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The Birth of Islam The Basic Tenets of Islam  The purpose of all Islamic teachings is the cleansing and purification of the mind, body, and soul. This.

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Presentation on theme: "The Birth of Islam The Basic Tenets of Islam  The purpose of all Islamic teachings is the cleansing and purification of the mind, body, and soul. This."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Birth of Islam The Basic Tenets of Islam  The purpose of all Islamic teachings is the cleansing and purification of the mind, body, and soul. This will bring success in the current life and the next one.  The three main beliefs in Islam: 1) There is only one god (Allah) 2) Belief in the prophets 3) Belief in the Day of Judgment  The basic source of all religious teachings is the prophet of Allah who is guided by Allah’s revelation. The prophet then reveals Allah’s message to the people. Muhammad, being the last prophet, is the most accurate and the source of all true guidance.  Muhammad’s teachings can be found in two places; the Quran, which is the book version, and the Sunnah, or tradition, which is the practice of Islam as demonstrated by Muhammad.

2 The Birth of Islam The Basic Tenets of Islam  The three main beliefs in Islam: 1) There is only one god (Allah)  This is the most basic element of Islam  Muslims believe Allah revealed himself in the Quran  Allah’s characteristics include: Mercy Providence Wisdom Omnipotence (he can do what he wants, all-powerful) Omniscience (he is all-knowing) Justice

3 The Birth of Islam The Basic Tenets of Islam  The three main beliefs in Islam: 2) Belief in the prophets  Muslims are required to believe in the prophets, which include: Abraham, Lot, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, and Jesus  Although some of these prophets’ messages have been altered by their followers, Muslims must believe that esentially all the prophets gave the same message to mankind.  As the last of these prophets, Muhammad earns a special status.

4 The Basic Tenets of Islam  The three main beliefs in Islam: 3) Belief in the Day of Judgment  Muslims are required to believe that one day, Allah, with absolute justice and mercy, will separate the good from the evil.  Those who are found to be good will be rewarded with eternal bliss in the “Kingdom of Heaven.”  Those who are found to be evil will be damned to hellfire.  On that Day of Judgment those who are found good will have strived to cleanse their body, soul, and mind of all impurities.  The Quran and the Sunnah show the way to do this cleansing.

5 The Birth of Islam The Basic Tenets of Islam  All Islamic teachings can be divided into two parts: 1) The Hikmah (or the Islamic philosophy); and 2) The Shari`ah (or the Islamic law). The Hikmah includes the following topics: beliefs in Allah, the prophets and the Day of Judgment; good and evil, ethics and morality, the design of the human being The Shari`ah includes the following topics: rules for worship, social, economic, and political interactions; rules for the propagation of Islam, Jihad (holy war), punishments; Muslim etiquette and symbols

6 The Birth of Islam The Basic Tenets of Islam  The Five Pillars of Islam These are the elements of Islam that make it distinct from the other religions of the world. 1) to declare that there is only One God and that Muhammad is a true prophet of God; 2) to offer five prayers during the day; 3) to follow the directives of the Shari`ah in supporting the needy; 4) to fast during the month of Ramadan; and 5) to undertake Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, if one has the ability to do so.

7 The Birth of Islam  Muhammad was born in Mecca (570 C.E.), the location of an important shrine called the Ka’ba, which was associated with the story of Abraham sacrificing his son.  The Bible tells of Abraham, whose faith was tested by God when he was asked to sacrifice his only (legitimate) son Isaac. Before he actually killed him, God stopped him, his faith proven.  Muslims believe the son was actually Ishmael, who was the son of Abraham with one of his concubines named hagar.  According to the Bible, Ishmael is the father of the Arabs, which translates to “nomads” and shouldn’t suppose that all Arabs today descend from him.  Muhammad claimed to be a descendent of Ishamel, but his genealogy is actually disputed.

8 The Birth of Islam  In 610 Muhammad began meditating at night, and one night the angel Gabriel (from the Bible as well) spoke to him, giving him revelations from Allah.  The revelations continued for about 20 years until his death. In that time he shared his revelations to his closest friends and family.  Muslims believe the revelations of Muhammad are superior to that of the Bible because it did not go through an editing process like the Bible did.  When Muhammad died, his close friends decided that Abu Bakr should succeed him, calling him the “successor” or caliph.  Abu Bakr is credited with the Five Pillars and the creation of the Quran, which was the written version of the revelations of Allah to Muhammad.

