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Medina mosque. Mecca mosque. ISLAM. Muhammad preaches to early converts. Key terms. Islam = “submission to the will of Allah (God)”; name of religion passed down from Allah to Muhammad Muslim = “one who submits”; one who practices the Islamic religion

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Islam l.jpg

Medina mosque

Mecca mosque

ISLAM

Muhammad preaches to early converts


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Key terms

  • Islam = “submission to the will of Allah (God)”; name of religion passed down from Allah to Muhammad

  • Muslim = “one who submits”; one who practices the Islamic religion

  • Qu’ran = “recitation”; Allah’s revelations to Muhammad for 23 years

    • 114 chapters (surahs)

    • 6,000 verses (ayahs)

    • Poetic, spiritual, moral teachings

    • Pre-hijra revelations = belief in Allah’s spirituality

    • Post-hijra = how to organize politically, economically, poor, disabled, crime, etc.


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Muhammad ibn Abdullah

  • Born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia (c.570 – 632)

  • Querysh ethnicity = nomadic traders who controlled Mecca politically & economically

  • Khadijah = wife & 4 daughters

  • 40 yrs.= Mt. Hirato fast & meditate, received revelations from Allah through Jibral,

    • Only 1 God, Allah, Muhammad is last prophet

    • Abraham founded the religious tradition, 1st prophet

    • Jews & Christians strayed from their faith, M’s role was to restore faith for all people

  • Next 23 yrs. = continued to receive revelations


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Muhammad ibn Abdullah

  • preached in Mecca

  • New beliefs challenged Querysh religious beliefs & political/economic interests

  • Querysh persecuted M so moved to Medina

  • 622 = “Hijra”: emigration to Medina, 1st year of Islamic calendar

  • ruled as supreme judge & political leader of 1st Islamic state & returned to control Mecca

  • 632 = Mohammad died at age 72


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Shia, Sunni, & Sufi Islam

  • Who should become caliph upon M’s death?

    • Ali, husband of Fatima: Shia Ali

    • Abu Bakr, M’s disciple

    • M selected Abu Bakr: Sunni

    • Shia today: 10-15% of Muslims

    • Sunni today: 85-90% of Muslims

  • Sufism = mystical & ascetic spiritual practices, no Sharia, spiritual teachers have direct union w/Allah (shayks, pirs, walis, marabouts)


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Stereotypes

  • Orientalism = (Edward Said’sOrientalism, 1979); Western style of dominating, imagining, misrepresenting & having authority over the East

  • Islam = inherently violent, called for holy wars to convert people

  • Post 9/11/01 = backward religion, terrorists, violent fanatics who want to suppress freedom & dissent

    Reality = fastest growing of major religions:

    1.3 billion pple, 1/5 world population


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5 Pillars of Islam

  • Shahada = profess faith in Allah & Muhammad

  • Salat = pray 5 times/day, facing Mecca

  • Sawam = fast during Ramadan (9th month)

  • Zakat = give alms to support poor, orphans, disabled in your community

  • Hajj = make pilgrimage to Mecca (12th month)


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Aspects of Islam

  • Cosmology = heaven, earth, hell

  • Humans = represent God on earth, judged according to deeds

    • Must follow God’s will, path of righteousness

    • Weak & easily tempted, must repent

    • “Islam” = submit to the will of Allah

    • Day of reckoning = righteous to heaven, evil to hell

  • Sharia = Islamic law: politics & codes for criminal law, family, marriage; different schools of Islamic law (Maliki, Hanifa, Al-Shafi, Hanbali)


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Gender, family, marriage

  • Early research: focused on texts, distorted realities, male researchers no access to women

  • Qu’ran: forbids female infanticide & all sexual immorality

  • Sharia law:

    • Women inherit ½ parents’ estate

    • Women are ½ legal status of men

  • Polygyny practiced but not universally

  • Arranged marriages: education, age, class, sex

  • Economic, political, cultural factors influence practices: no rigid norms



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  • Pre-Islamic origins: Mesopotamian, Persian, Jewish, Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Hijab meanings

    • Sacred divide between men & women

    • Outward symbol of separation

    • Modesty

    • Morality

  • Purdah = enforced seclusion of women

  • Revival movements: women reclaim veil

    • Protection from strangers

    • Desexualizes work environment

    • Anti-western colonialism & imperialism: attacked Islamic cultural identity


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Islamic Civilizations Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Islam spread from Arabic region (Middle East) to: North Africa, Spain, and Asia

  • Early civilizations: Baghdad (Iraq), Cairo (Egypt), Cordoba (Spain), Palermo (Sicily)

  • Baghdad (750 – 1258)

    • Universities

    • Translated texts from Greek, Roman, Hindu, & Persian cultures into Arabic; synthetic philosophy

    • Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, astronomy, philosophy, art, architecture, medicine

  • Arabic = (700-1300, Middle Ages) world’s major intellectual & scientific language & influenced the West


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Western colonization Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • 1095-1291 = “Crusades,” EU launched military expeditions to defeat Islamic dynasties & return Holy Land to Christian rule

  • EU wanted control of Eastern trade routes (spices, silk, cotton)

  • 1400’s = Portuguese establish ports from Arabia to SE Asia, controlled spice trade

