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Video: Call to Prayer Exegesis = a critical explanation or interpretation of a text (especially a religious text). “The Baptism of Jesus”.

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Video: Call to Prayer

the baptism of jesus
“The Baptism of Jesus”

After all the people had been baptized, Jesus was also baptized. While he was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven. “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.” (Luke 3:21-22)

the transfiguration
“The Transfiguration”

While he was still speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow; and the disciples were afraid as the cloud came over them. A voice said from the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen – listen to him!”

When the voice stopped, there was Jesus all alone. The disciples kept quiet about all this and told no one at that time anything they had seen. (Luke 9:34-36)


1. Where do you see sources for potential religious conflict arise from your exegetical analysis of the Quranic passage in comparison to the passages from the Gospel of Luke?

2. Why does the Nostra Aetate state that the Church “regards [Muslims] with esteem”? What does this mean?

3. In what ways can Catholics and Muslims work together to create “social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom” in the world despite the doctrinal differences you identified in #1?

  • Islam = “submission to the will of God and obedience to God’s law”
  • Derived from the Arabic word “Salema” – peace, purity, submission, obedience
  • About 1 billion followers; the world’s 2nd largest religion
  • 4-6 million Muslims in the US; the fastest growing religion
  • One of the three Abrahamic religions
  • Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia but that Islam has always existed
  • God revealed Islam to the prophet Muhammad through the revelation of the Qur’an
  • Muslim = “one who submits to the will of God and obeys God’s law”
    • This is the best way for humans to attain peace and harmony
qur an
  • The source of Islam’s foundational teachings; means “recitation”
  • Divided into 114 suras
  • Originally written in Arabic; not possible to translate its full meaning into another language
  • Believed to be the direct words of Allah, revealed to Muhammad throughout his life and written down in its present form by the Prophet’s earliest followers
  • Today it is the world’s most read and memorized book
the seal of the prophets
The Seal of the Prophets
  • Muslims view Abraham, Moses, and Jesus as prophets
  • However, Muhammad is the final prophet; he has revealed the will of Allah fully and precisely, for all time
  • Previous prophets had also revealed Allah’s will, but only partially
  • Muhammad = nothing more than human, with no supernatural qualities, but he is the best of all humans
life of muhammad
Life of Muhammad
  • Born about AD 570 into the leading tribe of Mecca, a city on the Arabian Peninsula that was an important center of commerce and trade
  • Orphaned at the age of 6; raised by his uncle
  • Worked as a shepherd and later as a trader, camel driver, and manager of caravans
  • Eventually became a caravan manager for a wealthy widow named Khadija
life of muhammad marriage
Life of Muhammad: Marriage
  • When Muhammad was 25 and Khadija was 40, they married and subsequently had 6 children
  • Married monogamously for 25

years, until Khadija died at the

age of 65

  • After her death, Muhammad

had polygamous marriages

night of power and excellence
Night of Power and Excellence
  • In his late 30s, Muhammad would often meditate on God in solitude in a cave on Mount Hira
  • During one visit, the archangel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad in a dream and commanded him, “Recite!”
  • Muhammad protested that he was not capable, so the angel repeated the command 2 more times, pressing so hard on Muhammad’s body that he feared he would die
  • Muhammad asked, “What shall I recite?”

Gabriel answered: “Recite in the name of your Lord who created – created [humans] from clots of blood. Recite! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One, who by the pen taught [humans] what [they] did not know” (Qur’an 96:1-4).

  • This passage = the earliest “recitation” contained in the Qur’an
  • This event occurred in AD 610 when Muhammad was 40 and is called the Night of Excellence and Power
  • Marked the beginning of Muhammad’s career as a prophet

Muhammad told Khadija of the angel’s visit, and she became his first convert

  • Muhammad's message = convert from pagan polytheism, immorality and materialism; repent from evil and worship Allah, the only true God; advocate for social and economic justice
  • Muhammad always said he was only a prophet; did not work miracles or claim to know the mind of Allah – he only preached the messages he received
religious persecution
Religious Persecution
  • In the first 3 years of his ministry, Muhammad gained only about 40 followers
  • After 10 years, several hundred families had converted
  • Muhammad’s teachings threatened the Meccan way of life, religiously, morally, and economically
  • In Mecca there were 360 shrines to various gods, and pilgrimages to the shrines earned the city a lot of money
  • Muhammad and his followers faced persecution: at first only in the form of mockery, but eventually they were stoned, covered in dirt as they prayed, beaten with sticks, thrown into prison, and refused service by merchants  
  • Muhammad and his followers migrated to the city of Yathrib to avoid persecution
  • Muhammad had gained followers in the city who offered him a job as an administrator; they pledged to worship only Allah, obey Muhammad, and defend him and followers to the death
  • Once Muhammad received Allah’s approval of the plan, he narrowly escaped from Mecca to Yathrib; this emigration is known as the Hijra and is of utmost importance to the history of Islam
  • Occurred in AD 622, which is when the Muslim calendar begins
  • Yathrib was re-named Medina, “The City of the Prophet”
battle for mecca
Battle for Mecca
  • Muhammad and his followers in Medina battled his opponents in Mecca for 8 years
  • In 630, Muhammad and his forces marched to Mecca and defeated his opponents
  • He destroyed the idols within the Ka’ba temple (believed to be built by Abraham and Ishmael) and re-dedicated it to Allah
  • Nearly the entire Meccan population converted to Islam
  • Muhammad then returned to Medina, where he died in 632, having conquered nearly all of Arabia for Islam
the five pillars of islam
The Five Pillars of Islam
  • The most important Muslim practices
  • These are the five obligations that every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life
  • No matter how sincerely a person may believe, Islam regards it as pointless to live life without putting that faith into action and practice
  • Carrying out the Five Pillars demonstrates that the Muslim is putting her/his faith first, and not just trying to fit it into a secular life
1 st pillar shahadah shahada
1st Pillar: Shahadah/Shahada
  • Islam’s central creedal statement or confession of faith, “There is no god except Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
  • Stating this freely and with conviction officially

