Rise and Spread of Islam

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  • Topic: Islam, Muhammad, Prophets of Islam
  • Pages : 5 (1890 words )
  • Download(s) : 413
  • Published : December 12, 2012
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The religion of Islam has risen up and spread throughout the world to become one of the world’s three largest religions. Islam originated in the desert of present day Saudi Arabia amongst the Arabs. The Arabs were a Semitic-speaking people. They were also a polytheistic society that worshipped an enormous number of gods and goddesses. There was almost one for every day of the year. The entire way of life that the Arabs knew was about to change with the birth of the prophet Muhammad. This man was responsible for bringing about the religion of Islam. The polytheistic religion that all Arabs practiced soon became a monotheistic faith. Islam was able to grow and expand throughout the world because of Muhammad and other Islamic followers.

Islam all started with the birth of a man named Muhammad. Muhammad was born in the town of Mecca during the year 570 AD. Mecca was a small town located on the desert plateaus of the Arabian Peninsula. He was born into the clan of Hashim, which was part of the Quraish tribe. His mother and father’s names were Amina and Abdallah. Unfortunately, Muhammad's parents died when he was just a young boy. He was eventually raised by his uncle, a merchant in Mecca, named Abu Talib. As Muhammad grew older he assisted his uncle with his business. He would assist by accompanying caravans to different trade centers. When Muhammad got into his early twenties he found a job under a wealthy tradeswoman, Khadijah. He was in charge of escorting her caravans to their destinations. According to Richard Gabriel, author of Muhammad: Islam’s First Great General: “Khadijah’s assignment of her caravan to Muhammad was apparently a testament to his merchant skill and honesty” (Gabriel, 56). Due to this, upon the return of one of his journeys Khadijah proposed to Muhammad. They got married around the year 595. During their marriage they had four daughters and two sons that died in infancy. After many years of witnessing the religious practices in Mecca Muhammad started becoming annoyed. Muhammad soon started withdrawing from society to reflect on the current situation in Mecca.

When Muhammad would step back from society he would find a cave and meditate. He would contemplate the issues that surround the polytheism that was being practiced in Mecca. During the month of Ramadan in 610, while Muhammad was meditating he had a revelation. This revelation was said to have come from the arch angel Gabriel. Muhammad had several revelations in these caves throughout his life. He especially continued his practice of retreating to the desert after the death of his wife Khadijah in 619. During these disclosures Muhammad wrote down all his thoughts and the instructions he received from Gabriel. Within the years to come, Muhammad’s writings were created into the Qur’an, Islam’s sacred book. These instructions that Allah, the Islamic word for god, gave to Muhammad actually frightened him a bit. It was not for several more years that he decided to take his message to the streets of Mecca. He only preached to his family in the first couple years. Muhammad’s first convert to Islam was Khadijah. When he finally started preaching to the public he was met with disgust. The people were scared to part with their worship of idols. There were many disputes that arose over Muhammad’s statements. In his book, Richard Gabriel states: The most objectionable issue of all Muhammad’s pronouncements was his claim that all those who had not become Muslims before their deaths were suffering in hell. To claim that non-Muslims were in hell was a direct attack on the memory and reputation of one’s ancestors who, after all, had no opportunity to save themselves before Muhammad’s ministry. In a society that revered ancestors whose exploits preserved in oral accounts established the ideals of virtuous behavior, Muhammad’s condemnation was a grievous insult to Arab honor, one that could result in blood feud. Muhammad...
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