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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 The tribal identities superseded any loyalty to geographic area or city.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 challenged their gods, loose morals, and social inequalities, and condemned their pagan ancestors to hell. His condemnation of the Ka'ba cult threatened the lucrative pilgrimage trade. Attempts to silence him by theats, bribes and ostracism. • 619-Death of Khadija and Abu-Talib, Muhammad's protector in his clan. • 622-Converts from Yathrib offer Muhammad protection and he and about 70 Meccans move there [the 'Hijrah']. Muhammad is invited to unite pagan Arab tribes in Yathrib in conflict with tribes converted to Judaism. Muhammad forms the Ummah or tribe of people who accept him as prophet. He becomes the official judge-arbiter of all tribes in Yathrib (Medina). • 624-Ummah begin raids to gain independent economic standing. Ummah defeat large Quraysh force from Mecca. • 628-Muhammad marches with 1000 men to take part in hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Signs treaty with Quraysh and withdraws. All pagan idols and shrines in Mecca destroyed. • 631-Year of deputations. Tribes from Hijaz and Najd come to offer submission and adopt Islam. Expedition of 30,000 men against Banu Ghassan indecisive. • 632- Muhammad dies after "farewell pilgrimage" to Mecca and "farewell sermon." 3. Describe the circumstances surrounding the first revelations that Muhammad claimed to have received. Page 338 Muhammad married Khadija who was counselor as well as companion. Khadijah was very wealthy. Her wealth allowed Muhammad to spend a portion of his time in religious meditation. Seeking to deepen his spiritual life he would travel outside the city to meditate among the hills. Muhammad’s spiritual quest led to results that were absolutely startling for him. While he was meditating in a cave on Mt. Hira around 610, the angel Gabriel confronted him & delivered a message from Allah. Gabriel challenged Muhammad to read or recite the message of God.
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate Recite: in the Name of thy Lord who created,
created Man of a blood-clot.
Recite: And thy Lord is the most Generous, who taught by the Pen, taught Man that he knew not.
Muhammad was anxious to tell his wife of the experience, she felt he might be possessed, but was reassured by cousins that he was in line with experience of other prophets recognized by Jews and Christians. Once Muhammad was sure God was really speaking through him, he did his duty and recited the messages exactly as he received them. The message God gave him to recite was one of social and religious reform; at the heart of the messages was the emphasis on God as the only deity and the absolute requirement that all idols of the Arabs be destroyed. Muhammad went onto converting those in Mecca and the Quarysh along with others.
4. How did the “new faith” of Muhammad initially spread?
The Islamic state expanded extremely fast once Muhammad died through remarkable successes both at converting unbelievers to Islam and by
military conquests of the Islamic community's opponents. Expansion of the
Islamic state was an understandable development, since Muhammad himself had
successfully established the new faith through conversion and conquest of
those who stood against him. Immediately after the Prophet's death in 632, Abu
Bakr, as the first Caliph, continued the effort to abolish paganism among the
Arab tribes, and also to incorporate Arabia into a region controlled by the
political power of Medina.
5. Summarize the development of Islam after the death of Muhammad (including the split between Sunni and Shia) until the time of the crusades. After the death of Muhammad. Several 'prophets' fought against the leadership of Muhammad and his subsequent successor Abu Bakr, who was chosen after his death to lead the Muslim believers.
The first Khalif Abu Bakr died after only two years of reign, and was followed by Khalif Umar. Umar was, like Abu Bakr, a father-in-law of Muhammad. He was assassinated by an Iraqian slave while at prayer in the mosque. Under him - probably the most gifted and respected of the Khalifs, the Arab Empire grew vastly. He was succeeded by the third Khalif Uthman. By trying to unify the Empire, largely comprising independence-loving Arabs, he fell into disfavor, particularly for his revision of the Qur'an (see this chapter). He was assassinated in a horrific manner and was not allowed to be buried in the Muslim cemetery. His wife, along with some of his friends, buried him at night without the ritual washings, listening to the curses of the Arabs, who also threw stones at them. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery. Khalif Ali was the last of the 'four rightly guided' Khalifs.
Two well exposed leaders, Talha and al-Zubair, with the support of Aysha, rebelled against Ali. The resulting "Battle of the Camel" saw 10 000 Muslims slaughtered. Ali and his troops won, but soon faced another contender, Mu'awiya, the Governor of Syria, who accused him, as did Aysha, of complicity in the assassination of Uthman. Another battle resulted with tremendous loss of life but without a decisive victory. Mu'awiya and Ali agreed to appoint arbiters and to abide by their solution. This strongly undermined the authority of Ali, who eventually was assassinated by one of his disillusioned followers.
The heir and expected successor of Ali, al-Hassan, renounced his khalifship in favour of Mu'awiya, who from then on ruled not only Syria and Egypt, but the whole Islamic empire.
Al-Hussein, Ali's other son, together with most of his family, was slain under the reign of Mu'awayia's son, the Khalifah Yazid I. at the battle of Kerbela, which actually was rather an assassination than a battle.
