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3.2 Chapter 3, Muhammad The career of the prophet Muhammad mainly from a historical point of view.

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Presentation on theme: "3.2 Chapter 3, Muhammad The career of the prophet Muhammad mainly from a historical point of view."— Presentation transcript:

1 3.2 Chapter 3, Muhammad The career of the prophet Muhammad mainly from a historical point of view

2 Views about historicity: Three kinds of approaches 1. Traditional: accept all or most of what has been reported Accept the received view of the authenticity or hadith about Muhammad’s life. Accept at least some of the miracles reported – e.g. washing of Muhammad’s heart Variations: ◦More or less strict view of hadith ◦Sectarian or ideological differences: e.g. Sunni vs Shi‘i 2. Extreme critical: virtually no value to traditional account Qur’an may have been completed later than Muhammad (a few critics) Qur’an does not give contexts for its statements (most critics) Hadith have no historical value for Muhammad Evidence, in Qur’an and elsewhere, that Islam developed elsewhere than in Mecca and Medina Evidence for socal conditions other than what is usually assumed (e.g. no long distance trade based in Mecca)

3 3. Critical Qur’an is genuine Qur’an does not give contexts for its statements. Hadith properly sifted and evaluated may yield some, less than certain, historical information. Little is known with any certainty for the period before the Hijra. F. E. Peters: “And in dealing with Muhammad, where the Quran is the historian’s chief ‘document,’ it seems most useful and productive simply to apply a combination of common sense and some modern heuristic devices to the traditional accounts. We must begin with the traditional material and attempt to make some sense out of it.” (Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, p. 266)

4 Arabia during Muhammad’s time

5 Timeline c. 570?Birth of Muhammad. Abraha’s expedition against Mecca (?). (Qur’an 105) 582?Trip to Syria; recognized by monk 595Married Khadija. 610Muhammad’s first revelation in the cave at Hira’. 615?Hijra of some of Muhammad’s followers to Ethiopia. 619Death of Khadija and Muhammad’s uncle and protector. 622Hijra to Medina. 624Battle of Badr. 625Battle of Uhud. 627Battle of the Trench. 628Treaty of Hudaybiyya. 630, Jan.Mecca capitulates to Muhammad. Ka‘ba cleansed of idols. 630, FebBattle of Hunayn, Bedouin confederacy defeated 630-1Year of deputations 632Farewell Hajj. Death of Muhammad

6 Early years Qur’an on Muhammad’s early years: “Did he not find you and orphan, and shelter you? Did he not find you erring, and guide you? Did he not find you needy and enrich you?” (93:6-8) Orphan: His father died before he was born, mother when he was 6; under the protection of his grandfather for two years and then his uncle, Abu Talib. Angels wash his heart and remove a black spot (while shepherding sheep) Recognized as a prophet by a Christian hermit, when an adolescent with a trading caravan to Syria. Honest: called “Amin (trustworthy)” Khadija’s Agent; later married her (aged 25) Replaced the Black Stone in the Ka‘ba (about 35 years old)

7 Revelation Muhammad was engaging in devotions at Mt. Hira, near Mecca A powerful figure, identified as the angel Gabriel appeared to him ◦Some scholars think the figure was first identified as God Commanded him to recite (or read) He replied “What shall I recite/read?” “Or I cannot recite/read.” He was compelled to recite: “Recite: In the Name of your Lord who created, Created man from blood clotted, Recite! Your Lord is the most beneficent, Who taught by the Pen, Taught that which they knew not to men.”

8 Revelation ctd He feared he was becoming a poet or majnūn (jinn possessed) ◦ There is reason to believe that his experience had something in common with the experiences of these, and also kāhins ◦ though the content and significance are much greater Was reassured by Gabriel, then by Khadija, then by her cousin Waraqa, who identified him as a prophet.

