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Comparitive Religion Nov 27

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Walid Saleh

Comparative Religion – RLG280 / Walid Saleh Nov. 26 Blackboard: get Medina document, look into his Night Journey Muhammad / Quaysh Tribe he was following the stages of the Near East’s development Significance: Founder of the first Islamic polity, find not only a state but also a religion that guaranteed the survival of the new religion, continuing the mission of this new faith He was a revolutionary by establishing a new way of life (Sunnah), of existence – taking a traditional society that lived by the laws of the Fathers (ancestral code), a new sa His manner of doing things becomes foundational 2 periods in Muhammed’s life: Mecca: pilgrimage centre, Kaaba, travel enabled by the 4 months of truce when the vendetta system is lifted Nomadic, common language Arabic He evolves from a “warner” in Mecca to a “ruler” of a city state, Medina 610 exceptional turning point in time, where Arabia ‘spilled over” and changed human history Christian paradigm of change in the world: the influence of Christian doctrine and institutions, the structure of imperial Rome; changing/converting the world. But Muhammad, announces himself as a prophet of the god of Israel who announces a revelation 622: firmly established date where it’s known with certainty that Muhammad was succeeding in Medina Through the Qur’an, he transforms Arabia from a pagan world to a monotheist world did it by establishing several points about the world and what it means to be human The pagan world view: tragic – ‘something in us is bigger than our existence” (the cruelty of existence, it crushes the noble in us – in a tragic worldview, it’s better not to have been born.) Muhammad offers the alternative that life is good, there is salvation in the our life through resurrection in the afterlife Theo-centric: issues come from god, not according to your will Quran presents the view that human agency is nothing without this nurturing God, thus rebelliousness has to be vanquished. Human heroism has to be humbled through submission to God. This subordinates man to God, living in fear of the Lord. Death has a meaning because it will lead to reckoning (salvation) Submit to his will, live in fear of god, submit to god, morality comes from God in a world defined by morality. Humans will be judged by their deeds. Morality, a divine morality, above tribal code, is absolute, is the basis for this new life goodness is defined by this moral code, following what God desire for you at the essence of this world-view is humility, obedience and submission Won’t be judged by anscestors human life at the end is possible to save, if you live a good moral life God will reward you with heavenly immortality 1 Muhammad’s mission/aims • convert Arabs from paganism to monotheism (of the Jewish tradition) • establish a polity which is able to protect this new faith with the intention of establishing a central government over all of Arablia, a ‘Pax Islamica’ • Equality for all, ‘a new morality’ and a new code of law 622, moves to Medina, by 630 he makes a deal with Mecca. By 632, he is undisputed master of Arabia, which had never been achieved before.
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