Islam Preliminary

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Origins
Pre-Islamic Arabia the cultural and historical context for the development of Islam Before Muhammad, the Arabian Peninsula was inhabited by nomadic people (Bedouin). Arabia had many different faiths and was experiencing some clashes. Mainly pastoral agricultural practices took place. Central area was considered to be area around Mecca, which was Muhammad's birthplace.  

Most important to people then was their family clan. Upholding clan’s reputation was vital. Term used by Muslims to describe this period of time 'Jahiliyya.'  
The Ka'ba did exist, built earlier by Abraham. It was (before Islam's creation) used by polytheists as a place of worship. The Prophet Muhammad
Life of Muhammad
Born approximately 570 CE, Muhammad is responsible for :
* Being main prophet of Islam
* Being the last prophet
* Being receiver of Allah (God)
Messages through the Qur'an
* Qur'an = final and complete book of Allah's revelations * Belonged to Quraysh tribe
* This tribe was responsible for Ka'ba and was main tribe in Mecca.

Muhammad's father died just before he was born and mother died when he was 6. He had to represent himself a lot and earned a reputation of being honest and hardworking. His efforts impressed a wealthy widow, Khadijah who then married him. They had 6 kids.  

While in Mountains reflecting at 40 years, as angel (Gabriel) appeared. He recited 1st 5 verses to him. 3 years passed and more verses came, which Muhammad taught to his family and friends. Muhammad got some threats from people in Mecca and had to move. He went 400 kms north to Al-Yathrilo who welcomed his ideas and wanted peace to come with him. Al-Yathribi is now known as Medina. This fleeing journey is known as 'hijra' and happened in 622 CE. 619 CE (approx) Khadijah died. Other wives were married.

The people back in Mecca were unhappy. Muslims were being successful and tried to block trade routes. Battles started and in 628 CE Muhammad and followers were ale to get through the Ka'ba. Muhammad had more issues but kept pushing to have access to Ka'ba. Instead of enacting revenge on Mecca, he removed all other idols from Ka'ba, making it for 1 God only, Allah.  

In 632, Muhammad died aged 63. He made a final journey to Mecca before dying.

Muhammad as the Final Messenger
* Muhammad could have had a life of comfort, instead however felt a stirring to lead him to seek God. * Gabriel taught "Recite in the name of your Lord who created (all things), created humankind from blood. Recite your Lord is gracious, He taught by the pen, taught humankind what it did not know. (Sura 96:1-5). This date, in 610 CE is generally thought to be the beginning of the Qur'an. * It transformed Muhammads perception of himself, instead into a leader. Muhammad as a Role Model

* Man who gave up comfortable life.
* Man who is honest, caring, loving and a very careful and considerate administrator. * Thought for those in his community
* Ideal person and role model for Muslims.

The development of Islam under the Leadership of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs 4 Rightly guided Caliphs were the people put in charge after Muhammad died who were to continue to spread Islam and manage the new Muslim Community. 1 - Abu Bakr

* Reigned from 623 - 634
* Was close friend to Muhammad, father of Aisha (Muhammad’s wife) and therefore the Prophets father in law. * He was close with Muhammad and clearly devoted to Islam. * He was elected in and this signified a democracy where best person chosen to represent, not just inner family. * Ali (son in law and cousin) blood relative was overlooked. * Bakr focused on defending Medina, and also sent expedition to Syria. 2 - Umar

* Reigned 634-644
* Worked with Bakr on managing community.
* Nominated by Bakr and also elected in.
* Expelled Christians and Jews from Arabia, expanded Muslim borders - gained Persia...
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