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Islam. Islam is intimately connected with the the Judeo-Christian tradition. Muslims are strictly monotheistic. They believe in the Judeo-Christian God. Muslims believe that the Torah and the Bible, like the Qur’an, is the word of God.

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islam is intimately connected with the the judeo christian tradition
Islam is intimately connected with the the Judeo-Christian tradition
  • Muslims are strictly monotheistic.
  • They believe in the Judeo-Christian God.
  • Muslims believe that the Torah and the Bible, like the Qur’an, is the word of God.
  • “Allah” is the Arabic word for God. Christian and Jewish Arabs use the same word to refer to God.
  • Muslims believe that people fall away from God and that He sends a new “rasul” or Messenger.
  • Muhammed was God’s final Messenger.
muslims believe in all the judeo christian prophets but muhammad is the final prophet
Muslims believe in all the Judeo-Christian prophets—But Muhammad is the Final Prophet
  • Belief in the prophets before Muhammad is a cornerstone of Islam.
  • Muslims believe in all the Judeo-Christian prophets and their respective stories.
    • Adam - Noah - Abraham
    • Ishmael - Isaac - Jacob
    • Joseph - Job - Moses
    • Aaron - David - Solomon
    • Jonah - John - Jesus
core concept of islam
Core Concept of Islam
  • Islam means submission—submission to the will of Allah
  • Shari’ah or law of Islam expresses what these terms are (more below)
  • Although Islam has much in common with the Judeo-Christian tradition, key differences include the degree of God’s involvement in the world (he’s not directly), the role of reason in faith, and the idea that the world is to be enjoyed.
muhammad and the qur an
Muhammad and the Qur’an
  • Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. in Mecca
  • In 610, in the Cave of Hira, he received his first revelation from the angel Gabriel.
  • In 622, he left Mecca for Medina. This date marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar.
  • By the time he died in 632, Islam was a thriving religion.
  • The revelations he received were compiled into the Qur’an after his death.
  • Qur’an was copied down in an authoritative form about 20 years after Muhammad died.
the five pillars of islam
The Five Pillars of Islam
  • Shahada – Testimony
  • Salat – Prayer
  • Zakat – Almsgiving
  • Sawm – Fasting
  • Hajj - Pilgrimage

“There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His Messenger.”

“La ilaha illa Allah; Muhammed rasul Allah.”

This declaration of faith is a simple formula that all Muslims pronounce and accept.


Salat is the name for the mandatory prayers that are performed five times a day. They are a direct link between the worshipper and God.


Muslims believe that all things belong to God, and that wealth is therefore held by people in trust. Zakat means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth’. Muslims purify their possessions by setting aside a portion for those in need. For the most part, this involves a payment of at least 2.5% of one’s capital every year. Giving more is highly recommended.


Every year during the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. During this time, they refrain from both eating and drinking. Fasting is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. It helps make a person more sympathetic with those who go hungry and it allows for spiritual growth. The end of Ramadan is marked by a festival called Eid-ul-Fitr.


The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Every Muslim who is physically and financially able is required to go at least once in his/her lifetime. 2-3 million people go every year.

The close of Hajj is marked

by a festival called Eid-ul-

Adha. Above is the Kaaba.

