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  • 1. Chapter Eight: Islam Culture and Values, 6th Ed. Cunningham and Reich
  • 2. Spread of Islam
  • 3. Muhammad and the Birth of Islam  Muhammad born in Mecca (570) – Founder of Islam – Reared in poverty and married a rich widow who had a daughter  Fatima (Muhammad’s daughter) – Model of piety and purity • Married the Imam (authoritative religious leader) of the Shiites
  • 4. Muhammad and the Birth of Islam  Muhammad retreated into caves to meditate and ponder reasons for his good fortune  Revelations of God through Gabriel – Preached against idolatry in Mecca; taught worship of one God  Fled From Mecca to Medina - Hegira (622) – Beginning of Muslim calendar
  • 5. Muhammad and the Birth of Islam  Developed a following in Medina  Returned to Mecca 10 years later  Qa’aba – (Arabic for “cube”) the Meccan pagan shrine that became focal point of the new religion  “Islam” means submission to God – monotheistic – Rejection of Christian doctrine of the Trinity
  • 6. Five Pillars of Islam  1. Recitation of the Muslim act of faith – One God; Muhammad is God’s messenger  2. Obligation of prayer – 5 times a day in a direction that points to the Qa’aba  3. Charity – give of one’s wealth (surplus)  4. Fasting during Ramadan – – Abstinence of all food and drink from sunrise to sunset
  • 7. Five Pillars of Islam  5. Pilgrimage (Haj) – Travel to Mecca at least once in a lifetime  Muhammad traveled to the purified and restored Qa’aba in 632 – Died the same year
  • 8. Qa’aba in Mecca
  • 9. Practices of Islam  No pork, alcohol  Male circumcision  Polygamy acceptable, but not practiced worldwide  Usury (loan interest) forbidden  Observation of feast days  Simplicity and asceticism (self-denial) – Rapid growth and spread of religion
  • 10. The Qur’an  Central text of Islam – Collation of Muhammad’s oral revelations – Word is Arabic for “recitation”  114 chapters (sûras) – Arranged in terms of length: longest to shortest  Written in Arabic – Cannot be translated b/c it came as the result of divine dictation – Read from right to left  Source of unifications for all Muslims – Only recited in Arabic
  • 11. The Qur’an  Memorization and recitation – Sign of devotion – Competitions for reciting the Qur’an  Qur’an, Hadith, Shari’a (“law”) – Hadith – authoritative commentators and explication of certain oral traditions about the Prophet and early Islamic community make this up – Shari’a – complex legal code based on Qur’an and Hadith
  • 12. Calligraphy  Greek for “Beautiful writing”  Kufic (most characteristic form of writing) see Fig. 8.2  Decorative feature of mosques as well as on the text of the Qur’an – Decorates great halls erected for assemblies for Friday prayers – “mosque” (from “masjid”) – a place for ritual prostration
  • 13. Calligraphy  Abstract, geometric designs with text – No depictions of divinity – Allah is beyond all imagining – Arabesque – highly complex interlaced lines (See Fig. 8.3) – No narrative scenes • Scenes usually depict nonhuman images of plants and flowers
  • 14. Page from the Qur’an, eighth century
  • 15. Islamic Architecture  Functions of Islamic mosques – Community gathering centers • Scholars study and debate • Courtroom • Place to sit and relax in courtryard  Large gathering area for prayer and meeting • Especially for Friday prayers – Minbar – the pulpit • No furniture in a mosque; rugs cover the floor
  • 16. Islamic Architecture  Michrab – niche in wall that indicates direction of Mecca  Fountains – in tradition Friday mosques  Devout may ritually cleanse their hands, feet, and mouth  Muezzin – the call the faithful to prayer five times a day from tower or minarets next to the mosque
  • 17. Islamic Architecture: The Dome of the Rock (see Fig. 8.4)  One of the earliest achievements of Islamic architecture  Caliph Abd al Malik - architect – Built on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem • An elevated space that was once the stire of the Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in C.E. 70  Octagonal building, golden dome  Roman+Byzantine architecture  Lavish mosaics in interior
  • 18. Islamic Architecture: The Dome of the Rock (see Fig. 8.4)  Qur’anic verses in interior  Uncertain original functionality – Mausoleum – Mosque – Counterpoint to Church of the Holy Sepulcher • Rebuff in stone to Christianity – Possibly built as a rival to the Qa’aba
  • 19. The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
  • 20. Islamic Architecture: Mosque of Damascus (Figs. 8.5 & 8.6)  Abd al Walid – builder of mosque – Built on the site of a Roman temple turned into a Byzantine church • Used walls surrounding the church complex for walls of mosque  Lavish interior decoration – Marble – paneled lower walls – Byzantine mosaics – on upper walls • Depiction of heaven with palaces and fountains  Caliph’s palace – next to mosque for easy movement between both