makes a person a Muslim

  • Refers to 2 basic teachings of Islam: monotheism and Muhammad’s role as the final prophet
2 nd pillar salat salah
2nd Pillar: Salat/Salah
  • All Muslims are required to pray 5 times a day (traditionally called to prayer by a muezzin)
  • Prayer requires ritual washing of the hands, face, and feet and prostration in the direction of Mecca
  • Often performed on a special prayer rug
  • On Fridays, prayer is conducted in a mosque and led by an imam
3 rd pillar zakat
3rd Pillar: Zakat
  • “Wealth Sharing”; helps ensure the economic welfare of the entire Muslim community
  • Muslims are required to give 2.5 % of the value of their possessions to a public treasury
  • Considered to be a form of worship; social responsibility = service to Allah
  • Funds used to help the poor in the community and spent on public projects, such as educational and cultural institutions
4 th pillar sawm
4th Pillar: Sawm
  • Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan (9th month of the Muslim year)
  • Ramadan is ordained in the Holy Qur'an and was revealed to Muhammad
  • During the month, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex from dawn to sunset
  • Helps Muslims gain insights into the lives of the less fortunate, nurtures an awareness for mortality, and brings worshippers closer to Allah by building spiritual strength
5 th pillar hajj
5th Pillar: Hajj
  • All financially and physically capable Muslims are to make a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca once in their lifetime
  • Allah forgives the sins of those who make the journey
  • Anyone who dies on the journey to or from Mecca is considered a “witness to the faith” and enters Paradise
  • The pilgrimage occurs during a specific month of the year and lasts 15 days
  • It includes many ritual acts, including the circling of the Ka’ba in the courtyard of the Great Mosque

Video: Hajj documentary

the nature of the world
The Nature of the World
  • Muslims believe the world is Allah's gift to humankind
  • See the natural world as good and worthy of reverence because it is Allah’s creation
  • The natural world, like the Qur'an, is considered irrefutable proof of Allah's existence, and Nature is usually referred to as "the second book" of Allah
  • Muslims celebrate science as a means of knowing more about Allah’s perfect creation
islam and theodicy forgetfulness
Islam and Theodicy: Forgetfulness
  • Islam teaches that human nature is essentially good, but people are very prone to forget this
  • Muslims believe that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they caused a state of forgetfulness to come upon them
  • When people forget their basic goodness, their passions can lead them to sin
    • The Qur’an and other revelations of Allah are needed to correct human behaviors
  • Human destiny = entirely dependent on the outcome of their struggle for goodness (Paradise, Hell, Day of Judgment)
  • Umma = the community of all Muslims
  • Transcends the boundaries of race, ethnicity, language, culture, etc.
  • It is a sisterhood and brotherhood based solely on religion
  • United by Shari’a
sharia shari a shari ah
  • Shari’a = all-encompassing divine law
  • Shari’a was conceived by Allah and fashioned for humans’ every day life; it is a practical form of divine law
  • Divides actions into 5 categories: obligatory, recommended, indifferent, disapproved, forbidden
  • Intended to be synonymous with political law
  • Hadith = A saying or teaching of Muhammad, a report about something he did, or an action done in his presence that he did not express disapproval of
  • During the first few centuries of Islam, it was discovered that some so-called hadith had been fabricated by others as sayings/teachings of Muhammad for their own motives
  • Since Islamic legal scholars utilize hadith in addition to the Qur'an to develop the Islamic legal system, it was important to have reliable collections of hadith
  • Gradually collections of authenticated hadith were compiled
sunna sunnah
  • Sunnah = explains and provides details for the laws found in the Qur’an and provides examples of the practical application of these laws (“customs”)
  • It is either direct revelation from Allah, or decisions of Muhammad that were then confirmed by revelation
  • The Sunnah, then, is not necessarily the exact words of Allah, but rather their meanings as explained by the Prophet
  • Sunnah must be adhered to
islam post muhammad
Islam Post-Muhammad
  • After Muhammad’s death, Muslims were led by caliphs (successors)
  • Caliphs = political and religious leaders
  • Ruled over the Caliphate (Islamic state/civilization/empire)
  • Dissent over the proper caliph caused a historical division among Muslims: Sunnis v. Shiites
  • Sunnis view Muhammad’s father-in-law Abu Bakr as the first caliph
  • Believe that the most able and pious of the Prophet's followers should be his caliphs
  • Do not view caliphs as divinely inspired
  • Believe the caliph should be chosen by the community of believers
  • 87 % of Muslims are Sunni
  • Some Sunni nations today: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia
shi ism
  • Shiites believe caliphs’ succession should be based on bloodline
  • Believe the caliph succession should have immediately gone to Ali, the fourth caliph, who was Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law
  • Some Shi’a nations today: Iraq, Iran
    • Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Pakistan also have significant Shi’a populations
role of the imam in shi ism
Role of the Imam in Shi’ism
  • Caliphs in Shi’ism are thought to be the Imam
  • Not seen as prophets, but are believed to be descendants of the Prophet and to have spiritual insight and be the true earthly authority of Islam
  • Believe there have been 12 imams
  • Believe that the 12th imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, was hidden away at a young age and will return to restore Islam and bring on the Day of Judgment