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Islam Explained. Contents. Background of Islam Basic Theology of Islam Divisions within Islam Summary. Background of Islam. Four Primary Subjects cover this aspect: Pre-Islamic Arabia Mohammed Explained The early days of Islam How Islam spread. Pre-Islamic Arabia.

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Islam Explained


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contents
Contents
  • Background of Islam
  • Basic Theology of Islam
  • Divisions within Islam
  • Summary
background of islam
Background of Islam
  • Four Primary Subjects cover this aspect:
    • Pre-Islamic Arabia
    • Mohammed Explained
    • The early days of Islam
    • How Islam spread
pre islamic arabia
Pre-Islamic Arabia
  • Was divided between urban populations and rural Bedouin.
  • Tribes played a major war in both the cities and among the Bedouin.
  • Was the site of near constant tribal warfare and convoy raiding by bandits.
  • Contained multiple religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and a native polytheistic religion
pre islamic arabia continued
Pre-Islamic Arabia (Continued)
  • Was economically and culturally centered in the city of Mecca:
    • Located in Hashem, a mountainous region near the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
    • Site of the Kaaba, which contained a holding of pagan idols.
      • Yearly pilgrimage here was done by the local pagan peoples and was time of rare peace.
      • Locals of Mecca used this situation to make money by selling to pilgrims.
mohammed explained
Mohammed Explained
  • Was born in Mecca
  • His parents died when he was young and he was raised first by his grandfather than by his uncle.
  • Was a member of the ruling tribe, the Quarish.
  • In his early life he took part in one of the wars of the Arabian peninsula.
  • By trade he was a herdsman first then a merchant.
mohammed explained continued
Mohammed Explained (continued)
  • After marriage to his first wife he began to have a spiritual awakening.
  • Retreating to the caves to meditate upon his thoughts. This is where Muslims believe he had his first revelations and the Qu’ran was first revealed by the angel Gabriel.
  • He brought these revelations to Mecca, but was driven off due to the fact his revelations challenged the status quo.
mohammed explained continued1
Mohammed Explained (continued)
  • Is considered the seal of the prophets by Muslims, and is thus the last of the prophets.
  • Is considered by Muslims on the same level with Abraham and Jesus.
  • Is not worshipped by Muslims, and depictions of him are forbidden to prevent this.
  • His actions and sayings however form the basis of the Hadiths which supplement the Qu’ran for many Muslims.
the early days of islam
The Early Days of Islam
  • At first was rejected from Mecca and Muslims were driven out.
  • Were accepted into Yathrib, later renamed Medina, by the hostile tribes to settle disputes.
  • Soon Medina was converted and made war with Mecca.
  • After a difficult war, Medina united the Arab peoples under Islam to retake Mecca.
the early days of islam continued
The Early Days of Islam (Continued)
  • After the death of Mohammed, Abu Bakar was selected by the leaders of the Muslim community as the first Caliph, or secular leader.
  • Following Bakar was Omar, Uthman and Ali. These first four were selected by the leadership of the Muslim community and called the Rightly Guided Caliphs.
the early days of islam continued1
The Early Days of Islam (Continued)
  • During the reign of Ali he was faced with a rebellion from Muawiya, the governor of Syria.
  • Upon the assassination of Ali from religious fanatics, Muawiya took control and established the Umayyad Caliphate, a hereditary dynasty.
how islam spread
How Islam Spread
  • The Arab tribes, united by Islam quickly conquered the Sassanid Persian Empire and most of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  • Contrary to myth, there was little conversion by the sword. The early conquerors were little concerned with converting the Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians of the newly built empire who made up the vast majority of the population.
how islam spread continued
How Islam Spread (continued)
  • Much of the conversion was due to cultural pressure and the favoring of Muslims over non-Muslims
  • Beyond the borders of the Islamic Empires it was spread mostly through merchants and missionaries.
  • The Sufi sect was the most successful of the missionaries.
basic theology of islam
Basic Theology of Islam
  • Three different topics to bring up for this:
    • The Basic theological ideas.
    • The Five Pillars of Islam
    • Common Misconceptions about Islam
basic theological ideas
Basic Theological Ideas
  • Strictly monotheistic, believing there is only one god and that is Allah
    • Allah is simply Arabic for God
  • Believe that Judaism and Christianity believe in the same god, but their teachings have been corrupted.
    • Believes Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians are people of the Book and should be protected.
  • Focuses more on orthopraxy over orthodoxy.
basic theological ideas continued
Basic Theological Ideas (continued)
  • Believe that the Qu’ran is the literal word of Allah and has existed for all time.
  • Believe in a just god who judges peoples deeds.
  • Includes a belief on resurrection, and an end of the world.
  • They believe Satan was an Angel who became jealous of Adam and rebelled against Allah
the five pillars of islam
The Five Pillars of Islam
  • Declaration of Faith
  • Prayer
  • Charity
  • Fast
  • Pilgrimage
declaration of faith
Declaration of Faith
  • This is the most important pillar of the five and is the one that truly separates the Muslim from the non-Muslim.
  • Is composed of the statement: There is no God but God and Mohammed is his messenger.
prayer
Prayer
  • More ritualized prayer is more important in Islam then in Christianity and Judaism.
  • Ritual prayer takes place five times per day during the call to prayer issued by the local mosque.
  • Muslims may pray more often than five times as they find a need.
charity
Charity
  • A percent of every Muslim’s income must be given to charity.
  • This official charity is known as Zakat and is given to the poor.
  • Part of the idea that all possessions belong to God.
slide21
Fast
  • During the month of Ramadan, everyone who is able to is required to fast during daylight hours.
  • This means no food or drink during daylight, though there are large meals at night.
