World Religions (RELS-211) with Rein - some notes on Islam
Islam: some key terms World Religions, March 20, 2013
Muhammad● Who was he?● His life story (highly abbreviated)● The first revelation of the QuranFor discussion:Why isnt he "the Islamic Jesus"?Related term: rasul (messenger)
The Quran● Literal meaning: "recitation" -- why is this significant?● Special characteristics: ○ Beauty ○ Untranslatability ○ According to tradition, Muhammad was illiterate; consider why this might be an important belief● The recording of the Quran spanned a long period of time; the message varied somewhat based on context● Other important, related terms: sunnah and hadith
The hijra● Literal meaning: "emigration" (from Mecca to Medina)● Muhammad was both spiritual and political / military leaderFor discussion:Why does the Islamic dating system begin withthe hijra and not with the birth of Muhammad orwith the first revelation of the Quran?Related terms: dar al-Islam, caliph
Historical details to know● Muslim power spread very rapidly from its start in Arabia (see the map on the next slide)
Historical details to know● Muslim power spread very rapidly from its start in Arabia● By 1500, Islamic empires dominated much of the globe from Spain to Indonesia● Major conflict with the West began with the Crusades● In modern times, large Islamic populations came under European colonial ruleFor discussion: how would colonial dominationaffect the Islamic religious worldview?(Compare Esack and your textbook for ideas.)
The Five Pillars of Islam● Confession of faith (shahadah)● Prayer (salat)● Fasting during Ramadan (sawm)● Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj)● Almsgiving (traditionally 2.5% of net worth; zakat)What, if anything, do these concepts have incommon?
A concept to be watching fortawhid (unity) Can be understood in terms of: divine unity (oneness of God) unity of Islam (oneness of the umma or community) oneness of the human personLook for examples of this idea in Esacks OnBeing a Muslim and in Malcolm XsAutobiography (excerpt on handout)
For discussionWatch the music videos on the next two slidesand read the lyrics (the link is below). Can youidentify the theme of tawhid where it appears?Review also the discussion of the "Little Sistersof Mercy" in Farid Esacks On Being a Muslim,pp. 96-7. How is Esack interpreting the idea oftawhid here?
Kareem Salama, "A Land Called Paradise" (video directed by Murad Aldin Amayreh)
Key terms from this presentation for review (look these up in the textbook glossary)Muhammad salatQuran Ramadanhadith hajjsunnah zakathijra tawhidcaliph ummaCrusades hijrasharia jihadFive Pillars Shiah / Sunni
Just for giggles,watch the first six minutes of this From the Allah Made Me Funny tour