Rise of Islam I: The ProphetSocial Studies for 10th E.G.B. | Teacher: MauricioTorres
Background Islam emerged in the Arabian Peninsula. Its deserts and trade centers helped shape the early life of Muhammad.
Geographic Setting The Arabian Peninsula is mostly desert, but farming is possible through irrigation or scattered oasis. Many Arab clans occupied Arabia at the time of Muhammad. Nomadic herders called Bedouins used camels to cross to cross the desert to pasture when seasons changed. Bedouins traded with other Arabs all around the Peninsula.
Mecca Mecca (Makkah) was a booming market town at the crossroads of two main caravan routes. ◦ One linked Arabia with Palestine and the Mediterranean coast. ◦ The second one, crossed from Mesopotamia to Africa. Pilgrims also went there on pilgrimage. They prayed at the Kaaba, an ancient shrine the Muslims believe to be built by Abraham. ◦ The pilgrims traffic brought many good profits to merchants.
Muhammad He was born in Mecca about 570 AD. When he was young, he worked as a shepherd among the Bedouins. Later he led caravans across the desert and became a successful merchant. When he was 25, he married Khadijah, a wealthy widow, and was a devoted father and husband.
His Visions When he was 40 he was troubled by the idol worship and moral ills of society. He went into a cave to meditate. ◦ According to Muslim belief, he heard a voice that ordered him to pray. “Recite in the name of your God, the Creator, who created man from clots of blood”. He understood it was the voice of angel Gabriel calling him to be the messenger of God.
Birth of Islam Muhammad was terrified. How could an illiterate merchant become the messenger of God? But Khadija encouraged him to accept the call. In fact she was the first convert of Islam. Islam means “submission”. He spent the rest of his life spreading Islam, urging Arabs to give up the false gods and praise Allah.
An Outcast At first, a few people listened to the teaching of Muhammad. His rejection of traditional Arab gods angered Meccans, who feared pilgrimage would be disrupted.
The Hijra Facing murder threats in 622, he and his followers left for Yahtrib, a journey known as the hijra. ◦ Later Yahtrib would be renamed Medina (City of the Prophet). ◦ 622 became the first year of the Muslim calendar. When he reached Medina, he was welcomed as a ruler and lawgiver. Others soon began to adopt Islam. Muslims soon launched attacks on Medina, defeated them and Muhammad was able to return triumphantly.
Death and after For the last years of his life, he worked to unite Arabs under the banner of Islam. He died in 632, poisoned. The faith that he proclaimed continued to spread, to the point in which it is one of the world’s main religions.
Ask Yourself Identify the following terms: ◦ Mecca, Bedouins, Khadija, Islam Define ◦ What is the hijra? Recall ◦ How did Muhammad become the prophet of Islam? Analyze ◦ Why was Mecca so important before Muhammad? ◦ “No one is a prophet in their own land”. Does this apply to Muhammad? Why or why not? Timeline ◦ List the important events of Muhammad’s life. Evaluate ◦ Why was pilgrimage so important to merchants in Mecca?
Bibliography Ellis, E. G., & Esler, A. (2009). World History. (P. Hall, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, US: Pearson Education INC. Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World History (Teacher´s Edition) (1st Edition ed.). (H. McDougal, Ed.) Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Images taken from Google.