9 Passages from the accounts of Ibn Hisham and Al-Tabari When it was the night on which God honored him with his mission, and showed mercy on His servants thereby, Gabriel brought him the command of God. "He came to me," said the Messenger, "while I was asleep, with a piece of brocade whereon was writing, and said 'Recite!' and I said 'What shall I recite?' He pressed me with it so tightly that I thought it was death; then he let me go and said 'Recite!' I said, 'What shall I recite?' He pressed me with it again so that I thought it was death, then he let me go and said 'Recite!' I said 'But what shall I read?' - And this I said only to deliver myself from him lest he should do the same to me again, but he said: 'Recite: In the Name of your Lord who created, Created man from blood clotted, Recite! Your Lord is the most beneficent, Who taught by the Pen, Taught that which they knew not to men.' So I recited it, and he departed from me. And I awoke from my sleep, and it was as though these words were written on my heart.

10 (From al-Tabari ctd) "Now none of God's creatures was more hateful to me than an (ecstatic) poet or a man possessed; I could not even bear to look at them, I thought, 'Woe is me- poet or possessed. Never shall Quraysh say that of me! I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest.' When I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'O Muhammad! Thou art the Apostle of God and I am Gabriel.' I raised my head towards heaven to see, and lo! Gabriel in the form of a man, with feet astride the horizon, saying, 'O Muhammad! Thou art the Apostle of God, and I am Gabriel.' I stood gazing at him, moving neither forward nor backward; then I began to turn my face away from him, but towards whatever region of the sky I looked, I saw him as before.”

11 Prophet: in Mecca Preached his message and gathered a small group of followers Increasing opposition from the Meccan leaders Why? ◦Violated customs (“Sufficient for us is what we found our fathers doing.” Qur’an 3:104) ◦Threatened their prestige and power ◦Might threaten their economic benefits as guardians of the Ka‘ba? Protected by his uncle, Abu Talib (who did not become a Muslim). ◦Some his followers who lacked such protection were persecuted. ◦Some go to Ethiopia. Tempted to compromise, according to some accounts. ◦“Satanic verses”

12 His clan (Banu Hashim) was boycotted for 2 to 3 years. A year of promise and despair ◦Death of Abu Talib and Khadija. ◦Seeking a new base: failed journey to al-Ta’if ◦Night Journey to Jerusalem and Heaven (Isrā’ and Mi‘rāj)

13 Hijra Leading tribes of Yathrib are seriously quarrelling: need a mediator. First pact of Aqaba. (at the time of hajj): a delegation swore allegiance to Muhammad but did not commit to fight. Second pact of Aqaba. Invited him to Yathrib, vowed to defend him. Hijra June 20, 622 (Watt: arrived Madina 4 September 622)

14 Expeditions and battles (outside Medina, after Hijra) Reasons for fighting Must eventually defeat the Meccans, or be destroyed by them. To impress waverers in Medina and surrounding tribes with his strength Booty to support muhājirūn (many had lost their possessions by making hijra) Can the expeditions/battles be considered “defensive”?

15 Main expeditions and battles Early expeditions / raids (c 623 = 2 H) Expedition to Nakhla; first violence; violation of sacred month (but Qur’an 2:217) Battle of Badr (624) Victory (Qur’an 3:13) (expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa‘) Battle of Uhud. (625) Defeat, enemies do/can not follow up. (Qur’an 3:121) (later, expulsion of Banu al-Nadir) Battle of the Trench. (627) Stand off, enemies fail (execution/enslavement of Banu Qurayza) Treaty of Hudaybiyya. (628)

16 Main expeditions and battles (ctd.) Various expeditions against Bedouin tribes and Khaybar (Jewish settlement, 628), to Mu’ta (Syria 629), Muslims perform Hajj under truce (629) Mecca capitulates to Muhammad. (630, Jan) ◦Very few casualties; general amnesty. ◦Ka‘ba cleansed of idols. Battle of Hunayn, Bedouin confederacy defeated (Qur’an 9:25-6) (630, Feb) Expedition to Tabuk (Oct.-Dec. 630; Qur’an 9:81- 8, 120) Year of deputations (630-1) Final proscription of idolatry (631; Qur’an 9:1- 13)

