Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

UNCLASSIFIED DIVERSITY IN ISLAM Presented by Michael G. Knapp 17 February 2004.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "UNCLASSIFIED DIVERSITY IN ISLAM Presented by Michael G. Knapp 17 February 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNCLASSIFIED DIVERSITY IN ISLAM Presented by Michael G. Knapp 17 February 2004

2 UNCLASSIFIED BISMILLAH AL-RAHMAN AL-RAHIM BISMILLAH AL-RAHMAN AL-RAHIM (the Basmallah: In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate) AS SALAAMU ALEIKUM (Peace be unto you) AS SALAAMU ALEIKUM (Peace be unto you) WA ALEIKUM AS SALAAM (And unto you the peace) WA ALEIKUM AS SALAAM (And unto you the peace) ASHAHADU AN LA ILAHA ILL ALLAH WA ASHAHADU ANNA MUHAMMADAR RASUL ALLAH (the Shahada: I declare there is no god except God, and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of God) The Language of Islam

3 UNCLASSIFIED A Diverse Faith Second-largest faith worldwide (one-fifth of mankind) and fastest growing, but still misunderstood in the West Second-largest faith worldwide (one-fifth of mankind) and fastest growing, but still misunderstood in the West Most Muslims (80%) live outside the Arab world, with many in Southeast and South Asia, Africa Most Muslims (80%) live outside the Arab world, with many in Southeast and South Asia, Africa Two main branches, but divisions within each; also includes mystics, opposition movements, reformers, modernists and fundamentalists Two main branches, but divisions within each; also includes mystics, opposition movements, reformers, modernists and fundamentalists Has small proportion of extremists, but most Muslims disagree with violence, intolerance toward others Has small proportion of extremists, but most Muslims disagree with violence, intolerance toward others Not monolithic: many Muslim interpretations of Islam, in spite of its commonalities Not monolithic: many Muslim interpretations of Islam, in spite of its commonalities

4 UNCLASSIFIED Common Beliefs & Practices Five pillars (personal rituals): - Shahada (testimony of faith) - Salat (prayer, five times daily) - Zakat (charity; annual religious payment to needy) - Saum (fasting during the month of Ramadan) - Hajj (once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca) Three duties (communal): - Jihad (primarily individual, spiritual struggle to lead a good life; secondarily communal defense of faith) - Dawah (spreading the faith to others) - Encouraging good and forbidding evil

5 UNCLASSIFIED Beliefs and Practices (2) Seven beliefs: - Oneness of God (tawhid): He has no partners or son, and is all-powerful, all-seeing and all-knowing - Angels: intelligent robots made of light energy who can assume physical form to carry out Gods will -- 4 top: Gabriel (brings revelations), Azrail (angel of death), Michael (controls the weather), and Israfil (blows the horn signaling the end of the universe) -- Each person has two angels, one at each shoulder, to record good and bad deeds -- Also jinn – unseen spirits made of smoke who cause mischief - Revealed books of God: all have been changed or corrupted except for the Quran (Koran)

6 UNCLASSIFIED Beliefs and Practices (3) Prophets: Many have been sent by God to all peoples, but their teachings have mostly been ignored by other faiths; Muhammad is the last and greatest of these prophets Day of Judgment: God tests us in our beliefs and actions, and all our good and bad deeds are recorded through life; we are confronted with this book on the Last Day, when witnesses are called and we must repay all injustices to others Divine measurement: On the Last Day, we are held accountable as our good and bad deeds are weighed against each other; finally the verdict is given and our souls are sent to heaven or hell There is life after death

7 UNCLASSIFIED Islams Two Branches SUNNI: 85-90% of Muslims Leadership by consensus (of Muhammads followers) No organized clergy; author- ity from below to above Literal interpretation of the Quran (apparent meaning) Majority status throughout duration of the caliphate SHIITE (SHIA): 10-15% of Muslims Leaders only descended from family of Muhammad Authoritarian: guidance from Imams (above) to below Leadership determines (hidden) meaning of Quran Oppressed, tragic minority: greater emphasis on martyrdom, and use of dissimulation (taqiyyah)

8 UNCLASSIFIED The Great Split Resulted partly from pre-Islamic tribal customs: age and wisdom respected, leaders chosen by shura Muhammad died in 632 A.D. without a male heir or a designated successor Abu Bakrs selection as first caliph by Prophets small inner circle went against tribal consensus, alienated Alis followers Uthmans selection as third caliph after Umar reflected ongoing Mecca-Medina tribal rivalry Ali eventually becomes fourth (and last rightly-guided) caliph, but challenged by Muawiyah and assassinated by Kharijites Death of Ali and his son Hasan leads to transfer of caliphate to Damascus, start of first Muslim dynasty (Umayyads) Tragedy of Yazids massacre of Alis son Husayn at Karbala in 680 A.D. marks beginning of Shiism as a religio-political movement

