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Intro to Islam September 24

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Religious Studies
Liyakat Takim

2Q03 – Intro to Islam; S EPTEMBER 24, 2013 M ECCAN CHAPTERS ARE SHORTER AND MORE POETIC ;  Reflection of Mohammed‟s life  Cannot study the Qur‟an without Mohammed; and Vice Versa;  Reflection of the changes in lifestyle;  Rhetorical questions; because these are the conditions Muhammad faces; M EDINA  What happens in Medina;  Longer verses; more detailed; Different issues; war fare; encourages Muslims;  Through the power of God; through the Angels; These verses talk about different issues; women‟s issues; etc.; astronomy; the development of the fetus;  What is a scripture? Religious text; relationship with the people; VS a Canon (Encyclopedia that you refer to) o Scripture injects a sense of God-awareness; o TAQWA  God fearing; To be aware of God‟s presence; To have a sense of awareness of God‟s presence; and a conscience that is alive;  Before a person commits a sin there‟s a conscience that tells you what you are doing is wrong; something that blocks between you and wrong doing; continuously aware of the presence of God  Close personal connection with the divine; This is why in Islam we differentiate between Islam and Iman; (FAITH)  In Islam and in the Qur‟an faith is very different than other religious traditions; faith is something dynamic; very positive; in the sense that fate is mentioned far more than Islam in the Qur‟an;  “I‟m doing faith” – interactive; dynamic; doing something engaged in it; belief and faith;  BELIEF; All people in traditions share this „belief‟ o E.g Christians; Jesus is son of God; o E.g. Muslims belief that Muhammad is the last prophet of God; o Articles of creed; o Study of belief‟ but cannot study the faith;  FAITH; personal engagement with the divine; „heart‟ personal;  CONVICTION; God appears at all times; o Social Principles of the Qur‟an – Social ORDER;  JUSTICE; the Qur‟an does not explicate what kind of „government‟, but the purpose of the state and not the form  Purpose is to establish Justice; when the poor are taken care of; Zakkat; Rich are supposed to look after the poor;  The Qur‟an is concerned that human beings should not commit moral suicide;  Principle – AMR BIL MARUF WA NAHY AN AL MUNKAR;  Promotion of GOOD and FORBID of EVIL;  When someone is doing evil, you try and prevent this evil;  Those who are morally strong, those are morally weak; 1 2Q03 – Intro to Islam;  Way of uplifting the morals of the community; HISTORY – AFTER PROPHET ‟S DEATH  Tension between belief and „history‟ itself;  Standardization of history; normative; re-reading of history; o In many cases, history is written later on;  ORTHODOX; o Conventional, conservative; mainstream; o “The Right Way” o History; historians want us to look at the past in a particular way; historical accounts need to be looked at from different Angles;  Composite picture;  History is composite; because no one knows what happened 100%;  Many of the sources about the prophet were written 150 years after he passed away;  In the earlier period, everything was oral;  HETERODOX;  Tendencious; o “Movement towards a certain lens” o As scholars we have to be careful of this orthodox reading of history, and need to be aware of who is writing, when and why is being written; scholars are not independent; SUCCESSION TO THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD  Did not die suddenly, was ill for three days;  Told his followers that he would be leaving soon;  Who should succeed the prophet? There is no clear cut universal report;  What happens to the community?  SAQIFA - Meeting place in Medina for making important decisions; often political ones; o TWO GROUPS; Meccans and Medina (helpers)  Ansar (helpers); Muhajirum (those who migrated with Muhammad);  After the death; o The Ansar met in Saqifa; to discuss who should succeed Muhammad; o Two important companions of Muhammad (Abu Bakr and Umar); to go to Saqifa because the Ansar were discussing succession;  Suggestion of two leaders, one from the helpers, one from the migrants; o Abu Bakr suggested that the leaders from the Quraysh; tribe; not because the Qur‟an says so; but because this was the tribe of Muhammad; the people would only accept those from Quraysh; o Dispute;  Some suggested Ali (Son in Law; Fatima) son in law, and cousin;  No one was closer to the prophet than Ali; belonged to the same clan of the prophet;  Ali was rejected as a leader and amidst this commotion and Umar took the hand of Abu Bakr and appointed him;  People accepted it and gave him the Bay‟a (Allegiance;)  Voted by giving allegiance; 2 2Q03 – Intro to Islam;  SMALL group that suggested ALI should be the leader;  Followers; Shi‟a (Followers of Ali);  Points that Shi‟a use that Ali should be the leader; that on his death bed the Prophet Muhammad asked for a pen and paper; his companions were around him and said no; because he was delirious; o Did not want Ali because of the concentration of power in the Clan;  Abu Bakr appointed in order to avoid a greater evil; ABUBAKAR– S UCCESSOR TO M UHAMMAD ;
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