Islam - Origins, the Life of Muhammad, the Qur’an

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16 Feb 2011
World Religions October 25th, 2011.
Islam: Origins, the Life of Muhammad, the Quran
Reading: Ch. 4 “The Islamic Tradition,” pp. 199-217
Islam – Arabic word meaning submission or surrender; paradigm for how one
should relate to God
Person who professes himself to god is a Muslim
Completion of ambrahemic tradition
Traces origin to Hebrew patriarch Abraham
Arabs understand themselves as descendents of Abraham
Islam descendent from Abrahams son—Hebrew bible son about to be sacrificed
Islam refers to same narratives, same characters, but develops own history in
relation to stories who in process is a different way from how Hebrew bible
Religiously also Abrahams faith in the one god is understood by Muslims as the
paradigm for the ideal religious person
Abrahams act of total submission before will of god is exemplified in act of
sacrifice of his son—seen as paradigmatic, being exlempatory as the ideal of
Islam strongly connected to Abrahamic heritage and assumes this heritage
(religious and historical) as part of its own self understanding
Islam speaks of the many prophet but identifies 5: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus,
and Muhammad
Muhammad is the last of the prophets
Moses occupies most space in the Qur’an than any other prophet
Islam identifies considerable connection b/w Moses and Muhammad
Muhammad often presented in narratives as being a younger figure who is guided,
encouraged and mentored by Moses
Islam identifies many parallels and connections b/w lives of Moses and
Like Muhammad, Moses grows up as an orphan away from parents home
Moses’ mission begins as solitude in the wilderness with God
Moses is recipient of Gods message: Torah
Torah closest scripture in content and purpose to the Qur’an
Qur’an major text of Islam: also talks about Jesus as very revered figure, prophet
in how own rights, messenger of God to people of Israel
Qur’an affirms many miracles that we find in the gospels, categorically denies the
divinity of Jesus or that God had a child and denies that as erroneous but affirms
in various other ways the special status of Jesus as a prophet of god
Sacred book that Muhammad receives from God—seen as final revelation by God
to humanity
Muhammad is out closest contact to God’s revelation and therefore his personage
Look as narratives of prophet Muhammad as they provided the model for the ideal
Islamic life
Islam arises in Arabian Peninsula—Saudi Arabia in 7th century CE
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