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An Introduction to Islam

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1 An Introduction to Islam
تقديم إلى إسلام America and the Contemporary World: Middle East Unit

2 The Basics

3 What does Islam mean? Arabic root word is SLM SLM= Salaam = Peace
ISLAM = “Willful Surrender” “Willful Submission” MUSLIM = “One who submits to Allah”

4 Islam “A Faith of Human Unity”
It calls all humankind regardless of their race and gender to unite in the worship of the One and Unique creator. Islam considers all believers as brothers and sisters, and rejects discrimination on the basis of gender, color, race or ethnic background. Humankind is one family, if one person suffers everyone should help alleviate that suffering

5 The Five Pillars Of Islam ( Forms Of Worship )
Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) Prayers (Salah) Charity (Zakat) Fasting (Ramadan) Pilgrimage (Hajj)

6 The Five Pillars of Islam

7 Declaration of Faith (Shahadah)
To say, believe and testify that… “La ilaha illa Allah” “There is no true deity, but Allah (God).” <Denial of other gods—affirmation of the one true God> لا إله إلا الله

8 Prayers (Salah) Five Daily Prayers from Dawn to Late Evening regulate a Muslim’s day: a dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset & night Prayers involve ablution, standing, bowing, prostrating, sitting postures Face Kabbah (in Mecca) a Mihrab Prayers in Arabic. Additional Prayers optional

9 Ablution (washing) before Prayer
2 3 4 5 1 6 7 8 9 10

10 Charity (Zakat) Required 2.5% charity on yearly savings
A Muslim must be a charitable person Removing a stone from the road is charity Greeting with a smile is a charity Redistribution of wealth helps societies & people Muslims are usually motivated to donate even more as optional charity God rewards charity givers very generously in this life and in the hereafter.

11 Fasting (Ramadan-Siyam)
Ramadan is 9th month in Islamic Lunar calendar Daily dawn to sunset fast for 30 days (no food or drink) Eidul-Fitr Holiday at the end This abstention includes food, drink and sexual relations. Muslims believe the fasting person develops a greater understanding of the plight of those who go hungry every day.

12 Hajj (Pilgrimage) Pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah) once in life time for able Muslims About 2-3 million Muslims perform Hajj each year from all over the world. Eidul-Adha: the biggest Muslim Holiday

13 Allah Allah is the Arabic name for God used by Muslims of the world as well as Arab Christians. “He is God, the One and Only;  God, the Eternal, Absolute;  He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” (The Qur’an)

14 Prophets and Scriptures
SOME PROPHETS: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Ishaq, Jacob (Israel), Joseph, Benjamin, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Zakareya, John, Jesus, Muhammad DIVINE BOOKS: Torah, Zabur (Psalms), Injeel (Gospel), Qur’an Belief in ALL prophets of God Source of All Books is God Main Message of all Prophets: Islam

15 Muslims Believe Muhammad Is:
The Last Messenger & Last Prophet The Seal Of The Prophets The Universal Prophet

16 Qur’an القرآن The Holy Book “The Recitation”
Islam maintains the integrity of original language (Arabic) Muslims of all language backgrounds recite Islamic verses in Arabic Qur’an القرآن The Holy Book “The Recitation” Original message is intact, as given by the Prophet in Arabic 23 Years of Revelations ( C.E.) 114 Chapters (Suras) Each begins with the phrase: “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

17 Ethics

18 Guidance from the Qur’an & Hadith
Food Human Equality Justice Repel Evil with Goodness Suicide and Jihad

19 Sharia Sharia "the path leading to the watering place" Islamic Law
covers all aspects of life (no separation of church and state) politics, society, daily life

20 Sharia law (examples) Theft – punishment can include imprisonment or the amputation of feet or hands so long as there are two witnesses (there are exceptions to amputation if the theft was of nominal value, the person was insane, or they stole out of hunger.) Adultery – punishment for married men and women is being stoned to death, but the act must be witnessed by four male (or 8 female) witnesses, for unmarried men and women is 100 lashes

