RELG 207 Study Guide - Final Guide: Hanafi, Ijma, Zakat
Course CodeRELG 207
Islam: means peace/surrender, “the peace that comes when one surrenders one’s life to God”
Allah: God of Islam
Adam: 1st man and 1st prophet
Abraham: 1st muslim (1st who submits to god) Prophet. He is the father of faith
Ishmael: Abraham’s eldest son and first born, Ishmael’s descendants stay in Mecca and become
Moses: 1st Rasul, messenger who brought the Torah. Author of old testament.
Jesus: 2nd Rasul, teachings recorded in Gospels (good news)
Muhammad: Final Rasul.“seal of prophet” – most important
-In bringing the Qur’an, claims to be the final prophet, because God’s revelation is
completed in the revelation
-Born around 570 AD, his father dies before his birth, and his mother dies at age 6, so his
grandfather and uncle raise him. Main point: Mohammed is HUMAN, the only
uniqueness: instrument through whom God has spoken (contrary to Christianity where
Christ is the son of God and therefore can’t be human)
-At 40 he received his first revelation (610), at (622) migrates to Mekka from Medina, dies
Nabi: regular “prophet” or “one who speaks for God”
Rasul: special type of “prophet”: messenger that doesn’t speak on behalf of God, instead brings
God’s word. Rasuls that Muslims recognize: Jesus, Moses, Muhammad.
Jahiliya: “time of ignorance” ignorance of 1 true God/ moral darkness preceded Islam
Koreish/Quraysh tribe: individual who doesn’t exist on his/her own, but in tribes. Koreish tribe
is muhammad’s leading tribe in Mecca – created violence-free zone for those who wanted to
worship Alla, encourages merchants to pray in Mecca (those crossing Arabian desert protected)
Mecca: city Muhammad’s born and where Ka’ba is found. (Saudi araiba peninsula)
Ka’ba: sanctuary built by Abraham and cleansed by Muhammed. Place to worship Allah.
(muslims face it in prayer)
Khadija: Muhammad’s wife – widow who ran merchant business after death of husband –
employed Muhammad (was righteous business man) and offered him marriage (he was 25, she
was 40). He shared all his burden’s and God’s teachings with her.
Mount Hira: where M goes to meditate, where he received 1st revelation at 40 (610). Angel,
Jibrael delivers word of god and tells him to “recite” in the name of God part of Koran
Night of Power: name of 1st night that M receives the revelation
Yathrib/Medina: city of the prophet. M leaves Mecca and goes to Yathrib at age 42 which
changes to Medina. where he builds islam as a religions
Hijra: “immigration: muslim emigration from Mecca to Medina. (622). In Medina, first Muslim
Battle of Badr: (624) Muslims attack caravans headed for Mecca for food, win and believe god
fought on behalf their behalf. 300 Muslims vs. 1000 Meccans. M = tribal chief.
Battle of Uhud (625) Muslims defeated on mount Uhud overconfident/many killed. Receives
revelation that Muslim men can have as many as 4 wives.
Battle of the trench (627): Meccans attack Medina, muslims strategically fight from trenches
because of Meccan’s cavalry warfare muslims win (peace treaty lasting 10 years)
Koran/qur’an: “recitation” holy text of Islam. Received by Muhammad and delivered by Jibrael
over 23 years. 114 surahs/chapters.
Surah: Chapter of Koran. arranged by revelation not date (first short then long – descending)
Aya: verse of Koran – “sign of God”
Al-Fatiha: 1st surah in the Koran and shortest – start of each prayer
People of the Book: religious groups that have received a revelation from God (Jews and
Plain of Arafat: 1) where prophet receives last revelation and delivers last sermon to muslim
community 2) where at end of history, all humanity will stand before Alla and be judged.
