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In this worksheet on chapter 10, you will study the religion of Islam and you will try to answer the following questions based on the information from the textbook.
Name: Jennifer Mata
Islam is the fastest growing of all the religions of the world. Its expansion is not limited to the Middle East or Africa; it is a growing both in Europe and the United States. Due to the political turmoil in the Middle East and acts of terrorism in different parts of the world, Muslims (followers of the faith of Islam) have gained the undeserved reputation of being “terrorists” and violent fanatics. This is a clear contrast to the meaning of the word Islam; “to live in peaceful submission to God’s will”. Chapter 10 in the textbook and the information you can find in Faith Perspective will hopefully help you to get a more balanced perspective on the faith of Islam.
1. Describe the cultural and spiritual environment of Arabia in the seventh century CE. Pg. 337. Arabia in the 17th century had fertile lands, scattered oases of agriculture along w/barren hills, stretches of valleys and deserts sands. Mecca was an established city; but the inhabitants of open spaces were the Bedouin-people that moved their tents & flocks for food and water. The key organization was the tribe, and within the tribe, the clan. The tribal identities superseded any loyalty to geographic area or city. The desert tribes and the city tribes depended on each other. The Bedouin were independent, but they could trade their sheep, goat and camel wool to peoples of oases for products of the trees and fields. The Meccans produced little but created a business in buying and selling and providing markets where the various tribes could come together and exchange goods. Mecca had individuals who had the ability to set up large caravans and trade with the other population centers, such as: Damascus in Syria; South Arabia; and Ethiopia. Meccans were poor when it came to natural resources, but they maintained a level of importance through commercial activity. The Meccans also had something more important than the oases had; they had the famous Ka’bah. The Ka’bah had about 360 idols, many of them representing forces of nature and celestial beings. Every Arab tribe could find its deities there, and religious pilgrimages could be combined with caravans organized for trade within city limits. Mecca had a tradition of truce for pilgrimages during part of the year; tribes that trade for a period of time without being in constant fear of a surprise raid on themselves and their belongings.
2. Give an outline of the life of Muhammad.
• 570--Birth of Muhammad into Quraysh, the ruling tribe of Mecca. Islamic tradition relates miraculous signs foretelling Muhammad's future greatness. Orphaned and raised by an uncle Abu Talib to be a trader. • 595-Muhammad marries Khadijah a rich widow several years his senior. Earns reputation of "Al-Amin"--the faithful, for his virtue and wisdom. • 610-"The Night of Power" (believed to be the 26th of Ramadan)--First revelation while meditating in a cave on Mt. Hira outside Mecca. • Voices and visions eventually convince Muhammad and Khadija that they come from a monotheistic God and are collected in the "Qur'an" (="recitations"). • 613-First public preaching. Muhammad wins converts from younger members of less powerful clans, slaves, tribeless persons. Early converts include Ali his nephew, Abu-Bakr a wealthy merchant, and Uthman b. Affan who became a caliph. Muhammad soon demands that all people in Mecca join his movement. Arouses hostility and persecutions from the Meccans, since he...