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Islam. Unit Three. Introduction. Islam means “submitting to God” and a person following this religion is called a Muslim, one who “submits to God and finds peace in Him”

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Islam

Islam

Unit Three


Introduction

Introduction

  • Islam means “submitting to God” and a person following this religion is called a Muslim, one who “submits to God and finds peace in Him”

  • Muslims believe that the angel Gabriel gave a series of revelations from God to Muhammad, the last prophet sent to humanity by God.

  • Islam is the second largest and fastest growing religion in the world, with 1.2 billion believers.

  • Over 50 countries have a population that is mostly Muslim.

  • Over 650,000 Muslims live in Canada.


At the end of this unit you should know

At the end of this unit you should know………..

  • The origins of Islamic beliefs.

  • Role and contributions of Muhammad.

  • The origins of the Qur’an or Koran.

  • Islamic beliefs, practices, festivals and rituals.

  • Understand the significance of fasting and prayer to Muslims.

  • The symbols of Islam.

  • Key events in the development of Islam.

  • Religious groups within Islam.

  • The status of women in Islam.


Origins

Origins

  • Muslims believe the central figure in the emergence of the religion of Islam was the prophet Muhammad.

  • Muhammad received direct revelations from God through the Angel Gabriel. With these revelations “burned into his heart” Muhammad led Arabia in belief in the oneness of God.

  • Muslims regard Muhammad with great reverence and say “peace be upon him” whenever they mention his name.

  • He was born in 570CE in Makkah (now Mecca). At the time people were divided into tribes, his being Quraysh, the most respected one.

  • In the year 610, Muhammad had his encounter with Gabriel in a cave on Mount Hira. Gabriel embraced him and commanded him to read a passage and Muhammad responded that he couldn’t or wouldn’t. Gabriel insisted, and after three requests Muhammad agreed. This is what he read………


Islam

Read! In the name of thy lord

and cherisher, who

Created man out of a mere clot of

congealed blood:

Proclaim! And thy lord is most

Bountiful.

He who taught (the use of) the pen

Taught man that which he knew not

Qur’an 96:1-5


Islam

  • For the next 23 years Muhammad received a series of revelations. These were assembled to form the sacred text of Islam called the Qur’an (Koran).

  • Muhammad began to preach these revelations and at first , few listened. Some even saw him as a threat and plotted to kill him. He continued his mission for 9 years until his wife died, followed soon after by the death of his uncle, in 619. This became known as the year of sorrow.

  • With his life in danger, Muhammad fled to the city of Yathrib, now Medina. This is known as the Hijrah, which means migration.


Islam

  • Muslims believe that before leaving Makkah, Muhammad went through two special experiences….

  • 1. The “Night Journey” involved Muhammad, accompanied by Gabriel, on a winged horse called the Buraq (lightning), travelling from Makkah to Jerusalem.

  • 2. Upon arriving they ascended through the seven heavens. The Ascension is known as the Mi’raj.

  • First heaven, they met Adam, second they met John and Jesus, then five more heavens where they met Joseph, Enoch, Aaron, Moses and lastly Abraham.

  • Finally, Muhammad approached the Throne of God, coming within two bow lengths of God Himself.


Islam

  • After the hijrah, Muhammad established a Muslim community in the city of Medina (the city of the prophet).

  • The Quraysh of Makkah were alarmed by this and offered Muhammad wealth, beautiful women and the absolute leadership of the Quraysh. When this failed they saw that the only alternative was to kill Muhammad.

  • Jihad has been translated to mean Holy war, but actually it means “striving.” Muslims are called to strive to follow God’s commands.

  • Three battles proved to be significant in the unification of Arabia, under the religion of Islam.


Islam

  • Battle of Badr – Muhammad’s army of 313 defeats Makkah’s army of 1000.

  • Battle of Uhud – Makkan’s return with an army of 3000 to score a victory. Despite their victory they return home without going the extra three kilometers to sack Madinah.

  • Battle of the Trench – Makkans return with an army of 10,000. Muhammad orders a trench be built around the city. The Makkans are unable to take the city and return home.

  • These battles solidified the position of Islam in Madinah.


The conquest of makkah

The Conquest of Makkah

  • In 630CE, in what is commonly referred to as the “conquest of Makkah”, Muhammad led a group of 10,000 into Makkah, with little opposition.

  • The citizens of Makkah were assembled before him and Muhammad forgave them for their persecution of Muslims and told them they were all free.

  • A major transformation took place; the people now began to accept Muhammad’s teachings and he left without leaving a single soldier behind.

