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Introduction to Islam Rise to Reform! Terms • Near East: first attested usage 1869 and then 1894. (see map. Generally in relation to the Eastern Mediterranean) • Middle East. First attested usage is in 1897, and at first extended from Egypt to India: the area between the Near East and the Far East. • We now use the term “Middle East” commonly to speak of the area from Egypt to Iran (West to East), and Yemen to Turkey (South to North) • North Africa refers broadly to the region from Libya to Mauritania Terms continued • • • • • • • • Islam (=Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism) Muslim (=Christian, Jew, Buddhist) [also: Moslem] The people are never “Islams” or “Islamics” Islamic is an adjective. Islamic Art developed sophisticated calligraphic representations to an unprecedented level. Qur’an (=Bible) Best pronounced as two syllables, Coor-On. [also: Koran] Iran: Best pronounced in English as EE-RON Iraq: Best pronounced in English as EE-ROCK but EE-RACK is also fine. Middle East Total Population: ca. 290 Million Muslims: ca. 270 million Christians: 10-14 million Jews: 5.5 million Bahais: ca. 300,000 M.E. and Northern Africa Muslim Distribution Pie Chart World Religions Projected growth of Muslim populations Geographic Spread Global Muslim populations Muslim Distribution in the “heartland” Stats on US Muslims • Muslim American Facts • Islam came to the Americas with Slavery • Estimated number of Muslim Americans: probably 6-7 million. • Mosques in the United States in 2000: 1,209. • Proportion of mosques founded since 1980: 62 percent. American Muslims http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/muslimlife/immigrat.htm Rise of Islam I. A. B. C. D. Jahiliyya to Islam Western Arabia mostly Pagan in the early 7th century Monotheism known Allah-”Deus Otiosus” But same as the God of Abrahamic faiths Arabia is connected to the rest of the world but is a backwater Life of the Prophet • Born ca. 570 • Poor and orphaned • Noble and known for trustworthiness (called “al-Amin” or trustworthy) • Marries Khadijah, older, wealthy widow, at 25 years of age. (ca. 595) • His only child to outlive him, Fatima, is the daughter of Khadijah Prophecy • Begins to retreat outside of Mecca for meditation • Begins to hear voices calling out, “Greetings, oh Messenger of God.” • First revelation is terrifying • Revelation will continue for the next 23 years • At first apocalyptic and ethical-later becomes more regulatory as nascent state emerges Other events • • • • 622—Hijra to Medina (The crucial change) 630—Peaceful conquest of Mecca 630-632—Arabia mostly submits to Medina 632-Prophet dies without universally recognized heir. Qur’an Sūra 55: Raḥmān, or (Allah) Most Gracious • • • • • • • • • • • Section 1 (1-25) 1. Alrrahman 1. ((Allah)) Most Gracious! 2. AAallama alqur-an 2. It is He Who has taught the Qur'an. 3. Khalaqa al-insan 3. He has created man: 4. AAallamahu albayan 4. He has taught him speech (and intelligence). 5. Alshshamsu waalqamaru bihusban 5. The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed; Form of Qur’an • Revealed gradually—therefore not single narrative • Collected in 114 Suras or Chapters • Organized from longest to shortest Suras • Each word believed to be divine, but order is human • Qur’an best parallel to Christian “Logos” • Qur’an is sacred, but is heard and recited also in the “profane” world Major Divisions • Kharijis • Sunnis • Shi`is Kharijis • • • • • “Seceders” Early split over leadership and Their definition of who was a Muslim Very rigorous This name will be used in the modern period to describe Wahhabis and, perhaps more appropriately, the modern radical movements that have “seceded” from Muslim society Sunnis • Derived from word for Prophetic practice, “sunna” (Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama`a) • “Four caliphs” historical reality was correct • Leadership of community routinized in the office of the Caliphate • Sunna comes to be as important as the Qur’an in determining Islamic law and practice • Ulama are “successors to the prophets” • Majority by 10th century at the latest Shiis 1. 2. a. Originally a split over leadership (the Shi`a of `Ali) Develops in distinctive ways Martyrdom, especially of al-Husayn, gives Shi`ism a penitential and redemptive aspect (NOTE: this does not make Shi`ism any more “extreme” or liable to a death cult than other traditions, but it does help explain some Shi`ite ways of acting. b. Belief in necessity of the Imam—necessary for existence of world, and infallible guide For “Twelvers”, minor occultation between 874-941, followed by major occultation until the present Shiite Ulama • • Medieval debate among Shiites about the extent of the role of the Ulama in society. Winning position: Usulis-Prepared to use independent legal reasoning (ijtihad) to deliver legal judgments (fatwas) on any social or personal issue Marja` (Model for Emulation) Marja-lit. the person to whom one (re)turns. Religiously, in Shiism, the authority to whom one turns for direction in matters temporal and spiritual