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570 AD: Birth of Muhammad in the town of Mecca. Abd Allah the father ofMuhammad died before Muhammad born.575 AD: When Muhammad was five or six years old his mother took him to Yathrib, anOasis town a few hundred miles north of Mecca, to stay with relatives and visit hisfathers grave there.576 AD: On the return journey, Amina took ill and died. She was buried in the villageof Abwa on the Mecca-Medina Road. Halima, his nurse, returned to Mecca with theorphaned boy and placed him in the protection of his paternal grandfather, Abdul Al-Muttalib. In this mans care, Muhammad learned the rudiments of statecraft. Meccawas Arabias most important pilgrimage center and Abdul Al-Muttalib its mostrespected leader. He controlled important pilgrimage concessions and frequentlypresided over Meccas Council of Elders.578 AD: Upon his grandfathers death, Muhammad, aged about eight, passed into thecare of a paternal uncle, Abu Talib. Muhammad grew up in the older mans home andremained under Abu Talibs protection for many years.
580-594 AD: When young boy, Muhammad worked as a shepherd to help payhis keep (his uncle was of modest means). In his teens he sometimes traveledwith Abu Talib, who was a merchant, accompanying caravans to trade centers.On at least one occasion, he is said to have traveled as far north as Syria.Older merchants recognized his character and nicknamed him El–Amin, theone you can trust.594 AD: In his early twenties, Muhammad entered the service of a wealthyMeccan merchant, a widow named Khadijah Bint Khawalayd. The two weredistant cousins. Muhammad carried her goods to the north and returned witha profit.595-609 AD: Impressed by Muhammads honesty character, Khadijaheventually proposed a marriage. They were wed in about 595 AD. He wastwenty-five. She was nearly forty. Muhammad continued to manage Khadijahs business affairs, andtheir next years were pleasant and prosperous. Six children were born tothem, two sons who both died in infancy, and four daughters.
610 AD: He began making long retreats to a mountain cave outside town. There, hefasted and meditated. On one occasion, after a number of indistinct visionaryexperiences, Muhammad was visited by an overpowering presence and instructed torecite words of such beauty and force that he and others gradually attributed them toGod. This experience shook Muhammad to the core. It was several years before hedared to talk about it outside his family.613 AD: After several similar experiences, Muhammad finally began to reveal themessages he was receiving to his tribe. These were gathered verse by verse and laterwould become the Quran, Islams sacred scripture. In the next decade, Muhammadand his followers were first belittled and ridiculed, then persecuted and physicallyattacked for departing from traditional Meccas tribal ways. Muhammads messagewas resolutely monotheistic. For several years, the Quraysh, Meccas dominant tribe,levied a ban on trade with Muhammads people, subjecting them to near famineconditions. Toward the end of the decade, Muhammads wife and uncle both died.Finally, the leaders of Mecca attempted to assassinate Muhammad.618 AD: Khadijah and Abu Talib die. Muhammad and Muslims threatened by Mecca.620 AD: Muhammad meets Arab tribes from Medina at the Hajj who request his help(Aws and Khazrai)
622 AD: Muhammad and his few hundred followers left Mecca and traveled toYathrib, the Oasis town where his father was buried. The leaders there were sufferingthrough a vicious civil war, and they had invited this man well known for his wisdomto act as their mediator. Yathrib soon became known as Medina, the City of theProphet. Muhammad remained here for the next six years, building the first Muslimcommunity and gradually gathering more and more people to his side.623 AD: Muhammad begins raiding caravans headed toward Mecca.March 624 AD: Battle of Badr, 1000 Meccans are defeated by 300 Muslims in apitched battle. Jewish tribe Banu Qaynaqa expelled from Medina.March 625 AD: lost the second battle, The Battle of Uhud. Meccan raise larger Army and defeat Muslims at Mt.Uhud. Meccans fail tofollow up on attack. 2nd Jewish Tribe, Banu I-Nadir are expelled from Medina.April 627 AD: outlasted the third battle, The Battle of the Trench and the Siege ofMedina. Meccans attack Medina after one month they fail to take the city andwithdraw. 3rd Jewish Tribe Banu Qurayza was accused of supporting Mecca. Men arekilled, women and children enslaved. Arab cities surrounding Medina and Meccabegin to submit to MHD.
