Muhammad’s career Born circa 570 A.D. into the BanuHasim clan of the influential Quraysh tribe in Mecca. His father died before his birth and he lost his mother at age 6. He was raised by his uncle Abu Taliband his uncle’s wife Fatimah. Worked first as a shepherd, then as a trader. Limited literacy if not illiterate. Good speaking skills and memory. Known as “the Trustworthy One”. His reputation and manner caught the attention of a wealthy widow Khadijah who hired him first to lead her caravans, and who eventually proposed marriage to him. They had one daughter, Fatimah, and 3 adopted daughters. First revelation – c 610 (M. is around 40) in the month of Ramadan. These revelations continue for 20 more years until his death.
Mohammed in Mecca • M., as he approached middle age, often went alone on retreat into the wilderness to pray and meditate. • In 610 during on of these retreats he felt an overwhelming presence (the angel Jabril) telling him “Recite”. This happened on 3 separate occasions. He repeated what he heard to his wife Kadijah, and again to her cousin Waraqa bin Nawfal, an old and revered Christian. He told them he believed the sincerity of Mohammed’s message and that he was being called as God’s prophet to the Arabs. • He received a few more revelations, then all revelations stopped for 2 years. When they began again, he had over 100 different revelations spanning over a 20 years until his death. He committed them to memory and repeated them to others. His followers gradually wrote them down and they became the Quran.
Key ideas of the Mohammed’s revelations: At first : The Oneness of Allah and HumanEquality Later: the Afterlife & Final Judgment (therefore justice and ethics)
2 distinct periods in the Mission of Mohammed • Meccan periodof his mission 610-622. Preaches, peaceful. Hijrato Medina – 622 (needs to get out of Mecca). First year of Islamic calendar. Medinan periodof his mission, 622-632. Establishes a polity that warfare necessary to survive and be respected among hostile surroundings. Death – 632
Opposition to Mohammed in Mecca • The Quraysh tribe was responsible for maintaining polytheism at the Ka’ba. Mohammed’s message of monotheism was a direct threat to the foundation of their society. (fear of wrath of gods and loss of pilgrimage income) • Attempts to dissuade M included bribing him to stop and harassing and torturing some of his followers (first martyrs). • Mohammed began to plan how he would protect his followers, sending some to the Christian community of Abyssinia, where the Negus gave them refuge. He also converted 2 main tribes in the nearby oasis city of Yathrib, where he would also send people for refuge from the Meccans.
The Night Journey • 622: M’s Year of Sorrow; he loses both his wife and uncle. • M. was awakened by Jabril, who took him on a winged horse (the Buraq) to the site of the temple at Jerusalem (“the furthest mosque) where he met the great prophets; Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others). He then rode up to the heavens, having visions of paradise and hell. He was instructed by Allah to have Muslims pray 5 times a day rather than the customary 3. Muslims also pray facing Mecca, not Jerusalem, from this day forward. • In 691, the Dome of the Rock was built over the rock at the site of the Jerusalem temple where M. is believed to have ascended up into the heavens. Jerusalem is considered the 3rd holiest city of Islam, after Mecca and Medina. • When M. reported his vision to the Meccans at the Ka’ba , many thought he was truly mad. More and more Muslims were encouraged to secretly flee north to Yathrib. When the Meccans became aware of the flight, they planned to kill M, but he was warned by the angel Jabril to flee to Yathrib before they could reach him.
Mohammed in Medina • Mohammed’s dangerous escape to Yathrib (aka Medina) is known as the Hijra. It is year 1 A.H. in the Muslim calendar. Mohammed led the new community in the Medina, based on religious values rather than tribal loyalty. Several Jewish tribes joined in alliance with the muslims. • M’s visions in Mecca had more social and political overtones. Revelations began to imply that Muslims could fight both to defend themselves and regain what was left behind in Mecca. In 623 M began to order raids on Quraysh caravans going to and from Mecca to regain lost wealth. Leaders in Medina and Jewish allies began to see M as a threat. • 624 Battle of Badr: M. decisively won, spared all prisoners but 2, and divided the spoils of war evenly. Revelations on just war theory: spare women and children and non-combatants, do not fight out of anger or aggression but instead for defense or worthy goals, do not desecrate the dead and treat prisoners humanely.
The Quran begins with the Shahādawhich has 2 parts First part is LāilāhaillaAllāh“There is no god but God...” It is followed by the second part Muhammad RasūlAllāh“...andMuhammad is His prophet.”