This triggered off a split in Islam. Those who sided with Ali and his sons, whom they declared the only true Khalifs, because they were relatives of Muhammad, are now known as the Shiáh (followers) Muslims. Then there were the Sunni (one of the path) Muslims. In the beginning Islam was considered to be a kind of Jewish-Christian sect. The Copts of North Africa regarded the Muslims as liberators from the yoke of Byzantia, and they aided the Muslims in waging their war. Under the Khalifahs, Mecca and Medina were the most important centres. Under Ali, Kufa, Damascus took their place in the development of the Islamic empire. Soon expansionist zeal led the Muslims as far as the Chinese border, India, Spain and even Southern France. At the Battle of Tours and Poitiers (732 AD) the Franks under the leadership of Charles Martel turned the tide and the Muslim forces withdrew to behind the Pyrenaes, a mountain range separating France from Spain.
"Freedom of religion" was granted by the Muslim conquerors. Conversions from Christianity and Judaism to Islam were allowed and encouraged. Conversion from Islam to Christianity, however, were subject to the death penalty. This is to this day the practice in some Islamic countries.
In those conquered territories the Arabic language usually became the official medium of communication. Only Turkey and Persia resisted this policy of arabisation with success.
6. In what parts of the world can you find most of the followers of Islam today? South Asia , about 165 million in Pakistan, 150 million in Bangladesh and 200 million in India this totals over 500 million or about half of the Muslim population in the world.
1. Name and comment on the five pillars of Islam.
• Shahada- Must declare in the Shahada, witness, that there is no god but Allah the Muhammad is his rasul (messenger). • Salat- They must participate in salat, five periods of prayer each day. • Zakat- They must pay an obligatory tax, called zakat, to the needy. • Sawm- They must fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan, known as sawm. • Hajj- If they are able, they should make a pilgrimage to Mecca, a Hajj, once during their lifetime.
2. How do the followers of Islam view the history of divine revelation (the prophets of God)? From the beginning, Islam’s relationship with other religions has been ambiguous. Muslims have no doubts about Islam’s being the final revelation of God through Muhammad. There is also no doubt that polytheism is to be stamped out and Islam substituted for it, as when Muhammad took control of Mecca. There is disagreement between Islam’s relationship to Judaism and Christianity. The Qur’an makes favorable references to the prophets of Judaism & the personalities of the New Testament. There is also the idea that peoples of the Book are to be treated with more respect than pagans, those without a sacred literature. The Muslim clashes with Byzantine forces, who were nominally Christian, added the conflicts of military enemies to some problems of theology. Muslims had problems with the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, which seemed to add partners to God. This was also a problem with the regard Jesus as a true prophet, but it had to denounce the idea that Jesus was the Son of God, or God.
3. Describe the connection between the message of Judaism, Christianity and Islam according to the Muslim faith. Muslims have no doubts about Islam’s being the final revelation of God through Muhammad; there is also no doubt that polytheism is to be stamped out and Islam substituted for it, as when Muhammad took control of Mecca Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic religions, namely they believe that there is only one God. Jews and Muslims greatly stress the oneness and unity of God. The affirmation of the oneness of God by Christians is sometimes misunderstood, because Christians believe that the one God is triune (the Holy Trinity). However, this is not a denial of monotheism but an affirmation of the complexity of the Divine Being.
All three religions believe that this God is the origin and source of all that exists. God cares about the entire creation and desires the well-being of all. God is just and has provided basic rules for our guidance so that we may be good and righteous, according to God's intention. God is also merciful; by means of God's grace we are given strength to be more like what we ought to be.
4. Explain how Muslims view the Qura’n (Koran) and how their sacred book relates to sacred books of other religions. The Qur’an is the sacred scripture of the Muslims, regarded as the word of God dictated to Muhammad by God through the arch arch-angel Gabriel. Muslims view the Quran as their holy book that is the source of their ritual worships guides, the source of Islam morals. quran includes tales of the previous nations, corrections for the previous holy book texts that been altered and changed, correcting the beliefs from not worshiping God, the one and only one God with no partner, no son, and no father. Quran for Muslims include lots of scientific statements that been proved only after more than 1400 years with the current advanced sciences and technologies to confirm that Quran is God revelation and not written by a human being and to confirm the Prophecy of Muhammad.
5. Elaborate on the status of women in the Muslim faith and the Muslim world. In the tribes of Arabia prior to Muhammad, the daughter was considered the property of the father, who could treat her as he pleased. Husbands owned their wives, who could not inherit from their parents. Women were valued only id they were believed to be chaste and beyond reproach. Islam does not permit infanticide or abuse of women. Wives should be properly treated. Women are able to inherit and own property, but they are dependent on men. Women’s roles are not separate from men’s roles, but are supportive of them.
6. How do Muslims in general view Jesus from Nazareth?
Muslims view Jesus as a prophet, but not divine and not the Son of Yahweh (God/Allah). They view Muhammad as the last and most important prophet. Thus, Muhammad is more important than Jesus, and the teachings of Muhammad supersede the teachings of Jesus. Muslims are strict monotheists, so they have no concept of a Triune god and Jesus is not seen as God.