Essential Question: Who was Muhammad and how did Islam unite the Arab people?
Overview of Islam Around the year 600 CE, a new monotheistic religion called Islam began on the Arabian peninsula This new faith was founded by the Prophet Muhammad His followers, called Muslims, spread Islam throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe
Overview of Islam By the year 750 CE, Muslim leaders had built an Islamic Empire
Overview of Islam The Islamic Empire connected diverse people through religion and trade Muslim scholars focused on learning and developed numerous cultural achievements that are still used today
Today, Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion; it has more than 1 billion followers throughout the world (second only to Christianity) Overview of Islam
Arabia, the Birthplace of Islam The Arabian Peninsula is a desert region with little fertile soil or farming Most Arabs lived in desert tribes which were centered around families and were ruled by clans
Arabia was not united under a single government, but Arabs did have a common language (Arabic) Most Arabs were polytheistic, having an Animist-type religion; some followed Christianity or Judaism Arabia, the Birthplace of Islam
Arabia was the intersection of three continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) so it was an important region for trade; they were also exposed to much cultural diffusion One of the wealthiest trade cities in Arabia was Mecca
The Ka’aba (“The Cube”) was a 43 foot high cube structure that held statues of hundreds of gods Mecca was also a religious city
Arabs made pilgrimages to Mecca to visit the Ka’aba; violence between the warring Arab tribes was forbidden within 20 miles of the Ka’aba This law of non- violence helped make Mecca an even more valuable trade city (since merchants could peacefully do business there)
Muhammad and Islam Muhammad’s work brought him into contact with Jewish and Christian merchants, so he was exposed to their religions Muhammad had a vision of the angel Gabriel in 610 CE; he was told by Gabriel that he was a prophet sent to Earth by God
Muhammad and Islam He began preaching a new monotheistic religion that worshipped the same God as the God of the Jews and Christians, but in a different way This religion Muhammad originated was called Islam, which means “submission to the will of God”
The Monotheistic Religions As this “family tree” illustrates, the leading figures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are distantly related as descendants of Abraham (the “father” of the Hebrews)
Basic Ideas of Islam MUSLIM SYMBOL FOR “ALLAH” Followers of Islam are called Muslims, which means “one who has submitted to God” Muslims believe in the “one true God” (same as Jews and Christians) and call God “Allah”
Basic Ideas of Islam Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last of God’s prophets, so his word is final and unchangeable The words and teachings of Muhammad are recorded in the Qur’an (or Koran), the sacred book of Islam
How did people in Arabia respond to Muhammad’s new religion?
The Hijrah By the year 613, Muhammad began preaching his new ideas in the city of Mecca Many people were attracted to Islam However, some people feared Muhammad’s popularity; they felt that Islam would spread elsewhere and Mecca would lose its status as the only holy city in Arabia
The Hijrah Some Meccans violently attacked Muhammad and his followers After several years of attacks, Muhammad and his followers fled Mecca and went to the city of Medina This migration of the Muslims to Medina was called the Hijrah
The Hijrah In Medina, Muhammad gained many more new converts These new Muslims put Islam above their families and clans One thing Muhammad taught Muslims was respect for Jews and Christians (who he called “People of the Book”)
How did Muhammad react to violence by non-Muslims in Mecca?
What did Muhammad do after he gained converts and returned to Mecca?
Muhammad’s Return To Mecca In the year 630, Muhammad returned to Mecca; he had 10,000 soldiers with him and he conquered the city
Muhammad’s Return To Mecca He destroyed all of the statues of gods in the Ka’aba, leaving only the statue for Allah This time, the people of Mecca all converted to Islam
Muhammad’s Return To Mecca Muhammad died in the year 632
The Islamic Empire After Muhammad, the new Muslim leaders created an empire centered on Islam The Islamic Empire was based in Arabia and their well-trained soldiers conquered neighboring regions
The Islamic Empire The massive empire they conquered led to great wealth for Muslims and opportunities to spread Islam
MuhammadJesus Moses Compare the roles of Jesus, Moses, and Muhammad in the development of the 3 major monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Match the terms from the word bank with the appropriate prophet.