At present, several marjas, including Sistani in Iraq, Khamanei in Iran, Fadlallah in Lebanon, and others. Division over extent to which the Marja should be involved in politics Anybody recognized as a marja` is very important and has enormous economic and moral resources Khomeini (d. 1989) • Khomeini changed basic doctrine of Shiites • Argued for Vilayet-e-faqih, or the rule of the jurisprudent. • In practice, this meant that the ideal ruler was the most qualified marja` of the time: Khomeini was this person during his life • Other Marjas (including Sistani) do not accept this position Shi`ism and Sunnism Sunni majority = 80-90% Muslims Shi`i minority 10-20% • Sunnis and Shi`is both believe in the same Qur’an, same Prophets, • but they believe in different versions of history after the death of the Prophet Muhammad • Sunnis believe that leadership of the community was essentially political after the death of the Prophet. • Office is more important than individual • Shi`is believe that members of the Prophet’s family should have led the community. These are Imams • Those members had special knowledge that is miraculously passed on from one Imam to another • But instead of being allowed to lead the community, they were martyred. • Special status is given to the Prophet’s grandson, al-Husayn (d. 680 CE), the paramount martyr, whose death is commemorated every year • through several rites, including flagellation and reenactment of his death. Shi`ite observances Flagellation as a way of commemorating fallen martyrs reflects a rather more “tear-filled” mournful version of Islam among some but not all Shi`i groups. Christian Flagellants All Muslims undertake 5 basic “pillars” of Islam Pillars of Islamic Practice • • • • Testify to oneness of God Prayer (5 times a day versus 3 times) Fast the month of Ramadan Give alms (2.5 percent of wealth) cleanses wealth) • Hajj—pilgrimage made once in a lifetime to Mecca to circumambulate the Ka`ba Law • All pious Muslims also believe that Islamic law (Shari`a), a more expansive concept of law than we have in the West, is one of the fundaments of Islamic practice. • Which laws exactly are part of that is less important than the principle of trying to work out a Divine plan for the world through societal regulation (law). Law • Islamic law is based on 4 sources, (the Quran, accounts of what the Prophet said and did, human reasoning by analogy, the consensus of legal scholars.) • It covers many aspects of life (personal status, contracts, crime, basic behavior, ritual, government.) • It includes five categories of action (required, recommended, neutral, disliked, prohibited.) Law • It is not codified in a single code • It allows for re-interpretation • But one must use the 4 sources (and ancillary “sources” or bases for legal reasoning such as “social welfare” or “need.”) • Using such tools, reformers have made the law malleable, especially in the late 19th and 20th centuries (NOTE: this can be a progressive or regressive element, contrary to first impressions) The modern period 1. 18th century reforms 2. Colonialism 3. Islamic reformations Islamic World ca. 1500 MENA 1939 Wahhabism • Wahhabis arise in pre-European environment. • Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792) • Major critic of what he sees as infringements on God’s Unity – Sufism, with veneration of saints, is polytheism – Shiism, with similar veneration of the Imams, was also polytheism to be attacked. – Comes from Hanbali school, which has never ceased to have ijtihad, and he preaches against taqlid – “Wahhabism” becomes influential in 20th century: – A. Importance of Arabia – B. “Petrodollars” since the 1970s – C. But earlier, it became influential because it was perceived to be more in keeping with reason, and therefore with modernity (and was promoted by one major Islamic reformer named M. Rashid Rida (d. 1935) Salafism in Egypt • Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1897) and Muhammad Abduh (1905) liberal, modernist, reformers, pushing for social and legal change and for a revival of Muslim fortunes • Also against Taqlid • Condemn “irrational” and “superstitious” aspects of Sufism • Rida-modernist—yet turns movement back towards Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab • From this arises the Muslim Brotherhood • Sayyid Qutb, etc. Fundamentalists are modern • Fundamentalism is a modern phenomenon. • American Evangelical Christianity, Jewish Haredim (“Ultra-Orthodox”) and Islamic revivalism are all responses to modernity, and especially to what Weber famously called the “Disenchantment of the world”. Anti-modernists and conscious “traditionalists” are both responses to Modernity • Even those who claim to reject modernity do not really do so and couch their claims in terms that are distinctly modern. • Thus, e.g., those who wish to implement the Shari`a do not wish to bring back slavery. • The Islamic world has gone through a reformation. Like Europe’s Christian reformation, however, it is not an overnight process, nor should we expect it to be entirely peaceful, although for the most part it is.