Islam Surrendering to the Will of God
Quiz #1 Islam • 1. The Arabic word ‘Islam’ derives from the same root as which Hebrew word? • 2. Islam means what? • 3. Why do Muslims believe all of creation is Muslim? • 4. Why do Muslims consider Jesus, Moses, and Abraham genuine Muslims? • 5. At the center of Mecca is a cube-like structure called what?
Quiz #1 continued • 6. The ‘Hijrah’ means this, referring to which historical event in Muslim history? • 7. Regarded as the ‘successors to Muhammad’, these Sunni leaders are called what? • 8. Shi’ah Muslims support these leaders known as what? • 9. Enforcing Shari’ah, or______, is the primary duty of the caliph
Key Questions Day 1 Islam • How has Muslim history and geography influenced the development of Islam? • How has Muslim civilization contributed to Western civilization?
A. ROOTS • Religious: Abrahamic Family • Judaism • Christianity • Etymologies • Islam - Arabic s-l-m: “peace” or “surrender” • Muslim - M-s-l-m: “one who surrenders” (peacefully) • Allah – al + Ilah: “The God”
B. Life in Mecca (during Muhammad’s time: 6th Century AD) • The desert’s profound impact on Islam. Life in the desert was: • Violent: tribes robbed and fought for scarce resources • Fatalistic: life was often brutal and short • Society: chaotic, harsh, tribal, • Traders: prostitution, drinking, gambling • religion: animistic polytheism • demons: personifications of people’s fears; jinn • Arabia needed a social revolutionary
Muhammad“the Seal of the Prophets”(570-632 CE) • Born into the leading tribe of Mecca: the Koreish • Father died before his birth; mother died when he was eight • Adopted by uncle • Own hardships allowed him to feel compassion (like Jesus, Siddhartha)
Muhammad Life continued • Early Adulthood • Disgusted by public life, isolated himself • Developed reputation for honesty, kindness • Adulthood (age 25) • Entered caravan business • Married Khadija (wealthy and 15 years older) • married 15 years, four children, all theirs, later: more wives
Spirituality • Mount Hira: retreated to a cave in prayer • “Allah” – Arabic creator deity worshipped by hanifs (mystics) • All-night vigils allowed Muhammad to feel the awesome presence of Allah • Muhammad’s religious experience began with, “La ilaha illa ‘llah! There is no God but God!”
The Night of Power (Al-Qadir) – 610 CE • In the cave, he heard, “Proclaim” from an angel and the “Book” was opened to him • Went back to Khadija: she became first convert • Preached for 23 years, persecuted, insulted, outraged
Ministry • Did not pander to miracle-hungry people • Did not inflate his own image: • “I never said that God’s treasures are in my hand, that I knew the hidden things, or that I was an angel. I am only a preacher of God’s words, the bringer of God’s message to mankind.” • Signs of God • Not in supernatural miracles (magic), but in the miracle of Creation, the order of the universe (Natural world as Cosmic Qur’an) • Led Muslims to science long before the West • Only miracle was the Koran “God dictated to me” (Muhammad, like most Arabs of the day, was illiterate) • Muhammad’s illiteracy believed to be an essential element of faith: it makes the Koran more miraculous
Reaction of Mecca’s religious and political establishment • Threatened polytheistic beliefs • Threatened revenue coming into Mecca from pilgrimages to 360 shrines • Moral demands: end licentiousness • Challenged an unjust social order: democratic, equality before God • Muhammad was first greeted with ridicule, then open persecution • In 3 years, there were only 40 converts • In 10 years, there were a few hundred families
The Hijra, (migration to Medina “Yathrib”) • 622 CE…Muslim calendar is dated from here • Too dangerous for Muhammad to stay in Mecca • Left with 70 families • Medina (“the City”) was ridden with tribal rivalries and needed an objective leader • The leaders of the town invited Muhammad to govern. If he was successful, they would all convert
The Spread of Islam • Muhammad died in 632 CE with all of Arabia converted • Armenia, Persia, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, No. Africa, & Spain were conquered by 700 CE • Defeated in 733 CE by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours • All of Europe may have been Muslim
Sacred Stories Sacred Scriptures • The Qur’an: most sacred book: direct “Word of God” • The Sunnah: authoritative commentary on Qur’an: 2nd most important • Hadith: similar to Sunnah; stories of Muhammad • Hebrew and Christian Scriptures?: revealed word but incomplete: “second hand” • Examples of Christian Scripture you have memorized?