  • 1800’s = EU colonizes Middle East: seeking raw materials & new markets


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British & French colonies Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Suez canal: 1869, connected Mediterranean Sea W/Gulf of Suez

    • 101 miles long

    • immediate and dramatic effect on world trade

    • combined w/ American Transcontinental railroad, allowed entire world to be circled in record time

    • British & French owned

    • increased EU penetration & colonization of Africa


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  • Egypt Christian, Byzantine cultures: British colony in 1882; sugar, cotton

  • Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco: French colonies; railroads, mining, agriculture

  • Iran: N. Iran was Russian colony, S. Iran was British; tobacco

  • SE Asia: Dutch in 1917; sugar, coffee, tobacco, indigo

  • Malaysia: British; tin, rubber, Chinese labor


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Post-WWII colonies Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • French: North Africa, Lebanon, Syria

  • British: Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, South Asia

  • Dutch: SE Asia

  • Colonial economies based on cash crops: tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, cotton, opium

  • Independence/nationalist movements, new nation-states in 1960’s:

    Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kuwait, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan


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Post-colonial Islamic Reform movements Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Egypt

    • Women are equal to men in constitution

    • Anti-sexual discrimination laws

    • Women involved in medicine, law, engineering, management, government, etc.

    • Liberal divorce laws

  • Turkey & Tunisia: prohibit polygyny

  • Saudi Arabia

    • Gender segregation: schools, jobs, transport, public entrances, etc.


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Why Islamic resurgent movements in 1970’s? Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • 1967 Arab-Israeli war: Arab territories lost to Israel, turned to Islamic faith for strength

  • Oil boom: Allah’s will; revenues in Libya, Iran, Saudi supported fundamentalist movements

  • Disillusionment w/capitalism & socialism: looked to Islamic solution

  • Iran success: Islamic revolution overthrew secular, Western-influenced shah


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Iran’s Islamic Revolution Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • 1500’s: Shia Islam became state religion; today, 90% of Iranians are Shia

  • Shia leaders:

    • Mullahs = village preachers

    • Mujtahids = religious judges

    • Ayatollahs = religious scholars, moral & political leaders

    • Shahs = political rulers


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  • Iran “modernizes” Christian, Byzantine cultures

    • economy, military, education

    • Educated elite: Western democratic values & representative govt.

    • Opposed Shah’s absolute power

  • Shia critique: shah gave West permission to undermine Islam

  • 1925-1979 Pahlavi dynasty

    • Shia leaders viewed as obstacles to modernization

    • Secular laws replaced Sharia law

    • No more veil

    • 1963 “White Revolution”

      • Shah was “Great Satan,” puppet of US govt.

      • Commercial agriculture, land reform, capitalism, landless peasants, women vote, SAVAK secret police

      • Ayatollah Khomeini arrested


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Opposition increases Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Rural migrants: sided with Islamic clergy

  • Westernized middle class: democratic hopes

  • University students: Shia Islam like liberation theology, free them from foreign control

    *Demonstrations, protests, fervor*

    1979: Ayatollah Khomeini led revolution

    “Islamic Republic of Iran” = theocracy ruled by Shia clergy

    Political, cultural, social transformation


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Islamic Republic of Iran Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Mosques = government offices, places of worship, local police; all Iranians forced to register

  • Purge Iran of Western influences

  • Women forced to wear head scarves

  • Family Protection Act abolished

  • Minimum marriage age was 13, polygyny, divorce at will

  • 10 year war against Iraq

  • Struggle: moderate democrats v. conservative fundamentalists


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Afghanistan Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • 1800’s

    • British supported leaders

    • Modernization (built roads, etc.)

    • Unify/pacify ethnic groups

  • 1920’s-30’s

    • Economic development & democracy failed

    • Soviet Union supported Marxist movements

  • 1970’s

    • Soviet Union sponsored 2 successful coups


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Resistance forms Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Afghanistan ethnic groups: Pashtuns (47%), Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Kirghiz, Hazara, Baluchis, Sunni (88%), Shia (12%)

  • Mujahidin = “holy warriors” launched jihad (holy war) against Soviet-sponsored govt.

  • 1979: Soviet Union invaded AF to repress resist.

    • West gave financial & military aid to Mujahidin

    • Afghans fled to Pakistan

    • Soviets withdrew

  • 1980’s-90’s

    • Islamic & ethnic groups fought for power

    • West w/drew support from Mujahidin, fearing revolution like Iran


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Taliban emerges Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • Taliban = “religious students”

    • 1994 Islamic faction

    • Afghan religious students recruited from schools in Pakistan

    • Militia gained control over most of Afghanistan

    • Strict Islamic guidelines & norms

      • No music, dancing, singing, kite flying, cards, chess, etc

      • Men can’t trim beards, women wear burqas

    • Al Qaeda supports Taliban

      • Headed by Osama Bin Laden = Saudi multi-millionaire terrorist


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Take-home messages Christian, Byzantine cultures

  • We must interpret multiple forms of Islam with respect to local cultural, historical, & political contexts

  • No essential “Islamic tradition”

  • Islamic fundamentalisms have emerged within the context of: Western colonialism, Western imperialism & internal factional, sectarian, and class differences


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