  • In 632, Muhammad, along with 140,000 Muslims, visited Makkah to perform his last pilgrimage. He stopped at Mount Arafat and delivered what is known as his “farewell sermon.” Some of the things he said in this sermon are as follows:


Islam

  • Believe in one God.

  • Equality for everyone, no matter what race or class.

  • The sanctity of life, honor and property.

  • Better treatment of women.

  • The Qur’an serves as the basis of law and human life.

    In this sermon Muhammad offered forgiveness for anyone who had done wrong and summarized the core of Islamic teaching.

    In June of 632 Muhammad died at the age of 63.


Holy places

Holy Places

  • Mecca is the holiest city of the Muslim faith. Contained in its Mosque (Muslim holy place of worship) is the Ka’bah, which Muslims revere as the house of God.

  • Every Muslims daily prayers are directed towards this cubical stone structure.


Islam

  • The second holiest city of Islam is Medina, where Muhammad took refuge and began his teachings.

  • Called the “city of the Prophet” , it is the site of the first Mosque of Islam, known as the prophet’s Mosque.


Islam

  • The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam.

  • Muslims consider it the place where Muhammad ascended into heaven.

  • It is also the place Muhammad visited on his night journey.

  • With its obvious connection with Christianity and Judaism, Jerusalem is considered the holiest city in the world.


Islamic beliefs

Islamic Beliefs

  • Muslim belief is summarized in their creed, which is called the Shahadah.

  • This creed is the organizing principle around which all other beliefs are formed.

    “ There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”


Islam

  • Muslim’s believe God’s proper name is Allah.

  • The belief in an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God is central to the Muslim faith.

  • Remember, the word Islam means submission to God! Islam is therefore not only a belief in one God but also a way of life.

  • Muslims believe in equality between the body and soul, permitting a full enjoyment of all the good that God has created, while at the same time giving everyone duties towards God, such as daily prayer, fasting, charity, etc.

  • They also believe in the universality of the call, without distinction of class, race or tongue. Only God is superior.


The day of judgment

The Day Of Judgment

  • Muslims believe that everyone has a soul which after death moves on to an afterlife.

  • “ Well-being in this world and well-being in the hereafter.” A Muslim should not neglect one for the other.

  • The body is reconfigured after death so that it may stand before God on the Day of Judgment. It is on this day that the soul is sent to Paradise or Hell.

  • Paradise is described as beautiful and majestic. It is the reward for living a just life.

  • Hell is described as a place of torment and anguish.

  • You can avoid hell by sincerely submitting to God and obeying his commands.


The five pillars of islam

The Five Pillars of Islam

  • The First Pillar – Shahadah – Declaration of Faith.

  • Consists of two declarations, “There is no God but God” and “Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

  • The Shahadah is Muslim’s announcement to the world that they sincerely believe in and follow the Qur’an.


Islam

  • The Second Pillar – Salat – Mandatory prayer five times a day.

  • Prayer five times a day is mandatory; before dawn, mid-day, late afternoon, after sunset and after dark.

  • Muslims recite prayers and a series of movements as part of the salat.

  • Prior to prayer a person must perform a ritual cleansing known as Wudu, which means “making pure or radient.

  • Sometimes the entire body has to be cleansed in a process known as ghusl, which is mandatory after sexual intercourse, menstruation, nocturnal emissions or childbirth.


Islam

  • The Third Pillar – Zakat – Mandatory alms giving.

  • Paying the zakat alms is compliance to a divine injunction gladly performed by sincere Muslims for the sake of and in the name of God. It means to “purify or increase”

  • Islamic law states that a person should give alms valued at 2.5% of their surplus wealth over the period of one year.


Islam

  • The Fourth Pillar of Islam – Sawm – Mandatory fasting.

  • For the entire month of Ramadan Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual relations from dawn until dusk.

  • It is an act of worship where the Muslim community dedicates a month to considering the benevolence of God and abstaining from some of the pleasures of life in order to develop spiritual purity.

  • Exceptions are made for those who are old, sick, or on a journey, as well as young children.


Islam

  • The Fifth Pillar of Islam – Hajj – Mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca.

  • The Hajj is undertaken by any Muslim in the world who has the health and means to make the pilgrimage.

  • The last day of the Hajj commemorates the day God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismael at Mina. Pilgrims throw seven pebbles at three tall stone structures (called the jamraat) that represent satan.


The mosque

The Mosque

  • Every Friday Muslims offer congregational prayers at the local Mosque. This is mandatory.

  • Most Mosques have a dome and/or minaret (tower) from which the call to prayer is issued. They also have a steady supply of water to perform the wudu before prayer.

  • Before entering, worshippers remove their shoes and pray on the floor which is covered with carpets. Women pray separately so both genders can avoid distractions.

