10.2 Beginnings of Islam MUHAMMAD AND THE BIRTH OF ISLAM DO NOW: 1. Is Islam a monotheistic or polytheistic religion? 2. Has it grown or waned in popularity since its beginnings? 3. What section of the world do many Islamic countries comprise? 1 MECCA & THE KAABA By the Middle of the 500s, three major oasis cities developed on the Arabian Peninsula. They were Yathrib, which is today Medina, Ta’if, and Mecca. Of the three, Mecca was the largest and the richest. Mecca was supported by trade and religion. 1 Traders stopped there on their way north to Constantinople. Arab pilgrims, or travelers to a religious shrine, came there to worship. Arabia’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba stood in the center of Mecca. It was believed that a black stone fell from paradise and was set in one of its walls. 1 Muslims believe the Kaaba was first built by Adam. Later, Abraham and his son Ishmael rebuilt it. They had it dedicated to the worship of one God. Later it was filled with idols that represented the gods and goddesses of different tribes. 2 MUHAMMAD’S EARLY LIFE In 570, Muhammad was born and he was raised by an uncle who was a trader. He mastered the skills of leading caravans. Writings say that his skills caught the eye of a wealthy widow and merchant, Khadija. 2 MUHAMMAD’S EARLY LIFE On her behalf, Muhammad would travel to the Fertile Crescent to trade goods. When he returned from his journey, they were married. Muhammad’s marriage to Khadija gave him wealth and respect in Mecca. 3 MUHAMMAD’S REVELATION According to Muslim beliefs, Muhammad had a revelation or vision in 610 CE. It is said that he heard the voice of the Angel Gabriel telling him to preach about God. He concluded that there was only one God, Allah, the same god as the God of Jews and Christians. 3 When Muhammad told Khadija what happened she went to see a holy man hoping he could explain it to her. The holy man told her that the angel speaking to Muhammad was the same one who had visited Moses and the other prophets. 4 MUHAMMAD’S PERSECUTION Muhammad’s teaching greatly upset the leaders of Mecca. At first they laughed at him but they eventually felt threatened. The leaders felt that if people stopped coming to Mecca, the city’s economy would be ruined and the leaders would no longer be rich. They started to persecute Muhammad and his followers. 5 THE HIJAR In 620, Muhammad preached to a group of pilgrims from Yathrib. They invited him to come there and be their leader. During the summer of 622, he and several hundred followers fled from Mecca to Yathrib. The year 622 was called the year of the Migration and the city was renamed for the city of the prophet, Medina. He became a successful leader in the city of Medina. 6 ISLAM’S SUCCESS Muslim scholars say that in 624 Muhammad led attacks on Meccan caravans, cutting off Mecca’s source of income. In 630, he signed a peace treaty and triumphantly entered their home city, Mecca. Muhammad forgave those who persecuted him. Within 2 years all the tribes of Arabia declared their faith in Islam and their loyalty to Muhammad. In 632 Muhammad died. 7 THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM The Five Pillars of Islam are the basic duties of every Muslim. They are outlined in the Quran. They are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Believe in one God, Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. Pray facing Mecca five times daily. Give to those in need. Fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Make a holy pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life. MOSQUES Muslims worship in a mosque. All mosque builders follow certain standards. The Mosque always faces Mecca. Markings on the walls show the direction of Mecca. From tall towers, called minarets, religious leaders, called muezzins, call Muslims to prayer. Walled in courtyards in the mosque hold hundreds of worshippers. AL-MASJID AN-NABAWI, MEDINA AL-MASJID AN-NABAWI, MEDINA Ar-Rawdah an-Nabawiyah Muhammad’s tomb DOME OF THE ROCK, JERUSALEM The oldest Muslim monument still standing is the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Built in 691, this building honors where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended into heaven.