628 AD: MHD. Sets out from Medina with warriors to perform pilgrimage at Mecca.Meccans refuse to allow MHD and Muslims entry. Truce of (10-year treaty) of al-Hudaybiya gave Muslims the right to make pilgrimage to Mecca. City would beevacuated for 3 days as Muslim perform pilgrimage. Muslims capture Khaybar to thenorth a mostlly Jewish city, residents are expelled. Arab tribes send delegations toMHD and convert to Islam.629 AD: MHD claims Mecca broke the truce, sends 10,000 warriors against Mecca.630 AD: By now, the balance of power had shifted radically away from once-powerfulMecca, toward Muhammad and the Muslims.January 630 AD: They marched on Mecca and were joined by tribe after tribe alongthe way. They entered Mecca without bloodshed and the Meccans, seeing the tidehad turned, joined them.March 632 AD: Muhammad returned to Mecca one last time to perform apilgrimage, and tens of thousands of Muslims joined him.June 8, 632 AD: Muhammad died there, after a brief illness. He is buried in themosque in Medina. Within a hundred years Muhammads teaching and way of life hadspread from the remote corners of Arabia as far east as Indo-China and as far west asMorocco, France and Spain.
The Koran or Qur’an is a record of the exact wordsrevealed by God through the Angel Gabriel toMuhammad. Muhammad memorized the words and thentaught his Companions. Then scribes, who checked withMuhammad during his lifetime, wrote down the words. Not oneword of its 114 chapters has been changed over the centuries.The Koran or Qu’ran is the primary source of every Muslimsfaith and practice. It deals with all the subjects that concern allhuman beings: wisdom, beliefs, worship, and law. However, itfocuses on the relationship between God and His creatures. Italso provides guidelines for a just society, proper humanrelationships and equal divisions of power.
1. Shahadah (Testify): is the Muslim profession of faith, expressing the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim: La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah. There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God.Sincere recitation of this confession of faith before of twoMuslims is the sole requirement for those who wish to join theMuslim community. It represents acceptance not only of Allahand his prophet, but of the entirety of Islam. As one of the Pillars,the shahadah must be recited correctly aloud with fullunderstanding and internal assent at least once in every Muslimslifetime.
The Seven Conditions:1. Knowledge2. Certainty3. Acceptance4. Submission5. Truthfulness6. Sincerity7. Love
2. Salah (Prayer): is the obligatory Muslim prayers, performedfive times each day by Muslims.God ordered Muslims to pray at five set times of day:1. Salah al-fajr: dawn, before sunrise2. Salah al-zuhr: midday, after the sun passes its highest3. Salah al-asr: the late part of the afternoon4. Salah al-maghrib: just after sunset5. Salah al-isha: between sunset and midnightChildren should start praying 5 times daily at the age of 10 or 12
3. Zakat (Charity): means Purification : is the compulsory giving of a set proportion ofones wealthto charity. It is regarded as a type of worship and of self-purification. : does not refer to charitable gifts given out ofkindness or generosity, but to the systematic giving of 2.5% of ones wealtheach year to benefit the poor.The 2.5% rate only applies to cash, gold and silver, and commercial items.There are other rates for farm and mining produce, and for animals.
4. Sawn (Fasting): which refers to self-purification through fasting.Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamiccalendar.During the 29/30 days of Ramadan all adult Muslims must give up the followingthings during the hours of daylight:1. Food or drink of any sort2. Smoking, including passive smoking3. Sexual activityMuslims who are physically or mentally unwell may be excused some of these, as maythose who are under twelve years old, the very old, those who are pregnant, breast-feeding, menstruating, or travelling.If an adult does not fast for the reasons above they should try to make up the fast at alater date, or make a donation to the poor instead.Muslims do not only abstain from physical things during Ramadan. They are alsoexpected to do their best to avoid evil thoughts and deeds as well.
