The Expansive Realm of Islam

Report
Muhammad and His Message
• Born 570 to merchant family in
Mecca
• Orphaned as a child
• Marries wealthy widow c. 595, works
as merchant
• Familiarity with paganism,
Christianity and Judaism as
practiced in Arabian peninsula
Muhammad’s Spiritual
Transformation
•
•
•
•
Visions c. 610 CE
Archangel Gabriel
Monotheism – Allah
Attracts followers to Mecca
IslamAn Abrahamic
Religion
 Muslims are strict monotheists.


They believe in the JudeoChristian God, which they call
Allah.
Muslims believe that the Torah
and the Bible, like the Qur’an,
is the word of God.
Peoples of the Book
Abraham’s Genealogy
HAGAR
ABRAHAM
Ishmael
SARAH
Isaac
12 Arabian Tribes
Jacob
Esau
12 Tribes of Israel
The Prophetic Tradition
(25 In All)
Adam
Noah
Abraham
Moses
Jesus
Muhammad
The Quran
• Record of revelations received
during visions
• Committed to writing c. 650 CE
(Muhammad dies 632)
• Tradition of Muhammad’s life: hadith
The Qur’an
 Muslims believe it contains the
word of God.

114 suras (chapters).

In the name of Allah,
the compassionate,
the merciful.

Written
in Arabic.
Conflict at Mecca
• Muhammad’s monotheistic
teachings offensive to polytheistic
pagans
• Economic threat to existing religious
industry
• Denunciation of greed affront to local
aristocracy
The Hijra
• Muhammad flees to Yathrib
(Medina) 622 CE
– Year 0 in Muslim calendar
• Organizes followers into communal
society (the umma)
• Legal, spiritual code
• Commerce, raids on Meccan
caravans for sake of umma
Muhammad’s Return to Mecca
• Attack on Mecca, 630
• Conversion of Mecca to Islam
• Destruction of pagan sites, replaced
with mosques
– Ka’aba preserved in honor of
importance of Mecca
– Approved as pilgrimage site
– Covered in kiswah (“robe”) annually
The Ka’aba
1. The Shahada
 The testimony.

The declaration of faith:
There is no god worthy of
worship except God, and
Muhammad is His
Messenger [or Prophet].
1
2. The Salat
 The mandatory prayers
performed 5 times a day:
* dawn
* noon
* late afternoon
* sunset
* before going to bed

Wash before praying.

Face Mecca and use a prayer rug.
2
2. The Salat
 The call to prayer by the
muezzin in the minaret.

Pray in the mosque on Friday.
2
3. The Zakat
 Alms giving (charitable
donations).

Muslims believe that all things
belong to God.

Zakat means both “purification”

About 2.5% of your income.
and “growth.”
3
4. The Sawm
 Fasting during the holy month
of Ramadan.


Considered a method of selfpurification.
No eating or drinking from
sunrise to sunset during
Ramadan.
4
5. The Hajj
 The pilgrimage to Mecca.

Must be done at least once in a
Muslim’s lifetime.

2-3 million Muslims make the
pilgrimage
every
year.
5
5. The Hajj
 Those who complete the
pilgrimage can add the title
hajji to their name.
5
Jihad
• “struggle”
– Against vice
– Against ignorance of Islam
• “holy war”
– Against unbelievers who threaten Islam
The Dome of the Rock
Mosque in Jerusalem
Mount Moriah Rock
where Muhammad ascended into heaven.
Islamic Law: The Sharia
• Codification of Islamic law
• Based on Quran
• Extends beyond ritual law to all
areas of human activity
Other Islamic Religious
Practices
 Up to four wives allowed at once.

No alcohol or pork.

No gambling.
Three
holiest cities in Islam:
* Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem.
The Caliph
• No clear to successor to
Muhammad identified
• Abu Bakr chosen to lead as Caliph
• Led war against villagers who
abandoned Islam after death of
Muhammad
The Spread of Islam

Easy to learn and practice.

No priesthood.

Teaches equality.

Non-Muslims, who were “Peoples of
the Book,” were allowed religious
freedom, but paid additional taxes.

Easily “portable”  nomads & trade
routes.

