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Mohammed and the Rise of Islam n 600’s A.D. n loss of much of the Eastern Roman Empire n to a new religious and political power –Islam.

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Presentation on theme: "Mohammed and the Rise of Islam n 600’s A.D. n loss of much of the Eastern Roman Empire n to a new religious and political power –Islam."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mohammed and the Rise of Islam n 600’s A.D. n loss of much of the Eastern Roman Empire n to a new religious and political power –Islam

2 Middle East, ca. 600 A.D.

3 Islam n Bedouin Arab named Mohammed n born ca. 570 A.D. n Merchant family, Hasimites n Qurayshis tribe, who dominate Mecca –controlling much of the religious pilgrim trade n raised by relatives -father and mother died by age six -raised by an impoverished uncle

4 Mohammed n formal education ?? We don’t know –Normally only the Poets of the Tribes could read and write n commercial agent for a wealthy widow –Khadijah –supervising caravans from Mecca, north to Jerusalem –contact with both Jews and Christians

5 Mohammed, con’t n He seems to have made an impression on his boss, because of his reputed honesty –married her and retired from commerce –to devote himself to religion –and to making society more fair and equitable

6 Mohammed, con’t n monogamous until his wife died n eventually married nine wives and had assorted concubines n last marriage at 53 to Aishah, daughter of a friend n wives: widows of friends or political marriages Women alone is such a world were very vulnerable

7 Origins of Mohammed’s Teachings n periods of unconsciousness are indicated: explanations –revelations from Allah by holy trances, spoken to by Gabriel –epilepsy or a similar neurological disorder? –mental illness or hallucinations ? n Mohammed’s explanation: –revelations from God –Very unpleasant and painful for him

8 The Quran n Record of revelations received during visions n Committed to writing c. 650 CE, compiled (Muhammad dies 632) –Under the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan n Tradition of Muhammad’s life: hadith

9 Nature of Revelations n diverse n social, agricultural, medical, military, astronomical, etc.

10 Historical Origins of His Ideas n Arab polytheism n Hanifism: a belief in one God traced to Abraham, by tradition n Judaism n Christianity: Orthodox, Nestorian, Arianism n Manichaeism: a mixture of Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Judaism, and so forth

11 Beginning of His Ministry n at about age 40, after a number of revelations n began to preach publicly n continued to receive revelations until death –usually related to current problems or concerns –Religious, political, social, economic

12 Early religious career n not particularly successful n threatened the social, political, and religious structure, with his doctrine of social equity n threatened the economic basis of Mecca as a center of religious pilgrimage n particularly the Black Rock –sacred to the chief deity of the Arabs n run out of town, or at least encouraged to leave –Went to the desert with his family and lived for about a year

13 The Hijra n flight from Mecca, to Yathrib (Medina) -tradition: invited by the Jews of Medina n 622 A.D. n beginning of the Islamic calendar n forms the umma (community) n welcomed, then resisted n Mohammed becomes an absolute theocrat

14 Muhammad’s Return to Mecca n Attack on Mecca, jihad n Conversion of Mecca to Islam n Destruction of pagan sites, replaced with mosques –Ka’aba preserved in honor of importance of Mecca –Approved as pilgrimage site

15 Jihad n holy war against Mecca n ten year blockade n a deal was made

16 The Deal n Mecca preserved as a holy city and place of pilgrimage –to preserve the economic prosperity n the Ka’aba preserved as the central shrine –idols and icons destroyed –story of its origins emphasized the role of Abraham in its placement –pilgrimage as an act of faith, at least once in your life

17 The Ka’aba in Mecca

18 The Religion: the Koran (Qu’ran) n the Koran (Qu’ran): contains much of Mohammed recounting of Allah’s teachings n written down by his followers after his death –from notes and memories, on “stones and parchments” n Short: 114 chapters –arranged from longest to the shortest –not by subject or chronologically –length is the criterion of order for the text

19 The Koran, con’t n some “Old” and “New” Testaments stories –but sometimes the story seems a bit different to Jews and Christians n parables and fables n political polemic and prophecy n “non-religious” subjects –not dissimilar to Jewish and Christian scriptures in some ways

20 Five Pillars of Islam n uniqueness of God –‘There is no god, but God….’ n prayer five times a day n observe the month of Ramadan n give alms to the poor n pilgrimage to Mecca –If possible, once in your life

21 Additional teachings n dietary laws n no gambling or drinking n no sexual irregularities, as defined by tradition and custom n no faulty weights or usury n no infanticide n elaborate rules concerning inheritance and property n improvement in the status of women and children

22 Changing Status of Women n Qu’ran improves status of women –Outlawed female infanticide –Brides, not husbands, claim dowries n Yet male dominance preserved –Patrilineal descent –Polygamy permitted, Polyandry forbidden –Veil adopted from ancient Mesopotamian practice

23 Similarities to Judaism and Christianity n monotheism (defined a bit differently) n insistence on the responsibility of human beings n final judgment and rewards n angels and spirits n practice of virtues: truthfulness, compassion, etc.

24 Differences n an emphasis on compassion and mercy n alms giving moderate n heaven conceived a bit differently n no priests or sacramental system n easy conversion: the Shahadah –‘There is no God by Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.’