  • The sick, the elderly, the young, and those that work hard labor are exempt from this due to danger to the person’s health.
pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
  • Any Muslim who is able to is obligated to take a pilgrimage every year called the Hajj to the city of Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia.
  • While there they visit the Kaaba, the holiest place in the Islamic world. Due to the holy nature of Mecca, no non-Muslims may enter the city
  • While in Mecca during the Hajj, all pilgrims wear simple white robes to symbolize how all are equal during this time.
common misconceptions about islam
Common Misconceptions about Islam
  • One common misconception is that the Bhurka is required by Islam.
    • However the Bhurka is not required by Islam, rather it was picked up during the conquest of the Persian Empire.
  • Another misconception is that most Muslims are terrorists.
    • Terrorists are a small minority in the Muslim community.
common misconceptions about islam continued
Common Misconceptions aboutIslam (Continued)
  • The next misconception is that Allah is a different god than the one worshipped by Jews and Christians.
    • In truth Allah is just Arabic for God and is the same as worshipped by the other Abrahamic religions.
  • A further misconception covered here is that Muslims live only in the Middle East.
    • This is far from true, Muslims live throughout the world, and the most populous Islamic nation is Indonesia, far from the Middle East.
common misconceptions about islam continued1
Common Misconceptions about Islam (Continued)
  • A well spoken misconception is that Islam is oppressive towards women.
    • However, Islam in its early days was very progressive towards women, giving them far more rights and protections than enjoyed in previous societies.
  • Finally there is the idea that Islam encourages hate towards Christians and Jews.
    • This cannot be further from the truth. Islam teaches that Christians and Jews are to be protected, and are even eligible for entry into heaven.
divisions in islam
Divisions in Islam
  • Different subjects are required to explain this:
    • The cause of the Sunni/Shi’ite split
    • The difference between Sunnis and Shia
    • The different factions within Sunni Islam
    • Sufi Islam
    • Ibadi Islam
the cause of the sunni shi ite split
The Cause of the Sunni/Shi’ite split
  • The split is a mostly a political split.
    • Shia supported Ali during the rebellion of Muawiya.
      • Shia simply means partisan, and is short for Partisans of Allah.
    • Sunnis supported Muawiya.
  • Over the years they developed different theological doctrine. Especially as the majority Sunnis persecuted the Shia in the early days.
difference between sunnis and shia
Difference between Sunnis and Shia
  • The primary difference between the Sunnis and the Shia is the importance of Mohammed’s family.
  • The Sunnis believe that while Mohammed’s family should be respected, they are not granted special privileges.
  • The Shia believe that Mohammed’s family through Ali is granted special privileges and should be the religious and secular power. Ali and his first 11 descendents were called Imans and considered semi-prophets.
different factions within sunni islam
Different factions within Sunni Islam
  • Salafism
  • Islamic Communism
  • Conservatism
  • Secular Islam
  • Neo-Modernism
salafism
Salafism
  • Salafism is known to the west as Islamic fundamentalism, though contrary to popular belief it is a new movement in Islam.
  • Salafism seeks to return Islam to how it was during the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the first four believing that is the time that Islam was the most pure.
  • Represented by groups as varied as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt that denounces violence to Al Qaeda.
islamic communism
Islamic Communism
  • Only truly present in Libya.
  • Combines the ideas of Islam with that of communism. Creates a religiously motivated communist system.
  • Considers Qaddafi’s Green Book equal to that of the Qu’ran.
conservatism
Conservatism
  • This is the majority view of most Sunni Muslims, including most of the Ulma, or Islamic scholars.
  • They believe that Islam as it is should stay the same with little major interpretation.
  • Does not believe that Church and State should be completely separated, however they are the moderate view within Islam.
secular islam
Secular Islam
  • Secular Islam believes in a separation of Islam with politics.
  • This is considered an extremist view in Islam, though they are mistakenly called moderates by the West.
  • Considered apostates by some Muslim organizations.
  • This view holds the majority in Turkey, among the Kurds and Albania.
neo modernism
Neo-Modernism
  • Neo-Modernism is another relatively new movement within Islam.
  • Neo-Modernists believe that Sharia, or Islamic law, is divided between mutable and immutable laws. Mutable laws are those meant to be changed with time, while immutable are permanent.
  • They believe that Islam has a progressive spirit that should be continued into modern times.
sufi islam
Sufi Islam
  • Sufi Islam is a third variety of Islam, smaller than the Sunni and Shi’ite sects.
  • Sufi Islam is made up of a variety of different sub-sects.
  • Most sub-sects are derived from Sunni Islam, but some are of Shi’ite Islam.
  • Focused more on a mystical and spiritual path than the other sects of Islam.
ibadi islam
Ibadi Islam
  • Only significant in Oman.
  • Derives its routes from the Kharijites, former Shia who rebelled against Ali and assassinated him for not being Muslim enough.
  • One of the harder line Islamic sects, believing that those that sin are no longer Muslim, though not as hard line as the Kharijites who believed that they would deserve death.
  • Also believe that Allah is not present in the afterlife in physical form.
summary
Summary

Islam is a complex and diverse religion. It has a myriad of different viewpoints on it, and is as diverse as Christianity. However, despite what some would have you believe Islam is not an evil religion.

questions
Questions
  • Any Questions?
references
References
  • Photos courtesy of: Wikipedia,
  • Lectures by Dr. Elizabeth Seymour
  • Islam: The Straight Path by John Espisito
  • http://www.pbs.org/muhammad/index.shtml
  • http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MH_LM/default.htm
  • http://www.islamicarchitecture.org/dynasties/umayyads.html
  • http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/pillars.shtml
  • http://www.uga.edu/islam/ibadis.html
  • http://www.zikr.co.uk/content/view/17/67/