Caliph: “successor to prophet” – M last prophet, future leaders need title = caliph (because not
prophets) – Caliphs rule over entire ummah. (spiritual/religious/political authority)
Ummah: community/nation those who submit to allah/believe in Islam (founded in Medina)
Four Rightly Guided Caliphs:1st 4 caliphs after M death and participated in Hijra (fled from)
Mecca to Medina in 622)
1. Abu Bakr (632-634 CE): known for Ridda wars/wars of apostasy – tried to suppress
tribes from rebelling. Poisoned because other wanted to be Caliph succeed by umar
2. Umar (634-644): extended Muslim conquest into Middle East and North Africa.
Assassinated by Persian slave (resented being incorporated into muslim world)
3. Uthman (644-656): compiled official version of Qu’ran. Wasn’t politically astute, known
for nepotism assassinated by fellow Muslims in 656
4. Ali (656-661): nephew of Muhammad. Pple believe M designated Ali to be successor. Ali
assassinated by members of Muslim sect in 661
Sunnis: derived from “deeds/actions”, follow example laid down by prophet. 85-95% of muslims
are Sunni. Believe that 1st 4 caliphs are guided. Have several imams (lowercase bc found in
community – not line descending from Muhammad) give spiritual guidance to communities.
Shi’ites: 10-12% of Muslims – supporters of Ali, 1st three caliphs are illegit and ali should be 1st
caliph attach themselves to a line of Imam’s (preachers = successors of Muhammad) for
1. Shahadah : confession of faith 2 statements: there is only one God, the God Allah and
Muhammad is his prophet.
2. Salat : obligatory prayer 5x / day, beginning, midday, afternoon, late afternoon, evening
direction of prayer towards Mecca
3. Zakat : giving charity/ compulsory 2.5% of year wealth to those in need.
4. Ramadan : month of fasting from dawn until dusk. Fast from guilty pleasures (sex,
smoking) end with big feast and exchange gifts.
5. Hajj : pilgrimage to the Ka’ba in Mecca, every Muslim should make the Hajj to Mecca
once in their life.
Jihad: “to struggle”,associated to military conquest – effort required to discern power of God.
-Jihad-i-akbar: “higher” – inner-spiritual struggle (fight against selfish, sinful desires etc.)
- Jihad-i-asgar: “lower – bodily military struggle – in defense of Ummah
Sufism: suf means “wool”, more humble compared to Caliphs – practice asceticism (renounce
worldy possessions/ simple life) – leave society behind and search for mystical knowledge of
God. Characterized by 3 main elemnts: Asceticism: dedicate life to God), love (God is love), and
-Al-Ghazali: famous Persian Muslim philosopher – lawyer but renounced all worldly
accomplishments to become Sufi
-Al-Hallaj: (9th century) Persian sufi teacher and poet. Claimed he was god “I am the
creator of the truth” and was executed
-Rabi’a: Female Persian Sufi Poet (11th century) one should love God for God’s sake
instead of loving him out of fear.
-Rumi: 13th century poet and philosopher: advocated universal understanding of faith, all
religions had valuable insight into the divine truth… encouraged use of artwork, poetry,
and music to worship
Sharia: the “way to the watering whole” to know sharia is to know way into survival.
Ilm, Alim/Ulama: knowledge/person possessing knowledge/ interpreters of law.
Four main sources of Islamic Law:
1. Qur’an: “recitation” (word of God recited) holy text of Islam (how individuals and society
should act) If doesn’t give you your answer, go to next source of Islamic law)
2. Hadith: recordings of words/deeds of prophets
3. Quiyas: “use your head”: analogical reasoning: ways to apply laws that you see in Hadith
and Qur’an to modern day life throughout history of Islam e.g. restriction from drinking
wine = applied to drug use today e.g.
4. Ijma: last recourse: universal consensus of Ummah, whatever we decide will become
authoritative teaching justify democracy in Islam
Five major schools of Law:
1. Jafari: shi’ite schools in iran and iraq
2. Hanafi: Sunni school of Sharia law (prevalent in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh) – most
liberal interpretations of Sharia and emphasis on reasoning
3. Maliki: “…” northern Africa – adds insight on 4 rightly guided caliphs
4. Shafi’I: “…” (Indonesia) – accepts teachings of muhammad’s companions
5. Hanbali: “…” (Saudi Arabia) – most conservative and most literal of 4 previous
Five Categories of Activities (most acceptable to least acceptable)
1. Halal: obligatory (5 pillars)
2. Mustahabb: recommended (greeting)
3. Mubah: neutral (driving)
4. Mukruh: reprehensible (divorce)
5. Haram: absolutely prohibited (eating pork/making images of God)