9 UNCLASSIFIED Divisions Within Sunnism Four schools of Islamic law (madhhab): Hanafi: oldest, most liberal and flexible of the schools; founded in Iraq; introduced legal opinion based on analogy (qiyas); concentrates more on juridical opinion and less on tradition; its 400 million adherents are concentrated in Central/South/Southeast Asia and Turkey Maliki: founded in Medina; produced the first law manual; focuses on ahadith and emphasizes living legal tradition; its 50 million followers located mainly in North and West Africa, Persian Gulf, Upper Egypt Shafii: founded in Iraq, this school concentrates on the scientific interpretation of law; defined community consensus (ijma) as the strongest of the four roots of law, since it determines how other three are used; 100 million adherents are in the Levant, SE Asia, E. Africa Hanbali: smallest and strictest, most conservative of the four schools; rejects consensus and only follows the Quran and tradition; basis of reforms by Ibn Taymiyya and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, and still influences Salafis and radical Islamist movements today; its 12 million followers are the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia and Qatar

10 UNCLASSIFIED Divisions Within Shiism Differences over hereditary succession of Imams: Zaydis (Fivers): differed with most Shia in that any descendant of Ali could become imam, not just descendants of Ali by Fatimah (Prophets daughter); named for Zayd bin Ali, grandson of Husayn; closest to Sunnis since they do not regard their imams as more than human Ismaelis (Seveners): recognize an unbroken chain of imams down to present, but focus adoration on seventh in the line, Ismail (not recognized by majority as an imam); early Ismaelis were revolutionaries who attacked, assassinated Sunni political and religious leaders Druze (Unitarians): offshoot from Ismaelis centered on the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim, who believed he was a divine incarnation and cosmic intellect; followers believe al-Hakim went into seclusion to test their faith, return to restore justice in the world; have own scripture and law Ithna-Asharis (Twelvers or Imamis): Majority of Shiite community, believe that imamate succession ended in 874 A.D. when 12 th Imam went into seclusion; he will return as a messianic figure (the Mahdi) at the end of the world to restore the Shiite community to its rightful place, usher in a perfect Islamic society where truth and justice prevail

11 UNCLASSIFIED Sufis – the Mystics of Islam Not a sect, but a spiritual orientation in both branches Adherents are introspective, gentle, highly spiritual people who seek to attain inner ecstasy, self-enlightenment, and emulate the Prophets own example of frugality and self-discipline Arose in opposition to social trends in the early expanding Muslim empire such as opulence, overindulgence in worldly pleasures, excessive emphasis on legalism, and pageantry Faith in God experienced through meditation, chanting, selfless love for others, self-denial, and pilgrimage to shrines of past Sufi masters Were not respected by many traditional ulema (Islamic scholars), and reformers such as Wahhabis/Salafis still consider them to be outside the Muslim faith

12 UNCLASSIFIED Other Opposition Movements Kharijites (Seceders): - resulted from Alis submission to arbitration with rebellious governor Muawiyah - first radical dissenters and extremists: exclusivist view that any deviation from Islamic principles rendered a person a non- Muslim (apostate) subject to excommunication (takfir), warfare and death if no repentence - divided the world neatly into realms of belief and unbelief - combined puritanism and religious fundamentalism in literal interpretation of the Quran and hadith - separated themselves (hijra) then conducted revolts and guerilla warfare against the early Islamic caliphates

13 UNCLASSIFIED Opposition Movements (2) Mutazilites (Moderate withdrawers): - established middle position between Kharijites and feuding companions of the Prophet: a sinning Muslim was merely a hypocrite, not an apostate - blended Greek philosophy and logical argumentation with traditional Islamic learning; introduced theological science of kalam (didactic discourse) that helped to explain issues such as faith vs. reason, Gods power vs. mankinds freedom of action - strict, militant movement which sought to force its beliefs on other Muslims; even instigated an inquisition in Iraq where they tortured and executed Muslim religious experts and jurists who didnt agree with their views - finally defeated and declared heretical during the Abbasid caliphate

