RELIGIOUS STUDIES, LECTURE NOTES, NOVEMBER 6
- 619 CE: Muhammad has his revelation from Gabriel.
- ideas were contradictory to the ruling order
- interest in monotheism, social reform. the
marginalized and poor took to what he was saying.
- the year 619 is referred to as the YEAR OF SADNESS.
his wife, Khadijah dies. Muhammad becomes a widower.
Shortly after, Abu Talib, his unclie dies.
- Muhammad's other uncle took over and he withdrew
Muhammad's protection because he didn't like what he
- Muhammad had no tribal alliance at this time, nor did
his followers. At this time, you need tribal alliance.
- so in 622 Muhammad has his night journey or NIGHT OF
ASCENT. This happens when Gabriel comes and takes
Muhammad to the temple of Jersulem and Muhammed ascends
through the various levels of heaven, meeting major
figures, until he eventually sees Allah. On his way
there he is offered:
Water is seen as too ascetic, wine too worldly, so he
takes milk, the middle path.
He finally sees Allah. God says you must pray to me 50
times a day. On his way back down to Earth he runs into
Moses. Moses says 50 is way too much, go back to God and renegotiate. He gets it down to 40, down to 30, and
so on until he gets it down to 5.
remember this for poem or something, just came up with
this: HOLY MAN, DON'T USE YOUR WIFE AS A SALT SHAKER
- So Muhammad comes back and takes all of his followers
and flees to YATHRIB (then renamed Medina, the city of
the prophet). He gains many followers here and it
becomes a hotbed of Islam
- this move is referred to as the HIJRA.
- the muslim calendar counts history from the date of
- Medina turns into an economic and military kingdom
that came to rival Mecca
- What is Yathrib? good question for test. Yathrib is
- The constitution Muhammad writes for Medina
transcends tribal lines. It becomes more about
- Medina became powerful and rich by RAIDING CARAVANS,
which was almost seen as honourable piracy. They raided
Meccan caravans. Meccans did this too. Muhammad
innovated by raiding caravans during times of truce.
These truces were for people to make pilgrimages to the
polytheistic ka'ba so the muslims did not respect these
traditions or truces.
- things weren't always perfect. For a long time the
Jews of Yathrib/Medina and Muslims got along but soon
Jews chafed under the muslim authority and revolted in
Medina. Jews and Muslims would both pray toward
Jerusalem. Muhammad then had a vision and changed the
direction of prayer to Mecca. This caused the revolution. The Jews were then forced out of Medina.
- Muhammad always resolved to one day return to Mecca.
624 : Battle of BADR
625 : Battle of UHUD
627 : Battle of the TRENCH
628 : Treaty of COMPROMISE
630 : Cleaning of the Kaba
632 : DEATH OF MUHAMMAD
- originally just about capturing a caravan. meccans
caught wind and sent an army. Muhammad was outmanned 3
to 1 but they still won and took slaves or ransomed the
soldiers. Soldiers were not just killed, they were
either made slaves or ransomed.
- meccans tried to retaliate and capture medina.
initially medinans did quite well but then they slipped
up and Muhammad was quite hurt (physically) (this was
taken as a lesson that you should not be lazy and rest
on your laurels).
- meccans again tried to take medina but medina dug a
trench. meccans tried to wait them out, blocking all
trade to the city. it didn't work and they went home.
the largest army on the peninsula can't take them out.
this raises their profile not just on the peninsula but
amongst other places like Persia. You start having agreements with those places.
- in 628, Muhammad negotiated a truce, THE TREATY OF
COMPROMISE, stopping the conflict for 10 years so that
the Meccans could go on a pilgrimage to the Kaba. Huge
ammounts of Meccans started to convert to Islam (the
- Since Mecca was losing people to Islam, they broke
the truce and tried a sneak attack. The Medinans
counter attack and take the city of Mecca. When this
happens, Muhammad goes to the Kaba stone, trashes all
the idols, sweeps it clean, and rededicates it purely
to the worship of Allah.