5. Hajj (Pilgrimage): Once a year, Muslims of every ethnic group, colour, social status,and culture gather together in Mecca and stand before the Kaaba praising Allahtogether.It is a ritual that is designed to promote the bonds of Islamic brotherhood andsisterhood by showing that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.The Hajj makes Muslims feel real importance of life here on earth, and the afterlife, bystripping away all markers of social status, wealth, and pride. In the Hajj all are trulyequal.The Hajj is or pilgrims wear simple white clothes called Ihram. During the Hajj thePilgrims perform acts of worship and they renew their sense of purpose in the world.Mecca is a place that is holy to all Muslims. It is so holy that no non-Muslim is allowedto enter.
1. Belief in God (Allah): There is only one true God and his name is Allah. Allah is all knowing, all-powerful and sovereign judge. Yet Allah is not a personal God, for he is so far above man in every way that he is not personally knowable. The emphasis of the God of Islam is on judgment and power, not grace and mercy. To the Muslim mind, calling God connotes sexual relationship.2. Belief in Mala-eka (Angels):Angels in Islam serve Allah’s will such as Gabriel delivering the Koran to Muhammad. Angels do not perform any bodily functions (sexual, eating, etc.) as they are created of light. Angels serve different purposes; each person has two recording angels who record his/her good or bad deeds. Jinn: Are spiritual beings created out of fire, who are ranked between angels and men and can be either good or bad. Satan was a Jinn and not a fallen angel according to Islam. Satan: A Jinn who refused to fall prostrate before Adam after he was created. He is the leader of evil ones in the world.
3. Belief in the Books of Allah: Muslims believe that Allah from time to time revealedbooks to mankind through his Prophets. These books originated from the same divinesource; they are all divine revelations. Muslims believe in the original text of thesebooks when they were revealed.The five prominent divine books are:1. Abrahams Scrolls2. Zabur (Psalms) revealed to Prophet David3. Tawrah (Torah) revealed to Prophet Moses4. Injil (Gospel) revealed to Prophet Jesus5. Quran revealed to Prophet Muhammad.4. Belief in the Prophets of Allah: Muslims believe that Allah sent Prophets to allmankind as messengers for their guidance. Muslims believe in their existence, theirnames, and their messages, as Allah and His Prophet informed about them. Prophetsare void of divinity because divinity is exclusive only to Allah (God) the Almighty. Theyare all righteous, truthful, and pious men chosen by Allah to be models to all mankind,both their words and deeds being in accordance with the divine commandments.
5. Belief in Yawm al-Qiyama (Day of Judgement or Last Day): Muslims believethat the life of this world and all that is in it will come to an end on one appointedday, when everything will be annihilated. This day will resurrect all the dead;Allah will judge with perfect justice each person individually according to his goodor bad actions that he did during his life, and every victim will have his/ herrights. Allah will reward those who lead a righteous life and did good deeds bysending them to Paradise (Jannah). Allah forgives whom He pleases of those whodisobeyed His Command, or punish them in the Hellfire (Jahannam). Resurrection: Everybody will be resurrected to stand before Allah to be judged in the last day. Hell: is place of Allah judgement where Muslims will pend sometime before entering paradise, unbelievers will have no escape .
6. Qada wal-Qada (Destiny, Divine Decree): Muslims believe that since thewhole universe is entirely under the direction and control of Allah, theneverything that is or that happens in this universe, from the smallest to thegreatest event is governed by Allah. Muslims put their trust in Allah only theyare required, however, to make a sincere effort to strive and do theirbest, and not simply sit back and let things take their course in blindresignation. Such belief gives a person a tremendous degree of innercertainty, confidence and peace of heart, especially in the face of afflictions.Moreover, he lives with the assurance that whatever is to come to anyindividual, including death, cannot fail to come at its appointed time.
Wudhu: is performed before praying to spiritual clean and purify the soul. : is the ritual washing performed by Muslims before prayer.Muslims must be clean and wear good clothes before they present themselvesbefore God. Hands: The Prophet, peace be upon him, said cleanliness is half of faith’. Mouth: is then cleaned three times. Nose: Water is breathed in gently through the nose three times.
Face: The face includes everything from the top of the forehead to the chin, and up to both ears. The face is one of the essentials in wudhu, and must be washed at least once, or the wudhu is incomplete. However, it is usually washed three times.Right arm: The arms up to the elbow, and including the hands,are one of the four essential areas that need to be washed.The right arm is washed three times first. Left arm: Then the left three times. There is a certain ritual order in which Wudhu is normally performed, but as long as Muslims wash the four essentials at least once, by taking a shower for example, it counts.
