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Islam 101 l.jpg

Islam 101


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Middle East

  • Judaism, Christianity, Islam

    • originated in Middle East

      • Moses born in Egypt: 1526 B.C

      • Jesus born in Bethlehem (Palestine): 4 B.C

      • Muhammad born in Mecca (KSA): 570 A.D


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Abraham (Ibrahim)

  • Most important of early prophets

    • born in Ur (Iraq): 1900 B.C

      • rebuilt place to worship one God

        • ka’bah in Mecca, originally built by Adam

      • father of Ishaq (Isaac), lsma'il (Ishmael)

        • descendants of Isaac: Hebrew tribes

        • descendants of Isma'il: Arabian tribes


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Islam timeline

  • 7th century Arabian Peninsula

    • Pagans: many tribes

    • Jews: three tribes

    • Christians: few (North, West and Yemen)


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Islam timeline

  • Quraish: most noble Arabian tribe

    • to which Muhammad was born: 570 A.D

      • before his birth: Father died

      • at age six: Mother died

      • until eight: Grandfather cared for him

      • after Grandfather death: Uncle raised him

        • worked as shepherd, in caravan trade

        • named “the truthful, the honest”

          • rare qualities of character

        • was illiterate


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Islam timeline

  • Meditated in solitude of desert

    • cave outside Mecca

      • At age 40: received first revelation from God

        • through angel Gabriel (Jibril)

        • commanded him to read

        • Muhammad responded he didn't know how

          • Gabriel replied: “Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honorable, Who taught (to write) with the pen, Taught man what he knew not” (96):1-5


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Islam timeline

  • Muhammad's mission

    • "read" what Allah revealed

      • Qur'an word of Allah

        • discussed message

          • wife (Khadijah), cousin (Ali), friend (Abu-Bakr)

          • all became Muslims

        • instructed to call people to worship one God

          • hostility, persecution: religious, economic reasons


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Islam timeline

  • Migrated with followers

    • From Mecca to Medina

    • Islamic state established

      • based on laws from Qur’an

    • several battles with Quraish

    • invited tribes, nations to Islam


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Islam timeline

  • Returned to Mecca

    • large number of followers

    • entered city peacefully

      • most citizens accepted Islam

    • cleared idols out of Kaaba

      • rededicated it to the worship of one God

  • Muhammad died 633 C.E


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Islam timeline

  • “The 100: A ranking of the most influential persons in history”

    • by Michael Hart

      • put Muhammad on top of the list

        • “ The only man in history who was supremely successful on both religious and secular levels”


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Islam timeline

  • Islam spread

    • southern France to China

      • entire known world

      • merchants along ancient trade routes

      • people converted to a simple religion


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Islamic civilization

  • One of the most brilliant

    • cultural centers

      • Andalusia, Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo

    • Europeans journeyed to learn

      • Science, philosophy, arts flourished

      • great achievement of Islamic scholars

        • placed study of subjects on a scientific footing

          west didn't achieve until Enlightenment


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Islamic civilization

  • Cordoba

    • large, vibrant metropolis

    • population 500,000 (40,000 in Paris)

    • 70 libraries, hundreds thousands volumes

      • Al-Hakim library: 400,000 books

  • Baghdad

    • covered with parks, gardens, villas

    • numerous colleges of learning, hospitals

  • Cairo

    • Al-Azhar founded 970: first university in world


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Islamic civilization

  • Medicine

    • important additions to Greek knowledge

      • Al-Zahrawi

        • wrote a masterwork on anatomy and dissection

        • standard text in European medical schools

      • Ibn Al-Nafis

        • discovered lesser circulation of blood

        • hundreds of years before Harvey


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Islamic civilization

  • Mathematics

    • introduced use of zero

    • replaced Roman system with Arabic numerals

    • invented algebra, trigonometry

  • Astronomy

    • measured circumference of earth with accuracy

      • 800 years before Europe recognized world not flat


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Islamic civilization

  • Manufacturing

    • used paper on large scale

      • reached Europe from Arabs in Spain

  • Economy/Trade

    • banking system: well developed

    • merchant vessels to Indonesia, Far East

  • Military

    • navies commanded Mediterranean, Indian Ocean


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Islamic civilization

  • “The Life and Times of Muhammad”