So How did Islam expand into a great world religion?What social and governmental forms emerged in the world of Islam
  • Islam nearly conquered western Europe first in the 8th century—defeated at Tours in 732—and then in 1527 and again in 1683.
  • “Jihad” among extremists refers to “Holy Wars” against the infidels or of Territorial expansion.
  • Among moderates, Jihad refers to “Defense” of one’s faith; and or an “inner struggle” to rid oneself of evil and submit to Allah.
emergence of shia
Emergence of Shia
  • Claim that ‘Ali’s descendents were the true successors to Muhammad—Shia Ali is party of Ali, Muhammad’s son in law.
  • Shia community recognizes the Imans, the successors to ‘Ali’s Spiritual Authority
  • Recognizes Koran only, not Koran but Sunna (traditional teachings) as authoritative.
  • Sunni recognize Quran, Sunna, and Hadiths
  • Caliph or “Deputy” refers to the Islamic rulers after the death of Muhammad.
  • Abu-Bakr is first Caliph (632-624)
  • The first four caliphs expanded the kingdom still further.
  • Caliphs have both religious & civil authority.
  • Spiritual leaders of Islam are the imams
    • Imams are without sin and can interpret scripture without error
    • Innovation possible only through an imam’s approval
    • Belief in the Mahdi (guided one) - messianic figure who will lead the world into a time of peace
  • Sunni and Shi’a disagree over the scope and power of Imams: for Sunni, the Imam is a prayer leader; for the Shi’a, the Imam is temporal leader—the True Caliph.
eras of islamic civilization
Eras of Islamic Civilization
  • 570-632: Muhammad-Founder
  • 632-661: First four Caliphs: - Expansion in Mideast—Sunni-Shia Split.
  • 661-750: Ommayad Dynasty-(Centered in Damascus) Expansion in N.Africa & Spain
eras of islamic civilization cont
Eras of Islamic Civilization cont.
  • 750-1258: Abbasid Dynasty, Golden Age at Baghdad
  • 1000s-1400s: Seljuks &Mongols
  • 1453-WW I: Ottoman Empire; & Fragmentation
the umayyad caliphate
The Umayyad Caliphate
  • Flourish from 661 to 750
  • Centered in Damascus
  • Nearly took Constantinople (674-77) but were deterred by Greek Fire
  • Captured Spain but were defeated by Charles Martel at Tours in 732.
  • Weakness of Umayyads—only Arabs could be Muslims—opposed by Abbasids who accepted Muslims of all ethnicities
the abbasid caliphate
The Abbasid Caliphate
  • Flourished from 750 to 1258
  • Centered in Baghdad
  • Great libraries, academies, and schools.
  • Translated classical Greek scholarship into Arabic—preserving it for posterity
  • Achievements in Medicine, astronomy, and Mathematics
  • Muslim states in West break away from Abbasid control beginning in 756.
  • Seljuk Turks convert to Islam and conquer Abbasids (1055) but allow Abbasids to continue to rule
  • Genghis Khans Grandson topples Abbasids in 1258
ottoman empire 1300 1918
Ottoman Empire (1300-1918)
  • The Ottoman Empire would rival that of China in size and economic power.
  • But over time the Ottoman Empire would be weakened until the twentieth century.
  • Yet under Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566) the Ottoman Empire expanded into North Africa and Syria.
growth of the ottoman empire
Growth of the Ottoman Empire
  • For nearly 300 years the Ottomans expanded into the Balkans and to Persia.
  • By 1683 the Turks controlled Hungary in Europe to the Persian Gulf.
  • Initial Ottoman conquest and expansion was under their able leader Osman (1299-1326).
  • Osman was a ghazi, or warrior, who was determined to spread the faith.
why did the ottomans succeed
Why Did The Ottomans Succeed?
  • Ottomans tolerated other faiths—didn’t fight wars of religious exclusivism
  • Many in Old Byzantine Empire were weary of corruption in Byzantine state
key events of the ottoman state
Key Events of the Ottoman State
  • 1389 – Defeat the Serbs at Battle of Kosovo.
  • 1396 – Crushed the Hungarians and foreign knights at Nicopolis.
  • 1402 – Tamerlane defeats the Ottomans near Ankara.
  • 1453 – Turks capture Constantinople by Mohammed II.
  • 1517 – Turks captured Cairo.
  • 1529 – First siege of Vienna.
  • 1683 – Second siege of Vienna.
historic contributions of the islamic civilizations
Historic Contributions of the Islamic Civilizations
  • Rhazes (d. 925): Medical expert of the Abbasid Dynasty who studied optics; Caesarian operations and more.
  • Most famous treatise On Small Pox and Measles
historic contributions of the islamic civilizations30
Historic Contributions of the Islamic Civilizations
  • Avicenna (d. 1037): A Muslim scholar of the Abbasid Dynasty who excelled in both Medicine and Philosophy
  • His Canon of Medicine was translated into Latin in the 12th century and by the 16th century was in its 35th edition.
historic contributions of the islamic civilizations31
Historic Contributions of the Islamic Civilizations
  • Aveorres (d. 1198): Philosopher of the Abbasid Dynasty who tried to harmonize Islamc faith with Aristotelian logic.
distillation of alcohol
Distillation of Alcohol
  • Developed about 800
  • Al-kuhl means “the essense”
  • Used for astronomy & for navigation.
  • It is believed that the Muslim al-Fazari (d.777A.D.) was the first scientist in the MidEast to make an astrolabe, following the arrival of an Indian mission to Baghdad.
muslim medicine
Muslim Medicine
  • Muslim physicians were active in the advancement of surgical techniques, and were among the first to use narcotic and sedative drugs in operations.
omar khyyam
Omar Khyyam
  • Of the Abbasid Dynasty was the author of the Rubaiyat and the Book of 1001 Nights.
  • “A Book of Verses underneath the Bough; A jug of wine, a loaf of bread—and thou beside me in the wilderness—Oh Wilderness were paradise enow!”
harun al rashid 800s
Harun Al Rashid (800s)
  • An esteemed ruler of the Abbasid Dynasty who exchanged gifts, and established friendly relations with Charlemagne (ruler of the greatest Christian Kingdom in Europe at that time).
cordoba spain
Cordoba, Spain
  • From 756 - 1031, Cordoba was a political and cultural center for the Muslims.
muslim art architecture
Muslim Art & Architecture
  • The Muslim religion prohibited the picturing of human and natural forms.
  • Muslim art was thus channeled into artistic displays of great geometric complexity and abstract ornamentation.
muslim art architecture39
Muslim Art & Architecture
  • This Muslim mosque in Seville, was built in 1172.
  • It was converted to a Chrisitan Cathedral in 1248.
so if islam was so cool what happened
So If Islam was so cool, what happened?
  • Present Mindedness—who knows if we won’t all be dead or Muslim?
  • Problem of Closed Revelation
  • Failure to form effective states
  • Weak/decadent rulers
  • Focus on moral reform and supernatural deliverance rather than structural/material reform—Wahabbism.