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Lecture on Islam, November 22nd, November 27th

Course Code
Andre Maintenay

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November 13th 2006
World Religions ± RLG100
- 1.3 ± 1.4 billion Muslims around the world
- 2nd largest religion
- fastest growing religion in the world
- Indonesia ± highest population of Muslims
o India ± 2nd, Pakistan ± 3rd, Bangladesh ± 4th etc
- 600 million Muslims in Canada, mostly in Toronto
- ISLAM ± Arabic word ± means submission/surrender ± the ideal of a person perfecting Islam is that he/she
surrenders to god
- Traces (lineage) back to Hebrew patriarch ± ABRAHAM ± genetic
- Ishmael (ISMAIL) = parent of Arabs
- Abraham = central figure of Islam ± view relationship with god as being the (paradine) norm of how all human
beings should be with god
- Islam recognized the bulk of Jewish and Christian history
- sacred book of Islam ± Quran ± mentions Jewish prophets
o Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad
o Special significant = all received revelation from god
o Moses Æ occupies more space in the Quran than any other prophet (about 200 times)
o Parallel between life of Muhammad and Moses
o The Hebrew scriptures are held in very high regard by Muslims
o Recognizes Jesus as a prophet and messenger of god ± world renouncing, wondering prophet with deep
compassion ± willing to suffer for his people
Jesus = great prophet
Affirms virgin birth of Jesus
Denies that Jesus was the son of god
Denies the divinity of Jesus (just an advance prophet)
- Muhammad ± final prophet (long line of prophet) ± drawing on the wisdom that is already prevalent ± growing on
insights of all other prophets ± LAST prophet (none to come after) ± direct revelation from god ± way of being in
the world, life example (SUNNAH) model of an ideal Piest life Æ stories about the prophet (life, ideas, thoughts,
way of doing things²narratives) much of the Muslim law (history)
o Affirms mission, ministry of Jesus, Christian scripture
o Life example of prophet Muhammad
- Arabian peninsula ± Saudi Arabia ± 7th century CE
- before Islam ± area characterized by various practices ± JAHILIYAH (foolishness, ignorance, lack of refinement
and civilization)
- before 7th century CE - worshiped many gods and goddesses ± virtues of manliness, tribal loyalty, good will,
generosity Æ FRQWDLQHGWRPHPEHUVRIRQVRZQFODQWULEH± protection from harm and others
- family honours ± blood feuds ± lasted from generation to generation ± men = many wives, no provisions for
protecting women or children
- fatalism
- dismantle tribal loyalty ± humanitarian bonds ± common allegiance to god
- roots from trading town ± MECCA ± flourishing mercantile center ± point on major trade route, saw a lot of traffic ±
focus of major pilgrimage route ± ancient structure of KABAH ± believe that the Kabah was built by Abraham and
Ismail ± before Islam, the shrine = pilgrim image
- after Islam ± Kahbah taken over and dedicated to ONE sacred god ± today is still big pilgrimage site
- cosmopolitan city
- Mecca ± influenced by tribe ± QURAYSH ± numerous clans ± powerful tribe
o Muhammad = member of QURAYSH
o 570 CE (6th century) ± father died before he was born and mother died shortly after ± orphan under care
of grandfather ± after death of grandfather, brought up by uncle
o may have accompanied grandfather on caravan journeys

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o worked for wealthy widow Khadija ± eventually married Khadija ± recounts first religious experiences to
o Khadija = first Muslim
o Diplomat, trustworthy ± Muhammad
o During retreat ± meditate in cave ± angel grasps him and demands of him to read/recite ± muhammad =
terrified ± actually the angel GABRIEL ± returns from cave and talks to Khadija ± over the course of time,
realizes that those encounters are direct revelations ± mission proposed by god to become last prophet
o Comes to be more confident in his experiences ± feels that he should spread word to entire Mecca
o Mecca unsure ± it would lead to a great change in Mecca society ± feared society of religious and
o 622 CE ± Muhammad is invited to another town to arbitrate a dispute of the townspeople because of his
diplomatic skill ± move to the city of MADINAH (city of the prophet) ± marks the beginning of the Muslim
± gets to set up a paladin for what Muslim society should look like
o A.H. ± After Hijra
o Lead my messenger of god ± the state is being run by theocratic structure ± provides opportunity to
develop an ideal Muslim society
o Trial and error:
Muhammad tries to follow Jewish practices (praying in the direction of Jerusalem) ± as time goes
RQWKH-HZLVKOHDGHUVKLSGRHVWUHIOHFWSURSKHW- hood of Muhammad ± Madinah = separate
practices ± e.g. holiday of Ramadan, prayers in the direction of Mecca
November 15th 2006
- Mecca Æ Madina = HIJRA
- Establish a community and set up foundation for how a muslim community might live
- 10 years of relative peace ± larger society that is receptive to the message of Islam
- political and civil administration
- 1st rehearsals of ritual practices
- IMPORTANT PERIOD ± Muslims look back at this event as a utopia - instruction on civil administration,
government affairs, economical affairs
- Madina ± Secure home
- Muhammad in better position to negotiate
- Him and group undertake a series of battles ± muslims outnumbered by meccans but still is victorious and take
over mecca
- 632 ± Muhammad dies
- Muhammad ± founder of islam tradition ± first and foremost a religious leader (messenger of god) ± political and
civil leader
- Muslims all over the world look to the life and example of Muhammad for inspiration and guidance
- 1000s of legends ± discussing all aspects of life
o need to determine which are authentic ± scholarly activity
- 632 ± small community without a leader
o Muslims needed a leader so Islam practices will not deteriorate
o Khalif ± leader of the community ± both a religious and political leader ± authorized by community to
guide community on religious and political affairs ± chosen by elders of the community
o 1st Khalif ± $EX%DNU0XKDPPDGVIULHQGUHLJQZDVVKRUWDERXWD\HDU± consolidate enter peninsula
under the rule of Islam
o 2nd ± Vmer ± 1st actual administrator of rapidly expanding empire ± by the end of rule ± Palestine, Egypt,
Iran, Iraq ± centers of Muslim learning
o 3rd ± Uthman ± seeds of conflict and disagreement ± contested by several groups ± corruption ± Uthman
assassinated by angry mob
o 4th ± Ali ± son in law of Muhammad
- 4 rightly guided Khalifs
- Community separates after them:
o Sunni ± majority (Saudi Arabia, Africa)
o 6KL¶L(Shia) ± those that broke away from the majority (Iran, Iraq, South Asia) ± 10-15% today
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