    • by Sir John Glubb

      • “For five centuries after Muhammad, Muslims dominated the world both culturally and militarily as completely as Europe and America have done for the last two hundred and fifty years"


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Islam timeline

  • Ottoman Empire

    • conquest of Constantinople in 1453

    • dismantled by European allies after WWI

    • Muslim world under colonial occupation

    • independence 1922-1965, except Palestine

    • 48 Muslim majority countries


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Demographics

  • Muslims

    • 1.2 billion: 22% of world

      • Arabs: 20%

      • Non Arabs: 80%

    • Islam growing

      • 2.9% per year: faster than world (2.3%)


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Basic Concepts of Islam

  • Islam: Arabic word

    • same root as salaam (peace)

      • surrender one's will to will of only god worthy of worship

      • Not named after a person

        • "Christianity“ Jesus Christ

        • “Buddhism" Buddha

      • Not named after a tribe

        • "Judaism" tribe of Judah

        • "Hinduism" Hindus  


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Basic Concepts of Islam

  • God created, placed humans on earth

    • to test them

      • life is temporary

      • ordered to worship him alone

      • each person responsible for own actions

      • humans equal in sight of Allah

        • no color, race, tribe, lineage better

        • only thing distinguish them piety, good deeds


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Basic Concepts of Islam

  • God Just

    • system of accountability

      • Heaven, Hell: admission criteria for both

    • series of trials

      • enduring trials, conforming to laws

        • reward great: pleasure in Paradise

      • decline to endure trials, not conforming to laws

        • regret next life: torment in Hellfire 


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Basic Concepts of Islam

  • "O humankind! Verily! We have created you from a male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily! the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing. Verily! Allah is The Knower, The Aware" (49):13 )


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Levels of Islam

  • Islam: 5 pillars

    • Profession of faith (Shahada)

      • testify no god but Allah, Muhammad his messenger

    • Prayers (Salah)

      • 5 daily: reminds us to bear God in mind in all actions

    • Giving of alms (Zakat)

      • obligatory charity: 2.5% of wealth to charity every year

        • if savings exceed a minimum level

    • Fast (Sawm)

      • 1 month (Ramadan) every year

        • no eating, drinking from sunrise to sunset

    • Pilgrimage (Hajj)

      • to Mecca, once in lifetime if able


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Levels of Islam

  • Iman (Faith): 6 pillars

    • believe in Allah, Angels, Books (Scriptures), Messengers and Prophets, Day of Judgment, Divine Decree (fate) good or bad

  • Ihsan (Excellence/Goodness)

    • worship Allah as if you see Him for if you can not see Him, He assuredly sees you


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    Prophets

    • Humans selected by God

      • convey message entrusted to them

        • given miracles, special talents

          • to assist message, through power of God

        • cannot decide who goes to heaven, hell

      • Mohammad last of all prophets

        • God's final, complete guidance to mankind


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    Prophets

    • Jesus

      • one of prophets sent to children of Israel

        • miraculous birth to a virgin mother

          • Qur’an compares birth with creation of Adam (without parents)

        • his message reiterated

          • submission to one God

          • obedience of law given to Moses


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    God names

    • Old Testament

      • Moses referred to God as "El" or "Elohiym"

    • New testament

      • Jesus referred to God as “Eloi”

        • Aramaic word means “My God”

    • Qur’an

      • ALLAH or "Elahi"


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    Original sin

    • Concept does not exist in Islam

      • Adam and Eve repented, forgiven

      • humans born in pure, natural state

      • existence of Satan influences people to sin

      • child reaches puberty: account of deeds opens

      • people who repent, return to state of sinlessness

      • when a person dies: Paradise or Hell

        • balance of good, bad deeds (with Allah's mercy)


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    Sunni and Shiaa

    • Sunni 85-90 %

      • follow Prophet Muhammad sayings, actions

    • Shiaa 10-15%

      • in addition follow sayings, views of Ali

        • son-in- law and cousin of prophet Muhammad

        • view Ali as rightful successor


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    Sunni and Shiaa

    • Origin of Shiaa

      • group wanted Ali to become successor of Prophet (instead of Abu Bakr) but out-voted

      • Uthman (third successor) killed

      • Ali became fourth successor (khalifa)

      • Muawia, governor of Syria attributed assassination of Uthman to some of Ali's followers

      • Ali assassinated

      • followers constituted political party

        • to secure succession to governance (Khelafa)