  • Prayers are led by an Iman, who speaks from an elevated platform called a minbar.

  • Each mosque has a small arch on one wall that points to the Ka’bah. Called a mihrab, it provides a focal point for prayer.


Festivals

Festivals

  • The Ramadan Fast – during the month of Ramadan.

  • Eid al-Fitr – festival of the breaking of the fast, first day of the tenth month of the Islamic year.

  • Eid-al-Adha – tenth day of the twelfth month, it is the great festival of sacrifice.

  • Milad ul-Nabi – Muhammad’s birthday.

  • Mi’raj – celebrates the night journey, on the 27th day of the seventh month.

  • Islamic New Year – first day of the first month.


Early life

Early Life

  • Muslims believe children are born free of sin. The child is pure with a natural inclination for goodness and virtue.

  • After a child is born a ceremony called the Adhan is performed. The baby is washed, then the father whispers the call to prayer in the child’s right ear and the Iqamah, the command to rise and worship, in the child’s left ear.

  • Seven days after the birth, a name-giving ceremony called the Aqiqah is performed. First the father reads from the Qur’an, then the child’s name is announced. During the ceremony the child’s hair is cut and its weight in silver is donated to the poor. Males are later circumcised in a hospital. (Khitan)

  • Abdullah, which means servant of God or Abdur-Rahman, which means servant of the merciful one, are the names Muhammad said would be most pleasing to God. Muslims may choose one of these names, one from the list of 99 beautiful names that describe God or a family name.


Marriage

Marriage

  • The hope of a Muslim union in marriage is a strong family, whose members seek to know and live the will of God.

  • One controversial aspect of Islamic tradition is Polygamy, married to more than one person at the same time. Within the Islamic tradition, polygamous marriages can provide women with the opportunity to marry in societies where there are more women than men. It also provides an opportunity for widows to remarry.

  • Muslims believe it is a sign of great tolerance and understanding for a woman to agree to share her husband with another woman. A man must first obtain the permission from his first wife before taking on a second.

  • A Muslim man can marry up to four women.

  • The vast majority of Muslim marriages are monogamous.


Death

Death

  • Muslims hope that when they die they reach Paradise.

  • Burial should preferably take place on the day the person died. The body is taken to the grave site, where mourners throw handfuls of earth into the grave while reciting chapters from the Qur’an. Three days of mourning is observed.

  • Muslims believe the deceased is visited by two angels who question the person about his or her life, faith and good or evil deeds while on earth.


Sacred writings

Sacred Writings

  • The holiest book in Islam is the Qur’an, which means recitation. It is usually chanted or read aloud. Muslims believe it contains, as revealed by Muhammad over 23 years, the word of God!

  • Criticism of the Qur’an is not permitted at anytime.

  • Muslims believe the angel Gabriel conveyed the Qur’an to Muhammad and therefore, to all humanity. Even translating it into another language is not considered the true word.

  • The messages of the Qur’an were at first transmitted orally, but eventually a manuscript was prepared. All copies have to exactly like the original.


Islam

  • The Qur’an is made up of chapters called Surahs, which are named based on significant incidents or words from the text.

  • Each Surah is made up of ayats or verses. It literally means signs and everyone, except for the ninth chapter, begin with “In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful.”

  • The Hadith or Sunnah is the second most important source of Islamic law. (Shari’ah)

  • There are three kinds……sayings directly associated with Muhammad, an action or practice of Muhammad and his silent approval of someone else’s actions.


Islamic sects

Islamic Sects

  • Sunni – approx. 855 of the world’s Muslims. Derived from the word sunna, which means well-trodden path. Believe and follow the traditions of the prophet.

  • Shi’ah – known as the “party of Ali” they believe that before his death, Muhammad chose his son-in-law, Ali, as his successor. Because Abu Bakr was chosen instead of Ali, a political division was created that later became doctrinal. They believe that after Muhammad’s death a series of infallible leaders called Imans were to take charge of Islam. Shi’ahs dominate religion and politics in Iran and have a minority in Irag, Pakistan, East Africa and India.


Women and islam

Women and Islam

  • According to the Qur’an, men and women are equal!!!

  • Women wear a hijab, similar to the robes of a nun. They wear it as an expression of their modesty. Muslim’s in the west wear it as a way to maintain their distinct Muslim identity.

  • A woman who wears the hijab will not attract unwanted attention to her body and therefore attention would given to her personality, ideas and intellect.


Muslims in canada

650,000 in Canada.

Canadian Society of Muslims, founded by Dr. M. Qadeer Baig, led a campaign to remove discriminatory material about Islam from Ontario school books.

Muslims In Canada


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