RS110 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Kaaba, Islamic Calendar, Oral Torah

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Published on 23 Feb 2016
School
University of Waterloo
Department
Religious Studies
Course
RS110
Professor
Islam: The Way of Submission
Root: s-l-m means submission, surrender, s-l-m may also mean salam (peace)
Muslim: (mu = one who follows, a doer) (slm)
One who submits to the will of Allah
Things that are muslim by nature: inanimate/animal life
Human beings are Muslim by will, obedience
Profession of faith (shahadah) “I bear witness that there is no god except God and I bear witness
that Muhammad is the messenger of God” in the presence of two muslim witnesses, you are a
muslim
Muslims do not like the words Mohammedan or Muselman but they do not worship Mohammad
The Quran, Koran = Holy Scriptures
Literally means “Recitation”
Written in Arabic, cannot be translated (so if you want to read it, you must study Arabic) There
exists the Quran in different languages but it means you are reading not the Quran but a
translation of the Quran
114 Surahs (books)
Sources:
Quran has relatively little bio about Muhammad, only Holy Scripture
Hadith – prophetic, written (legal) tradition, believed to be divinely inspired (like the Oral Torah)
origin in 8th century, 2nd most important
Hadith has oral sayings from Mohammad
Sunnah – tradition, practices about Muhammad’s life and actions
Bio about Muhammad
Pre-Islamic History
Age of foolishness, ignorance (jahiliyah) (naïve, not really understanding the big picture)
Lack of moral and religious consciousness
Judaism and Christianity are part of this age, they have a common monotheistic ground with
Islam, but they distorted the once pure revelation given to Moses and Jesus (whereas Islam got
the pure revelation)
Islam alone is the fulfillment of all religion as it represents the completion of divine revelation
that began with Adam
Allah is the creator God but was not worshipped alone
Polytheism and animistic worship
Kaabah is the large rectangular stone in Mecca, a shrine that served as a place of idolatrous
worship in pre-islamic times
Pilgrimage
Allah and 3 Goddesses Al-Lat, Al-Uzzah (Venus/ Aphrodite?), Manat (all daughters of Allah)
Quran repudiates these goddesses
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Life brought only death, no afterlife (no fear of hell) – hedonistic life, wine, women
Abraham
Migrated to Mecca with his son Ishmael, the son of Hagar (concubine)
In Mecca, Allah commanded Abraham to cleanse the Kaabah from midols
Abraham submitted to Allah’s will and thus was the first true Muslim
Islam is sometimes characterized as the pure religion of Abraham
Abraham cleansed the Kaabah
Muhammad (570-632)
Muhammad was born in Mecca in 570 CE
Mecca was caravan station on the trade route between north (Syria) south (Africa) and east
(India)
Arab tribes in Mecca resisted Chrisitan proselytizing
He was part of the tribe of the Quraysh
His father (Abdullah) died before and his mother (Amina bint Wahb) died a few years after his
birth
Grew up as an orphan and thus cared for by paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib who soon died
Muhammad was then raised by his uncle Abu Talib head of the Hashim clan
Little is known of Muhammad’s early life
Had little education, perhaps illiterate
Perhaps a caravan journey to Syria
Muhammad worked for Khadijah, a rich widow
Though she was 15 years older than him but they got married in 595 when he was 25
They had six children who all died except for one girl, Fatima
Muhammad had 12 wives over his life-time, some of who were very young. It was argued that
these girls would have been poor without him
No financial worries he was focused on spiritual things
Muhammed was known as al-Amin “the trustworthy one”
Inspired confidence in people as he was a contemplative, honest, good-natured man
Helped the weak, sick, oppressed in Mecca
According to tradition, Muhammad disliked idol worship and immorality of Meccan society
The Black Stone arbitration (tw o of the tribes were always feuding, the stone in the Kabbah was
taken out and polished and put back, so they were fighting about which tribe would clean it.
Muhammed put it on the blanket and they each helped put it back
The Night of Power (610)
At the age of 40, he sought solitude in a cave on the Mountain of Hira
During 26th day of Ramadan, first revelation through angel Gabriel (Jibril)
The night of power = worth a thousand months
Voice came to him (angel) three times: “Recite” “I cannot read”
Beginning of the Revelations given to Muhammad
More Revelations (613) After initial doubts about the authenticity of the revelation, more
followed in613 and his wife convinced him he was indeed a prophet
Muhammad started to preach his new message
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Muhammad’s Message (610-622)
New message of monotheism, condemning polytheism
Themes of death, judgement, afterlife
First four converts: wife Kadijah, son-in-law Ali b. Abu Talib and his slave Zayd, Aby Bakr his
good friend
Growth of community, mainly consisting of poor people and slaves
Umar b. al-Khattab and Uthman b. Affan, later the second and third caliphs
Rejection, enmity, little success
Merchants did not like him due to less profit, denounced ethical/moral traditions,
political, social reasons
The Turning Point (622)
In 619, his wife died and also his guardian uncle Abu Talib
Loss of tribal protection, persecution
Wicked uncle Abu Lahab damned him because he did not believe he was a prophet
Miraculous night journey to Jerusalem where today is the Dome of the Rock: His epiphany in
Allah’s presence
Dome of the Rock was built in 691
In 620, negeotitations with Yathrib, later known as Medina the city of the prophet
In 622 arbitration between feuding tribes in Medina
Mohammad’s migration is known as hijrah, the official beginning of Isalmic history an the
Islamic calendar
24 September 622 = 1 AH (anno hijrah meaning “in the year” “pilgrimage” \
The Pledge of War (622)
In 622, he barely escaped Mecca
The people of Medina acceoted him as Allah’s prophet and pledged war against Mecca
Battles with Mecca in 624, 625, 627, 628, and 630
Widening circle of Mohammad’s mission
The Medinian Years (622-630)
Mohammad formed the Muslim community known as ummah
Jewish community – Mohammad adopted prayer toward Jerusalem (later Mecca) day of rest
Jews rejected Mohammad as final prophet and Quran as holy scripture Tension and split between
Jews and ummah
They used to observe the day of rest and Yom Kippur due to Jewish influences
If Mohammad was the final prophet, that means Moses giving the Torah was rejected thus the
Torah was rejected
The Return to Mecca (630)
Mohammad set out to fight Mecca with 10000 armed men
Meccans submitted to him on 11 January 630 without any bloodshed
Mohammad cleansed the Kaabah just as Moses had done
He proclaimed: God is great! Truth has come. Falsehood has vanished.
Muslim missionary activity began
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Document Summary

Root: s-l-m means submission, surrender, s-l-m may also mean salam (peace) Muslim: (mu = one who follows, a doer) (slm) One who submits to the will of allah. Things that are muslim by nature: inanimate/animal life. Profession of faith (shahadah) i bear witness that there is no god except god and i bear witness that muhammad is the messenger of god in the presence of two muslim witnesses, you are a muslim. Muslims do not like the words mohammedan or muselman but they do not worship mohammad. Written in arabic, cannot be translated (so if you want to read it, you must study arabic) there exists the quran in different languages but it means you are reading not the quran but a translation of the quran. Quran has relatively little bio about muhammad, only holy scripture. Hadith prophetic, written (legal) tradition, believed to be divinely inspired (like the oral torah) origin in 8th century, 2nd most important.

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