21 Sharia law (examples) Converting from Islam to another religion is an apostasy and is punishable by death freedom of speech does not extent to criticizing Muhammad Homosexuality is criminal and in some countries carries the death sentence

22 World Muslims 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide (almost ¼ of the world’s population) 57 countries with Muslims as a majority of the population, including 22 Arab countries. Country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia. Only 18-25% of Muslims are Arabs


24 Muslims in America 2nd most common religion in America
One of the fastest growing religions in the USA Estimated 7 to 8 million Muslims Wide variety of ethnic backgrounds/national origins Not all Muslims are Arabs…not all Arabs are Muslims

25 Food Forbidden: Meat of animals found dead Blood Flesh of swine
Alcoholic beverages (such as beer and wine) and intoxicants Meat on which name of God is not invoked at time of slaughtering or meat on which some one else’s name is invoked Permitted: food of the People of the Book

26 No Terrorism (Forbidden in Islam)
Islamic Rulings (Fatwah’s) condemned attacks on September 11, 2001, the London bombings and others Worldwide Islamic leaders signed on to these condemnations Worldwide Islamic Organizations issued condemnations Muslim anxiety over religious misinterpretations Feel that Islam and Muslims are being held responsible unfairly for actions of “deviated people.”

27 So what was the justification for the 9/11 attack ?
Nonbelievers (Christian armies) were defiling holy land -- Mecca The combining of 1) the concept of struggle for justice (Jihad) 2) the idea of the infidel (or unbeliever) who must be overcome and 3) the belief that apostasy (those trying to convert from Islam) are deserving of death.

28 Islamic Jihad Linguistic meaning: “Striving” / “Struggling”
Islamic meaning: Non-violent struggling within oneself for a life of virtue. Fighting to establish justice, which is a supreme goal. Rules of Engagement (Fighting) In Islam ~Commanded by Prophet Muhammad Never Kill Innocent People Never Injure Prisoners-of-War Never Kill Animals Never Destroy Crops or Infrastructures Never Mutilate Bodies of Enemies--dead or alive All Prisoners Should be Given Fair Treatment Women & Children Should be Protected From Harm Always Bury the Dead With Respect Note: 1,400 Years BEFORE Geneva Convention

29 Sects

30 Sects within Islam There are divisions within Islam
just as in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism Two primary sects: Sunni & Shi’a Sunni: ~85-90% Shi’a: ~10-15% including parts of Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan Third (Minor) sect: Sufism Mystical order May include Sunni and Shi'a followers

31 Nature of the two divisions: 1)Political
Sects within Islam Sunni & Shi’a Muslims share the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and articles of faith. Nature of the two divisions: 1)Political Succession of the Prophet (Political Leadership) 2)Spiritual Veneration/worship of Imams (Spiritual Leadership)

32 Sects within Islam “Sunni” (“Sunnah” root): “one who follows the traditions of the Prophet” -- “well-trodden path” -- “tradition” 1) Successor to the Prophet should have been the most capable leader, NOT based upon bloodlines. This is what occurred. 2) Spiritual leadership is NOT a birthright, born of community trust and respect Approximately 85-90% of Muslims are from the Sunni branch

33 Sects within Islam Sunni and Shi’a also differ in lesser ways:
Sunni believe the al-Mahdi (vice-regent of Allah) will arrive at/on Judgment Day Shi’a believe al-Mahdi is on earth, “Hidden” and will emerge at/on Judgment Day Subgroups/”schools” of Sunni: Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanafi, Hanbali (most conservative) Subgroups/”schools” of Shi’a: Ithna ‘Ashariyah (“Twelvers”--the largest), Isma'iliyah and Zaydiyah


35 Women in Islam

36 Islamic Teaching About Women
The keys to heaven lay at the feet of the Mother. Your Mother deserves “3” times the respect, honor, devotion & admiration over the Father The Prophet said: He who is best to his wife is best in the sight of Allah (God). The Prophet taught all to be Kind, Gentle & Loving With Women

