaz Younis