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Quiz Review: The Arabian Peninsula before Islam and Muhammad’s life and story
Directions: Study the filled questions AND attempt to fill in the ones that are blank. Other than studying this sheet
you should also read through and review the material related to this quiz. Take a second look at the reading on
the Arabian Peninsula before Muhammad, the reading on Muhammad’s life, and the video clip notes on
Muhammad.
Pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula
How was pre-Islamic society
organized? What kind of
government was around?


Tribal/Clan society
No major empire of government to control things
How did the geography of the
Peninsula shape how people
lived?


Arabia = hot, dry, few sources of water
Lack of resources meant many people had to live a nomadic way of
life
People had to struggle to find sources of grazing land and water for
their herds of animals

Describe the life of the Bedouin
peoples.




Bedouin means “people of the desert”
Nomadic people (didn’t settle in one place)
Raised herds of sheep, goats, and camels
Relied on the herds for survival (food, clothing, etc.)
Why were camels so important to
life in the Arabian Peninsula?


Provided the Bedouin with all their basic needs
Camel is well adapted for desert survival
What kind of religion did the
nomads of the Arabian Peninsula
have before Islam?

Animism---a religion that worshipped nature spirits and is a form of
nature worship.
What was the importance of the
Ka’aba to PRE-ISLAMIC Arabs?


PRE-ISLAMIC Arabs believed the Ka’aba was the home of their many
gods
They would make pilgrimages to the shrine to pray to these gods
Where did most of the trade in
the Peninsula take place?


West coast cities
Mountainous west coast known as the Hijaz
Why was there constant violence
in the Arabian Peninsula?


Fighting for resources (water and grazing land)
Wars between the Byzantine and Persian Empires effected life in
Northern Arabia
Tribal feuds and conflicts were almost constant

Muhammad’s Life and Story
Describe Muhammad’s early life.




Born in 570 A.D. in Mecca
Orphaned---dad died around the time he was born, mom died when
he was six
He was raised by his grandfather and uncle
Grew up poor and had to work hard
When did Muhammad say to
have his first revelation from
God? Where?


610 A.D.
In a cave on Mount Hira outside Mecca
Why was Muhammad message so
popular with the poor and
outcasts of Arabian society?


His message/religion said that all people were equal before God
Called for an end to differences between rich and poor
Why did the leaders of Mecca
reject Muhammad’s message?



Many didn’t believe Muhammad
Some were insulted by his claim that their tribal gods were false
His new message threatened the business of Mecca. Why would
people come on pilgrimage to Mecca if the gods were false?
What is the importance of the
Hijrah (622 AD)?


Date of the Hijrah
Hijrah = event where Muhammad fled the city of Mecca for the city
of Yathrib (eventually known as Medina, city of the Prophet
Marks year 1 in the Islamic calendar
Seen as the beginning of the Islamic community and faith


Why were Muhammad’s armies
so successful?


Motivated by their faith
Other tribes joined Muhammad’s side when Muhammad started
winning
What surprising things did
Muhammad do when he
conquered the city of Mecca in
630 A.D.?


Showed mercy to the people of Mecca…he didn’t harm them
He destroyed the statues to the animist gods outside of the Ka’aba
and dedicated the Ka’aba to Allah
What is the importance of the
Quran to Muslims?



Believed to be the direct and exact words of God
Muslims believe it is God’s representation on earth
Written in Arabic
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