17 Gradual establishment of Muhammad’s position within Medina (and then beyond) Groups in relation to Muhammad and Islam. Believers: Muhajirun / Ansar ◦“Hypocrites” or luke-warm Muslims (munāfiqūn) ◦Idolaters (mushriqūn) ◦Jews Pact (or Constitution) of Medina Jews and change of Qibla (624?) Successes in battles strengthen his position in Medina and with surrounding tribes Elimination of main Jewish tribes after the battles. ◦Weakens their allies Muhammad probably largely in charge by 628.

18 Capitulation of Mecca and cleansing of Ka‘ba. Say, Truth has come and falsehood has vanished, Falsehood is always vanishing. (Qur’an 17:81) Continued revelation of the Qur’an and development of the doctrines and practices of the umma throughout the Medinan period, e.g. ◦Shura (Qur’an 3:159; 42:38) Farewell Hajj. (632). Rituals established. When comes the help of God, and victory, And you see the people entering God’s religion in droves, Then sing the praise of God and ask His forgiveness, For He is ever forgiving. (Qur’an 110)

19 Last verse of the Qur’an Today I have completed (or perfected) your religion And completed my blessing upon you And approved Islam as your religion. (Qur’an 3:3) Death of Muhammad (632) Muhammad is but a messenger. The messengers before him passed away. When he dies or is killed, will you turn back? (Qur’an 3:144)

20 Family man Partial list of wives Khadija bint Khuwaylid (married 595, aged 40) ◦Wealthy, widow, major moral support to Muhammad ◦Muhammad had no other wife before she died ◦Four daughters and three sons by Muhammad.  Fatima: the only child of Muhammad to have children. Married Ali. ‘A’ishah bint Abi Bakr, (married 623, aged 9). ◦Muhammad’s favorite wife; ◦One motive was to cement the alliance with Abu Bakr. ◦Active in the politics of the early community after Muhammad’s death ◦ Important transmitter of hadith, ◦Did not get on well with Ali and Fatima ◦Accusation of Adultery; exonerated by God (Qur’an 24:11-20)

21 Partial list of wives (ctd) Hafsah bint ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, (married 625, aged 18). ◦Widow of a Muslim killed at Badr; ◦Daughter of close companion of Muhammad. ◦Said to have played a role in the transmission of the text of the Qur’an. Zaynab bint ‘Jahsh, (married 627, aged 38). ◦Cousin of Muhammad ◦Married (unhappily) his former slave and adopted son Zayd, ◦ Divorced from Zayd and married to Muhammad (Qur’an 33:38). ◦ Legal effect of prohibiting adoption

22 Partial list of wives (ctd) Mariyah the Copt, (628, concubine) ◦Presented to Muhammad by the governor of Egypt, ◦Bore a son, who died young Umm Habiba bint Abi Sufyan, 628, aged 35. ◦ Early convert ◦ Widow who had gone to Ethiopia with her first husband. Safiya bint Huyyay, (628, aged 17). ◦ Jewish, ◦ Captured in a raid on the Jewish settlement at Kaybar. ◦Apparently later became Muslim

23 Some points: Economic or political factors played important roles in the marriages ◦Khadija’s wealth ◦Some needed support (e.g. Umm Habiba) ◦Political alliances (e.g ‘A’isha, Hafsa) Many of Muhammad’s wives were quite strong characters: ◦E.g. Khadija, ‘A’isha et al. ◦Their activities prompt Muhammad to call for obedience or divorce (Qur’an 33:28-31) Distinctive position ◦Models: “You are not like other women” (Qur’an 33:32-4) ◦Seclusion and veiling (Qur’an 33:33, 53, 59) ◦“Mothers of the believers”

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