The Qur’an (Koran) Recitation • Most recited and read book • 4/5 the size of the New Testament • Muslims tend to read the Koran literally • Revelations from Gabri’el to Muhammad over 23 years • Considered the culmination of the Old and New Testaments. Also thought to be a return to the original, pure faith of Abraham • Old and New Testaments are only part of the Truth and were partially corrupted in transmission. • The Koran is the final and infallible revelation of God’s will.
Islamic Belief and Practice • Three instances that the Koran mentions polygamy as acceptable: war, when the wives are treated equally, when there are less than four • What did Allah reveal through Jesus? the Golden Rule, love your neighbor • The Shahadah? The Muslim Creed: There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet • Muslims are required to pray 5 times a day: sunrise, noon, or zenith of sun, mid-decline of sun, sunset, before bed: Collective prayer in mosque at sundown, Friday • Difference between Greater and Lesser Jihad
Five Pillars • The Creed- the Shahadah • “There is not God but God, and Muhammad is His Prophet.” • Prayer - salah • Five times daily, Facing Mecca, Washing precedes it • Ends in the prostrate position • Symbolizes the fetal position (rebirth) and submission before Allah • Charity - zakah • 2.5% of all holdings • Fasting – Ramadan • Pilgrimage to Mecca – the Hajj • In Mecca, all Muslims wear two white sheets
Modern Period • Key Questions: • How did the rise of Western Europe lead to the decline of Muslim world? • How did Muslims come to view Christian missionaries from the West? • How did certain Muslim leaders come to explain the political, economic and moral decline of Islam?
The Modern Period: Background • The Golden age of Islam ended with the Rise of Western Powers (Spain, Great Britain, France, United States) • Arab empires followed by the Ottoman Empire • Economic, industrial, military, political power of West led to colonization of Islamic lands • With this came Christian missionaries
Successors to Muhammad • What is the origin of the Sunni-Shia split? • No male heirs led to problems and the rise of Sunni and Shia divisions • Abu Bakra, (Father in Law to Muhammad, succeeds Muhammad (senior of Koreish, or Quraysh tribe) • Others believed Muhammad’s son in law Ali was rightful heir (hushand to daughter Fatimah
Sunni-Shia Relations over the years? • On way to coronation, Ali assassinated, as was son Hussein (Shias reenact martyrdom of Ali annually) • Marked by periods of tension and cooperation • Tends to violence in times of uncertainty and unrest (Syrian civil war)
Two Main Sects in Islam Sunnis Shia Means “Partisan”, or party of Ali 140 million (10% all Muslims) Majority in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Azerbijan, Bahrain See selves as persecuted minority, martyrs • Means: “well-trodden path” (or tradition) • 940 million (90% of all Muslims) • Majority in South East Asia, Arab world, China, Africa • See selves as rightful followers of Muhammad
Sunnis and Shia Differences Sunnis Shia Followers of Imams, or imamates Imams only legitimate leaders of Islam Imamate more prophetic: believe imams have special spiritual wisdom that is passed through bloodlines of Ali and Fatimah • Followers of Caliphs, or Caliphate: successors to Muhammad • Caliph more a political figure
Similarities of Sunnis and Shia Sunnis Shias As do Shia Also believe in Mahdi but some known as Twelvers (12th Imam has already come and will return during End of Days • Believe Five Pillars are foundation • Belief in Mahdi: during End of Days, elightened, rightly guided leader will appear to establish a perfect and just Islamic society
Key Questions continued • Who was the “Sick Man” of Europe at the beginning of the 20th century? • How did secularization and colonization lead to the Iranian Revolution? • What are some of the key beliefs of the Nation of Islam? • Why do many Sunni Muslims not accept the Nation of Islam as true Muslims?
Sacred Time and Festivals • Ramadan • Month of fasting • Commemorates the revelation of Qur’an to Muhammad by Gabri’el
Eid al Fitr • Festival of Breaking the Fast • Parties • Children get presents
Eid al-Adha • Celebrates end of the Hajj • Commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael • Muslims often slaughter an animal
Ashura • Celebrates God freeing Moses and the Hebrew people from Egypt • A day of fasting • Shia Muslims remember martydom of Husayne • Reenact his death through passion plays
Basic Review • Islam • A monotheistic religion • Muhammad’s birthplace: Mecca • Muslim holy text: the Koran: the most widely read book in the world • Know the Five pillars • Muslim house of worship: mosque • Muhammad’s wife Khadji
Review continued • Muhammad’s religious experience in cave • Know the Muslim Holy Month: Ramadan • Meaning of the words Islam and Muslim: to submit, a slave to God • Know where Muhammad set up the first Muslim community: Yathrib • Know Koran forbids primogeniture: passing wealth of family to one child, usually eldest male • The ultimate power women have when it comes to marriage: they inherit the husband’s wealth