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RELIG ST 2Q03 Lecture4.docx

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Liyakat Takim

Lecture 4 Early period after Muhammad’s death  it was problematic  looking at role models  there is a tension between what you believe in and what you read  there is a standardization oh history; a re-reading of history  history is never black and white  in many cases history is written after  history can be tendentious o it has a tendency to take you to a specific perspective o we have to be aware; of who is writing when he’s writing and why he is writing ]]  Orthodox o originally meant the right way o in many ways when reading about history we are told it is orthodox  when looking at historical facts we need to examine all views as a academic o history is composite; because we do not know it definitely o opposite is heterodox o the early accounts of Muhammad came 150 years after his death  because history was told orally o we have to be aware; of who is writing when he’s writing and why he is writing Succession of Muhammad  in his last sermon he told his people he was going to die soon  there is no definite answer/report to who shall be appointed as a successor  no one asked Muhammad  we do know about a place called Saqifa o it was a meeting place o a hall in Medina o to make important political decisions o there were two groups in median  the migrants who came with Muhammad; from mecca- Muhajirun  and the helpers- Ansar  soon after Muhammad died o the Ansar were meeting in median to who should be Muhammad’s successor (while they were preparing Muhammad’s body for burial) o Abu Bakr and Umar were in the street and were told to go to the Saqifa;  they found that everyone was from the Ansar, when Abu Bakr entered; they suggested to have two leaders  there was much commotion  nothing they agreed on  Abu Bakr suggested the leader should be from the Quraysh  because this was a tribe of Muhammad; when living in Mecca  there was a lot of dispute  some suggested Ali; he was the son-in-law of the prophet, and his cousin and also belonged to the same clan (he was young around 33)  he was rejected as a leader  Umar took the hand of Abu Bakr; and nominated him  Umar was powerful; and the people accepted  they went to the mosque and gave a bay’a  to accept Abu Bakr as the leader  there was a small group that rejected and wanted Ali to be the leader  they were called Shi’a- which means followers  There was no divide in the olden days with the whole Shi’a and Sunni  Shi’a is a political term  they believed that Ali was more deserving  one of the points that Shi’a use o on his death bed the prophet asked for a pen and paper o his companion was around his death bed o Umar rejected giving him pen and paper; because he believed the prophet was not in his senses o the prophet told them to leave o called the day of calamity o he wanted to dictate so the followers did not go astray  Abu Bakr was not universally recognized; they recognized his power but not his authority  he was the first Caliph  632- prophet died o Abu Bakr ruled for 2 years  died in 634 o Islam expanded; to Iraq in the north; Syria was dominated by byzantine Christians, and then expanded to Iran at the time of Umar  it was not mass conversion  Islam was not spread by the sword  the traditional image was that a Muslim was a man riding a horse holding a sword in one hand and then the Quran in the other  there is no compulsion in religion; it is not allowed; belief comes from within o people converted for various reasons  economic reasons  it was economically viable once the empire was spreading/growing  marital reasons  egal
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