  • 21. Mosque of Damascus
  • 22. Islamic Architecture: Mosque in Córdoba, Spain (Fig. 8.7 & 8.8)  Muslim capital in Spain  Al-Hakam – ruler of Córdoba – Al-Hakam wanted a rival of Great Mosque of Damascus • Columns support Roman arches (Fig. 8.8) – Requested Constantinople artisans, workmen – Emperor sent 17 tons of tesserae (cubes that make up a mosaic) along with the workers  Survived the Reconquista – Christians drove Muslims out of Spain in 1492 – Destroyed Islamic buildings
  • 23. Central dome in Mosque of Cordoba
  • 24. [Image 8.8] Maqsura screen of the Córdoba Mosque Maqsura screen: of Cordoba Mosque
  • 25. Islamic Architecture: The Alhambra – Granada, Spain  Exterior : complex of towers and walls  Built in 13th & 14th centuries: Consists of two adjacent palaces:  Both have central courtyards w/ covered walkways or porches – Palace of the Myrtles • Named for the myrtles that grow there • Used for public occasions – Palace of the Lions (Fig. 8.9) • Used as a private residence • Pinnacle of opulence – slender columns, wooden ceiling work, molded plaster
  • 26. Islamic Architecture: The Alhambra – Granada, Spain  Possibly used for Islamic university – Study, teaching, and research  Lavishly Decorated:  Colored tiles and intricate woodwork  Infusion of interior streams that spring up into fountains – Water runs throughout all parts of the palaces
  • 27. Islamic Architecture: Taj Mahal in Agra, India  Mughal reign 1526-1858 – height of Muslim culture  Emperor Shah Jahan – Built as a tribute to wife, Mumtaz Mahal • House her body and honor her memory  Set on the river Jumna  Dome atop octagonal structure  Highly polished white marble – Restrained exterior decoration, little attempt to add color  Large garden setting w/ reflecting pools  Inspired by the description of paradise in the Qur’an
  • 28. [Image 8.10] Taj Mahal Taj Mahal
  • 29. Sufism  Sunni and Shi’a traditions – 85% of Muslims belong to Sunni tradition – Significant minority (the majority in Iran) belong to Shi’a branch of Islam  From literary perspective, Sufism is one of the most influential traditions  Sufism describes an ancient and complex movement of communities or small groups of sheyks and their disciples that emphasized practices and disciplines that would lead a person to a direct experience with God.
  • 30. Sufism  Sufism = mystical dimension of Islam – Sheyks and disciples – Retirement in poverty – Piety and repentance – Sometimes embraced with enthusiasm; other times viewed with suspicion  Sufi tariqas (communities) in North Africa, Egypt
  • 31. Sufi Writers  Two writers give insight to Sufi thought and expression: Saint Rabia & Rumi  Saint Rabia: Sufi woman, known as the flute player – Was a mystic poet – Expressed convictions in aphorisms, poems, meditations – Focus on the love of Allah – A focus of Allah’s love excluded any fear of damnation as well as hope for paradise – “possess nothing…except Allah”
  • 32. Sufi Writers  Rumi – mystic poet – Persian poems (rhyming couplets) • Wrote more than 3000 poems • Body of work: “the Qur’an in Persian” – Discourses on mystical experiences – Recitation of poetry and movement (dervishes) • Recite poetry while dancing in a formal but ecstatic fashion • Poetry and movement would focus total attention on Allah • Founded community of dervishes (see Fig. 8.11)
  • 33. The Culture of Islam and the West  Abbasid Dynasty – centered in Baghdad (present day Iraq) – one of the high points of Islamic culture – Built paper making factory in 794 – Learned the technique from a Chinese prisoner  Caliph Al-Mamun – built library & study center – Bait alhikma: “House of Wisdom” – Translated texts into Arabic • Preservation of works of Aristotle • Translation of Platonic works; medical texts of Galen, & other treatises – Translations of Greek texts
  • 34. The Culture of Islam and the West  Advances in mathematics, medicine – Al-Khwarizmi – greatest single scholar in House of Wisdom • Polymath researcher • Invented algebra • Adapted Hindu numerical system, and created the “zero” as a place holder and number – Al Hazen – crucial work in optic • Technology of grinding and making lenses – Rhazes – doctor; clinical observation of smallpox and measles (distinguished between the two diseases)
  • 35. The Culture of Islam and the West  Exchange of goods / ideas with Europe – Quality swords (Damascus, Syria & Toledo, Spain), silk (damask), coffee – Windmills (West learned from the Muslims) – Lexicon contributions (orange, lemon, sugar, saffron, syrup, alcohol) – Arabic words  Al-Ghazali – The Incoherence of the Philosophers: attacked Greek philosophy
  • 36. The Culture of Islam and the West  Averröes – responded to Al Ghazali and showed how Islam could be reconciled with Greek philosophy – “He of the Great Commentary” – The Incoherence of Incoherence