Jihad (“Holy War”) against pagans
and other non-believers (“infidels”).
The Spread of Islam
• Great warriors with a strong cavalry.
• Byzantines and Persians weak from
fighting each other.
• Unity in Islam, strengthened by the
Sharia, coupled with fair treatment
of conquered people, was inviting to
many in defeated empires who
desired more freedom and
cohesiveness.
• Difficulties governing rapidly
expanding territory
The Expansion of Islam, 632 – 733 CE
Muslims in the World
Today
Countries with the Largest
Muslim Population
1. Indonesia
183,000,000
6. Iran
62,000,000
2. Pakistan
134,000,000
7. Egypt
59,000,000
3. India
121,000,000
8. Nigeria
53,000,000
4. Bangladesh
114,000,000
9. Algeria
31,000,000
10. Morocco
29,000,000
5. Turkey
66,000,000
* Arabs make up only 20% of the total
Muslim population of the world.
Successors To The Prophet
• After the death of Muhammad, the caliph,
or successor to the prophet was chosen.
Abu Bakr was nominated as the first caliph.
• Abu Bakr would lead the first caliphate,
known as the Rashidun or Patriarchal
Caliphate.
• The choice of Abu Bakr caused significant
dispute as many believed that Muhammad
had chosen Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the cousin
and son-in-law of Muhammad to succeed
him.
• Served as caliph 656-661 CE, then
assassinated along with most of his
followers
Successors To The Prophet
• Abu Bakr was followed by three more
caliphs, the last of which was Alī ibn
Abī Tālib. It is with his succession
that a division in Islam became more
defined.
• Sunni Muslims believe that Ali was the
fourth caliph, a position chosen based
on ability to lead. The Shi’a (Shiites)
believe that Ali is the first Imam,
and that only blood descendants of
Muhammad can lead the Muslim
people.
Major Muslim Empires
• Rashidun Caliphate (622-661)
• Umayyad Caliphate (661-750) •
•
•
•
– Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba in
Islamic Spain (929-1031)
Abbasid Caliphate (750-1258) Fatimid Caliphate (910-1171)
Mamluk Caliphate (1250-1517)
The Ottoman Caliphate (15171924)
Shi’ite Pilgrims at Karbala
The Umayyad Dynasty
(661-750 CE)
• From Meccan merchant class
• Brought stability to the Islamic
community
• Capital: Damascus, Syria
• Associated with Arab military
aristocracy
Policy toward Conquered
Peoples
• Favoritism of Arab military rulers
causes discontent
• Limited social mobility for non-Arab
Muslims
• Head tax (jizya) on non-Muslims
• Umayyad luxurious living causes
further decline in moral authority
The Abbasid Dynasty
(750-1258 CE)
• Abu al-Abbas Sunni Arab, allied with
Shia, non-Arab Muslims
• Seizes control of Persia and
Mesopotamia
• Defeats Umayyad army in 750
– Invited Umayyads to banquet, then
massacred them
Nature of the Abbasid Dynasty
• Diverse nature of administration (i.e.
not exclusively Arab)
• Militarily competent, but not bent on
imperial expansion
• Content to administer the empire
inherited
• Dar al-Islam
• Growth through military activity of
autonomous Islamic forces
Abbasid Administration
•
•
•
•
Persian influence
Court at Baghdad
Influence of Islamic scholars
Ulama and qadis sought to develop
policy based on the Quran and
sharia
Caliph Harun al-Rashid
(786-809 CE)
• High point of Abbasid dynasty
• Baghdad center of commerce
• Great cultural activity
Abbasid Decline
• Civil war between sons of Harun alRashid
• Provincial governors assert regional
independence
• Dissenting sects, heretical movements
• Abbasid caliphs become puppets of
Persian nobility
• Later, Saljuq Turks influence, Sultan real
power behind the throne
Economy of the Early
Islamic World
• Spread of food and industrial crops
– Trade routes from India to Spain
• Western diet adapts to wide variety
• New crops adapted to different
growing seasons
– Agricultural sciences develop
– Cotton, paper industries develop
• Major cities emerge
Formation of a Hemispheric
Trading Zone
• Historical precedent of Arabic trade
• Dar al-Islam encompasses silk
routes
– ice exported from Syria to Egypt in
summer, 10th century
• Camel caravans
• Maritime trade
Banking and Trade
• Scale of trade causes banks to
develop
– Sakk (“check”)
• Uniformity of Islamic law throughout
dar al-Islam promotes trade
• Joint ventures common
Al-Andalus (Islamic Spain)
• Muslim Berber conquerors from
North Africa take Spain, early 8th c.
• Allied to Umayyads, refused to
recognize Abbasid dynasty
– Formed own caliphate
– Tensions, but interrelationship
Changing Status of Women
• Quran improves status of women
– Outlawed female infanticide
– Brides, not husbands, claim dowries
• Yet male dominance preserved
– Patrilineal descent
– Polygamy permitted, Polyandry
forbidden
– Veil adopted from ancient
Mesopotamian practice
Formation of an Islamic
Cultural Tradition
• Islamic values
– Uniformity of Islamic law in dar al-Islam
– Establishment of madrasas
– Importance of the Hajj
• Sufi missionaries
– Asceticism, mysticism
– Some tension with orthodox Islamic
theologians
– Wide popularity
Al-Ghazali (1058-1111)
• Major Sufi thinker from Persia
• Impossibility of intellectual
apprehension of Allah, devotion,
mystical ecstasy instead
Cultural influences on Islam
• Persia
– Administration and governance
– literature
• India
– Mathematics, science, medicine
• “Hindi” numbers
• Greece
– Philosophy, esp. Aristotle
– Ibn Rushd/Averroes (1126-1198)
Muslims in America
Muslim Culture in NYC
The Islamic Center, New York City
Islam’s Golden Age
• Islam’s golden age peaked under
the Abbasids, during which
Muslims absorbed the customs
and traditions of the many
diverse people they ruled.
• The emphasis on learning, which
was taught by Muhammad, was
reinforced by a flourishing
economy based on trade.
Art & Architecture
• Mosques & Palaces
– Byzantine domes and arches
– Abstract & geometric patterns
• Calligraphy
– Often verses from the Quran
• Drawings & Paintings
Literature & Philosophy
• Poetry
– Much based upon themes of the
Quran
• Preservation of Greco-Roman
scholars
• Tales
– Most famous is The Thousand and
One Nights
• Philosophy
Mathematics & Science
• Algebra
– Based upon Indian & Greek
advancements, the Muslims pioneered
algebra
• Astronomy
– Observed the Earth’s rotation
– Calculated the circumference of the
earth within a few thousand feet
• Medicine
– Doctors had to pass rigorous tests
– Hospitals set up
– Studied diseases and wrote medical
encyclopedias that became standard
texts in Europe
Economics
• Agriculture
• Trade
– Cultural diffusion
– Partnerships, credit, banks
• Manufacturing
– Guilds regulated prices, weights &
measurements
– Specialized in steel, leather &
carpets

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