7 th century Arabia Trade between Byzantium, Sassanid Iran, and Axum (Ethiopia )
Mecca’s Pre-Islamic Foundations •Adam and Eve: Shrine and Tomb •Circumambulation by Noah’s ark •Abraham (Ibrahim), Ismael, and Hagar –1892 BCE –Zamzam spring –Rebuilt shrine—Ka’ba •Gods in the Ka’ba ( pagan idols?)
Muhammad 570-632 •Orphan •Qurayash tribe •Khadija (1 st wife)
Spiritual Transformation •Night of Power and Excellence –c. 610 •Jibril (Gabriel) with God’s message •Revelations or Recitations •God = Allah •Public recitations—God or jinns?
“Say ‘Allah is God alone! God the eternal! He begets not and is not begotten! Nor is there like unto Him anyone!” - The Quran 2:344
Seal of the Prophets •Muhammad as the last and final prophet •Following in the tradition of previous prophets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Jesus •All had been Muslim, but had turned astray or not gotten the entire message •Islam = Submission •Muslim = one who submits (to the will of God) •People of the Book •Warning image follows…
Death of Muhammad 632 •Abu Bakr the first khalifa (successor) •Umar c. 634-644 •Uthman (Umayya family) c. 644-656 •Ali (son-in-law/cousin) c. 656-660
Conflict over succession •Shi’at Ali (Party of Ali) = Shi’ites –Ali, Muhammad’s first cousin/son- in-law should succeed. Movement to Iraq •Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama’a = Sunnis (People of Tradition and community)
Shi’ites •Led by an Imam. •Descendants of Muhammad through Ali and Fatima. •Leaders are divinely inspired and know the hidden meanings of the Quran. •Imam are the only ones who offer judgment on religious law. •12 heavenly Imams (perfect teachers) •12th Imam, the Mahdi (guided one), will reappear and guide humans towards justice and peace.
Sunnis •Caliph is the secular leader. •No divine connection for leaders. •Represents the religious leaders, but doctrine is left to the Ulama (those who know)
•Quran c.650 (Recitation) •Hadith—words and deeds of the prophet •Shari’a—Islamic Law
Policy Toward Conquered Peoples •First hundred years •Non-Arab, non-Muslim population •Few forced conversions—taxes •People of the Book •One had to be Arab to be Muslim and vice versa. •mid-700s more and more non-Arabs became Muslim
Umayyad Dynasty • (661-750) •Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Egypt, North Africa, Persia, Sind (NW India), Iberian peninsula. •Center at Damascus. •Military expansion. •Dome of the Rock--Jerusalem