14 UNCLASSIFIED Opposition Movements (3) Ahmadiya: - messianic movement founded in British India in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad - core belief is prophetology, which postulates an uninterrupted succession of non-legislative prophets following Muhammad - Ahmad claimed both messianic and prophetic status - has aroused the fierce opposition of Sunni Muslims, especially in Pakistan and India

15 UNCLASSIFIED Reform Movements in Islam Islah (reform): Quranic concept of a return to the fundamentals of Islam, and reform preached by the prophets to warn their sinful communities to return to Gods path by living within sharia norms Tajdid (renewal): Hadith that states that God will send a renewer (mujaddid) at the beginning of each century to restore true Islamic practice, regenerate the ummah (which strays off the path over time) Key features of renewal: - removal of foreign (un-Islamic) historical accretions or unwarranted innovations (bidah) that have corrupted the community; and - critique of established institutions, especially the religious establishments interpretations of Islam Goal was not to accommodate new ideas, but to get back to or re-appropriate the unique and complete vision of Islam from its revealed sources

16 UNCLASSIFIED Reform Movements (2) Revivalism not an attempt to reestablish the early community in a literal sense, but to reapply the Quran and hadith more rigorously to existing conditions Prominent renewers/revivalists such as Ibn Taymiyya and Abd al-Wahhab claimed the right to act as mujtahids to reinterpret Islam to purify and revitalize their societies Wahhabism (Muwahiddun, or Unitarians): - compared Islamic community of the 18 th century to pre-Islamic Arabia: appalled by newer form of jahiliyya, and pagan superstitions such as Sufi veneration of saints - political weakness of the community and its moral decline were due to deviation from the straight path; must repeat Islams first reformation - destroyed sacred tombs, including those of the Prophet and his companions in Mecca and Medina, Husayns at Karbala

17 UNCLASSIFIED Islamic Modernism Response to threats from European colonialism in late 19 th, early 20 th centuries Consisted of legal, educational and social reforms aimed at rescuing Muslim societies from their decline and demonstrating the compatibility of Islam with modern Western thoughts and values Used by Muslim governments to justify unpopular and misunderstood reform measures Reactions to this Westernizing of Islam led to the formation of modern Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood (Middle East) and Jamaat-i-Islami (Pakistan) Catalyst for modern Islamic reform: Jamal al-Din al-Afghani - traveled throughout the Muslim world calling for internal reform to defend, strengthen Islam and drive out the West - Muslims required to reclaim reason, science and technology to reassert Islamic identity and solidarity

18 UNCLASSIFIED Islamic Modernism (2) Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida: - great synthesizers of modern Islam, built on Afghanis efforts - religion, reason and science are complementary; Islams decline due to un-Islamic religious practices, spread of Sufi passivity and fatalism, rigid views of scholars - regulations governing worship are immutable, but regulations on social affairs are open to change - true Islamic governments are required to implement Islamic law, pan- Islamic unity needed to restore the caliphate - shifted position of the Salafiyya movement to more critical of the West: its secular nationalism and capitalist exploitation are political and religious threats Muhammad Iqbal: - Muslims must return to the past for principles and values that can be used to construct a modern Islamic society - nationalism is a tool used by the colonialists to dismember the Islamic world; the trans-national Muslim community needs pan-Islamism tempered by political realism to unify against such threats

19 UNCLASSIFIED Rise of the Fundamentalists Original thinkers build on the ideas of Ibn Taymiyya and Abd al- Wahhab (1920s-1960s): Abul ala Mawdudi, Hasan al-Banna, and Sayyid Qutb Charismatic publicists apply, expand on and redirect earlier radical Islamist thought (1980s to present): Muhammad abd al- Salam Faraj, Abdullah Azzam, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Osama bin Laden Instigating events – 1979 was a key year: - Iranian revolution brings Khomeinis militant theocracy to power, gives hope to Shia and Sunni Islamists everywhere - Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ignites regional jihad and plants the seeds for its global expansion Dispersion of mujahidin, durability of madrassas, and widespread receptivity to radicals distortions of the faith will ensure that anti-Western intolerance and violence continue

20 UNCLASSIFIED What Can We Do? Encourage reform efforts of friendly Muslim governments – apply commitment, resources to help solve enduring problems Approach all players in the Middle East (and South Asia) in a more balanced and fair way Realize that what we do is more important than what we say, and that we are being carefully and constantly scrutinized Attempt to better understand Islams cultures and the variety in its religious beliefs and practices Realize that Islam (like Judaism and Christianity) is not monolithic, and that most Muslims are not extremists

Download ppt "UNCLASSIFIED DIVERSITY IN ISLAM Presented by Michael G. Knapp 17 February 2004."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google