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    Sunni and Shiaa

    • Similarities

      • follow same book, prophet

    • Shiaa differences

      • different approaches to governance

        • leader (Imam) must be descendant of Prophet

      • sayings of Ali as authoritative as Sunna

      • organized clergy

        • allowing imam wider latitude in government

      • interpretation of Qur'an

        • religious hierarchy plays role


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    Women in Islam

    • Not important prior to Islam

      • Babylonian Civilization

        • women degraded, denied all rights

      • Greek Civilization

        • women deprived of all rights

        • considered subhuman, inferior to men


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    Women in Islam

    • Roman Civilization

      • a man had right to take the life of his wife

      • prostitution, nudity common

    • Egyptian Civilization

      • women evil, sign of a devil

    • Pre-Islamic Arabia

      • Arabs looked down upon women

      • newborn females buried alive


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    Women in Islam

    • Islam elevated status

      • 1400 years ago

      • equal before Allah

        • “O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! The noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the best in conduct” (49:13)

      • Qur'an acknowledges differences

        • some appear inequitable

        • on examination reveal deeper logic

      • Some Muslim men oppress women

        • non-Islamic cultural habits or ignorance


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    Women in Islam

    • Inheritance

      • man inherits twice a woman

        • men provide for his own wife, family, relatives

        • women inherit the same or more in other cases

    • Money

      • right to own property

      • keeps earned income


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    Women in Islam

    • Rules of dress

      • women

        • cover body except face, hands

      • men

        • cover above chest to knees

        • no gold, pure silk

      • rules appear restrictive

        • social function

          • insure woman's integrity, dignity


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    Women in Islam

    • Marriage

      • must consent

      • cannot be forced to accept husband

    • Education

      • same rights as men


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    Polygamy

    • Backward, violation of women’s rights?

      • Islam did not introduce polygamy

        • simply permits it

        • limited number

        • requires equal treatment

          • expenditures, time, other obligations

        • actual practice rare

          • 2% in Muslim world  


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    Polygamy

    • According to the Bible

      • Abraham had three wives

        • (Genesis 16:1, 16:3, 25:1)

      • Moses had two wives

        • (Exodus 2:21, 18:1-6; Numbers 12:1)

      • Jacob had four wives

        • (Genesis 29:23, 29:28, 30:4, 30:9)

      • David had at least 18 wives

        • (1 Samuel 18:27, 25:39-44; 2 Samuel 3:3, 3:4-5, 5:13, 12:7-8, 12:24, 16:21-23)

      • Solomon had 700 wives

        • (1 Kings 11:3)


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    Polygamy

    • Mutual consent

      • cannot force a woman to marry a married man

        • may stipulate husband not to marry any other woman in prenuptial contract (without her consent)

    • Why permissible?

      • social, moral reasons

        • number of women in world exceeds men 

          • men dying in wars, women outliving men

        • alternative to divorce

          • marital problems, sick or infertile wife

          • if she chooses to stay with him


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    Polygamy

    • Bishop of Anglican Church in Kenya:

      • "Although monogamy may be ideal for the expression of love between husband and wife, the church should consider that in certain cultures polygamy is socially acceptable and that the belief that polygamy is contrary to Christianity is no longer tenable"

    • Reverend David Gitari of Anglican Church:

      • “Polygamy, as ideally practiced, is more Christian than divorce and remarriage as far as the abandoned wives and children are concerned”


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    Homosexuality

    • Condemned in Qur’an

      • People of Lot in old city of Sodom

        • first people to start this habit on national scale

          • uniquely Islamic concept

          • links reason for its destruction to homosexuality

        • Islamic consensus

          • humans naturally heterosexual

          • homosexuality sinful, perverted deviation from norm

          • all schools of thought consider unlawful

            • differ in penalty


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    Abortion

    • Qur'an condemns killing of humans

      • "Take not life which Allah has made sacred”(6):151

        • does not explicitly mention abortion

        • Muslim jurists agree: abortion unlawful

          • if fetus completely formed, given a soul

          • exception: completely formed but continuation of pregnancy would result in death of mother


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    Abortion

    • Hanafi

      • allows abortions until 120 days

      • some jurists restrict to “good cause”

    • Shafi

      • allows to be performed up to 120 days

    • Maliki

      • permissible with consent of parents up to 40 days

    • Hanbali

      • prohibited from day 40 onward


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    Authenticity of the Qur’an

