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Islam. Islam. Third of the Abrahamic Faiths. Why Study Islam ?. > 1.2 billion followers worldwide > major impacts on world history > key factor in regional, world politics.

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Third of the Abrahamic Faiths

why study islam
Why Study Islam ?
  • > 1.2 billion followers worldwide
  • > major impacts on world


  • > key factor in regional,

world politics


Islam is ...Islam is a monotheistic religion begun by Muhammad around 600 CE in Arabia. The word means “surrender” the will of god. Islam united Arab tribes, and was the basis for an empire from Spain to India.


Muhammad was an Arab merchant who interacted with Jews, Christians and others as he traveled in S.W. Asia. He founded a new religion (Islam), based on revelations and his teachings, converting poly-theistic tribes to belief in one god, Allah. He died in 632CE.

abu bakr
Abu Bakr

lived until 630 CE

was key advisor to Muhammad

became the 1st caliph

consolidated control of Arabian tribes

began Islam’s expansion outside Arabia

Abu Bakr

Ali Ali was Muhammad’s cousin, son-in-law (married to Fatima), and closest male heir. He was the 4th caliph and 1st Shi’a imam, until he was killed in 661


THE FIVE PILLARS-- Creed -- -- Prayer -- -- Charity -- -- Fasting -- -- Pilgrimage --

~ The Sunni Solution ~A council of Muhammad’s confidant’s elects a senior advisor (Abu Bakr) as the first caliph.
~ The Shi’a Solution ~Find the nearest male relative (Ali), and continue Muhammad’s bloodline through imams.
Sunnis and Shi’ites Clash. ... today, 80% of Muslims are Sunni. ... Iran and Iraq are the only Shi’a-run countries.

Shi’a IslamShi’atAli ... “Party of Ali”12 Imams ... most are martyred. ...the 12th [Mahdi] will reappear on the Day of JudgementShi’itepilgrimage sites include Karbala and Najaf in Iraq.


Koran [Quran] -- “The Recitation”... a record of Muhammad’s revelations from god through Gabriel. Begun around 610 CE; written around 650 CE. Similar accounts as the Old Testament.

Shari’aShari’a is the Islamic legal code, based mainly on the Koran and Hadith, and as compiled by Muslim scholars (ulama).
the ka aba
The Ka’aba
  • located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
  • sacred cube at center of the universe
  • ancient Arab tribal pilgrimage site
  • dedicated to Allah by Muhammad
  • “City of the Prophet”
  • Formerly Yathrib
  • Muhammad found sanctuary here after the Hejira (622 CE)
  • Islam’s 2nd holiest



Dome of the Rock3rd holiest site in Islamic worldlocated in Jerusalemrock where Abraham took Ismail Muhammad ascended toheaven here


Islamic Art Islamic religious artists avoid “graven images” of people -especially the Prophet- and other persons. Arabic writing was developed into the art form of calligraphy. The most popular text is Koranic scripture. Arabesques are repeated geometric or floral designs. Similar to tessellations.


Omar KhayyamPersian astronomer and poetlived during Abbasid period,ca.1100 CEwrote the “Rubaiyat”…quatrain poetryof love and transience of life


"The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

umayyad caliphate1

Umayyad Caliphate

661 - 750 CE, begun by Mu’awiyah

Arab control grows togreatest extent...

Spain to Persia

Capital at Damascus (Syria)

mu awiyah


lived 661 to 680 CE

1st Umayyad caliph

established hereditary rule



> general who took Muslim forces

into Spain in 711 CE

... beginning 700 years

of Islamic rule in Spain

Gibralter = Jabar al-Tariq (Rock of Tariq)

abbasid caliphate1

Abbasid Caliphate

> 750 - 1258 CE

> founded by Persian (non-Arab) rebels

> capital at Baghdad

> weakened by Turks; ended by Mongols

harun al rashid

Harun al-Rashid

Abbasid caliph

ruled during “Golden Age” of Islam:translations of Greek works,progress in astronomy, navigation

fatimid caliphate1

Fatimid Caliphate

909 - 1171 CE


begun in Tunisia,expanded east to Cairo (Egypt)



Kurdish general who served as Fatimidvizier, then

staged a coup

Recaptured Jerusalem from EuropeanCrusaders in 1187 CE

muslim spain1

Muslim Spain

711 - 1492 CE

Islamic control of diminishing Spanishterritory until the

Reconquest byFerdinand and Isabella.

unique Islamic art and architecture

rallied Christian (esp. Catholic) Iberianforces to wage

holy war against Islam


Muslim trading network (Dar al-Islam) Merchants could trade from Spain across North Africa, southwest-central-south-southeast Asia using one language, writing, and set of rules..Arabic and Islam.