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  • 1. 1
  • 2. Youngest of the world’s major religions.More than one billion adherents.Islam means “Submission”Islam is a total way of life – religious faith and rituals, but also a pattern of order forsociety in family life, civil and criminal law, business, etiquette, food, dress andpersonal hygieneDominant in many nations in Middle East, Africa and Asia.Pre-Islamic Arab Religion – religious setting –Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism - - but mostly the native religion of the ArabpeopleOnly information comes from Muslim sources, including the Koran, so critical ofprecursorsPre-Islamic people worshipped a variety of gods, but recognized one supreme, highGod who was separate and unapproachable 2
  • 3. Muhammad’s lifeMuhammad born about 570, died 632Legends surrounding his birth – host of angels joyously attended his birthOnce he was born, he fell to the ground, took a handful of dust and gazed towardheaven proclaiming, “God is Great.”Born clean, circumcised, with his umbilical cord already cutOther global signs are said to have occurred – lights illuminated special palaces 3
  • 4. Born into a family in a powerful tribe, but poor. Muhammad had to work as ashepherd and traderFather died before he was bornHis mother died when he was six years oldGrandfather who had taken care of him since birth died when he was eightThen loving uncle – Abu Talib cared for him 4
  • 5. At 25, he married Khhadija, a well-to-do widowShe was 15 years older than he wasThey had two sons who died in infancy and four daughtersShe was his only wife while she was aliveLittle known about M for this period, except he had a good reputation 5
  • 6. At 40 (610), he began having visions or receiving revelationsHe believed that he received a prophetic call from the angel GabrielAt first, he was afraid that he was possessed by an evil spirit, but his wife encouragedhimThere were long periods of silence when God did not speak to m.After some years, he began preaching to his friends and relatives secretlyHe called his new faith “Islam” for submission and said he was merely a prophet 6
  • 7. Response to the messageMuhammad was persecuted because his message could have economicrepercussions (against deities worshipped at Mecca’s central shrine the Ka’ba)The belief at the time had been that idols, gods and goddesses had powerPeople didn’t like hearing that a judgement was to comeSome Muslims forced to migrate to Abyssinia, which was EthiopiaNeeded livelihood – raided caravans – show of strength and to get money 7
  • 8. 619 Khadija diedStory about Muhammad’s journey to heaven – one night, the prophet was taken bythe angel Gabriel from Mecca to Jerusalem and then through the seven heavenswhere he visisted with all the previous prophets (including Jesus, Moses, Abraham) –finally taken into the presence of God where he received procedures for Islamicworship of daily prayers (some consider this a purely spiritual event, others think itliterally happened). This story led to an increase in hostility and opposition towardMuhammad. 8
  • 9. When Muhammad lost the protection of his guardian Abu Talib in 620, he was notsafe in Mecca, so he went to Yathrib (later called Medina), about 450 km north ofMecca in 622 – this is called the hijra (migration) – to Medina – THIS IS A KEY EVENTIN ISLAM – beginningMuhammad well received in Medina – residents more monotheistic because ofinfluence of Jewish tribesAlso city was prosperous, but there were feuds among tribes. They hopedMuhammad could help settled the disputesMuhammad became a diplomat and politicianIn the next ten years, Muhammad rose to become a political leader of virtually all ofcentral and western ArabiaGroups peacefully coexisted for a time. Muhammad had warm relations to the Jews,even encouraging Muslims to pray facing Jerusalem, accepted some Jewish festivals,until…. Some Jews would not accept himEventually Muhammad said pray toward Mecca, changed other ideas – like notsharing festivals with Jews, etc… 9
  • 10. Battle of BadrSpecifically mentioned in the KoranMuslims would raid caravans coming out of MeccaMuhammad had at least 300 menMuhammad led the campaign himself – thought it was a large caravan, worth a lot ofmoneyMeccans had their caravan and an army of 950 fighting menMuslims outnumbered three to one, but they had strategy and zeal on their side,they overpowered Meccan leadershipMuslims lost only 14 people. Meccans lost 45 men with 70 taken prisonerVictory was seed as a sign of God’s choice of MuhammadM’s prestige increasedHe eliminated opponents in Medina and sent the Jewish tribes awayHe married to cement his position as head of the community 10
  • 11. Various BattlesSiege of Medina – Meccans try once more in 627 to oust Muhammad. He stays put inMedina and digs a trench around the city. Meccans waited for two weeks, but couldnot cross into the city. With bad weather and little hope, they withdrew.This strengthened M’s position. He didn’t trust the remaining Jews in his city. Thoughtthey had plotted with the Meccans, so he put the Jewish men to death and soldwomen and children into slavery 11
  • 12. Conquest of MeccaRising power for two yearsFinancially growingMore people joining IslamMecca was in declineSome leaders had joined MuhammadIn 628, peace treaty between Muhammad and Meccans, but when some Meccanallies attacked M’s allies, the treaty was nullifieldIn Jan 630, M with 10,000 men invaded Mecca with virtually no resistanceHe cleansed the Kaabah of its idols and issue da general pardon to leaders of Mecca(mostly) and gave Meccans rewards for their surrenderHe won respect and admiration 12
  • 13. Remaining yearsLarge number of tribes in Arabian peninsula pledged allegiance to MuhammadSome submitted after defeat by armiesGenerally, polytheists were forced to profess Islam while Christians and Jews couldpractice their faith, but had to pay taxesIn 632, M died at the age of 63, a sudden but natural death 13