    • God guaranteed collection, guarding

      • “We have without doubt sent down the message; and We will assuredly guard it” (15):9

      • Prophet, received revelation

        • learned it by heart

        • encouraged companions to learn it

        • many memorized whole Qur’an


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    Authenticity of the Qur’an

    • Qur’an not compiled into a single book in Prophet’s time

      • Prophet appointed many scribes

        • Zaid Ibn-Thabit chief scribe, verses written down

        • Battle of Yamama

          • large number of huffaz (who memorize Qur’an) died

            • Abu Bakr appointed Zaid

            • collected available written material

            • brought master copy: Abu Bakr kept till his death

            • Omar gave it to daughter Hafsa for safekeeping

            • Othman prepared several copies, distributed them; some still exist

      • Qur'an, once revelation ceased remained same


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    Scientific Miracles in Qur’an

    • Several verses compatible with modern science

      • start of creation

      • spherical shape of earth

      • stages of embryo growth

      • expansion of universe

      • Big Bang, Big Crunch theories

      • formation of clouds

      • water as liquid of life, water cycle, wind functions

        • Useful source: www.harunyahya.com


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    Jihad

    • Struggle, striving in cause of Allah

      • control of self from wrong doings

      • stand up to a tyrant, speak word of truth

      • take up arms in defense of Islam when attacked (declared only by Muslim head of state)

        • "Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loveth not transgressors” (2:190)

        • “God forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loveth those who are just” (60:8)


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    Jihad

    • 80 Military Defense Expeditions

      • in 23 years

        • Prophet participated in 27

        • some involved no fighting

        • only 1018 lives lost

          • Muslims 259, non-Muslims (mostly pagans) 759

            • Russian Revolution: 13 million killed

            • American Civil war: thousands killed

            • WWI, WWII: millions killed


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    Islam spread by the sword?

    • Conversion by force forbidden

      • “There is no compulsion in religion” (2):256

        • Indonesia, China, Africa: no records of Muslim armies going there

        • 30 million Christian Arabs in middle east today

          • 10% of Arabs

          • roots go back before Muslim domination


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    Islam spread by the sword?

    • Prophet sent letters to surrounding powers

      • inviting them to Islam (Moses did same with Pharaoh)

      • Christian Byzantine king

        • murdered messenger, sent headless body to Prophet

      • Persian Emperor

        • cursed letter-bearer, promised to have Prophet seized, imprisoned

      • Egyptian Christian king

        • sent a respectful no but thank you message

      • Ethiopian (Abyssinian) king

        • voiced his will to embrace Islam secretly, feared church


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    Islam spread by the sword?

    • Prophet sent armies to Byzantines (most clear threat)

      • successors sent armies to hostile Persia, Byzantium

      • Muslim armies welcomed by locals including Christians

        • “The Spread of Islam in the World- A history of peaceful preaching”by Sir Thomas Arnold


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    Muslims and Jews

    • Prophet had agreements with Jews

      • joined forces with Meccans against him

      • tried to kill him

      • forced to fight them

        • did not harm subsequent Muslim Jewish relations


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    Muslims and Jews

    • Historic Covenant of Umar

      • first international guarantee of protection of religious freedom

        • Romans occupied Palestine

          • destroyed Jewish temple

          • expelled Jews from Jerusalem (70 AD)

        • Muslims conquered Jerusalem from Romans

          • Umar called leaders of Christian Church

          • Muslims guaranteed Jews, Christians

            • freedom of religion

            • use of houses of worship

            • right of pilgrims to visit holy places


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    Palestine

    • Canaanites

      • original inhabitants

      • migrated from Arabian peninsula

    • Israelite invasion:1200 BC

      • following Exodus from Egypt

        • renamed "Israel" : concept of a Holy Land

        • renamed "Palestina" by Romans: following Bar Kohba revolt (2nd century AD)

    • Islamic rule (638-1917)

      • after conquest from Romans

    • British mandate: (1917-1948)


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    Palestine

    • Palestine population in 1878

      • 462,465

        • Arabs 96.8 %, Jews 3.2 %

      • Several waves of Jewish migration

        • back to promised land?

        • displacing thousands (Muslims, Christians)

      • Today: Occupied land

        • one state vs. two states solution?