25 Islamic Law: The Sharia n Codification of Islamic law n Based on Quran, hadith, logical schools of analysis n Extends beyond ritual law to all areas of human activity –This is the basis the idea of an “Islamic republic” for instance

26 Expansion of Islam n early victories n backsliders (tribes) punished –Apostasy = treason = death n assaults on: –the Byzantine (Roman) empire –the Persian empire

27 Spread of Islam

28 Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount Jerusalem

29 Victories n Syria: 635 A.D. n Palestine: 636 A.D. n Persia: captured in one battle –expansion into India –expansion to the borders of China n Egypt: help by local Christians n North Africa: the Berbers

30 Expansion, con’t n Spain A.D. n Battle of Tours: October 732 A.D. –Charles Martel n Siege of Constantinople: A.D. –Leo III –Greek fire n beginnings of Christian reconquest of former Roman/Christian territory

31 Reasons for success n exhaustion of Rome and Persia –End of a 400 year war n nationalist sentiments in Egypt and Syria n arguments among Christian factions n speed and size of Moslem armies n simplicity and uncomplicated nature of Islam n acceptance of the Old and New Testament –People of the Book

32 Consequences of Expansion n loss of the oldest and most central lands of Christendom n aided the ascendancy of the bishop of Rome n virtual collapse of Zoroastrianism as a major religion n radically altered the balance of power between the Roman Empire and the East n disruption of the Mediterranean economic community

33 Early Problems n Succession ? –Mohammed had no surviving male children –Daughter: Fatima –Son-in-law: Ali, child of his uncle n generated a permanent split in the Islamic community –Sunnis –Shi’as

34 Sunnis n considered themselves the “orthodox” followers of Mohammed n consider the Shi’as to be “dissenters” n issue: who leads after Mohammed ?? n the Caliph (or “leader”) n went successively to followers -Abu Bakr, then Oman -then Uthman and

35 The Shia n Disagreements over selection of caliphs n Ali passed over for Abu Bakr n Served as caliph CE, then assassinated along with most of his followers n Remaining followers organize separate party called “Shia” –Traditionalists: Sunni

36 Abu Bakr n not particularly popular with the Muslim community n allowed raid, then invasions of Byzantine and Persian territory n subjugated any dissident elements or tribes n disposed of any “new prophets”

37 Success = strain n success introduced luxury and change –From original caliphs to the Umayyad caliphs n new ideas and new ethnic groups –with their own customs and heritage, to try to assimilate n rise of a sort of “revivalist element” –Islam had strayed from its original path and purity –Muslims were being led back to paganism –caliphs were becoming idle, corrupt, tyrants

38 Uthman: the third Caliph n murdered: warfare broke out n Ali: cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed n originally passed over as too young n contested the succession n Uthman supported by the Umayyad clan –early enemies of Mohammed –refused to accept Ali’s claims

39 Umayyeds n successful in the war n Ali assassinated in 661 A.D. –by the Kharijites n beginning of the Umayyed dynasty

40 Policy toward Conquered Peoples n Favoritism of Arab military rulers causes discontent n Limited social mobility for non-Arab Muslims n Head tax (jizya) on non-Muslims n Umayyad luxurious living causes further decline in moral authority

41 Sunnis n accepted the legitimacy of early caliphs n “Sunni” : from an Arabic word – “usage” or “custom” –implies: “precedent”

42 Shi’as n accepted Ali n word means: “party”, “faction”, “following”

43 Factions n Sunni and Shi’as dominant n originally political –Eventually the differences became dogmatic in emphasis n Shi’as become a party of religious dissent

44 Perceptions n Sunni: conservative, in favor of the “status quo” –consensus is the guiding principle n Shi’as: defenders of the oppressed, critics of privilege and power –obedience is required only as long as it can be forced, and no longer

45 Umayyed empire n Atlantic Ocean to India n Syria: center of the Islamic World n eventually displaced by the Abbasids –an Arab family claiming decent from Mohammed

46 The Abbasid Dynasty ( CE) n Abu al-Abbas Sunni Arab, allied with Shia, non-Arab Muslims n Seizes control of Persia and Mesopotamia n Defeats Umayyad army in 750 –Invited Umayyads to banquet, then massacred them –Only Spain remains Umayyad –North Africa is disputed territory, ultimately Fatamid

47 Nature of the Abbasid Dynasty n Diverse nature of administration (i.e. not exclusively Arab) n Militarily competent, but not bent on imperial expansion n Dar al-Islam n Growth through military activity of autonomous Islamic forces

48 Nature of the Abbasid Dynasty n Diverse nature of administration (i.e. not exclusively Arab) n Militarily competent, but not bent on imperial expansion n Dar al-Islam n Growth through military activity of autonomous Islamic forces

49 Caliph Harun al-Rashid ( CE) n High point of Abbasid dynasty n Baghdad center of commerce n Great cultural activity

50 Abbasid Decline n Civil war between sons of Harun al-Rashid n Provincial governers assert regional independence n Dissenting sects, heretical movements n Abbasid caliphs become puppets of Persian nobility n Later, Saljuq Turks influence, Sultan real power behind the throne

51 Formation of an Islamic Cultural Tradition n Islamic values –Uniformity of Islamic law in dar al-Islam –Establishment of madrasas –Importance of the Hajj n Sufi missionaries –Asceticism, mysticism –Some tension with orthodox Islamic theologians –Wide popularity

52 Cultural influences on Islam n Persia –Adminstration and governance –literature n India –Mathematics, science, medicine “Hindi” numbers n Greece –Philosophy, esp. Aristotle –Greek medicine

53 Cultural Importance of Islam n Development of these received influences n Distribution throughout the Muslim world n Introduction and reintroduction of these ideas to medieval Europe –Through Spain –Spanish Jews


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