37 Pre-Islamic Status Of Women 570 A.D.
Very male chauvinistic society No Rights - No Status No Inheritance No say in marriage Considered property of husbands Lost her name Burden on society Her money, property, belonged to the husband Not equal to men Given away by husband Exchanged for goods & services Traded, bought & sold Meanwhile… Other nations doing the same Some Christian Councils still argued whether women had souls

38 Post-Islamic Status Of Women 623 A.D.
Right to… Own property Work Be educated Be protected by men Be respected, loved, admired Can NOT be traded, bought, sold All her money is hers All her property is hers Men required to give dowry in marriage Asset to society Honored in society Integral part of all societal affairs Women = Men Equal… In the sight of God In belief, prayer, fasting, charity, pilgrimage Rewards & punishments Rights & status Right to… Inheritance Initiate Marriage Initiate Divorce (maybe) Choose In Marriage Keep Her Name Refuse marriage proposals

39 Modern Sharia law (marriage)
Marriage – Muslims cannot marry non-muslims – if a spouse is declared a non-muslim then the marriage is annulled (wife receives a marriage gift that is part of a nuptial contract Men are discouraged from beating their wives unless he senses feelings of “disobedience and rebelliousness” if gentle persuasion does not work then he can strike her, but not with a weapon

40 Modern Sharia law (Divorce)
Divorce – women cannot divorce their husbands without the husband’s consent unless she can prove the husband is impotent, men can divorce their wives unilaterally and can do so simply by telling his wife three times that he wants a divorce (a Malaysian court has ruled that this can occur via text message) Men get custody of the children after they are weaned – wife gets spousal support for three months but gets to keep her marriage dowry

41 Modern Sharia law (Gender)
Inheritance – women can own property and inheritance, daughters get half the inheritance of sons Suport – the male relatives of a woman are required to support her, though she can forgive that obligation Witnesses: 1 man = 2 women in terms of reliability of witnesses

42 Hijab حجاب Based upon a passage that women “not display their ornaments” – interpretation varies In some cases women are expected to cover all parts of their bodies except their hands and face (though sometimes the face as well), men are supposed to covered from their knee to their waist and avoid looking at women in a libidinous way The Burqa: most extreme--not even a woman's eyes are visible

43 History

44 Muhammed Begins to preach at 43 (613 AD) in Mecca, an epicenter of trade and pilgrimage Flees to Medina in 622 AD but unites warring Arab tribes and gathers an army of up to 10, returns to capture Mecca in 630 This process of uniting the Arabian Peninsula under Muhammed creates a legacy/justification of war against infidels, or unbelievers

45 Islamic expansion Following Muhammad's death in 632, Islamic armies continued to expand By 661, Islamic armies had gone as far as Modern-day Libya in the West , Iran to the East, and the Black Sea By 750, all of North Africa and Spain are controlled by Islamic armies, with further Northern advances stopped at the battle of Tours in France. To the East Islamic armies capture much of India.

46 Crusades A series of invasions into the Middle East by Christian armies (often with the goal of capturing Jerusalem and other religious sites) The first crusade was led by the Franks and led to the capture and pillage of Jerusalem in 1099 The last crusade is in 1272, with the last Crusader-established city destroyed in the Middle East destroyed in 1291

47 Ottoman Empire This Turkish, Islamic empire grew from 1300 to 1683



50 For 500 to 1000 Years Muslims Were The World Leaders in
Science Chemistry Physics Biology Astronomy Anatomy Botany Poetry Mathematics Algebra Arabic Numbers Geometry Engineering Architecture Arts & Crafts Calligraphy Social Services Hospitals Medicine Law & Justice Human Rights Civil Rights Commerce Industry Education Universities Learning Knowledge Exploration Hygiene Ethics Etiquettes

51 So what happened? Crusades from the West and a Mongol invasion from the North disrupted/destroyed major cities (theory) Influential Islamic scholar Al-Ghazali rejected Greek thought as heretical and argued that the natural world is driven by divine so to understand the natural world look to religious sources first (theory) Western science became permanently linked to the crusades

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