Yusuf (Joseph) • Musa (Moses) Scripture: Tawra • Harun (Aaron) • Daud (David) Scripture: Zubur (Psalms) • Ilyas (Elias, Elijah) • Suleiman (Solomon) • Yunus (Jonah) • Yahya (John the Baptist) • ‘Isa (Jesus). • Scripture: Injil (Gospel) Messengers and Prophets of God God has sent many messengers and prophets before Muhammad Partial list: • Adam • Nuh (Noah) • Hud (Arabian prophet) • Salih (Arabian prophet) • Ibrahim (Abraham) • Lut (Lot) • Ishaq (Isaac) • Isma‘il (Ishmael)
Abraham/Ibrahim With second wife Hagar(Egyptian) With 1st wifeSarah Isaac ½ brothers Ishmael Jacob (Israel) 12 sons, 12 tribes of Israel Became a great people: the Arabs Ishmael (Hebrew, "may God hear"), in the Old Testament, the elder son of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham, and in Islamic tradition, an ancestor of the Arab peoples. His story (see Genesis 16, 21, 25) is interwoven with that of Isaac. Ishmael's mother was Hagar, Egyptian handmaid to Abraham's wife, Sarah, who was barren. In answer to her prayers, Sarah conceived and was delivered of a son, Isaac. Having thus satisfied Abraham, Sarah demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be driven away. Hagar and her son fled to the south. Ishmael settled in the wilderness, married an Egyptian woman, and became the progenitor of 12 tribes of desert nomads. The region occupied by these Ishmaelites included most of central and northern Arabia. Muslims regard themselves as the descendents of Ishmael and view Hagar as the true wife of Abraham, and Ishmael (or Ismail) his favored son. In this version, Ishmail, not Isaac, was offered for sacrifice by Abraham (Quran 37:101)
Zamzamin the Ibrahim & Ishmael story A story (not in the Quran) is told about Hagar and Ishmael, when they were in what is now Mecca, after they no longer had any water left to drink. God told Ibrahim to leave his wife and son in the desert (Mecca). Ibrahim obeyed, but prayed God would send people to care for them. Hagar took Ishmael 7 times looking between the 2 hills Safa and Marwa in Mecca to find water. They were somewhere between when Ishmael played with the sand and miraculously a spring appeared on that spot, which is near where the Ka’ba is today. That spring is called zamzam and the water is believed to have healing properties. People who make the pilgrimage to Mecca fill up cans with this special water to take back to their homes. They pray while walking 7 times around the Ka’ba. The well water is accesses today from the Masjid al-Haram shown below, which has been built 60 feet east of the Kaba. Water is collected and brought home. Below is a zamzam bottle.
The Main beliefs of Islam Allah His angels His scriptures His messengers The Last Day (final judgment)
The Pillars of Islam (The most important commands) Shahada Salah (salat) - prayer five times a day, often written) Ramadan, fasting during the month of Ramadan. Zakah (zakat) - alms or tax for the poor and certain other groups) Hajj - pilgrimage to Mecca durng the month of Dhu al-Hijja.
1. Sunnis believe that Muhammad designated no successor (khalifa) and that the successor was and should have been chosen by representatives of the umma. 2. Shi‘as (collectively called the Shi‘a) believe that ‘Ali ibnAbiTalib, Muhammad’s closest male relative, was designated by Muhammad should have been his successor but was unjustly denied this role (at least at first). 3. Sunnis constitute about 85 to 90 percent of the whole Muslim umma today and the Shi‘a about 10 to 15 percent. Sunni & Shi’a The main “sectarian” difference among Muslims. Rooted historically in the question of who should lead the Muslim community (umma) after Muhammad’s death.
Islām today refers to the religion of those who follow the teachings of Muhammad(Mohamed) and the Quran (Koran) Older Arabic Semitic meanings: Islām = submission (to the will of the one all-powerful al-Lah) islām is also linguistically related to salām (Hebrew: shalom = peace ) entering into peace with God One who is at peace with God may then be: - at peace with him/herself - at peace with other people - at peace with nature
Ka’ba Pre-Islamic Religious Influences in the Arab World before Mohamed
Sources for Pre-Islamic Arabian History PreIslamic Arabia was an oral culture. Written Arabic begins in the 7th century with the Quran. The Quran used an Arabic adaptation of the widely popular Aramaic alphabetic script. Zoroastrian Scripture Aramaic Script Hebrew scripture Syrian Scripture
Sources for Pre-Islamic Arabian History Written sources on the Arabs can be found in written sources mentioning them in Egypt, Persian , Greece and the Roman Empire. Arabic artifacts are few since there was no written Arabic before the Quran.
Two 6th century Arab religious experiences Settled sedentary tribes (ex: Meccans) More metaphysical. A creator god al –ilah (the god) Bedouin nomads: totemism, manism (ancestor cults), fetishism (object worship). Which god can lead us to water? Which god can heal our illnesses?
Settled sedentary tribes (ex: Meccans) Bedouin Nomadic Traditions Henotheism: Amir tribe (Yemen) Pre-Islamic Arabia was ready for Mohammed’s Message Jews over many centuries Christians: Syrian, Mesopotamian Abyssinian, Byzantine Hanifism Zoroastrians (Iran)
The Pre-IslamicKa’ba (the cube): pre-Islamic “Jahiliyyah– the Time of Ignorance”: Similar to paganism: open to many Gods. 360 idols were housed in and around the Kaba. Among them were: -Hubal:Syrian god of the moon -al-Uzza= Egyptian Isis = Greek Aphrodite -al-Kutba: Nabataean god of writing and divination -Jesus -Mary Pilgrims from Arabian peninsula came to worship, offer sacrifices, pray for health. People rotate around 7 times (tawaf).