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Chapter 7
Note: This chapter deals with one of the world’s religions. Unless one is an alim, one is probably not well versed. I am neither an alim
nor a muslim – therefore, do not expect a full and complete explanation that will satisfy your faith if you happen to be Muslim. This
chapter and material is intended for people who only know of Islam through film, or news events and will explain in a simplified
manner for everyone. In simplifying some things, we omit others and omission is the unfortunate by-product.
Pronunciation, spelling – varies. I may use one spelling and change. I do not have, nor do I believe it matters significantly at this level,
a preference.
6th Century:
Later Roman Empire (Byzantine)
Sassanian Empire –
Kingdom of Himyar –
Kingdom of Axum –
Arabia –
Sacred sites
Mecca – Kaaba
Adam, white
Abraham and Ishmael
Agriculture and Trade
Cities – trade (Mecca)
The Rise of Islam
• Sheikh • Majlis –
Conflicts between Byzantine and Sassanian
Muhammad (570-632)
570 CE
Born in what we now call Saudi Arabia, in the city of Makkah (Mecca)
on April 20 or 22. Amina, his mother and his grandfather, AbdulMuttalib cared for him.
Mohammad’s uncle (Abu-Talib), 40 years.
582 CE
Monk, Bahira - Messenger of Allah.
595 CE
By the age of 25 Mohammad worked as a manager for a caravan,
Khadijah Ibn Ishaq
Marries Khadijah – 15 years senior
610 CE
Retreats, 40 years old, when he was first visited.
One night toward end of Ramadan
"Night of Power".
Mount Hira for six months.
Mohammad's family - wife, Khadijah and their children: four
daughters: Ruquaiyh, Umm, Zainab and Fatimah; and 3 sons: Al
Qasim, Abdullah, and Tahir.
All his children died during his lifetime except for Fatimah.
Ali, his nephew.
Zaid, free slave? who belonged to Mohammad, adopted as a son?
613 CE
M begins preaching.
~ 619-620 CE M wife and uncle die.
Ascension –
Spread –
Chased from Mecca
Flight to Madina (Medina). M is invited to Medina.
hijrah (hegira)
623~ Ramadan – fasting is ordained by M.
Rivalry between Mecca and Medina.
Between late 623 - 630
Battles of Badr, Uhud, Trench, Khaybar, Tabuk - between 623 - 629
~626 CE
M marries Zainab
~627 CE
M marries ? Mariah (a gift from the Egyptian ruler)
~629 CE
M marries Safiyah.
~630 – conquers Mecca
Death June 8, 632 at age 63.
 By the time of his death - control of western Arabia
and had contacts with eastern Arabia, Hijaz, Nejd,
Oman, and Yemen.
His death in Medina is another interesting bit of
history and religious belief … how did he died and
what happened to him.
Teachings of Muhammad
 Koran (recitation) – Surah (114) & Ayahs (6000+)
 Hadith (collection of sayings from the Prophet)
Five Pillars of Faith
Following Five Pillars is not guarantee into heaven
 Ulama (Muslim scholars. Singular – Alim.)
 Shari’ah (law code) – devised after Muhammad died
Belief in Islam means:
belief in One God
belief in all of God's messengers
belief in all the books sent down to prophets of God. These books
include Torah and Gospel. Only the Holy Quran exists in its original
form, however.
belief in the existence of angels
belief in the Divine Decree or Predestination, its good and its bad.
belief in the Day of Judgment, Life after Death, Heaven and Hell.
… or put another way …
Components of Faith
 God and His attributes – 99 beautiful names
 Prophets
 Sacred Books
 Angels
 Revelations
 Last Day
 Predestination
 Strive in the way of the Lord
 Personal
 One who strives – mujtahid
Missing Imam
 Mohammad spoke on need to defend the belief against
infidels and if war was necessary, so be it.
 The Arab
Empire and Its Successors
 Abu Bakr
1.Abu Bakr – 632 – 634
2. Umar ibn al-Khattab – 634 – 644 (a)
3. Uthman – 644 – 656 (a)
4. Muhammad Ali – 656 – 661 (a)
Umayyids (Damascus) 661 – 750
Mu’awiyah – 661
Tariq, 710
Abbasids (Baghdad) 750 – 1258 – Golden Age of Islam ******
Age of Decline – 1259 – 1798
Fatimids (Cairo, Shi’a)
The Umayyads (661-750)
• Mu’awiyah became caliph (successor), 661
– Damascus
– Diplomacy
– Trade
670 - Muslim conquest of NW Africa
680 – 692: 2nd Muslim civil war:
691 – Dome of the Rock completed in Jerusalem.
Tariq, 710-711, crossed into Spain
– Battle of Tours, 732
• Constantinople attacked and Muslim fleet defeated, 717
Serious internal strife – warfare over control
Schism – Sunni – Shi’i (Shite)
Shi’ites (“partisans of Ali”) – accepted only descendants of
Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, as true rulers
Sunnites – claimed that the descendants of the Umayyads
were the true caliphs
The Abbasids (750-1258)
Capital – Baghdad (762) (later Samarra – 836)
Caliph - Harun al-Rashid (786-809)
• ‘Renaissance’ – art, learning, literature, philosophy
• Patron of learning
– Translation of Greek texts
• Trade, industry, agriculture
12th Imam goes into occultation (hiding or temporarily
the celestial body vanishes), end of direct rule of Shiite
Imams – 874.
Seljuk Turks
Nomadic people from central Asia
 Capture Baghdad, 1055
 Battle of Manzikert, 1071, Turks took over most of
The Crusades
• In 1071, Byzantine forces routed and Constantinople in question
– called upon Europe for help.
• 1095 – Council of Clermont – Pope Urban II promised
remission of all sins for those who joined the crusades
The Mongols
Elites converted to Islam
New center of Islam the Fatimids in Cairo
• Emergence of the Ottoman Turks
• Mehmet II seizes Constantinople, 1453
Islamic Civilization
 The Wealth of Araby: Trade and Cities in the Middle East
Islamic Society
All equal in the eyes of Allah
Upper class
Farmland eventually in the hands of the wealthy
Culture of Islam
Philosophy and science
Ibn Rushd (Averroës)
Galen (c. 180-200)
Ibn Sina, (Avecinna), 980-1037
Adopted numerical system from India
Astronomical studies
Knowledge of nature and diseases
Algebra (al-jebr) (9th century)
Islamic Literature
Rabe’a of Qozdar
Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat
The Tales from 1001 Nights (first was oral)
Sadi (1210-1292), Rose Garden (Persian Shakespeare)
Rumi in the 13th century adopted beliefs of Sufism to his poetry
al-Mus’udi (b. 896)
Islamic Art and Architecture
 Dome of the Rock, built 691 Jerusalem
 Mosques
Great Mosque of Samarra is the largest mosque
Mosque of Córdoba
All mosques contained a kibla that faced Mecca and
symbolized God - mihrab
Alhambra in Spain
Woolen rugs
 No representation of the Prophet
 Influence of East Asia
 Non-religious art
Reasonable to express
 Arab empire was:
Unusually tolerant of Christians and Jews
Had positive and negative results in regions conquered
Brought legal code and language to people who
previously didn’t have
Improved the lives of many by rejuvenating world trade