Hair: Water from wet hands is passed from the beginning of the hairline and over the head. This is only done once. The wiping of the hair is the third of the four compulsory acts.Ears: Using damp hands, the back and inside of the earsare wiped.The Prophet also said "If there was a river at the door ofanyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a daywould you notice any dirt on him?" His companions said,"Not a trace of dirt would be left." The Prophet added,"That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blots out evil deeds."(Bukhari)
Right foot: The feet represent the last of the four compulsory areas of washing. The right foot is washed up to the ankles three times. Although there are only four compulsory acts of washing, and each has to be washed only once, Muslims follow the example of the Prophet. He usually extended the washing ritual to ensure cleanlinessbefore prayer, and even used to brush his teeth before each prayer.Left foot: Then the left foot up to the ankles three times.Note: Wudhu does not need to be performed before every prayer, although this isrecommended. Each wudhu lasts for up to a day when not travelling, but must beperformed again after going to the toilet, passing wind, bleeding heavily, contact withexcrement, vomiting, falling asleep, and taking intoxicating substances.
Rakaahs : Set Movements should followed by Muslim. Takbir: is entering into the state of prayer by glorifying God. Muslims face towards Makkah and make the intention to pray. To begin the act of prayer, they say Allahu Akbar meaning God is great, raising the hands to the ears or shoulder.Qiyaam: Muslims place their right hand over theirleft on their chest or navel while in the standingposition (this may vary according to the subdivisionfollowed).A short supplication glorifying God and seeking Hisprotection is read.
Ruku: means bowing. During ruku, Muslims says glory be to God, the Most Great, three times. During prayer, it is forbidden to fidget or look around. Muslims must pray as though they are in the presence of God, and therefore must be in a state of concentration.Brief qiyaam: While moving into the upright position,Muslims recite God listens to the one who praisesHim and while in the standing position, To Godbelongs all praise then is recited. God is Great isrecited again. Hands are loosely at the sides this time.Each movement is always preceded by the phraseGod is Great’.This indicates to followers of the prayerthat the leader is about to make the next movement.
Sujud: means to prostrate. While in the prostration position Glory be to God, the Most High is repeated three times. Palms, knees, toes, forehead and nose must be the only body parts touching the ground.Brief sitting: God is Great is recited while moving tothe sitting position. Muslims pause here for a fewseconds, either staying silent, or reciting a shorterprayer. God is Great is recited once more as thesujud position is taken again.
Sujud: This sujud is the same as the first one. After reciting Glory be to God, the Most High’, one rakaah, or unit is complete. Each salah has its own number of units though. The shortest prayer, Fajr, has two. To continue the prayer from the sujudposition, Muslims say God is Great and stand up to repeat everything from Surah AlFatiha, until they reach this sujud again.Tashahhud: After saying God is Great, Muslims returnto the sitting position. They recite a set number ofshort prayers in Arabic, praising God, and sendingpeace on the Prophet. They repeat the declaration offaith, raising the forefinger of their right hand, in orderto act as a witness.They then ask God to bestow blessings and peace upon Prophet Abraham and hisfamily, and ask for the same for Prophet Muhammad. Finally, Muslims ask forforgiveness and mercy, and ask God to bless them and their children until the Day ofJudgement.
Traditions of Islam:1. Eating in Ramadan» During Ramadan many Muslims will try to eat a large meal called suhur just before dawn.» When daylight is over, most Muslims will break or open the fast with dates or water, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad, before having a proper meal later.» The evening meals during Ramadan are occasions for family and community get-togethers.2. Eid ul-Fitr» The month of Ramadan ends with the festival of Eid ul-Fitr. This is marked by dressing up and visiting the mosque for prayer, and with visits to family and friends for celebratory meals.3. Ramadan and the Western calendar» Because Islam uses a lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan comes around 11 days earlier each successive year, so there is no Western season associated with Ramadan.4. A discussion of self-denial» A Muslim chaplain discusses self-denial and corporal mortification with contributors from Opus Dei and a Greek Orthodox church.