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Islam. The Arabian Peninsula Crossroads of 3 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) 1,200 by 1,300 miles at longest and widest points. Mostly desert, very.

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Presentation on theme: "Islam. The Arabian Peninsula Crossroads of 3 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) 1,200 by 1,300 miles at longest and widest points. Mostly desert, very."— Presentation transcript:

1 Islam

2 The Arabian Peninsula Crossroads of 3 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) 1,200 by 1,300 miles at longest and widest points. Mostly desert, very little land to support agriculture. Inhabited by nomadic Arab herders. o Nomads were Bedouins. o Organized into tribes and clans to provide support for life in difficult desert conditions. o Bedouin ideals of courage and loyalty to family would become part of the Islamic way of life.

3 Crossroads of Trade and Ideas By the early 600s, many Arabs had settled into Oases capable of supporting farming and market towns. At the same time, trade routes began to connect Arabia to the major ocean and land trade routes. o Ran from the extreme south of the peninsula to the Byzantine and Sassanid empires to the north. o Included trade from the Silk Roads to the east. o Also carried information and ideas from the outside world. o Cities like Petra and Palmyra had become prosperous trading centers.

4 The City of Mecca During holy months, caravans stopped at Mecca to worship at an ancient shrine. Mecca housed a simple house of worship called the Ka'aba, which was associated with Abraham. Polytheism existed in the Arabian world at this time and over 360 idols had been brought to the Ka'aba. Monotheism had been practiced by a few known as hanifs, as well as Christians and Jews in the area. Around 570, Muhammad was born into this mixed religious environment.


6 The Prophet Muhammad Born to a powerful Meccan family. Orphaned at age 6, raised by his grandfather and uncle. Received very little schooling. Became a trader and business manager for Khadijah, a wealthy businesswoman. Married Khadijah when he was 25.

7 Revelations At the age of 40, Muhammad heard the voice of the angel Gabriel speak to him while meditating in a cave outside Mecca. "Proclaim! In the name of the Lord and Cherisher, who created man out of a mere clot of congealed blood. Proclaim! And the Lord is the most bountiful. He who taught the use of the pen taught man that which he knew not." Muhammad became convinced that he was the last of the prophets. He taught that Allah was the one and only God and that all other gods must be abandoned.

8 Early Islam Islam - submission to the will of Allah. Muslim - on who has submitted. Earliest followers were Khadijah and Muhammad's closest friends. By 613, Muhammad began to preach publicly in Mecca. Many believed his ideas would lead to neglect of traditional Arab gods. They believed Mecca would lose its position as a pilgrimage center if people accepted Muhammad's monotheistic beliefs.

9 The Hijrah Facing hostility, Muhammad resettled in Yathrib, over 200 miles north of Mecca in 622. o This migration became known as the Hijrah. o Here he attracted many followers. o Later renamed Medina (city of the Prophet). Fashioned an agreement joining his own people with Arabs and Jews of Medina as a single community. Became a political, religious, and military leader.

10 Return to Mecca During the years of battle with Muslims from Medina, Mecca's power declined. In 630, Muhammad and 10,000 followers marched to the outskirts of Mecca. Facing sure defeat, Mecca's leaders surrendered. Muhammad went to the Ka'aba and declared, "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished", then destroyed the other idols. Most Meccans converted to Islam. 2 years later, Muhammad died at the age of 62.

11 A Way of Life Muslims do not separate religion from daily life. Some customs, morals, and Laws besides 5 Pillars: o No eating pork or drinking intoxicating beverages. o Friday afternoons devoted to communal worship and prayer. Islam has no priests or central religious authority. o Each Muslim expected to worship God directly. Does have a scholar class called the ulama. o Concerned with learning and law. o Religious teachers who study the words and deeds of Muhammad and apply them to everyday life.

12 Sources of Authority Original source of authority is Allah. He expressed his will through Gabriel to Muhammad. After Muhammad's death his revelations were collected in a book called the Qur'an. Only the Arabic version is considered the true word of God and only Arabic can be used in worship. To Muslims, Muhammad's example, or the Sunna, is the best model for proper living. A body of law known as the shari'a was developed from the Qur'an and Sunna to aid Muslims in applying the will of Allah to their daily lives.

13 Links to Judaism and Christianity Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews. Muslims view Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God. All 3 believe in heaven and hell and a day of judgement. All 3 trace their ancestry back to Abraham. Both Christians and Jews were seen by Muslims as "people of the book", because each religion had a holy book with teachings similar to those of the Qur'an. Shari'a law required Muslim leaders to extend religious tolerance to Jews and Christians.

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