9 The Birth of Islam The Birth of Islam: Shi’ites vs. Sunnis How it started:  Muhammad had praised his son in-law Ali publicly, leading some to believe he was the natural successor to Muhammad. When Muhammad died, Abu Bakr was quickly chosen, and the two others succeeded him before the debate began in earnest.  Those who believed that Ali was the natural successor of Muhammad called themselves Shi’ites (from Shi’at ali, or “Party of Ali”)  Those who believed leadership should be determined by the community of believers.  Ali became the caliph (successor to Muhammad) on the 4 th try. This immediately led to battles over succession.

10 The Birth of Islam  Mu’awhiya from the Umayyad clan renewed the challenge with more battles, all inconclusive. Arbitrators had to decide the winner, saying Ali shouldn’t have accepted the position. Soon after, Ali was assassinated.  Mu’awhiya let Ali’s son retire gracefully and then chose his own son to be the new caliph.  One of Ali’s other children tried to reinstate his family’s rule, and when his family was killed, the supporters of Ali (Shi’ites) gained solidarity.  This conflict turned Shi’ism into a religious sect rather than a political one.  A third sect formed, called the Kharijites, were the ones who were angry that Ali had accepted the caliphate position, but were still his followers. This sect still exists but is insignificant. The Birth of Islam: Shi’ites vs. Sunnis How it started:

11 The Birth of Islam Shi’ites vs. Sunnis Today  Sunnis regard themselves as Muslims, worshipping and practicing Islam in truth. They believe Shi’ism is its own religion and there is no such thing as a “Shi’ite Muslim.” There is no chance of the two groups uniting under Islam.  Regarding various elements of Islam: The Quran: Sunnis: The Quran is the perfect revelation of Allah and is eternal. Shi’ites: The conflict surrounding the time of the creation of the Quran leads to some doubt regarding its authenticity. The Hadiths (truths): Sunnis: The hadiths are the second source of revealed truth regarding the practice of Islam. Shi’ites: They reject ¾ of the hadiths.

12 The Birth of Islam Shi’ites vs. Sunnis Today The Shar’ia (Islamic Law): Sunnis: Islamic law is complete; Muhammad did not withhold any important information that would be helpful to his followers. Shi’ites: Real truth is limited to the knowledge of the Imams (religious leaders) who are also the only ones who can communicate with Allah. Government: Sunnis: The caliph should be an elected leader, based on his proven trustrworthiness. He can be removed from his responsibilities if he shows he cannot rule properly in accordance with Islamic law. Shi’ites: Rule is hereditary (remember they wanted Ali and his descendents to rule) and they will not be loyal to anyone but who is in the right hereditary line. In the absence of a possible heir, they believe the final ruler will arise at the end of time, kill all its political opponents, and restore Shi’ite rule.

13 The Birth of Islam Shi’ites vs. Sunnis Today  85% of Muslims are Sunnis  The Iranian Revolution in 1979 began a time of radical Shi’ite movements across the Middle East  In countries with large Shi’ite communities, Shi’ites often make up the poorest sections of society and see themselves as oppressed and discriminated against.  In many countries the two communities live separate lives. However, in Iraq intermarriage between Sunnis and Shia was common until recently.  In Lebanon, Shias have gained widespread respect and a strong political voice due to the political and military activities of Hezbollah.  Shia Muslims are in the majority in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and, according to some estimates, Yemen. There are large Shia communities in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

14 Shi’ites vs. Sunnis Today

15 The Birth of Islam Shi’ites vs. Sunnis Today : The case of Iraq   Iraq is in a civil war: Sunnis vs. Shi’ites.  Under Saddam Hussein (a Sunni) the government was secularized. Iraq became the only Persian Gulf nation to not be ruled under Shar’ia (Islamic law).  Saddam’s government rested on 20% of the population, mostly lower class Sunnis. The majority of Iraqis were Shi’as and their movements, along with the political movements of the Kurds (a group of Sunni Muslims who are not Arab) were his biggest internal concerns.  Iraq came under Shi’a rule with American occupation in 2005.

16 The Birth of Islam Shi’ites vs. Sunnis Today  Sunnis prefer suicide bombings, and Shias prefer death squads.  In Iran, there is a 90% Shia majority, and the constitution follows Shia theology  Sunnis in Iran complain of discrimination, particularly in government, but also in representation. There is no Sunni mosque in Tehran (Iran’s capital), though there are Christian churches.  Arabism is different than Islam. The Pan-Arab movement seeks the creation of an all-Arab state, free from Western colonization and interference. Saddam Hussein was a huge support of Pan- Arabism.  Al-Qaida is an extreme Sunni group, seeking to make Islamist societies, including in Iraq, which is used to being under secular rule. It is traced back to Osama bin Laden, who gained popularity in Afghanistan.

17 The Arab World today


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